Join Economics Professor Richard Wolff, University of Massachusetts, for a screening of his film, "Capitalism Hits the Fan," and a Q&A.
Professor Wolff breaks down the root causes of today's economic crisis and traces its source to the 1970s, when wages began to stagnate and American workers were forced into a spiral of borrowing and debt. By placing the crisis in this framework, Wolff argues that proposals for government "bailouts," offers of stimulus packages, and calls for increased market regulation will not address the real causes of the crisis. He suggests that far more fundamental change is necessary to avoid future catastrophes. Richly illustrated with motion graphics, "Capitalism Hits the Fan" is a superb introduction to the unraveling economic crisis for ordinary citizens.
Richard D. Wolff
Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University in New York. Wolff has also taught economics at Yale University, City University of New York, University of Paris I (Sorbonne), and The Brecht Forum in New York City. In 2010, Wolff published Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It, also released as a DVD. He will release three new books in 2012: Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism, with David Barsamian (San Francisco: City Lights Books), Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian, with Stephen Resnick (Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT University Press), and Democracy at Work (Chicago: Haymarket Books).
Wolff hosts the weekly hour-long radio program Economic Update on WBAI, 99.5 FM, New York City (Pacifica Radio). He writes regularly for The Guardian, Truthout.org, and the MRZine. He has been interviewed on RT-TV, Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now!, Al Jazeera English, Thom Hartman, National Public Radio, Alternative Radio, and many other radio and TV programs in the United States and abroad. The New York Times Magazine named him “America’s most prominent Marxist economist.” His work can be accessed at rdwolff.com. Wolff lives in Manhattan with his wife and frequent collaborator, Dr. Harriet Fraad, a practicing psychotherapist (see podcasts at www.rdwolff.com on psychology and economics).
Economic system in which most of the means of production are privately owned, and production is guided and income distributed largely through the operation of markets. Capitalism has been dominant in the Western world since the end of mercantilism. It was fostered by the Reformation, which sanctioned hard work and frugality, and by the rise of industry during the Industrial Revolution, especially the English textile industry (16th18th centuries). Unlike earlier systems, capitalism used the excess of production over consumption to enlarge productive capacity rather than investing it in economically unproductive enterprises such as palaces or cathedrals. The strong national states of the mercantilist era provided the social conditions, such as uniform monetary systems and legal codes, necessary for the rise of capitalism. The ideology of classical capitalism was expressed in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (1776), and Smith's free-market theories were widely adopted in the 19th century. In the 20th century the Great Depression effectively ended laissez-faire economics in most countries, but the demise of the state-run command economies of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (seecommunism) and the adoption of some free-market principles in China left capitalism unrivaled (if not untroubled) by the beginning of the 21st century.
regionswork, you right that it is not entirely true. That is a fact since Wolff makes misinterpretations or forgets some thing and the most important point it is not the complete story. It is simply impossible to talk about everything in such clear understanding way.
In my opinion, however, it is false to describe the lecture as "not entirely false, not entirely true" since that would conclude his explanation is just somewhere in between. For me all interconnected points are made correctly but due to missing information the stated arguments are rated as more important as they actually were or are, respectively.
In case of your mentioned examples he even explicitly portended that there are much more causes many times during his speech especially at the end.
I would say if someone does begin to study any kind of business studies this video is a very good start and motivation in particular because of him indicating there is already some much ( partly old) knowledge that describes the reasons of the situation we are in and even predicts parts of it - but we all just heard about the essence of predictions.
Interesting - the banks get a pass; 401(k) gave nearly everyone a stake in the market. so companies were applauded for forcing down costs to increase profits and value - middle class had a stake in the management, even if some were among those downsized - their portfolio management mind knew it was necessary, no mention of the impact of Nixon taking the U.S. off the gold standard to fund the Viet Nam war and the knock on of fiat currencies in the world; labor - keeping the southern border open to create competition at the bottom and, post Soviet collapse, the flooding of the market - the global connected market with lots of high skill labor.
Some points give insight, like the Marshall Plan was the vendor financing model for the Chinese. Overall, the story that connects the dots is ... Beckian. Not entirely false, not entirely true.
That was brilliant, Richard Wolff has produced something I thought was impossible.
He has shown in its entirety the model of today's global economy in a methodical and coherent way. While the facts mentioned are well known the perfect continuity and conclusions are as unbelievable as they are unarguable.
Thank you Richard Wolff
the solution is limit. the personal wealth of the very rich. top 50m $. per family. the rest goes to distribution. how by strict control of transactions.
limit greed, limit personal income. address the individual, not the system. the solution is on the individuals mind. perception and behaviour. art can be the key to unlock the conundrum. however it looks as a big brother scheme it is but a healthier one..sane, just and appropriate to the current realm..