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Systemic Crisis of Capitalism + Capitalism Hits the Fan

Program #WOLR002-WOLR003.

First Program: Systemic Crisis of Capitalism

Today's economic crisis is the most severe since the Great Depression. What are its root causes? The conventional explanations put the blame on greedy bankers who pawned off credit default swaps, sub-prime mortgages, and a smorgasbord of derivatives, on a hapless and helpless public. To make matters worse there was little or no regulation. So if we tinker with some reform measures, pass some legislation, a tax cut here, a little stimulus package there and everything will be hunky-dory. Will it? The seismic failures and problems plaguing Capitalism are systemic and deep. Many people are in dire straits. But not the upper crust. They are riding the gravy train to more riches. Fundamental change is necessary to avoid future collapses. It's long past time to examine Capitalism itself. Interviewed by David Barsamian.

Second Program:Capitalism Hits the Fan

Like that well known substance, Capitalism has hit the fan. The statistics are numbing and do not convey the suffering and trauma citizens are enduring. Gone up in smoke are their savings, pensions, homes and jobs. Poverty is at record levels. For too many, dreams and hopes are shattered. And like the Howard Beale character in the movie "Network," people are yelling, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore." Occupy Wall Street has gone global. People are in the streets pushing back and saying, Enough. "We are the 99%." There is widespread recognition that the economic crash is not just the result of greed and arrogance and lax regulation. There are deeper structural problems with a system that always prioritizes profits over people. The question is what should replace it?

Speaker(s):

Richard Wolff

Richard Wolff teaches at the New School in New York. The New York Times called him “America’s most prominent Marxist economist.” He is the author of numerous books including Capitalism Hits the Fan, Democracy at Work and Occupy the Economy with David Barsamian.

 

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