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Forum Post: How the Business Community Screwed the Working Class - by Richard Wolff

Posted 1 year ago on Nov. 15, 2013, 2:15 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
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[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''Capitalists defend their "right" to hire and fire as an "entitlement" that cannot be questioned. Yet it surely should be challenged on grounds of its undemocratic nature and its perverse social results. Employing people in socially useful work (however a democratic society might define that) is more humane to the individuals, families and communities involved, and more productive and less costly than rendering them unemployed. Yet a private profit-driven capitalist system yields the endless unemployment, spiking repeatedly, that society does not want. Except, of course, capitalists want it because it keeps them at the top of capitalist society.'' from :

Thanx for your excellent video which gives a very good insight into 'The American Debt Trap' and the scientific and systemic, parasitic exploitation of the workers.

radix omnium malorum est cupiditas ...

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Private ownership of the means of production (aka Capitalism) is unacceptable. As long as there is no serious democratic control in the economy, we don't have a true democracy.

[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

''As long as there is no serious democratic control in the economy, we don't have a true democracy.'' - Bingo !!! It's All ultimately about Reclaiming Democracy from Oligarchs and Corporate Cartels !! + fyi :

Thanx for the excellent ''Noam Chomsky On Corporations'' video which is a very brilliant summary of Corporate Control of all aspects of modern life and is a very good use of 14 minutes - for any and all interested readers. Solidarity Andy :-)

fiat lux et fiat justitia ruat caelum ...

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Thanks. Glad you liked the video I put together. Solidarity.

[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 1 year ago

Solidarity & it was an excellent video, so well done and thanx again + fyi :

multum in parvo ...

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21510) 1 year ago

"...American working class... stressed, exhausted......This is a population that has reached the limits. It cannot carry more debt and it can't do more work. That is why this is not a temporary problem. This is not a blip along the way. We have reached the limits of the kind of capitalism this society has become."

"We had a thirty year period of rising productivity....Each year the worker produces more. And, each year the worker is paid the same, that's what no more rising wages mean, they produce more and more and more and get paid the same, the same, the same. That is the gap between what the workers produce for their employer, which the employer sells, and what they have to pay the worker to do it. The gap is getting bigger. What the workers get is flat, what they produce is more. That bigger, friends, is called profits. So the last 30 years of flat wages and rising productivity are the greatest profit boon in the history of American capitalism and quite possibly any capitalism."

"This is a crisis of a system....This is an employers fantasy come true. I pay my workers the same and they work more and more for me. They produce more and more for me and I don't have to give them more at all. This can't be real. Pinch myself. It was...."

These are just excerpts from this video, of which every word he says is so very valuable. He wastes not one breath. Richard Wolff is one of the brilliant economists we should look to for the way forward.

[-] 5 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Lots of economists have been advocating privatization, austerity, tax cuts for the wealthy etc -- neoliberalism in other words. It's bullshit, and we're now seeing the consequences of these policies: enormous inequality, poverty, outsourcing and so on.

Fortunately not all economists are right-wingers. Wolff is an excellent economist on the left who does a great job at exposing this unjust state-capitalist system.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21510) 1 year ago

We need new paradigms of economics going forward. Here are some university students who think so too, "The Post Crash Economics Society":



[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Thanks for the links. I'll check'em out.

Friedman and the rest of them sold the population snake oil. It was all bullshit, and now more and more people are waking up. It's time to strongly increase taxes on the rich, and work to establish a real democracy in which the people, not the financial elite, are in control.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (21510) 1 year ago

And, force them to share profits more fairly with the workers through higher wages that people can actually live on and benefits that provide security and decency.

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Absolutely. And the long term goal should not just be to force the owners to share more, but to take away their right to exploit in the first place. Workplaces should eventually be democratized. In other words, capitalism should be abolished.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21510) 1 year ago

I agree with you entirely. We need a new system to work with the new global and technical age that we are now in. Capitalism is an antiquated system that rose out of the Industrial Revolution. It is no longer relevant, obvious in the fact that it no longer works. Any system that exploits to the extreme extent that capitalism now does is an abject failure.

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I think we're witnessing the beginning of the end of capitalism at this point. Capitalism has, or will very soon, reach its peak. From then on it's all downhill for this abhorrent system. Wealth is becoming more and more concentrated in the hands of the non-elected financial elite, creating more and more opposition. Sooner or later an alternative system has to be established.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21510) 1 year ago

I think so too. It won't be quick, but the exploitation has gotten to the point that the masses will no longer accept the crumbs. Solidarity, sff. Thanks for all you do here. :)

[-] 2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 1 year ago

"...the masses will no longer accept crumbs."

Let's call it The Great Awakening.....stay tuned.

[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (32416) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

I think we're witnessing the beginning of the end of capitalism at this point.

Hopefully - and ASAP please Or what we may be looking at may well be the increasing illness that ends all mammalian life on the planet.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Union YES!

The attacks on them seems to be paying off in unexpected ways. Marginalizing all unions was their first aim.

Judging from the lack of a tie in here, it worked.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21510) 1 year ago

Absolutely! Workers of the world unite!

Workers, on their own, are powerless against employers who seek to exploit through low wages, skimpy benefits and declining rights. We need a full on labor movement in this country for workers are the heart and soul of any nation. They seem to get this around the world. Come on, America, wake up! Fight for your rights!

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Read this, weep and know why I keep talking about how important the several States really are.


I don't think I can stress that enough.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21510) 1 year ago

Walker and his kind are evil, nothing short of it. To fight a right as fixed as that we have to fight back with a left that is just as hard-and-fast. I have always understood why you talk about what you talk about. Keep going. Never give up! Solidarity with workers, all workers, everywhere!

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21510) 1 year ago

“Coastal Masonry ignored its responsibility to ensure workers performing masonry duties were provided with a fall protection system that would protect them effectively. Although the safety director informed management about the deficiencies with the fall protection system, the company allowed workers to be exposed to fall hazards. This employer must act immediately to remove these hazards.”

The guy died, so sad and unnecessary. Greed kills.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Anti-union. Not just union free. Anti-union.

When there is representation, that greed often can no longer kill.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21510) 1 year ago

Anti-workers of any kind standing up for their rights. They want all workers to just accept their exploitation. This crap has to end.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (32416) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

The Eloi need to awaken as the Morlocks have arrived = Corp(se)oRATions

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21510) 1 year ago

LOL. Yep, a total lack of humanity.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (32416) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

On a BRIGHTER note :

Strikes are spreading through Walmart’s stores nationwide and Black Friday is fast approaching. Today, Walmart workers in Ohio walked off the job.

Can you come out to a Black Friday protest near you?

Last week, Walmart workers in Chicago and Seattle joined their coworkers in going on strike to protest Walmart’s retaliation against those who speak out. Today, Walmart workers in Ohio went on strike for the same reason.

They’ve asked community supporters to mark Black Friday (November 29th) on their calendars. Can you come out to an event in your area (or host an event is no one has yet)?

Find an event in your area now:


In Solidarity, Making Change at Walmart

Thank You, Making Change at Walmart

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Wal-Mart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Wal-Mart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Wal-Mart publically commit to adhering to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of Walmart employees.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (21510) 1 year ago

Workers waking up is an awesome thing.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (32416) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

It is a very essential part of healing this country.

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 1 year ago

Don't forget one of the original anti-union concerns........mining.

Can't find a single comment from any miners unions about the recent mining deaths in Colorado.

I'm going to venture a wild guess here and say....they don't have a union.


[-] 3 points by Nevada1 (5288) 1 year ago

Incorporation is a Curse.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Capitalism is a curse.

[+] -5 points by candrew (-4) 1 year ago

You either know nothing about capitalism or you're regurgitating what some other idiot told you.

[-] 5 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

What are you talking about? I know what capitalism is. It means that the means of production are owned privately. Capitalism is unacceptable because it creates tyrannical hierarchies and concentration of wealth and power. The institutions in society should be run democratically by the participants.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (32416) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Incorp(se)oRATion the real Frankenstein's Monster only not at all nice.

[-] 0 points by meanjogreen (7) 1 year ago

Not if you are a barely middle class self employed peon trying to minimize taxes, tho all these silly labels really benefit the uber rich


[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (32416) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago
[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (32416) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

I’ll give them this: Giant corporations are crafty.

Or maybe devious is a better word.

Years ago, they realized that a pesky little thing called democracy might prevent them from getting what they wanted — essentially unlimited power — no matter how much they spent engineering elections and buying off politicians.

So they came up with a fallback plan:

Exploit obscure international trade pacts — which were being negotiated with little public or press oversight — to get what they could not achieve openly and democratically: weaker food and medicine safety standards, corporate-friendly energy and environmental policies, limits on Internet free speech, new privileges to raise medicine prices and offshore jobs, and more.

And they call these backdoor schemes “free trade agreements.”

Well, the deals do leave corporations “free” to undermine the policies that protect all of us from being casualties in their global race to the bottom.

Add your name if you don’t want the public safeguards we all rely on negotiated away as part of “trade” deals hijacked by multinational corporations.

We know all too well how disastrously NAFTA worked out.

Now there’s an even worse deal in the works, which has been described as “NAFTA on steroids.”

It’s called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

The TPP currently involves the United States and these 11 other countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Other countries could join in later — including China.

One of the most outrageous things these deals do is let corporations demand compensation from taxpayers — in secretive, foreign tribunals — for any policy or government action they claim interferes with their expected profits.


For example, tobacco giant Philip Morris is attacking Australia’s rules on cigarette packaging in one of these corporate tribunals under a similar pact, insisting on hundreds of millions from Australian taxpayers.

Ecuador was recently ordered to pay Occidental Petroleum billions after the oil behemoth, not the country, broke the terms of a contract.

Pharmaceutical titan Eli Lilly is demanding $500 million from the people of Canada, where courts invalidated patents on medicines that did not perform as promised.

These corporate tribunals are one-sided. Corporations alone decide if and when to attack. Governments can’t make claims against corporate culprits. Consumers and workers can’t either.

The only reason to sign international trade deals is if they can help people in every country involved live better, healthier and safer lives.

We can’t afford more “trade” agreements that offshore our jobs, flood us with unsafe food and products, and erode the principles and practice of democracy.

Add your name if you agree.

Earlier this month, Public Citizen was key to two developments that could help derail the TPP:

  • We worked with Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to sign letters to President Obama opposing “Fast Track” — an anti-democratic, Nixon-era scheme that transfers Congress’ constitutional trade authority to the president. Obama wants fast track so that he can railroad the TPP through. After hundreds of grassroots meetings, rallies, lobby visits and more, 190 House members said no to Fast Track.

  • We partnered with WikiLeaks to expose some of the language in the draft TPP agreement, which is being negotiated in secret with the input of 600 official corporate trade “advisors” from the U.S. while the public, the press and most members of Congress have been locked out. We did the analysis that let the world know the text would mean higher medicine prices and a sneak attack on Internet freedom.

Tens of thousands of Public Citizen supporters took action with us over the past year and deserve credit for helping to uncover the TPP and turn the tide against Fast Track.

A fast-tracked TPP would be nothing less than a corporate end run around laws and policies that are the result of years, decades and even lifetimes of work to protect people from the insatiable greed of giant corporations.

This could be the beginning of the end for the TPP. I need you to take action today so that we can stop this runaway train in its tracks.

This is our moment — right now.

Robert Weissman President, Public Citizen

© 2013 Public Citizen • 1600 20th Street, NW / Washington, D.C. 20009 •

[-] 0 points by AlwaysIntoSomething (42) 1 year ago

The other free trade deals we signed destroyed the economy.

The TPP is going to destroy the planet. Well, quicker than its happening now anyways.

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (32416) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Help us send the GAP, Old Navy, and Banana Republic a clear message, this holiday season, that corporations who employ and endanger child workers will be struck from our shopping lists.

The GAP, Old Navy and Banana Republic - all have children as young as 12 making clothes for them in their dangerous Bangladeshi sweatshops, without fire extinguishers or exits.

Over 1800 workers have already died in preventable tragedies this year in the Bangladesh Garment district - and despite repeated pressure from consumers and advocates, all three companies refuse to sign the Bangladesh Safety Accord, which would bring their labor practices up to the most basic level of human rights and safety.

The only thing these brands understand is their bottom line - so that's exactly where we're hitting them. Join us and thousands of others in publicly removing the GAP, Old Navy and Banana Republic from your holiday shopping list this year:


Thank you for all you do to make this movement real.


John Sellers, The Other 98%

The Other 98% is making democracy work for the rest of us.

Let us not forget - Black Friday Boycotts start even earlier this year.

[-] -1 points by sharmag (-115) from New York, NY 1 year ago

It shouldn't be challenged. They should employ as they choose.

[-] 5 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Anyone who likes democracy, should reject capitalism. The economic institutions should be run by the workers and the communities, not by wealthy owners.