Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism (w/ Prof. David Harvey)



on the phone is a pleasure to welcome to the program distinguished professor of anthropology and geography at the Graduate Center of CUNY author of many books the latest the seventeen contradictions and end of capitalism as well as two volumes on companion to Marx rebel cities and others David Harvey welcome to the program thanks for having me so a professor I want to start with some sort of more I guess some more rudimentary things and then and work out from there but but but tell us what you what you mean by contradictions of capitalism it's opposing forces that pull it in opposite directions and the most obvious analogy that would be that most of us have some tensions between having a decent personal lives and our professional objectives usually we manage those tensions but sometimes they heighten to the point where something has to give and it's a major contradiction in most people's lives but capital has similar kinds of contradictions like that and there are quite a few of them and therefore the these contradictions give rise to a lot of instability in a capitalist society and they reveal themselves in those time of crisis ease yeah no I mean they become particularly obvious at when crises break out and you know we sometimes think that crises are accidents but I think when we look at the history of capitalism you'd have to say that they're actually functional for reorganizing capitalism dealing with contradictions in one way or another so let's let's talk about what you call me you talk about three classes of contradiction well one is foundational what what is a foundational a contradiction of capital well for example there's a lot of incentives for employers to try to keep wages down and the degree they're successful of course they can look forward to gaining higher profits and as we've seen over the last 30 or 40 years the share of wages in national income has tended to go down in the United States and in many other countries the trouble is that if you do that of course then the problem is who is going to buy your product and at that point there's a difficulty of finding a market out there because you're reducing the wages systematically of working working people most recently we've tried to square that particular problem by introducing credit so we end up with a society that's much more dependent now in terms of the market by using credit cards and having long term credit and as we've seen in 2008 a certain point that blows up because you can't sustain credit over and above what it is that people are earning for very long and so there we get a crisis coming out of the fact that what's going on in terms of what capital individual capitalists do is not consistent with their being a robust consumer market in in in some ways I mean you just you just described the past 80 years in this country oh yeah absolutely I mean you know the problem in the 1970s in effect was the other way around the the the market was sort of okay the problem was that workers were a bit too powerful and getting a bit too uppity and so the share of wages in national income was fairly fairly high and so there was a systemic counter-attack by what we call neoliberal policies which included Reagan and Thatcher and and Pinochet and Chile and all the rest of it to try to reduce the power of working people reduce the power of trade unions reduce the power of left political parties which allowed then capital to make higher profits from the gradual lowering of relative standards of the wage rate and so this was I mean so those those 80 years we saw sort of the I guess the I guess the the Evans way of sort of a demand-side solution for this contradiction and a supply-side solution and then yeah it even came out theoretically I mean the theory that economists favored in the 1950s and 1960s was a demand-side theory which was associated with the name of Keynes and then in the 1970s we had a sort of a counter-revolution within the field of economics and demand-side theory was thrown over us for supply-side to theory and that led the favored figure of Milton Friedman and and I mean so you know from your perspective when is it is the demand side theory which you know I think you know to the extent that I as someone on the left I mean tend to sympathize with I mean is that just simply unsustainable because of of where it will necessarily lead in terms of a sort of a push back by a supply-side theory well you know there'll be a push back but also in itself it tends to be unstable so that the solution if you'd like on by just pursuing demand-side solutions by the time you get to the end of the 1960s we started to find ourselves in difficulty by the time you get into the 1970s you get things like very high inflation rates which are coming from sort of jacking up monetary demand there being enough production to to sort of respond to that demand so so the Keynesian demand side while it favors ordinary working people in a certain way also is unstable within the history of capitalism and I think we're beginning to see that in in China right now which has been offering operating on a demand side response to the crisis and there are many people now who kind of saying China is getting into real serious difficulties will you also speak about the the the contradictions between the use and exchange value of a commodity we will you explain that for us yeah well you know you think of something like a house and what we use a house for in in in a country like the United States well we need it for shelter and we need it for all sorts of you know family living and so we can define a set of use values that exists for a house and all of us need those use values in order to live a reasonable in a reasonable way but then of course the house also has an exchange value which means that in order to get a house we have to lay out money to get it and the more money we get we have the better the house we can get but the house itself is of course a form of value which stays in place and so for many people the house has been a form of saving simply we'll have a long-term mortgage and by the end of their life they might end up owning a place and then they can pass that on to their kids but over the last 30 or 40 years the house has also become a vehicle of speculation so the exchange value system is actually regulating our access to use values and we are told of course that the best way to get the use values is to liberate the freedom of the market but what we saw in in in in 2008 and 2007 was that system really blew up and as a result of really excessive speculative activity and the only exchange-value side somewhere around six million people lost their use values in the house because through foreclosures so I mean let's also turn to the the contradiction do you you speak about in terms of the the tendency towards universal human alienation I mean I I wanted to sort of bring us all up to around you know to so much of this sort of comes to a head at least most recently in oh eight and and I want to talk about I want to move into sort of wealth inequality but I want to make sure that we touch on some of these other contradictions so talk to you about the the notion of universal human alienation well the tendency of capital is is to develop technological trajectories that a certain point devalue skill in in work now this is not the case for a small elite but for the mass of the population people get locked into pretty meaningless jobs and pretty frustrating jobs and you know the what the poll numbers suggest is that are about seventy percent of the people in the United States either hate their jobs or are completely indifferent to the job they do which means that you know feeling taking pride in in in your job and the like is harder and harder because the kinds of jobs that were available to people are fairly meaningless and I have to say since I work a lot with young people students and so on more and more of them look at the job market and say you know they're all meaningless jobs and and and you know rather than do those meaningless jobs they tend to you know drop out and I don't know hope that they can found a rock band or something like that which is you know they can take some identity from so so alienation is a very serious problem and and to the degree that you know there was a time and even a steelworker and you could kind of say a steelworker is sort of exploited in certain ways by capital but on the other hand the steelworkers that I remember talking to had a certain pride in the job they did they were tough people and strong people and and they kind of would brag about how how good they were as workers but you know you don't hear people in you know McDonald's or the the people employed by Walmart kind of proudly talking about the nature of the job they do and in fact you know in the there was a new report I think they came out just days ago that suggested the quality of of jobs and I guess it was measured more in terms of wages but the the number of low-wage jobs that were lost far more have come back and the reverse for higher wage jobs and I and I imagine that you could probably also assume I think fairly that the the measure of pride I guess in those jobs to is yeah it's very very very very very low yeah I mean you also you also talked about the the the notion of accumulation of capital so much so that it exceeds the ability to reinvest it in the economy explain that for us yeah well you know what capitalists do I mean this is a sort of crude sort of definition of it they start the day with a certain amount of money and they go into the market and they babe they get hold of labour-power and they get hold of you know raw materials and machinery and all the rest of it and I put it to work and they make a commodity and then they sell it and at the end of the day and they get more money at the end of the day then at the beginning of the day so the system is based on a perpetual expansion and it keeps on expanding and expanding and and this means that actually in the history of capitalism it's been growing at a compound rate of growth of about 2.25 percent a year now a compound rate of growth is a very peculiar thing it goes very slowly at first but then it accelerates and becomes very very large and very quickly and I think we're now at that point in the history of capitalism where there's nowhere else to go I mean we've the China China has been sort of almost colonized by capital now much of India and South Asia and Southeast Asia has been colonized by a capital of course the Soviet X Soviet bloc has has come proud of a capitalist system so it capital is now kind of really totally global and it's not much don't got much space to expand anymore and yet it's trying to expand with it and it's like a very explosive force locked into a kind of a closed bottle and pretty soon you've seen it's going to be some explosions around and if you would look at what's been happening to capital since the 1970s have been a lot of little explosions somewhere in the world there's some whereas going under and of course in 2008 a lot of places suddenly went under so I think we're going to likely to see more and more of that sort of explosive crises because capital can't expand beyond beyond certain limits so I mean I guess the analogy is is almost if you take a snowball and roll it down a hill full of snow I mean in some ways you're arguing that we're hitting the the the bottom of the hill in some ways yeah well remember we note at the bottom of the hill but we're about I don't know two thirds of the way down when the snowball starts to really gather a lot of things you know there's a famous story about the guy who invented chess and they put a hospira grain of sand on the first one and then double it on the second one and of course by the time you get to the 64th square you're in astronomical numbers and so so and what is those explosions I mean what are they what do they look what do they look like I mean it's that I mean was 2008 a function of that I mean it's so high well I think I think well you know there's many things that came together in 2008 but I think for example the problem in 2001 with the stock market crash and the end of the kind of dot-com economy then was well you had all of this surplus money and where was it going to go well Greenspan did was to keep the interest rate very very low and then people started to say ok we can we can deal with this problem by going into the housing market so you get this huge asset bubble in the housing market in 2000 and so for you know seven or eight years and many of us are saying you know her as early as 2003 2004 this can't go on for very long but it did and then of course when it the result was when it did crash it crash big-time if it had crashed in 2003 it wouldn't have been so bad but it by the time you get to 2008 there's an enormous amount of excess money sloshing around in housing markets which is unsustainable and so I mean do you have a sense of where that where that money goes now well that's the that's the interesting thing I mean of course of the credit markets froze in 2007 2008 the Federal Reserve tries to unfreeze of them and then kind of says it hopes the banks will lend but but the banks have not been lending very much many private firms now are very profitable but they're not expanding because they don't see the market there which goes back to know the lack of demand in in the system so the in a sense a lot of excess funds and just being tied up in cash reserves held by banks corporations even individuals and and again this is not a very stable situation except that to the degree the Federal Reserve has been pumping money into the market you ask yourself where's it gone well it's mainly revived the stock market that's been the big kind of beneficiary out of this and of course when the stock market revives certain people in society are very happy but a lot of people are left aside so the rich who have invested in the stock market are doing extremely well and have recovered from the crisis very very well by the mass of the population has done very badly and and and that sort of brings us to I mean I you know I've I have been working my way through the the the pickety book and sort of because my children prevent me from from reading for extended periods of time also sort of slide off to to reviews the pickety book and the way that the sort of people are interpreting it and the and so let's let's talk about what you know how your perspective on what Piketty is is arguing in some way I mean he is he is for the most part very clearly saying that there is something inherent in capitalism that is that the rate of return when it grows faster than the economy I mean that you know it sort of I guess crudely speaking we get this tremendous wealth inequality and ultimately he's sort of saying this is not a bug but a feature of capitalism is it I mean is that yeah Minh some it and just I'd like to hear your thoughts yeah well that's what that's that's what he says but but first off Piketty is not written a book about capital for instance you would have no idea from reading piketty's book why 2007 2008 happened you'd have no idea of why crises get set up you have no idea why we still have long-term unemployment increasing so so it's not a book about capital what is really a book about is the way in which capital can produce social inequality and and the basic thesis is is is it seems to me it's very simple which is that the the more you leave capital to the sort of untrammeled power of free markets with no state interventions and and alike the more you approach a free-market model of society the greater the level of social inequality but he buries that political angle in a kind of mechanical thing of the rate of return on capital versus growth but you have to ask yourself why the rate of return on capital is so high and my argument to that would be to say well that has to do with the the balance of class forces in a society the ability of corporations and businesses and the like to suppress wages and repress wages and to actually enhance their profitability that way if there was a massive social movement that prevented them from repressing wages in that way then you would not have the effect that Piketty describes so it's a you know actually I have a very simple way of looking at the same phenomena what is really good about piketty's book is that he produces a vast amount of statistical information in effect to show that the way Marx interpreted how capitalism worked in Volume one of capital is exactly right and and he didn't want to say that of course because he's very fearful of being described as a Marxist and of course we know that the right-wing right now is is dubbing him as a Marxist in disguise and so it because a rather complicated sort of political argument over over reputations and all the rest of it I mean it's a jury because there is you know the I was just reading a one brief blog post by Felix Amman this morning where he he says that you know in some way that Paquette II is very pessimistic in the sense that there is no way ultimately to I mean he he offers I guess some solutions at the towards the end of the book that people are sort of I guess less impressed with but the there does seem to be ultimately a a lack of addressing sort of the the systemic the the that we relieved we're left with no solution to this that there's almost sort of this is the way it is to the extent that it wasn't this way was really a function of a an anomaly that took place following the world wars well I think he's uh you know it's pessimistic in the sense that he just simply says at the end that you need a global wealth tax in order to equilibria at the situation and if you don't have a global wealth tax you're condemned forever to actually produce greater and greater levels of inequality and the so you know and you kind of go well actually he paid more more attention to some of the other contradictions of capitalism you wouldn't you wouldn't make that that argument because like I said to you earlier on the demand supply differential is very very important here and if all the purchasing power gets located in this affluent oligarchy then capitalism is going to be in a lot of deep trouble and they're going to have to be adjustments anyway so we go back to a sort of a Keynesian type model which again has its own difficulties but which is what China has been doing for example so I so I don't I think he set it up in such a way as to give only one possible answer and I think there are actually a number of possible answers and but but actually I have grave doubts about the nature of the central thesis about the rate of return on capital that is something that depends very much on how you measure capital and of course we know the capital is measured speculatively and if there's a collapse of speculative gains on on say housing or something like that and the amount of capital in society is actually reduced remarkably through through such crashes and so the definition of capital is very sensitive to speculative movements and also to economic conditions right and and and and I guess I mean at least it – I mean the the well I want to talk about some of those other those other I guess answers here I mean because from your perspective even if we could get the the global tax on wealth that would not be enough because we would still have an unstable system yeah no I mean you yeah I mean obviously the levels of inequality we've now got are unsustainable in terms of having a balanced growth capitalist economy and therefore they are a source of stress and a potential source of crisis formation that that would be my position but that's not the only source of of crises and if you if you dealt with this one by redistributing wealth seriously you would still have many of the other difficulties like the relationship between supply and demand you still have the environmental difficulties you would still have the difficulties of compounding growth and finding productive investments in a world which is which is you know already faced with tremendous surfaces of of money capital looking for somewhere to go so so I again I don't think the the redistributed angle that Paquette II takes even if it was followed through it would not actually been stabilized capitalist society so I mean if so in in in your version of his analysis and had he included those other contradictions where where does that leave us I mean give us a sense of how of what that that other solution that we don't really talk about in this conversation or that that is surrounded the the all the talk of inequality let's talk a little bit about what where we would start with that with those other solutions well let me go back to one of the basic ones I mean would you rather live in a society which delivers adequate youths values to the mass of the population or do you want to live in a society which distributes use values unevenly and unequally depending upon economic power and depending also on the capacity of individuals to extract vast fortunes from that exchange value system in other words I would like to see us move more towards making sure that housing is a human right and that everybody is provided with a decent house in a decent living environment and the exchange value system insofar as it can can help do that that's fine but we've got to stop speculative activity in housing markets we've got to actually stop the extraction of vast wealth on them you know by all of the mortgage finance here's the lawyers the real estate lobbies and all the rest of it they're the ones were benefiting from this exchange value system and and in many instances not producing affordable housing for example if you just take New York City about 50% of the population of New York City is trying to live on less than $30,000 a year if you take if we take the idea there you know the colonists spend a certain proportion of your your money on on housing then 50% of the population of New York should be housed for less than 1300 or $1500 a month where can you find accommodation $1,500 a month in New York City you know this is this is the kind of dilemma that we're in in in other words the exchange value system is excluding half of the population from access to adequate housing so and I would make the same thing about education education should not be mediated by the exchange value system it should be a human right and it should be equally available to everybody I think the same would be true of health care what we have in this country is an increasing commodification increasing monetization of the provision of all of these things and does that benefit people or does that benefit capital the answer is it benefits capital and it benefits some people who become extremely rich by it and and and then whether we get any decent housing decent health care or decent education you know really is a byproduct of what they do so I able to argue to people let's let's work on trying to make sure that housing health care and education as a beginning point are human rights and it's the youth value that needs to be provided to people independent of all these exchange value considerations do you see any I mean is there is there hope there that we are headed in that direction I mean there's certainly I mean I think you know occupy on some level sort of introduced maybe those concepts anew in this country in some in some ways that has continued to resonate and others not not as much but but but give me your sense as to how we sort of get there I mean because the the I don't know if it's the irony and maybe it is actually again a feature not a bug of this crisis but those who there are capitals doing quite well you know five years six years come out of it capital has come out of this crisis extremely well and and and the billionaire's Club has has come out you know it came out of a crisis 2009 and made more money in 2008 than it's ever made before so some people have done extremely well out of the crisis and and again you know you look at it and you kind of say this is not this is not a common sense world I mean I thing that strikes me was when I when I talk to people around saying would you rather live in a place that provides adequate youth values or sets up an exchange value system that makes it rich very rich then everybody everybody says well we would rather live in a society that provided adequate youth values to everybody and it's a great common sense it's not it's not hard now bit by bit what's happened over the particularly over the last 30 or 40 years is the exchange value side of things has got stronger and stronger and stronger we're now increasingly dominated and to some degree victimized by a financial system that is highly predatory and-and-and parasitic and to the degree that we're dominated by all of that then I think we should have a we should people should really start to say we don't want to be dominated by that anymore we want to create a society that actually delivers the goods in terms of a decent living standard to everybody in a decent living environment when we talk about exchange value I mean is is saying you know is describing our economy as being becoming highly financialized synonymous in that way ya know it certainly has I mean I mean in in many in many countries of the world for instance education my education was was totally free and Britain back in the nineteen fifties in nineteen Sixtus and it's just recently that government there have started to introduce tuition fees and all rest of it I teach at an institution City University of New York it was tuition free up until the 1970s and then in the crisis of the 1970s it was forced to start charging tuition I think that higher education and access to higher education should be a free good as it is what we have now is is debt encumbered students you know over a trillion dollars of debt assembled among students who have to go deeply into debt in or in order to get their education this seems to me scandalous I mean we we shouldn't we shouldn't be going in that direction the amount of student debt say 20 or 30 years ago was relatively small now it's become enormous and this is a dead weight on a whole generation of the population and it's it seems to me this is not a sensible way to go and we should actually turn things around in the opposite direction and start to try to move towards a tuition free higher education system and certainly have to you know have tuition free pre-university education and so how does this how does this happen and we have you know I guess it was a week or two ago we saw another report by Martin gilens which which was based on other work that he is done which basically says that we are largely and by we meaning those of us who are not billionaires largely powerless in terms of the policy outcomes of our government in when we are at odds with the policy preferences of the very wealthy I mean what what what has to happen next well I think I think again the only thing that can really do something about this is a popular movement which turns a story around I mean of course one of the big problems there from the 1970s onwards the Supreme Court has kept on making decisions about you know campaign finance is a question of freedom of speech and that what we're giving the freedom of speech to is those who have spending dollars so it's not freedom of speech it's freedom to spend money on elections and now we've gone to the to the to the ultimate extreme of that so this is a you know in my view I would call this kind of legalized corruption of the political system and how do how do we how do we do something about that well you know if enough people get outraged enough and we move from what I call the sort of passive sense of alienation where most people are actually alienated from the political process and into an active angry kind of mode of alienation where people actually get out on the street and say we need to change this system we need to change it big time we need to go back to the democratic roots of what this country is all about we need to go back to the egalitarian roots of what this country is all about and can and construct something which is radically different from from what we have right now now will that happen I have no idea but and until people do that then indeed takechi is right to say we're we're just going to have increasingly increasing inequality and the rich are going to get richer and the rest of us are going to be sort of basically becoming disposable populations well it's been briefly I mean and I appreciate your hanging with me but this week I've I was I was solicited by a professor who is a libertarian professor from Loyola who because I enjoy I guess the baiting of sorts with with libertarians and yeah and he's coming on talk to me about the egalitarian roots of this country I mean because ultimately a libertarian is going to say to me about the the sort of the the prominence of private property and it all sort of emanates from there I think what do you say when you when you hear well how do you address libertarians in other words help me out a little bit yeah right no no no no I I mean there are some aspects of what the libertarians talk about which I you know I'm very sympathetic to and it sounds to me like you are – yes and the the problem is that this association of individual freedom with with private property you know and and and and and freedom – to accumulate and and what is freedom mean that it means freedom to exploit other people does it mean freedom to degrade the environment does it mean you know those the kinds of freedoms we're talking about well I think we have to kind of recognize that there's you know there are some things which are very positive in terms of freedoms of and some things where some freedoms are actually counter counterproductive in terms of their social consequences and and the amassing of private wealth and privilege on the part of individuals is I think one of those one of those aspects where which becomes counterproductive productive so when libertarians kind of say well we shouldn't do anything about the fact that say the leading hedge fund in in New York each and individually three billion dollars each in a given year that we shouldn't interfere with that and you kind of go well that's not the kind of freedom that makes sense to me to begin with hoop reduced all of that that value which they're assembling and how are they assembling it well they're doing it through you know all kinds of manipulations of financial markets and and betting about things going and going crash and the like so the libertarian position seems to me to have some problems because it's so associated with this idea of private property and and that therefore the freedom that they're they're mostly see enterprise particularly in economic theory is the freedom of individuals to actually loot the public interest and to loot the the public wealth and and social wealth instead of kind of saying well to the degree that we've all contributed or hope most of us have been contributing to the production of social wealth we should all I think in an alienated society have some return for our contributions it's yeah I mean it seems to me they don't even believe that there should be a public well no well no well they don't think it should be but it is I mean you know how how are things produced we actually rely on millions of people around the world to put breakfast on our table I mean libertarians would starve if you know all of those people were not actually working for them so it's a social process every day that puts breakfast on people's table and that involves you know sugar cane cutters in Dominican Republic involves coffee producers in Kenya know and and we are all highly indebted been dependent upon each other and and then the question is you know who is producing social value that we daily consuming in our a breakfast I mean if libertarians took it seriously and said well we should all be independent then they should actually go out there and raise the bacon and and and rayon and and the coffee and I shall go over themselves but they don't do that this all comes from other people's social neighbor but then what we find is the sugar cane cutter in Dominican Republic earns two dollars a day and you know the sugar that comes on the table to a hedge fund manager who earns three billion dollars a year this is where the individual versus the social I think needs to be the you know needs needs to be probed much more deeply yes I agree and I've had similar conversations with them they they still feel like that sugar cane cutter you know he has a right to uh to sell his labor he's done it for two bucks a day and that's just the way yeah you know bully for him too bad he wasn't uh you know born the son of a hedge funder or would and that's generally where we end the conversation and so I think there's also again a good place for us to end ours professor David Harvey the the book is seventeen contradictions and the end of capitalism we'll put a link to to it and your your site on our at majority dot F M thanks so much for your time today a genuine




Comments
  1. Sam, sorry, but please correct me where I may be wrong, 4:40 Harvey stated saying didn't he that workers were getting uppity, making high salaries so Thatcher, Reagan and the Neoliberals set out to limit that power, and to put back in place more profit for companies, BUT wait aren't companies always on the win side, that any benefits for workers is good because the company has all the power even after a bargaining agreement that gives a rise to workers pay. And other ways to substitute value in lieu of wages, retirement benefit vs wages, another was to gain healthcare benefits in lieu of wages. So, is this about the Capital system, neoliberal, Keynsian, or what?

  2. huh, there's a "department of anthropology AND geography" at the graduate center? i studied anthropology at hunter a decade ago and never knew

  3. The comments on these videos are always amazing. People tying to distort Harbey's words so that it sounds like he's actually pro capitalist, or taking words out of his mouth, or whatever…

  4. Common sense would say we are better using less fossil fuel energy at a lower price would be beneficial. Wall street tells us no.

  5. The problem is that we're money and people are involved fraud debt deceit follows closely , we need a resource based economy

  6. How about the ridiculous contradictions of socialism eg. Your employer giving you a job that earns you more money than you would make if you were self employed, which you take VOLUNTARILY = exploitative. However, the government taking a massive portion of what he pays you BY FORCE with or without your consent = Completely Civilised.

    These dinosaurs are stuck in the early 19th century. Capitalism made the computer you are watching this presentation on.

  7. But the real problem with Communism is that they are trying to achieve equality and prosperity using a change to economics. It is technology that will set people free. 

  8. In Northern Europe they have married Capitalism with Socialism. They have the best living standard, civil rights and they even have surpluses. 

    Their results speak for themselves. 

  9. Listened to this at work the other day. Really enjoyed it. Wish our media would cover these view & the effect of neoliberalism on the world.

  10. What the fuck is this guy talking about?
    He wants to RETURN to a "democratic capitalism" ? Hahaha are you crazy?
    When has EVER capitalism been "democratic" ?
    It has always been MONEY = POWER, the only 'democratic" was because they were so weakened after the war and after the CIO uprisings!

  11. Finally. I was wondering which one of Sam and Cenk was going to interview David Harvey first.

    Next up: Richard Wolff.

  12. Wealth trickles up, then gushes up, then stays there, stagnant. The capitalist uses resources to get ahead of others financially snowballing wealth into an economy crusher. Without restraint, human greed in a capitalist system leads to vast inequality. End result: the rich have nearly all the money and resources, the rest of us have next to nothing, then, the rich have no one to sell products and services to except each other. They will continue this zero sum game of real world monopoly, until there is a winner. The rest of us will be excluded from the economy, bled dry until we are nothing but economic baggage relegated to crumbling, rotting slums, gnawing on bones discarded by the rich overlord.

    At some point before this happens, everyone will have to rise up and stop it.

  13. This understanding of capitalism mirrors some of what I learned in my business management classes. We weren't able to get into it in as much depth, but the overall assessment that such an economic system is unsustainable was arrived at.

  14. Was this planned to air two days before International Workers' Day? Apt timing. I watched some video lectures by Harvey a few days ago, actually.

  15. The problem with capitalism is the same problem with all of the global economic systems. It issues Its units of measure as debt and it distributes its units selectively. A slightly better way is to issue the units at a cost and distribute them randomly like bitcoin does. The best way, the right way of course is to issue the units for free and distribute them equally like Numero Set does.

  16. Capitalism ended long ago, it's been perverted and groomed into Corporatism. You see it everywhere. Protecting Corporations, Too Big To Fail, Bailouts with nothing in return for the taxpayers that funded them, the coddling and allowance of the rich to steal and hide their money in multiple tax havens, the HUGE chasm of inequality developing between Corporate raiders and the Working/Middle Classes, the out of control mergers taking place that consolidate more and more companies into super conglomerates that further erode the choices the public can make (resulting in unchecked price increases), the dominance of corporations in our advertising (logos are everywhere — you cannot escape them), Congress continuously chipping away at social services while NOT pursuing any of the REAL corporate thieves that nearly destroyed this Country's economy, etc…

          I could go on and on ad nauseum but it wouldn't surprise me that in the not-too-distant future, instead of having a President and Governmental body, we'll have one almighty CEO running this country and many others as well. Wake up! Don't be so naive and trusting! As long as they know your social security number, they have your entire life in their hands as privacy continues to be eroded on a daily basis. I'm sure you're more than aware of this Sam.        

  17. The left supports Marx, Keyenes and Malthus. The right supports The Chicago School or the Austrian School. These are all foreign economic theories. I think we should Return to The American System of economics, that was started here by Gov. Winthrop, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin. This can be seen in Abraham Lincoln, FDR and JFK. 

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