Preview: Taming Capitalism Run Wild

Modern American capitalism is a story of continued inequality and hardship. Even a modest increase in the minimum wage faces opposition from those who seem to show allegiance first and foremost to America’s wealthy and powerful. Yet some aren’t just wringing their hands about our economic crisis; they’re fighting back.

In an encore Moyers & Company broadcast, Economist Richard Wolff joins Bill to shine light on the disaster left behind in capitalism’s wake, and to discuss the fight for economic justice, including a fair minimum wage. A Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, and currently Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School, Wolff has written many books on the effects of rampant capitalism, including Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do About It.

Learn more about the production team behind Moyers & Company. Watch the full show »

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  • RogueGnome

    Professor Wolf as has many other academians made a brilliant and saliant assessment of the problems of economic disparity in America today; however, the offered solutions smack of the same old programs we’ve seen bandied around for decades…..
    I propose the following:
    1. Education & student loans – since employers gain all the 3rd party benefif of an individual’s work as a student why not when the employer hires the newly educated or trained worker that the employer not pay off the debt that the education/trained new employ brings to the employer much in the same way that an enterprise invests in a new technology.
    2. Taxes – for years there has been the “fair tax” proposal buried in Congressional committees but supposedly an active piece of legislation floating somewhere in the beltway—-whether its Fair Tax or something else from the likes of Brown or Forbes with flat or value-added tax—why not simply have everyone individuals and entities alike pay a gross receipts tax of 15% with NO deduction…eliminates the IRS issues we’re facing today…..with simple premise that government gets 15% of everyone’s revenue—done deal!
    3. Military – our nation has spent the last decade in war fighting – that’s not going away and will no doubt increase given we live in a dangerous world and one of the main missions of government is to protect US citizens—-however, we have spent billions training people only to discard them after a short tour of duty—-these are heroic and valuable commodities who if one observes Veterans knows that Veterans continue to serve thier nation usually as volunteers until their deaths—and since Veterans benefits are life-earned and utilized, why not keep these valuable assets employed by our nation for life—phasing them from youthful combatants, to seasoned trainers, to wise advsiors as they grow older—-there should be a way to keep Veterans in uniform and capitalize on their training and dedication….
    4. Resources – I live in the SW where there is a great drought currently but where there are immense areas of both private and public lands….water is scarce but sunshine is abundant—with the current debate of allowing the oil pipeline being built from Canada why not permit this huge project but also require the same energy companies to build a like pipeline to divert the water from the flood areas of the upper Mississippii instead to thru the northern part of the SW into Id, Iowa, Utah, Col, Ks, Nv, NM and Az changing arid landscapes in food bowls to feed the US and the rest of the world—and at the same time diminishing the economic and life devasation of forrest and grass fires in these arid regions and changing the flood losses in midwest and south……as for sunshine & wind—dormant public lands lay idle that have upto 360 days of sunshine—why not lease these publc lands and reservations to enterprise to build massive solar and wind farms to sell cheaper energy to the region and if transmittable to the whole nation …………
    5. Sedition – there is no doubt the the Paul Ryans and Eric Cantors in DC are facist in the classic adademic definition of the term—but worse yet is their philosopy to dismantle the rule of law and efficacy of government – the very essence of civilized society — to me this smacks of what our founding fathers called sedition, the willful underminding of government—so why not charge these fascists with sediton and “off their heads”! or whatever civilized equivalent thereto solves the mindless meddling with the lives of us every day folks….
    6. Economy – what seems to be overlooked from econ 101 is that a supply side economy only benefits from when there is a demand side to support it—-i.e.—you gotta have consumers —-so one of the easiest way is improve supply side production is obviously to increase the demand side consumers—-we have a growing class of just such a commodity – The Boomers – those of us born post 1946 are better educated and use to good incomes and prolific consumption but hoffible debt habits — but now the incomes are fastly winding down as we age as boomers are replaced by newer models—what better conduit and user than increasing by 5 to 10 fold the social security benefits to boomers….they will spend it and that spending will exponentially stimulate production and cause business to hire the younger models …..forget medicaid and medicare give the seniors and indigents plenty of social security income to buy healthcare or cars doesn’t make any difference just so the boomers do what they have always efficiently done—BUY and CONSUME!

  • Anonymous

    At the end of this show, Mr. Moyers asked listeners to write in on his website and tell him what they would do if change doesn’t come to the American economic (and I suppose all of the other corrupt areas of our societal lives) system fast enough.

    Everyone seems to be waiting for the big revolt. The outpouring of angst in the streets, etc. But it isn’t going to happen like that.

    Those who want change are going to become very systematic about how they get it. They are going to create mechanisms that leverage the internet and data aggregation. They are going to expose all kinds of things and provide the identities and locations of the wrongdoers.

    According to the Swiss research PLOS data, there are 147 first tier “super-connected” corporations controlling 40% of the global marketplace today.

    Our media needs to drill in and identify the actual OWNERS of the corporations who kill and out them, their multiple homes, their net worth, etc. If they are immune from prosecution in our judicial systems – they should NOT be immune from public condemnation in our media forums.