Economic Update: Competition & Monopoly In Capitalism

Economic Update: Competition & Monopoly In Capitalism

Welcome, friends, to another edition of Economic
Update, a weekly program devoted to the economic dimensions of our lives – jobs, debts, incomes,
all of that – as it affects us, our families, our children, now and into the future. I’m your host, Richard Wolff. Today I’m going to devote the program to something
many of you have asked me to present, to talk about, to analyze, and that is the question
of monopoly. It has to do with the assertions we hear often
these days that somehow our capitalist system, here in the United States and beyond, is being
negatively affected because monopolies have replaced or displaced competition. The idea here is if only we can get competition
back, recreate a competitive capitalism, why then the problems we face will go away. Today’s program is a design to show you how
and why that is not the case, to think about these things in a different way from this
nice story that capitalism is basically fine; it’s just the monopoly form we have to get
rid of so we get back to the competition which we’re all supposed to believe is wonderful
and presents us with no problems to solve. So let’s go, and let’s do it in a systematic
way. First, it is of course easier, faced with
a declining capitalism, a capitalism that’s all around us with its extreme inequalities,
with its instabilities – here we are, trying to cope with the effects of the Great Crash
of 2008, even while we anticipate the next downturn coming down the road soon – an
economic system that has shown (that is, capitalism) that it is not respectful of the natural environment;
it is not, as the words now go, sustainable in a reasonable way. Yeah, we’re surrounded by problems of capitalism. So it’s comforting in that situation to get
the idea from somewhere that this really isn’t a problem of capitalism as a system but rather
the problem brought in somehow from the outside – monopoly – a situation in which competition
among many companies gives way in some way we’re not quite sure about to a domination
by one or a small handful of companies. And so the argument goes, we don’t have to
be critical of capitalism; we don’t have to think about an alternative system. No, no, we just have to deal with this little
detail, the monopoly problem. And if we can deal with that, well, we’ll
get back to a competition, to a competitive capitalism that is good. There are three big mistakes involved in this
way of thinking, which is nonetheless very widespread and very popular, more so now than
in quite some years. First mistake: Capitalism has been wrestling
with the problem of monopoly from day one. We have had repeated periods of monopoly. They have eventually led to movements, often
of many people, to destroy or remove monopoly. We used to call that in America trust-busting,
or antitrust. We even have a department within the Department
of Justice in Washington devoted to antitrust activities. Yeah, we’ve been waging battles against monopoly
over and over again, and you know why? Because we keep having monopolies over and
over again. Google is a monopoly. Amazon is a monopoly. They’re all around us: companies that have
effectively no real competition. This is a problem that capitalism has always
displayed. And that ought to lead you to wonder whether
thinking about it as something we can do away with isn’t maybe the best possible example
of wishful thinking. The second big mistake is to imagine that
competition is some unmixed blessing. It never was, and it isn’t today. A competitive market is a human institution. Like every other human institution, it has
strengths, and flaws, and weaknesses. To think of competition as some magical perfection
is a silly abnegation of your own rational capability to evaluate something. It’s sort of advertising thinking. By that, I mean the advertiser tells you what’s
good about the product they’ve been told to advertise; they don’t tell you what’s bad
about it. If you want to evaluate it, you don’t talk
to an advertiser because they only give you one side. The people who promote competition use advertising
logic. We’re not going to do that here. Competition is no unmixed blessing. And finally, I’m going to show you that competition
is itself the major cause of monopoly. So that even if we ever got back to a competitive
capitalism, all that would mean is we’re back in the process that produces monopoly – as
it always has. All right, so let’s begin. I’m going to start with explaining how competition
has all kinds of consequences that most of you, like me, don’t like, don’t want. It’s a discussion, if you like, of competition’s
other side: you know, the part that the advertiser doesn’t tell you about. The used-car salesman who wants you to buy
that junk doesn’t tell you about what happened last week in the car crash that that was part
of, etc., etc. All right, let’s begin. One of the major reasons that American corporations
shut down their operations in the United States and moved them to China, among other places,
is because of – you guessed it – competition. They wanted to make more money than they had
been before. They were afraid of other companies beating
them in the competitive game, so they said wow, let’s go to China, because there you
can pay workers a lot less. There you don’t have the same rules to obey. There they don’t care that much about pollution
as they do here. So we can save on all kinds of costs, and
that will allow us to undercut our competitors. Yeah, one of the consequences of competition
was the exodus of American companies to other parts of the world, and the enormous unemployment
that resulted from it. Yeah, that was a result, among other things,
of competition. Here’s another one: Capitalists, employers,
seeking to compete with one another, often engage in what we call automation. They bring in machines that are cheaper to
use than human laborers, and that gets them a step ahead of their competitors. Okay, if we replace people with machines,
we throw those people out of work. That has an impact on them, their self-esteem,
their relationship to their spouse, their relationship to their children, their relationship
to alcohol – should I continue? What are the social costs of automation? They’re huge. They’ve been documented over and over again. Competition provokes and produces automation. Let me give you another example: Companies
are competing, say, in the food business – you know, trying to get a customer like you or
me to buy this kind of cereal rather than another. So they get their labs to go to work, and
they discover we can replace wheat, which we used to put in our little flakes, with
– Lord help us – some chemical that is cheaper than wheat. We’re not going to worry about what that chemical
does to your chemistry in your body because we can now lower the price of our cereal,
because we’re saving on wheat, and undercut the competitor. The human beings who eat this stuff will suffer,
now and in the future, but competition left our producer of cereal no choice. And in case you think I’m making some up,
let me give you some concrete ones. The Boeing Corporation, the major producer
of airplanes in this country, is in a crisis as a corporation. You know why? Because the 737 Max crashed a couple of times,
killing hundreds of people. And you know why? It turns out they economized on safety measures,
and training measures. And you know why they did that? Because they’re in a very tight competition
with European and other airplane manufacturers, and that leads them – as it usually does
– to look to cut corners: that race for, quote, “efficiency.” Yeah, it was competition that contributed
to those deaths and to that problem. That’s competition too. You can’t whitewash this story; they’re real. One of the ways Amazon beats its competition
is it speeds up the work process. It has figured out ways to make people work
much more intensely, using up their brains, their muscles, their nerves, in ways that
cause real long-term physical damage to working people. That, too, is a result of the competitive
effort. And you know, it wasn’t so long ago that children
were part of the labor force. That’s right, kids as young as five and six
years of age. We were told they have little fingers, you
see. They can be more productive than people who
are adults with big fat fingers, you know – that doesn’t work. And by the way, you should be grateful because
poor kids are the ones we hire, and that gives their poor families more income than they
would otherwise have. We heard those arguments. Competition, the companies said, required
them to use the more productive, and the lower-wage, children rather than adults. So child labor was also a result of competition. It was so ugly and so troubling to so many
people that finally there were movements in the United States and many other countries
simply to outlaw child labor. So it became a crime for any employer to use
a worker who was under 16 or 18 years of age. That was a way in which people said we are
not going to allow competition among capitalists to destroy our children. They were recognizing that competition has
an awful effect in what it does to children. Well, it has many awful effects. So let’s be clear: In the history of capitalism,
the monopoly problem (which we’re going to get to in the second half of today’s program)
is no worse, it’s just different, from the competition problems. Capitalism goes through phases of competition
and monopoly, going from one to the other, as I will explain. But we shouldn’t bemoan the one in favor of
the other, any more than vice-versa. These are neither of them solutions; they
are both phases of the problem. And the problem is capitalism, which does
its number on us both in the period when it’s competitive and in the period when it’s monopoly. People who want us to engage one more time
in an anti-monopoly crusade are doing something that in the end evades the problem, which
is the system – capitalism – not this or that form of that system, such as competition
and monopoly. We’ve come to the end of the first half of
today’s Economic Update. This gives me an opportunity to remind you,
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up, check us out, check the book out: is how you find both books. And I will be right back; stay with us. Welcome back, friends, to the second half
of today’s Economic Update. This program, as I explained, is devoted to
the analysis of competition and monopoly as two interactive, sequential phases of capitalism
as a system. The first part of the program was devoted
mostly to competition, so let’s turn now to monopoly. What is the basic definition and criticism
of monopoly? Strictly speaking, monopoly is defined simply
as a situation in which the producers of a particular commodity – shoes, software programs,
haircuts, it doesn’t matter – have been reduced to only one. Literally one seller – a monopolist. But in general language, it includes also
situations where many producers who once competed with one another have been reduced to only
a handful. The strict term for only a handful is “oligopoly,”
but we don’t have to split hairs about this. “Monopoly” will be the word we use for either
one or a very small number. For example, there were once dozens of automobile
companies, but very quickly their competition reduced them to basically three for much of
the post-World War II period, and you know their names: Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. And likewise there were once many cigarette
producers, there were once many television-set producers, and they became very few, whose
names, therefore, we all know. What’s the criticism of a monopoly or oligopoly
situation? Again, very simple: The idea is, if there’s
only one seller of something, that seller can jack up the price way above what he might
have otherwise because he doesn’t have any competitor. If he had a competitor, if he raised the price,
the competitor would get all the business because we’d all go to the competitor who
hadn’t raised the price rather than buy it at a higher price from the monopolist. So we don’t like monopolies, because they
can jack up their prices and their profits because they don’t have a competitor. And if it’s a few, a handful, well then we
talk about things like cartels: arrangements when a few get together over dinner, or out
on the golf course, and tell us what the price is. If you ever wondered why the prices of different
cars, different cigarettes, and so on, are so close to one another – mm-hmm – that’s
because there are few sellers, and somehow they worked it all out. But the basic criticism is that a monopoly
is a situation in which the seller of something jacks the price up way beyond what they could
otherwise get because there are no more competitors. So let’s talk about this monopoly problem
and where the monopolies come from. Well, the first and most important lesson
is this: Competition produces monopoly. It’s not something external, imposed on competition. It has nothing to do with human greed or anything
else. Are people greedy? You betcha – some more, some less – but
that’s really a separate matter. It’s competition that produces monopoly, and
let me show you how that works. In competition, we have, by definition, a
whole bunch of producers. They all produce the same thing. They compete with one another, hoping we,
the consumer, will buy from one rather than the other. They compete in the quality of what they produce
and in the price of what they produce. And we are supposed, as consumers, to go look
for the best quality at the lowest price, and to patronize that one who offers that
to us better than the others that we could buy from but choose not to. Okay, that’s a fair definition. Now let’s follow the logic. Company A produces – however it manages
it – a better quality and/or a lower price than Company B. So we all go to Company A.
Company B can’t find any buyers because it’s not competitive. Or to say the same thing in other words, Company
A outcompetes Company B. Here’s what happens: Company B collapses. Because it can’t sell its goods, we’re all
going to Company A. So Company B sooner or later declares bankruptcy. It can’t continue. It lays off its employees, it stops buying
inputs, because it can’t compete. Good. Now what happens in Company A? Company A says hey, there’s a whole bunch
of workers that have just lost their job at Company B; they’re trained in producing what
we produce; let’s go hire some of them. And likewise, Company A says, they’re not
using their computers, or their trucks, or their other inputs. They’re going to have to sell them on the
secondhand market. We can get some important inputs we need at
a lower price than we would have to pay if we bought them new. So what begins to happen is, where before
there were two companies, A and B, there’s now one larger A, and B has disappeared. Or to say the same thing in simple English,
A – the winner in the competitive struggle – eats, absorbs into itself, what’s left
of Company B. And this process is repeated over and over,
until 30, or 300, companies have become one, or two, or three. That’s the result of competition. That’s how competition is supposed to work. That’s how competition does work. It’s important to understand: Monopoly is
where competition leads. And as if that weren’t enough, let me make
sure you understand this from the business point of view: It is the great dream of every
entrepreneur to become the last one standing in the competition, to win the competition,
not just because it makes you feel good you outmaneuvered your competitors, but because
if you’re the last one standing, you’re the monopolist. The reward for having outcompeted the others
is that you’re now in a position to jack up the profits, and the prices, way beyond what
you could have done before. So we have a system that produces monopoly,
and all the incentives for every entrepreneur in competition to work as hard as possible
to become the monopolist. So why is anyone surprised that monopolies
keep happening, because they’re the whole point and purpose of capitalist competition. If you ever were – and we never have, but
if you ever were – able to get rid of all the monopolies and re-establish competition,
all you would be doing is setting this same process in motion again for the umpteenth
historical time. In other words, fighting against monopoly
is pointless as long as you have capitalism, because it is the endless reproducer of this
problem – as it always has been. Now, how do monopolies maintain themselves? If you’re the only one standing, you’re a
monopolist. Or you’re an oligopoly, you’re a few, and
you get together and jack up your prices together. The question becomes look, a monopolist makes
very high profits – much higher than a competitor can achieve – and isn’t that an enormous
incentive for other capitalists to get in on that business? Because look at the profits they’re earning,
because they’re the only one. Apple, Amazon, Google – the profits are
staggering. Everybody wants to get in. So the way a monopolist has to think is, I’ve
got to create obstacles that block other people from coming in to get a piece of the enormous
profits my monopoly allows me to get. We call that in economics “barriers to entry.” Monopolists need to create barriers. Let me give you a couple of examples. The major soft drink makers in the United
States – basically Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola – they produce a drink that has sugar and
coloring in it, and lots and lots of water. Let me assure you, there is nothing difficult
or complicated about producing a mixture of sugar, color, and water. It doesn’t take a genius; it never did. Pepsi and Coca-Cola make a fortune off of
their product, as we know, and they have for decades. They have a virtual monopoly. Now, lots of other people could produce water,
sugar, and color close to, if not identical with, whatever they produce, but they can’t
break through. They can’t really get to that status. And you know why? Because Coca-Cola and Pepsi erected a barrier
to entry. And the way they did that was with advertising. Every billboard, every magazine cover, every
doorway of every institution you’ve ever been to has a picture of smiling, happy people
drinking one or the other. You’ve learned: that’s the drink, that’s the
drink. Another company might make a perfect substitute,
but they can’t afford the enormous cost of advertising. The advertising costs more than the water,
and the sugar, and the color. What you pay for when you buy Pepsi and Coke
is the advertising that got you to buy it. You’re paying for being hustled. But it works, because it means other companies
know that they can’t get in there by cheaply producing an alternative, because you have
to produce the advertising that goes with it, or else you can’t do it. And so their monopoly is maintained. Here’s another way to maintain a monopoly:
Get the government to step in. Here the famous example is the milk producers. Some years ago, there was a crisis with milk. There was contamination; people were getting
sick. So the clever milk monopolies came in and
said, we’re going to support the enormously expensive, special equipment to guarantee
pasteurization, and so on, of milk. Why did they support it? Because your small farmer, your small dairy
producer, can’t afford it, so they go out of business. Only the big, rich few that are left can afford
the enormous equipment. They used governmental rules to create a barrier
to entry. Here’s another way: corrupt public officials. President Trump denounces Huawei corporation
because it compromises our national security. It denounces European car producers because
somehow their shipping cars here compromises our security. Who cares? As long as the president blocks other companies
from getting into the business that might compete with an American, a barrier to entry
exists. Monopolists have been very creative in coming
up with ways to preserve their monopolies. I don’t want to lose the basic point. The basic point is: Capitalism oscillates,
back and forth between competition and monopoly – first this industry, then that one. For a while, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler
were the monopolies – or the oligopoly, if you like – in automobiles. But eventually, Toyota, and Nissan, and Peugeot,
and Fiat broke the monopoly. In that case, it was foreigners who did it. And then we had some competition, and that,
then, is now shrinking. The French – the last two producers in France
– have just agreed to merge. You get the picture. Industry by industry, first this one, then
that one, go through one phase or another. The important point is: The phases are not
our problem. They merge into, and incentivize, each other. Each provokes movement in the other direction. The point to understand is that the problems
of a capitalist system are not about this oscillation of phases. We’re not going to solve the problem of monopoly
by getting rid of them and re-establishing competition. We’ve been there; we’ve done that; it reproduces
monopoly; and it doesn’t change the basic inequality, unsustainability, instability
of capitalism. We need to get beyond that stale, old debate
– competition versus monopoly – and face the underlying reality: Capitalism is the
problem, and getting beyond it is the solution. Thank you for your attention. We’ve come to the end of this program, and
I look forward to speaking with you again next week.

100 thoughts on “Economic Update: Competition & Monopoly In Capitalism

  1. I wish Capitalism was gone, but it’s hard to get thru people’s head. People That had been told “if you work hard you’ll get anything in life”

  2. Jobs, debt, income!?
    What about Planned Obsolescence and the Depreciation of Durable Consumer Goods?
    Planned Obsolescence creates jobs, doesn't it? But if double-entry accounting had been mandatory in our high schools since Sputnik everyone could be more aware of the depreciation of the junk they buy.

  3. How is it that marxists are still around? Not enough people slaughtered in the twentieth century for you? All of your idiotic talk doesn't erase the fact that Marxist regimes in the twentieth century slaughtered more of their own people than any single ideology throughout history. Stalin, Lenin, Mussolini, Mao, Pol Pot, just a minor list of some Marxist super stars, and you talk of the horrors of Google and Amazon? Why the hell are you ragging on capitalism as a frickin' Marxist? There is no one running around preaching about what a great car the Yugo was.
    You are not speaking this absolute nonsense to anyone with any historical knowledge or common sense. You're speaking to young, ignorant, foolish people because they're the only ones stupid enough to give marxists a minute of their time.

  4. Prof Wolff… I have watched many of your talks which do provide temp solution to the economic human issue based on the assumption that life ends with death. We need to look for a system which recognises the fact that life goes beyond our physical death.. this is based on evidence of our consciousness. Without this reality in mind humans will keep exploiting each other…

  5. I'm pretty sure that communist BILLIONAIRES are very happy with the monopoly the state has provided to them through the MONOPOLY on violence. They create credit out of thin air, "loan" it to themselves, invest it in teams of geniuses with super computers to defeat the general public in business, and then pass the debt to the general public. Central banks are plank number 5 of communism.

  6. And in oligopoly situations, what ends up happening is price-fixing where the few companies collaborate with each other to jack up prices. Generic drug companies are facing a huge lawsuit for doing this.

  7. You would think there’s no competitions selling snake oil? The competitions are fierce and bloody.

    Just look at Soviet Union, uncle joe eliminated the competition by banning other snake oil brand and banishing their salespeople to gulags to gain total monopoly of his brand.

    Mr. Wolff has been lucky here under capitalism where competitions of snake oil are encouraged and not prosecuted.

  8. Advertising is not the influence anymore, the big player restrict reseller to sell other alternative products. These manufacturers won't grow and rather produce low quality imitations to sell online, under such conditions, there isn't enough competition to drive innovation and demand.

  9. Better yet, we’ll just put the mystery crap in the cereal and leave the price the same! (Queue the mr crabs $$ eyes!)

  10. About second hand equipment that is to say that no new capitalists would buy the easier to atain means of production if not more of them or use some of it to supply the gap in their buisness equipment.

  11. Lower working hours is a good solution to improved machines, but capitalism doesn't work for people it works for capital

  12. 8:35
    The scary part is that this actually happens. Food companies use cellulose–wood pulp that is indigestible by humans–to stretch out their products.

  13. Hey I just picked up Understanding Marxism. A great, easy, clear guide to the truth of Marxian theory! Also, check out the gift ideas in the Democracy at Work store. Not a paid promoter, just a fan, but this is a rly good way to support the professor and get his ideas out there. Thanks, Dr. Wolff! ❤️

  14. Kinda funny, I saw this in a History Channel series regarding the "pioneers" of US capitalism.
    Pretty sure it was Rockefeller (Standard Oil) and Edison (General Electric) that monopolized their respective industries.

    Then dishonest GOP supporters spout "free markets and competition" as if monopolies are foreign or impossible externalities.

  15. US Epipen – $600
    "Cheaper alternative" – $110

  16. Easy solution to Monopoly: Reduce regulations and red tape, and remove Subsidies and Corporate Welfare…problem solved. Automation has led to massive levels of employment and record setting low unemployment rates. What the hell is this guy talking about?

  17. I am always so blown away by Dr. Wolff. I have learned more about finance and how economic systems worked from him than all the education I got!

  18. When all of the monopolies have succeeded, in all of the industries, there will be a bunch of industries with one dominant player. Then they will set their sights higher. Who is going to dominate the monopolies? This is a “Game of Thrones” as they each now now “compete” to become the monopoly of monopolies. In the meantime, we who are not in their game, either cheer from the bleachers or simply wait for crumbs to fall from their tables… or we revolt

  19. When I tried to subscribe the GD MONOPOLY GOOGLE would accept my password and made me reset it. Another 15 minutes of life eaten by Google. At the rate I get paid, $3 Google owes me. Low wages for meaningless menial tasks like resetting passwords. But don't worry- if it happens to you it's YOUR fault, not the ALMIGHTY GOOGLE's. Can't enough of us get together and Opensource a public platform that leaves megacorporations like Google and Facebook reeling? I would devote RAM and CPU power to such an endeavor! Like SETI!!

  20. And you must compete with communist along with prison labor . Your ahead of the game offering opinion as profession . Take care all

  21. AOC teaches US citizens that we don’t have to give monopolies our taxpayer dollars in order for them to expand and profit (9:25) … Lesson: stop subsidizing oligarchic monopolies.

  22. this man is delusional he fails to see that he is advocating for more power to be in government hands = communism , idiots like this talk like snakes ,offering no solutions and confusing the gullible

  23. Professor Wolff is the best narrator of 20th century history; the truth-teller on capitalism; revealer of the story of "How the hell did we get here" on Youtube. Precise, accurate, and relevant. Thank you, Maestro.

  24. Well said. The few companies also have the ability to produce more for less allowing them to undercut smaller competitors, last longer without high profit rates and absorb shocks better. They can make deals with suppliers to further block smaller businesses. They can reach far more people with their chain. Their presence reduces wages, lowering buying power and further insuring people go to them because they can't afford the smaller business. They create multiple other businesses that work under them which tricks the consumer into thinking they have more of a choice than they do in who they support. All of this is without any government collusion.

  25. One important point with competition is that companies are forced to a certain behavior even though it might be detrimental in the long run.
    Two examples:
    When companies moved production out of the USA anyone still producing there had to move out their production as well to stay competitive. Even though it was clean that the loss in jobs and income would lead to a shrinking market hurting them in the long run.
    Increasing the minimum wage will allow restaurant worker to go and eat in restaurants growing the market. However its difficult for a restaurant to pay their worker more as long as everyone else does not since they would not be competitive.

  26. Competition is a sin!
    I wonder if people will ever remove their chains of bondage? It is a completely altruistic endeavour to be an employee. You "earn" pay and through consumerism end up giving it all right back to live. We live in the Coal Mine/Company Store system.

  27. Not to memtion the precious govt corrupt theives and murderers that are also…PEDOPHILES! They fuck children and apparently we dont give a shit!

  28. The UN-climatefond should be 100 billions a year – money that countries doesn´t have because of austerity,money given to big corporations i tax cuts – insurenccompagnies,tech-monopolies should give 50? % of their yearly profit to the fond in their own interest. no costumers no profit and no future.

  29. i truly don't understand people that say these arguments are unreasonable and untrue. american libertarians are a special brand of brainwashed fools.

  30. I am disappointed with this analysis because it is overly simplistic, conflating cause with correlation. Competition does not cause monopoly. It is a contributing factor yes, but it is not necessarily the cause of it. We should always be critical of claims about causal factors in complex systems.

    He partially offsets the oversimplification by also mentioning that Monopolists create barriers to entry in order to preserve their monopolies. This in my opinion is a bigger problem because competitors need countervailing pressure to keep them in check, and other competitors are a big part of that.

    Competition often results in the elimination of the losers. Creation of more competitors would help offset that. Limiting the ability of the winner of a competition from taking the losers' workers and capital would be another.

    It would have been better had Professor Wolfe been clearer in targeting unfettered competition as the problem, because competition's downsides are magnified and unmitigated without a countervailing force in the economy.

    I think that "competition" and "markets" have become buzzwords devoid of meaning in these arguments because of all the bullshit put out by the Chicago School of economics which transformed the words into religious terms to be worshipped by free market ideologues. Instead we should see them as tools to be used in any economy with advantages and disadvantages.

  31. Capitalism is what slavery morphed into after the Civil War. You don't need to own people when you can monopolize everything people need to survive.

  32. Right wing idiots don't realize that Monopoly itself comes out of Competition. Its a product of competitive mindset. You create a monopoly because you want to be superior to everybody else and not lose your own dominance giving space to others.

  33. Dont be condecending to me. Nhl teams ARE individual businesses and they have come together to enact a salary cap which ensures the strength of ALL its teams. This is socialism. The strength of US as a whole which ensures the viability of the league. Any sports leaugue that enacts salary caps or revenue sharing is engaging in socialist economic principles.

  34. Given socialism to be working people owning their workplaces (all such must be that way or the remaining capitalists will drive it all down) and good gov't meaning representation for the 99% i ask this question: why wouldn't competition/monopoly go on under socialism? Given the bedrock of homo sapiens I see competition/monopoly tendencies continuing on. Since "regulation" is bullshit, there's no argument to return to capitalism since 400yrs of failure put paid to that. THE REAL POINT is the nature of this species conspires to power/wealth. Unless and until you get rid of Agricultural-based Civilization and Industrialized Science and about 95% of human population, socialism is not a way out that I can see. I would still vastly prefer it to capitalism to be sure.

  35. Not a word from Dr. Wolff on the British elections? Corbyn a real democratic socialist may have a chance of winning which is of utmost relevance for Sanders. Would have appreciated Wolff's analysis.

  36. Kids work didn't stop do to protest. The industrial revolution needed better educated worker. That stopped kids working. The industry needed kids to stude first

  37. The real sad reality is that the working class in the US has no political training in running a society.
    The lack of training of the social and political elements in society that do run society through the institutions of political power are not taught to the working class in a way that prepares them to be the rulers of society. The working class today is largely composed of women who only know two presidents in their lifetime, Obama and Trump. And only know one war not a series of wars that began with the Vietnam War. If they see Jane Fonda getting arrested it is an old woman they see arrested not a continuation of the history of dissent by women.

    On economics the working class are taught absolutely nothing beyond finance or business management courses.
    International trade, world production, investment and business cycles, world systems are not taught to working class students.
    They are not given the opportunity to dedicate four years specializing in the study of the Great Depression in a Community College to be a good candidate to run the Federal Reserve.
    On the flip side, geniuses are born in the working class are unnurtured and never see daylight.
    In contrast, the children of the elites in power train their children to become the rulers and run a society.

  38. The state monopoly is s bad thing for the competition, free market and small businesses. The state is a bad owner. The state can't make a business to be profitable. Let's privatize!!! Everything must go!!! Sincerely yours, Capitalism

  39. I saw alot of extreme fear mongering and and miss use of evidence. Which explains why u only have a small hand full of likes to your video. Thats that run businesses can see the holes very easily. The world isn’t perfect and yes their are flaws with the capitalistic system, but as u can see not only through our history up until now, we as a capitalistic society are the most profitable nation on this planet and we tend to learn and make changes against those that try and monopolize our system.

  40. I love Richard Wolff and I agree that co-ops are a great step in the right direction. However we eventually need to go further than just co-ops because the problems of competition remain. Even though co-ops aren't likely to pollute their own environment or move to China like capitalist companies do, they will still compete with each other, right?
    Competition is so wasteful. Two or more companies try to develop essentially the same product and duplicate the research, learning process, and production process. They don't share information with each other because of patents and proprietary secrets. Then they spend huge amounts of money on advertising to try to convince you that their product is different from their competitors. Just imagine how much better off we'd be—either more wealth or fewer hours we'd need to work—if we didn't waste all this time and money.

    Cooperation is better than competition.

    We need to change our reward system. You should not be rewarded for out-competing others, thus making them the losers. You should be rewarded for contributing to society and for finding ways to improve sustainability.

  41. You might consider doing some analysis on the boondoggle F-35 that is being force fed to the taxpayers, many slurping up the propaganda. It is "patriotic" to worship the F-35. It also carries nukes, as though we need more. And they are putting these flying junk heaps in metropolitan areas where they don't belong, bring unacceptable levels of noise, and pollution, and the risk of crash (already has a bad rep).

  42. You should have also mentioned how competition makes corporations fund and arm gangs to subdue a whole nation (think Africa or banana republics) in order to steal their natural resources to provide for the corporations' need for raw materials. Sometimes it leads to direct occupation (e.g. USA and Iraqi oil and gold) and the killing and displacing of millions of people who turn into refugees.

  43. "does capitalism breed greed and a rigged economy"?
    and having asked that it would imply that Capitalism requires continual propping up (bail outs , printing etc)

  44. Have to disagree with you this time. It's not competition that is the problem, it's corporations trying to get around competition that is the problem. You are saying that rape is bad, yes, and rape is sex, therefore sex is bad. That argument doesn't hold water.

  45. My comment wasn't too bright, I apologise. It goes without saying that it is the lack of morals on the part of the corporations that is the problem with competition. So let me propose a question to kind of make up for a dumb comment. I believe Bernie Sanders could win the primary and then defeat Trump. But, when putting forth legislation for say free health care, eliminated student debt, and regulations in the workplace that benefits workers… I don't see those bills going through the house or Senate. But If they could because of social pressure, how would the elites react to that? Would they simply take a temporary loss and work to limit Bernie to one term, or result to more desperate means fearing maybe the end of their rein? And, do you see a collapse of the dollar coming and how would the oligarchy as I call them react to that?

  46. What's happening to mr. Wolff at 11:55 seems like he's doing kind of facial paralysis of some sort. Take care proff. Wolff we need you… take a rest from your duties 🤗🤗🤗

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