Business & Economics

Capitalism Hits the Fan | ,

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A breathtakingly clear analysis that breaks down the root causes of today’s economic crisis “With unerring coherence and unequaled breadth of knowledge, Rick Wolff offers a rich and much needed corrective to the views of mainstream economists and pundits. It would be difficult to come away from this… with anything but an acute appreciation of what is needed to get us out of this mess.” —Stanley Aronowitz, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Urban Education, City University of New York Capitalism Hits the Fan chronicles one economist’s growing alarm and insights as he watched, from 2005 onwards, the economic crisis build, burst, and then change the world. The argument here differs sharply from most other explanations offered by politicians, media commentators, and other academics. Step by step, Professor Wolff shows that deep economic structures—the relationship of wages to profits, of workers to boards of directors, and of debts to income—account for the crisis. The great change in the US economy since the 1970s, as employers stopped the historic rise in US workers’ real wages, set in motion the events that eventually broke the world economy. The crisis resulted from the post-1970s profit explosion, the debt-driven finance-industry expansion, and the sequential stock market and real estate booms and busts. Bailout interventions by the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury have thrown too little money too late at a problem that requires more than money to solve. As this book shows, we must now ask basic questions about capitalism as a system that has now convulsed the world economy into two great depressions in 75 years (and countless lesser crises, recession, and cycles in between). The book’s essays engage the long-overdue public discussion about capitalism as a system and about the basic structural changes needed not only to fix today’s broken economy but to prevent future crises. Richard Wolff has been a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst since 1981. He has been a visiting professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs, at the New School in New York since 2007. Wolff’s major recent interests and publications include studies of US economic history to ascertain the basic structural causes of the current economic crisis and the examination of how alternative economic theories (neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian) understand and respond to the crisis in very different ways. His past work involves application of advanced class analysis to contemporary global capitalism. He has written, co-authored, and co-edited many books and dozens of scholarly and popular journal articles. His recent analyses of current economic events appear regularly in the webzine of the Monthly Review. In 2009, Capitalism Hits the Fan, the documentary on the current economic crisis, was released by Media Education Foundation (www.mediaed.org). Visit http://www.rdwolff.com for more information. Abridged Table of Contents: Introduction Part I: Roots of a System’s Crisis Part II: The Economics of Crisis 1 Capitalism as a Crisis-Prone System 2 The Role of Economic Theory 3 Markets and Efficiency 4 Wages, Productivity, and Exploitation 5 Housing and Debt 6 Government Intervention in the Economy 7 International Dimensions of the Crisis Part III: Politics of the Crisis 1 Reforms and Regulations as Crisis Solutions 2 Debates over “Socialist” Solutions 3 Anti-Capitalist Politics Index.

Business & Economics

Occupy the Economy | Richard Wolff,David Barsamian

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A hot-button primer on the taboo subject impacting most Americans today: the failure of the capitalism to deliver public good..

Political Science

Democracy at Work | Richard Wolff

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What, and who, are we working for? A thoughtful assessment on our current society from “probably America’s most prominent Marxist economist” (The New York Times). Capitalism as a system has spawned deepening economic crisis alongside its bought-and-paid-for political establishment. Neither serves the needs of our society. Whether it is secure, well-paid, and meaningful jobs or a sustainable relationship with the natural environment that we depend on, our society is not delivering the results people need and deserve. One key cause for this intolerable state of affairs is the lack of genuine democracy in our economy as well as in our politics. The solution requires the institution of genuine economic democracy, starting with workers managing their own workplaces, as the basis for a genuine political democracy. Here Richard D. Wolff lays out a hopeful and concrete vision of how to make that possible, addressing the many people who have concluded economic inequality and politics as usual can no longer be tolerated and are looking for a concrete program of action. “Wolff’s constructive and innovative ideas suggest new and promising foundations for much more authentic democracy and sustainable and equitable development, ideas that can be implemented directly and carried forward. A very valuable contribution in troubled times.” —Noam Chomsky, leading public intellectual and author of Hope and Prospects.

Business & Economics

Pragmatic Capitalism | Cullen Roche

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Being successful in the modern world of finance requires a more in-depth understanding of our global economies on a macro level. What does a shifting demographic cycle mean? How does the explosive growth of emerging markets matter? Why does the world's population affect my portfolio? Does the global monetary system impact my results this year? How does government intervention in markets impact my strategy? In Pragmatic Capitalism, Cullen Roche explores how our global economy works and why it is more important now than ever for investors to understand macroeconomics. Cullen Roche combines his expertise in global macro portfolio management, quantitative risk management, behavioral finance, and monetary theory to explain to readers how macroeconomics works, and provides insights and suggestions for getting the most out of their investment strategies. This book will uncover market myths and explain the rise of macroeconomics and why it impacts the readers' portfolio construction. Pragmatic Capitalism is a must for any sophisticated investor who wants to make the most of their portfolio..

Business & Economics

Contending Economic Theories | Richard D. Wolff,Stephen A. Resnick

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A systematic comparison of the three major economic theories, showing how they differ and why these differences matter in shaping economic theory and practice. Contending Economic Theories offers a unique comparative treatment of the three main theories in economics as it is taught today: neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian. Each is developed and discussed in its own chapter, yet also differentiated from and compared to the other two theories. The authors identify each theory's starting point, its goals and foci, and its internal logic. They connect their comparative theory analysis to the larger policy issues that divide the rival camps of theorists around such central issues as the role government should play in the economy and the class structure of production, stressing the different analytical, policy, and social decisions that flow from each theory's conceptualization of economics. The authors, building on their earlier book Economics: Marxian versus Neoclassical, offer an expanded treatment of Keynesian economics and a comprehensive introduction to Marxian economics, including its class analysis of society. Beyond providing a systematic explanation of the logic and structure of standard neoclassical theory, they analyze recent extensions and developments of that theory around such topics as market imperfections, information economics, new theories of equilibrium, and behavioral economics, considering whether these advances represent new paradigms or merely adjustments to the standard theory. They also explain why economic reasoning has varied among these three approaches throughout the twentieth century, and why this variation continues today—as neoclassical views give way to new Keynesian approaches in the wake of the economic collapse of 2008..

Business & Economics

Moral Capitalism | Steven Pearlstein

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"If anyone can save capitalism from the capitalists, it’s Steven Pearlstein. This lucid, brilliant book refuses to abandon capitalism to those who believe morality and justice irrelevant to an economic system." —Ezra Klein, founder and editor-at-large, Vox Pulitzer Prize-winning economics journalist Steven Pearlstein argues that our thirty year experiment in unfettered markets has undermined core values required to make capitalism and democracy work. With a New Introduction by the Author Thirty years ago, “greed is good” and “maximizing shareholder value” became the new mantras woven into the fabric of our business culture, economy, and politics. Although, around the world, free market capitalism has lifted more than a billion people from poverty, in the United States most of the benefits of economic growth have been captured by the richest 10%, along with providing justification for squeezing workers, cheating customers, avoiding taxes, and leaving communities in the lurch. As a result, Americans are losing faith that a free market economy is the best system. In Moral Capitalism, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steven Pearlstein chronicles our descent and challenges the theories being taught in business schools and exercised in boardrooms around the country. We’re missing a key tenet of Adam Smith’s wealth of nations: without trust and social capital, democratic capitalism cannot survive. Further, equality of incomes and opportunity need not come at the expense of economic growth. Pearlstein lays out bold steps we can take as a country: a guaranteed minimum income paired with universal national service, tax incentives for companies to share profits with workers, ending class segregation in public education, and restoring competition to markets. He provides a path forward that will create the shared prosperity that will sustain capitalism over the long term. Previously published as Can American Capitalism Survive?.

Business & Economics

Capitalism's Crisis Deepens | Richard D. Wolff

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“The leading socialist economist in the country” explores the roots of the Great Recession and its immense impact on working people (Cornel West). While most mainstream commentators view the crisis that provoked the Great Recession as having passed, these essays from Richard Wolff paint a far less rosy picture. Drawing attention to the extreme downturn in most of capitalism’s old centers, the unequal growth in its new centers, and the resurgence of a global speculative bubble, Wolff—in his uniquely accessible style—makes the case that the crisis should be grasped not as a passing moment, but as an evolving stage in capitalism’s history. Praise for Richard Wolff and Democracy at Work “Probably America’s most prominent Marxist economist.” —The New York Times Magazine “Richard Wolff’s constructive and innovative ideas suggest new and promising foundations for much more authentic democracy and sustainable and equitable development, ideas that can be implemented directly and carried forward. A very valuable contribution in troubled times.” —Noam Chomsky “Wolff offers a rich and much-needed corrective to the views of mainstream economists and pundits. It would be difficult to come away from this with anything but an acute appreciation of what is needed to get us out of this mess.” —Stanley Aronowitz “Bold, thoughtful, transformative—a powerful and challenging vision that takes us beyond both corporate capitalism and state socialism. Richard Wolff at his best!” —Gar Alperovitz.

Political Science

This Changes Everything | Naomi Klein

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WINNER 2014 – Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction Forget everything you think you know about global warming. The really inconvenient truth is that it’s not about carbon—it’s about capitalism. The convenient truth is that we can seize this existential crisis to transform our failed system and build something radically better. In her most provocative book yet, Naomi Klein, author of the global bestsellers The Shock Doctrine and No Logo, tackles the most profound threat humanity has ever faced: the war our economic model is waging against life on earth. Klein exposes the myths that are clouding the climate debate. We have been told the market will save us, when in fact the addiction to profit and growth is digging us in deeper every day. We have been told it’s impossible to get off fossil fuels when in fact we know exactly how to do it—it just requires breaking every rule in the “free-market” playbook: reining in corporate power, rebuilding local economies and reclaiming our democracies. We have also been told that humanity is too greedy and selfish to rise to this challenge. In fact, all around the world, the fight back is already succeeding in ways both surprising and inspiring. Climate change, Klein argues, is a civilizational wake-up call, a powerful message delivered in the language of fires, floods, storms and droughts. Confronting it is no longer about changing the light bulbs. It’s about changing the world—before the world changes so drastically that no one is safe. Either we leap—or we sink. Once a decade, Naomi Klein writes a book that redefines its era. No Logo did so for globalization. The Shock Doctrine changed the way we think about austerity. This Changes Everything is about to upend the debate about the stormy era already upon us..

Business & Economics

Lords of Finance | Liaquat Ahamed

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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize “There is terrific prescience to be found in [Lords of Finance’s] portrait of times past…[A] writer of great verve and erudition, [Ahamed] easily connects the dots between the economic crises that rocked the world during the years his book covers and the fiscal emergencies that beset us today." - The New York Times It is commonly believed that the Great Depression that began in 1929 resulted from a confluence of events beyond any one person's or government's control. In fact, as Liaquat Ahamed reveals, it was the decisions made by a small number of central bankers that were the primary cause of that economic meltdown, the effects of which set the stage for World War II and reverberated for decades. As we continue to grapple with economic turmoil, Lords of Finance is a potent reminder of the enormous impact that the decisions of central bankers can have, their fallibility, and the terrible human consequences that can result when they are wrong..

Fiction

Severance | Ling Ma

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Maybe it’s the end of the world, but not for Candace Chen, a millennial, first-generation American and office drone meandering her way into adulthood in Ling Ma’s offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire, Severance. "A stunning, audacious book with a fresh take on both office politics and what the apocalypse might bring." —Michael Schaub, NPR.org “A satirical spin on the end times-- kind of like The Office meets The Leftovers.” --Estelle Tang, Elle NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY: NPR * The New Yorker ("Books We Loved") * Elle * Marie Claire * Amazon Editors * The Paris Review (Staff Favorites) * Refinery29 * Bustle * Buzzfeed * BookPage * Bookish * Mental Floss * Chicago Review of Books * HuffPost * Electric Literature * A.V. Club * Jezebel * Vulture * Literary Hub * Flavorwire Winner of the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award * Winner of the Kirkus Prize for Fiction * Winner of the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award * Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel * A New York Times Notable Book of 2018 * An Indie Next Selection Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. With the recent passing of her Chinese immigrant parents, she’s had her fill of uncertainty. She’s content just to carry on: She goes to work, troubleshoots the teen-targeted Gemstone Bible, watches movies in a Greenpoint basement with her boyfriend. So Candace barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Then Shen Fever spreads. Families flee. Companies cease operations. The subways screech to a halt. Her bosses enlist her as part of a dwindling skeleton crew with a big end-date payoff. Soon entirely alone, still unfevered, she photographs the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost. Candace won’t be able to make it on her own forever, though. Enter a group of survivors, led by the power-hungry IT tech Bob. They’re traveling to a place called the Facility, where, Bob promises, they will have everything they need to start society anew. But Candace is carrying a secret she knows Bob will exploit. Should she escape from her rescuers? A send-up and takedown of the rituals, routines, and missed opportunities of contemporary life, Ling Ma’s Severance is a moving family story, a quirky coming-of-adulthood tale, and a hilarious, deadpan satire. Most important, it’s a heartfelt tribute to the connections that drive us to do more than survive..

Religion

Rise and Fall of Capitalism, The | Anthony Usher

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The love of money and the denial of living wages cast dark shadows on almost every aspect of life of this planet. Washington is full of millionaires who seem to have forgotten their duty to the American people. And corporate executives seek to increase profits any way they can, even if it means cutting the legs out from under their employees. Welcome to America, the home of capitalism in all its glory! The Rise and Fall of Capitalism: A Social, Religious, and Political Perspective by Anthony Usher examines the history of capitalism and its impact on Americans and discusses solutions to even the playing field between the lower, middle, and upper classes based on biblical principles. In addition to discussing Americans love of money and the economic challenges facing our country, Usher also addresses sensitive religious-political issues that Christians and non-Christians struggle with, such as same-sex marriage, abortion, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Economics, politics, religion, and current events are linked to the end of the world and the collapse of the best economic system devised by human hands, giving way to a new theocratic kingdom. Are you ready?.

Fiction

The Society of the Spectacle | Guy Debord

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"The Society of the Spectacle" by Guy Debord (translated by Ken Knabb). Published by Good Press. Good Press publishes a wide range of titles that encompasses every genre. From well-known classics & literary fiction and non-fiction to forgotten−or yet undiscovered gems−of world literature, we issue the books that need to be read. Each Good Press edition has been meticulously edited and formatted to boost readability for all e-readers and devices. Our goal is to produce eBooks that are user-friendly and accessible to everyone in a high-quality digital format..

Business & Economics

Business as Usual | Paul Mattick

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The recent global economic downturn has affected nearly everyone in every corner of the globe. Its vast reach and lingering effects have made it difficult to pinpoint its exact cause, and while some economists point to the risks inherent in the modern financial system, others blame long-term imbalances in the world economy. Into this debate steps Paul Mattick, who, in Business as Usual, explains the global economic downturn in relation to the development of the world economy since World War II, but also as a fundamental example of the cycle of crisis and recovery that has characterized capitalism since the early nineteenth century. Mattick explains that today’s recession is not the result of a singular financial event but instead is a manifestation of long-term processes within the world economy. Mattick argues that the economic downturn can best be understood within the context of business cycles, which are unavoidable in a free-market economy. He uses this explanation as a springboard for exploring the nature of our capitalist society and its prospects for the future. Although Business as Usual engages with many economic theories, both mainstream and left-wing, Mattick’s accessible writing opens the subject up in order for non-specialists to understand the current economic climate not as the effect of a financial crisis, but as a manifestation of a truth about the social and economic system in which we live. As a result the book is ideal for anyone who wants to gain a succinct and jargon-free understanding of recent economic events, and, just as important, the overall dynamics of the capitalist system itself..

Political Science

The Capitalism Papers | Jerry Mander

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In the vein of his bestseller, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, nationally recognized social critic Jerry Mander researches, discusses, and exposes the momentous and unsolvable environmental and social problem of capitalism. Mander argues that capitalism is no longer a viable system: "What may have worked in 1900 is calamitous in 2010." Capitalism, utterly dependent on never–ending economic growth, is an impossible absurdity on a finite planet with limited resources. Climate change, together with global food, water, and resource shortages, are only the start. Mander draws attention to capitalism's obsessive need to dominate and undermine democracy, as well as to diminish social and economic equity. Designed to operate free of "morality," the system promotes "permanent war" as a key economic strategy. Worst of all, the problems of capitalism are intrinsic to the form. Many organizations are already anticipating the breakdown of the system and are working to define new hierarchies of democratic values that respect the carrying capacities of the planet..

History

The Sounds of Capitalism | Timothy D. Taylor

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From the early days of radio through the rise of television after World War II to the present, music has been used more and more to sell goods and establish brand identities. And since the 1920s, songs originally written for commercials have become popular songs, and songs written for a popular audience have become irrevocably associated with specific brands and products. Today, musicians move flexibly between the music and advertising worlds, while the line between commercial messages and popular music has become increasingly blurred. Timothy D. Taylor tracks the use of music in American advertising for nearly a century, from variety shows like The Clicquot Club Eskimos to the rise of the jingle, the postwar upsurge in consumerism, and the more complete fusion of popular music and consumption in the 1980s and after. The Sounds of Capitalism is the first book to tell truly the history of music used in advertising in the United States and is an original contribution to this little-studied part of our cultural history..

Political Science

Beyond the Global Capitalist Crisis | Berch Berberoglu

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The deep economic recession that has occurred in all major sectors of the U.S. and global economy is a manifestation of the underlying contradictions of the capitalist system that has resulted in the accumulation of vast fortunes on one side and impoverishment, debt, and destitution on the other. In short, the crisis of global capitalism is the result of the immense disparities in wealth and income and a consequent widening gap between capital and labor. This ground-breaking book brings together a team of experts on the contemporary global capitalist political economy who are able to shed light on the inner workings of global capitalism and the capitalist globalization process that has led to the growth and development of capitalism from the national to the global level, with all its fundamental internal dynamics and contradictions operating on a world scale. It will make an important contribution to understanding the underlying causes of the current global economic crisis and show the way out of this crisis by way of a powerful critique of the global capitalist system that will ultimately go through a major economic, political, and social transformation. Analysis of the global capitalist crisis raises questions regarding the process of capitalist globalization, especially now that neoliberal economic policies have failed. Does this signal the end of capitalist globalization and the collapse of the global capitalist system? This book will take up these questions and entertain the possibility of a new beginning in the global political economy through an analysis of the next period of post-capitalist developments worldwide that may set the stage for the rise of socialism across the globe..

Social Science

The Global Capitalist Crisis and Its Aftermath | Berch Berberoglu

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Written by a team of experts on the contemporary global capitalist political economy who are able to shed light on the inner workings of global capitalism and the capitalist globalization process that has led to the growth and development of capitalism from the national to the global level, this groundbreaking volume provides critical analyses of the causes and consequences of the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Through a careful examination of the origin, development and aftermath of the catastrophic economic crisis from which the world is still trying to recover, editor Berch Berberoglu and his colleagues demonstrate that those most responsible for the economic collapse are the ones least affected by its devastating impact felt most severely by working people around the world. Ultimately, this book argues that it is only through the systematic restructuring of the world economy by the working class that society will be able to prevent the boom and bust cycle of global capitalist crises and usher in a more egalitarian socialist economy and society..

Political Science

Critical Theory and the Crisis of Contemporary Capitalism | Heiko Feldner,Fabio Vighi

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This volume reassesses the nature of the current global economic crisis and its implication for the 21st century, through the unique lens of Marx's theory of the value-form as the unconscious matrix of modern society. Going beyond orthodox Marxist and postmodernist accounts, the author offers fresh new readings of Marx, Benjamin, Foucault, and Žižek. Here he argues that capitalism has not only entered its greatest crisis since WWII, but has in fact reached its historical limit and is in terminal decline. In this light, the book seeks to answer how a rerun of Keynesian regulations could possibly resolve the crisis. It also inquires as to whether a Green New Deal might succeed when the gap between work to be had and work to be done widens, and what alternatives neo-Marxian approaches offer considering the failure of Marxism in the 20th century. This far-reaching, critical examination of the crisis not only builds on critical theory, but also offers new readings of key theorists that will appeal to anyone interested in political theory, critical theory, and political economy..

Education

Education as Enforcement | Kenneth J. Saltman,David A. Gabbard

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The first volume to focus on the intersections of militarization, corporations, and education, Education as Enforcement exposed the many ways schooling has become the means through which the expansion of global corporate power are enforced. Since publication of the first edition, these trends have increased to disturbing levels as a result of the extensive militarization of civil society, the implosion of the neoconservative movement, and the financial meltdown that radically called into question the basic assumptions undergirding neoliberal ideology. An understanding of the enforcement of these corporate economic imperatives remains imperative to a critical discussion of related militarized trends in schools, whether through accountability and standards, school security, or other discipline based reforms. Education as Enforcement elaborates upon the central arguments of the first edition and updates readers on how recent events have reinforced their continued original relevance. In addition to substantive updates to several original chapters, this second edition includes a new foreword by Henry Giroux, a new introduction, and four new chapters that reveal the most contemporary expressions of the militarization and corporatization of education. New topics covered in this collection include zero-tolerance, foreign and second language instruction in the post-9/11 context, the rise of single-sex classrooms, and the intersection of the militarization and corporatization of schools under the Obama administration..

Business & Economics

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report, Authorized Edition | Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

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The definitive report on what caused America's economic meltdown and who was responsibleThe financial and economic crisis has touched the lives of millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and their homes, but many have little understanding of how it happened. Now, in this very accessible report, readers can get the facts. Formed in May 2009, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) is a panel of 10 commissioners with experience in business, regulations, economics, and housing, chosen by Congress to explain what happened and why it happened. This panel has had subpoena power that enabled them to interview people and examine documents that no reporter had access to. The FCIC has reviewed millions of pages of documents, and interviewed more than 600 leaders, experts, and participants in the financial markets and government regulatory agencies, as well as individuals and businesses affected by the crisis. In the tradition of The 9/11 Commission Report, "The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report" will be a comprehensive book for the lay reader, complete with a glossary, charts, and easy-to-read diagrams, and a timeline that includes important events. It will be read by policy makers, corporate executives, regulators, government agencies, and the American people..