Economist Professor Richard Wolff gave a compelling reason for moving to the next economic system. His rhetorical question ‘Are we going to let a declining system take us down with it?’ is prescient.
Economist Richard Wolff asked the right question
Professor Economist Richard Wolff & Jacobin’s Bhaskar Sunkara faced off with WholeFoods Founder John Mackey and Reason’s Katherine Mangu-Ward at an Intelligence Squared debate titled “Capitalism Is a Blessing.” The professor’s side changed more minds than the other side.
Wolff told a truth about economic systems that folks seldom realize. Economic systems are born. They evolve. And then they die. They die as the inequities and unfairness are realized. More importantly, when enough of the aggrieved by said system starts to remove the facade that is generally used as a method of coercion, the change can be rapid.
Many were under the belief that our economic system is a meritocracy. Work hard and follow the rules and success would follow. For some, that is true. For most, it simply does not work that way.
Everyone, whether the person starting their own bakery, their own shop or otherwise, at some time is at the behest of those with tons of capital, the titans of finance. As a successful business owner many times over, I can state categorically that when I analyze all the machinations involved, the titans of finance were more responsible for the ups and downs than my products and services. Too much even as a business owner was beyond my control.
There are models that can mitigate the dominance of the plutocracy, the titans of finance. Clearly, it is not in the interest of controlling interests to modify or transition our economic system. That is up to us. It is up to us to ensure an economy that works for us, our families, our friends, and our acquaintances.