Richard Wolff and journalist Bob Hennelly on Economic Update

Richard Wolff and journalist Bob Hennelly on Economic Update


Do you think, as a reporter running around,
are people getting a sense, do you think, in America of the gap between the reality
of what’s continuing and all of the promises? That’s a heavy question, particularly because,
I think that Trump benefited from the media blind spot which we talked about. The east and west coast social ecologies are
so different than what’s happening in the heartland and that contrast has only grown. One of the reasons why the president succeeded
in winning the election was that the Obama recovery, that hope and change had grown moldy
because, as we’ve identified before, you know, 6,000 empty homes in Cleveland, it just wasn’t
happening and the deterioration continued. In point of fact, the media hasn’t corrected
itself. For a brief period when it got involved with
discussing how did they miss this, because remember all the pundits had Trump, with the
exception of you and I perhaps, they couldn’t see a path to a Trump victory, yet he won. So what they’ve been focusing on is not so
much how did they miss it, but trying to shift blame to the discussion of Russia, which may
have also been true. But what they have not addressed is the blind
spot they have on whats happening in America. So what is really happening on the ground
still isn’t being discussed. We’ve had for the 3rd year in a row a decline
in the average life expectancy in the United States. This has not happened since the 1st World
War. This is cataclysmic. We judge other nations by this singular standard
as whether or not they’re deserving foreign aid, based on that criteria. That’s one of the top things and we’re going
backward. We see household formation continuing to suffer,
an entire generation with the 1.5 trillion dollar yoke debt which have the 20-somethings
stuck in their parents basement and not even capable of being in orbit and procreating,
which is going to have a profound impact as we approach this tremendous challenge of funding
our retirement. Right? And so the country on all counts is on the
verge of a failure that’s catastrophic but we’re not seeing it on television because
there’s this constant phony narrative, “well, the unemployment rate is down” and buying
into and trying to give Trump credit for a totally faux recovery which if you just scratched
a bit of the veneer, go to any real city you’ll see doesn’t exist. And you know, even in the areas they boast
of, if you look just a millimeter below the surface you can see the problem. Take the stock market. In the last several weeks we have seen incredible
volatility, mammoth drop, 6, 7, 800 points in a day. This is because the people involved who have
made a lot of money understand that the massive introduction of new money into the economy
by the Federal Reserve to prevent the collapse that started in 2008, all that money did not
create lots of job, did not bring back manufacturing. Most of it went into the stock market, inflated
all those prices, it’s a very nice story but the minute you get even the faintest whiff
that this kind of crutch might be pulled away, boom. Right it’s the key moment 2 seconds before,
in the Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy and her cohorts pull the curtain back and reveal the
phony. And this is really, and I cannot over emphasize,
that this is part and parcel of that tax credit. And I questioned Trump about this when he
rolled this out in the primary. I had a chance to engage with him at a press
conference. This business of a massive tax cut for multinationals
to repatriate the money has been tried. Tried back in 2004 in the Bush years, resulted
in, surprise, surprise, increased pay for CEOs and stock buybacks. Stock buybacks are the kind of elite 3-card
monty or pyramid scheme. You don’t create any change in behavior, no
new product, nothing new to market, no new technology, you just keep buying it back and
spinning it and spinning it until it builds up in value. That’s where we are. Meanwhile, the underlying dynamic in terms
of infrastructure, investment in the social capital has all been in decline and it’s paying
off, as I say, in this decline of life expectancy which is being driven by the increased opioid
addiction, and suicide, which are reported as discrete things that are happening like
meteorological conditions. “Well, in other news, by the way, more people
are killing themselves” and then we talk about the financial markets. We never bring holistically, together, the
way people are bearing this pressure in a tangible way which is creating all kinds of
collateral damage. This is an echo of the decision in 2008 that
Barack Obama made, in consult with Geithner and Summers, to preserve at all costs the
Wall Street and the ability to make money with money and to cut adrift, and I mean like
the Titanic depriving people of lifeboats, working class and main street America. And that’s what we’re living with now and
nothing has changed.

10 thoughts on “Richard Wolff and journalist Bob Hennelly on Economic Update

  1. We can't form households, we can't purchase homes, we can't buy cars, our wages are stagnant, we have student loans we can't discharge, old folks can't retire because their investments pay nothing so they are coming back into the workforce, stores are closing, people are killing themselves with prescription drugs, but, wait a minute. We have no border wall between the United States and Mexico… that's the problem.

  2. we are truly suffering. bad bad jobs. cars getting old…can't renew tabs….little food. depression. little joy and community

  3. Procreating, who the fuck wants to bring children into this country, oh yeah those ignorant and those who are just too dumb. Good luck with the future, I know I am not going to raise a child in this country, let alone the climate on the whole globe. Humanity sucks and it is about to destroy itself. So, it has been a nice long run but get ready for the end it is near. If we get our hands on the Venezuela oil, game over for the planet.

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