Economist Richard Wolff recently held a discussion on economic rights and reform at Occidental College in which he agreed with Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) rallying cry that “the game is rigged.”
Wolff described himself as a “critic of capitalism” and said that, while it might be hard to admit, “the system is over.” He went back through both Greek and American history as a means of explaining what is currently happening in the US.
Pointing out that the coalition that existed in the 30’s that pulled America out of the Great Depression doesn’t exist anymore – on purpose – Wolff said,
“We’ve just gone through seven years of really bad unemployment with no significant Republican or Democratic leader ever talking about public employment, which would be a way to solve the problem. What way? The way we used the last time! It’s our history! It’s like a collective amnesia; it’s amazing. It’s not that we debated it … it’s as if it never happened … And taxing corporations and the rich? This is like attacking motherhood and apple pie. It’s unthinkable! But, it’s our history.”
Wolff added that when politicians tell him that taxing big business and the rich would be the end of their political careers, he loves to tell them that the only president in American history who really went after the rich was elected four times.
“Let’s see: The most popular president was the one who taxed corporations and the rich to give everyone Social Security, unemployment, and government jobs. Hello!”
Watch Wolff’s full discussion.