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04 March 2009

Capitalism Hits the Fan, Richard Wolff

Blurb:

With breathtaking clarity, renowned University of Massachusetts Economics Professor Richard Wolff breaks down the root causes of today's economic crisis, showing how it was decades in the making and in fact reflects seismic failures within the structures of American-style capitalism itself. Wolff traces the source of the economic crisis to the 1970s, when wages began to stagnate and American workers were forced into a dysfunctional spiral of borrowing and debt that ultimately exploded in the mortgage meltdown. By placing the crisis within this larger historical and systemic frame, Wolff argues convincingly that the proposed government "bailouts," stimulus packages, and calls for increased market regulation will not be enough to address the real causes of the crisis, in the end suggesting that far more fundamental change will be necessary to avoid future catastrophes. 

Richly illustrated with graphics and charts, this is a superb introduction that allows ordinary citizens to comprehend, and react to, the unraveling crisis.

Available in two different versions (57 mins and 34 mins) on the same DVD.

Sections: Introduction | Three Things the Economic Crisis is Not | How We Got Here: American Exceptionalism | History Interrupted: The Trauma of Flat Wages | Coping With Trauma: The People's Response | The Meaning of the "Trauma" for Business | Bust and No Boom In Sight | What Won't Work: Re-Regulation | So What Might Work? | Beyond Free Markets and Regulation

Richard Wolff
Richard Wolff has been a professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts since 1981. Dr. Wolff's major interests include the critical comparison of alternative economic theories (neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian), the application of advanced class analysis to contemporary global capitalism, and new developments in Marxian economics. He is a member of the editorial board of several academic journals including Rethinking Marxism. He also publishes regular analyses of current economic events on the websites www.globalmacroscope.com and www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine. He has co-authored several books with Stephen Resnick, including The Economics of Colonialism: Britain and Kenya; Rethinking Marxism: Struggles in Marxist Theory; Knowledge and Class: A Marxian Critique of Political Economy and Economics: Marxian versus Neoclassical. He also co-authored Bringing it all Back Home: Class and Gender in the Modern Household with Harriet Fraad and Stephen Resnick.

Filmmaker Info
Written & Presented by Richard Wolff
Producer & Director: Sut Jhally
Editor: Jason Young
Motion Graphics: Andrew Killoy
Camera: David Rabinovitz
Additional Cameras: Nicole Belanger, Laura Crestohl & Sut Jhally
Color Correction: Andrew Killoy
Production Assistant: Elizabeth Trimble Durham
Research Assistant: Jason R. Borenstein
Additional Research: Loretta Alper & Scott Morris
DVD Authoring: Jason Young

Praise for the Film
"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 viewing 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
Update: More here --


And here's Wolff's journal (there are others involved, of course!): Rethinking Marxism.

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