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Global Capitalism: Economic Issues of the Upcoming US Elections [July 2019]

I want to welcome you these are talks we do every other month here in the church they are sponsored by the Judson Memorial Church that you are sitting in we are here by invitation of the minister who presides over this church and who has told us over the years that what we do here every other month is welcomed in the church because they believe it's part of the church's mission to do such things which if you've not been here before by the end of the evening you will find remarkable in the sense that there aren't that many churches yet that are doing this but that's changing here in the United States the second organization that sponsors these talks is the left forum some of you went to the left forum since our last meeting since it happened on the last weekend of June at Long Island University over in Brooklyn I hope that a good number of you made it there and attended some of the many panels we were very pleased given all the difficulties we've had with location we used to do it at the John Jay School of CUNY John Jay made that impossible not our decision their decision and so we had to find another place which is why it was later this year than it normally was we had rush around since John Jay not only made the decision but made it deep into the process of our already organizing it we had a back track anyway we're very grateful to Long Island University for welcoming us and making really a very good effort to accommodate us and so we were able to do it and the third organization is democracy at work that's the organization I work with some of you know one of our major projects is a production of a weekly radio and television show economic update I just want to remind you all it's available here in New York both on the radio WBAI and on multiple television stations you just have to find whenever in your local area is the station for free speech TV FS TV they have more than one here in the New York area so you can see the program or you can listen to it or if you're really excited you can do both one after the other but it's repetitive so you may not want to do that the radio show is broadcast on about 95 stations radio stations across the country and the television program through free speech TV and two or three other networks goes into a roughly 55 million American homes which given the content of the program makes it unusual in American history so you might want to take a look finally we are beginning to do other things and one of them is to produce books and the first one is this thing some of you know called understanding Marxism by by a glitch we don't have them here for you to buy we will at our next one here but if you're at all interested this is an attempt to answer the questions that are now overwhelming us at our radio at our TV and our youtube program and we do a lot of stuff and we get a lot of communications and more and more people want to know what the socialism is that they hear about and what this Marxism is so we've begun since there's an awful lot of I'll be polite misinformation out there about these things we thought let us put out some material accessible short you can see it's thin the print is large but if you're at all interested you don't know wait till next time you simply go to lu lu lu lu dot-com put down my name and you'll find out they'll ship it to you right away there's a new system of shipping by the way that you're if you're not familiar with it publishing is transformed technologically there is no inventory as the water comes in the cork hits a button and the book is produced on the spot because all of that's been setup technologic is remarkable how that's done now okay so this if you're at all interested go that way all right I'm gonna talk a little faster than I usually do for some of you from other parts of the world New York already is talking too fast so I apologize but we really do have an enormous amount of material that I want to cover this evening it's a kind of summary of the last couple of months in terms of just some of the major economic things that have happened everything is going quickly think of it almost as a film where they've speeded up the frames the cowboys are jumping up and down off the horse way too fast that and you realize all they're speeding up the film so I'm gonna try to go fast because things are happening extraordinary so very first very brief last Sunday was an election in Greece it's a country who's been development I have followed from the time back around 2010 and 11 when the full force of the economic collapse of 2008 and 9 global collapse of capitalism was very uneven when it happened and how hard it hit different parts of the world but in Europe to put that little corner little country Greece is not a big country was really the worst hit of anybody in Europe and in thee it's a long story and I spent time here talking about it in the extremity of the suffering imposed on Greece by the way imposed on Greece by non-greeks in other words even though Greece was an independent country it had borrowed a great deal of money from private French and German banks some of the banks but mostly French in German the French and Germans very eager to lend to them got tremendous profits off of it is they weren't doing it Greece any favors large banks rarely do that so it was very profitable but when the crash came the Greeks were unable to repay given the impact it had on Greece remember Greece is a relatively poor country it depends a great deal for example on tourism if the if the rest of Europe is in terrible shape as it was then one of the first things every little family that might have gone to Greece from Germany or Scandinavia doesn't do that and the Greeks were suddenly plunged into a problem the difficulty was that with the Greeks having borrowed huge amounts of money really extraordinary amounts of money and the good that banks eager to lend to them the inability of the Greeks to pay back put those banks already in trouble because of the crash of 2008 and 9 into a condition where they would collapse they had already been bailed out just like the New York banks were bailed out by this government European French and German banks had been bailed out by their politicians and if the Greeks defaulted they would require another bailout and the populations of Europe wouldn't have allowed it this was a real crunch the solution was found by a few technicians here's what was done the European you know there's now a European government that's separate from each of the country the European government would come in and here we go promise to save Greece from defaulting by giving Greece a huge amount of public money from Europe a bailout fund eventually three times they gave huge amounts of money to the Greeks saying they were saving Greece after all it's the cradle of Western civilization and if you believe any of that then you should see more Democratic Party debates okay anyway here's what was done the Europeans gave the Greeks a big bailout on one condition that they used it to pay back the debts they had to the French and German private banks so who was actually saved by this hustle were the banks in France and Germany which is why the French and Germans who dominate Europe arranged for this lovely game to be played so Greece got out of its debts to those private banks keeping them full of money and now became a basket case owing money to Europe as a whole very little of this helped the Greek people that would have been bad enough but the Greek people by and large saw what I just told you they did and suddenly in two thousand ten eleven twelve they changed their politics in a way that made the rest of the world's head spin and if you don't know this story you ought to they had had for some time a very small political left-wing party actually an alliance of little left-wing groups called syriza which actually means a collection of little groups or something like that and this party had gotten to three four percent of the boat suddenly overnight the mass of the Greek people understanding what was being done to them that they were being bailed out in order to bail out foreign banks and that nothing was going to be done to actually help them if you're not familiar I don't have the time Greeks salaries public in the public sector was very big in Greece public sectors bigger I believe in the private sector in Greece the public sector salaries dropped by half try to imagine what it would mean if the teachers and the social workers and the cops and the firemen all had their salaries cut in half you know a catastrophe from which the Greeks have not even begun to bail out visit Athens you will see very quickly how different it is from other European capitals is just poor very poor so the Greeks understood they were being abused and they voted for syriza and syriza took power won the election Greece had been governed by two parties who oscillated one was the Greek Socialist Party and one was the Greek conservative party every few years one of them had it in the other a few years the other one had it and nothing changed for American this should look familiar public in an atom economy bomb Lagoon and an endemic riot and each time you're supposed to hope that getting rid of the one and moving to the other one is going to make a big difference after three or four minutes I mean years you understand you understand that it doesn't or it won't the Greeks did ahead of us here they understood they voted for syriza the two political parties having thought they would rule forever as people in that situation do gave themselves a lovely rule in Greek politics here's how it works all the parties compete but whichever party gets the largest number of votes gets that many seats in the parliament plus 50 is very important in other words you get as many seats as the votes entitle you to plus 50 which means nobody can defeat you cereza to everyone's surprise won the election a former communist the Communist Party in Greece is an important political party and has been for head for half a century if not longer a former communist Alex tsipras the head of this syriza party and makes as his finance minister Yanis varoufakis whom you have heard about or if you haven't you will and who once joined me for one of these things that we do is I didn't do it in those days here I did it at another place but I he's a friend and I brought him and we did one of these evenings together and he has a new political party and did quite well Sunday even though the serezha was defeated of our focuses party is in the parliament now they got enough votes to get into the Parliament so he's going to be a bit of a player in that part of the world and then that the Germans led by the Germans who are the dominant force in Europe brought as they were doing this bailout of this game really squeezed Greece to such a point that the then had the dying Socialist Party which by the way and all of this has disappeared the Socialist Party committed political suicide and this is something you should pay attention to because the other socialist parties of Europe are in the process of doing the same thing led by the French and others why because they promised to be opponents of austerity and all of this horrible stuff but when they got elected they not only didn't oppose it they became the executives of it they executed the program the Greek syriza did the same thing it led varoufakis for those of you know it to quit his job as finance minister to leave the party to leave he couldn't go along with all of it why because it reached a point where the old government now led by tsipras having changed put it to a referendum of the greed of the Greek people remarkable step the Germans and the French were in ready didn't want people to comment they knew what would happen and a majority of the Greeks voted not to go along to quit to refuse it wasn't a binding referendum under Greek law so tsipras had a moment of decision is he gonna break from all of this or not he decided not to and the last several years he has been running an austerity program cooperating with the Europeans even though he was against it earlier and last Sunday the Greek people gave him hit their verdict you're out and the old conservatives came back in and Lord knows what they're gonna do in Greece now but here's the lesson for all of us this was in a way the last time that reform going along with hoping you can make a capitalism that isn't harsh that isn't so unequal that isn't so rapacious that isn't so focused on the 1% that it's still you you can work something out and the system just crushed him used him and when it was done boom he's gone no one will ever know what would have happened if he had decided with the majority of the Greek people not to do an austerity anymore to break no one will know but the lesson has to be drawn by everybody else in a comparable situation and one of those coming soon two of them one in Portugal and one in Italy and I'll come back to the one in Italy a little later Portugal is a new there's a similar situation the government in Portugal I'm sure all of you know this because the American newspapers explain this to you good that's good that was a good laugh the government of Portugal today is a coalition of three political parties ready the Portuguese Socialist Party the Portuguese Communist Party and the Portuguese Green Party I'm sure you were all aware of that it's been true for years they don't do austerity because those parties are against it Portugal by the way refusing to do austerity doing real well bill well think about it but it's a real tragedy in terms of a decision the Left made when it had the majority of a popular vote still not yet ready in its head to make the break not that there aren't risks with making the break there are but what they've proven is there are heavy risks if you don't has to be dealt with – okay next over the last few days a major event being swept under the rug with enormous energy which is a clue that it's a major event the largest bank in Germany is called fittingly the deutsche bank deutsche is the German word for German okay Deutsche Bank is an immense global bank has been for a long time if you go down to Wall Street here one of the biggest buildings and offices on Wall Street Deutsche Bank okay just to give you a rough idea of what happened there they just announced a restructuring that's corporate speak for we're in deep doo-doo but you don't say that you don't say anything like that we're restructuring okay the minute you hear that hold on to your wallet they're restructuring here's what it involves it's going to cost a lot of money eight point three billion dollars that's a lot of money but particularly a lot of money because at the close of trading value the Deutsche Bank by multiplying the number of stocks shares by the price per share the value of the bank was sixteen point six half of the value of the bank is going to be used for restructuring that is very deep doo-doo very deep they're firing eighteen thousand workers that's roughly one in four one in five of their employees is going to be fired over the next two or three years the minute you hear that let this be a lesson in high finance the minute you hear that you know it's way worse than what they're telling you why because if everybody who works at that Bank is asking himself or herself hmm one out of four or five are going mmm they're gonna me me is it gonna be my cousin Harry is gonna be my office mate and if they are fired my office mate what am I gonna have to do what they did before without being paid anymore oh maybe it's time for me to for another job rather than simply wait for the axe to fall which means you're telling your entire labor force to run away you're taking risks that are spectacular you're gonna lose all kinds of people pulling some that you were gonna fire and something that you weren't and the more you tell a few of them it's not gonna be you the more the people who didn't get that message know what that means this is one of the biggest banks in the world it couldn't save itself you know it's been working for the last years its stock price by the way just for those of you who are interested in stock price peaked at a hundred and forty five dollars a share in May of 2007 just before the excrement flew into the cooling equipment right so in May 2000 see how polite I am in May 2007 the share one hundred and forty five dollars a share last Friday stock closed eight dollars and three cents a share you notice something if you had invested your money in deutsche bank you couldn't afford to come here this evening think about it think about it when a huge Bank like that fails you know others are trembling why because if you know how big finance works the banks by and lend to each other overnight every day banks have to keep certain ratios of assets to outstanding liabilities it's the way that you protect against bank collapse and so if a bank at the end of the day when the computer keeps up all the income outflow if it's short it borrows overnight from another bank that's in excess for example yeah of course they were embarrassed when they announced the eighteen thousand which I believe was Monday of this week they someone leaked that that day they had brought in a special haberdashery unit I don't know if any of you caught this which fitted the top executives for 2,000 euro suits so on the same day you know it's always the same day that they were firing 18,000 people they were spending a fortune for another shoot for people who can't cram the suits they already have in the closets that their apartments have but let's not go there banks help each other if you're short you borrow overnight from the other bank so for example somebody who is surveyed deutsche bank is short so they'll call up Citibank or Wells Fargo Bank of America or any one of the monsters and they'll have a loan overnight 20 billion 40 billion under the matter overnight but now the question arises wait a minute wait a minute we give them overnight 60 billion dollars and tomorrow morning they declare bankruptcy what happened you may get the money you may not you may get part of it back but for sure you're gonna have litigation from here to tomorrow you're gonna wait for that money but but you have your own obligations yes that's why in 2008 in the last four months the government stepped in because that's what happened then nobody would lend to anybody else because nobody was sure that the bank they lent to wouldn't do what Lehman Brothers had just done which is say we're not paying anybody anything we're bankrupt so when nobody lends to anybody the system stops because it depends on this credit all the time if that had problem hadn't been solved nobody would have lent to anybody and the milk and the bread wouldn't have come into New York City anymore either because all that's handled through credits too that's why the government had this in if you remember those of you paid attention and announced that the United States government will cover every debt of every major bank absolutely so you can go ahead and lend because if the bank declares bankruptcy don't matter Uncle Sam will cover the debt understand these are people who celebrate private enterprise they make fun of the government as the place of inefficient fat cats who don't do anything and they were on their knees begging to be saved by the government which did it and on behalf of the bank's I want to thank all of you because you paid for it which is why you have the problems in the American economy you have today Deutsche Bank's effective near-collapse leaves only one question what's gonna happen next and that's the last part of this story in a private capitalist system we allow private capitalists to amass the kind of power and wealth that Deutsche Bank has so they become member too big to fail under that so you can't let them collapse because they take us all down with them but you don't require them to open up so that you can avoid the catastrophe if they fail so they can hide everything private enterprise they could wait until Monday to tell us that they're gonna fire 18,000 people how long are we gonna wait to find out how bad this is how long are we gonna wait for the other banks that are being yanked down by the failure of Deutsche to tell us we live in a capitalist system it's whenever they feel like telling us or when it doesn't matter anymore because the game is up and the game is over there's a reason why Americans have always been fascinated by stories of gangsters whether it's the Old West or the Mafia or this group or that group because everybody kind of knows that's not specially there that's how everybody's doing it it's only you allowed to think it about these particular groups in order to protect yourself from facing the fact it's everywhere and your family – anyway let's go on quickly because we're running out of time wages are going up this is a rare thing for me to say here in the United States but they're not going up for most workers they're going out for workers at the bottom you know the retail workers the fast-food workers those people's wages are actually rising for the first time in a long time faster than everybody else everybody else is basically going nowhere the little bit of rise you see is mostly at the bottom but it's complicated partly it's because the people at the bottom are becoming militant the fight for 15 some of you are aware of it you see even demonstrators at the fast-food joints in that they say the retail places so it's that here's another thing it's immigrants a disproportionate number of immigrants and they have a kind of double they wanted the American Dream they want to get paid but there are more militant in many cases than the American Native American that's changing the situation – and here's another one a growing number of college-educated people are unable to get any other kind of job so they're busy making the coffee at Starbucks and giving you your your your fast-food over the counter and they have we're led to believe that they because they're college students are going to have this and that in their lives and they're discovering that they're not and they're not happy about it so when the idea comes of a union and far they're there you put all that together and that's why you're having it but then if things got weird because as often happens in capitalism something that couldn't be stopped by the capitalists they're not able to stop it now Walmart has had to raise its wages target has had to Costco all of them I know pretty much all of them are having to do it for fear that they'll lose their workers to the other one who is doing it so but they've all discovered well we can't stop it now let's change our strategies it's happened before in American history so war month in the others are now becoming advocates of raising the wages to fifteen bucks an hour don't wait until 2010 or adding 2020 or 2022 do right away why because the smaller companies they're trying to destroy will be destroyed by that the littles the little hardware store downtown can't pay 15 bucks an hour but Walmart in the in the mall on the edge of town it can and they will make up in rising prices after they eggs out the little ones that still remain it's becoming a competitive tool the way that happened before in American history was when the efforts were made to demand that for example meat remember the Sinclair Lewis Upton Sinclair these famous books about the meat industry in the drug industry and if you read those books you know you couldn't eat for a month remember they described how the animals were killed and the filth and which is endemic at a certain point but all the businesses involved didn't want to have any regulation don't go we'll take care of it we will self-police mmm that's another one of those democratic debate equivalences you don't take that seriously and people didn't and they demanded that the government step in and then the bigger companies realized okay if we can't prevent regulation let's use the regulation and suddenly they became advocates of more stringent rules for milk production or meat production why because all the little producers couldn't afford those machines they couldn't afford those chemicals they couldn't afford the inspections and so they would fall by the wayside and the only one left would be the big ones who wants everything cleared we'll jack up the prices which they could afford cuz there were only a few of them and recoup whatever money they spent and so it ended becoming Swift and company made all the meat and you know Borden's and a few others did all the milk because all the little people were basically wrecked that's what's happening in high finance which also should be called low finance all right next quickly the country in Europe that is currently in the deepest debt and therefore the most likely to collapse is Italy it's very important you all understand this Italy the national debt of Italy is over two trillion dollars it is more than a hundred and thirty percent of its annual income it owes more than it earns each year it is under tremendous pressure from the rest of Europe to do something about this for fear the Italian government has borrowed unbelievable and like the Greeks unbeli bigger Italy's a much bigger economy than Greece it has borrowed much more money the French and German and American and British banks are up to here in lending to the Italian government as are the Italian banks same problems the fear how long can this go on and how trustworthy can everybody be with those banks that are so exposed to Italy suppose Italy can't or won't repay the debt what happens then well that that is enormous the only way the Italians can't pay or won't pay the debt is either if they don't cut government spending why would that solve the problem because if you raise taxes from your people as the Italian government does like every government but you don't spend it on social programs you can use it to pay back your debts to reduce your outstanding debt by repaying your creditors anybody else would right so all you have to do is convince the Italian people to give up on a lot of their social programs so that the taxes they pay instead of providing them with schools and hospitals are providing the rich banks of the rest of Europe with money they want this would be real popular in Italy they have a government now of the right but that's very shaky that government can't do that that would be committing suicide they're not going to do it in fact this right-wing government in Italy is promising great new expenditures in Italy for which it can't raise money unless it borrows more which they gonna be able to do that's that's somewhat new wrinkle very good I was gonna take a little more time getting there but okay okay what is that what are the Chinese no but before we get there what are the Chinese sorry one of the Italians gonna do well I could raise taxes then they could get the money to pay off their debts but that's about as popular as cutting social programs you all know that that's the same game we have here they can't do any of this they can't pay down the debt because there's nothing they can do and in order to do the things the right-wing government has said it would do it would have to borrow money but the bank's can't it's against the rules of Europe I mean they really can't well what are the Italians gonna do they don't know but now in comes a new player the People's Republic of China and they say to the Italians and that the Italians are not the only ones you're in the gym we have loads of money we will help you out of your jab but you have to be nice to us you have to sign up for the Delton road initiative if you know what the Chinese are trying to do in the rest of that your Asia in Europe and all of that and you have to sell us some of your reports the Chinese already own the the major port in Greece Piraeus is a Chinese company owns port and they want ports in they want to control the trade routes they're just doing what every other country like that has done before there's nothing new about it and the italians are now seriously thinking about it and that means the italians will not relate to the united states the way they did before these are things that nobody thought about before and they are unfolding and they are unfolding very fast so my advice to you is to keep a sense on it okay Scandinavia mr. Trump likes to crap all over that's a technical term crap all over Denmark poor the poor days a little country you know it's bothers nobody if you've ever been to Copenhagen it's very relaxed they have a lovely garden in the middle of their city where people go the Tivoli Gardens a very pleasant country there's no reason to crap on them but mr. Trump well what am I going to tell you you already know but things get said here in the United States about Scandinavia that are so wide of the mark about what's going on and what the differences are that a little it forces us sometimes just to stop and just give you a little bit of an idea of what the differences are between what they do in Scandinavia and what they do in the United States but before I do let me make real clear to you most of the economic activity in Scandinavia is run by private capitalist corporations you can call it whatever you want democratic socialism are in socialism bumble bumble you can call whatever you want but it that's fine just as long as you understand what's actually there the government plays a bigger role you're going to see that in a minute than in our society notion that it is a fundamentally different society that's just wrong and and baguettes very messy when you deliver that insult or woman this was capital no it isn't you know I understand you can define words any way you want but let's be clear so right you're with me the majority of business is done by private corporations owned by private shareholders they hire workers to whom they pay wages and salaries and all of that that you're familiar with because it isn't that different here so where do the differences lie well I'm gonna give you some of them here's the first one in the United States the richest 1% of Americans together own roughly 20 percent saw the income the richest 1% of income earners get 20% of the income okay that means the richest 1% that they're the richest 1% because they take a tremendous chunk of the income that means the other 99% have what's left but they get 20% okay in Denmark the richest 1% get 6% of the income you understand there's a difference they have a capitalist economic system with private capitalist enterprises but they do not allow the level of inequality that we had they did it's out of the question in other Scandinavian countries it's a bit higher the peak is in Sweden where it's 9% the richest 1% of Swedes have 9 percent of the income but we are in another league from these countries we allow our richest people to be way richer who relatively to the rest of the people than they do they don't allow that level there is no Jeffrey Bezos with a hundred and sixty billion dollars who divorces his wife which happened since we last met let's have a moment of silence her name is McKenzie and the the divorce is now final and she will get of the hundred and sixty billion I I want you to feel for a moment for her thirty nine billion Jeffrey is number one he's the richest person on the planet and after the divorce McKenzie will be number twenty-two okay this extraordinary right Geoffrey Bezos is using billions to prepare to go to the moon his view of the future of our planet is about as bad as anyone alarmist ecological person I've met he's leaving we however will stay yeah Norway Norway has the same per capita output GDP per capita as the United States in other words you take the total output of goods and services in Norway divided by the number of people you get the same number as if you take the total output of the United States which of course much larger but we have a larger population so the wealth per person we produce each year is the same in the two countries however Norway unlike the United States has a universal health care for everybody from birth till death child care universal paid for by the government child care elder care tuition free universities 12 months of legally required paid parental leave you get that you have a baby married or not you have a baby the parents ready both of them get 12 months off at full pay with the guarantee of the job being there at the end of the year why because believe it or not they believe in ready Family Values whereas by contrast we don't we talk about family values we just don't do it alright last one before we jump a maximum income type of thing not that I'm aware of but I'm not a hundred percent sure they have very high rates of tax a graduated tax structure so when you cross certain things at high levels you're storing it oh by the way remember some of you been here before I've explained that to you we used to do that in this country the top bracket in the United States say in 1944 was 96 percent every dollar you earned over ten thousand a year then which would be about four hundred thousand a year now but every dollar over ten thousand in 1944 that you earned uncle sam took 96 cents you kept four cents that was the law passed by the Republican and Democrats in the House of Representatives and the Senate and signed by mr. Roosevelt yeah always true that is correct your libertarian friend is correct these are the what's called statutory rates if you have loopholes if you have exemptions if you hide stuff you can make the de facto rate much lower yeah but that's called a logical non sequitur I mean yes people have violated the law that's the argument well then I have a law what you know but you know libertarians have to stretch to hold on to their beliefs anyway yes yeah there's a point on the United States a big country these are small countries there is a point those are different things than they should be taken to account I don't make the comparisons I'm responding to the fact that our leader thinks it's important to make these comparisons he's the one who craps all over Denmark and wants to make fun of those societies it's a part of why I use per capita so we're not you know we're adjusting for the fact that they're different but yes there are different societies but I don't think that invalidates the differences that they do and the proof in the pudding is the things that are done in it Scandinavia we did some of them in fact many of them at various points in American history so the idea we can't do it is bizarre in 1944 a proposed Steve's question here in 1944 Roosevelt proposed a maximum income the way he did it was in the State of the Union message 1944 some of you know about Roosevelt's the Declaration of economic Bill of Rights and all of that Bernie recoups of some of that in his campaign but his proposal in 9th President Roosevelt's proposal was every dollar over remember the 10,000 that's what was really rich people in those days everyone got over 10,000 the tax rate would be 100 percent that's the proposal that the president of the United States sent to Congress that's called a maximum income because if you have to give every dollar or a hundred cents after that means you can't earn more than that they just come in and take it from you that's a way to avoid inequality of income having less inequality than we do is easy there's nothing complicated nothing difficult nothing that's a purely political issue if the support is there I can assure you in in three days I will assemble economists like myself and we'll do the work and get it done we'll have some accountants and some lawyers that we'll get to get this is trivial countries have done it including us we know how mr. Roosevelt had it worked out how he would do it we will do some very it's purely a political cause there is the support there to do it we're done is the institutional arrangement there to sustain it we're done don't let anybody tell you complicated oh yeah anyway one more quick before we turn to the major topic the BMW Corporation I want to talk to you a little bit about Bavarian motor works be and of a by Alicia motor America in Germany okay then around a long time very famous company makes top-of-the-line cars they here sold here in the United States you know okay the two biggest shareholders are Suzanne I want to introduce you Suzanne cotton 57 who is distinguished as ready one two three the richest woman in Germany that's that's quite a distinction okay she's worth an estimated according to Forbes magazine nineteen point eight billion dollars which makes her poorer than McKenzie diesels and she owns nineteen point two percent of the shares of BMW she has a brother Suzanne does Stefan quant qu a nd T and that's the name you want to keep in your mind Stefan quant 53 he owns twenty three point seven percent of BMW and his worth an estimated sixteen point seven billion they were asked by the way the story from which this is taken is from Fox Business just so you know that my sources are very carefully chosen they were interviewed by Fox and here's a quote from them I'm going to read it to you for both of us this is Suzanne speaking no I'm sorry it's it's not Suzanne it's her brother Stefan for both of us it's certainly not the money that drives us but here comes the best part above all it is the responsibility of securing jobs in Germany in other words German capitalists like their American counterparts think of themselves as job creators only they add job preservers if you have that much money you're crazy that's what they say you lose your connection with life or at least life as everybody else lives it and you live in a place with were crapola like this is what you say publicly to reporters who then report it but that's not the only reason I want you to hear this story I want you to learn a little bit about the history of the quant family which is where Suzanne and Stefan come from they are descendants of the Quandt family dynasty which was a big conglomerate in Germany before it purchased a huge block of BMW shares in 1960 in 2007 a television documentary aired in Germany that was a study of the quant family across the 20th century it in this film the following I'm gonna read you from it the quants were linked in separately inseparably with the crimes of the Nazis yo him oh boy Schulte sec the bond historian who combined compiled and researched the study concludes at the end of his report published in 2011 the family patriarch günther Quandt was part of the nazi regime he and his son Herbert who headed the dynasty during the Hitler period willingly collaborated with the Nazi regime by employing an estimated 50,000 forced laborers in its factories an average of 80 slave laborers per month died at quantis and many who rebelled were executed recalled takus Milo Poulos a Greek who was a former laborer at a quant Factory in Hanover at the city in the north of Germany during the Second World War we were treated very badly we were whipped and we had to drink water out of the lavatories the family quant has admitted to all of it that's very interesting for those of you don't know how they have the Germans have dealt with that part of their history an execution area for disobedient slave workers was set up at least at least one of the quant plan the Quandt family commissioned a study of their own history after the movie a called The Silence of the Quan family was aired on German television the family admitted in a statement at the time quote we recognize that our in in our history as a family of German industrialists the years 1933 to 1945 have not been sufficiently accounted for which must qualify as the understatement of at least two centuries günther Quandt the the leader of the family was arrested and interned at the end of the war in 1946 but the judges concluded that he was a mere Nazi fellow traveller he was released in 1948 so he was in jail for two years after the ironies here I really might after he get out of jail he joined the board of the Deutsche Bank was honored by Frankfurt University in 1951 and while on holiday in Egypt he died in 1954 his descendants are the richest people in Germany today and the major controllers of the BMW automobile the next time you hear of the glorious way in which huge capitalist enterprises went from a little enterprise to a big one by dint of hard work and perseverance you should throw up all right let's turn in the time we have and I'm gonna go real fast to issues of surrounding the election this is not in order of importance but it is in order of things that have gotten a lot of attention the Trump administration is currently considering and probably will announce soon proposal to reduce capital gains tax rates here in the United States let me explain to you what that means and what that is you know you could in capitalism you can earn income basically in two ways you can either work and get paid for your effort your labor we call those wages and salaries or you can get income without working if you own property because you are allowed that's what private property means you're allowed to withhold the property from the community of which you are a part in other words suppose you live in a small community and you own the land but the other people in the community have a desire to eat in order to eat they have to raise something on the land you know corn or a chicken or whatever it is they eat so they come to you because you own the land and they say let us use the land so we can all eat but you're a private property owner and you can say to them screw Leo if mine you know like a two-year-old in a sandbox with a truck it's mine you know learning to hold on to things private property allows but of course this is a shrewd person who said wait a minute don't get angry I'm not gonna let you starve you can use my land fine I'm not gonna give it to you but you can use it to raise the food without which you're gonna starve to death all you gotta do is pay me you know we call that a rent you gotta give me well that means that the land owner can earn income without working just because he owns property so there's two ways to earn income by labor you know brains muscle effort and ownership the capitalist system does not care how you came by that piece you found it you stole it you inherited it right all the different ways you save the up there's a few people who actually do that and then often our people who don't but say they did but we allow so now the question comes when the government is going to tax us to raise money you know for roads and fools and hospitals and all the things and guns and all the things they want the question is what are they gonna tax are they gonna tax income that you earn by labour or are they gonna turn tax income that you earn by property which one they can also tax the property itself not the income from the property but the property those of you who live in New York in fact those of you who live in the United States know that all our communities rely major way on a property tax they figure out the value of your house your car and stuff like that and they hit you with a percentage of the value of the property not the income if you have a house you pay a property tax if you rent out the house you also pay an income tax on the rental income got you with me okay in the United States you might have thought if you were very naive that they would tax the income from property at a higher rate than the income from labor because after all labour takes a lot of time and calories and effort and brainpower and muscles and you would want not to penalize people who do that and you would tax property higher or you might have imagined you would tax them equally we don't do that in the United States we tax income from Labor Ready hire and income from property lower that's because very few people have much property and they're rich and you get that so they didn't want to pay taxes it's gonna come as a big shock they didn't want to and because they're rich prearranged love to for example the property tax I just spoke to you we apply a property tax in America to land automobiles business small business inventories but here's a property we don't subject to property tax stocks and bonds let me do that again we tax houses and cars why because you all have that and we don't tax stocks and bonds because you don't have any of that to rich people have that if you sell you if you have a house you pay property tax let's say it's a hundred thousand dollar house if you sell it and you take a hundred thousand dollars of stock you don't pay who's rich enough to own stocks and bonds the United States top 10 percent of shareholders own 84 percent of the shares they've arranged not to pay any property tax no I mean that may be some but it's still that tiny percentage that owns the vast bulk most of you to be honest most of you either own no shares or a trivial amount your grandmother left you 11 shares of something that you think is still selling ice cream in the Bronx but that's it I'm being mean but nothing against the bomb but here's the thing what the government mr. Trump is doing first let me tell you what is the capital gains tax now I don't have a lot of time so I'm gonna do it for two people filing jointly you know we have a single person paying a tax at a couple paying attack the rates are a little bit different but not very so the first if your income is between zero and seventy eight thousand dollars all right you ready the capital gains tax you pay is zero so you don't pay any if you hold it longer than a year you have to hold the shares longer than a year if you hold them less than a year you pay the same rate you do as labor income if you earn between 78 and four hundred eighty eight thousand dollars you pay fifteen percent that's the one you want to think about fifteen percent if you earn that kind of money doing work you pay much higher rates twenty thirty up to thirty seven percent so if you earn $200,000 if you're doing real well you pay on that 37% income tax but if you earn two hundred thousand dollars by buying shares at one price and selling it at a higher you pay only fifteen percent it is a wonderful subsidy for the rich since most Americans can't buy and sell stock because they don't have any or the amount that they have make this trivial this is a mr. Trump and the GOP at a time of inequality greater than we've had in a hundred years is proposing to lower the capital gains rate it should take your breath away next time you read in the newspaper about the latest caca tweet when in the man is upset because the British ambassador called him names said he was stupid and inept and all that other stuff remember all of that is theater is to distract you from what I'm telling you they are going and the Democrats will probably go along with it okay that's one thing next item I'm gonna have to jump because of time the United States China trade war and tariffs this is this is a nightmare of craziness let's review to make sure you're all clear on it mr. Trump began a year or more ago to impose tariffs on goods from China he had already done that with goods from Mexico and Canada Europe and so forth but he really focused in on China he got pushed back on those other countries because of all the effects some of which I'm gonna mention to you now but it he figured out after a while that beating up on the Chinese sold here and then I was politically attractive he could position himself as he did as the man who is not gonna love the United States get picked around anymore that's outrageous what they did to us this is United States as victim and the little victim that other people outwitted or or mr. Obama with an idiot or mr. Bush was an idiot in fact everybody before him was an idiot and he's gonna fix it all this is none too subtle a way of speaking to millions of Americans who do feel shafted who do feel left out who do feel taken advantage of and he's gonna fix it that was his running that's what he won by so it's not so surprising that he would do it and he found a whipping boy in the Chinese so he whacked them with tariffs as you all know 10% 25% big tariffs he obviously didn't understand what he was doing I mean that literally why he repeatedly said something for which we would flunk an undergraduate in an economics course for a level of mistake so egregious that it raised the question whether the student ever picked up the book he kept saying the Chinese are gonna have to play the Chinese don't pay a tariff a tariff is just a night a name for a tax if you tax a good coming into the country you don't call it a tax you call it a tariff that's just history but there's nothing special about a tariff it's attacks so when mr. Trump imposes a tariff he's imposing massive taxes which Republicans are not supposed to do so it's very important to call it a tariff in the hopes of Americans don't understand in the facts but then he goes further he keeps saying the Chinese have to pay them they don't the tariff is a tax put on the importer whoever the company is that brings from China the clothing appliances machinery whatever it is the tax is levied on the importer who's an American business Americans pay the tax you idiot now it's possible for the American company to try to pass on the extra tax they have to pay for everything they bring by jacking up the price in which case you'll pay you're the one who pays Walmart gets a huge proportion of everything that's sold in that store from China if they have to pay tariffs taxes on that they're gonna either have to absorb that as a loss of their profits or raise the prices in Walmart for the towels you buy and the coat hanger you get or anything else do you understand tariffs are attacks on Americans why would he do that because he looks like he's saving us he's screwing us right to the wall this is a stunning achievement to get masses of people who will gain nothing and probably lose a good bit by the higher prices they have to pay as this filters through instead he can posture as their Savior as their champion it's worth what the Republicans did for the last 40 years allow corporations to decimate the American working class make it impossible for women who had stayed at home to stay at home they will have to go out and work otherwise the family could not survive economically destroying the family as the unit that it once was because it was held together by the emotional work mostly of the women who can't sustain that when they have to work full-time out of the house and are torn apart as a result that same party that facilitated all of that celebrates the family Wow it goes to the people whose families it has destroyed and says you know you're free we fallen apart vote for us because we really love families Wow the only thing more impressive than that Republican feat was the inability of the Democratic Party to figure it out said said so what is it all about it's fakery it's very hard for you I know because you don't want to face it and you don't want to face it for a good reason if it's all theater if it's all fakery well then where are we so what is true what isn't it's the whole the reality appearance gets blurred in a way that makes you very unsure of where you are but it is all theater which is why you will see the abrupt reversals there's nothing real going on yet so of course the last meeting between the Chinese leader and mr. Brimmer everything Carr cleared up yesterday the company that was a danger to America's national security Huawei a high-tech company mm-hmm we stopped being a danger no we're now going to trade with it what how'd you do that three weeks of of national security dilemma gone but you know it's funny but it's also tragic what's going on here because we're all being we I mean you and me we're being played with here and played but it has long-term consequences and those are the ones I want make sure you understand just give me a little bit cuz I'm gonna run out of time the Huawei company is a perfect example it's not the only one but I'm gonna concentrate on it because that's the one you're gonna read about you have been reading about you're with me the Huawei company good okay so the Huawei company is very high-tech in fact in 5g technology for those of you know what's coming they're actually one of the leading companies in the world way ahead of a number of American and Europeans that haven't done that yet okay what what mr. Trump did was he sent a message to the world if you to everybody every company in France and Italy and Japan in Australia in China in India you do business with an American company you better think about it again because here in the United States our political system is so weirded out that a president like me a president can intervene can screw you out of being able to deal with a company whose inputs you've relied on you've bought equipment from them you bought it in a moment you can be cut off the president can simply do his little TV tweet theater and you're screwed you come is in danger your your survival as an entity you know what every company in the country has been doing the last six months figuring out how to rely on deals with America less than they ever did before because that's the only rational response no other country did this no of the British part of why there's anger is the British decided not to exclude Huawei even after all the pressure from the United States a few countries went along with the United States not because they had a problem with Huawei but they had some business with the United States and so Australia for example caved in and went along with it can imagine how they feel those politicians went along with Trump to get a good deal they now look to their own people as morons well Harman national security whoops national security just disappeared they they're hung out to dry you were a fool it's not good for the Prime Minister of Australia since he's a right winger I could care less but it's not good for him he went along he sold his people on what mr. Trump just dropped em is it's classic the long-term damage to the United States is immense from all of this the short term gain mr. Trump's re-election you live in a country that permits that the Republicans permit it with enthusiasm the Democrats permit it with a lame opposition that never gets anywhere excluding the few elon Omar Ocasio Cortes I get it things are changing and that's very important but the basic traditional parties have shown the world they cannot stop him they will not of course they could but they will not they will not today's New York Times financial section if you get a hold of it has a wonderful story the business section the you know Times the excitement among new yours New York's big banks they have now squashed enough of the little bit of reforms that were passed dodd-frank and so forth after the 2008 that they're now on a buying spree these were the banks that were too big to fail and are now bigger than they were and about to get much bigger and how can they afford to buy it all because of the tax cut Trump gave him in December of 2017 which gave them the tens of billions of dollars they will use to buy up you're living in that that's what it is he took care of the military he took care of the financiers he doesn't have to bother with the rest of us because the military will mean he stays there and the financiers will mean he has the money to win the reelection and we'll get some more of it that's what you're watching a reelection hustle presented as a grand struggle between China and America this is a crappy movie except it has real consequences very real consequences and they're mostly terrible which most American companies know but they are not doing anything the company's most screwed by the Huawei interdiction lobbied ceaselessly in the last three months and they are celebrating this week they got that undone because it was not good for their profits and they will now not have to support a Democrat to undo it they will support mr. Trump for having revaluated the national security implications of all of this don't be fooled if you don't let Huawei do it it's gonna be another company that does it the Chinese themselves have already shown themselves more than capable of developing the technologies they need you close off the United States you're just gonna speed up the technological advance they already showed us they can do there's only racism that thinks that other people can't do it we only ones who can do it that that's childish that's been disproved so many times it's amazing that it still lives one last one last thing one of the arguments still made by leading Republican and Democratic senators both by the way not just the Republicans that Huawei is to be limited the Democrats run a law that's one of the reasons Trump pushed it there would be no Democratic push back because beating up on China is so exciting and so wonderful that the Democrats go along with it too so the argument was made huawei you shouldn't do business with Huawei because they're very close interesting term very close to the military in China and to the government yes they're a private company by the way they are but they're very close really close you want to tell me what that means I here's a guess it's like the relationship between IBM and the Pentagon or Apple and the Pentagon or every American corporation of any size and the Pentagon you really want to go around the world telling people you can't trust the company that's close to the government that's the worst possible thing for American companies you moron you're giving ammunition to people who are gonna figure out you're the proper target for that suspicion every shyster politician in the world that's a large number is gonna use that one in his or her own car we shouldn't have Americans running our telephones here in Paraguay because you know Verizon is very close to the American government which it surely is most big companies are it's a strange argument to have used what demented short-term objection reelection a Theatre of reelection next student debt relief big issue mr. Sanders together with the usual crew we now call them f a dozen progressive I believe is the term now being used members of Congress I don't believe any other senator but several of the Congress women they're all women I believe in them Congress I are now proposing a blanket universal debt relief folks this is really interesting there that tells you something about where the United States is the total amount of student debt in the in the United States now is in excess larger than one and a half trillion dollars that is huge the student debt is larger in total than the total amount of credit card debt outstanding okay so you're talking a massive amount of money so the idea is that if you support Bernie Sanders for president and if he makes it one of his first acts is committed will be to cancel student debt what no not at all but most of it is on to the job cancel it it's gonna cancel now welcome to this is really interesting it's interesting first because it's it's got a boldness that you don't associate with Republicans and Democrats boldness is something only the very oldest of them vaguely remember they don't do bold they're afraid of bold they they like old but not bold so this is remarkable number one number two it's pretty radical I mean wow you have a debt you know a lot of students are carrying debt in the hundreds of thousands of dollars can you imagine what happens to the life of a 28 year old graduate who's staggering under what he or she has the face suddenly being told there's a candidate who if you vote for him is gonna tell you one fine morning you don't have that day Wow there's loads of evidence that indicates students suffering with student debt are not getting married in the ways they used to not having children in the way they used to not buying a home in the way they used to they can't afford any of those things basically so they're postponing or they're just not doing so the social implications of all this are enormous what can we say about it what's going on is it an attempt to get votes Shirley of course they're caught up in an election race that's what you do in an election race but it's still remarkable that they dare to do that why is it remarkable because in every society for at least 5,000 years when deaths have accumulated which we're not the only country which debts accumulate we accumulate more debts than most societies that's true but accumulating debt beyond what you can do that's not new and that has led societies in the past to blow up in war military war political war between the debtors and the creditors right that's why creditors when they have them up strength put the debtor in jail they're even societies where they kill them but they discovered that after you kill them the chances of ever getting repaid go down no no no and so you don't kill them because you still got some hope and then you discovered the same thing applies to jail they're not gonna do real well in jail and then that so Bailey did not put him in jail figure out some way to garnish their salary get a piece of their future that they can't avoid you know and all of that but this is a problem and society's in the past have sometimes come to this kind of a solution cancel the debt just cancel it in in some religious traditions in fact in many of them this has been brought into the religion and made something that the religion endorses organizes in the Christian that and maybe others to the Jubilee idea which you can find in the Bible is what happened in ancient times the times when the Bible was written or about which it was written they canceled debts periodically some societies did it regularly every 50 years every 30 years all debts would be canceled sometimes they did even more dramatic things think about these because if a country can get to the point of cancelling debts it's gonna discover some of these others here's another one every 30 years the land was shuffled the argument went like this Joe over here got a really nice piece of land it's fertile that rains on it appropriately the Sun shines but Harry and Mary over there they got a crappy piece of land it didn't rained there was too much Sun there was snakes on it was awful and that was that we didn't know and you know who knows snakes so every 30 years no no seriously we shuffle the land is taken away from those who did well and it's a lottery or you know you pick straws and the land is redistributed so everybody kind of gets a chance and isn't stuck forever or his defendants aren't stuck forever with a crappy piece of land full of snakes in other words and this is what was said to keep the community going so that we're not at each other's throat we need to cope with the debts that arise with the accidental uncertainties of nature of rainfall we have we need to preserve our community and we have to take stuff that people understood that and they did it you live in a society that doesn't get it yet but that's the importance of this idea of helping the students because it's the beginning of the recognition that it's out of control that what we have just done is so stupid that we are shooting ourselves in the foot every professor of economics left-wing a right winger or in the middle tells his or her students the future of the American economy in the world like of any other economy in the world depends above all on the quantity and the quality of young people becoming workers how many have you got how disciplined are they how well-trained are well educated and you live in the United States which part of that and what are you doing you're making it impossible for people to go to school the price is too high the incomes of the families are too low and the debts are now out of control that's crazy Germany Finland France Italy you know what I call it cost to go to college there nothing my family is French you pay a fee about $400 that's it then you go to the university Germany takes the lead all the universities in Germany are free not just for Germans for anybody anyone in this room wants a college education don't want to pay for it go to Germany you're done you have it you have to pay for your your upkeep you know your your clothing your food and all that but you don't pay why because the Germans think this is a road to success and Germany just for the record is the most successful economy in Europe has done way better in the last ten years than the United States by every measure that counts so it's remarkable but of course there are problems big ones why just students what about all the people who have borrowed why do people in America borrow for a car why do people in America borrow for a home why do people in America borrow for a plastic bottle of water at the bodega with their credit card that's a debt that's because Americans don't have enough money but the prices are here and the income you earn is there and so the difference is made up by debt the reason you accumulate debt is that the prices are too high and the incomes are too low and that's what an economic system does it determines the prices and the incomes and if the prices are too high and the incomes are too low it's the economic system that's your problem not what school you went to not this detail not that don't get lost in the details the system forces you to borrow because you don't have enough money to pay the prices you know how you could get rid of the debt up the incomes and drop the prices this is not rocket science and what would happen if you drop the prices the prices let's see the profits would go down and mr. Beezus get ready get your handkerchief would not have a hundred and sixty billion he'd only have two hundred million poor man Oh what's suffering and all that money which comes out of all the times you used Amazon mr. Bies OSes company because who did we make the richest man on this planet a man who delivers packages that's what he did and he did it get ready this is exciting quickly he did it fast isn't that wonderful that's what we you you reward with unspeakable wealth because he delivered packages quickly and Mackenzie is the number 22 richest person because she married the delivery man right guy to marry she picked him out from all the other delivery men who were interested in her Wow think about it there is no mystery here a system that didn't want to put its people in debt would either raise the income or lower the price or some combination that's how this would be done there's nothing would that make adjustments have to be made yes relationships would be reconfigured just as they are for other reasons student debt relief is going to mean if we go that route that people with mortgages that are killing them are gonna demand relief as well they should and people with car loans in a society that does not produce mass cheap well organized public transportation the way many other countries do requires everybody to have the car they can't afford just like a crappy economy makes young people need a be a less useful than it ever was to get a job which they can't afford and so they have to go into debt so they can get that crappy job which will never allow them to pay the debt back this is talk to young people if you're not one yourself don't tell you this is impossible this is a society that is building up to a big fat explosion last thing for now stop the Federal Reserve that was a hot one today the Federal Reserve what is the Federal Reserve again for all of you it's the monetary authority of the United States controlling by the monetary throw it means very simple how much money is circulating how much money is in your pocket it is important right because how much money you have determines among other things what you can buy and how much of it you can buy so the controlling how much money there is and controlling the terms upon which money is loaned from one person to another it gives you a lot of control over the economy it used to be that money was something that the monarch the king or the emperor controlled because it's a very powerful way to shape a society the thing is the politicians used the money power to keep themselves in office and to get reelected in exactly the way I just described Trump and the GOP manipulating the stuff with China to get reelected so in many societies it was felt too dangerous to allow the government to control the money and the way this was handled was not to give the money power to the people oh no or to some Democratic institution although even worse no a separate independent whatever the word means a branch of government not the king not the president in our country not the car separate would be established countries it's called the bank of the country the Bank of England the Bank of France the bank and so forth we had once a Bank of the United States but it we are such a corrupt country that it got lost in the corruption too so we got rid of it and then in 1913 when was clear we needed it we brought it back and we called it instead of the Bank of the United States we call it the Federal Reserve okay Americans are very excited if you're a bus driver you feel bad if you get renamed a transportation engineer you feel much better okay so it's the Federal Reserve every other country it's the bank of we have the Federal Reserve okay what does the Federal Reserve do it's supposed to be an independent it's supposed to do what's good for the economy not to be controlled by whether the powers are okay back in 2016 check with Reuters I've done the work back in 2016 when Trump was running he attacked the head of the Federal Reserve at that time a woman named Janet Yellen you may remember her an Obama appointee if I remember correctly and Janet Yellen was attacked by him because he said she had low interest rates so that the Democrats would hold power they would they would win the election and she mustn't do that okay he attacked her for doing what he's doing and very few American newspapers did even the little bit of research to get that one of my students I didn't do it either one of my students brought me the real writers article where it's all laid out mr. Trump repeatedly attacked her okay so what is he doing here's the problem in a nutshell and this is the basic issue everywhere capitalism has come as a system to become the dominant economic system it has had what we call business cycles they happen every four to seven years ok sometimes they are short and shallow they don't go very deep other times they are deep and lasts a long time the worst one the 1930s from 1929 to 1941 long time the second worst one in capitalism's history the one we're still in now the one of 2008 that's why the 30s was called the Great Depression and this one is called the Great Recession again playing with the words the same kind of problem capitalism is is very upset that it has this we imagine if you every four to seven years collapsed well in capital millions of people lose their job tens of thousands of businesses go out of business governments have no money to provide basic sir it's a disaster you'd be very worried to what is gonna happen to your your spouse your your friends your family your children you collapse every 4070 capitalism has tried everything to stop that every effort has been made very very smart people they even develop a whole new kind of economics called Keynesian economics named after mr. Cain's because he tried to learn from the Great Depression what you had to do to not have another one of those we even imagined because we were so desperate that we learned the lessons from the Great Depression so we would never have one again you can see what brilliant lessons were learned because we're in one right now and it's the second worst one so capitalism has been unable to correct this monstrous failure that's calling it a flaw sounds like it's a little bit of the left part of your pants that has a wrinkle but there's not a flaw this is a major failure can't do it and they come every four to seven years and the last one we had was in 2009 four and feminine and knowing Oh we're due for one you get it we're already overdue for one so but this series everybody knows and I mean everybody everyone on Wall Street every financial adviser that I talked to I was on television today with a guy named Peter Schiff some of you know he's only and we were supposed to be at each other a disagreeing but we ended up agreeing that the economic system the United States is in such deep doo-doo that we really we expect the worst so what why because he understood every buddy else we're overdue now here's the problem mr. Trump in order to get reelected has been running around telling everybody we have gone on great economy if you'll have a great economy you don't lower interest rates because you don't need to since it's a great economy but of course it isn't a great economy it's an economy on the edge of breakdown and for mr. Trump the great this disaster possible is that that recession will hit before November of 2020 in which case he can kiss his reelection go by he's done he knows it everybody around him knows it everybody the people that I have went to school with Janet Yellen was my classmate at Yale I know these people personally everybody knows it's like that Leonard Cohen song everybody knows so mr. mr. Trump has been told you've got to postpone that and how do you keep the economy on the edge of disaster a little longer you cut the interest rates you make it cheaper for people to buy the car they can't afford to buy the home they can't afford to use the credit card a little more than they can afford because it'll stall it off even does everybody understand the longer you stall it off the worse it is it's like stalling off that visit to the doctor the longer you do that the risk the higher the risk you've got to get a bad diagnosis something you could have dealt with if you had come earlier same thing here for reelection we are being told he's got to have to cut the rates when he told that to mr. Powell my last thing mr. Powell is now mrs. yellen's replace me he's the head of the Federal Reserve he said I can't do that you'll run around the country telling everybody it's a strong economy I can't cut interest rates that's crazy we have to raise them because we have too much money out there we've been having them too low for too long well mr. Trump yelled at him as you know but mr. Trump isn't stupid he has good advices and he had to provide a reason for mr. Powell to lower the interest rates and the reason was global economic instability translated translated trouble with China trouble with Europe trouble with Mexico and so mr. Trump solved the problem he made trouble with very badly and the world economy is in and now mr. Powell has a ration now for cutting the interest rates to help mr. Trump get reelected and in the process doing exactly what mr. Trump attacked Janet Yellin for doing before you live in a society where the economic system is in such difficulty that this crappy theater is what's left of politics you ought to think that's the biggest problem if the the question put to Louis I believe it was the 16th just before the French Revolution why are you doing these crazy things building Versailles he says because I Karen and they said but you know it's gonna bring the whole system down and then he uttered those famous lines in French apres moi le déluge after me it all falls apart the real message of this election for mr. Trump is exactly the same thank you very much for coming [Applause]


  1. Jata Johnson
    Jata Johnson July 12, 2019

    **To The Audience** Please stop chiming in with the damn questions during his talk. This is being videoed and not only does it interrupt the flow of his speech, but no one can hear you anyway. This isn't a Q&A session… Listen to his delivery and keep quiet! It isn't hard.

  2. Else F
    Else F July 12, 2019

    Incredibly powerful insight. Everyone in any society should hear this talk by professor Wolff.

  3. ͛
    ͛ July 12, 2019

    TRUMP 2020!
    Upvote if you agree! 🙂

  4. TheCarin12
    TheCarin12 July 12, 2019

    Weaponizing the supply chain is going to be very bad for American companies.

  5. Ricardo Pires
    Ricardo Pires July 12, 2019

    Ahahaha … I cant stop laughing about this guy.

    I am portuguese aoblet me fill in the right information:

    The goverment in Portugal right now is all very left wing. They are keeping up the deals they have made with the EU contrary to what Mr. Wolf tenda do believe. Do you know how they do it ? …. well right now Portugal has the highest tax weigh in its GDP ever. The socialists have created taxes everywhere or raised the ones that exist. So in fact the Leftist goverment is charging more taxes then we had when we were under Troyka/IMF. All that extra money is being used by the goverment to "buy up" their regular support groups : public employees, distribute money for leftist lobbies etc ……meanwhile our Public Ealth System has never been worse with litle investment because the left wing Finance Minister provides a budget but in reality only releases part of the budget to be used. So this way he can aproove budgets that gain the support of the left wing supporters, but since he does not allow anybody to spend it he can comply with the budget/austwrity demanda the EU tells him to do.

    As you can see Mr. Wolf is telling a pink side of the reality

  6. Lavender Luna
    Lavender Luna July 12, 2019

    I had great hope that DiEM25 (the movement Yannis Varoufakis co-founded) would make it into the EU parliament. This did not happen, because Europe is generally moving towards the right. At least in Greece they made it into the parliament.
    Here in germany it is a desaster. People just don't get it that the right has neither solutions for climate change nor the social and economic problems.
    You will see that we will bail out Deutsche Bank over and over again and never will any of the CEOs go to prison for what they did. As long as people believe in trickle down economy nothing will change.

  7. Ricardo Pires
    Ricardo Pires July 12, 2019

    Wow ….so , others are to blame for the amount of debt you subscribed .

    What an interesting concept

  8. Andrew Wainwright
    Andrew Wainwright July 12, 2019

    I wonder whats Richard's view on Bitcoin is?

  9. Peter Ciurea
    Peter Ciurea July 12, 2019

    This lying sack of shit is a professor?…give me a break. His take on greece and china is a complete fantasy. Why did greece fail? central planning….you got your socialist utopia—-called EU – now collapsing…..poo5r little china buying ports like crazy to lock up markets cause we finally figured out we actually only rely on the outside world for about 15 % of our goods., and already took care of over half of that by renegotiating mexico and canada. Guess why wee're not attacking Iran, even after the provocation: cause no one is paying us…..and we no longer care to provide police services for free……Watch us slowly start leaving the strait of hormuz—-how will china japan and EU get their oil home? how's their navy? But this communist schill is doing his best to kiss chinese ass….always hoping for that marxists utopia—-never enough millions dead, never enough wester civ destruction – But hey, he makes his money here….and guess what….he has places he rents too….you know…that "capitalist" method on "not paying taxes"? The student debt? Gee, how to prevent rebellion from the idiotic marxists degree holders we suckered and now can't find work. "cancel"? Cancel means WE pay it off ……taxes, no politician can "cancel" the debt, it does not go away, they use our taxes and pay it off.

    EMPIRE STRIKES BACK July 12, 2019

    Absolutely a Great speech. So educational and intellectual. I wished Dr. Wolff was the President of the U.S instead of the disgusting Orange Orangutan Donald Duck Dumb Trump the biggest FASCIST SHARLATON of human APE history.

  11. Bado Maji
    Bado Maji July 12, 2019

    Thank you. Nothing in the newspaper, nothing on the network news, PBS Newshour stories blacked out and NBR guests replaced with a slice of a travel show until the informative story is over. We are like mushrooms. Kept in the dark and fed ____. Great talk. 👍

  12. J N
    J N July 12, 2019

    Congratulations on 100K+ subscribers! Keep up the great work!

  13. Nelson Guzman
    Nelson Guzman July 12, 2019

    Yeah, just as I thought, we are fucked. Keep the population ignorant and this happens…

  14. Anthony Brusca
    Anthony Brusca July 12, 2019

    I'm scared that if the recession hits after the election, trump will win and he botches the recovery or that democrats win and the general public blames the left and turns far, far right.

  15. Edward Dodson
    Edward Dodson July 12, 2019

    It was good to hear Professor Wolff make some effort to present an analysis of unearned income to owners of land in the form of rent. We do not produce land; land is our commons, so the rent of land certainly should be taken by society. Yet, he does not take the next step in analysis to suggest that the products made by labor should be exempt from taxation. Housing and buildings are humanmade assets. Some are used as shelter, others are used to operate businesses to generate revenue. A tax on such tangible assets imposes a financial penalty on top of the expense required just to maintain the asset (which will depreciate in functional utility as well as resale value regardless of how well maintained). As another economist, Mason Gaffney, has written, the property tax on buildings equates to a sales tax imposed year after year after year.

  16. Lane Quenemoen
    Lane Quenemoen July 12, 2019

    Italy should be forgiven half of their debt and repay the other half over 30 years.

  17. Lane Quenemoen
    Lane Quenemoen July 12, 2019

    This man should be the next economic advisor for Bernie.

  18. Lane Quenemoen
    Lane Quenemoen July 12, 2019

    2007 pre market collapse $145 a share, last Friday lest than $9 a share. 18,000 jobs lost in the next 2-3 years and a reorganization. Red flag!

  19. Drake Koefoed
    Drake Koefoed July 12, 2019

    we lost our mfg base to subsidized goods from china. having acquired our technology, started robotics, and become more efficient, they can now make the stuff for what it sells for. Our chance to save mfg is gone. This means we no longer export what other countries want. You're about to see your flat wages face rising prices at wal mart, and you will not be able to even find the american made goods. The price of junk is going up. but they will make it worse. Much worse.

  20. Simon Ustick
    Simon Ustick July 12, 2019

    How are the people in the know protecting their wealth in terms of asset allocation? Awesome stuff – u my no.1 besty teacher. TYVM

  21. Lane Quenemoen
    Lane Quenemoen July 12, 2019

    What Germany forgets is the London Accord. 1953 Germany wanted to rebuild their country after WW2. England, France and the US held Germany's war debt. They needed a bailout and they got it by this. All 3 countries FORGAVE half of the debt owed and spread the other half over 30 years. Germany could've done the same thing for Greece but guess what? Their govt forgot the past and chose austerity.

  22. N Allen
    N Allen July 12, 2019

    Always enlightening and mind refreshing of things read long ago, keep pounding the facts until there is large enough critical mass among progressives to have a chance for getting some representation in the system of systematic death and destruction.

    I wish you expose the role of banks, interconnection between religious orders and corporate world. I hope slowly you move on to show how very few have tentacles of control in corner of the society.

  23. Edward Dodson
    Edward Dodson July 12, 2019

    A point of clarification is required in the discussion of government saving banks from bankruptcy. There is not enough revenue being raised by taxation to save the banks that become insolvent. The government must borrow funds from the central bank, which simply creates the digital money out of thin air, then charges the government interest. Where the general public pays is a combination of monetary expansion caused inflation and cuts in funding for social welfare programs and infrastructure.

  24. Edward Dodson
    Edward Dodson July 12, 2019

    An important questions not addressed by Professor Wolff is why Greece is considered to be a rather poor country. Is it because of the absence of natural resources? Is it because the Greeks are less innovation and less productive than other peoples? Or, is it perhaps because Greek society is and has been more significantly dominated by rentier interests than many other countries? The power of rentier interests in every country has the effect of pushing the cost of providing public goods and services off to those who actually produce goods and provide services. This always results in economies subject to cycles of boom and bust as well as rising deficit spending that results in the kind of public debt that cannot be serviced without raising taxes (again) on the productive segments of the economy and dramatically cutting spending on social welfare programs.

  25. Shabadoo
    Shabadoo July 12, 2019

    Professor Wolff is a national gem. Wish you could be my lecturer at my university.

  26. Philgwellington
    Philgwellington July 12, 2019

    The Prof is loosening up a bit, and becoming an economical comedian. A new genre with a lot of potential. LoL

  27. Alvaro Ramos
    Alvaro Ramos July 12, 2019

    1:14:00 Today's most important lesson to be learned.

  28. J Rhoads
    J Rhoads July 12, 2019

    Wolff is your best friend because he understands the system and the suffering it causes. Then he tells you about it in detail and how to potentially fix it for real. How cool! I can't understand why the whole world isn't watching this.

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