EconoMinute: Presidential Politics


This is Richard Wolff with another EconoMinute. It’s now the silly season of
presidential politics. Trump and Clinton will be going at each other telling all
kinds of stories about one another and about themselves for months, and months, and months. What are the economics that separate
Clinton and Trump? And what are the economics that unify them (as very little
different at all)? Let’s take a look. When it comes to Mr.
Trump, his pitch is clear. The economy isn’t doing real well, it’s in fact a
disaster, and many people are suffering, and he (Trump) represents the man who’s
going to change it. Who’s gonna fix it. Nothing so similar as Obama in 2008
explaining the George Bush was presiding over a terrific collapse of capitalism, and that he (Mr.
Obama) representing hope and change would fix it. What is Mr. Trump gonna do? Well, it’s
very vague. He’s gonna slap a tariff on foreign goods. While I doubt that even
the Congress or the Chamber of Commerce or all the big corporations who have
invested trillions in China, India, Brazil, and elsewhere in order to produce
cheaply there and ship it back to America, they’re not gonna let him do
that. I wouldn’t guess. And even if he got his way – which I doubt – and forces Mexicans, Muslims, and God-knows-who-else out of the country, that’s not going to solve our problems either. That’s just scapegoating disguised as
economic policy. And what about Ms. Clinton? Well, she says things aren’t so bad. That it just needs a steady hand (hers)
rather than “wild” suggestions for change (Trump’s) and the little adjustment she
proposes to make: “we’ll just fix everything that needs to be fixed
without shaking anything that we’re all scared to see shake.” She’s steady, he’s
crazy. She says, he says – an old story. What do they share? Two things of
importance: (1) neither of them ever questions the economic system. It’s as if
even though we’ve been suffering for many years, even though the crash of 2008 was the second collapse of capitalism in 75 years, even though it’s lasting longer
than anyone saw, and cutting deeper than anyone imagined, questioning this system is not acceptable.
On that, Clinton and Trump could not be in greater denial and in
greater agreement. And both of them also understand that it really doesn’t matter
so much what you say on the TV and in the newspaper because this is all about
the money. Raising the money to pump the world full of your paid advertisements
that picture you as wonderful and your opponent as awful, and we have to look
at it and see it. Mostly the economics of this presidential race is about the
system crisis which neither candidate and neither party is prepared to confront. This is Richard Wolff with EconoMinute. Learn more: www.democracyatwork.info

Maurice Vega

11 Responses

  1. I'm voting Jill Stein. She won't win, but if the Green Party gets 5% of the vote, they will receive FEC funding next election. The Green Party is the party of reason, and the party of the future. http://gp.org

  2. I think you're being unfair here Prof., Bernie Sanders campaign has managed to make the democratic party more progressive, like making the Democrats have a nation-wide $15 minimum wage platform.

    Sure it's politics and candidates try to make themselves look better than the other, but Trump is truly a demagogue of hate and lies who will shift the discourse of American politics into a bigotted realm where anti-capitlist rhetoric will be further diminished, whilst Clinton at least keeps the bar high and has political incentive to make progressive decisions which may not bring socialist utopia but will make life easier compared to the GOP.

  3. You did this more extensively in an economic update, but I am very pleased you summed up this section and made a seperate video!

  4. i wounder what would happen if we had the chance to for real discuss alternatives to the capitalist system – man how interesting would that be! if we where able to come up with new models for society. We have done it before.
    We just need leaders that are courageous enough to let us start talking about it.

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