Born OTD in 1942, American Marxian economist, known for his work on economic methodology, & class analysis, Richard D. Wolff. Contemporary capitalism no longer “delivers the goods” (which is understood as a rising standard of real wages) to the majority of people. That classic defense of its instability (e.g. recurrent bouts of unemployment), its deepening economic, political, & cultural inequalities, & its attendant injustices is no lon­ger plausible. In the U.S. since the 1970s, & especially since 2007, those who control the dominant capitalist enterprises have made decisions that undermined the delivery of rising standards of living to the mass of people.

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Who made the key decisions and why? The ‘who’ is straightforward: large corporations’ major shareholders (shareholding is highly concentrated in the U.S.) and the boards of directors they elect made the decisions. Profit rate and growth plus market-share were ‘why’ they made the key decisions. When, after the 1970s, computerization and job exports altered the long-term supply and demand balance of labor power, long-term real wage stagnation set in; it lasts through the present. Meanwhile, those same factors contributed to steadily rising productivity. The result was (and remains) fast deepening income and wealth inequality punctuated by debt bubbles, bursts, and resulting cyclical downturns.

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