Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What to Do about Itby Richard D. Wolff
A breathtakingly clear analysis of today's ongoing economic crisis. In this updated edition of Capitalism Hits the Fan, Professor Wolff explains why capitalism's global crisis persists, why bank bailouts and austerity policies fail, and why deepening economic inequality now generates historic social tensions and conflicts and worsens the ongoing crisis. This book
A breathtakingly clear analysis of today's ongoing economic crisis. In this updated edition of Capitalism Hits the Fan, Professor Wolff explains why capitalism's global crisis persists, why bank bailouts and austerity policies fail, and why deepening economic inequality now generates historic social tensions and conflicts and worsens the ongoing crisis. This book chronicles one economist's growing alarm and insights as he watched, from 2005 onwards, the economic crisis build, burst, and then change the world. The argument here differs sharply from most other explanations offered by politicians, media commentators, and other academics. Step by step, Wolff shows that deep economic structuresthe relationship of wages to profits, of workers to boards of directors, and of debts to incomeaccount for the crisis. The book's essays engage the long-overdue public discussion about capitalism as a system and about the basic structural changes needed not only to fix today's broken economy but to prevent future crises.
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Wolff does a great job explaining and predicting the 2008 crisis through a series of articles he wrote prior and during the crisis. The material gets redundant, but that helps reinforce his points. Anyone interested in learning about the 2008 crisis from a different perspective will enjoy this book.
If you are looking for a balanced analysis on current economic meltdown, this is not the book. However if your don't mind reading a one-sided Marxist (Marxian) polemic, this is your book. Wolff blames many American social and economoic ailments on capitalism - overspending, poor family life, over-indebtedness, mothers joining work force, etc. At times, the book is so loud you can literally hear author's ranting. The book would certainly rile your emotions, regardless of your economic persuasion. In the book, Wolff does not believe that tighter regulations would alleviate our current economic problems. Instead, he espouses replacing our current capitalistic economic system with a Marxist one. Unfortunately, Wolff does not offer any detailed and concrete solution to the current crisis in American capitalim other than that we should revamp our corporate structure by replacing the corporate boards of directors with workers who actually engage in the daily tasks of manufacturing and production. Having the workers run American corporations is Wolff's panecea to our current economic woes. Unfortunately, in his book, Wolff does not reassure us that workers-run corporate boards would not also engage in anti-competitive and monopolistic behaviors to the detriment of the consumers. Lastly, Wolff neglects to explain why the two communist behemoths, Russia and China, failed so miserably economically under decades of Marxian economic policies and have now adopted more capitalistic systems.