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26 January, 2017

Richard Wolff explains what Donald Trump doesn't get

Speaking on RT show, The Big Picture, hosted by Thom Hartmann, Dr. Richard Wolff explains, among other things, why Donald Trump is wrong to blame foreign workers for the loss of US jobs.

Even if Mr. Trump were to carry through and really do a number on stopping American corporations from competing in a world economy by going to cheap low-wage areas, like Mexico, all that you're going to make those companies do, is try to compete in another way.

How will they do that?

The major way of the last 30 years has been automation. First the computer, then the robot. And the result of that will be more unemployment, more of a problem with good jobs disappearing, this time not replaced by low-wage jobs in Mexico, but by a robot. This is a system that works this way and there is nothing Mr. Trump has proposed that deals with that fundamental problem. He will not stop the response of the business community, which is the problem at the base.

What we do know is, over the last forty years, when we've had robotization, when we've had computers, the promise that they would relieve us of arduous work has been broken. People are doing longer hours of arduous work today than they ever did. The promise of that technology not delivered. The problems that the technology would keep us working - that hasn't worked out really well either since the unemployment rate is actually very high, when you count the people who have left because they don't even think they can find a job.

So, in fact we already see that allowing technology to be put into place for profit purposes, produces changes in the reality of working people's lives that are not only not desirable, but are terrifying to most people, especially when they look down the road as to where more of this can lead.

The last sentence by Dr. Wolff means actually that capitalism is not compatible with the rapid grow of Artificial Intelligence and automation. We need to use the benefits of technology for the good of all people through changing the current, obsolete system of destructive, financial capitalism.

As Stephen Hawking had pointed:

        If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.

Yanis Varoufakis was informed of the new conditions, as has been described already back in 2014: “When I returned to my office, I went straight to find a colleague who knows well what's going on. He informed me that the workplace I saw, was the new factory of Apple to produce MacBook Pro. It was true that, it was constructed through almost complete automatization. [...] I asked him about the move of Apple to produce computers in America, by bringing back in the US the production from China for the first time after decades. 'How's that?' And the answer was the expected one, although quite impressive: 'Wages are of no importance. The export of productive processes from America to China (off-shoring) was only an intermediate stage. The production has returned to America, but not the jobs. The new factory of Apple, not only is constructed without American workers' sweat, but will also produce MacBook Pro through complete automatization, without hiring Texans. Welcome to the New, Brave World', ended with a smile, referring obviously to the Brave New World of Aldous Huxley.”

Unless Trump is solely interested to secure the interests of his billionaire class, he should start seeing the big picture and stop blaming foreign workers and China for the loss of US jobs.

Of course, it would be more or less a miracle to expect from the new US president to abandon the totally neoliberal perception (adopted by the lobby-occupied political establishment in the West), that, in order to reduce unemployment, economy must become more competitive to the foreign labor force. Which is translated to increasingly lower wages and longer work hours in slavery conditions. As Dr. Wolff explained, it doesn't work. It's only an excuse for more profits and tax reliefs for the big corporations.


  1. Anonymous26/1/17 19:31

    Dear Globalist shill...go fuck yourself.

  2. never give up writing Greek man.. really appreciate your articles.

  3. Has Dr. Wolff ever heard of "Subcontractors"? You know, all those other "parts" manufacturers, supply-chains, raw-material processors, robot-maintenance i.e., everything that goes into Apple's "Assembly" plant? Anyone, Anybody? Anyone?
    Much of that work is not at all cheaper to produce through total automation because of the supply-demand curve. Those industries, largely small-plant operations, typically employ far more people than the assembly-plants they supply.
    But that's "real-world" economics, not silly academic assessments based on superfluous anecdote.
    You should fire that guy. Sensationalizing the trivial in order to generate fear as an attempt to create value is pure Sophistry; despicable and worthy of banishment.
    Having metastasized over the last 40-years of educational deconstruction via eugenicist central-planning, ivory-tower incompetence and run-of-the-mill hubris, Sophistry has once again become the replacement for cosmology. Exposure and Eradication should be the first order of business.
    Dr. Wolff would do well to start learning something useful; Sophistry has no longer an ear of the king; but soon it will have the ire of the awakening villagers.