Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism


Today’s economic crisis is capitalism’s worst since the Great Depression. Millions have lost their jobs, homes and healthcare while those who work watch their pensions, benefits and job security decline. As more and more are impacted by the crisis, the system continues to make the very wealthy even richer. In eye-opening interviews with prominent economist Richard Wolff, David Barsamian probes the root causes of the current economic crisis, its unjust social consequences and what can and should be done to turn things around. While others blame corrupt bankers and unregulated speculators or the government or even the poor who borrowed, the authors show that the causes of the crisis run much deeper. They reach back to the 1970s when the capitalist system itself shifted, ending the century-old pattern of rising wages for U.S. workers and thereby enabling the top 1% to become ultra-rich at the expense of the 99%. Since then, economic injustice has become chronic and further corrupted politics. The Occupy movement, by articulating deep indignation with the whole system, mobilizes huge numbers who seek basic change. Occupy the Economy not only clarifies and analyzes the crisis in U.S. capitalism today, it also points toward solutions that can shape a far better future for all.

Richard D. Wolff is Professor Emeritus of Economics at U. Mass, and Visiting Professor at the New School University. Author of Capitalism Hits the Fan, he’s been a guest on NPR, Glenn Beck Show, and Democracy Now!

David Barsamian is founder and director of Alternative Radio and author of Targeting Iran. He is best known for his interview books with Noam Chomsky, including What We Say Goes.

Praise for Occupy the Economy:

“Richard Wolff and David Barsamian truly understand, at the deepest levels, both the need for political, social, and economic change in this nation, and the ways such change can happen. This is an essential read for everybody concerned with the future of the world, from academics to concerned citizens, it’s also a brilliant and thoughtful manual that every activist must own.”
—Thom Hartmann, internationally syndicated radio/TV host, and author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight

“Occupy activists everywhere are heatedly debating the question, ‘What’s next for our movement?’ In his collected interviews with David Barsamian, radical economist Richard Wolff lays out a compelling framework for further anti-corporate organizing that focuses on the root of the problem: capitalism and its never-ending assault on the 99%. Occupiers (past, present, and future) now have an intellectual guide to a different kind of economy–one that’s equitable, sustainable and, let’s hope, politically achievable, sooner rather than later. Wolff’s deep but conversational synthesis of recent practice and older theory couldn’t be more timely, persuasive, and readable. This book should be required reading for all labor and community organizers newly inspired by Occupy Wall Street!”
—Steve Early, labor activist, journalist, and author of The Civil Wars in U.S. Labor.

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