Economic Update: The Great American Purge

Welcome, friends, to another edition of Economic
Update, a weekly program devoted to the economic dimensions of our lives—jobs, incomes, debts—those
of our children, our own, those looming down the road. I’m your host, Richard Wolff. I’ve been a profess of economics all my
adult life, and I hope this prepares me well—or did prepare me well—to offer you these insights
into the economic conditions of our lives. I’m going to have a different structure
of our program today, different from what we usually do. It won’t be a few updates at the beginning,
and then an interview or an extended discussion. Instead, I want to use the whole time I have
with you to investigate and explore something central to the last half century of American
economic life, and particularly important right now. This has to do with the interaction between
politics and economics. It’s well-known that the economic situation
shapes our politics. Sometimes, it’s not as a well-understood
how, and how deeply, politics has and continues to shape our economic realities. So that’s what I want to focus on. And I want to begin—as good stories of our
situation always do—going back, setting the historical context and I want to ask a
question. At the end of World War Two, late 1940s into
the ‘50s, something remarkable happened politically in the United States. And it was in many ways surprising—let’s
review. Suddenly, a group of people in the United
States who had been celebrated, pretty much widespread celebrations of them as heroes,
became instead—almost overnight—demons. From being leaders, they became traitors. It was really remarkable. Who am I talking about? I’m talking about Communists—members of
the American Communist Party; socialists—members of the two socialist parties at that time;
and active leaders of the labor movement, the big organizing drives of the CIO in the
1930s and ‘40s had brought millions of Americans, who had never been in unions before, into
the unions. They joined the unions, because they thought
it would be a safe way to make it through the Great Depression of the 1930s, at least
safer than not being in a union. And together the Communists, the socialists
and the unionists really struggled to develop a good situation for the mass of the American
working people—the lower two-thirds, at least, of our population. And in the depths of the Depression, when
those folks were really suffering, a kind of coalition emerged and that’s what I want
to talk about, because that’s what was being destroyed in the years after World War Two. The coalition of Communists, socialists and
unionists was strong enough to basically pressure the then-president, Franklin Roosevelt, during
the 1930s, to institute four basic programs that helped average Americans in a way no
previous administration had dared to do. Here’s what they were. First, the creation of Social Security system
to give 65 years or older Americans a check, every month, for the rest of their lives. To help survivors, to help people injured
early in life and disabled, to take care of our friends and neighbors, our family members
who needed it. In the midst of a depression, when people
were suffering, the government stepped in—not only helping, of course, the older folks,
65 and over who got that monthly check, a life-saver—but also helping their children,
who therefore didn’t have to help their mother and father the way they otherwise would
have had to because the government was lending a hand. As soon as the Social Security system was
set, the government did another thing. It created the unemployment compensation system. We had never had that before, just like we’d
never had a Social Security before. You lose your job, through no fault of your
own—say, because your employer can’t sell whatever it is you help to make, and so he
lays you off, no fault of yours. You can get an unemployment compensation check
up to a year, sometimes more, every week. And this was done in the depths of a depression,
when there were millions and millions of unemployed people who suddenly got a lifeline. Third, it passed the first minimum wage act
in American history, saying that we owe people who work a decent minimum and it’s unethical
and immoral and unnecessary to deny that to them. And finally, the biggest program, the decision
of Franklin Roosevelt’s government to say that they would hire millions of unemployed
people. Roosevelt said if the private sector, private
capitalists don’t hire people—we will. And the government did. And it used unemployed people to make many
of those national parks out west that Americans love, to do some of the first conservation
work in American history, to give artists of all kinds a job bringing artistic activity
to the mass of the American people in a way that had never been done before and, by the
way, has never been done since. Unemployed people got a good job, doing something
useful and they got paid properly, so they could make their mortgage payments. The mass of people were helped, because millions
had joined unions and had become interested in and listened to socialists and Communists,
who said people deserved that, and an economic system that didn’t provide it may be wasn’t
justified. Wow. And where did the money come from, in case
your wondering, in the 1930s in the depths of a depression when the government didn’t
have money—how could it pay for Social Security, unemployment compensation and hiring 15 million
unemployed people and paying them? And the answer was that Roosevelt taxed corporations
and the rich. That’s right, he taxed corporations and
the rich and that’s how he paid for it and the result—for him, as a politician, Roosevelt—was
that he was re-elected three times across the 1930s. He was the most popular president in the history
of the United States, because he was the one who went after corporations and the rich to
help average people. But he didn’t do it because of him. If you look at his entire political history
before he became president, he was no radical. He was no left-winger. He was a conventional, rich kid. Went to school in the right universities,
of Harvard and Yale, etc., etc. He was pushed from below, and you know what
pushed him? The coalition of Communists, socialists and
unionists. So when World War Two was over, 1945, and
when in the same year President Roosevelt died, in his fourth term—well, the business
community that was enraged that they had to pay those taxes to help average people, they
went to work and they understood the problem wasn’t defeating a Democrat and bringing
in a Republican. They knew very well that Roosevelt didn’t
do this because he thought it was a good idea. They understood he had been pressured from
below, by that coalition—of unionists, socialists and Communists—to do what he did. So they understood that to roll it back, to
break it down and to make sure that never happened again they had to destroy that coalition. And the way you do that, the way you destroy
any coalition, is you look for and focus first on the weakest link among the groups that
making up the coalition and they determined in 1945 that the weak link were the Communists,
the Communist Party. So overnight, the Communist Party and its
activists—who had been leaders of the unionization movement in many industries, who had been
leaders in the struggle against fascism in Germany, in Italy and Japan—became overnight
not leaders, not heroes but demons. They were converted into agents of a foreign
power, the Soviet Union—kind of remarkable if you remember that in the previous five
years, from 1940 to 1945, the United States and the Soviet Union were allies in a war
against fascism in Germany, Italy and Japan that soldiers from Russia and America worked
together with the same objectives in a coordinated struggle. They were our friends, our allies, our supporters. Suddenly they had been turned into archenemies. And so in the aftermath of World War Two,
after the death of Roosevelt, we had in America a political purge—really, of the kind you
rarely see in the world and like nothing else in American history. The government, big business and conservatives
everywhere went on a tear to arrest Communists—to deport many of them back to countries they
had left sometimes forty years earlier—to demonize them as evil agents of a foreign
power, not leaders of an effort that had succeeded in giving average Americans the benefit of
government programs, the likes of which had never happened before in American history,
and footnote—never happened again since then either. The McCarthy period entered American history,
named after a senator from Wisconsin who took the lead, holding hearings in Washington,
finding a Communist in this bureau, a Communist in that office—and remember, the Communists
that were there, some of them, had been heroes years earlier: army veterans, leader of union
efforts and so on. It made no difference; they are now evil. And when the Communist Party was destroyed
and demonized, they went after the two socialist parties, telling Americans basically that
socialism is the same as communism, they just spell it differently. And when they were done, they went after the
labor movement and they have done a good job. In 1945, labor unions represented a third
of American workers. Today, they represent a tenth of American
workers. Communist Party destroyed. Socialist parties destroyed. Labor movement reduced to a pale shadow of
what it once was. This chaotic destruction of the left in America
traumatized the American people, or at least hit half or more of it that’s open to critical
thinking about capitalism. The kinds of people who face an uncertain
job, a job with no benefits, insufficient wages to lead a decent life and who say that
has to change and who are willing to support, vote for, work with, demonstrate with people
who want and demand change. Those people had gotten that change in the
1930s, but now they watched as all the leaders that they had followed and had been successful
with were demonized, jailed, denounced in public, deported, made to appear as though
they were the sum total of all evil. A lesson was drummed into the American people:
don’t have anything to do with people who are critical of capitalism. Don’t have anything to do with people that
are socialist in one way or another, or at least find those ideas worth thinking about
or maybe talking about, maybe learning about—not necessarily agreeing with, but as part of
the conversation, which is the case in virtually every other country on earth. No, it was bad, it was evil and we stopped
teaching it in the schools, and we stopped allowing newspapers and journals to have articles
about them; we didn’t publish the books of people who were like that. It was shut down time and it lasted half a
century. Politics destroyed a whole part of the American
political spectrum and after the break in the middle of this program, we’re going
to come back and take a look at the economic consequences of that massive political purge
and by the way, it had very little to do with communism or ideology. It had to do with breaking a coalition that
had gotten rich people and corporations to pay taxes to help average Americans. We’ll be right back. Welcome back, friends, to the second half
of today’s Economic Update. Before continuing the conversation from the
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an invaluable aid to what we do, and we want you to understand how appreciate we are, enabling
us to bring these insights to a large audience every week. OK, we’re going to look now at the consequences,
the economic consequences, of the purge of the American left after World War Two. And they were profound. Let’s start with one of the earliest ones,
in 1947 a law was passed called the Taft-Hartley Bill, after Senator Taft and Congressperson
Hartley. And this was a remarkable piece of legislation. It went after the Communists, it went after
the socialists and it went after the labor unions. It basically told labor unions that they couldn’t
anymore elect democratically their own leaders. For example, it forbade a Communist from running
for office, winning a majority of the votes and serving as the leader of a union, which
Communists had been doing for twenty or more years in the United States without an incident—it
became illegal. Wow. But it went much further. It had a remarkable clause, which has remained
law to this day as I’m speaking, and the clause goes like this: if at a workplace—a
factory, an office, a store—there’s a union, and let’s say half the workers in
this place have voted for the union and joined the union and have a union there, and let’s
say that that union negotiates with the employer and gets a contract—let’s say a wage increase
of ten cents an hour. Under the Taft-Hartley law, then and to this
moment, that union must give anything it wins with the employer to all the workers there,
whether they’re in the union or not—whether the join the union or not, whether they pay
union dues or not, whether when the union—if it thought it had to—called a strike and
had workers go out and tell the public about their situation to help pressure the employers
to meet them halfway and give them a wage increase, the workers who went to strike,
and therefore didn’t get paid, had to give to all the other workers who didn’t go on
strike, who didn’t lose a day’s pay, the same benefits they won. The Taft-Hartley law, in effect, created an
incentive for workers not to join a union, not to pay the union dues because they would
get whatever the union won whether they did so or not. That’s fundamentally unfair, and you know
it and I know it and the people then knew it. It was a hammer blow against the labor movement. Wow. This was an attempt to destroy the Communists
and the unions and the coalition between them, because of course if a Communist couldn’t
be elected, that removed them from leadership of unions. And if more and more people decided not pay
union dues, not to be part of the union, it weakened whatever unions could do. So it was a crazy, but effective way to abuse
the law in the interests of a purge. But it had the effect of weakening the labor
movement. It was the opening gun, and there are many
more laws that came afterwards, to a direct assault on the labor movement, which has worked
very well reducing labor membership from about 35% of all workers at the end of World War
Two to about 10% today—a staggering cutback. Anyone in America today, and there are a few,
who talks about an economy with big business on the one hand and big labor on the other
is either ignorant or lying in your face. Big business has gotten bigger and richer. Big labor, it’s gone. There is no big labor, hasn’t been for years. We are an economy dominated by one side of
what used to be a rough balance and boy does it show. The next effect economically was to get rid
of socialists, Communists, left-wingers, liberals of all kinds teaching in American schools—public
schools, colleges, universities. They too were demonized. They were dupes, they were agents—all the
words that some of you, the older ones among the audience, remember. And this had an interesting effect. It basically removed from the learning process
of most Americans critical ideas about the system you live in. Socialists raised questions about American
capitalism. Communists raised questions—they offered
alternatives. They made people able to see that capitalism
has flaws, and capitalism has weaknesses and that there are people who have struggled with
those and come up with better solutions to problems. You know, that’s how human progress works—always
has. You identify something in the society that
needs fixing and then you fix it. You come up with a better way of doing it,
a better way of thinking about, a better way of approaching a problem. That’s why we don’t rub sticks together
to make a fire—we’ve learned something. And that’s because people early on said
there must be a better way to start a fire then spending all this time rubbing these
two damn wet sticks together. Well, if you don’t criticize capitalism
in school, you’ll prevent people from learning to think critically about their system and
that undercuts progress. It makes you stay with the system you got
because you’re afraid to think critically. You’re afraid to allow a teacher to raise
with students the questions of flaws and faults, things that could be done better—ways of
approaching questions and solving problems in a different way. All of that was gotten rid of across the board
in the United States—not a hundred percent, you never can do that, but overwhelmingly. And even those professors who were left—who
weren’t left-wing but were left in their jobs—were afraid to say anything because
they saw what happened to their colleagues, didn’t want it to happen to them. But the purge went even deeper and further. There was that famous case of the Hollywood
Ten, the government got rid of with absolutely the cooperation of the big film studios involved
in Hollywood of all kinds of progressive, left-wing, socialist, Communist, liberal filmmakers,. Writers, artists, actors, actresses—destroyed
their careers to get the message across that Hollywood was not to make movies that make
working people heroes. It was to make movies that said our industrial
leaders were captains of industry, kind of funny when you think that at the end of the
last century those same people were called robber barons. Wow. You change a culture. And so whether the movies and TV shows that
came in or the radio shows or the schools of universities or the colleges or the labor
movement—wherever the purge could go, it went. Hounding people for their ideas, hounding
people for the questions they asked. Silencing an entire generation. And, of course, the predictable happened and
I want to hammer at that. Killing off those leaderships, destroying
the education of people in critical ways of thinking, was very convenient, it made it
possible for the next decades—the ‘70s, the ‘60s already; ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s,
‘80s—to be times of rolling back the New Deal, which we did. We let the minimum wage rot—as prices went
higher, the minimum wage wasn’t adjusted, so a real effect was to reduce it. Government employment stopped dead in its
tracks. Even in the crisis of 2008, when we had millions
and millions of Americans losing their jobs, no leader of the Republican or Democratic
Party even brought up the idea of a government jobs program, even though it had worked so
well the last time we had this program. That’s how successful the purge went—you
don’t bring up those ideas. They had become taboo, they had become unthinkable,
unspeakable, out of the norm. It meant that the people that were critical
of America’s adventures overseas—when to help big business, we went to war or abused
other countries or allowed “allies” to do unspeakable things, you know, like Saudi
Arabia did a few weeks ago… Where were the critics? It didn’t happen. They were afraid to speak. When poverty went nuts in America, over the
last forty years, where were the critics? When the inequality of income in America exploded,
where were the critics? They were afraid. They kept their mouths shut. They were afraid to see what was going on
or certainly to speak about it for fear that they would be subject sooner or later to another
purge like that horrible one they had lived through or heard from their parents about
back in the late ‘40s, ‘50s. The impact was to weaken the labor movement,
to weaken social criticism, to convert for example the Congress of the United States,
the political scene—not to a debate between the people who appreciate and like capitalism
on the one hand, and those who are critical on the other, that’d be a healthy debate. No, no, no, no, no, no, no—none of that! We have people in Republican leadership and
Democratic leadership whose job it is to out-do one another in celebrating this system as
it is and demonizing critics. They’re still doing that because they haven’t
learned the lesson. It’s particular poignant with the Democrats,
who don’t understand that by not keeping the other side of the political spectrum in
a balance, they were in effect ceding the territory to the other side. It was the part that could call itself “American,”
having demonized the other part. For those of you who weren’t alive then,
let me tell you in the 1930s it went the other way. It was the capitalists who had brought us
the Great Depression. It was their bad investments, their corruption,
their banking irregularities that had plunged us into this morass of eleven, twelve years
of depression. They weren’t heroes—they were crooks. They were exploiters. They were the robber barons. But the last forty years has converted them
into creative, job-creating, entrepreneurs—nice change of language that reflects the purge
of those who were critical. And, of course, the end result of that is
precisely the Trump administration, even thought there were many steps up to it. The costs of economic inequality, the costs
of political nightmare—those are some of the prices we’re paying now in economic
reality, because of the politics of destroying the New Deal coalition at the end of World
War Two. It is a lesson, a testimony to the power of
politics to shape our economics. It is also a powerful lesson that when the
next crash came in 2008, there was no left left. The Communists gone, the socialists gone,
the labor movement a shadow. There was no pressure—Bush, Obama, Trump—bails
out the big corporations, all they want, and for the rest of us? Nothing! No Social Security or equivalent. No unemployment. No public jobs. That’s the cost for us of the defeat of
the left after World War Two.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. WOw! I never knew that we owe it to the Communists to have a Social Security payment system, a Minimum Wage etc etc. I'm completely surprised by this because this is never even mentioned in school or College. Thank you for Re-Educating us Dr. Wolff!


  3. Dude, ya oughta change your delivery and, maybe, tone. You sound like one of those pricks at Prager U, trying to indoctrinste somebody. I agree with your content, however.

  4. Social security and unemployment have been very expensive disasters. There should be a higher minimum wage. And caps on maximum wage and benefits to curtail upper management and CEO's taking more than their share.

  5. Crooks caused the 2008 crisis also. Crooks are now reaping the rewards from destroying the planet's ecosystem and untold number of other species who someehow are less important than our cars, hamburgers, and stock values.

  6. Yeah, and now we have this Nationalist in the white house, spitting McCarthy bullshit during state of the union! Trying to unintelligently scare people from leftism that has still very little say in our government. Not good!

  7. The rich elites succeeded educating the masses that socialism and communism is the boogeyman, after Roosevelt.. How dare you even think of those words, so un-American..Proud to say i'm a capitalist, until I started watching Wolff…

  8. So essentially post WW2 US went total fascist and started purging leftists and leftist thought worldwide during a unique time where we were the sole economic and manufacturing superpower.

  9. 2020 the year that people suffer but not the one who cause it Dump Trump, but for people who voted for him will be in hell of the US. Too many ignorance people in the rich nation, How?

  10. As explained later by his wife Eleanor, FDR knew that if he didn't pass radical new policies, there was a good chance that the Communists could successfully take over America. Sort of like making a backfire to stop the bigger fire.

  11. Excellent progamme, liked and subbed. I'm curious whether there have been any legal challenges to these anti union laws and if so if any got overturned. On another note wht's been done since the McCarthy era might be more the creation of an illusion of a dominant culture that encourages people to vote against their own self interest. This reflects what the anthropologist Gregory Bateson described as people sense of culture being more the dominant culture rather their own sense of who they are. That means in an individualist culture people are both strangly individualist and part of the dominant culture, to maintain that deception they have to effectively police each other, in social psychology they become what are called gatekeepers and possibly denounce those who show signs of being a devil's advocate. Those in the stock markets denounce anyone who says the economy is overheating and retaliate with the idea that if one keeps predicting a crash one day it will become true both accepting that the stock market will crash again but never quite accepting it will any time soon. It is well understood among economists that a bigger state is more able to resist a recession yet that is denounced as "regulation equals bad" and "race to the bottom" when really the quickest way to the bottom is being on a heavily leveraged greasy pole when the economic shock happens. The right to climb the greasy pole is reframed as 'freedom' and is the right wing equivalent of perpetual revolution that Marx spoke about but like Stalin the elites seize power and insulate themselves while the masses are softened and distracted with eye candy offering aspirations of luxury and wealth. And neoliberals talk about left wing echo chambers…

  12. Thank you very much for this educational information. As i lived in asian country, knowing firsthand of the effect of communist cleansing.. even until today, their descendant cant vote, and been under pressure by violance, unable to have proper education and etc…so horrible. I keep asking to myself the reason WHY they so hated? As up to now no school teachers ever give slightest reason other than COMMUNIST NOT ALLOWED RELIGION THEREFORE THEY ARE EVIL.

    Until today i never knew about what Communist everdone in the past so they were and still are, hated by most country in this earth.

    At least i have a small picture now..thank you again proff🙏

  13. Now American citizens should wake up to be aware why their polititians and the MSM propangadas are so hateful about China. Because China is ruled by communist party and practices socialism. But look at how China can achieve economic miracles to surpass all capitalistic economies in such a short period of time. Again, it's not because China is ruled by dictatorship, but because China practices socialism and ruled by a communist party with meritocractic leaders that American polititians won't want their citizens to know and hence keep demonizing China about violating human right issues, dictationship regime, IP theft etc of which none of them are true. US corporates, supported by both parties' polititians and the MSMs, are so selfish and greedy to not only rip the livlihoods of their workers but also put the country's economic and security prospects in jeopardy by waging wars everywhere endlessly. Wake up and be smart.

  14. The Democratic party bosses are why Truman was FDR's Vice President instead of Henry Wallace. Had Wallace been Vice President when FDR died the United States and the planet as a whole would be far different and likely better today.

  15. I'm 38 and grew up in the upper middle class. Went to a great public school system. I feel duped. Huge blind spot. We talked about the red scare and McCarthy but the lesson focused on the mob mentality of, the witch hunt aspect of it, didn't touch on the anti-labor aspect of it at all. I'm still a capitalist but the last few years has been a real eye opener about our media, our schools, our culture, etc.

  16. I remember as a child in the 50's watching TV, I LED 3 LIVES, "This is the story of Herbert A Philbrick, who for 9 frightening years did lead 3 lives: citizen, communist, and counterspy." Oh I remember it well. The neighborhood children were telling me to hate jews and blacks, and TV was telling me to hate the communists (who seemed to embrace jews and blacks). But coming from a non-religious but culturally jewish home, I decided early that almost everything was bullshit and I better learn to learn. So I did.

  17. FDR was the greatest president just in terms of his humanity. It probably had to do with his own disability and the resultant empathy he felt for others.

  18. It's time to bring socialism and labor unions back. It's amazing how those who oppose socialism and labor unions can't cite or provide examples how they have hurt the American people.

  19. Interesting and great overview of US history, however in China and Russia critical thinking is also not encouraged but suppressed. Socialist ideas are great but where is an effective and humanitarian translation of these ideas. Is the choice corporate capitalism versus state capitalism ? Another model may be needed…….

  20. We, the Citizens of the United States of America need to destroy the massive financial disparity currently existing in this country. There is one and only one way to do it, purge our Government of career politicions, BOTH PARTIES! they created it, and elect younger generations of Citizens that have actually had to grow up dealing with it. I'll be 62 in October, I watched it happen.

  21. We are toast, working Americans at becoming impoverished. I have a feeling we are going to experience a wave of crime similar to Latin America. When America’s young people become disillusioned with the American dream and no way to escape poverty. The rise of the Anglo American cartels.

  22. horsecock, wooff…gvt paid for the admittedly wonderful programs by BORROWING…from Roth child's faux central bank… that Tommy wilson chartered in 1913… the debt that has grown out of that swindle is now in TRILLIONS !!!

    govt is out of control.. incompetent… criminal..self interested.. idiots…

    gvt has no answer for the moment when munchkin can no longer redeem the illegitimate t bonds with which gvt BORROWED the skyrocketing TRILLIONS…

    like any entity… insolvency is immediately followed by bankruptcy.. when a person or inc declares bankruptcy.. the country absorbs it.. when the nation state goes belly up.. the ppl are in big trouble.. no:

    elec..water.. gas.. gasoline.. gvt.. goods… services…

    zombie time

  23. This is just too good. Why do we have to subsist under the regmines of the capitalists? We aste beingbscrewed by fokls that haavan't a clue as ti whats; happening these days.Sad, really

  24. this is a fucking lie. What govt did was go into DEBT during the depression. He caused the Depression to last 5x as long as any others ever had. The federal reserve and the IRS, along with WW 1 and the Spanish flu, caused by the WW1, which the fucking socialist Wilson got us into.

  25. we should have nuked Russia, not Japan. The only reason we felt obligated to invade Japan is we wanted Japan as a base to fight commie China and Russia. We had Japan prostrate. We could have just firebombed them, continued our sea blockade and starved them. there WERE commies everywhere that McCarthy said there were. The KGB admitted it, in the early 90's after the Soviet Union had fallen. The unions are the main reason manufacturers moved factories overseas. Without russia, there'd have been no commie china, no korea, no nam, no cuba, no nicaraugua, and no bs out of the Middle East, either.

  26. UAW and UMW were making, counting their bennies, 3-4x what non union workers made. Once we let in European and Asian products, we couldn't compete in the manufacturing anymore. Govt stuck its face into the enviornment, etc and finished off the working man's chances. Govt is not the answer. govt is the fucking ENEMY and socialists and communists WANT bigger govt.

  27. communism is NOT better. It's destruction. The only reason the Europeans and Japanese have it better is the US taxpayer funds their national defense. If they had to pay for it themselves, they'd be speaking Chinese, or russian or they'd have a SHITTY life, all of their money spent on their militaries.

  28. calling them robber barons was a fucking LIE. Carnegie came here broke. Because of him, a million people had a job that they'd not have had without US steel. ditto the RR guys, the Oil guys. People would still be farming with horses were it not for guys like them. THEY took the horrific risks of assembling those corporations that made us a super power. Govt didn't do shit for us. Govt CANT do anything but steal from some of us and give some of it to others of us, AFTER taking a big chunk of it for the govt, of course.

  29. GOVT created the 2008 and other crises, cause they let in 40 million illegals and FORCED banks to give mortgages to people whom they damned well KNEW couldn't afford to own homes! The govt guaranteed that if the housing thing collapsed, the govt woiuld bail out the banks, so the banks gave out those mortgages.

  30. Very good lecture, forgotten history in America. This describes the beginning of the destruction of the middle class, and the rise of great wealth and inequality. It was the MIDDLE CLASS that made America Great… and Trump, who still claims to be the savior of the middle class, is doing more than anyone before him to ensure it's destruction.

  31. The problem with communism and socialism is they want to disarm you and put you in their debt for the freebies they give you. After they disarm you your freebies will be discontinued and you will work . You will work for them. And if you don't like that? Well too bad. A crack of the whip will get you back in line. So it turns out the savior party turns out to be the party that enslaved you. So remember this when they start the gun buy back plans or if you turn in your guns you will get raise on your SS check. You will see these things begin to happen as soon as the next liberal takes the White House. Mark my word! It's coming .

  32. Damn President Roosevelt for saving capitalism. That's another reason Americans decided to love caps and hate communism, helping Russian communism to fail. If America had been the nation that tried Communism in 1917 instead of Russia, it would have succeeded…Poor Russia had the deck stacked against them from the start: very large, very poor (study Tsars), poor communication, poor transportation, many droughts that killed 50 million or so which America didn't have, Lenin died young 53 after 5 years, Stalin went postal, and much more. If Russia hadn't had to fight against US capitalism building military and weapons, so they could have just concentrated on building the system, they would have succeeded. And if US hadn't started WW1 from way out in left field of which there is much proof, they would have succeeded. So today we'd all be working 20 or 10 hours a week. But instead America was killing people worldwide who wanted communism. And if only they and we had built only massive beautiful Tower cities connected to maglev Trains, there would definitely be way less death.

  33. In the 1880's during the Railroad and coal miner strikes.
    The owners of the Company's hired the Pinkerton Gang to murder workers and Union leaders.
    And even called in the National Guard to kill working class people.
    They don't play fare.

  34. Well! the capitalists crooks that broke the system in the 1930. Will break the system again there are almost there." same crooks" thanks for the lesson.

  35. American politics is very intriguing, despite all the evidence pointing to the fact that every thing pro business."profit" is not necessarily the best way to go.i was so suprise just the other day lot's of folks was screaming to remove social security from it's safety privatization.

  36. And these people dare to say something about Stalin's purges? Their one was much more brutal, it totally destroyed the subject.
    Ps. From Russia fith love)

  37. One takeaway is this suggests there are sooo many leftists out there right now who are either afraid, still afraid, or they just don't know about these ideas and that these ideas are legitimate.

  38. Mr Wolff, American Oil Industry and many US Banks, and Ford, Rockefeller, helped Adolf Hitler. Kodak, IBM, Coca Cola, Intel, Purdue (Fam. Sackler) helped Hitler too.

  39. Politics and economics are but 2 parts of the Trinity of Evil.
    RELIGION is the 3rd. Those who wish to control the masses by mind, pocketbook and ideology. I don't pray, borrow money or vote. Three failed systems I want no part of.

  40. I have came from several generations of every side of Communists and Socialists. Comintern and so on. American Communists are the most naive kind. They are much better lot then Nutzis but as delusional. I think for American side of my family it was a fad morphed into form of a vanguard religion of some sort, like that simple and somewhat silly Dar win's books.

  41. Don't forget the role of Christian churches in defaming progress, integration, ecnomic bettermet and any eductaion that took place outside of the narrow confines of Christian schools and Universitys. It's no secret that Nixon and now, the young Himmler, Steven Miller both went to Duke university law school, a Methodist university. Indeed, the Churches tasked themselves with enforcing the right wing mentality. After all, Communist, Socialist and syndicalist, were not controled by preachers.

  42. Answer me this 911 the world trade catastrophe how did that happen and one thing I want you to remember at the age of 16 I made Steel I know how many degrees it takes to melt steel I know how many hours it takes to melt steel so you explain to me how those buildings fell a gravity within minutes you know it exactly because physics that's not bear you out 2500 degrees Fahrenheit male to 4 by 2 piece of Steel within 12 hours so how did those buildings falling gravity and building 7 fell like gravity to and no plane porn or domestic hit it

  43. You speak of rubbing sticks together to make fire for 500 years why have you and your food not been rubbing sticks together to make fire for the indigenous niiji of this country breaking all the treaties that you signed just saying

  44. And I see that you've mentioned Crooks start with tricky dick Nixon to the present day in Tangerine is the most corrupt of all of them his presidency means the mafia runs country just saying look at the facts no fake news here

  45. Excellent!
    Why are Democrats whimpy and careful to a fault?
    WTF's up with declined Union membership?
    Why were every Communist & Socialist American purged after FDR's death?
    Best 30min class clearly explains.
    Thank you, Dr. Wolfe.

  46. Wow! An absolute wonderful explanation of how our country became the economic and social cesspool it is today. Thank you!

  47. Poverty is caused by unemployment and subsistence wages. For a thousand years Europeans languished in poverty. There were peasant rebellions both in Europe and China over the last two thousand years. Now the New Deal policies have been undone by the corporations and the rich who have decided there is no need to "save capitalism;" they have decided top destroy capitalism and replace it with kleptocratic neo-feudalism. Just go out into the street and watch it happening every day in every way.

  48. You left out the parts about the millions killed by the Bolsheviks, Mao and Pol Pot. And where Communist infiltrators sold out our country to the USSR, gave away the A-bomb and the part where welfare bankrupted our country. And the boom years of the 80s and 90s………….BALANCE

  49. The jobs of the future will be cleaning up garbage. All the trash that people strewed all over the place. It will be a government job.

  50. Wow I stumbled into the Dark Web and a Communist site. Good I can say this "Watch as the EU self districts. The terrorist Tactics of the EU and all parts of their Propaganda wing from the BBC to the American 5th column. are failing in America In the UK in Australia. When Donald Trump is reelected in 2020 He and the rest of the Real Leaders of the Free World will cut the head off the true Threat to tll the Citizens of the world the 3 headed monster Communism Socialism Globalism. It took American President Ronald Reagan 2 terms to help Communism destroy itself int he USSR. President Trump will finish the Job with the help of the Citizens of the world that believe in their Countries and in their rights to fully control their Countries Borders and Free markets. As the UK leaves the EU as the Left loses Election after election we are witnessing the beginning of the long slow death of Left wing communist globalist ideology. President Trump set the lefts push back 2 decades and in the next 4 years will fully remove any Political or Judaical power in America.

  51. We have to remember the great depression happened because of the greed of the wealthy, how Aristocracies became Corporations how they treaded workers back then worked for nothing lived in poverty. Kings Dictators still rule but they changed their names. Most of us are broke slaves to debt our jobs

  52. To bad modern technology makes going against the rich impossible these days. They assassinate anyone too easily now so everyone that sets out to do something good either sells out to save thier lives or is murdered.

  53. Wolff be careful telling to much truth, weaponized cancer is the modern fate of guys like you that speak to much truth to power.

  54. Waw know i understand , why trump is in office and why the average American is suffering the way they are they haven't got anyone to fight in there corner there at the mercy of the ruling one percent .

  55. And capitalists also killed many people who wanted to form and join a union! They murdered people to force every person to be nothing but slaves to capitalists. Movies are “Matewan” “Silkwood” “Norma Ray” .

  56. There are only two ways: slavery/oppression, and freedom (work part time). The Bible is about slavery and oppression. Isaiah 54:11-17 someday all people will be taught of God, we shall be far from oppression, which computers make possible today. Isaiah 14:24-27 God’s whole purpose, which should be ours (all religions), is to end oppression worldwide. 2 Peter 2:2 The way of Truth shall be evil spoken of …that means capitalists will make communism seem evil, while communism, when all people own all things, the oppressive wage will be destroyed, and everything will be free. Including building beautiful Tower cities connected to maglev Trains worldwide.

  57. “According to a study in 1969, the United States had had the bloodiest and most violent labor history of any industrial nation in the world, and there have been few industries which have been immune.”

  58. They don't like to hear this story, i bet… so now to those who trumpet TRUMP, how can you say you support your own needs if you cant see your ass from your elbow

  59. And you can add the notions of "white supremacy" to the anti-American list because if listen to the average ws, they often tout how much they hate communism and socialism… bunch of tools

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