Richard Wolff: Detroit a “Spectacular Failure” of System that Redistributes Pay From Bottom to Top

Black Soul Science > Blog Posts  > Richard Wolff: Detroit a “Spectacular Failure” of System that Redistributes Pay From Bottom to Top

48 Comments

  • Bill Y.
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    I am a small business owner and work long hours. If this is a conflict, it would be me against me. Why didn't UAW onw 51% of GM and Ford so they can keep jobs in Detroit?

  • Bill Y.
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    I am a small business owner and work long hours. If this is a conflict, it would be me against me. Why didn't UAW onw 51% of GM and Ford so they can keep jobs in Detroit?

  • Janusha
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    IF YOU WORK HARD… YOU CAN MAKE IT IN MURCA… Oh… Just like every other country then. And newsflash… Its not the rich that work hard. They hire people on minimum wages for that.

  • Bethany Hunt
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Obama sounds exactly like Bernie Sanders! Shame he doesn't do what is required to make it happen! Bailing out industry, and protecting banks, and expecting local government, and the people, to "deal with it" themselves.

  • Matty Ice
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Its because a large number of black people migrated to detroit and moved into the same neighborhoods then all the white, blue collar american workers left because of all the crap and gangs they started. Im not racist. But lets face it. Detroit fell. Because of blacks.

  • David Well
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    NYTimes did an excellent story how the public sector unions and political machine in Detroit stole nearly 1 billion dollars over the last 30 years. They just gave away money to anyone that asked for it. So the lie that the pension was promised is up in smoke. Those public sector unions stole money from the taxpayers for decades and now it's time to pay back the taxpayers. Tough luck.

  • Tatersalad19 Cars
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    obama is full of shit

  • Boyd McConnell
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Now Obama is in the 1%.

    Who is worse: jimmy Carter or Obama? 

    Both horrible leaders.

  • crowbird213
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Many of our most talented people are being funneled into government fueled industries. Namely healthcare and military. Cut that government waste and the talent will flow back into global industries like the auto sector.

  • F1reF0rEffect
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Richard is a fucking retard. The CEO's don't steal money from the tax payers, promise pensions they can't pay for, nor borrow money they don't have. To suggest Detroit failed because of the "big 3" is like blaming a woman for being raped. Liberals are fucking stupid and they drove that city into the ground by themeselves. The fact liberals have been in control of Detroit for the last 30 years is the 1 and only common denominator.

  • crowbird213
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Wellfare creates stagflation. Nothing is worse for the people than stagflation. Corporate and rif raf wellfare that is. Unfortunately the republicans represent a few corporate interests and the democrats are big into subsidising rif raf. Two very sucky parties who do not have the majorities interests at heart.

  • Norgale .Norgale
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Richard has some very bad ideas. Some of what he says is the reason Detroit is where it is today. Stop giving away the money to people who don't work. Cutting spending is the only way Detroit can keep going.
    I see the city as a land of opportunity but not with the present government and tax structure.

  • crowbird213
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Japan and Germany are not supporting a 3rd world population on welfare. Japan and Germany do not have corporate welfare systems that diverts there most talented people to healthcare and military on the scale the US does. If the US would cut both welfare systems then US manufacturing would once again thrive.

  • ros1tony
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    keep voting for regulation and control.  every generation came here and had the opportunity to build wealth on their own.  50k for a building permit, 12 permits to open a taqueria  in Stockton California.  green movement, regulation and government control is darky control.  that's why its enacted in the states with the most minorities.  White liberal Asshole to the rescue… trying out policies – not in their back yard but the minority neighborhoods.

  • F1reF0rEffect
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    German autoworkers arn't supporting 186million people who pay zero federal income taxes. When Gemany expands it's socialized programs to 10 times then population then feel free to give me an update. Waste/inefficiency scales exponentially with size like piling on sand.

  • Michael W
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    German automakers are more unionized, pay their workers more, produce more cars and are more profitable. And none of them had to file for bankruptcy. The blame for US automaker troubles goes to the people that decided to focus on high-margin gas guzzlers.

  • F1reF0rEffect
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    The system is a rube goldberg machine. No one knows how it works b/c it doesn't.

  • InstantKarma376
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    I'm sorry but you sound like someone who has no idea how this system works

  • MetalDetroit
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Liberalism has decimated my once proud city.

  • F1reF0rEffect
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Step 1: let ~250 liberals run a city for 25years. Step 2: bankrupt the city with liberal gov't spending, social programs and payments to unions who in return ensure the same 250 liberal cronies get continually re-elected. Step 3: Unions supported and protected by the city bankrupt 2 of the 3 top performing car companies. Step 4: blame 3 ceo's.

  • Joe Marrone
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Did Wolff do any research at all before uttering these ridiculous comments? Now I know why he is at a college I never heard of, and sounds made up.First he is talking about wages being cut in half, to 14 dollars an hour The big three have minimal presence in Detroit now. FORD has zero presence in Detroit. So cutting the union wages in half has nothing to do with Detroit's bankruptcy.If Detroit stopped spending like they should have, they wouldn't be 18 billion in debt. Don't blame car companies

  • mofoefosho
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Respond to me here where people can see you liberal coward. No balls. By the way Im not a right wing tool. I dont watch FOX, CNN, or MSALSHARPTONBC. Her are some FACTS (I know left/right wing fucktards dont like FACTS) we just got the first republican mayor since 1963 FACT. The unions are controlled by corrupt politics and mafia pricks, Chicago mafia pricks. Oh Im sorry where is Obama, and the Rodham family from, oh yeah Chicago. Both sides are corrupt and we need a real change. 3rd party!

  • mofoefosho
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    All I know is corupt liberals and and corupt unions destroyed my beloved city, and for 2 terms Obama has promised to fix it. We need 3rd party, and I dont care about Bush I didnt like him either and that is a tired ass excuse. Reagan did not blame Carter, so liberals need to grow up and quit finger pointing. So sir I ask you, how are you going to fix my city

  • tom6612
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Ah dipshit Obama's economic team is from Wall Street.

    You're as dumb as they come. Liberal social democrat huh ? HAAAAAAAA . Got any more brilliant observations Einstein ?

  • Michael Quigley
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Lets see the DJIA was under 7,500 when he entered office and today it has doubled to over 15,000. Corporations are making record profits and yet as a% of GDP in taxes they are paying less than 2% compared to the 50's and 60's when they were paying in taxes 6% of GDP. You are either stupid or ignorant living in an alternative bagger universe.

  • EPLURiBusUNUM
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    He's a liberal social democrat on steroids because he believes in a strong central government managing of the economy. Record spending, thousands of pages of new government regulations, taxing the productive sector, etc., has nothing to do with Republicanism nor the right.

  • Michael Quigley
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Obama is not a socialist not even close he is right of center on economic issues.

  • portpass1974
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Once again, this doesn't include the income loses of the late 1970s and after the 2008 crash. And like we discussed before, it doesn't take into consideration the massive expansion of women joining the workforce, which means that each household has more people working.

    That is why I mentioned WAGES, since they're a more accurate view of an individual's income.

    Yes, there are benefits, but the Kaiser Family study I linked showed only an 0.8% increase in benefits outside of health care.

  • luvcheney1
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    The report stated the bottom 20% gained 18% over the period, and the 60% above them gained almost 40%. That is not a decline, nor is it stagnant. It is less than the top. But, the top percents had income shifts, from tax changes that put income onto personal returns, off of Corp returns. I know its a long report, but I actually read it, a few years ago. You cant say incomes are lower, when they are higher. You cant say increased incomes are causing debt.

  • portpass1974
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Quite right that all income classes lost income after the 2008 crash, but the gains that the top 1% has made over the last forty years have been monumental.

    The study you just sent me showed a 275 percent increase in income between 1979 and 2007 for the top 1%.

    That, along with the decline of wages of working class Americans and stagnation of incomes since the mid 1970s, have created untold levels of debt. And don't forget, we're not talking about WEALTH inequality, which is even larger.

  • luvcheney1
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    1979 is an ideal time to start, as Reagan came in, and started cutiing taxes AFTER. Libs claim he is at fault. The 2007 point just happened to be when the study was made. But, if you looked up SOI tax stats of IRS, you would see incomes fell 2007-2009, on upper classes, IRS hasnt published yet, since 2009. But, in 2007, bottom 50% (pre crash) made $70.5 bill, in 2009 $69 bill, only 2.1% decline. Top 1%, down 34%. Median and below didnt lose income, from crash. They get free money, safety net.

  • portpass1974
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    The problem with the 1979 to 2005 numbers is that they don't include the real income losses of the late 1970s and of course, the even greater losses in the late 2000s, especially after the 2008 crash.

    The other graphs from the document actually prove the growing economic inequality in the United States, not only between the working class and the rich, but between labor income and capital income since the early 1970s.

    But again, do you really think that growing inequality isn't taking place?

  • luvcheney1
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    cboDOTgov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/10-25-HouseholdIncomeDOTpdf

  • portpass1974
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Please send the links for these statistics.

  • luvcheney1
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    2nd post, CBO, reporting after tax, household incomes, for the middle 3 quintiles ( incomes of 21%-80%),or, 60% of the population arounfd the middle class, are up 40% from 1977-2007. Bottom 20% are up 18%. BTW, we live in households.

  • luvcheney1
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    The US doesnt have the low Standards of Living those other nations do either. You want a good GINI rating, or 2-3 cars, indoor plumbing, 3 color TV`s with 100 channels each, air conditioning, heat, avg 2300 sq ft homes, enough food to make you fat if you want, go to the movies?

  • portpass1974
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    You can disbelieve forty years of wage decline and income stagnation for the bottom 50% of the all you want. Frankly, I don't care if you refuse to accept statistics and facts.

    As for inequality, it's the radical GROWTH of inequality in America and throughout the world that is causing these problems. The U.S. literally has rates of inequality, as measured by the Gini ratio, that is equivalent of Third World dictatorships.

    This is exacerbating the problem of working class debt in America.

  • luvcheney1
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Income inequality is a topic of value. BUT: inequality of incomes is normal, because people are not equal. Many reasons for that. BUT, again, you say wage decline, and stagnation, which is not true. What IS true though, is that incomes of rich increase way faster. They also decline way faster too, when the shit hits the fan. Income of top 5% fell 25% (top 1% down 34%), 2007-2009, while incomes of bottom 50% fell just 2.2% ( SOI Tax Stats, IRS) The crash greatly helped "income inequality"!!

  • portpass1974
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    The issues of the corporate agenda and increasing inequality is not "off topic" to that of wage decline and income stagnation. It is a central cause of the shrinking middle class in America, growing debt and economic crisis.

    If you want to talk about after tax income, that's fine with me. So now you're in favor of progressive taxation and higher taxes on the rich?

    What other "socialist" policies do you agree with?

  • luvcheney1
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Oh, very nice. Now you leap completely off topic, and make another 7 unsupported assertions? This amuses me. But, let me be blunt, and back on topic. 1st, wage declines. 2nd, stagnation of wages, a change to neutrality. 3rd, inequality. All I wanted, was to show why census (AGI) is wrong, and after tax is right. Child deduction for 3 kids, was $3000. 10% of income, if earn $30K, just 3% if earn $100K. Is pre tax CORRECT? Census? Krugman? Now, 7 more topics? Fine. WHICH SPECIFIC DEREGULATION?

  • portpass1974
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    You seem so offended by the statistics I've provided about wage decline and growing inequality.

    WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN?

    Honestly, what did you think the end result was going to be of three decades of deregulation, corporate "free trade," tax cuts for the rich, exporting tens of millions of good paying jobs to the Third World, attacks on workers' rights, unionization decline and banks who play by their own rules.

    Did you REALLY believe it was all going to come "trickling down"?

  • luvcheney1
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    3rd, read the ther 2 as well. BLS also broke it down, and Blue Collar was 94.6 in 2001, and 99.1 in 2013, they too saw growth, if include the fringes too, of 4.8%, slightly lower than all workers. Still, NO wage declines through the biggest crash in 80 years.

  • luvcheney1
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    2nd post, read the other too. From BLS, "Employment Cost Index Historical Listing — Volume IV July 2013 Constant Dollar, March 2001-June 2013 (December 2005=100)", For 2001, all civilian workers, it is 94.6, and in 2013, its 100.1. Thats 6% greater, in 13 years, through the crash. They dont go further back that I find. But, you should feel better, that currently for 13 yrs, what you claim, is false. Oh, they used compensation, including fringes, payroll taxes, etc.

  • luvcheney1
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    OK please send again 1 reference (not many) that I can decipher. The first one I saw, was census. This cant possibly include fringes.. people do NOT know how much subsidy they get at work.They do NOT know how much SS/Med taxes are being paid, nor increase. ONLY 50% of workers are getting wages. From BLS, "Wages and salaries averaged $21.50 per hour worked and accounted for 69.1 percent of these costs, while benefits averaged $9.59 and accounted for the remaining 30.9 percent" 31%!

  • portpass1974
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    I NEVER said that wages were total compensation. However, for tens of millions of poor and working class Americans, wages are their only source of income.

    By "incomes" I mean total compensation, which is what the statistics bear out.

    Wealth inequality is even greater than income inequality. And Regarding progressive incomes taxes and other forms of redistribution, that's fine, but it's surprising to hear that coming from you.

    Since when did you become a socialist?

  • luvcheney1
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    WAGES is not compensation. Any reference to Wages IS DECEIT. As for inequality, again, explain why using AGI, instead of after tax? In 1970`s, personal income tax was HIGHER than Corp tax rates. What happened to incomes of wealthy, when personal rates fell below corp, and then equal? Oh pray my expert, EXPLAIN?

  • portpass1974
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Yes, they are different things. Wages aren't "stagnant" in America. They're declining, and have been for almost four decades. Median INCOMES have been stagnant, while the incomes and wealth of the top 5% have increased radically.

    I've said this ten times and have included half a dozen statistical links.

    The only thing I'm "uncomfortable" about is your utter lack of statistical evidence.

    If you think you want to "thrash the shit" out of me about inequality, you go right ahead and try.

  • luvcheney1
    August 31, 2017 at 9:15 am

    1) Declining wages, and stagnat wages are 2 different things. 2) Income inequality is a totally different subject. It is important, I agree, but you are switching subjects for a reason. You are uncomfortable. I am happy to go to inequality, but I insist upon thrashing the shit out of you FIRST. You start at "declining wages", then shift to "stagnant wages", so I show you ONE reason of several, Fringe benefits, payroll taxes, that hide a 7% INCREASE. Want to use AGI, instead of after tax too?