SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2009:
Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Crisis and What to Do About It
A public forum and film screening with Richard D. Wolff, professor economics emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and consultant on Michael Moore's new film, "Capitalism: A Love Story."
The film, "Capitalism Hits the Fan: Richard Wolff on The Economic Meltdown" and his book, "Capitalism Hits The Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What Can Be Done About It" chronicle economist Richard D. Wolff's growing alarm and insights as, from 2005 to 2009, he watched 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 academics. Step by step, Wolff shows that deep economic structures -- the relationship of wages to profits, of workers to boards of directors, and of debts to income -- account for the crisis. Bailout interventions by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury have thrown too little money too late at a problem that requires more than money to solve.
Forum and Q&A moderated by Between The Lines/WPKN Radio producer Scott Harris
Click here to view the trailer.
- 2 to 4:30 p.m. Film, film screening, Q&A and booksigning
Unitarian Society of New Haven, 700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden, CT
(Suggested donation: $15, students $5 with ID)
Advance reservations for the forum/film
All forum/film tickets can be paid at the door, cash or check made payable to The Global Center
There will be a line for advance reservations. Please call (203) 268-8446 to reserve tickets in advance. Please leave your name, number in your party and phone number. About Your Donation
- 4:15-5:15 Reception with light refreshments
in Unitarian Society of New Haven lobby
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Read an article previewing the event: "BEACH: Filmmakers begin economic discussion," New Haven Register, Oct. 23, 2009
- Squeaky Wheel Productions
- The New Haven Advocate and Fairfield Weekly
Location and Directions:
Unitarian Society of New Haven
700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden, CT
From I-91, North or South
Take exit #10 onto Route 40. Take exit #1 (State St./Dixwell Avenue). At foot of ramp, turn left. At traffic light, turn left onto Hartford Turnpike. Drive two miles. USNH will be on your right.
From Wilbur Cross Parkway (CT-15) Northbound
Take exit #62. At end of ramp, turn left onto Dixwell Avenue. Drive 1/2 mile to second traffic light. Turn right onto Hartford Turnpike. Drive two miles. USNH will be on your right.
From Wilbur Cross Parkway (CT-15) Southbound
Take exit #63. At end of ramp, turn left onto Hartford Turnpike and drive three miles. USNH will be on your right.
From New Haven
Go north on Whitney Avenue, past Eli Whitney Museum. At the traffic light at Hamden Hall corner of Whitney Avenue and Davis Street, turn right onto Davis Street. Go over small bridge over reservoir. At first light, turn left onto Hartford Turnpike. At about one mile, The Unitarian Society will be on your left at 700 Hartford Turnpike (sign for a children day care center)/
The Day's Schedule
- 1:30-2 p.m. Press interviews
- 1:30 p.m. - Doors open, networking, book and product sales, tabling in church lobby. All tickets can be paid at the door, cash or check made payable to The Global Center
There will be a line for advance reservations.
- 2 to 3:10 p.m. - Introduction by Scott Harris and film screening of "Capitalism Hits the Fan"
- 3:10-3:40 p.m. - Richard D. Wolff
- 3:40-4:10 p.m. - Q&A
- 4:10-4:15 p.m. - Closing remarks
- 4:15- 5:15 p.m.- Booksigning, reception with Richard D. Wolff, Between The Lines producers, friends and members of the community. You're invited! Product sales and community tabling also in church lobby.
Call (203) 268-8446 for more information.
About Your Donation
Proceeds benefit Squeaky Wheel Productions, nonprofit organization created by the producers of the syndicated "Between The Lines" radio newsmagazine, produced at WPKN Radio 89.5 FM.
Your donation helps support Between The Lines' syndication and distribution of our projects to over 45 radio stations, as well as the world at large through the Internet.
All contributions to "The Global Center" (also known as The International Center for Global Communications Foundation, Inc. (dba "The Global Center"), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in New York City, are tax-deductible.
If you cannot attend this event, but would like to make a contribution, you can donate online or make your tax-deductible payable to "The Global Center," and mail to:
Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc.
P.O. Box 110176
Trumbull, CT 06611
Richard D. Wolff on Michael Moore's film, "Capitalism: A Love Story":"Michael Moore's new film is an important event. Together with capitalism's current crisis, it returns public attention to the question of our current economic system and whether we can do better. The Cold War stifled honest debate about capitalism. Moore's film helps us to resume a long overdue public discussion. As a professional economist concerned with comparing the strengths and weaknesses of capitalist and socialist economic systems, I was pleased to assist in the film's production."
Additional information from Richard D. Wolff
Professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Wolff is featured in a new film produced by the Media Education Foundation, "Capitalism Hits the Fan." He said:"We need to see this crisis historically to get a sense of how serious this is. In every decade from 1820 to 1970, workers in the United States enjoyed a rising level of wages. Even during the Great Depression this was true. But since the 1970s, that history of the U.S. stopped. Real wages stopped rising in the 1970s and they have never resumed. "Meanwhile, there has been a huge increase in productivity across the last 100 years. Most of it in the last 30 years -- the very period when wage increases stopped. What the workers get in those years stays flat. What they produce for their employers grows. This led to spectacular profits for U.S. corporations. After the 1970s, unprecedented corporate profits fueled an unprecedented stock market boom. The results were a fast-growing inequality of wealth and income dividing Americans, a bubble that burst first in the stock market and then in the real-estate market, and now the worst downturn since the Great Depression. "What did the corporations do with that money? They paid salaries to executives no one had ever heard of before. They went on a binge of buying up other companies -- mergers and acquisitions -- bringing huge profits also to the financial sector that handled all the proliferating profits, bonds connected to mergers, initial stock offerings of new companies, and so on. "And most importantly, banks and large companies discovered a very profitable way to use their new, huge profits: They would lend the money to the employees. The way the employees could raise their consumption when their wages didn't go up anymore was to borrow back from their employers a portion of the extra profits that their frozen wages made possible. Personal debt has zoomed up. So you have an economy built on a house of credit cards. "To understand the American economy in the last 30 years amounts to this: Employers no longer raised the wages of their workers. Instead, they lent them the money. 'Instead of raising the wages of my workers, I lend them the money, which they have to pay me back -- with interest! Isn't that better than paying them more wages?' In this way, the rich got much richer while the majority fell ever further behind, building toward today's economic crash. "What the Obama administration as well as most of the Democrats and Republicans in Congress fear to admit is that this isn't just a crisis of Wall Street. We've run out of ways to keep this going, the wages are not going up and the credit is now tapped out. It's not a 'financial crisis' -- finance is just the symptom -- it's a crisis of the fundamental structure of the economy."
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