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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Free Film & Discussion Series, Wednesday 6/10/09


Democracy for America-Tucson's Free Summer Film and Discussion Series Kick-Off!


What: A screening of Capitalism Hits the Fan starring Richard Wolff discussing the Economic Meltdown.

The film is followed by a discussion titled "Taking Back our Lives: What They Won't Teach You About Economics" .

When: Wednesday, June 10th, 2009. 7 pm
Where: Ward 6 City Council Office, 3202 E. First St.
Cost: Free.
Bonus: Popcorn and drinks will be served.
For more information - 777-7190 or aherodias.1 @ netzero.net (spaces removed)


Whatever you're doing this summer, DON‘T FORGET, Democracy for America- Tucson’s Free Summer Film and Discussion Series every second Wednesday of the month.

"The End of the World As We Know It: Everything You Learned About Economics Is Wrong"

We’ll take up topics like: Where have the money and jobs gone? Why does wealth always travel upwards? Drowning in stuff. Why it doesn’t pay to get sick in USA.

For June's movie, check out the info below:

About the movie:
"With breathtaking clarity, renowned University of Massachusetts Economics Professor Richard Wolff breaks down the root causes of today's economic crisis, showing how it was decades in the making and in fact reflects seismic failures within the structures of American-style capitalism itself. Wolff traces the source of the economic crisis to the 1970s, when wages began to stagnate and American workers were forced into a dysfunctional spiral of borrowing and debt that ultimately exploded in the mortgage meltdown. By placing the crisis within this larger historical and systemic frame, Wolff argues convincingly that the proposed government “bailouts,” stimulus packages, and calls for increased market regulation will not be enough to address the real causes of the crisis - in the end suggesting that far more fundamental change will be necessary to avoid future catastrophes. Richly illustrated with motion graphics and charts, this is a superb introduction designed to help ordinary citizens understand, and react to, the unraveling economic crisis."
Common Dreams has a wonderful synopsis:

"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 hundred 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."

From Alternative Public Radio:

"Taxpayers are being called upon to clean up the messes of Wall Street. It's curious when banks and corporations are making money hand over fist, they get to keep everything. However, when their exotic financial instruments such as credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations drown in red ink, then the public bails them out. Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz says the rescue plan "amounts to robbery of the American people.""

Richard Wolff Bio:

Richard Wolff is a well-known economist. After receiving his Ph.D. from Yale, he taught at the City College of New York from 1969 to 1973, and then began teaching at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he has been full professor since 1981. He is the author of numerous articles and books on economics.

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