28: Hadas Thier explains how capitalism doesn’t work

In the opener to episode 26 we discussed the political impact of the Great Recession and promised to soon have a guest to help explain the economic side of the story. We take our promises very seriously, so this week we bring in Hadas Thier, a regular contributor to the International Socialist Review and the author of the forthcoming book A People’s Guide to Capitalism: An Introduction to Marxist Economics.

Hadas breaks down the events that led 10 years ago to the global economic crisis, from the casino capitalist shenanigans on Wall Street to the underlying problems of global overproduction that led so many investors to pour their money (and our pensions) into those Ponzi schemes in the first place.

Hadas also talks to us about why mainstream economists are more interested in promoting capitalism than explaining how it works (and why it doesn’t) and how she decided after years of activism to teach herself economics in the face of the conventional wisdom that it’s too complicated for non-academics—especially non-academic women.

Jen had to miss this episode so for our opener, Eric joined Danny to discuss why the Republicans have been dead set on sticking with Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court despite the mounting number of sexual assault allegations against him (and we also snuck in some sound and a short interview with Kaylin Kaupish from National Women’s Liberation during the New York City protest on October 1 outside the Yale Club). They then moved on to briefly talk about the death of notorious Chicago police torturer John Burge, and the possibility of a major Los Angeles teachers strike in the coming months.

Links for this episode:

· International Socialist Review roundtable on “Where is Capitalism Heading?” featuring Hadas and other writers (http://bit.ly/ISRroundtable)

· Hadas’s article celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of Karl Marx’s Capital (http://bit.ly/Capital150years)

· “She speaks for us and we’ll stand with her”: Socialist Worker editorial calling for nationwide protests to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination (http://bit.ly/ProtestKavanaugh)

Music and audio for this episode:

Kaylin Kaupish, National Women’s Liberation, at Stop Kavanaugh march in NYC on October 1

Vic Mensa, “16 Shots”

Sonic Youth, “Youth Against Fascism”

Angelique Kidjo's new cover of The Talking Heads’ "Once in a Lifetime”

Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.”

Prince, “Act of God”