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A Conversation with Richard Wolff, Part 2
03/11/2014   Reported By: Irwin Gratz
Economist Richard Wolff

Part two of a conversation with economist Richard Wolff, who has been arguing, of late, that America should move away from its traditional, capitalist business structure, toward one in which workers play a greater role in decision making.

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"If, democratically, all the workers in an enterprise, with or without the participation of the surrounding communities, but, if in a democratic way, the decisions were made, how are we going to distribute the profits that we have all contributed to producing in this enterprise, you would not give a wildly disproportionate amount of those net revenues, those profits, to a few top executives in multi-million-dollar pay packages, or to the major shareholders in generous payouts and dividends, because you would not think, as a democratic group, that that was the most equitable, the fairest, or the best, or for the corporation itself, in terms of its culture and it's growth over time; that's not the best way to distribute those profits," Wolff said.

If this sounds like Marxist thought, that's because it is. But Wolff said such worker self-directed enterprises already exist here and abroad.

[A transcript of the remainder of the interview is not available]

Wolff is scheduled to speak during a two-day conference at USM titled Capitalism Hits the Fan on Wednesday and Thursday March 12-13.

Visit the USM website for more information about the conference.

Wolff is a retired professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts. He currently teaches at the New School University in New York City.

Prof. Wolff's website: http://rdwolff.com/

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