12/1 The Ideas Behind “Participatory Economics” w/ Michael Albert

December 1, 2021

Sam and Emma host economist Michael Albert to discuss his recent book No Bosses: A New Economy For A Better World, on his theory of a third option of an allocation system, beyond free-markets and central planning, based around values of self-management, solidarity, diversity, equity, and a deconstruction of the division of labor. They begin by walking through what Albert means by “participatory economy,” and why the values he sets forwards are central to its functioning, before he, Emma, and Sam dive into why the demarkation of socioeconomic classes is so central to his program, looking at the alienating qualities of the concentration of power and decision-making in the professional-managerial class (what he calls the coordinator class). To emphasize this element, Michael Albert dives into experiences he had in Argentina in the wake of their 2001 financial crisis, working with democratized workplaces that found that, by maintaining the divisions of labor, alienation continued to find itself ingrained in unbalanced and task-based positions. Next, they dive into the role public schooling and higher education have in sorting and setting up the divide between the coordinator and task-compliant classes, before they move into the abolition of private property, but rather than putting it into the hands of the “state,” reserving it as a sort of “productive commons” where it is allocated based on responsible and socially valuable uses. Lastly, they dive into the allocation system that Albert envisions, as an evolving dialogue between workers and consumers that is aware of the necessity of pricing goods responsibly and clearly, and one that, unlike central planning or free-market systems, maintains dignity, empowers workers, promotes self-management, and maintains diversity and equity. Emma and Sam also dive into the disturbing instances of the Right’s Islamophobic abuses of Ilhan Omar, alongside the bipartisan establishment’s passive endorsement of this by refusing to hold GOP officials accountable.

And in the Fun Half: Sam, Emma, and the MR crew unpack Michael Albert’s new economic system, Matteo from Slovenia gives Sam space to wax about tax as they discuss the differences between income and VAT taxation, and Dick Durbin ponders the state of one Joe Manchin. Tucker finally finds a soft spot in his heart for brothers who defend sexual predators, before he is awe-inspired by Jason Whitlock’s 40-second dash to replacement theory. Dr. Oz announces his candidacy in Pennsylvania, Jack from Albany calls in regarding the upcoming 2022 NY Primaries and Hochul’s role as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Nancy Mace and Marjorie Taylor Greene give Kevin McCarthy trouble Democratic voters only wish their leadership would be able to achieve, plus, your calls and IMs!

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