Economy Environment Richard Wolff

VIDEO: Ask Prof Wolff: Carbon Emissions, Consumption, and Wages

By Richard Wolff / Democracy At Work

A Patron of Economic Update asks: “If pay for workers increases, won’t that increase consumption (unless its stolen back through inflation) and, in turn, America’s carbon footprint? I’m concerned about sustainability.” This is Professor Richard Wolff’s video response.

Richard Wolff
Richard Wolff

Richard D. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he taught economics from 1973 to 2008. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City.
Earlier he taught economics at Yale University (1967-1969) and at the City College of the City University of New York (1969-1973). In 1994, he was a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Paris (France), I (Sorbonne). Wolff was also regular lecturer at the Brecht Forum in New York City.


  1. Wow. You will own nothing (private transport, private housing) and be happy. Count me out.

    1. I don’t believe you have a say in the matter. Unless of course your willing to die for your beliefs.

    2. Yep, but you must live in a supportive community that’s fairly self-reliant. I don’t and I don’t know where else to go. I wish that Wolff would stop using the “private car” as his main example of an unsustainable practice. First of all he should call for severe reductions in the US military, whose carbon footprint is larger than many nations together. Secondly, there’s a notable increase in people living in their vehicles. Yeah, we could afford housing for everyone if we weren’t throwing billions at the MIC, but that’s not going to change anytime soon and once again, regular working people are blamed for bs that the system generates. Wolff should know better, but maybe not since he’s a NYC resident.

  2. Wage theft through taxation could be replaced by a carbon fee and dividend. Consumption should not be hindered by sales taxes.
    Is this what Wolff is saying. No, it is what I say.

  3. You are a slave and your masters are madmen and psychopaths.

    One would think that would provoke some kind of action in the name of self preservation. But one would be mistaken…..

  4. I’ve been getting information on MMT or Modern Monetary Theory. I can’t make sense of how any institution, organization or even government can simply mint money to cover its costs. I’m not a bookkeeper or accountant but the only thing that makes sense to me is whatever money you get into your hands is what you can use to spend. I was thinking all this time that government money was money I pay with my tax dollar. They get that and use it to cover costs. Granted the way this government allocates money is not beneficial to the people they serve but it still does not make sense that they don’t need my tax dollar because they can just simply print money to cover their expenses

    1. Linda, there’s more to MMT than just printing money and hoping for the best; it’s certainly an economic approach that warrants careful consideration, especially in light of the myths surrounding national deficits. One thing for certain governments worldwide never seem to be short of money to expand their military.

      Stephanie Kelton – – has written an easy to read account of MMT;
      ‘The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory And The Birth Of The People’s Economy’ – and the second part of her subtitle – People’s Economy – is sufficient reason to give MMT some attention.

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