18 Oct 2014, 3:05pm
Diet Soap Update
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Diet Soap Podcast #225: Were Top Corporate Executives Really Hogging Workers’ Wages?

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CEOs, Supermanagers, and other rich people are the subject this week as Andrew Kliman asks the question “Were Top Corporate Executives Really Hogging Workers’ Wages?”

Professor Andrew Kliman is a professor of economics and Pace University and the author of the books Reclaiming Marx’s Capital and The Failure of Capitalist Production,” and the answer he gives as he discusses his essay at Truthdig may surprise you.

Here’s an excerpt from that essay:

Thomas Piketty attributes rising inequality in the U.S. primarily to huge increases in the salaries of CEOs and other top executives, but he misinterprets the evidence. Rising salaries of top executives actually explain very little of the rise in inequality, and they depressed other employees’ pay by only a negligible amount.

It’s Monday, October 13th, 2014, and I’m Douglas Lain the host of this podcast.

I’d like to thank Andy M, Jacob L, John Lewis, James H, John S, and Phillip L for donating to the podcast, and urge regular listeners to the Diet Soap podcast to find the paypal button at dietsoap.podomatic.com or look for the paypal buttons at douglaslain.com which will be going up in the next few days. Also, the podcast is available via iTunes and I urge people who enjoy this show to consider leaving a review at iTunes in lieu of a donation.

Diet Soap Podcast #224: Pop the Imperialism

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Imperialism is the subject this week as C Derrick Varn and I bring back Pop the Left and discuss Lenin’s pamphlet “Imperialism: The Highest Form of Capitalism.”This was to be a discussion of the notion of the labor aristocracy, but we decided to start slow and see if we could understand Imperialism first.

From Lenin’s pamphlet, here’s the definition:

[Imperialism features]

(1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life
(2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy
(3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance
(4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves
(5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed.

Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed.

I’d like to urge regular listeners to the Diet Soap podcast to find the paypal button at dietsoap.podomatic.com. Also, the podcast is also available via iTunes and I urge people who enjoy this show to consider leaving a review at iTunes in lieu of a donation

Diet Soap Podcast #223: Death and Other Impossibilities

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Death is the subject this week as I talk to Daniel Coffeen about his neurosis, his grieving, and his buddhist therapist. The inevitability and impossibility of death is the subject as the sophist or rhetor and I try to figure out what life is all about and how we might live on in the face of our inevitable end.

You might hear a bit of a difference this week as I’m trying out my new Snowball Microphone and I’d like to thank Andy Marshall for his generous donation. Andy will be receiving the old Snowball microphone in the next week, after I get a chance to sign the thing.

I’d also like to urge regular listeners to the Diet Soap podcast to find the paypal buttons at dietsoap.podomatic.com. Also, the podcast is also available via iTunes and I urge people who enjoy this show to consider leaving a review at iTunes in lieu of a donation.

Soap Zero 2: Enlightenment Interrupted

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German Idealism and the Enlightenment are the subjects this week as Michael Steinberg discuss his book “Enlightenment Interrupted.” Steinberg is an independent scholar and practicing attorney with a PhD in intellectual history from the University of Rochester. His book “Enlightenment Interrupted (The Lost Moment of German Idealism and the Reactionary Present)” came out from Zero Books in July of this year.

Previous books from Mr. Steinberg include The Fiction of a Thinkable World and A New Biology of Religion.

Professor Andrew Nash at the University of Cape Town praised the book. He wrote, “Michael Steinberg’s “Enlightenment Interrupted” is a master class and a rollercoaster ride, all at once. The pitfalls of abstract individualism have been pointed out since Hegel, and explaining them has been central to radical political thought for fifty years by now. But it’s never been easy to grasp concretely how that separation of self and world came about, and what the alternative to it could have been.”