AMY GOODMAN: So, you’ve got, before this, the capital gains tax break, the break for the richest Americans, and President Trump says he’s improving the economy, and now the stock market has plummeted back to the Depression times. Explain.
RICHARD WOLFF: Well, you know, we’ve had an economy that never really escaped the crash of 2008. In a way, the last 10 years have been an economy on life support: vast amounts of money pumped into the economy; record drops in interest rates, inviting everybody—business, individuals, governments—to borrow money—a debt-sustained situation. And after a while, you can’t mount up the debt on the basis of an economy that hasn’t really gotten going. And we’re seeing the eventual break.
You know, the capitalist system has a downturn every four to seven years. It’s had that for centuries. And the last big downturn was 2008 and ’09. So, if you do four and seven, and you add it to nine, we’re due for one. And every major stock market observer, bank and so on predicts that we’re having a downturn. So it’s really only a question of exactly when. And the stock market anticipates this. And so we’re having, in a way, economic chickens coming home to roost. And the notion that it’s just the Fed’s policy that explains this is really the kind of remark that would get a student a very low grade in any economics course.