Glenn Loury
The Glenn Show
Richard Wolff and LaJuan Loury – Capitalism vs. Socialism

Richard Wolff and LaJuan Loury – Capitalism vs. Socialism


This week we’ve got something special for you here at The Glenn Show. In late October, I convened in person in New York City with the economist Richard Wolff for an extended debate on the comparative merits of capitalism and socialism. Some of you may have seen Rick’s previous appearance on TGS, where he joined John McWhorter and me for a similar debate. Rick and I both felt that we had more to say than that format allowed, so we agreed to meet face to face.

Both of us are passionate defenders of our positions—capitalism for me and socialism for Rick—so we knew we needed a moderator to keep things on track. Luckily, I knew just the person: my lovely wife, LaJuan Loury. If you’re a regular viewer, you’ll know that LaJuan and I have some stark political differences; her views have more in common with Rick’s than with mine. (And if you’re a regular podcast listener, you’ll recognize her voice from the introduction to every episode.) Rick and I agreed that LaJuan would set the agenda, formulate the questions that we would debate, and moderate the conversation. I think you’ll agree that she more than rose to the challenge.

As you might expect, this is a lively exchange. Rick and I have real differences in the ways we think about economics and politics. One thing on which we do agree is the necessity of having serious debates like this one in a civil and open manner. As TGS continues to grow, you can look forward to more content like this. You can also look forward, if all goes according to plan, to more LaJuan. And if you find yourself wishing for even more pushback on Rick’s positions than I offered, stay tuned. This Sunday’s edition of the newsletter will feature a bonus episode with the economist Gene Epstein, who offers a forceful rebuttal to Rick’s previous appearance on the show.

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Featured Content from the Manhattan Institute

“Prejudice must be measured rigorously. Statistically. Disparity doesn’t necessarily imply racism. It may feel omnipresent, but it isn’t all-powerful. Skills matter most,” writes Roland Fryer.  

0:00 Is capitalism a “winner take all” system?

12:54 Why does the word “socialism” make so many Americans afraid?

24:55 Has neoliberalism been beneficial for the US?

33:25 Capitalism’s role in rising living standards around the world

40:59 Are higher interest rates the only solution to inflation?

52:36 Can the market eradicate employment discrimination?

1:02:12 Why is the rent too damn high?

1:13;20 Can there be a kinder, gentler form of capitalism?

1:18:58 Closing statements

Recorded October 26, 2022

Links and Readings

Rick’s previous appearance on The Glenn Show

Gary Becker’s book, The Economics of Discrimination 

Matthew Desmond’s book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City


Glenn Loury
The Glenn Show
Race, inequality, and economics in the US and throughout the world from Glenn Loury, Professor of Economics at Brown University and Paulson Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute