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Professor Richard Wolff: U.S. economy 'a disaster'

Richard Wolff, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, said the U.S. economy is "a disaster" during an interview Wednesday on Hill.TV's "Rising."

“It's awful I mean there's no nice way for me to say this or for anyone to hear it. It is a disaster, what we're going through,” said Wolff. 

“Let's remember we are now living through a combination of two crises overlaid on one another,” the professor continued.

“The coronavirus, which is out of control. Clearly so. Eighty-three percent of American counties are now experiencing surges, and we are living through the worst crash of our economic system — our capitalist system — since the 1930s. Either one of those would be a catastrophe, having them both at the same time is a catastrophe squared.”

Wolff said the only entity with the power to help fix the state of the country is the government, which he sees as filled with people who don’t want the government to play a major role in these crises. He refers to this situation as “a social dead end.”

When comparing the U.S. economic response to the coronavirus to what other countries have done, Wolff said China stood in stark contrast, with its economy growing while western countries shrink.

"This is a society that is economically growing this year. No other major economy can say that. We're shrinking, the British are shrinking, the Europeans are shrinking, etc, etc. They took extreme measures to lock down the areas that were experiencing this virus and that has paid off in the economic realm," he said.

"We here in the United States have this bizarre notion of the trade off as if, taking care of the economy is a choice, rather than taking care of the virus," said Wolff. "What is happening to us now is that the virus is teaching us that was a terrible mistake. Because if you don't deal with the virus properly, it's going to come back and undercut your economy."