A headshot of Muhammad Yunus, who is known for inventing microfinance and says capitalism has become too "greed-oriented." His new book is "A World of Three Zeros."

The man known for inventing microfinance, Muhammad Yunus, thinks that capitalism has grown too “greed-oriented.” Yunus won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work lending money at low interest rates to budding entrepreneurs around the world. In his new book “A World of Three Zeros,” Yunus argues that environmental destruction, unemployment and devastating inequality demonstrate that capitalism is broken. He’ll discuss the book and lay out his vision for how to fix capitalism and attain economic prosperity for all.

Guests:

Muhammad Yunus, author, “A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment And Zero Net Carbon Emissions”

Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus on Fixing Capitalism, Fostering Entrepreneurship 9 October,2017Michael Krasny

  • jakeleone

    Will someone please explain how back in 19th century, a penny was a huge amount of money (See “Little House on the Prarie”-Christmas episode”. But today, I walk around what looks to me what I might have in a Monopoly game (too bad Park Place 2017 isn’t 350$). Where did all the extra money come from? And please correlate that with the huge increase in population. Somebody must be out there printing it up. Yet thanks to massive automation and a cheap labor force in China, there is basically little to no inflation.

    And isn’t printing money the answer? That no one dare admit to.

    • D.Plorable

      The question of inflation is a lot more slippery than the official government numbers suggest. See the website ShadowStats.com. I walked into a market yesterday and the price of a one pound bag of organically grown carrots was $1.49, it was $0.99 like 3 weeks ago. These kind of price increases specifically for organically grown seem to be a trend, maybe it’s pure market econ but I doubt it. They’re driving margins to see how extreme that can go before people react. (Another trend trend in the last 10 years has been to shave down on product sizes so you get less for the same price.)

      But the real ball game is of course for the “big” components like housing and health care. Technology was supposed to make things more efficient? Meanwhile be on the lookout for the financial sector as usual. lately apparently some insurance companies are ratcheting up rates based on their effort to target the least-inclined to make the effort to switch (the older the consumer the more resistant–the gangsters at Citibank had this down to a science with “jumping” fees on seniors with low-activity basic savings account, by the time they figured out what was going on the had been gouged for 3 or 4 months of $25 fees.)

  • EIDALM

    Capitalism that follows social norms as well abide with governmental safe guards rules and regulation, may be OK, but what took place in the U S in the last 26 years since Reagan and his Neoliberals puppet masters, Milton Friedman, Erick Greenspan, David Ruben, Larry summers, Ben Barnake, and the rest of them sold Reagan on their voodoo economics, Reaganomics, and trickle down nonsense, with him in office, they had their way, and that all of the wealth was shifted up to the goons of the Wall Street, billionaires, and multinational corporations, and with that all it put an end to the once was the great American middle class, which send tens of Americans to the poorhouse, and homelessness.

  • EIDALM

    Milton Friedman and his gangs of Neoliberals from Reagan time, changed the U S economy from consumer based, where most Americans worked for small business, corporations, got paid, bought products, and paid their taxes, all of that was changed overnight by Milton Friedman and his gangs to shareholder economy, where the profit and greed of corporations and Wall Street was put ahead of the benefit of American, manufacturers, and factories were shut down for much cheaper labor overseas, they outsourced tens of millions of American jobs, brought in much lower paid HB-1 Visas to over much higher paid high tech Americans, entered in all of the unfair trade deals, like NAFTA, GAT, KAFTA, all agian were done to enrich the Wall Street, Billionaires, while destroying the whole American middle class. They used their casino, the so called stock market, with their bubble after bubble disasters, as well as junk bonds, the S&L scandals, where trillions of dollars of daytime highway robbery, were stolen from the American people including their savings, pensions, homes, and everything else they got their bloody hand on…..

  • EIDALM

    The solution to this awful situation, were less than 1% own near the whole wealth of America is to do what people in Iceland did, which is nationalize all banks, send all bankers and the goons of the Wall Street to prison for their entire life, forgive all of the loans that were done in deception, refund all of the fees and interest, and distribute the stolen wealth on all Americans in fair manners.

  • EIDALM

    The U S today is richer than ever, but 99% of the wealth is held in few hands on the top, that was done by the crooks of the Wall Street stranglehold in the U S government…..The best solution to correct for this extreme inequality we have today when near all Americans have real difficult time economically speaking….The only solution is to put ceiling on the wealth, let us say 50 million dollars per person, and put back the money saved back into the society where it was illegally taken in the first place,

  • EIDALM

    Too big too fial banks bailout was totally wrong, all banks should have been shutdown and then nationalized, all bankers should have been snd in prison for life. the banks totally never invested any of the money into the society, instead for banks use it to make mote bloofy money of millions of homes foreclosure robing Americans of their saving homes, and all,…If this trillions of dollars given to banks by GW Bush and Barack Obama were invested in the American people, each family of five would have received over 100 thousands of dollars which they would spend and would bring back the xonsumer based economy and with that our once was great American middle class,

  • jurgispilis

    What is the effect of immigration in regard to exacerbating the wealth gap?

    • D.Plorable

      If you look at central California it’s made it a lot worse. The strange paradox of very high levels of immigration, both legal and illegal, lots of refugees on top of it, and double-digit unemployment right alongside.

  • Dan McHale

    In his book Listen Liberal, Thomas Frank says that micro-loans don’t work. I wish you would have him on the show sometime.

    • D.Plorable

      It’s complex depending on the situation and locale. For instance GoFundMe is a kind of microcredit that really helped some of the retailers who got looted and burned in Ferguson MO.

  • BDN

    Izzie Yunus … Isaac Yunis … Yizhak Yunus … a name change like that deserves another Nobel Prize!

  • Another Mike

    If you’re a good employee, you will probably always have a job; while entrepreneurs go out of business all the time. A friend of mine had to work well into her seventies because her husband’s business went broke. Entrepreneurs have to have two skills: whatever they do to earn a living, and business skills. While an employee only needs one set of skills.

    • D.Plorable

      There’s a good reason why elite-class people from Gates to Musk to Hawking are sounding alarms about AI and robotics, and why Zuckerberg-class billionaires are talking up guaranteed minimum income. Left to pure market forces and globalization AI and robotics are going to drive the stratification forces already visible to ever-more-extreme levels. Computer pioneer Adam Osborne wrote a prophetic book about this back in the 80s called “Running Wild” but it was ignored by the media in favor of glassy-eyed cons like “Megatrends” Naisbitt. A test plot in Britain just planted, cultivated, and harvested a crop entirely by machines.

      https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/industrial-robots/autonomous-robots-plant-tend-and-harvest-entire-crop-of-barley

  • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

    1) Thank you for your life’s work! Today is Columbus Day, or variably: Indigenous People’s Day. But we might also call it, incorporating both: Global Pioneers’ Day! Host and guest alike deserve this appellation.

    2) I love the Wealth Diamond idea. Thank you for that powerful metaphor!

    3) Here’s a slogan which, if not new, I haven’t heard enough: “Each one help one!”

    4) Mr. Yunus was dismissive of law as a means of fixing social ills and extreme polarization, but law will help a lot when poor people can make use of it promptly when needed and enjoy its protections. We need to counterbalance “Economic Discrimination Before the Law” with a “Universal Right to Civil Counsel.”

  • D.Plorable

    He gets a great press considering episodes like this:

    https://www.circa.com/story/2017/05/10/politics/bangladesh-prime-minister-says-clinton-personally-pressured-her-to-help-foundation-donor

    why is a microcredit foundation giving money to the Clintons?

    plus I wish the host would give the “Paris Accords” a rest–that was a spectacular con to extract trillion from consumers to fund the UN/NGOs without significant enforcement mechanisms to prevent the abuses that have been all-too-common in the past (like most of the rock star benefit money for the starving Africans got skimmed off by their governments)

    https://www.spin.com/featured/live-aid-the-terrible-truth-ethiopia-bob-geldof-feature/
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1259061/Sorry-Bob-Geldof-Band-Aid-millions-DID-pay-guns.html

    meanwhile never reported by the networks is how China (2X US gas output already) and India plan on going right along and building 1K more coal-fired plants. One of the biggest coal developments in history between Pakistan and China has received almost no coverage from the US media. You are more likely to see coverage of world news like this on the RT than on US corporate networks.

    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/03/17/china-kickstarting-new-coal-boom-pakistan/

  • jakeleone

    You know a guy like Bill Gates consumes a lot, but there is really a limit to how much a anyone can consume. I keep thinking about Warren Buffet playing the ukulele, that ukulele might be made of solid platinum he doesn’t consume a lot.

    But better than middle class wealth, spread across hundreds of millions, is actually a huge waste of resources. People who live in empty 7 bedroom homes and drive big gas guzzling cars waste a huge amount of resources. So realize that if the middle class gets richer without becoming more efficient, that’s an environmental nightmare.

    Also, I really believe in automation. Such automation, tempered with moderate inflationary pressure to counteract the deflationary aspect of automation is fine. You basically increase the total of goods and services, followed up with an increase in cash to keep the markets liquid. But saying such a thing is so counter to the dogma that has been derived from the Weimar inflation disaster, that no one dare say it.

    Altruism happens when you have met all your personal needs. When technology, either brought by the Private sector or the Public sector, conquers all/most of the critical needs of people, people will be able to more altruistic. Hey if I am hungry or in need of expensive medical care, I won’t give a cent, everything I have will be in game of preserving my life or the life of those I love (and love comes at a great cost to personal freedom).

    In the future the real jobs will be personal services (you can guess what I mean), entertainer, and resource owner.

  • jakeleone

    Some people will always dependent. Some people will be content sitting on line chatting or shopping all day (and here I am). If a welfare check is all you need, that’s all you will do. People are dependent things and to some extent we all are dependent on a handout from the government. On D-day, the government taxed 2000 soldiers all they had and gave that wealth to all of us today. Government exists for a purpose, getting that purpose oriented towards the greater good is the big struggle, but we haven’t perfected it, that does not excuse us from trying. We can’t hide behind the Dogma that the free market is any more the sole answer then eminent domain. This is our real condition.

    But having said that, I really like today’s guest, I like the love and happiness in his message. We really are building a bridge between heaven and hell in the our engineering of the world. Having said that, let’s not let hysteria limit our thinking about how to engineer our eco-system for the better.

  • gary garchar

    Credit seems like a good scheme for employers to underpay their employees and enslave them with debt.

    • Curious

      What constitutes “underpayment”?

  • red_slider

    I see no problem with people opting out of an ‘I want more’ economy and sitting around taking the modest amounts needed to survive, if they also are among the ones who created the surpluses that keep them alive in the first place. That is, you work for x-years (4-6 perhaps?) early in your adult life and you get the essentials (food, shelter, energy, education, transportation, health care…) that you worked and earned, for the reminder of your life — no questions asked. That benefit is simply a deferred wage that is due anyone who worked for it. All is based on a calculus for the average need any individual may have for such essentials over their lifetime. Actually, a life insurance program for necessities, one that the beneficiary really does pay for. Most people would continue to work for more and better things (luxuries). But for the basics, well that kind of ‘Paying it forward’ would be the end of both welfare and poverty as we know it.

    Ps. I agree with Michael’s brief question that a lot of people may not wish to become entrepreneurs, or have the insights to do well at it. I hate it for example. More an more of my life gets sucked into the business of business, as its demands become ever more complicated. Just paying taxes correctly now because a tug of war between the complications and the fees for having them done. And it will only get worse. I approve of micro-economic solutions to getting people the tools they need to do what they want. But not the part that makes it possible to do that only through entrepreneurial adeptness. Sometimes, just art or inclination or joy have to be enough. If not, the human project loses some of its spirit.

Host

Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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