Psychology & Economy

Fall 2009

Why are the people of the US so remarkably politically passive in the wake of the economic disaster that has robbed them of their jobs, their homes and their intimate relationships? The official unemployment is now well over 10% (rising from 7 million in December, 2007, to over 15 million today). The unofficial unemployment rate is now over 20%. Home foreclosure actions are being filed at over 350,000 per month, and job and credit conditions are deteriorating on a daily basis. Why then is there so little collective or organized fight-back? How and why do we differ from the other nations in Europe and Asia who are in the streets fighting for their jobs?

The discussion focuses on how the economic crisis is interacting with the psychological stresses and strains of US life today (isolation, loneliness, anxiety, depression, violence, child neglect, etc.). Is a potentially explosive convergence of economic and psychological crises now under way? What are the possibilities and strategies of left political mobilization around these intertwined crises in the US today?

Dr. Harriet Fraad is a practicing psychotherapist-hypnotherapist in Manhattan.

Richard D. Wolff is currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University, New York City. For more info, check Rick's website at

They are co-authors (with S. Resnick) of the book Bringing It All Back Home: Power, Gender, and Class in the Modern Household.

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