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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.
Sunday, May 22, 2016(4 comments)
Why Trump Might Win
That most Americans don't particularly like Trump is irrelevant. As one Midwesterner told me a few weeks ago, "He may be a jerk, but he's our jerk." By the same token, in this era of anti-politics, any candidate who appears to be the political establishment is at a strong disadvantage. This may be Hillary Clinton's biggest handicap.
Monday, May 2, 2016(7 comments)
The Third Way: Share-the-Gains Capitalism
The vast majority of American companies are still locked in the old hyper-capitalist model that views workers as costs to be cut rather than as partners to share in success. That's largely because Wall Street still looks unfavorably on such collaboration. The Street's analysts don't believe hourly workers have much to contribute to the bottom line.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016(3 comments)
Why Is The Racial Wealth Gap Widening? And What Should Be Done To Reverse It?
Families of color are especially disadvantaged because they're less likely to have savings or inherit wealth, and face significant barriers to building wealth, such as discriminatory policies and practices that thwart home ownership. These structural disadvantages have built up to the point where the median net worth of white families is now more than 10 times greater than that of African-American or Latino families.
Monday, April 25, 2016(24 comments)
The Endgame of 2016's Anti-Establishment Politics
Anyone who assumes a wholesale transfer of loyalty from Sanders's supporters to Clinton, or from Trump's to another Republican standard-bearer, may be in for a surprise. The anti-establishment fury in the election of 2016 may prove greater than supposed.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016(1 comments)
Why Isn't Everyone In Favor of Taxing Financial Speculation?
Americans are fed up with Wall Street's financial games. Excessive speculation contributed to the near meltdown of 2008 -- which cost millions of people their jobs, savings, and homes. So why is it only Bernie Sanders who's calling for a financial transactions tax? Why aren't politicians of all stripes supporting it? And why isn't it a major issue in the 2016 election?
Sunday, April 10, 2016(1 comments)
Bernie and the Big Banks
As of now, only 155 of the 398 regulations required by Dodd-Frank have been finalized. And those final versions are shot through with loopholes big enough for Wall Street's top brass to drive their Ferraris through. The biggest banks still haven't even come up with acceptable "living wills," required under Dodd-Frank to show how they'd maintain important functions while going through bankruptcy.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016(2 comments)
Stop Voter Suppression
We need to move to the next stage of voting rights -- a new Voting Rights Act -- that renews the law that was effectively repealed by the conservative activists on the Supreme Court. Voting isn't a privilege. It's a right. And that right is too important to be left to partisan politics. We must not allow anyone's votes to be taken away.
Thursday, March 31, 2016(57 comments)
Why The Major Media Marginalize Bernie
It's understandable, even if unjustifiable, that the major media haven't noticed how determined Americans are to reverse the increasing concentration of wealth and political power that have been eroding our economy and democracy. And it's understandable, even if unjustifiable, that they continue to marginalize Bernie Sanders.
Thursday, March 31, 2016(2 comments)
Why Mainstream Media Disses Bernie
because the major media depend on the wealthy and powerful for revenues, because their reporters and columnists rely on the establishment for news and access, because their top media personalities socialize with the rich and powerful and are themselves rich and powerful... hemselves part of the establishment, the major media have come to see much of America through the eyes of the establishment
Tuesday, March 22, 2016(3 comments)
How the People's Party Prevailed in 2020
Politics abhors a vacuum. In 2019, the People's Party filled it. Its platform called for getting big money out of politics, ending "crony capitalism," abolishing corporate welfare, stopping the revolving door between government and the private sector, and busting up the big Wall Street banks and corporate monopolies.
Thursday, March 17, 2016(4 comments)
Tell Your Senators to Do Their Job
The Constitution doesn't give the Senate leader the right to delay and obstruct the rest of the Senate from voting on a President's nominee. Yet this is what the current Republican leadership argues. In refusing to vote or even hold a hearing on the President's nominee to the Supreme Court, the GOP is abdicating its constitutional responsibility. It's not doing its job.
Monday, March 14, 2016(6 comments)
The New Truth About Free Trade
Proponents say giant deals like the TPP are good for the growth of the United States economy. But that argument begs the question of whose growth they're talking about. Almost all the growth goes to the richest 1 percent. The rest of us can buy some products cheaper than before, but most of those gains would are offset by wage losses.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016(3 comments)
The American Fascist
Viewing Donald Trump in light of the fascists of the first half of the twentieth century -- who used economic stresses to scapegoat others, created cults of personality, intimidated opponents, incited violence, glorified their nations and disregarded international law, and connected directly with the masses -- helps explain what Trump is doing and how he is succeeding.
Thursday, March 3, 2016(2 comments)
Why the Critics of Bernienomics Are Wrong
Not a day goes by, it seems, without the mainstream media bashing Bernie Sanders's economic plan -- quoting certain economists as saying his numbers don't add up. (The New York Times did it again just yesterday.) They're wrong. You need to know the truth, and spread it.
Monday, February 29, 2016(2 comments)
An Open Letter to the Republican Establishment
Republicans: as you may have noticed, most of your companies aren't growing nearly as fast as they did before the Great Recession. Your sales are sputtering, and your stock prices are fragile. That's because you forgot that your workers are also consumers. As you've pushed wages downward, you've also squeezed your customers so tight they can hardly afford to buy what you have to sell.
Saturday, February 27, 2016 10 Reasons Marco Rubio is no Moderate
Marco Rubio is being positioned as a moderate alternative to Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. Baloney. His positions are extreme right. Although elected to the Senate as a Tea Party favorite, he's now the establishment's favorite Republican.
Monday, February 22, 2016(3 comments)
The End of the Establishment?
Regardless of the political fates of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, the rebellion against the establishment will continue. Eventually, those with significant economic and political power in America will have to either commit to fundamental reform, or relinquish their power.
Sunday, February 21, 2016(2 comments)
4 Reasons Ted Cruz is Even More Dangerous than Donald Trump
Cruz denies the existence of man-made climate change, rejects same-sex marriage, wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, believes the 2nd amendment guarantees everyone a right to guns. He doesn't believe in a constitutional divide between church and state, favors the death penalty, rejects immigration reform, demands the repeal of Obamacare, and takes a strict "originalist" view of the meaning of the Constitution.
Friday, February 19, 2016(2 comments)
Why Bernie's Proposals Would Spur Economic Growth
Failure to take action on the biggest banks, a single-payer plan, widening inequality, and discrimination will almost certainly harm the economy. We can't afford another near-meltdown of Wall Street. Health care costs continue to be a huge drain on the economy. Widening inequality is robbing the vast middle class of the purchasing power it needs to keep the economy growing.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016(7 comments)
The Death of the Republican Party
Without a Party, anyone runs who's able to raise (or already possesses) the requisite money -- even if he happens to be a pathological narcissist who has never before held public office, even if he's a knave detested by all his Republican colleagues. Without a Republican Party, it's just us and them. And one of them could even become the next President of the United States.
Monday, February 8, 2016(2 comments)
Why We Must Try
We must get big money out of our democracy, end crony capitalism, and make our economy and democracy work for the many, not just the few. But change on this scale requires political mobilization. It has never been easy. It will require the energies and commitments of large numbers of Americans. Which is why you shouldn't listen to the "we-must-not-try" brigade. They've lost faith in the rest of us.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016(1 comments)
It Takes a Movement
"The real world we're living in" right now won't allow fundamental change of the sort we need. It takes a movement. Such a movement is at the heart of the Sanders campaign. The passion that's fueling it isn't really about Bernie Sanders. Had Elizabeth Warren run, the same passion would be there for her. It's about standing up to the moneyed interests and restoring our democracy.
Saturday, January 30, 2016(2 comments)
The Post's Wrong-headed Attack on Bernie Sanders's Health Plan
We can debate specific numbers, but the Post's unstated assumption -- that the quality of health care received by Americans is superior to the quality received by, say, Canadians, from their single-payer, mostly publicly-funded system -- is not borne out by evidence.
Thursday, January 28, 2016(2 comments)
The Most Pragmatic Way to Fix American Democracy
The real choice isn't "pragmatism" or "idealism." It's either allowing these trends to worsen, or reversing them. Inequality has reached levels last seen in the era of the "robber barons" in the 1890s. The only truly pragmatic way of reversing this state of affairs is through a "political revolution" that mobilizes millions of Americans.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016(9 comments)
The Volcanic Core Fueling the 2016 Election
I've known Hillary Clinton since she was 19 years old, and have nothing but respect for her. In my view, she's the most qualified candidate for president of the political system we now have. But Bernie Sanders is the most qualified candidate to create the political system we should have, because he's leading a political movement for change.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016(8 comments)
Who Lost the White Working Class?
The Obama administration protected Wall Street from the consequences of the Street's gambling addiction through a giant taxpayer-funded bailout, but let millions of underwater homeowners drown. Both Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify -- with the result that large corporations have grown far larger, and major industries more concentrated
Sunday, January 17, 2016(7 comments)
Six Responses to Bernie Skeptics
Bernie is the strongest Democratic candidate in the general election, defeating both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in hypothetical matchups. (The latest Real Clear Politics averages of all polls shows Bernie beating Trump by a larger margin than Hillary beats Trump, and Bernie beating Cruz while Hillary loses to Cruz.)
Tuesday, January 12, 2016(17 comments)
"The Big Short" and Bernie's Plan to Bust Up Wall Street
The only way to contain the Street's excesses is by taking on its economic and political power directly -- with reforms so big, bold, and public they can't be watered down. Starting with busting up the biggest banks, as Bernie Sanders proposes. Unless they're broken up and Glass-Steagall resurrected, we face substantial risk of another near-meltdown.
Monday, January 4, 2016(5 comments)
The Economy in 2016: On the Edge of Recession
The economy faces a deep structural problem: not enough demand for all the goods and services it's capable of producing. American consumers account for almost 70 percent of economic activity, but they won't have enough purchasing power in 2016 to keep the economy going on more than two cylinders. Blame widening inequality.
Sunday, January 3, 2016(1 comments)
At Stake in 2016: Ending the Vicious Cycle of Wealth and Power
As the reformers of the Progressive Era understood more than a century ago, no single president or any other politician can accomplish what's needed because a system caught in the spiral of wealth and power cannot be reformed from within. It can be changed only by a mass movement of citizens pushing from the outside. this is the only way the vicious cycle of wealth and power can be reversed.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015(1 comments)
Of Rotten Apples and Rotten Systems
Unlike most other countries, the United States doesn't control drug prices. It leaves pricing up to the market. Which enables drug companies to charge as much as the market will bear. So what, exactly, did Martin Shkreli do wrong, by the standards of today's capitalism? He played the same game many others are playing on Wall Street and in corporate suites. He was just more audacious about it.
Monday, December 14, 2015(2 comments)
The Revolt of the Anxious Class
The anxious class feels vulnerable to forces over which they have no control. Terrible things happen for no reason. Yet government can't be counted on to protect them. Safety nets are full of holes. Most people who lose their jobs don't even qualify for unemployment insurance. Government won't protect their jobs from being outsourced to Asia or being taken by a worker here illegally.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015(1 comments)
Look Who's Buying American Democracy
How much more evidence do we need that our system is in crisis? How long before we make it work for all of us instead of a handful at the top? We must not let them buy our democracy. We must get big money out of politics. Publicly-finance political campaigns, disclose all sources of campaign funds, and reverse "Citizens United."
Monday, December 7, 2015(3 comments)
What to Do About Disloyal Corporations
By deserting America, Pfizer relinquishes its right to influence American politics. If Pfizer or any other American corporation wants to leave America to avoid U.S. taxes, that's their business.
But they should no longer get any of the benefits of American citizenship -- because they've stopped paying for them.
Saturday, December 5, 2015(3 comments)
Paul Ryan's 7 Terrible Ideas
The new Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, summed up his House Republican agenda -- vowing to pursue legislation that would frame a stark choice for voters in 2016. "Our No. 1 goal for the next year is to put together a complete alternative to the left's agenda," he said. Despite the speech's sweeping oratory and careful stagecraft, Ryan clings to seven dumb ideas that will only help the rich.
Monday, November 30, 2015(3 comments)
Why Hate Speech by Presidential Candidates is Despicable
Perpetrators of hate crimes often take their cues from what they hear in the media. And the recent inclination of some politicians to use inflammatory rhetoric is contributing to a climate of hate and fear. Carly Fiorina continues to allege, for example, that Planned Parenthood is selling body parts of fetuses.
Friday, November 27, 2015(4 comments)
Why The Sharing Economy Is Harming Workers -- And What Must Be Done
Already two-thirds of American workers are living paycheck to paycheck. This trend shifts all economic risks onto workers. A downturn in demand, or sudden change in consumer needs, or a personal injury or sickness, can make it impossible to pay the bills. It eliminates labor protections such as the minimum wage, worker safety, family and medical leave, and overtime.
Monday, November 23, 2015(1 comments)
Five Prerequisites for War Against ISIS
As we move toward war against ISIS, we must be vigilant -- to fairly allocate the burdens of who's called on to fight the war, to protect civil liberties, to protect innocent civilians abroad, to avoid hate and bigotry, and to fairly distribute the cost of paying for war. These aren't just worthy aims. They are also the foundations of our nation's strength.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015(1 comments)
The Perils of Circus Politics
Political parties used to sift through possible candidates and winnow the field. Now the parties play almost no role. Anyone with some very wealthy friends can set up a Super PAC. Or if you're a billionaire, you can finance your own campaign. If you're sufficiently outrageous and outspoken, a lot of your publicity will be free. Since Trump announced his candidacy last June, he hasn't spent any money at all on TV advertising.
Monday, November 9, 2015(2 comments)
What I Learned on My Red State Book Tour
Many of the conservative Republicans and Tea Partiers I met agreed with much of what I had to say, and I agreed with them. For example, most condemned what they called "crony capitalism," by which they mean big corporations getting sweetheart deals from the government because of lobbying and campaign contributions.
Friday, November 6, 2015(2 comments)
Former GOP Congress member: "It's a disaster. I'm telling you, if either Carson or Trump is elected, this country is going to hell. The rest of them aren't much better. I mean, Carly Fiorina? Really? Rubio? Please. Ted Cruz? Oh my god. And the people we thought had it sewn up, who are halfway sane -- Bush and Christie -- they're sounding almost as batty as the rest."
Monday, November 2, 2015 The Rigging of the American Market
As long as the big corporations, Wall Street banks, their top executives and wealthy shareholders have the political power to do so, they'll keep redistributing much of the nation's income upward to themselves. Which is why the rest of us must gain political power to stop the collusion, bust up the monopolies, and put an end to the rigging of the American market.
Sunday, October 25, 2015 On Leaders and Demagogues
A leader brings out the best in his followers. A demagogue brings out the worst. Leaders inspire tolerance. Demagogues incite hate. Leaders empower the powerless; they give them voice and respect. Demagogues scapegoat the powerless; they use scapegoating as a means to fortify their power. Leaders calm peoples' irrational fears. Demagogues exploit them.
Thursday, October 22, 2015(7 comments)
The 4 Big Lies About Immigrants -- And The Truth
Don't listen to the demagogues who want to blame the economic problems of the middle class and poor on new immigrants, whether here legally or illegally. The real problem is the economic game is rigged in favor of a handful at the top, who are doing the rigging.
Monday, October 19, 2015(1 comments)
The Morality of a $15 Minimum
Across America, workers at fast-food and big-box retail establishments are striking for $15. Some cities are already moving toward this goal. Bernie Sanders is advocating it. A national movement is growing for a $15 an hour minimum. Even if a $15 an hour minimum wage risks job losses, it is still the right thing to do.
Friday, October 16, 2015(3 comments)
AUSTERITY 101: The Three Reasons Republican Deficit Hawks Are Wrong
In every economic downturn and in every struggling recovery -- more government spending helps create jobs -- teachers, fire fighters, police officers, social workers, people to rebuild roads and bridges and parks. And the people in these jobs create far more jobs when they spend their paychecks.
Friday, October 9, 2015(4 comments)
Hillary, Bernie, and the Banks
Giant Wall Street banks continue to threaten the wellbeing of millions of Americans, but what to do? Bernie Sanders says break them up and resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act that once separated investment from commercial banking. Hillary Clinton says charge them a bit more and oversee them more carefully.
Friday, October 2, 2015(1 comments)
Why the Washington Post's Attack on Bernie Sanders is Bunk
The move toward free public higher education that began in the 1950s with the G.I. Bill and was extended in the 1960s by leading public universities was reversed starting in the 1980s because of shrinking state budgets. Tuition has skyrocketed in recent years as states slashed education spending. It's time to resurrect that earlier goal.
Monday, September 28, 2015(1 comments)
Donald Trump Proves What's Wrong With Bankruptcy Laws in America
In America, people with lots of money can easily avoid the consequences of bad bets and big losses by cashing out at the first sign of trouble. Bankruptcy laws protect them. But workers who move to a place like Atlantic City for a job, invest in a home there, and build their skills have no such protection.
Sunday, September 27, 2015(7 comments)
Why Big Tech May Be Getting Too Big
Economic and political power can't be separated because dominant corporations gain political influence over how markets are maintained and enforced, which enlarges their economic power further. One of the original goals of antitrust law was to prevent this.
Monday, September 21, 2015(1 comments)
Why the Republican Assault on Planned Parenthood is Morally Wrong and Economically Stupid
Last Friday, the House voted 241-187 to block Planned Parenthood's federal funds for a year. This may lead to another government shutdown. Funding for the government runs out at the end of the month, and several dozen House Republicans have said they won't vote for a funding bill that includes money for Planned Parenthood.
Saturday, September 19, 2015 4 Reasons Why The Wall Street Journal's Attack on Bernie is Bogus
An article in the Wall Street Journal -- charging that Bernie Sanders's proposals would carry a "price tag" of $18 trillion over a 10-year period is entirely bogus and is designed to frighten the public. It is a giant dump on Sanders, based on misinformation and distortion.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015(3 comments)
Why We Must Fight the Attack on Planned Parenthood
Public investments in family planning -- enabling women to plan, delay, or avoid pregnancy -- make economic sense, because reproductive rights are also productive rights. When women have control over their lives, they can contribute even more to the economy, better break the glass ceiling, equalize the pay gap, and much more.
Sunday, September 13, 2015 Ranking Colleges
U.S. News relegates to lower rankings public universities that admit most of the young Americans from poor families who attend college, and which graduate far larger percentages of teachers, social workers, legal aide attorneys, community organizers, and public servants than do the private elite colleges.
Monday, September 7, 2015 A Crisis of Public Morality, Not Private Morality
The final blow to public morality came when a majority of the Supreme Court decided corporations and wealthy individuals have a right under the First Amendment to spend whatever they wish on elections. Public morality can't be legislated but it can be encouraged. Glass-Steagall must be resurrected. Big banks have to be broken up.
Friday, September 4, 2015(19 comments)
What Happened to the Moral Center of American Capitalism?
The Dodd-Frank bill was an attempt to rein in Wall Street, but Wall Street lobbyists have almost eviscerated that act and have been mercilessly attacking the regulations issued. Republicans have not even appropriated sufficient money to enforce the shards of the act that remain. The Glass-Steagall Act must be resurrected. There has to be a limit on the size of big banks.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015(3 comments)
Labor Day 2028
In 1928, famed British economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would advance so far in 100 years -- by 2028 -- that it will replace all work, and no one will need to worry about making money. We still have 13 years to go before we reach Keynes' prophetic year, but we're not exactly on the way to it. Americans are working harder than ever.
Monday, August 24, 2015 The Upsurge in Uncertain Work
Whatever party -- contractor, client, customer, agent, or intermediary -- pays more than half of someone's income, or provides more than half their working hours, should be responsible for all the labor protections and insurance an employee is entitled to.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 Corporate Welfare In California
Back in 1978, corporations paid 44 percent of all property taxes and homeowners paid 56 percent. Now, after exploiting this loophole for years, corporations pay only 28 percent of property taxes, while homeowners pick up 72 percent of the tab.