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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.
Trump is using the government as a bargaining chip -- like a dictator would
Trump's entire presidency to date has sacrificed the means of democracy to preserve his personal power, and the shutdown over the border is no different. Democracy is about means, not ends. If we all agreed on the ends (such as whether to build a wall along the Mexican border) there'd be no need for democracy.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
The Big Economic Switcheroo
The rich used to pay higher taxes to the government. Now, the government pays the rich interest on a swelling debt, caused largely by lower taxes on the rich. Which means a growing portion of everyone else's taxes are now paying the rich interest on those loans, instead of paying for government services everyone needs. The big switcheroo should be reversed.
Monday, January 7, 2019(1 comments)
American Democracy Seems Rigged Because It Is
The most important thing we must do to save our democracy is get big money out of politics. It's a prerequisite to accomplishing everything else. Today, big money continues to corrupt American politics, creating a vicious cycle that funnels more wealth and power to those at the top and eroding our democracy.
Saturday, January 5, 2019(3 comments)
Why We Must Get Big Money Out of Politics
The most important thing we must do to save our democracy is get big money out of politics. It's a prerequisite to accomplishing everything else. Today, big money continues to corrupt American politics creating a vicious cycle that funnels more wealth and power to those at the top and eroding our democracy.
Friday, January 4, 2019(8 comments)
What to Expect of House Democrats
Democrats are now in control of the House of Representatives, but they are not miracle workers. Republicans still control the Senate. The House Ways and Means Committee is specifically authorized to subpoena Trump's tax returns. They might even move to impeach Trump, if Mueller reports what I expect him to.
Thursday, January 3, 2019
Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?
A wall is being erected around the nation, an outer perimeter, separating the United States from the Third World. So far, our national wall extends along only 64 miles of the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico, but Congress has appropriated funds for lengthening it and also fortifying it.
Monday, December 31, 2018(22 comments)
America's New Year's resolution: impeach Trump and remove him
At least twice in the past month he has reportedly raged against his acting attorney general for allowing federal prosecutors to reference him in the crimes his former bagman Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to committing. This is potentially the most direct obstruction of justice yet.
Wednesday, December 26, 2018(2 comments)
The Megalomaniac and the Stock Market
All modern economies depend on public confidence that politicians can't lower interest rates to serve their own purposes, such as getting short-term growth at the expense of long-term inflation and instability. (Which is exactly what Trump wants to do.)
Tuesday, December 25, 2018(7 comments)
The US is on the edge of the economic precipice -- Trump may push it over
The shutdown is stoking fears that Trump could do something even more alarming. He might fail to authorize an increase in government borrowing before the federal debt reaches the current limit, which Congress extended to 2 March. A default by the US on its obligations would be more calamitous than a government shutdown.
Sunday, December 23, 2018(3 comments)
10 Steps to Save American Democracy
Trump isn't the only problem. As Big Money floods our political system, and some in power are intent on making it harder for certain people to vote, we need a movement to save our democracy.
Friday, December 21, 2018
Watch Your Wallets
The problem with the Fed hiking rates now is that Trump has already stressed the paychecks of most Americans. The rate hike will make matters worse. Most Americans are still living in the shadow of the Great Recession that started in December 2007 and officially ended in June 2009. More Americans have jobs, but their pay has barely risen when adjusted for inflation.
Tuesday, December 18, 2018(1 comments)
Why Trump's Private Transactions are Terrifying
As we enter the third year of his presidency, Trump's utter blindness to the public interest is a terrifying possibility. At least a scoundrel knows when he is doing bad things. A megalomaniac who only sees the art of the deal, doesn't.
Sunday, December 16, 2018(7 comments)
How to Hold Corporations Accountable
In the 1980's, the only goal of large corporations became maximizing profits and returns for shareholders. Corporate profits are now a higher share of the economy than they were for most of the past century, and workers' share of the total economy is the lowest.
Corporations are now amassing huge control over our economy and fueling widening economic inequality. Corporate profits are now a higher share of the
Saturday, December 15, 2018(4 comments)
The Truth About Privatization
Privatization too often only boosts corporate bottom lines. Private for-profit corporations can do certain tasks very efficiently. And some privatization has worked. But the goal of corporations is to maximize profits for shareholders, not to serve the public interest.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018(1 comments)
China Tariffs are a Regressive Tax on Americans, and Risk a Recession
"I am a Tariff Man," Trump tweeted last week. "When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so." We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN." But -- Tariffs are paid by American consumers. Trump has made Americans poorer.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018(5 comments)
Trump Takes on General Motors (And Guess Who Wins?)
The real challenge is to make American workers great again. They don't just need any job. They need good jobs, akin to those that GM's unionized workers had a half-century ago. Most Americans haven't had a raise in decades, considering inflation.
Saturday, December 1, 2018
What's A Subpoena -- And Should Trump Fear It?
A subpoena is a legal command from a court or from one or both houses of Congress to do something -- like testify or present information. The term "subpoena" literally means "under penalty." Someone who receives a subpoena but doesn't comply with it may be subject to civil or criminal penalties.
Friday, November 23, 2018(4 comments)
The Rule of Law
Democracies depend on what's known as the "rule of law." No person is above the law, not even a president. Which means a president cannot stop an investigation into his alleged illegal acts. A president cannot prosecute political opponents or critics. Yet Trump has repeatedly pushed the Justice Department to bring charges against Hillary Clinton.
What Amazon HQ2 tells us about America's great divide
Amazon could easily have decided to locate its second headquarters in, say, Indianapolis, Indiana. After all, Indianapolis was one of the finalists in Amazon's search for a second headquarters, and the city vigorously courted the firm. Not incidentally, Indianapolis is a Republican city in a bright red Republican state.