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Robert Reich

Robert Reich

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of "Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future." He blogs at

Some workers aren’t rewarded
By Robert Reich

WHAT SOMEONE IS paid has little or no relationship to what their work is worth to society.

Does anyone seriously believe that hedge-fund mogul Steven A. Cohen is worth the $2.3 billion he raked in last year, despite being slapped with a $1.8 billion fine after his firm pleaded guilty to insider trading?

On the other hand, what’s the worth to society of social

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 11:05 AM
The super-rich are nonworking
By Robert Reich

IN A NEW Pew poll, more than three-quarters of self-described conservatives believe “poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything.” In reality, most of America’s poor work hard, often in two or more jobs. The real nonworkers are the wealthy who inherit their fortunes. And their ranks are growing.

In fact, we’re on the cusp of the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history.

The wealth is coming from those who over the last three

Tuesday, August 05, 2014 12:56 PM
Conservatives lobby for freedom
By Robert Reich

THE SUPREME COURT struck down a key part of the Affordable Care Act, ruling that privately owned corporations don’t have to offer their employees contraceptive coverage that conflicts with the corporate owners’ religious beliefs.

The owners of Hobby Lobby, the plaintiffs in the case, were always free to practice their religion. The court bestowed religious freedom on their corporation as well — a leap of logic as absurd as giving corporations freedom of speech. Corporations aren’t people.

The deeper problem is the court’s obliviousness to the growing

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:37 PM
Hillary Clinton’s hardest choice
By Robert Reich

WHAT’S THE REASON  for the tempest in the teapot of Hillary and Bill Clinton’s personal finances?

It can’t be about how much money they have. Wealth has never disqualified someone from high office. Several of the nation’s greatest presidents, who came to office with vast fortunes — John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and his fifth cousin, Teddy — notably improved the lives of ordinary Americans.

The tempest can’t be about Hillary Clinton’s veracity. It may have been a stretch for her to say she and her husband were “dead broke” when they left the White House, as she told ABC’s Diane Sawyer. But they did have large legal bills to pay off.

And it’s probably true that, unlike many of the “truly well off,”

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 1:29 PM
Right-wing lies about poverty
By Robert Reich

RATHER THAN confront poverty by extending jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed, endorsing a higher minimum wage or supporting jobs programs, conservative Republicans are taking a different tack.

They’re peddling three big lies about poverty. To wit:

Lie No. 1: Economic growth reduces poverty.

“The best anti-poverty program,” wrote Paul Ryan,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014 1:01 PM

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