Subscriber Login



Forgot Your Username?
Forgot Your Password?
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 robertreich.org.


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
 
Here’s some more on jobs, wages
By Robert Reich

I SPENT SEVERAL days in New York last week with students from around the country who were preparing to head into the heartland to help organize Walmart workers for better jobs and wages. (Full familial disclosure: My son Adam is one of the leaders.)

Almost exactly 50 years ago, a similar group headed to Mississippi to register African-Americans to vote, in what came to be known as Freedom Summer.

Call this Freedom Summer II.

The current struggle of low-wage workers

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 11:27 AM
 
Federal policies killing women
By Robert Reich

ACCORDING TO a report released earlier this month in the widely respected health research journal The Lancet, the United States now ranks 60th out of 180 countries on maternal deaths occurring during pregnancy and childbirth.

To put it bluntly, for every 100,000 births in America last year, 18.5 women died. That’s compared to 8.2 women who died during pregnancy and birth in Canada, 6.1 in Britain, and only 2.4 in Iceland.

A woman giving birth in America is more than twice as likely to die as a woman in Saudi Arabia or China.

You might say international comparisons should be taken

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 12:52 PM
 
The four biggest right-wing lies
By Robert Reich

EVEN THOUGH French economist Thomas Piketty has made an airtight case that we’re heading toward levels of inequality not seen since the days of the 19th-century robber barons, right-wing conservatives haven’t stopped lying about what’s happening and what to do about it.

Herewith, the four biggest right-wing lies about inequality, followed by the truth.

Lie No. 1: The rich and CEOs are America’s

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 10:51 AM
 
Losers of game saying ‘no deal’
By Robert Reich

EVERY YEAR I ask the students in my “Wealth and Poverty” class to play a simple game. I have them split up into pairs and imagine that I’m giving one of them $1,000. They can keep some of the money only on condition they reach a deal with their partner on how it’s to be divided between them.

I explain that they’re strangers who will never see one other again, can only make one offer and respond with one acceptance (or decline), and can only communicate by the initial recipient writing on a piece of paper how much he’ll share with the other, who must then either accept (writing “deal” on the paper) or decline (“no deal”).

You might think many initial recipients of the imaginary $1,000

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 10:31 AM
 
Billionaires ready to place their bets
By Robert Reich

LAST WEEK A majority of the Supreme Court decided that the First Amendment protects the right of individuals to pour as much as $3.6 million into a political party or $800,000 into a political campaign.

The court said such spending doesn’t corrupt democracy. That’s utter baloney, as anyone who has the faintest familiarity with contemporary American politics well knows.

The McCutcheon v. FEC decision would be less troubling were the distribution of income and wealth in America more equal. But over the last few decades it has become extraordinarily concentrated. The richest 400 Americans now possess more wealth than the bottom half of the U.S. population put together.

A few billionaires are now deciding on

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 11:04 AM
 
CEOs raking in huge salaries
By Robert Reich

IT’S OFTEN ASSUMED that people are paid what they’re worth. According to this logic, minimum wage workers aren’t worth more than the $7.25 an hour they now receive. If they were worth more, they’d earn more. Any attempt to force employers to pay them more will only kill jobs.

By this same logic, CEOs of big companies are worth their giant compensation packages, now averaging about 300 times the pay of the typical American worker. They must be worth it or they wouldn’t be paid this much. Any attempt to limit their pay is fruitless because their pay will only take some other form.

“Paid what you’re worth” is a dangerous myth.

Fifty years ago, when General Motors

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 9:35 AM
 
The great U-turn
By Robert Reich

DO YOU RECALL a time in America when the income of a single schoolteacher or baker or salesman or mechanic was enough to buy a home, have two cars and raise a family?

I remember. My father (who just celebrated his 100th birthday) earned enough for the rest of us to live comfortably. We weren’t rich but never felt poor, and our standard of living rose steadily through the 1950s and 1960s.

That used to be the norm. For three decades after World War II,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:57 AM
 
«StartPrev1234567NextEnd»

Page 1 of 7