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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

The Ryan choice
By Robert Reich

MITT ROMNEY’S chosen running mate, Paul Ryan, is the reverse of Sarah Palin. She was all right-wing flash without much substance. He’s all right-wing substance without much flash.

Ryan is not a firebrand. He’s not smarmy. He doesn’t ooze contempt for opponents or ridicule those who disagree with him. In style and tone, he doesn’t even sound like an ideologue — until you listen to what he has to say.
It’s here — in Ryan’s views and policy judgments — we find the true ideologue. More than any other politician today, Ryan exemplifies the social Darwinism at the core of today’s Republican Party: Reward the rich, penalize the poor, let everyone else fend for themselves.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012 2:54 PM | Updated ( Wednesday, November 28, 2012 2:25 PM )
Candidates weak on economy pitch
By Robert Reich

THE WORST ECONOMY since the Great Depression and you might think at least one of the candidates would come up with a few big ideas for how to get us out of it.

But you’d be wrong. Neither candidate wants to take any chances by offering any large, serious proposals. Both are banking instead on negative campaigns that convince voters the other guy would be worse.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012 5:49 PM
Telling the truth about Obama
By Robert Reich

TO HEAR THE media report it, President Obama is proposing a tax increase on wealthy Americans. That’s misleading at best. He’s proposing that everyone — including the rich — receive a continuation of the Bush tax cuts on the first $250,000 of their incomes. (If they’re filing singly, the first $200,000.) Any dollars they earn in excess of $250,000 will be taxed at the old Clinton-era rates.
Get it? Everyone is treated exactly the same. Everyone gets a one-year extension of the Bush tax cut on the first $250,000 of income. No “class warfare.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 2:19 PM
The true meaning of patriotism
By Robert Reich

RECENTLY I PUBLICLY debated someone who said Arizona and every other state should use whatever means necessary to keep out illegal immigrants. He wants English to be spoken in every classroom in the nation, and the Pledge of Allegiance recited every morning. And he wants to restore every dollar of the $500 billion in defense cuts scheduled to start in January. “We have to preserve and protect America,” he said. “That’s the meaning of patriotism.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 2:53 PM
Economy stuck in first gear
By Robert Reich

RARELY IN HISTORY has the cause of a major economic problem been so clear yet have so few been willing to see it.
The major reason this recovery has been so anemic is not Europe’s debt crisis. It’s not, as right-wing economists tell us, because taxes are too high on corporations and the rich, safety nets are too generous to the needy, and regulations on business are too onerous. It’s not even, as some liberals contend, because the Obama administration hasn’t spent enough on a temporary Keynesian stimulus.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 2:17 PM
The job stall
By Robert Reich

HOWEVER?ONE looks at last Friday’s jobs report, it’s a stunning reminder of how anemic the recovery has been — and how perilously close America is to falling into another recession.
Not only has the unemployment rate risen for the first time in almost a year, to 8.2%, but, more ominously, May’s payroll survey showed that employers created only 69,000 net new jobs. The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics also revised its March and April reports downward. Only 96,000 new jobs have been created, on average, over the last three months.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 2:39 PM | Updated ( Tuesday, February 18, 2014 1:32 PM )
It’s a tough road for new graduates
By Robert Reich
Members of the Class of 2012,

As a former secretary of Labor and current professor, I feel I owe it to you to tell you the truth about the pieces of parchment you’re picking up today.
You’re screwed.
Well, not exactly. But you won’t have it easy.
First, you’re going to have a hell of a hard time finding a job. The job market you’re heading into is still bad. Fewer than half of the graduates from last year’s class have as yet found full-time jobs. Most are still looking.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 6:25 PM
Sustaining the economy
By Robert Reich

ON MAY 1, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its highest peak since December 2007. But April’s jobs report was a disappointment — only 115,000 new jobs were created. At least 125,000 are required each month just to keep up with the growth of our working-age population.
What’s going on?
Shares are up because corporate profits are up, and profits are up largely because companies have figured out how to do more with less.
One of the most striking legacies of the Great Recession has been the decline of full-time employment — as companies have substituted software or outsourced jobs abroad (courtesy of the Internet, making outsourcing more efficient than ever), or shifted them to contract workers also linked via Internet and software.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 2:56 PM
Fairness needed to grow economy
By Robert Reich

GET READY FOR the tax wars.
President Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich, setting a minimum tax rate of 30% on millionaires (the so-called “Buffett Rule,” named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who says it’s unfair that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary).

Mitt Romney, the presumed Republican presidential candidate, wants to lower taxes on the rich. He supports the House Republicans’ plan to cut the highest tax rate from 35% to 25%, thereby reducing the taxes of millionaires by an average of at least $150,000 a year.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 5:25 PM
The house always wins
By Robert Reich

ANYONE WHO SAYS you can get rich through gambling is a fool or a knave. Multiply the size of the prize by your chance of winning it and you’ll always get a number far lower than what you put into the pot. The only sure winners are the organizers — casino owners, state lotteries and con artists of all kinds.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 2:08 PM

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