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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 robertreich.org.


Walmart workers need higher wages
By Robert Reich

WALMART JUST reported shrinking sales for a third straight quarter. What’s going on? Explained William S. Simon, the CEO of Walmart, referring to the company’s customers, “Their income is going down while food costs are not. Gas and energy prices, while they’re abating, I think they’re still eating up a big piece of the customer’s budget.”

Walmart’s CEO gets it. Most of Walmart’s customers are still in the Great Recession, grappling with stagnant or declining pay. So, naturally, the company’s sales are dropping.

But what Walmart’s CEO doesn’t get is that a large portion of Walmart’s customers

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 11:48 AM
 
GOP supported similar health bill
By Robert Reich

HOUSE MAJORITY Leader Eric Cantor says Republicans will seek to delay a requirement of the 2010 Affordable Care Act that all Americans obtain health insurance or face a tax penalty.

“With so many unanswered questions and the problems arising around this rollout, it doesn’t make any sense to impose this 1 percent mandate tax on the American people,” Cantor said.

While Republicans plot new ways to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, it’s easy to forget that for years they’ve been arguing that any comprehensive health insurance system should be designed exactly like the one that officially began Oct. 1, glitches and all.

For as many years, Democrats tried to graft health care onto Social Security

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 11:00 AM
 
The triumph of the Right
By Robert Reich

CONSERVATIVE Republicans have lost their fight over the shutdown and debt ceiling, and they probably won’t get major spending cuts in upcoming negotiations over the budget.

But they’re winning the big one: How the nation understands our biggest domestic problem.

Conservative Republicans say the biggest problem is the size of government and the budget deficit.

In fact, our biggest problem is the decline of the middle class and the increasing ranks of the poor,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:10 AM
 
GOP seeking great cyncism
By Robert Reich

AN OLD FRIEND who has been active in politics for more than 30 years tells me he’s giving up. “I can’t stomach what’s going on in Washington anymore,” he says. “The hell with all of them. I have better things to do with my life.”

My friend is falling into exactly the trap that the extreme right wants all of us to fall into — such disgust and cynicism that we all give up on politics. Then they’re free to take over everything.

Republicans blame the shutdown of Washington and possible default on the nation’s debt on the president’s unwillingness to negotiate over the Affordable Care Act. But that law has already been negotiated. It passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by the president.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 2:54 PM
 
Political use of ‘free market’
By Robert Reich

ONE OF THE most deceptive ideas continuously sounded by the right (and its fathomless think tanks and media outlets) is that the “free market” is natural and inevitable, existing outside and beyond government.

So whatever inequality or insecurity it generates is beyond our control. And whatever ways we might seek to reduce inequality or insecurity — to make the economy work for us — are unwarranted constraints on the market’s freedom and will inevitably go wrong.

By this view, if some people aren’t paid enough to live on, the market has determined they aren’t worth enough. If others rake in billions, they must be worth it. If millions of Americans remain unemployed or their paychecks are shrinking or they work two or three part-time jobs with no idea what they’ll

Tuesday, October 01, 2013 4:24 PM
 
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