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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.


The redistribution of wealth, profits
By Robert Reich

ONE OF THE worst epithets that can be leveled at a politician these days is to call him a “redistributionist.” Yet 2013 marked one of the biggest redistributions in recent American history — a redistribution upward, from average working people to the owners of America.

The stock market ended 2013 at an all-time high — giving stockholders their biggest annual gain in almost two decades. Most Americans didn’t share in those gains, however, because most people haven’t been able to save enough to invest in the stock market. More than two-thirds of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck.

Even if you include the value of IRAs,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 11:46 AM
 
Health law deserves time
By Robert Reich

WHATEVER happened to American can-do optimism? Even before the Affordable Care Act covers its first beneficiary, the nattering nabobs of negativism are out in full force.

“Tens of millions more Americans will lose their coverage and find that new Obamacare plans have higher premiums, larger deductibles and fewer doctors,” predicts Republican operative Karl Rove. “Enrollment numbers will be smaller than projected and budget outlays will be higher.”

Rove is joined by a chorus of conservative Cassandras,

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 12:09 PM
 
What does charitable mean?
By Robert Reich

IT’S CHARITY TIME, and not just because the holiday season reminds us to be charitable. As the tax year draws to a close, the charitable tax deduction beckons.

America’s wealthy are its largest beneficiaries. According to the Congressional Budget Office, $33 billion of last year’s $39 billion in total charitable deductions went to the richest 20% of Americans, of whom the richest 1% reaped the lion’s share.

The generosity of the super-rich is sometimes proffered as evidence they’re contributing

Monday, December 23, 2013 11:56 AM
 
The true price of holiday deals
By Robert Reich

THE MOST important website last weekend and in weeks to come — on which the hopes and fears of countless Americans are focused (and the president’s poll ratings depend) — is not healthcare.gov. It’s amazon.com.

Even if and when healthcare.gov works perfectly, relatively few Americans will be affected by it. Only 5% of us are in the private health-insurance market to begin with. But almost half of Americans are now shopping for great holiday deals online, and many will be profoundly affected, not because they get great deals, but because their jobs and incomes are at stake.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 12:34 PM
 
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
 
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