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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

Jobs returning, but wages poor
By Robert Reich

THE GOOD NEWS: Jobs are returning. The bad news: Most of them pay lousy wages and provide low, if not nonexistent, benefits.

The trend toward lousy wages began before the Great Recession. According to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, weak wage growth between 2000 and 2007, combined with wage losses for most workers since then, means that the bottom 60% of working Americans are earning less now than 13 years ago.

This is also part of the explanation for

Tuesday, September 03, 2013 2:58 PM
Why aren’t CEO’s making a ruckus?
By Robert Reich

JOB GROWTH IS sputtering. So why aren’t the captains of American industry and finance — the nation’s top CEOs, the titans of Wall Street, the corporate movers and shakers — demanding that more be done to revive the economy? They have the political clout to make it happen.

It can’t be they don’t know that job growth is sputtering. The data are indisputable. July’s job growth of 162,000 jobs was the weakest in four months. The average workweek was the shortest in six months. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has also lowered its estimates of

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 4:44 PM
Stop subsidizing those executives
By Robert Reich

ALMOST EVERYONE knows CEO pay is out of control. It surged 16% at big companies last year, according to the New York Times, and the typical CEO raked in $15.1 million.

Meanwhile, the median wage continued to drop, adjusted for inflation.

What’s less well-known is that you and I and other taxpayers are subsidizing this sky-high executive compensation. That’s because corporations deduct it from their income taxes, causing the rest of us to pay more in taxes to make up the difference.

This tax subsidy to corporate executives

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 4:24 PM
GOP is intent on student ‘tax’
By Robert Reich

A BASIC ECONOMIC principle is that government ought to tax what we want to discourage, and not tax what we want to encourage.

For example, if we want less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we should tax carbon polluters. On the other hand, if we want more students from lower-income families to be able to afford college, we should not put a tax on student loans.

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, congressional Republicans seem intent on doing exactly the opposite.

Earlier this year the Republican-led House

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 5:13 PM
No magic bullet for good jobs
By Robert Reich

JOBS ARE returning with depressing slowness, and most of the new jobs pay less than the jobs that were lost in the Great Recession.

Economic determinists assume that globalization and technological advancement necessarily condemn a large portion of the American workforce to underemployment and stagnant wages, while rewarding those with the best educations and connections with ever higher wages and wealth.

Many on the right of the political spectrum say we should accept this outcome because we mustn’t interfere with the free market. Some on the left say we should withdraw from global trade; a few want us to become neo-Luddites and stop using labor-saving technologies.

Both sides are wrong. Other nations

Tuesday, July 09, 2013 2:21 PM

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