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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

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
The two centers of power today
By Robert Reich

THERE ARE TWO great centers of unaccountable power in the American political-economic system today — places where decisions that significantly affect large numbers of Americans are made in secret and are unchecked either by effective democratic oversight or by market competition.

One goes by the name of the intelligence community, and its epicenter is the National Security Agency (NSA) within the Defense Department. If we trusted that it reasonably balanced its snooping on Americans with our nation’s security needs, and that our elected representatives

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 4:19 PM
Signs still show a stormy economy
By Robert Reich

ECONOMIC forecasters exist to make astrologers look good. But the recent jubilance is enough to make even weather forecasters blush.

“The economy is going gangbusters! Just look at consumer spending!”

“Look at home prices! Look at the bull market!”


I can understand the jubilation in the narrow sense that

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 3:02 PM

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