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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.


Corporations aren’t people

 

By Robert Reich

THE JUSTICE Department has entered into the largest criminal settlement in U.S. history with the giant oil company BP, in connection with the 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 people and caused the worst oil spill in American history. BP pleaded guilty to 14 criminal counts, including manslaughter, and agreed to pay $4 billion over the next five years.

This is nonsensical. BP isn’t a criminal. Corporations aren’t people. They can’t know right from wrong. They’re incapable of criminal intent. They have no brains. They’re legal fictions — pieces of paper filed away in a vault in some bank.

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:23 PM | Updated ( Wednesday, November 28, 2012 1:47 PM )
 
It’s almost a civil war

 

By Robert Reich

THE VITRIOL IS worse than I ever recall. Worse than the Palin-induced smarm of 2008. Worse than the swift-boat lies of 2004. Worse, even, than the anything-goes craziness of 2000 and its ensuing bitterness.

It’s almost a civil war. I know families in which close relatives are no longer speaking. A dating service says Democrats won’t even consider going out with Republicans, and vice versa. My e-mail and Twitter feeds contain messages from strangers I wouldn’t share with my granddaughter.

What’s going on? Yes, we’re divided over issues like the size of government and whether women should have control over their bodies. But these aren’t exactly new debates. We’ve been disagreeing over the size and role of government since Thomas Jefferson squared off with Alexander Hamilton, and over abortion rights since before Roe vs. Wade almost 40 years ago.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 2:29 PM | Updated ( Wednesday, November 28, 2012 2:18 PM )
 
Non-voters vital in this election

 

By Robert Reich

HOWEVER YOU READ the polls, the 2012 presidential election is turning into a nail-biter. Former Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are just about tied among likely voters.

The bump Romney got from the first debate seems to have been matched by the bump the president got from the good jobs report for September. (We won’t know the real results of Tuesday night’s matchup for another week.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 3:03 PM | Updated ( Wednesday, November 28, 2012 2:19 PM )
 
Structure change will help economy

 

By Robert Reich

THE WHITE HOUSE is breathing a bit easier. The president’s awful debate performance was bad enough. If it had been followed by a bad jobs report, the president’s chances for re-election might have plummeted.

But the report showed September’s unemployment rate dropping to 7.8% — the first time it’s been under 8% in 43 months.

Look more closely, though, and the employment picture is murkier.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 3:06 PM | Updated ( Wednesday, November 28, 2012 2:20 PM )
 
Four reasons why Romney might win

By Robert Reich

CAN MITT ROMNEY possibly recover? Pundits and pollsters are beginning to doubt it. A survey conducted between Sept. 12 and Sept. 16 by the Pew Research Center — before the “47% of Americans are victims” video came to light — showed Obama ahead of Romney 51% to 43% among likely voters.

That’s the biggest margin in the September survey prior to a presidential election since Bill Clinton led Bob Dole, 50% to 38%, in 1996.

And, remember, this poll was done before America watched Romney belittle almost half the nation.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012 4:17 PM
 
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