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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

Sustaining the economy
By Robert Reich

ON MAY 1, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its highest peak since December 2007. But April’s jobs report was a disappointment — only 115,000 new jobs were created. At least 125,000 are required each month just to keep up with the growth of our working-age population.
What’s going on?
Shares are up because corporate profits are up, and profits are up largely because companies have figured out how to do more with less.
One of the most striking legacies of the Great Recession has been the decline of full-time employment — as companies have substituted software or outsourced jobs abroad (courtesy of the Internet, making outsourcing more efficient than ever), or shifted them to contract workers also linked via Internet and software.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 2:56 PM
Fairness needed to grow economy
By Robert Reich

GET READY FOR the tax wars.
President Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich, setting a minimum tax rate of 30% on millionaires (the so-called “Buffett Rule,” named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who says it’s unfair that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary).

Mitt Romney, the presumed Republican presidential candidate, wants to lower taxes on the rich. He supports the House Republicans’ plan to cut the highest tax rate from 35% to 25%, thereby reducing the taxes of millionaires by an average of at least $150,000 a year.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 5:25 PM
The house always wins
By Robert Reich

ANYONE WHO SAYS you can get rich through gambling is a fool or a knave. Multiply the size of the prize by your chance of winning it and you’ll always get a number far lower than what you put into the pot. The only sure winners are the organizers — casino owners, state lotteries and con artists of all kinds.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 2:08 PM
Morality crisis in America
By Robert Reich

REPUBLICANS HAVE morality upside down. They’re condemning gay marriage, abortion, access to contraception and the wall separating church and state.
But the moral crisis in America isn’t a breakdown in private morality. It’s a breakdown in public morality. What Americans do in their bedrooms is their own business. What corporate executives and Wall Street financiers do in boardrooms and executive suites affect all of us.
We’re living through a new Gilded Age of financial fraud and conflicts of interest; exorbitant pay to executives, traders, hedge-fund and private-equity managers; tax loopholes that allow them to pay a lower rate than many middle-class Americans; and legalized bribery of public officials through unlimited campaign “donations.”

Tuesday, April 03, 2012 2:31 PM
Economic pie is growing again
By Robert Reich

FIRST, THE GOOD news. The economic pie is growing again. Growth in the fourth quarter last year hit 3% on an annualized rate. February’s 227,000 net new job mark the third month in a row of jobs gains well in excess of 200,000.
Here’s the bad news. The share of growth going to American workers is at a record low.
Although the nation is now producing more goods and services than it did before the slump began in 2007, we’re doing it with 6 million fewer people.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 3:26 PM

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