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Entries by Robert Reich from 04/2012

Turning America Into a Giant Casino

| Posted 04.02.2012 | Business

Organized gambling is a scam. And it particularly preys upon people with lower incomes -- who assume they can't make it big any other way, who often find it hardest to assess the odds, and whose families can least afford to lose the money. Yet America is now opening the floodgates.

The Choice in 2012: Social Darwinism or a Decent Society

| Posted 04.04.2012 | Politics

The returns weren't all in yet on Tuesday's Republican primaries but President Obama didn't wait. He kicked off his 2012 campaign against Mitt Romney with a hard-hitting speech centered on the House Republicans' budget plan -- which Romney has enthusiastically endorsed. That plan, by the way, is the most radical reverse-Robin Hood proposal propounded by any political party in modern America. Here's what the president had to say about it: "Disguised as a deficit reduction... it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is thinly veiled social Darwinism." Indeed, we are likely to hear a lot more about social Darwinism in the months ahead.

The Fable of the Century

| Posted 04.05.2012 | Politics

Imagine a country in which the very richest people get all the economic gains. They eventually accumulate so much of the nation's total income and wealth that the middle class no longer has the purchasing power to keep the economy going full speed.

What Friday's Job Numbers Mean

| Posted 04.06.2012 | Politics

President Obama will claim the economy is improving -- and, technically, it is. Growth this year will most likely average around 2 percent. The problem is, most Americans aren't feeling it in their paychecks.

Why the Buffett Rule Sets the Bar Too Low

| Posted 04.10.2012 | Business

The Buffett Rule would generate only about $47 billion in extra revenues over the next decade, according to Congressional estimates. Why not restore top rates to what they were before 1980, and match the capital-gains rate to the income-tax rate?

Beyond Outrage: The General Election of 2012 Starts Today

| Posted 04.11.2012 | Politics

2012-04-11-Screenshot20120411at8.52.40AM.jpg

How Did Mitt Make So Much Money and Pay So Little in Taxes?

| Posted 04.12.2012 | Politics

2012-04-12-Screenshot20120412at8.18.38AM.jpgThe magic of private equity reveals a lot about how and why our economic system has become so distorted and lopsided -- and why all the gains are going to the very top.

Why a Fair Economy Is Not Incompatible With Growth But Essential to It

| Posted 04.16.2012 | Business

What we should have learned over the last half century is that growth doesn't trickle down from the top. It percolates upward from working people who are adequately educated, healthy, sufficiently rewarded, and who feel they have a fair chance to make it in America.

Thoughts on Tax Day 2012

| Posted 04.17.2012 | Politics

As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., wrote in 1904, "taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society." But the wealthiest Americans, who haven't raked in as much of America's income and wealth since the 1920s, are today paying a lower tax rate than they have in over 30 years.

The Significance of Citigroup's Shareholder Revolt

| Posted 04.18.2012 | Business

The vote against Vikram Pandit's proposed pay package isn't binding on Citigroup. But it's a warning shot across the bow of every corporate boardroom in America. Shareholders aren't happy about executive pay.

Why "We're on the Right Track" Isn't Enough, and What Obama's Plan Should Be for Boosting the Economy

| Posted 04.19.2012 | Politics

The Obama White House should face it: "We're on the right track" isn't sufficient. The president has to offer the nation a clear, bold strategy for boosting the economy. It should be the economic mandate for his second term.

Why Anyone Should Care That Bill O'Reilly Calls Me a Communist

| Posted 04.24.2012 | Politics

So many Americans are so angry and frustrated these days -- vulnerable to loss of job and healthcare and home, without a shred of economic security -- they're easy prey for demagogues offering simple answers and ready scapegoats. Take, for example, Bill O'Reilly.

How Europe's Double Dip Could Become America's

| Posted 04.25.2012 | Business

What's the problem with Europe? Don't blame it on the so-called "debt crisis." There was no debt crisis in Britain, for example, which is now experiencing its first double-dip recession since the 1970s. Blame it on austerity economics.

The GOP's Death Wish: Why Republicans Can't Stop Pissing Off Hispanics, Women, and Young People

| Posted 04.27.2012 | Politics

What are the three demographic groups whose electoral impact is growing fastest? Hispanics, women, and young people. Who are Republicans pissing off the most? Latinos, women, and young people. It's almost as if the GOP can't help itself.