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Robert Reich
Robert Reich is the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. His film Inequality for All is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and Netflix. His homepage is

Entries by Robert Reich

The Worst Trade Deal You've Never Heard Of

(49) Comments | Posted January 31, 2015 | 9:55 AM

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, now headed to Congress, is a product of big corporations and Wall Street, seeking to circumvent regulations protecting workers, consumers, and the environment. Watch this video, and say "no" to fast-tracking this bad deal for the vast majority of Americans.

ROBERT B. REICH's film "Inequality for All" is now available on DVD and blu-ray, and on...

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Wall Street's Threat to the American Middle Class

(65) Comments | Posted January 26, 2015 | 6:17 PM

Presidential aspirants in both parties are talking about saving the middle class. But the middle class can't be saved unless Wall Street is tamed.

The Street's excesses pose a continuing danger to average Americans. And its ongoing use of confidential corporate information is defrauding millions of middle-class investors.

Yet most...

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The New Compassionate Conservatism and Trickle-Down Economics

(152) Comments | Posted January 19, 2015 | 12:58 PM

Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are zeroing in on inequality as America's fundamental economic problem.

Bush's new Political Action Committee, called "The Right to Rise," declares "the income gap is real" but that "only conservative principles can solve it."

Mitt Romney likewise promised last week that if he...

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Why Wages Won't Rise

(84) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 1:42 PM

Jobs are coming back, but pay isn't. The median wage is still below where it was before the Great Recession. Last month, average pay actually fell.

What's going on? It used to be that as unemployment dropped, employers had to pay more to attract or keep the workers...

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Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Is a Pending Disaster

(80) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 7:59 AM

Republicans who now run Congress say they want to cooperate with President Obama, and point to the administration's Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, as the model. The only problem is the TPP would be a disaster.

If you haven't heard much about the TPP, that's part of the problem right there....

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Out with 2014, in With 2015, and Up With People

(69) Comments | Posted December 31, 2014 | 5:23 PM

We've made progress this year -- raising the minimum wage in dozens of states and cities, providing equal marriage rights in a majority of states, limiting carbon emissions. But there's far more to do.

The economy looks like it's improving but most Americans are still stuck in recession, and...

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The Republican's Magical Mystery Tour (Starting Next Week)

(135) Comments | Posted December 28, 2014 | 8:55 PM

According to reports, one of the first acts of the Republican Congress will be to fire Doug Elmendorf, current director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, because he won't use "dynamic scoring" for his economic projections.

Dynamic scoring is the magical-mystery math Republicans have been pushing since they...

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The Government Problem

(219) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 7:26 AM

Some believe the central political issue of our era is the size of the government. They're wrong. The central issue is whom the government is for.

Consider the new spending bill Congress and the President agreed to a few weeks ago.

It's not especially large by historic standards. Under the...

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The Coin of the Realm: How Inside Traders Are Rigging America

(65) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 4:57 PM

A few years ago, hedge fund Level Global Investors made $54 million selling Dell Computer stock based on insider information from a Dell employee. When charged with illegal insider trading, Global Investors' co-founder Anthony Chiasson claimed he didn't know where the tip came from.

Chiasson argued that few traders on...

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Wall Street's Democrats

(30) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 1:12 PM

In Washington's coming budget battles, sacred cows like the tax deductions for home mortgage interest and charitable donations are likely to be on the table along with potential cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

But no one on Capitol Hill believes Wall Street's beloved carried-interest tax loophole will be touched.

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Patrolling the Boundaries Inside America

(28) Comments | Posted November 29, 2014 | 11:54 AM

America is embroiled in an immigration debate that goes far beyond President Obama's executive order on undocumented immigrants.

It goes to the heart of who "we" are. And it's roiling communities across the nation.

In early November, school officials in Orinda, California, hired a private detective to determine whether a...

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Why College Is Necessary But Gets You Nowhere

(32) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 8:46 PM

This is the time of year when high school seniors apply to college, and when I get lots of mail about whether college is worth the cost.

The answer is unequivocally yes, but with one big qualification. I'll come to the qualification in a moment but first the financial case...

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And Now the Richest .01 Percent

(282) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 8:12 AM

The richest Americans hold more of the nation's wealth than they have in almost a century. What do they spend it on? As you might expect, personal jets, giant yachts, works of art, and luxury penthouses.

And also on politics. In fact, their political spending has been growing faster than...

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The Choice of the Century

(39) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 10:27 AM

The president blames himself for the Democrats' big losses Election Day.

"We have not been successful in going out there and letting people know what it is that we're trying to do and why this is the right direction," he said Sunday.

In other words, he didn't sufficiently tout the...

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An Election Day Carol

(13) Comments | Posted November 2, 2014 | 5:10 PM

In the early hours of Election Day, before dawn reaches the nation's capital, Justice Anthony Kennedy is suddenly awakened by someone standing next to his bed.

"Get out of here or I'll call the cops!" the Justice shouts.

"Don't get bent out of shape," says the ghost-like figure.

"Who are...

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Empathy Deficit Disorder

(131) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 9:19 AM

Commenting on a recent student suicide at an Alaska high school, Alaska's Republican Congressman Don Young said suicide didn't exist in Alaska before "government largesse" gave residents an entitlement mentality.

"When people had to work and had to provide and had to keep warm by putting participation in cutting...

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Getting a Grip on Ebola

(65) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 11:44 PM

We have to get a grip. Ebola is not a crisis in the United States. One person has died and two people are infected with his body fluids.

The real crisis is the hysteria over Ebola that's being fed by media outlets seeking sensationalism and politicians posturing for the midterm...

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Why Government Spends More Per Pupil at Elite Universities Than at Public Universities

(12) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 10:57 PM

Imagine a system of college education supported by high and growing government spending on elite private universities that mainly educate children of the wealthy and upper-middle class, and low and declining government spending on public universities that educate large numbers of children from the working class and the poor.


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Why We Allow Big Pharma to Rip Us Off

(24) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 5:23 PM

According to a new federal database put online last week, pharmaceutical companies and device makers paid doctors some $380 million in speaking and consulting fees over a five-month period in 2013.

Some doctors received over half a million dollars each, and others got millions of dollars in royalties from...

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Raising Most People's Wages

(79) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 10:12 AM

I was in Seattle, Washington, recently, to congratulate union and community organizers who helped Seattle enact the first $15 per hour minimum wage in the country.

Other cities and states should follow Seattle's example.

Contrary to the dire predictions of opponents, the hike won't cost Seattle jobs. In fact, it...

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