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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 Rise of the Working Poor and the Non-Working Rich

(175) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 10:03 PM

Many believe that poor people deserve to be poor because they're lazy. As Speaker John Boehner has said, the poor have a notion that "I really don't have to work. I don't really want to do this. I think I'd rather just sit around."

In reality, a large and growing...

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Why College Isn't (And Shouldn't Have to Be) For Everyone

(105) Comments | Posted March 22, 2015 | 8:53 PM

I know a high school senior who's so worried about whether she'll be accepted at the college of her choice she can't sleep.

The parent of another senior tells me he stands at the mailbox for an hour every day waiting for a hoped-for acceptance letter to arrive.

Parents are...

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O 'iTudo' e o imperativo da redistribuição

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2015 | 4:43 PM

Hoje é possível vender um novo produto para centenas de milhões de pessoas sem precisar de muitos trabalhadores para produzi-lo ou distribuí-lo.

No seu auge, em 1988, a Kodak, empresa americana icônica da fotografia, tinha 145 000 funcionários . Em 2012, a Kodak foi à falência.

No mesmo...

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The "iEverything" and the Redistributional Imperative

(127) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 4:32 PM

It's now possible to sell a new product to hundreds of millions of people without needing many, if any, workers to produce or distribute it.

At its prime in 1988, Kodak, the iconic American photography company, had 145,000 employees. In 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy.

The same year Kodak...

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The 3 Biggest Myths Blinding Us to the Economic Truth

(89) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 6:09 PM

1. The "job creators" are CEOs, corporations, and the rich, whose taxes must be low in order to induce them to create more jobs. Rubbish. The real job creators are the vast middle class and the poor, whose spending induces businesses to create jobs. Which is why raising the minimum...

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The Conundrum of Corporation and Nation

(126) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 8:14 AM

The U.S. economy is picking up steam but most Americans aren't feeling it. By contrast, most European economies are still in bad shape, but most Europeans are doing relatively well.

What's behind this? Two big facts.

First, American corporations exert far more political influence in the United States than their...

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Will the Democratic Nominee for 2016 Take on the Moneyed Interests?

(110) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 6:01 PM

It's seed time for the 2016 presidential elections, when candidates try to figure out what they stand for and will run on.

One thing seems reasonably clear. The Democratic nominee for President, whoever she may be, will campaign on reviving the American middle class.

As will the Republican nominee --...

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Por que estamos todos nos tornando profissionais terceirizados

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 2:52 PM

A GM vale cerca de US$60 bilhões e tem mais de 200 mil funcionários. Seus operários de chão de fábrica ganham entre US$19 e US$28,50 por hora, com benefícios.

O valor da Uber é estimado em US$40 bilhões, e ela tem 850...

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Why We're All Becoming Independent Contractors

(344) Comments | Posted February 22, 2015 | 4:44 PM

GM is worth around $60 billion, and has over 200,000 employees. Its front-line workers earn from $19 to $28.50 an hour, with benefits.

Uber is estimated to be worth some $40 billion, and has 850 employees. Uber also has over

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The President Should Not Only Veto The Keystone XL Pipeline But Stop It Permanently

(664) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 3:17 PM

The president says he'll veto the Keystone XL pipeline. He should do more, and put an end to the project altogether. He has the authority. Oil from Alberta's tar sands is the dirtiest in the world -- causing not just serious environmental damage when it's extracted but also when and...

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How Trade Deals Boost the Top 1% and Bust the Rest

(69) Comments | Posted February 16, 2015 | 5:18 PM

Suppose that by enacting a particular law we'd increase the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. But almost all that growth would go to the richest 1 percent.

The rest of us could buy some products cheaper than before. But those gains would be offset by losses of jobs and wages.

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Back to the 19th Century

(81) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 6:34 PM

My recent column about the growth of on-demand jobs like Uber making life less predictable and secure for workers unleashed a small barrage of criticism from some who contend that workers get what they're worth in the market.

A Forbes Magazine contributor, for example, writes that jobs exist only...

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A economia da partilha das migalhas

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 3:28 PM

O que você acharia de viver numa economia em que robôs fazem tudo o que pode ser programado previsivelmente de antemão e quase todos os lucros ficam com os donos dos robôs?

Enquanto isso, humanos fazem os trabalhos imprevisíveis - trabalhos avulsos, projetos que envolvem ficar de plantão, buscar e...

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The Share-the-Scraps Economy

(127) Comments | Posted February 2, 2015 | 12:51 PM

How would you like to live in an economy where robots do everything that can be predictably programmed in advance, and almost all profits go to the robots' owners?

Meanwhile, human beings do the work that's unpredictable - odd jobs, on-call projects, fetching and fixing, driving and delivering, tiny tasks...

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The Worst Trade Deal You've Never Heard Of

(79) Comments | Posted January 31, 2015 | 8:55 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 | 5:17 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

(153) Comments | Posted January 19, 2015 | 11:58 AM

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

(85) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 12:42 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 | 6:59 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 | 4:23 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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