Robert Reich

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ROBERT B. REICH, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fourteen books, including the best sellers “Aftershock, “The Work of Nations,“ and"Beyond Outrage.” He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. His film, INEQUALITY FOR ALL is available on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon. His new book, “SAVING CAPITALISM: For the Many, Not the Few” is out 9/29.
Updated: 28 min 51 sec ago

Labor Day 2028

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 15:10
In 1928, famed British economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would advance so far...

The Upsurge in Uncertain Work

Sun, 08/23/2015 - 15:13
As Labor Day looms, more Americans than ever don’t know how much they’ll be earning next week or...

CORPORATE WELFARE IN CALIFORNIACorporate welfare is often...

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 16:29


CORPORATE WELFARE IN CALIFORNIA

Corporate welfare is often camouflaged in taxes that seem neutral on their face but give windfalls to big entrenched corporations at the expense of average people and small businesses.

Take a look at commercial property taxes in California, for example.

In 1978 California voters passed Proposition 13 – which began to assess property for tax purposes at its price when it was bought, rather than its current market price.

This has protected homeowners and renters. But it’s also given a quiet windfall to entrenched corporate owners of commercial property. 

Corporations don’t need this protection. They’re in the real economy. They’re supposed to compete on a level playing field with new companies whose property taxes are based on current market prices.

This corporate windfall has caused three big problems.

First, it’s shifted more of the property tax on to California homeowners.

Back in 1978, corporations paid 44 percent of all property taxes and homeowners paid 56 percent. Now, after exploiting this loophole for years, corporations pay only 28 percent of property taxes, while homeowners pick up 72 percent of the tab.

Second, it’s robbed California of billions of dollars to support schools and local services. If all corporations were paying the property taxes they should be paying, schools and local services would have $9 billion dollars more in revenues this year.

Third, it penalizes new and expanding businesses that don’t get this windfall because their commercial property is assessed at the current market price – but they compete for customers with companies whose property is assessed at the price they purchased it years ago.

That’s unfair and it’s bad for the economy because California needs new and expanding businesses.

Today, almost half of all commercial properties in California pay their fair share of property taxes, but they’re hobbled by those that don’t.

This loophole must be closed. All corporations should be paying commercial property taxes based on current market prices. 

The giant corporations that are currently exploiting the loophole for their own profits obviously don’t want it closed, so they’re trying to scare people by saying closing it will cause businesses to leave California.

That’s baloney. Leveling the playing field for all businesses will make the California economy more efficient, and help new and expanding businesses.

Besides, California’s property taxes are already much lower than the national average. So even if corporations pay their full share, they’re still getting a great deal.

Right now, a grassroots movement is growing of Californians determined to reform this broken commercial property tax system, and who know California needs more stable funding for its schools, libraries, roads, and communities.

The Fraud of the New “Family-Friendly” Work

Sun, 08/16/2015 - 14:22
Netflix just announced it’s offering paid leave to new mothers and fathers for the first year after...

The Outrageous Ascent of CEO Pay

Sun, 08/09/2015 - 15:47
The Securities and Exchange Commission approved a rule last week requiring that large publicly held...

WHAT THE FED’S ABOUT TO DO WILL AFFECT YOUR JOB AND YOUR INCOME,...

Thu, 08/06/2015 - 10:02


WHAT THE FED’S ABOUT TO DO WILL AFFECT YOUR JOB AND YOUR INCOME, AND HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO MAKE SURE THE FED MAKES THE RIGHT DECISION

The Revolt Against the Ruling Class

Sun, 08/02/2015 - 14:25
“He can’t possibly win the nomination,” is the phrase heard most often when Washington insiders...

Happy Birthday Medicare

Fri, 07/24/2015 - 14:24
Medicare turns fifty next week. It was signed into law July 30, 1965 – the crowning...

Why Progressives Must Stay United

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 09:04
A new report finds more U.S. children living in poverty than before the Great Recession. According...

How Goldman Sachs Profited from the Greek Debt Crisis

Fri, 07/17/2015 - 11:28
The Greek debt crisis offers another illustration of Wall Street’s powers of persuasion and...

Hillary Clinton’s Glass-Steagall

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 18:25
Hillary Clinton won’t propose reinstating a bank break-up law known as the Glass-Steagall Act...

How to Disrupt the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 16:20
robertreich: President Obama is said to be considering an executive order requiring federal...