Robert Reich

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ROBERT B. REICH is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which 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,“ and, his most recent, "Saving Capitalism.” He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, INEQUALITY FOR ALL.
Updated: 19 min 40 sec ago

Four Takeaways from Trump’s Latest Tweet Tantrum

Wed, 01/18/2017 - 11:35
This morning Donald Trump bashed NBC, tweeting: “Totally biased NBCNews went out of its way to say...

Trump’s Plan to Neuter the White House Press Corps, and Neuter Our Democracy

Sun, 01/15/2017 - 19:03
Tyrants don’t allow open questioning, and they hate the free press. They want total control. That’s...

Six Reasons Why Trump’s Wall is Even Dumber Than Most of Trump’s Other Ideas

Fri, 01/13/2017 - 15:11
At his turbulent his news event last Wednesday (I won’t dignify it by calling it a news conference),...

Five Ways Trump’s “News Conference” Wasn’t a News Conference

Thu, 01/12/2017 - 09:35
Tyrants don’t allow open questioning, and they hate the free press. They want total control. That’s...

The Two Resistances to Trump

Sun, 01/08/2017 - 12:05
It’s important to distinguish two lines of resistance to Trump:1. Resistance to Trump’s...

The Three Big Reasons Republicans Can’t Replace Obamacare

Fri, 01/06/2017 - 15:45
Donald Trump says Republicans should repeal the Affordable Care Act immediately, and replace it with...

The First 100 Days Resistance AgendaTrump’s First 100 Day agenda...

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 16:53

The First 100 Days Resistance Agenda

Trump’s First 100 Day agenda includes repealing environmental regulations, Obamacare, and the Dodd-Frank Act, giving the rich and big corporations a huge tax cut, and putting in place a cabinet that doesn’t believe in the Voting Rights Act or public schools or Medicare or the Fair Housing Act. 

Our 100 days of resistance begins a sustained and powerful opposition. Here’s what you can do (it will take about an hour of your time each day):

1. Get your senators and representatives to pledge to oppose Trump’s agenda. Reject his nominees, prolong the process of approving them, draw out hearings on legislation. Call your senator and your representative and don’t stop calling.

2. March and demonstrate. The Women’s March on Washington will be the day after the Inauguration. There should be “sister” marches around the country. And then monthly marches against hate. Keep the momentum alive and keep the message going.

3. Make your city and state sanctuaries that won’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities in deporting undocumented immigrants, especially people who have been here since they were very young.

4. Boycott all Trump products, real estate, hotels, resorts, everything. And then boycott all stores (like Nordstrom) that carry merchandise from Trump family brands.

5. Write letters to the editor of your newspaper and op-eds, with a steady flow of arguments about the fallacies and dangers of Trump’s First 100 Day policies and initiatives.

6. Contribute to social media with up-to-date daily bulletins on what Trump is up to, and actions in your region in opposition.

7. Contribute to the most effective opposition groups. The American Civil Liberties Union, Common Cause, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Economic Policy Institute, Inequality Media, MoveOn, and others.  

8. Make the resistance visible with bumper stickers, lapel pins, wrist bands.

9. Push progressive causes at your state and local level – environmental reform, progressive taxes, a higher minimum wage, ending gerrymandering, stopping mass incarceration. Make your state a model of what the federal government should do.

10. Start a move in your state to abolish the electoral college by committing your state’s electors to vote for the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote.

11. Reach out to independents and even Trump supporters who agree with this agenda, and get them involved.

12. Your idea goes here. Meet with family and friends this weekend, and decide what you’ll contribute.  

The First 100 Days Resistance Agenda. An hour a day. Send a powerful message. We aren’t going away.

Government by Tweedict

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 16:23
Trump’s tweets are a new form of governing by edict. They’re tweedicts. Incoming White House press...

The 15 Warnings Signs of Impending Tyranny

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 17:28
As tyrants take control of democracies, they typically:1.  Exaggerate their mandate to govern...

My New Year’s Wish for Donald Trump

Sat, 12/31/2016 - 18:21
Donald Trump issued the following tweet on the last day of 2016: “Happy New Year to all, including...

My Wishes for Obama’s Parting Shots

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 11:12
President-elect Donald Trump is accusing President Obama of putting up “roadblocks” to a smooth...

Trump’s Attack on the Freedom of the PressHistorically, tyrants...

Thu, 12/22/2016 - 14:14

Trump’s Attack on the Freedom of the Press

Historically, tyrants have tried to control the press using 4 techniques that, worryingly, Donald Trump is already using.

1. Berate the media and turn the public against it. Trump refers to journalists as “dishonest,” “disgusting” and “scum.” When Trump lies – claiming, for example, “massive voter fraud” in the election, and that he “won in a landslide” – and the media call him on those lies, Trump claims the media is lying. Even televised satires he labels “unfunny, one-sided, and pathetic.”

2. Limit media access. Trump hasn’t had a news conference since July. (His two predecessors had news conferences within days of being declared president.) He’s blocked the media from traveling with him, and even from knowing with whom he’s meeting. His phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which occurred shortly after the election, was first reported by the Kremlin.

3. Threaten the media. During the campaign, Trump threatened to sue the New York Times for libel in response to an article about two women who accused him of touching them inappropriately years ago, and then another that revealed part of his 1995 tax returns. He says he plans to “open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”

4. Bypass the media and communicate with the public directly. Trump tweets incessantly, issues videos, and holds large rallies – all of which further enable him to lie directly to the public with impunity.

The word “media” comes from “intermediate” between the powerful and the public. The media hold the powerful accountable by correcting their misstatements, asking them hard questions, and reporting on what they do. Apparently Trump wants to eliminate such intermediaries.

Historically, these 4 techniques have been used by demagogues to erode the freedom and independence of the press. Donald Trump seems intent on doing exactly this. 

Why President Trump Will Continue to Hold Rallies

Sun, 12/18/2016 - 13:09
Donald Trump has just finished the last of his nine post-election “thank you tour” rallies. Why did...

The 4 Dangerous Signs of Passivity in the Face of Trump Tyranny

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 13:37
As the era of Trump approaches, some of you are succumbing to the follow four syndromes: 1....

Trump’s Dark Cloud of Illegitimacy

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 13:35
A dark cloud of illegitimacy hangs over the pending presidency of Donald Trump. Bad enough that...


Fri, 12/09/2016 - 16:55


For years, conservatives have been telling us that a healthy business-friendly economy depends on low taxes, few regulations, and low wages. Are they right?

We’ve had an experiment going on here in the United States that provides an answer.

At the one end of the scale are Kansas and Texas, with among the nation’s lowest taxes, least regulations, and lowest wages.

At the other end is California, featuring among the nation’s highest taxes, especially on the wealthy; lots of regulations, particularly when it comes to the environment; and high wages.

So according to conservative doctrine, Kansas and Texas ought to be booming, and California ought to be in the pits.

Actually, it’s just the opposite. For years now, Kansas’s rate of economic growth has been the worst in the nation. Last year its economy actually shrank.  Texas hasn’t been doing all that much better. Its rate of job growth has been below the national average. Retail sales are way down. The value of Texas exports has been dropping.

But what about so-called over-taxed, over-regulated, high-wage California? California leads the nation in the rate of economic growth — more than twice the national average. In other words, conservatives have it exactly backwards.

So why are Kansas and Texas doing so badly? And California so well?

Because taxes enable states to invest in their people – their education and skill-training, great research universities that spawn new industries and attract talented innovators and inventors worldwide, and modern infrastructure.

That’s why California is the world center of high-tech, entertainment, and venture capital.

Kansas and Texas haven’t been investing nearly to the same extent.

California also provides services to a diverse population including many who are attracted to California because of its opportunities.

And California’s regulations protect the public health and the state’s natural beauty, which also draws people to the state – including talented people who could settle anywhere.

Wages are high in California because the economy is growing so fast employers have to pay more for workers. And that’s not a bad thing. After all, the goal isn’t just growth. It’s a high standard of living.

Now in fairness, Texas’s problems are also linked to the oil bust. But that’s really no excuse because Texas has failed to diversify its economy. And here again, it hasn’t made adequate investments.

California is far from perfect. A housing shortage has been driving rents and home prices into the stratosphere. And roads are clogged. Much more needs to be done.

But overall, the contrast is clear. Economic success depends on tax revenues that go into public investments, and regulations that protect the environment and public health. And true economic success results in high wages.

So the next time you hear a conservative say “low taxes, few regulations, and low wages are the keys to economic business-friendly success, just remember Kansas, Texas, and California.

The conservative formula is wrong.

Trump’s Creeping Tyranny

Thu, 12/08/2016 - 12:35
On the evening of December 7, minutes after a local Indiana union leader, Chuck Jones, criticized...

Trump’s Creeping Tyranny

Tue, 12/06/2016 - 17:41
On the evening of December 7, minutes after a local Indiana union leader, Chuck Jones, criticized...

Trump’s Trickle-Down Populism

Fri, 12/02/2016 - 14:04
Last Thursday President-elect Donald Trump triumphantly celebrated Carrier’s decision to reverse its...

Trump’s Seven Techniques to Control the Media

Sun, 11/27/2016 - 15:50
Democracy depends on a free and independent press, which is why all tyrants try to squelch it. They...