The Truth About the American Economy

Robert Reich: As we should have learned from the Great Prosperity — the 30 years after World War II when America grew because most Americans shared in the nation’s prosperity — we cannot have a growing and vibrant economy without a growing and vibrant middle class.

America’s “Shoot ‘Em Up, Lock ‘Em Up” Mentality Is Its Undoing

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David Love: The land of the free is home to only 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. And we spend more than all nations combined on “defense”. We are addicted to shooting em up or locking em up. But we can’t provide healthcare to all.

Made in 
the USA

iwo-jima-wide

Brent Budowsky: Buy American. Each of us individually and together has the power to lift our land the way previous generations of Americans lifted America to defeat depression, prevail in war and soar to the moon in less than a decade.

Double Dip Here We Come

home vacancy

Republicans, for their part, worry that if they tell it like it is Americans will want government to do more rather than less. They’d rather not talk about jobs and wages, and put the focus instead on deficit reduction (or spread the lie that by reducing the deficit we’ll get more jobs and higher wages).

How Democrats Can Become Relevant Again

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Robert Reich: Republicans offered Democrats two more weeks before the doomsday shut-down. Democrats countered with four. Republicans held their ground. Democrats agreed to two. This is what passes for compromise in our nation’s capital.

Grace Before Meal: Bless Sargent Shriver and Lyndon Johnson

Sargent Shriver and Lyndon Johnson

H. Scott Prosterman: While one political ideology in this country views healthcare, quality education and the right to eat well as the exclusive province of a certain income threshold, Sargent Shriver is perhaps the single American political figure who best represents the opposite.

The U.S. Economy in 2011

Jobs in the New Year

Robert Reich: The two American economies — the Big Money economy and the Average Working Family economy — will continue to diverge. Corporate profits will continue to rise, as will the stock market. But typical wages will go nowhere, joblessness will remain high, the ranks of the long-term unemployed will continue to rise, the housing recovery will remain stalled, and consumer confidence will sag.

Why Obama Must Get Mad

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Anthony Samad: President Obama needs to get mad a little more often, when he’s trying to do something serious, and the conservatives (and their pundits) are playing games with him.

America’s Two Economies: Why One Is Recovering and the Other Isn’t

Robert Reich: Inhabitants of the Big Money economy are celebrating Republican wins last week. They figure financial regulations will be rolled back, environmental regulations will be canned, the Bush tax cut will be extended to the top 1 percent, and it will be harder for workers to form unions.

The Defining Issue: Who Should Get the Tax Cut — The Rich or Everyone Else?

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Robert Reich: Republicans are hell bent on demanding an extension of the Bush tax cut for their patrons at the top, or else they’ll pull the plug on tax cuts for the middle class. This is a gift for the Democrats.

The Real Lesson of Labor Day

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Robert Reich: Face it: The national economy isn’t escaping the gravitational pull of the Great Recession. None of the standard booster rockets are working.

Labor Day Past and Present

CEO Pay

Labor Day became a federal holiday in the United States in 1894. At that time, conflict between labor unions and the railroads had reached such a fever pitch that there was danger of the American economy taking a big hit. President Grover Cleveland took action by calling in the U.S. Military and U.S. Marshals to [...]

The Vanishing American Consumer and the Coming Trade War

g-20 summit

Robert Reich: We’re unlikely to see a repeat of the disastrous Smoot-Hawley tariffs that worsened and lengthened the Great Depression. But you can forget trade-opening agreements. In Toronto last week, the G-20 leaders dropped their 2009 pledge to finish the Doha round this year. In the U.S., agreements with South Korea, Panama, and Columbia are languishing.

Robert Reich’s Ignored Warning on Chief Justice John Roberts

Chief Justice John Roberts Swearing In

Robert Reich: Viewed as a whole, the record suggests that Roberts is likely to place a higher value on property than on community, and is likely to view the Commerce Clause as hobbling the effective reach of the federal law and regulation. As such, John Roberts may have more in common with his namesake before Justice Roberts switched sides in 1937 than after that historic switch.

Economy Recovery Depends Upon Your Vantage Point

Carl Bloice: Like the knee bone and the thigh bone, the foreclosure crisis is closely related to the jobs crisis. Last week the Obama administration cautioned the public not to expect any dramatic improvement in the jobless rate, largely because thousands of formerly “discouraged” jobless workers sense the situation is improving and have started back looking for work. As a result, some economists have suggested, the jobless rate may well go beyond the 9.7 percent where it stands now.

The House: Tax the Wealthy to Keep Everyone Healthy

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A surtax is easy to administer. And the whole idea is easy to understand. Tax the wealthy to keep everyone healthy. Not even a bad bumper sticker.

The Italian Job: Border Police Seize $134 Billion in US Government Securities

Michael Caine as John Le Carre's George Smiley

Although the story is being widely reported across Europe and Asia, it’s received scant media coverage in the US. AsiaNews along with other major media outlets outside the US are reporting that Italy’s financial police, the Guardia Italiana di Finanza, seized US government bonds worth $134.5 billion from two Japanese nationals at Chiasso, located less [...]

Intellectual Monopoly Is an Unnecessary Evil

monopoly

In a rush to stimulate the economy, the Obama administration is touting various “visionary” plans to make the American economy more progressive, more innovative, and more forward-looking by subsidizing politically-motivated projects like “green” technology. These hands-on policies will be ineffective. Recent research suggests that a much more effective way to accomplish the same goals would [...]

Another Great Depression?

great-depression

The United States is in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The question is: How close are we to another Great Depression? The answer is: Very close. Here’s why. The Great Depression was the result of the combination of the 1929 financial crisis and serious structural problems in the American [...]

The End of the Great Moderation, the Bailouts of Freddie & Fannie and Wall Street, and the Tattered Safety Net for Everyone Else

Robert Reich

by Robert Reich — As we bail out Wall Street along with Freddie and Fannie and all the top financial executives who have been pocketing tens of millions a year, yet allow millions of homeowners and jobless Americans to sink, it’s worth contemplating what’s happening to the American economy and to our social safety nets.

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