Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich, a co-founder of The American Prospect, is a Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. His website can be found here and his blog can be found here.

Recent Articles

Containing the Catastrophe

AP Photo/Susan Walsh President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. A nyone still unsure of how (or even whether) they’ll vote in the midterms should consider this: All three branches of government are now under the control of one party, and that party is under the control of Donald J. Trump. With the addition of Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court is as firmly Republican as are the House and Senate. Kavanaugh was revealed as a fierce partisan—not only the legal advisor who helped Kenneth Starr prosecute Bill Clinton and almost certainly guided George W. Bush’s use of torture, but also a nominee who believes “leftists” and Clinton sympathizers are out to get him. He joins four other Republican-appointed jurists, almost as partisan. Thomas, Alito, and Roberts have never wavered from Republican orthodoxy. Neil Gorsuch, although without much track record on the Supreme Court to date, was a predictable conservative Republican vote on the Court of...

America's Bullies

Saul Loeb/Pool Image via AP Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh gives his opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill A s a kid I was always a head shorter than other boys, which meant I was bullied—mocked, threatened, sometimes assaulted. Childhood bullying has been going on forever. But in recent years America has become a culture of bullying—the wealthier over the poorer, CEOs over workers, those with privilege and pedigree over those without, the whiter over the browner and blacker, men over women. Sometimes the bullying involves physical violence. More often it entails intimidation, displays of dominance, demands for submission, or arbitrary decisions over the lives of those who feel they have no choice but to accept them. The Kavanaugh-Ford hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27 was a window into our bullying culture. On one side: powerful men who harass or abuse women and get away with it, privileged white men intent...

Why I’m Betting on Millennials This November

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite Students participate in the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., in April 2018. M illennials (and their younger siblings, generation Zs) are the largest, most diverse and progressive group of potential voters in American history, comprising fully 30 percent of the voting age population. On November 6, they’ll have the power to alter the course of American politics—flipping Congress, changing the leadership of states and cities, and making lawmakers act and look more like the people who are literally the nation’s future. But will they vote? In the last midterm election, in 2014, only 16 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 29 bothered. In midterms over the last two decades, turnout by young people has averaged about 38 points below the turnout rate of people 60 and older. Which has given older voters a huge say over where the nation is likely to be by the time those younger people reach middle age and the older voters have passed on. I’...

The Three Big Lessons We Didn’t Learn from the Economic Crisis

AP Photo/Richard Drew, Fil Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange T en years ago, after making piles of money gambling with other people’s money, Wall Street nearly imploded, and the outgoing George W. Bush and incoming Obama administrations bailed out the bankers. America should have learned three big lessons from the crisis. We didn’t, to our continuing peril. First unlearned lesson: Banking is a risky business with huge upsides for the few who gamble in it, but bigger downsides for the public when those bets go bad. Which means that safeguards are necessary. The safeguards created after Wall Street’s 1929 crash worked for over four decades. They made banking boring. But starting in the 1980s, they were watered down or repealed because of Wall Street’s increasing thirst for profits and its growing political clout. As politicians from both parties grew dependent on the Street for campaign funding, the rush to deregulate turned into a stampede. It began in 1982 when...

Kavanaugh Will Further Divide Us

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, takes his seat after a break before starting a third round of questioning on the third day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. Y ale Law School, from which Brett Kavanaugh got his law degree, issued a statement about him with glowing quotes from professors attesting to his impeccable legal credentials. Perhaps the Yale Law faculty deemed his credentials impeccable because he graduated from Yale Law School. Then again, Clarence Thomas also graduated from Yale Law School (as, in full disclosure, did I). The reason Kavanaugh should not be confirmed has nothing to do with his legal credentials. It’s the blatantly partisan process used by Trump and Senate Republicans to put him on the Supreme Court. The framers of the Constitution understood that Americans would disagree about all manner of things, often passionately. Which is why they came up with a Constitution that’s largely a...

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