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

The Shameful Silence of the CEOs

Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa via AP Images Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co., speaks at an Economic Club of Washington event in Washington C ongressional Republicans would be more willing to stand up to Trump if their major financial backers—big business and Wall Street—had more backbone. Ever since 1971, when the then future Supreme Court justice Lewis Powell urged corporations to mobilize politically, corporate money has flooded Washington—most of it into Republican coffers. Today, big corporations and Wall Street essentially own the Republican Party. In the 2016 campaign cycle, they contributed $34 to candidates from both parties for every $1 donated by labor unions and all public interest organizations combined. They donate far more to Republicans than do extremists like the Koch brothers, and have far more influence over the GOP than does the Tea Party. Which means the CEOs of America’s largest firms have the power to constrain the most dangerous, divisive,...

While China Picks Winners, Trump Picks Losers

(AP Photo/Branden Camp)
(AP Photo/Branden Camp) The coal-fired Plant Scherer in Juliette, Georgia. “ It’s nonsense that there’s a beautiful free market in the power industry,” Energy Secretary Rick Perry said last week as he pushed for a government bailout of coal-fired power plants. Republicans who for years have voted against subsidies for solar and wind power—arguing that the “free market” should decide our energy future—are now eager to have government subsidize coal. Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency is also scrapping rules for disposing coal ash, giving coal producers another big helping hand. As if this weren’t enough, a former coal lobbyist has just become No. 2 at the EPA. If Scott Pruitt leaves (a growing possibility), the coal lobbyist will be in charge. Meanwhile, Trump is imposing a 30 percent tariff on solar panels from China, thereby boosting their cost to American homeowners and utilities. The Trumpsters say this is because China is subsidizing solar. To Trump and his merry band of...

The Truth About an Untethered Trump

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta President Donald Trump leaves after speaking at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington T he petulant adolescent in the White House—who has replaced most of the adults around him with raging sycophants and has demoted his chief of staff, John Kelly, to lapdog—lacks adequate supervision. Before, he was merely petty and vindictive. He’d tweet nasty things about people he wanted to humiliate, like former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Now his vindictiveness has turned cruel. After smearing FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe with unfounded allegations that he lied to investigators, the new Trump made sure McCabe was fired just days before he would have been eligible for a pension after more than 21 years of service. Before, he was merely xenophobic. He’d call Mexicans murderers and rapists. Now his xenophobia has turned belligerent. He’s sending thousands of National Guard troops to the Mexican border, even though illegal...

Dollars for Decency

Sipa via AP Images
Sipa via AP Images Laura Ingraham speaks at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference L ast Wednesday morning, Laura Ingraham, Fox News’s queen of snark, tweeted that David Hogg—a 17-year-old who survived the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, and has been among the eloquent advocates for gun control—“whines about” being rejected by four universities he applied to. She linked to an article from the Daily Wire calling him a “gun rights provocateur.” For Ingraham and Fox News, such cruel, ad-hominem attacks are typical. Vitriol helps boost ratings. After all, Fox is a central part of Donald Trump’s America. And Trump, like Fox News, has made bullying and humiliating people into an art form. But television viewers are also consumers, and the ultimate goal of advertisers isn’t getting them to watch a particular television show. It’s getting them to buy the advertiser’s products. Which has caused a problem for Ingraham. Shortly after Ingraham’s attack on Hogg, he called for...

The Buyback Boondoggle Is Beggaring America

AP Photo/Richard Drew, File Manufacturing giant 3M has said it will use $1 billion in tax savings for stock buybacks. T rump and Republicans branded their huge corporate tax cut as a way to make American corporations more profitable so they’d invest in more and better jobs. But they’re buying back their stock instead. Now that the new corporate tax cut is pumping up profits, buybacks are on track to hit a record $800 billion this year. For years, corporations have spent most of their profits on buying back their own shares of stock, instead of increasing the wages of their employees, whose hard work creates these profits. Stock buybacks should be illegal, as they were before 1982. Stock buybacks are artificial efforts to interfere in the so-called “free market” to prop up stock prices. Because they create an artificial demand, they force stock prices above their natural level. With fewer shares in circulation, each remaining share is worth more. Buybacks don’t create more or better...

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