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.
The White House is working with other nations to fight global terrorism. It also should be working with them to stave off a global economic meltdown.
There's no longer any doubt that we're in a recession. More than 400,000 jobs were lost last month, the biggest job loss in two decades. Meanwhile, national output is shrinking. Consumer spending is dropping. And consumer confidence is plummeting.
Will the war on terrorism enhance globalization, further immersing America in the global economy? Or will it cause us to retreat or try to retreat from the rest of the globe?
At first glance, the war seems to have generated a flowering of multilateralism. Western Europe and America haven't been closer since World War II. Suddenly, it seems we're also close allies of Russia, China, Pakistan, even places Americans hardly knew existed six weeks ago, like Uzbekistan.
It's time to strike the term "fiscal
responsibility" from responsible political rhetoric. Few terms in public
discourse have moved as directly as this one has from imprecision to
meaninglessness without any intervening period of coherence.
It would be bad enough if the Republicans' tax plans were merely extravagantly regressive, rewarding the rich and leaving a big budget hole for everyone else to fill. But they appear just when the income gap has grown wider than it has been in more than a century. It's a double whammy. Al Gore correctly assails the Republican tax proposals, yet Gore and most Democrats have failed either to emphasize the larger regressive trends in American income and wealth or to propose the most direct remedy--a more progressive tax.