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 Next Crash

AP Photo/Richard Drew A board above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the closing number for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. S orry to deliver the news, but it’s time to worry about the next crash. The combination of stagnant wages with most economic gains going to the top is once again endangering the economy. Most Americans are still living in the shadow of the Great Recession that started in December 2007 and officially ended in June 2009. More have jobs, to be sure. But they haven’t seen any rise in their wages, adjusted for inflation. Many are worse off due to the escalating costs of housing, health care, and education. And the value of whatever assets they own is less than in 2007. Which suggests we’re careening toward the same sort of crash we had then, and possibly as bad as 1929. Clear away the financial rubble from those two former crashes and you’d see they both followed upon widening imbalances between the capacity of most people to buy, and what they as...

Amazon and America’s Real Divide

AP Photo/Cliff Owen Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks at The Economic Club of Washington. W hile America was fixated on the most tumultuous midterm election in modern history, Amazon reportedly decided that its much-vaunted “second headquarters” would be split between Long Island City in Queens and Crystal City, across the Potomac from Washington, D.C. What does Amazon’s decision have to do with America’s political tumult? Turns out, quite a lot. Amazon’s main headquarters is in Seattle, one of the bluest cities in the bluest of states. New York and metropolitan Washington are true-blue, too. Amazon could have decided to locate its second headquarters in, say, Indianapolis, Indiana. Indianapolis vigorously courted the firm. Indianapolis is also a Republican city in a bright red state. Amazon’s decision wasn’t based on political partisanship, but it reveals much about the real political and economic divide in America today. Amazon’s business isn’t just selling stuff over the internet. It’s...

Democrats: Don't Go High or Low. Go Big and Bold.

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. D onald Trump says the midterm elections are a “referendum about me.” Of course they are. Everything is about him. Anyone who still believes the political divide runs between Republicans and Democrats hasn’t been paying attention. There’s no longer a Republican Party. The GOP is now just pro-Trump. Meanwhile Trump is doing all he can to make the Democratic Party the anti-Trump Party. “Democrats,” he declares, are “too dangerous to govern.” They’re “an angry left-wing mob,” leading an “assault on our country.” Never before has a president of the United States been so determined not to be president of all Americans. He’s president of his supporters. Tyrants create cults of personality. Trump is beyond that. He equates America with himself, and disloyalty to him with insufficient patriotism. In his mind, a giant “Trump” sign hangs over the nation. “...

A Message for Millennials

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Members of the group Herndon Reston Indivisible hold up letters spelling "vote them out" during a protest of the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on October 6, 2018, outside of the White House. Y ou 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, you have the power to alter the course of American politics—flipping Congress, changing the leadership of states and cities, making lawmakers act and look more like the people who are literally the nation’s future. But you need to vote . In the last midterm election, in 2014, only 16 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 29 even bothered. Now, I understand. I was young once. You have a lot on your minds—starting jobs, and careers, and families. Also, unlike your grandparents—some of whom were involved in civil rights, voting rights, women’s rights, the anti-...

The Truth About the Trump Economy

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Alumni Coliseum in Richmond, Kentucky. I keep hearing that although Trump is a scoundrel or worse, at least he’s presiding over a great economy. As White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow recently put it, “The single biggest story this year is an economic boom that is durable and lasting.” Really? Look closely at the living standards of most Americans, and you get a very different picture. Yes, the stock market has boomed since Trump became president. But it’s looking increasingly wobbly as Trump’s trade wars take a toll. Over 80 percent of the stock market is owned by the richest 10 percent of Americans anyway, so most Americans never got much out of Trump’s market boom to begin with. The trade wars are about to take a toll on ordinary workers. Trump’s steel tariffs have cost Ford $1 billion so far, for example, forcing the automaker to plan mass layoffs. What about economic growth? Data from the Commerce Department...

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