Robert Bernard Reich (born June 24, 1946) was the twenty-second United States Secretary of Labor, serving under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Reich is a former Harvard University professor and the former Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. He is currently a professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. Mr. Reich is also on the board of directors of Tutor.com He is a trustee of the Economists for Peace and Security. He is an occasional political commentator, notably on Hardball with Chris Matthews. (full text).
He says: “Wages are increasing for the top 5 percent [of the population]. Median wages of production workers, who comprise 80 percent of the workforce, haven’t risen in 30 years, adjusted for inflation. The reason is globalization and technological displacement. That is, employers can get cheaper labor either by going abroad or getting software to do it”. (full interview text).
Robert B. Reich – USA
How did a self-described “lifelong libertarian Republican”, son of Jewish immigrants and follower of the controversial 1950s philosopher and author Ayn Rand, become the most powerful force in the American economy for most of the past two decades – including the entire duration of the Clinton administration? As Alan Greenspan reveals in his memoirs, his success was due, first, to being in the right place at the right time. He was appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, America’s central bank, at a time when Keynesianism – the belief that government could wisely stabilize the economy through spending and taxing – was becoming discredited, and when America began relying as never before on its central bank to do that job. Greenspan was also fortunate to enter government just as Republicans were in the ascendant … (full text, Dec. 19, 2007).
America needs immigrants’ ambition, Dec. 26, 2007.
He writes: … Republicans will try to use any ensuing instability and violence to make their case for a “strong” foreign policy backed by military force, reminding voters that the world is a dangerous place and that Republican militarism is therefore necessary. And they will once again try to brand Democrats as “soft” on terrorism. But they do so at their peril. It is the Bush administration, after all, that has placed a huge and risky bet on President Pervez Musharraf – staking him billions of dollars we now know was used to build up the Pakistani military, presumably against India, rather than to fight terrorists on its northwest frontier. The Bushies also allowed India to expand its nuclear arsenal, raising the stakes further. When Musharraf’s hold on power grew precarious, the Bushies facilitated Bhotto’s return to Pakistan. When Musharraf banned political rallies – both to preserve his own power but also to avoid widespread violence – it was the Bush administration that urged him to allow them and allow Bhutto to speak at them. In short, at every step along the way the Bush administration has gambled wildly, with no backup in case its gambles fail. If Republicans want to celebrate and politicize this sort of mindless foreign policy – analogous to the mindlessness we’ve seen in Iraq – they will pay politically. In the meantime, let us pray that Pakistan does not disintegrate into violence and civil war. (full text for ‘Benazir Bhutto and What’s to Come’, Dec. 27, 2007).
Why is HRC Stooping So Low? December 3, 2007.
He says also: ” … I call it “the not quite golden age,” because a lot of things were wrong with our society. African-Americans were still relegated to second-class citizenship. We passed a civil rights act and a voting rights act, but we still had a long way to go. Women were blocked from most professional careers. The environment was more polluted. We passed the Environmental Protection Act of 1975 and made progress on that. Joe McCarthy and the communist witch hunt of the 1950s scarred American politics. The CIA was up to no good abroad. I don’t want to paint this era as a wonderful place we should necessarily go back to, but it’s important to understand that our democracy, although far from perfect, was trying to grapple with all of those problems. When people were asked in opinion polls, “Do you think that our system is working in your interest and in the interest of things you believe in?” the vast majority of Americans between 1945 and 1975, said “Yes.” These days it’s just the reverse. In most polls, when asked that same question, “Do you think that the democratic system is working in the interests of average Americans like you?” anywhere from 68 to 75 percent of Americans say, “No, it’s working for the big guys”. (full text).
Good reads 2007, Reviewers reveal their favorite books of the year, December 23, 2007.
Here’s one role Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the veteran movie-biz insider, isn’t likely to be playing: peacemaker in the 8-week-old strike by Hollywood writers. The governor, who owes his career and public image to the industry, hasn’t been seen or heard in the labor dispute – and there’s a reason … // … In January 1995, Bill Clinton thrust the power of the presidency and his outsize personality into an effort to mediate a long and bitter Major League Baseball strike. But Clinton failed to broker a deal between club owners and players. “I didn’t think it was a good idea to get involved,” said Robert B. Reich, Clinton’s Labor secretary during the strike and now a UC Berkeley professor. When the nation’s “coaxer-in-chief” can’t move two entrenched parties, “the lesson is that politicians get into high-visibility labor disputes at their own peril”. Many California labor and political experts agree that Clinton’s experience should – if it hasn’t yet – cause the governor to think twice before throwing his own powerful persona and action-hero zeal into a walkout by scriptwriters against movie and television studios. The dispute, which may cost hundreds of millions of dollars and has shut down most television production, is proving to be every bit as acrimonious as the 232-day baseball strike, which caused the cancellation of 938 games, including the 1994 World Series. Not everyone with a feel for the levers of power in Hollywood and Sacramento, however, is warning Schwarzenegger to stay away from the writers strike … (full text).
How much rope to escape foreclosure? Dec. 19, 2007.
And he writes: His Bio on Berkeley.edu: … Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He has written ten books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into 22 languages; the best-sellers The Future of Success and Locked in the Cabinet; and his most recent book, Reason. Mr. Reich is co-founder and national editor of The American Prospect magazine. His commentaries can be heard weekly on public radio’s “Marketplace.” In 2003, Reich was awarded the prestigious Vaclav Havel Vision Foundation Prize, by the former Czech president, for his pioneering work in economic and social thought. In 2002, Reich ran for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Massachusetts. He has been a professor at Brandeis University and a member of the faculty of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.A. from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and his J.D. from Yale Law School. (full text, not dated).
… Scribe continues its strong political list with a new edition of The Longest Decade by George Megalogenis, The Climate Wars by Gwynne Dyer, Cullen Murphy’s The New Rome?, Supercapitalism by Robert B. Reich, The Terror Dream by Susan Faludi, and, not forgetting, the hilarious New York Times bestseller I Am America (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert … (full text).
His publications: on wikipedia; on Google Blog-search; on Google Groups-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Book-search; on the American Prospect; on YouTube-search; on Robret Reich Website; and the rest of the many articles or citations on Google-News.
Should companies be socially responsible, by D. Murali, Dec. 16, 2007.
Robert Reich’s Wrecking Ball, by Thomas Riggins; Dec. 29, 2007.
The era of supercapitalism, December 9, 2007;
Rap Stars of Wall Street, Some of the best, brightest, most eccentric hedge-fund managers spill their secrets, by JAY PALMER, Dec. 3, 2007;
Emerald City of Giving Does Exist, Dec. 22, 2007;
Air of inevitability escaping Clinton, Dec. 15, 2007.