Streams

Robert Reich Looks Beyond Outrage

Monday, May 07, 2012

Robert Reich explains why an increasing share of income and wealth is going to the top and argues that income inequality has hobbled jobs and growth and undermines our democracy. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, and in Beyond Outrage: What Has Gone Wrong with our Economy and our Democracy, and How to Fix It, he provides ideas for solving the problems income inequality is creating.

Guests:

Robert Reich

Comments [23]

David

Robert "the Fourth" Reich—a glaring example of:

“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”

May. 07 2012 05:04 PM
resident alien from Wiliamsburg

Couldn't agree more with Robert Reich. Wishe he was part of the Obama administration when the finanicial crisis hit the fan! Wondering if he would consider to join a second Obama admin - if it ever happens?

The housing collapse was partially caused by homeowners who bought more house that they could afford (if any), maybe, in the naive hope that they could flip it anytime for a profit, but even more by the people who encouraged them to buy more mortgage, lie on the application to earn more commission & mostly by the people who invented those mortgage default swapps, not caring if they were toxic or not, because the were sure to sell them to the naive, ignorant, bigger idiots in foreign countries...

May. 07 2012 12:52 PM
sanych

Neither Reich, nor Krugman (who was at the show last week) can be trusted. They belong to the circle of power, even if they say something that appears to be against it. First, they were part of the elite who pushed for disastrous economic policies. Now they publish books to "explain" the pass out of our current misery. There true place is in the dust-bean of history, sufficiently tarred and feathered...

May. 07 2012 12:45 PM
anthony

You see, Reich makes an excellent point. Why on earth do people donate to radio stations like NPR which already get tax dollars and serve the rich. There are definitely more deserving organizations like oxfam or the gates foundation. On the other hand I'm amazed that he is so partisan. It would be nice if not balanced by having an Austrian economist on once in a while. Many of them predicted this crash and can provide real solutions.

May. 07 2012 12:41 PM
fuva from Harlemworld

HughSansom: Didn't Clinton enable the housing bubble BY deregulating the financial industry? Isn't that how it happened, for the most part?

May. 07 2012 12:36 PM

He's a KOMMIE!!!

RUN FOR THE HILLS!!!

May. 07 2012 12:36 PM
lesterine from man-attan

leonard, please ask mr R what his thoughts are on having the government take a stronger role in stimulating the economy by increasing government and public sector jobs.

May. 07 2012 12:34 PM
fuva from Harlemworld

We require a better understanding of monetary wealth -- how it's achieved and the many compounding benefits it accrues, as well as how self-=serving a lot of rich philanthropy is.

May. 07 2012 12:34 PM
Nathan Taylor from Chicago

Because baby boomers are retiring at an accelerating rate, don't we need fewer than 250,000 new jobs to decrease the unemployment rate. And we need a better educated workforce to replace all those highly experienced retires.

May. 07 2012 12:33 PM
Nick from UWS

This guest is completely missing the point. There are no jobs because manufacturing and jobs of all kinds are being outsourced to other countries. We need to STOP sending jobs to other countries, STOP manufacturing things in other countries, and MAKE THINGS IN THE USA, WITH US WORKERS. AND THEN PEOPLE WILL HAVE JOBS, AND ENOUGH MONEY TO BUY THINGS. Stop dancing around the central issue, for Christ's sake.

May. 07 2012 12:32 PM
The Truth from Becky

If you are "two salary rich", then you are not "the Rich" in the conversation, you have to be Romney Rich and his never had a job outside of the home wife Rich to be whom they are speaking of as wealthy.

May. 07 2012 12:32 PM

I like Reich's work, but he's pulling a fast one on job creation in the Clinton years. Clinton — more than any other president (including Bush) — gave us the housing bubble that drove the economy forward but also set us up for the collapse from 2007 to 2008. It was the Clinton Wall Street brigade — Robert Rubin, et al. — who advocated deregulation of financial services.

So, yes, neo-Keynesian thinking worked and works better than classical dogma, but Clinton engage in essentially conservative policies, not Keynesian ones, and we are still paying the price.

May. 07 2012 12:31 PM
sanych

Did not Robert Reich advocate "free trade" and did not he and his boss Clinton pushed NAFTA?

May. 07 2012 12:31 PM
pico from NJ

Which is it:
wealth + power = corruption
wealth + corruption = power
power + corruption = wealth

Is there a happy medium?

May. 07 2012 12:30 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

If recent college grads can't get jobs, what's the point of having more of them? Many may have to go work in Japan or someplace. There's no point in subsidizing college students unless you can show individuals with exceptional promise, in which case they usually get scholarships anyway. The liberal idea that everyone has to go to college has played out. We need more young people to go to work, and those who NEED more education will find a way of getting it at a price they can manage.

May. 07 2012 12:28 PM
CK from Yorktown

I hear what you're saying about the different rules; agreed. But what defines "wealthy?" It seems to me that wealthy is anyone who makes more than you do. It's hard to be lumped in with Bill Gates and Donald Trump because we have two earners who worked and paid for our degrees. No one forgave our loans by the way. We paid for school to get ahead.

- If you want to call billionaires "rich" Go ahead. Leave the rest of the two salary regular guys out of this.
- If you want to go to college, expect to pay for it and take a degree that gets you a job when it's over (not English Lit for crying out loud)
- Throw the bums in Washington out.

May. 07 2012 12:27 PM
anon

I wonder if your guest can speak about the particular problems today's income inequality creates for people who are just starting out after finishing college or graduate school. It no longer seems possible for us to afford the basics: housing, health care, and education. What are your guest's suggestions for solutions to the serious problems younger people are facing?

May. 07 2012 12:22 PM

THANK YOU, Mr. Reich!!

May. 07 2012 12:21 PM
Michelle from NYC

I think anyone with a brain can see all this.. the question is, how to change the current system when the people in power like the status quo. Outside of a horrible event like another Depression?

Isn't the real problem, that Washington has become an extension of what Wall St. wants?

May. 07 2012 12:14 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The WWII tax rates naturally had to come down with time, as our competitors began to revive from the devastation of the war. What really matters is not at what rate you're taxed. What matters is how much disposable income is left over to live on. I support whatever tax system helps the economy grow with the lowest unemployment rate. I do believe at this time the wealthy should pay at higher rates than they presently are. But I don't take an ideological stance. Taxes are a practical matter. Like any tool, they have to be adapted to what does the most good for the most of our citizens.

May. 07 2012 12:14 PM
mered from nyc

Would you please ask robert reich 2 questions--why didn't clinton fight against the repeal of glass steagle which separaed commercial from investment banking? Is it true Europe didn't have this separation so we had to repeal it to compete with them somehow?
And please explain why the democrats allowed Nafta and the off shoring of american jobs. Could the democrats have fought these at the time, and why didn't they?

May. 07 2012 12:12 PM
joe from nearby

Robert Reich- speaking truth to power.

"Job creators" are creating jobs...in China.

May. 07 2012 12:10 PM
Ayn Marx 666 from Dallas,TX 75214

Well, the problem might be self-correcting: marketolatry and gross inequities in property would result in a populace that are 1.) schooled in self-interest and 2.) have little self-interest in maintaining property rights. We haven't got to the point where the lack of utility of the system were so obvious that it will influence a majority, and religious and pseudo-religious dogma implying that the rich always deserve all they have will continue to delay things, but I think we're on that way.

At that point the rich lose all their money, or end democracy, or live behind guards and walls with broken bottles at their top---and fear their guards---or (in actual practice) try to do all of the above...but the basic principle remains: a powerful middle class with substantial amounts of property is necessary for the wealthy to have any sort of real long-term security.

May. 07 2012 11:41 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.