Politics, Business and Democracy

Monday, February 11, 2008

Robert Reich, author, professor of public policy at University of California at Berkeley, and former secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, discusses his new book on business and democracy and breaks down this year's presidential race.

SuperCapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life is available for purchase at


Robert Reich

Comments [23]



Re "percentage" of GDP (your point #3)-- the US is spending nearly 100 percent of its income on the War. Your Republican Math doesn't pay the bills. We'll call you Subprime Barry.

Feb. 11 2008 11:34 PM
Leon Freilich from Park Slope

Hillary appoints African-American campaign manager. --news item


Each move is calculated,

Consistent with her goals;

Her eye is on Obama

And I know she watches polls.


Barack Obama,

As some have seen,


Obama's green.


Should Obama and Hillary Clinton deadlock

The prospects can still be rosy

If Dems turn to real experience

And nominate Nancy Pelosi.

Feb. 11 2008 12:08 PM
Pete from Brooklyn, NY

Caucuses ARE stupid. In fact the whole Election is stupid. you buy into proportional delegates? the electoral college? the academic theory behind that is: we are smarter than you. we will tell you who it is responsible to vote for, little child. There IS no democracy. Democracy is your votes get counted. This is the United States of the big LIE.

Feb. 11 2008 12:06 PM
Chestine (the original) from Brooklyn, NY

McCainonomics is spend spend spend and bankrupt the next generation.

Feb. 11 2008 12:05 PM
Bob from Brooklyn, NY

There aint gonna be no Huckabee and there aaint gonna be no Obamas in no White Houses. Goofy name theory always works.

Feb. 11 2008 12:00 PM
chestine from NY

I give up on the democrats, the party that brought us John Kerry, now brings us Barack Obama, who is not yet ready for prime time. Will we EVER learn? HC won't roll over and play dead when the republicans try to steal her victory!

Feb. 11 2008 11:26 AM
J.C. from Minneapolis

This might be going off topic, but to the point of the caucuses being a joke (re: comment #13), I realized today that Washington State, which just held its Democratic caucuses this weekend, is ALSO holding a non-binding presidential primary on February 19th.

I am very curious to see if the results of the primary election are the same as those of the caucuses. Of course, the comparison is imperfect because if voter realize that the primary is a mere beauty-contest, not many might cast ballots.

Nevertheless, if Sen. Clinton does better in the primary than she did the caucus, then she needs to raise some h*ll about this caucus system, which favors those who can come out at a certain time on a weeknight. Hmmm...guess which demographics that systen favors and guess which candidate has the support of people in those demographics????

If Sen. Clinton gets the nod because of the superdelegates, that's fine with me because I think Sen. Obama--and his sometimes borderline fanatical supporters--have enjoyed a procedural advantage in these caucuses.

Feb. 11 2008 11:14 AM
James from New York

And on the whole issue of "proportion", anyone with any even a modestly sophisticated grasp of mathematic & statistical thinking must eventually come to recognize that (perhaps because of the sad state of education in America) very few people are able to cope with (or understand) a cogent, coherent argument based on numerical information. GDP per capita, productivity per hour, investment rates, defense, social spending or the deficit as a percentage of GDP etc...are all too wonky for most folks. In a land of mass innumeracy (ex: folks being utterly incapable of understanding even how much they pay in interest on their credit cards) political argument based on the numbers is Quixotic at best, lunacy at worst. It's never stopped me from trying....but...having low expectations (AND a well-developed sense of humor) are requisites for engaging in intelligent advocacy in the popular political forum. Elitist? Duh.......U bet :)

Feb. 11 2008 11:11 AM
James from New York

On the general issue of how the 'super-delegates' SHOULD vote - isn't it obvious that if the system is set up so that there are such things as 'super-delegates' (i.e. delegates that are NOT determined by popular vote) then maybe the idea is that they are there to bring some of their own collective, accumulated 'wisdom' (or whateva...duh) to the process & decide to vote on some basis other than how THE PEOPLE (God bless 'em whoever they are) vote? Maybe the idea is (as with any REPRESENTATIVE as opposed to direct voting system) they are supposed to have some superior (or other) insight on the situation to merit their voting without SOLE regard to how THE PEOPLE have voted. I dunno...whaddya tink?

Feb. 11 2008 10:54 AM
barry from Manhattan

My point is that the defense spending is not that much vs the GDP.
Sure if we were Brazil and spending that much on Defense it would be a much bigger deal.
WTF dont you understand about proportion?

Feb. 11 2008 10:47 AM
James from New York

It’s gonna blow up. 20 states caucus - turnout averages 15 - 16% (of the 2004 Democratic vote for Kerry). 30 states primaries - turnout averages between 55 - 60% (of the 2004 Democratic vote for Kerry). If you add up ALL the votes of Democrats who bothered to turn out & make a choice (in both caucuses and primaries) - Hillary Clinton leads by a little over 400,000 at this point. But Obama has won more ’states’, so he’s got the mo’. If at the end of the day in June, after the remaining primaries (esp the bigger ones in Virginia, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana & North Carolina weigh in) and Hillary still leads by a couple of hundred thousand votes so that the superdelegates use that as a pretext to tip it to her…the Obama’s go bananas (understandably). And of course, if they really don’t count the Michigan or Florida primaries or redo them as ‘caucuses’ and the superdelegates tip to Obama because he pulls ahead on that basis, then the Hillaries go ballistic (equally understandable). How do we get out of this Democratic party self-created mess??? Is this Howard Dean’s revenge?

Feb. 11 2008 10:45 AM
roberto from west side

Lets see...the superdelegates should vote the same as the majority of the voters, so Teddy and Kerry will offer their votes for HC[Mass voted overwhemingly for her] What a lot of nonsense, the superdelegates should vote however they like. The Obama campaign want it both ways.Not a squeak out of them about the disenfranchisement of Fla/Mi, huge HC victories. Its a ridiculous system, the caucuses are a joke!. The target is 2025 delegates whoever gets their first, wins!!! If a superdelegate puts HC over the top, so be it!

Feb. 11 2008 10:30 AM

(That's for 07)

Feb. 11 2008 10:27 AM

BARRY -- have you seen these numbers?

Defense Department and defense functions of the Department of Energy $462.8 billion
Supplemental Appropriations for Military Operations in Iraq/Afghanistan $173.0 billion
Other Security-Related Funding $352.8 billion
Total Defense and Security-Related Spending $988.6 billion
$1,163 million - Individual income tax $869.6 million - Social Security and other payroll taxes $370.2 million - Corporate income tax $65.1 million

Feb. 11 2008 10:27 AM
hjs from 11211

i would have double dared bush to veto dem's stimulus plan

Feb. 11 2008 10:24 AM
barry from Manhattan

Reich thinks raising taxes will produce more tax revenue?
Hasn't that been proven wrong time and time again?

Feb. 11 2008 10:21 AM
barry from Manhattan

Wow that Bush is pretty clever, tricked everyone on taxes

Feb. 11 2008 10:20 AM

Couldn't the US government clinch the mandate for universal health care with a stimulus package of regular funds earmarked for health care-consumption?

Feb. 11 2008 10:19 AM
hjs from 11211

is there a war on the middle class?

Feb. 11 2008 10:17 AM
barry from Manhattan

Wont the spending on Universal Health care dwarf any current or projected defense spending?

Feb. 11 2008 10:15 AM
barry from Manhattan

What about the argument that the spending on Defense is still the lowest percentage of our GDP since 1945 (3.9%).

Feb. 11 2008 10:14 AM

Re: stimulus plan. No extended food stamps or unemployment insurance because Paulson told Rangel that W would veto any such effort.

Feb. 11 2008 10:13 AM

McCain's economics, according to him: He bought Greenspan's book.

Feb. 11 2008 10:09 AM

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