robert reich

robert reich

interview about inequality for all with Bill Moyers, july 2013:

these are just rules that can be changed. in a functioning democracy we would be changing them

19 min – everybody is acting rationally given what the rules are – but the rules aren’t rational

20 min – here’s where blame is deserved.. wealthy people are buying rules that benefit them

22 min – on equal outcomes vs equal opportunities..

seems opportunities Robert lists.. are embedded in assumed rules.. ie: education..

creating incentives for people to work hard

? –  ugh. incentives. and work hard. sounds very work ethic ish..

recovery so animic – don’t have purchasing power..

what if it’s not about money… what if it’s not just the rules.. but the frame .. that we need to change.

34 min – we’ve gotten to the point that money is so powerful.. that we focus on those on the top

36 min – good explanation on why you can’t say people are choosing to not work because of all the ie: food stamps, aid,…

38 min – causes of the interruption of the cycle.. 1970s ish 1. globalization 2. tech change – those aren’t the real story.. we shouldn’t try to stop them. the real problem is that we didn’t adapt. we didn’t change the rules of the game.

42 min – if we are organized.. we can change the rules..  then he goes on to list some things we could do.. to make the system more equitable.

or perhaps – we could create a new system.. no?

49 min – there’s no other economic system in the world that has worked as well as capitalism… we just need to prevent it from going off the rails.. to make sure it’s working.. ie: via the excesses of greed and power

how do you constrain capitalism from doing things that aren’t in the public interest? you have a democracy.. if the democracy is corrupted itself.. then you get the money out of it

51 min – 1901 – birth of a progressive movement… that happened again in the 30’s and the 60’s.. it can happen again.


inequality for all trailer:


oct 2014 – stats on ivy league:


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Robert Bernard Reich (/ˈrʃ/; born June 24, 1946) is an American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and wasSecretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Reich was born with multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, also known as Fairbanks disease, and as a result stands 4 feet 10.5 inches tall. 

Reich is currently Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He was formerly a professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and professor of social and economic policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management of Brandeis University. He has also been a contributing editor of The New Republic, The American Prospect (also chairman and founding editor), Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, The New York Times, andThe Wall Street Journal.


on changing patent laws.. to distribute profit to all .. like a basic income

why not leap frog to making patent irrelevant…

cut out all that extra B/paperwork, ie: money..


money ness


Robert Reich put “Inequality For All” on Vimeo for free. The password is bernie2016

Original Tweet:

notes – inequality for all:

3 min – 1\what is happening 2\why 3\is it a problem (talk at berkley – class called wealth & poverty) – why the system works as it does

some inequality is inevitable.. capitalism does generate a lot  of good things.. question is not inequality per se.. it’s when does it become a problem

5 min – of all developed nations.. u.s. has worst ineq by far

6 min – 2008 – occupy et al – most were looking for someone to blame.. but most had no idea how we it got this bad or why

7 min – we didn’t know what was happening at very top.. 1% …. then a few yrs ago.. emmanual saez and thomas pickety found diff source of data: irs tax data all the way back to 1913 when income tax was instituted.. 2 peak yrs: 1928 and 2007 – top1%  taking more than 23% of total income

8 min – study in 2003 – sat for years.. then became important.. graph looks like suspension bridge.. parallels are breathtaking.. ie: leading up.. income concentrated.. wealthy turns to financial sector, housing/gold/… middle class incomes stagnating deeper in debt… what makes econ stable is strong middle class.. consumer spending is 70% of econ…

14 min – 50 000 middle class, bottom of top 1%: 380000 – top drs/lawyers; millions – entreprenerus, 10 mill ceos of big companies/banks/sports stars/entertainers

17 min – problem isn’t rich are spending so much.. it’s paradoxically that they aren’t circulating that money

18 min – if someone calls themselves a job creator – they don’t understand the economic system…  everywhere where you find prosperity… they are investing in middle class and poor (rich pillow guy – Nick Hanauer )

22 min – first job.. intern for robert kennedy – sense of possibility.. the rhodes scholar.. boat to england… friends with bill clinton

23 min – at oxford studied econ/philosophy.. focus of my of rules by which markets are organized.. no such thing as free market.. govt sets rules by which market functions.. necessary in order to construct free market.. real question.. who do these rules benefit..

25 min – in late 1970s – wages flattened.. while productivity/prosperity continued on up

26 min – decline of unions.. decline of middle class – same – reagan firing air traffic controllers.. protesting…. major underlying issue – 2 interrelated things: globalization and technology

29 min – everything is coming from everywhere.. which countries workers add values.. where company is headquartered means less and less… process parceled out.. large manufacture workers lose jobs.. workers shed by automation

31 min – on amazon…. leading to ie: circuit city lay offs

33 min – contrary to popular mythology .. globalization/tech haven’t reduced number of jobs.. but their pay

35 min – how could we not have money.. we both work – mother

36 min – how do you build wealth.. not that i want to be wealthy.. but how do you build it when you don’t have anything – mother

people would be less concerned about inequality/wealth.. if everybody had a chance to make it…  42% of kids born into poverty will not get out – u.s.

37 min – ok.. what nation does it better. who should we emulate..? the u.s.

1920 – we made ed a national priority – by late 50s we had best educated work force of any country in world.. most unions.. largest middle class world had ever seen.. and part of a virtuous cycle..

39 min – pics of virtuous cycle..

ugh. thinking manufacturing consent.. school et al

40 min – what we’ve learned.. inequality clearly linked to ed, esp higher ed.. 70s college grad rates began to flatten out..

41 min – for years i’ve been writing about investing in people.. then in 1992 i thought i might be able to do something about it.. clinton told me he had read all my books.. his campaign.. put people first.. reich becomes secretary of labor

let’s do this first (quite different than economic energy….. people energy) – not about successful economy.. money to the people.. but rather.. free dom to the people/artist..

43 min – decline in wage started in 78

44 min – some places rewarded those that had ed and right connections, ie: apple, oracle

winners – consumers, almost everything you’re buying is getting cheaper

45 min – early 90s.. company more profits.. mostly because pay lower… executive pay keeps going up

47 min – stock options came from.. perversion of bill clinton’s promise in 1992 election – rather than be taxed or not take care of company/employees

2007 – 3rd group doing remarkably well – financiers.. 1997-2007 finance fastest growing..

48 min – in 2009 during deep reception .. 7 top hedge funders were taking in more than billion dollars each.. remember govt sets rules by which market functions.. we de regulated wall street

53 min – big companies not designed to make jobs.. but to make profit…. who is working in a way that improves american workforce.. nobody

54 min – why didn’t we make steps in 1980s to make economy work for everyone..?

how did middle class manage to keep spending when wages were flat:

1\ women go into paid work – went to work mainly to prop up family incomes

2\ by 1990s – both men and women work longer hours.. 300 hrs a year more than typical european

3\ borrowing… seemed easy because housing prices going up

4\ mid to late 90s – refinance homes – using home as atm –

we had a debt bubble… all burst 2008

all coping mechanisms.. now exhausted..

59 min – problem… last 3 decades.. nothing fundamentally changed in this inequality

1:00 – in clinton – we had the possibility.. we had budget surpluses… but.. there wasn’t the political will to reallocate.. we didn’t alter the underlying trend.. i became an arse.. i became predictable.. on inequality.. i left.. i had to go home.. had i been a failure.. i’d been saying much of the same for 30 yrs and much has become worse

1:02 – what i tell myself in my quiet moments.. this is what counts… good jobs/wages/opportunity for kids

1:03 – i wouldn’t have spent so much if i didn’t think it would have paid off in social change… when so much accumulates at the very top.. with money comes the capacity to control politics

1:05 – this is where there is blame.. not the wealth.. but they abuse wealth through lobbying… inequality and top tax rates have had an inverse relationship

taxes on top were never under 70% until reagan dropped them… ie: warren buffet – 17%

1:08 – when you give rich people tax breaks in name of job creation… fat cats get fatter – rich pillow guy –Nick Hanauer .. 11% on 6 figure

1:09 – 60s – berkley tuition free now 15000 for instate.. as state support went down tuitions went up

1:13 – in times of high inequality.. high political party polarization

2010 – citizens united decided corps are people

1:15 – billionaires buying presidents – occupy – white house in office of banks

1:16 – losers of rigged games can become very angry…. dangerous trends

1:18 – irony – ie: protest at berkley stopped by police – is that we have empowered saying you can’t speak up.. but we’ll listen to the rich

1:19 – i got picked on as a kid.. so made alliances with older boys.. when i was 10 – one of boys.. summer of 64.. was tortured/murdered… my protector murdered by the real bullies.. i think it changed my life.. i had to protect people from the bullies…

1:21 – there’s no single magic bullet.. policy ideas are plentiful.. remember we make the rules of the economy and we have the power to change those rules..

radical econ ness

politics is not out there.. it starts here

1:22 – this is not a zero sum game.. history is on the side of a positive social change

a nother way