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 Divider-in-Chief

Donald Trump’s goal is, and has always been, division and disunion. It’s how he keeps himself the center of attention, fuels his base and ensures that no matter what facts are revealed, his followers will stick by him. But there’s another reason Trump aims to divide—and why he pours salt into the nation’s deepest wounds over ethnicity, immigration, race and gender. He wants to distract attention from the biggest and most threatening divide of all: the widening imbalance of wealth and power between the vast majority, who have little or none, and a tiny minority at the top who are accumulating just about all. “Divide and conquer” is one of the oldest strategies in the demagogic playbook: Keep the public angry at each other so they don’t unite against those who are running off with the goods. Over the last four decades, the median wage has barely budged. But the incomes of the richest 0.1 percent have soared by more than 300 percent and the...

Congress Should Be Ready to Arrest Attorney General Barr if He Defies Subpoena

On Sunday, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee threatened to subpoena Attorney General William P. Barr if he refuses to testify this week about the Mueller report. But a subpoena is unlikely to elicit Barr’s cooperation. “We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” says the president of the United States. In other words, according to Trump, there is to be no congressional oversight of this administration: no questioning the attorney general about the Mueller report; no questioning a Trump adviser about immigration policy. No questioning a former White House security director about issuances of security clearances. No questioning anyone about presidential tax returns. Such a blanket edict fits a dictator of a banana republic, not the president of a constitutional republic founded on separation of powers. If Congress cannot question the people who are making policy, or obtain critical documents, Congress cannot function as a coequal branch of government. If...

Five Responses to Climate Change Deniers

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation with someone who denies climate change? Here are five responses to climate change deniers: 1) The science is undeniable. Scientists have concluded that the Earth’s temperature has been steadily climbing since the late 19th century , just when humans started emitting large amounts of carbon pollution into the atmosphere. And it’s intensifying. 18 of the 19 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001 . And, no. Just because it snows doesn’t mean climate change isn’t occurring. You can see the consequences of extreme weather all around us. Wildfires, hurricanes, droughts. 2) Tackling climate change is good for the economy. Clean energy creates more jobs than natural gas or coal, with three times as many Americans already employed in clean energy as in fossil fuels . These jobs also tend to pay more . States like California that have invested heavily in clean energy have grown their economies, while reducing...

Most Devastating of All: Mueller's Indictment of Trump’s Character

Democrats in Congress and talking heads on television will be consumed in the coming weeks by whether the evidence in the Mueller report, especially of obstruction of justice, merits impeachment. In addition, the question of “wink-wink” cooperation with Russia still looms. Mueller’s quote of Trump, when first learning a special counsel had been appointed—“Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked”—has already become a national tagline. Why, Americans wonder, would Trump be “fucked” if he hadn’t done something so awful as to cause its revelation to “fuck” him? We’ll also have Mueller’s own testimony before Congress, and Congress’s own investigations of Trump. But let’s be real. Trump will not be removed by impeachment. No president has been. With a Republican Senate controlled by the most irresponsible political hack ever to be majority leader, the...

How McConnell Is Killing the Senate

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo
Congress has recessed for two weeks without passing a desperately-needed disaster relief bill. Why not? Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t want to anger Donald Trump by adding money for Puerto Rico that Democrats have sought but Trump doesn’t want. America used to have a Senate. But under McConnell, what was once known as the world ’s greatest deliberative body has become a partisan lap dog. Recently McConnell used his Republican majority to cut the time for debating Trump’s court appointees from 30 hours to two—thereby enabling Republicans to ram through even more Trump judges. In truth, McConnell doesn’t give a fig about the Senate, or about democracy. He cares only about partisan wins. On the eve of the 2010 midterm elections he famously declared that his top priority was for Barack Obama “to be a one-term president.” Between 2009 and 2013, McConnell’s Senate Republicans blocked 79 Obama nominees. In the...

Pages