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

A Message for Millennials

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
You are the largest, most diverse, and progressive group of potential voters in American history, comprising fully 30 percent of the voting age population. On November 6, you have the power to alter the course of American politics—flipping Congress, changing the leadership of states and cities, making lawmakers act and look more like the people who are literally the nation’s future. But you need to vote . In the last midterm election, in 2014, only 16 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 29 even bothered. Now, I understand. I was young once. You have a lot on your minds—starting jobs, and careers, and families. Also, unlike your grandparents—some of whom were involved in civil rights, voting rights, women’s rights, the anti-Vietnam War movement—you may not remember a time when political action changed America for the better. You don’t even recall when American democracy worked well. Instead, during your lifetime you’ve...

The Truth About the Trump Economy

I keep hearing that although Trump is a scoundrel or worse, at least he’s presiding over a great economy. As White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow recently put it, “The single biggest story this year is an economic boom that is durable and lasting.” Really? Look closely at the living standards of most Americans, and you get a very different picture. Yes, the stock market has boomed since Trump became president. But it’s looking increasingly wobbly as Trump’s trade wars take a toll. Over 80 percent of the stock market is owned by the richest 10 percent of Americans anyway, so most Americans never got much out of Trump’s market boom to begin with. The trade wars are about to take a toll on ordinary workers. Trump’s steel tariffs have cost Ford $1 billion so far, for example, forcing the automaker to plan mass layoffs. What about economic growth? Data from the Commerce Department shows the economy at full speed, 4.2 percent growth for the...

Containing the Catastrophe

Anyone still unsure of how (or even whether) they’ll vote in the midterms should consider this: All three branches of government are now under the control of one party, and that party is under the control of Donald J. Trump. With the addition of Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court is as firmly Republican as are the House and Senate. Kavanaugh was revealed as a fierce partisan—not only the legal advisor who helped Kenneth Starr prosecute Bill Clinton and almost certainly guided George W. Bush’s use of torture, but also a nominee who believes “leftists” and Clinton sympathizers are out to get him. He joins four other Republican-appointed jurists, almost as partisan. Thomas, Alito, and Roberts have never wavered from Republican orthodoxy. Neil Gorsuch, although without much track record on the Supreme Court to date, was a predictable conservative Republican vote on the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit—which is why the Heritage Foundation pushed for him...

America's Bullies

As a kid I was always a head shorter than other boys, which meant I was bullied—mocked, threatened, sometimes assaulted. Childhood bullying has been going on forever. But in recent years America has become a culture of bullying—the wealthier over the poorer, CEOs over workers, those with privilege and pedigree over those without, the whiter over the browner and blacker, men over women. Sometimes the bullying involves physical violence. More often it entails intimidation, displays of dominance, demands for submission, or arbitrary decisions over the lives of those who feel they have no choice but to accept them. The Kavanaugh-Ford hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27 was a window into our bullying culture. On one side: powerful men who harass or abuse women and get away with it, privileged white men intent on entrenching their power on the Supreme Court, men vested with the power to take away a woman’s right to choose what she does with her...

Why I’m Betting on Millennials This November

Millennials (and their younger siblings, generation Zs) are the largest, most diverse and progressive group of potential voters in American history, comprising fully 30 percent of the voting age population. On November 6, they’ll have the power to alter the course of American politics—flipping Congress, changing the leadership of states and cities, and making lawmakers act and look more like the people who are literally the nation’s future. But will they vote? In the last midterm election, in 2014, only 16 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 29 bothered. In midterms over the last two decades, turnout by young people has averaged about 38 points below the turnout rate of people 60 and older. Which has given older voters a huge say over where the nation is likely to be by the time those younger people reach middle age and the older voters have passed on. I’m not criticizing younger non-voters. They have a lot on their minds—starting jobs,...

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