Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich, a co-founder of The American Prospect, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. His website can be found here.

Recent Articles

America Has Already Fired Trump

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s soon-to-be-delivered report will trigger months of congressional investigations, subpoenas, court challenges, partisan slugfests, media revelations and more desperate conspiracy claims by Donald Trump, all against the backdrop of the burning questions: Will he be impeached by the House? Will he be convicted by the Senate? Will he pull a Richard Nixon and resign? In other words, will America fire Trump? I have news for you. America has already fired him. When the public fires a president before Election Day—as it did with Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, and Herbert Hoover—they don’t send him a letter telling him he’s fired. They just make him irrelevant. Politics happens around him, despite him. He’s not literally gone, but he might as well be. It’s happened to Trump. The courts and House Democrats are moving against him. Senate Republicans are quietly subverting him. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell...

Howard's End

Much like Trump, Schultz isn't running because he wants to improve the country. He's running because he thinks it will be fun. 

America is the only place in the world where any citizen over the age of 35 can run for president. No experience in government necessary. No support from a political party necessary. You don’t even have to have any ideas or policy proposals. Take Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, whose most notable achievement to date has been the Mocha Frappucinno. Last Tuesday, CNN made Schultz a Serious Presidential Candidate by giving him an hour-long “town hall” in which he fielded questions from an audience. Why did CNN do this? Because Schultz is worth over $3.6 billion. In today’s America, someone with this much money can buy so much advertising and self-promotion that he automatically becomes a SPC just by virtue of wanting the job and having the capacity to self-finance a campaign. Ironically, CNN and other major media are giving Schultz free media now because he can afford an almost infinite amount of paid media later. Years ago, political parties played...

Dictator Trump

A president who claims he has an absolute right to declare a national emergency and spend government funds that Congress has explicitly refused to appropriate for the ends he seeks, is assuming the role of a dictator. A president who shuts down government in order to get his way on a controversial issue, such as building a wall along the border with Mexico, and offers to reopen it as a concession when and if his opponents give in, is treating the government of the United States as a bargaining chip. This, too, is the behavior of a dictator. As is spouting lies over what Trump terms an “undeniable crisis” at the southern U.S. border, which is in fact no crisis at all. Donald Trump is violating the Constitution. He is negating our system of government based on the rule of law. He is violating a president’s core responsibility to protect American democracy. But the threat to American democracy is not just from Trump’s dictatorial moves. And the real threat to...

Trump Wants Socialism for the Rich, Harsh Capitalism for the Rest

“America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism. In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21 billion saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives. On the other hand, more than 4,000 lower-level bank employees got a big dose of harsh capitalism. They lost their jobs. Banks that are too big to fail—courtesy of the 2008 bank bailout—enjoy a hidden subsidy of some $83 billion a year, because creditors facing less risk accept lower interest on deposits and loans. Last year, Wall Street’s bonus pool was $31.4 billion. Take away the hidden subsidy and the bonus pool disappears. Trump and his...

The Disaster of Howard Schultz

There are three big reasons why Howard Schultz’s self-proclaimed candidacy is troubling: 1. He could be a spoiler in 2020, splitting the vote and putting Trump back in the White House. Even Bill Burton, a former Obama adviser who has joined the Schultz team, publicly warned against third-party voting in 2016. 2. His message is without substance (he uses empty catchphrases like “silent majority” and “common sense solutions”) and his policy proposals are zilch. When asked by John Dickerson on CBS This Morning what his “big idea” was, Schultz declared: “The big idea is very simple: to unite the country. For us to come together. To do everything we can to realize that the promise of America is for everyone.” To the extent Schultz has defined his candidacy, it’s focused on what he’s against—for example, Democratic proposals to raise taxes and provide Medicare for All. 3. He represents the very worst aspect of America...

Pages