ROBERT REICH – The tsunami of money now flowing from corporations into the swamp of American politics is larger than ever. And this money â€“ bankrolling almost all politicians and financing attacks on their opponents â€“ is undermining American democracy as much as did the 147 seditionist members of Congress. Maybe more.
ROBERT REICH – American corporations are sacrificing workers and communities as never before in order to further boost runaway profits and unprecedented CEO pay. And not even a tragic pandemic is changing that.
ROBERT REICH – The Democratic establishment is viewing American politics through obsolete lenses of left versus right, with Bernie on the extreme left and Trump on the far right. This may have been the correct frame for politics decades ago when America still had a growing middle class, but itâ€™s obsolete today.
ERIC LINDBERG – We have a situation, then, where one half of the population says it is not happening, and the other half says it is happening but fighting it doesnâ€™t have to change our way of life. Like a dysfunctional and enabling married couple, the bickering and finger-pointing, and anger ensures that nothing has to change and that no one has to actually look deeply at themselves, even as the wheels are falling off the family-life they have co-created. And so do Democrats and Republicans stay together in this unhappy and unproductive place of emotional self-protection and planetary ruin. Here are some of the stories we tell ourselves, to allow us to continue this behavior. How to kick the habit? That’s a little tougher.
ROBERT REICH – For years Americans have assumed that our hard-charging capitalism is better than the soft-hearted version found in Canada and Europe. American capitalism might be a bit crueler but it generates faster growth and higher living standards overall. Canadaâ€™s and Europeâ€™s â€œwelfare-state socialismâ€ is doomed.
LORI WALLACH – Corporate interests were fiercely lobbying for President Obama to dedicate serious time in this State of the Union speech to pushing fast track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in order to try to overcome growing congressional and public opposition to both, but instead he made only a brief passing reference. No doubt one explanation is that there is no upside to generating public debate on this issue.
ROBERT REICH – Why the decline of public institutions? The slide . . . started more than three decades ago with so-called “tax revolts” by a middle class whose earnings had stopped advancing even though the economy continued to grow. Most families still wanted good public services and institutions but could no longer afford the tab. Since the late 1970s, almost all the gains from growth have gone to the top. But as the upper-middle class and the rich began shifting to private institutions, they withdrew political support for public ones.
ROBERT B. REICH – MAKE REPUBLICANS VOTE ON EXTENDING THE TAX CUTS JUST FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS. After all the Bush tax cuts expire, have Republicans vote on an extending the Bush tax cut just for the middle-class. If they refuse and try to hold those tax cuts hostage to tax cuts for the wealthy, it will show whose side they’re on. They’ll pay the price in 2014.