Originally Published 2007-10-03 19:21:40
If you listen to Marketplace on Public Radio (American Public Media), then you've already heard his commentaries for years. He believes some contrarian ideas like higher taxes for the rich, tax cuts for the poor, education as a public good (not a personal investment), and that nice little elephant in the room with "deficits are bad" tattooed on it's bum.
I think, if I'm understanding his ideas right, that the end result of deficits is a reduction in currency value and, ultimately, inflationary pressure and economic malaise. But I guess that's old news.
Anyhow, Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor is now a professor in my hometown (well, almost) of Berkeley, California, and has been making his rounds pushing his new book, Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life.
But there's plenty of food for thought available for free (even sans advertising, for the most part, other than book plugs, of course). He's a great lecturer, by the way, so despite the somewhat dry nature of economics at times, his speeches are quite digestible:
- His blog, which is more or less a transcript of his weekly Marketplace commentaries.
- His recent speech at the Commonwealth Club.
- His recent interview with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air. He also gets more-than-honorable mention in Greenspan's Fresh Air interview, taped about a week later. (Terry asks Reich at one point, "What would you ask Alan Greenspan if you could?" then plays the segment for Alan! :-)
- His weekly audio pieces on Marketplace (use in your favorite podcast utility, e.g., iTunes): http://marketplace.publicradio.org/RSS/reich.xml
fwiw, I agree with most of Reich's ideas, especially his anti-regressive tax stance being positive for society. If nothing else, I believe that Reich is worth listening to and is in a position where he can understand the system better than most of us. Some of his ideas on health care, admittedly, are a little beyond me -- not in terms of understanding the ideas, but rather, because I don't have sufficient context to weigh their merit. I'd nonetheless welcome any debate...
All of that being said, much like reading the Wall Street Journal regularly and paying attention to the global business climate, exposing yourself to this type of information can only help you in decision-making, no matter how small your business might be.
On 2007-10-04 12:40:01 Shane said:
Loved his latest entry about charitable contributions so I added his blog to my list of feeds. It's almost as cool as this blog! I hadn't realized that only 10% of "charitable" contributions go to the poor while the rest go to playgrounds for the rich. I wonder what would happen to both the percentage of charity that goes to the poor and the full dollar amount if the tax code were changed in the way he suggests. I imagine a huge (20-30%) increase in the percentage to the poor and an even more drastic drop in the total dollar amount of charitable contributions.
What do you think of Ron Paul?
On 2007-10-04 12:47:05 Shane said:
BTW - I don't think Google Adsense recognizes Robert Reich since I'm seeing adds for the Barbie fan club and 50 cent fan club on this post. What % of Barbie club members do you think also are registered in the 50 cent fan club? Then how many of those are in the Robert Reich fan club? I'd like to meet the guy/gal that's in all 3.
On 2007-10-04 19:03:58 Johnny Fuery said:
I'm signing up for both the Barbie and 50 Cent fan clubs right now.
I always like being the first mover.