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The Reich on the Left

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: americans, politics, democrats, republicans, middle america, proressive, tea party, book, capitalism )

- 1312 days ago -
Robert Reich, on a book tour for his new book, "Saving Capitalism," writes from the corner of Progressive and Tea Party and finds some interesting agreements at the grass roots.


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Giana Peranio Paz (398)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 2:11 am
Thanks Joanne.

Pat B (356)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 4:38 am
Good article that brings up the facts. All should listen to what he's saying.

Thanks, Joanne.

Darren Woolsey (218)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 7:09 am
Yeah, pretty much agree with all that's been said.

JL A (281)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 7:15 am
Thanks Joanne–it gives one some hope again, especially this quote: "But I do hope the economic populists in both parties come together.

"That’s the only way we’re going to reform a system that’s now rigged against most of us."

Lona Goudswaard (66)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 7:48 am
Thanks Joanne, I'm a great fan of Robert "the right" Reich "on the left" too and it's always a relief to read something by him after reading so many articles about "the wrong on the right". This article had a little surprise for me in store: my adverse reaction to "populist". My European background has taught me to see it as negative, a word connected to uninformed, ill-educated masses that have racist, bigoted and xenophobic tendencies and are easily led by right-wing politicians who appeal on these tendencies. But Reich uses this word in a much more favorable way, at least where populist economics are concerned.

Perhaps it's time for new labels to replace the old ones like populist and socialist. I'm sure new labels will come forward when these Republican populists and Democratic socialists join hands because they realize they stand for have the same economic ideals.

Gene J (288)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 8:25 am
I hope Robert lands a position in Hillary or Bernie's cabinet. He is much to valuable to be on the open market, he needs a place to put into action his wisdom. Because he's absolutely right on all accounts and entertaining besides.

Sheryl G (359)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 8:55 am
This is where Bernie Sanders is also pulling over some of the Republicans. Bernie Sanders has been voted in with his State by Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. Why? Because he speaks common sense policies that work for the towns, the cities, the people, the communities. That people, the environment, economics are all put on a fair playing field and that all are respected.

When he wanted to help the environmentalist get laws into place that is normally a left wing issue he also got the business people to understand that these policies were good for them as well. That those whose living was dependant on people coming to fish or rent kayaks needed the streams and rivers to remain clean. No one was going to kayak down rivers that smelled and dead trees on the banks and if we killed the fish there would be no fishing industry for those coming to vacation in Vermont.

Bernie "gets it" and this is what he has done and knows how to do, work with all the people to come up with the solutions that allow people to stay in business, but protects the interests of the workers and the environment. I think if Bernie got into office someone like Robert Reich would be consulted a lot.

For those still wanting Hillary, she has said she will move in the direction of the Obama Administration in many ways. He made sure that the banks got bailed out, he had the same people around him that the Bush people had for the most part........we can't just keep going down this path of the same old same old with only a bit of tweaking here or there; at this point we need some serious fixing.

And there would be no way in hell that she would ever get any Republicans to vote for Hillary, and many Independents, like myself, the only reason we have come back to the Democrats and left the 3rd Parties is because of Bernie Sanders, he speaks what the true base of the Democrats want but haven't seen because the Party has also been placating too much to the Oligarchy. Many of the Independants won't go to her either.

Thank you Robert Reich for continuing to add your voice.....we need every voice we can get.

Vivian B (169)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 3:35 pm
Robert Reich is a great person just to listen to. I just love it when he is on Bill Maher!
Thanks, Joanne!

Ted W (127)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 7:23 pm
Thanks for posting Joanne! Reich is great!

Edith B (146)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 9:07 pm
Until we can get the "reds" to stop believing faux news and candidates like Huckabee, Christie, Fiorino, and Rubio, and start thinking for themselves, we will never get a consensus. Reich makes so much sense! I shared this post on Facebook, flying in the face of danger again.

Cindy Brickner (4)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 10:59 pm
I admire Reich for his levelheaded, intelligent, clear analysis of our country's economic and political issues! He doesn't just complain about our problems; he always puts forth logical solutions, as well. Remember that as President Clinton's Secretary of Labor, Reich was part of the reason the U.S. had a substantial surplus of money. Robert Reich is a brilliant man whose ideas should be put into effect!!

Stephen Brian (23)
Wednesday November 11, 2015, 11:05 pm
It's like I've been saying for a while: Both sides actually have the same ideals and moral values, but they see different underlying mechanics in the issues. It leads to different language being used, but in the end, they are actually on the same side a whole lot more often than common reports would suggest.

The two sides may be a lot closer together on social issues than they see as well. I remember a friend's story about when he went to a strongly Republican area to open a business. Part of the business-model is to appeal to tourists who regularly visit the area, many of whom are much further to the Left than the locals. He tried to present stuff about buying locally grown food and being green, and they looked at him like he was crazy. Then his partner talked about supporting small businesses rather than big outsiders and following biblical commands of stewardship of God-given land, and then suddenly everybody loved their proposition. I think there might also have been something about promoting artistic traditions of a minority found there and nowhere else in the U.S., which got "replaced" with leveraging unique local talent and expertise for signature-products.

Gloria p (304)
Thursday November 12, 2015, 12:06 am
I love Reich but I am so busy these days.

Angelika R (143)
Thursday November 12, 2015, 2:54 am
Gene touched the key point there, so you best listen to the future minister for economic affairs in Bernies administration! Should the dino win,-god forbid- his chances are a lot less good.

As for Stephen's comment, I don't think it is the "common reports" people are relying on but rather what's coming out of those right-wing mouths that counts. As he says, a different language being used and it's one people strongly dislike! That naturally suggests the assumption of "same ideals and moral values" (LOL) cannot possibly be true.
The results past the language, i.e. unbelievably evil bills and resolutions prove that time and again.

Darlene W (289)
Thursday November 12, 2015, 3:30 am
Great article--thank you.

Nita L (127)
Thursday November 12, 2015, 5:35 am
Great article. I love Robert Reich, I shared everywhere. Thank you Joanne.

Angelika R (143)
Thursday November 12, 2015, 6:35 am
sorry, I keep forgetting to say thanks Joanne! See how much this got me emotionally off balance ?! ;)

cynthia l (207)
Thursday November 12, 2015, 8:31 am
great article love common sense
thx for posting

Joanne D (37)
Thursday November 12, 2015, 9:31 am
Angelika, please don't worry. Your response showing the article had impressed you is more than enough thanks. Like the veteran on Daily Kos said yesterday, don't thank me, help a veteran who needs it. I appreciate all the thoughtful comments here.

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday November 12, 2015, 10:31 am
Hi Angelika :)

The "evil" bills you mentioned generally look that way because conservatives' analyses of the same issues lead to very different policy-prescriptions to achieve the same goals. Here's the best example I can come up with on the spot: Nobody likes to have an underclass-community with generational poverty. Everybody wants to help break that cycle, but let's look two analyses of how that cycle works and how to fix it:

The liberal analysis is typically that due to current poverty, the communities lack role-models, so affirmative action programs will help create a core of wealth within the community which can spread. Financial barriers stop families from building wealth, so increased direct-payment welfare will help. You get the picture, all the common sense stuff that we're all familiar with here on Care2.

Now let's look at the conservative analysis: Education is the single greatest predictor of wealth in the modern economy, so the single most damaging thing you can do to a community is teach it that there is no strong connection between education and well-being. It's the opposite of "teach a man to fish ...". Dropout-rates are much higher in underclass-communities than in others and support for academia within the home is the best indicator of academic achievement. To a conservative, this suggests that those communities have been taught exactly this lesson. Slavery, life in non-knowledge-based economies, life under extremely corrupt and nepotistic rule, etc. teach this lesson, and it gets passed from parent to child. (Even the distribution of dropout-rates, communal history, and average income backs this.) Whatever the original source in any given case, this is what conservatives believe to be one of the major drivers of generational poverty.

The welfare programs I mentioned before, in the liberal policy-prescription, directly break the connection between people's own education, work, and well-being. If the conservative interpretation of the situation is correct, and many conservatives believe it is, then while some welfare is necessary, affirmative action and direct welfare-payments at their current levels do more harm than good. They produce "evil" policy-prescriptions opposite those of liberals with exactly the same aims. Then they see modern welfare as a vote-buying scheme, teaching entire communities that their well-being depends on government-generosity so their well-being is best served by just voting for the more generous party rather than education or hard work.

Then conservatives talk about value-systems and a lack of "virtues" among poor communities, and especially those from "barbaric" cultures and regions, and sound like victim-blaming racists. They're actually talking about impacts within the family of oppression and slavery which they see as being reinforced by liberal policies. The same thing comes up in other ways as well.

Just to be clear, I think both sides have merit in different cases: I have seen communities running fast both ways, from poverty to wealth and wealth to poverty, from this single lesson, and I've seen it on scales from single families (where I could see exactly what happened) to groups of towns. Check out the suburbs of Detroit, where families lived off the wealth accumulated before the riots in the 60s and now the kids in million-dollar homes don't finish high school, or Pew results which said Indian Americans are now the country's best-educated and wealthiest ethnic group. If the pressure to study were taken off the Indians like it was from the super-rich white families near Detroit, there is no way they would have succeeded like this. Of course, I have also seen cases of genuine financial, discriminatory, language-based, and other external barriers stopping communities from accumulating wealth.

Angelika R (143)
Thursday November 12, 2015, 12:51 pm
They don't just SOUND like victim-blaming racists, it's what they ARE. The very same way those right-wingers and ultra right of the knesset, their PM included, sound and ARE. In fact, in just about every society governed by conservatives the have-nots are totally dispensable.
And with that I'll leave it here.

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday November 12, 2015, 10:21 pm
They say the exact same thing about societies governed by liberals.

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