Tag: Robert Reich

The State of Joe Biden’s Union: The Return to Democratic Capitalism | The Smirking Chimp

Chalmer’s Value-Based Capitalism seems to be in the footsteps of Biden’s America. Will we ever truley be able to walk and talk for ourselves. Or do both nations really reflect whats best for their peoples

Biden’s larger achievement has been to change the economic paradigm that has reigned since Reagan. He is teaching America a lesson we once knew but have since forgotten: that the “free market” does not exist. It is designed. It either advances public purposes or it serves the monied interests. Biden’s democratic capitalism is neither socialism nor “big government.” It is, rather, a return to an era when government organized the market for the greater good.

Source: The State of Joe Biden’s Union: The Return to Democratic Capitalism | The Smirking Chimp

The Biggest Story You’ve Never Heard About Today’s Federal Debt | The Smirking Chimp

Not only is the story false, but it leaves out the bigger and more important story behind today’s federal debt: the switch by America’s wealthy over the last half century from paying taxes to the government to lending the government money.

This back story needs to be told if Americans are to understand what’s really happened and what needs to be done about it. Republicans won’t tell it, so Democrats (starting with Joe Biden) must.

Source: The Biggest Story You’ve Never Heard About Today’s Federal Debt | The Smirking Chimp

Should Trump Get Back His Giant Megaphones? | The Smirking Chimp

 

Antitrust laws were enacted more than a century ago to protect our democracy from being undermined by giant corporations. Yet this what Twitter and Meta are now doing. In my view, we should reduce the size and reach of these huge corporate megaphones by using antitrust laws to break them up.

Source: Should Trump Get Back His Giant Megaphones? | The Smirking Chimp

When Fox Entered the Hen House | The Smirking Chimp

wit

Murdoch was caught red-handed illegally corrupting UK media. Let off by the Tories he fled the UK for America to do the same there, He’s trie and continues to do so in Australia for 47 years. But for the ABC, he has become the least trusted media maggot in the country. However, trusted news and information aren’t his primary business. Rating numbers are. Influence for the moneyed is. Cash and making it flow from the top down the business model. Win or lose doesn’t matter dependence does. Now, Ch9 has joined him in that chase along with Kerry Stokes. All vying to be lifes narrators to the masses for the wealthy and powerful

Fox News is after me again.

This is nothing new. Former Fox host Bill O’Reilly once accused me of being a communist (this was before O’Reilly was ousted after it was reported that he and Fox News paid five women $13 million to settle various sexual misconduct lawsuits).

Source: When Fox Entered the Hen House | The Smirking Chimp

False Equivalence: Biden’s Documents | The Smirking Chimp

The task for Biden and the White House will be to keep an even keel by not getting distracted by this commotion, and continuing the important business of governing the nation. Over the long term (meaning during the next two years of run-up to the 2024 election), the contrast between the House Republicans’ zany partisan escapades and Biden’s seriousness of pubic purpose will offer the most potent means of avoiding all false equivalences. Classified Documents,

Source: False Equivalence: Biden’s Documents | The Smirking Chimp

What To Do About America’s “Labor Shortage?” Easy. Pay People More. | The Smirking Chimp

In Australia LNP logic dictated cut welfare and wages and force them into the opportunity of 2-3 jobs to live.

If we want more people to take jobs and we wish to live in a decent society, the answer is to pay people more.

Source: What To Do About America’s “Labor Shortage?” Easy. Pay People More. | The Smirking Chimp

With McCarthy, the Trump Coalition of MAGAs and Oligarchs Lives On | The Smirking Chimp

The real battle for America isn’t between the left and right, or even between Republicans and Democrats. It’s between the oligarchy — corporate and Wall Street monied interests — and everybody else.

Source: With McCarthy, the Trump Coalition of MAGAs and Oligarchs Lives On | The Smirking Chimp

Today’s Job and Wage Numbers Show the Fed Is Winning, Big Corporations Are Doing Great, and Workers Are Losing Ground | The Smirking Chimp

The government must stop putting the responsibility for fighting inflation on working people whose wages have gone nowhere for four decades. Put the responsibility where it belongs — on big corporations with power to raise their prices.

Source: Today’s Job and Wage Numbers Show the Fed Is Winning, Big Corporations Are Doing Great, and Workers Are Losing Ground | The Smirking Chimp

Opinion | How the Corporate Takeover of American Politics Began | Common Dreams

The model dates back to EIC or The British East India Company the first speculative share-for-profit company formed to commercialise war. Within 50 years it had grown, controlled and taken the wealth of nations. India and China constituted well over 25% of the world’s trade, At one time the company even had 25% of British MPs in its pocket.

When almost bankrupt after failing to pay taxes, it was the first organisation deemed too big to fail, so it became a government-owned public/private partnership under the protection of the British government. India’s famine and the opium wars with China required EIC to look for new territories to plunder and rapaciously profit from. So it turned its eye to the Americas where it had been slave trading. However, the multicultural colonies wouldn’t have a bar of what had been done to India and fought for and won their Independence from the British effort and Company. The East India Company gave us the birth to and the model of the systemic structure called the Corporation. It had set the standard of a system of no physical body or soul to punish With no identifiable owner only an office and shareholder list they were free to do what they wanted and did.

Corporations regularly outspend labor unions and public interest groups during election years. And too many politicians in Washington represent the interests of corporations — not their constituents. As a result, corporate taxes have been cut, loopholes widened, and regulations gutted.

Source: Opinion | How the Corporate Takeover of American Politics Began | Common Dreams

How To Survive a Senate Confirmation (Part III: The Hearing) | The Smirking Chimp

The hearing ended a half hour later. I survived. Flashbulbs exploded all around. I could see my burly chief interrogator across the hearing room. He was beaming. I couldn’t reach him in the crowd, but our eyes met. He pointed his thumb straight upward.

Source: How To Survive a Senate Confirmation (Part III: The Hearing) | The Smirking Chimp

How To Survive a Senate Confirmation (Part II) | The Smirking Chimp

“Mr. Reich, you’ve had absolutely no experience managing a big organization, have you?”

“Mr. Reich, do you believe that employers should have the right to permanently replace striking workers?”

“Mr. Reich, are you a socialist?”

Source: How To Survive a Senate Confirmation (Part II) | The Smirking Chimp

Trump, Bankman-Fried and Musk are the monsters of American capitalism | Robert Reich | The Guardian

Elon Musk and Donald Trump on 30 May 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

For them, and for everyone who still regards them as heroes, there is no morality in business or economics. The winnings go to the most ruthless

Source: Trump, Bankman-Fried and Musk are the monsters of American capitalism | Robert Reich | The Guardian

The Monsters of American Capitalism | The Smirking Chimp

If this past week presents any single lesson, it’s the social costs of greed. Capitalism is premised on greed but also on guardrails – laws and norms — that prevent greed from becoming so excessive that it threatens the system as a whole.

Yet the guardrails can’t hold when avarice becomes the defining trait of an era, as it is now. Laws and norms are no match for the possibility of raking in billions if you’re sufficiently ruthless and unprincipled.

Source: The Monsters of American Capitalism | The Smirking Chimp

Military Bloat Versus Unnecessary Misery | The Smirking Chimp

When in a two-party system both parties agree

Because support for military spending is bipartisan. No lawmaker wants to be portrayed as weak on national defense. Democrats have been jumping onto the military spending bandwagon as fast as Republicans. Bipartisanship is not always good. In fact, it’s a problem when, as now, the lack of political conflict means no news. Absent political conflict, there’s no story. Without a story, there’s no debate or discussion in the media. Absent any debate in the media, most Americans have no idea what’s happening. We’re sleepwalking through history.

Source: Military Bloat Versus Unnecessary Misery | The Smirking Chimp

Is Trump finally politically dead? Sort of | Robert Reich | The Guardian

‘Why aren’t almost all Republican lawmakers publicly disavowing the former sociopath-in-chief? Two words: the base.’

We seem to have heard this before is it real this time?

Republican lawmakers know Trump is unpopular – but some feverishly pro-Trump voters have the party in a bind

Source: Is Trump finally politically dead? Sort of | Robert Reich | The Guardian

America’s Growing Zero-Sum Economy | The Smirking Chimp

A large and growing sector of the U.S. economy produces nothing of value. Nada. Zilch. Every winner comes at the expense of a current or future loser. The only things this “zero-sum” sector produces are many of the nation’s ultra-wealthy. Money moves from one set of pockets into another — mostly upward, into the pockets of the ultra-wealthy.

Source: America’s Growing Zero-Sum Economy | The Smirking Chimp

When Will the GOP Reach the Anti-Trump Tipping Point? | The Smirking Chimp

The problem isn’t some highfalutin moral issue, such as Republican lawmakers putting their party over their country. It’s something far more prosaic. They want to keep their jobs.

Which means the GOP continues to rot as a political party, as a governing institution, and as a moral entity. That may be good for Democrats in 2024, but in the larger sense it’s bad for us all.

Source: When Will the GOP Reach the Anti-Trump Tipping Point? | The Smirking Chimp

Psst: It’s the Most Important Strike in the History of American Higher Education | The Smirking Chimp

Why isn’t this happening here?

A total of 48,000 are on strike, making this the largest and most important strike in the history of American higher education. As labor historian Nelson Lichtenstein says, it could not only raise the incomes and the status of those who work in an “industry” that now employs more workers than the federal government, but also transform higher education itself.

Source: Psst: It’s the Most Important Strike in the History of American Higher Education | The Smirking Chimp

How Can We Protect Our Democracy When the Media Doesn’t Let Us Know How It’s Being Threatened? | The Smirking Chimp

Which is why the Electoral Reform Act – now before Congress – is so important.

It would require state legislatures to appoint presidential electors exactly as they’ve been appointed before. So if a state’s laws require that electors certify the person who has won the popular vote, a legislature can’t use the “failed” election loophole to appoint electors for anyone else.

Other provisions require that governors certify the correct electors by a hard deadline before Congress counts them, and allow an aggrieved candidate to trigger expedited judicial review.

Where is the Electoral Reform Act at this point?

Ten Republican senators tentatively support it but Trumpsters are pressuring them to withdraw their support.

With so little time remaining in the lame-duck session, the measure may be attached to the end-of-year spending bill.

But how many close calls like this can a system of self-government endure?

And if the media doesn’t adequately report on issues like this, how can a free people govern themselves to begin with?

Source: How Can We Protect Our Democracy When the Media Doesn’t Let Us Know How It’s Being Threatened? | The Smirking Chimp

The REAL Significance of Today’s Runoff in Georgia | The Smirking Chimp

Friends, If Raphael Warnock wins today’s senate runoff in Georgia, as appears likely, Senate Democrats will gain a 51-49 majority — providing them some insurance in the event that Arizona voters boot out Kyrsten Sinema in 2024, while at the same time reducing the power of West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin to control the Democrat’s agenda.

Source: The REAL Significance of Today’s Runoff in Georgia | The Smirking Chimp

A Grotesque Distortion of Philanthropy | The Smirking Chimp

But what I really want to talk about today is something quite different from charitable giving, although often confused with it: It’s called “effective altruism.” Known as EA to its practitioners, effective altruism urges people to give away a large share of their incomes.

Fine as far as it goes. But EA has been going much further.

One of EA’s most influential proponents is the Oxford philosopher William MacAskill, who has urged young people to seek high-paying jobs in finance (or wherever else they can make gobs of money) on ethical grounds, because they can then donate a large portion of their earnings to worthy causes. For example, by becoming a hedge-fund mogul, MacAskill says, you can donate large sums — and create far more good — than you can as a social worker.

Source: A Grotesque Distortion of Philanthropy | The Smirking Chimp

The Crazies Are Now in Charge of Donald Trump | The Smirking Chimp

That’s my real worry: A presidential candidate who would welcome Nick Fuentes and Kanye West to dinner at his home is a candidate without sound advice, a candidate who has no one around him to tell him no, or he’s a candidate who doesn’t give a damn.

Whatever the reason, that presidential candidate is untethered. He is surrounded by people as crazy as he is. Which means he’s even more dangerous.

Source: The Crazies Are Now in Charge of Donald Trump | The Smirking Chimp

Who’s Hurt When Monopolies Crash and Burn? | The Smirking Chimp

History Repeats. Lessons Unlearned,

It’s the same vicious cycle: Corporations achieve monopolies that shaft consumers while pulling in big money, a portion of which is used to bribe politicians to look the other way.

This is not solely a Republican problem. The Ticketmaster Live Nation merger was approved by the Obama administration. FTX and Bankman-Fried were major contributors to Democrats. Republicans are more dependent than Democrats on big money, but far too often both parties are drinking from the same trough.

Source: Who’s Hurt When Monopolies Crash and Burn? | The Smirking Chimp

Elon Musk’s Humongous Mistake | The Smirking Chimp

Two lessons here.

First, corporations that regard employees only as costs to be cut rather than as assets to be nourished can make humongous mistakes. Elon Musk is Exhibit #1.

Second, where corporations view employees as costs, the traditional way for employees to flex their muscle is to strike, thereby temporarily closing factories and stopping the machines.

But where employees are a corporation’s key assets, workers’ greater power comes in threatening to — or actually — walking out the door. Elon Musk is Exhibit #2.

Source: Elon Musk’s Humongous Mistake | The Smirking Chimp

Keeping the Senate! Woo-Hoo! (Almost) | The Smirking Chimp

But if Republicans prevail in the House, even by one or two votes, Democrats’ senate bills won’t go anywhere, anyway.

Perhaps that’s what Americans have opted for. After years of tempest and tumult, it may be that most of us want nothing more dramatic than a competent government that acts reasonably and carefully — and doesn’t make any waves.

Source: Keeping the Senate! Woo-Hoo! (Almost) | The Smirking Chimp

To Me, the Most Encouraging Thing of All | The Smirking Chimp

One thing is for sure Trump didn’t start the swing away from the centre that wave started long ago and he jumped on board for the ratings. And boy, did he get a shock?

What it proves you can’t turn 180 degrees on a whim. It took generations to arrive and now it will take generations to change again. The Dems need to dump their old and non-progressive leaders and pass the reign to those futurists like AOC who listen before they speak and who think in terms of “human values”. Like Bernie Sanders, she’s far more representative of the Nation and not just a minority part who can’t see past their individual interests.

Anyone worried about the direction this nation is heading still has much to be worried about. But we should find some solace in the young people who are committed to redirecting it toward social justice and democracy.

To Me, the Most Encouraging Thing of All | The Smirking Chimp

and

Saved From Neofascism? No, but a Small Reprieve.

America is still on the brink of Trumpism fueling hate, paranoia and violence | Robert Reich | The Guardian

Donald Trump speaks during an election night event at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.

Not as bad as it could have been, but deeply concerning, nonetheless. We are still on the brink.

Source: America is still on the brink of Trumpism fueling hate, paranoia and violence | Robert Reich | The Guardian

The Biggest Question of the 2022 Midterm Election | The Smirking Chimp

We are so fortunate in Australia to have compulsory voting as a duty required of every Australian citizen. America doesn’t require its citizens to vote. If that is the case why not allow all American “residents” to vote citizens or not? Republicans want neither as they command the votes of the wealthiest minority in the nation and while their numbers are shrinking their proportion of voters remains high despite the fact they have been captured by MAGA Trumpists.

My friends, we owe it to generations before us who fought and died for democracy and the rule of law, and to generations after us who will live with the legacy we leave them — to get out the vote next Tuesday, to vote out the traitors and liars, to renounce the party that has forsaken the precious ideal of self-government, and to vote in people who are dedicated to making our democracy stronger and better.

Source: The Biggest Question of the 2022 Midterm Election | The Smirking Chimp

Musk Must Relinquish Twitter | The Smirking Chimp

Just three days after Elon Musk bought Twitter, he posted a tweet advancing the baseless allegation that Paul Pelosi, the husband of the Speaker of the House, who was assaulted Friday at the couple’s home, had been drunk and in a fight with a male prostitute.

Source: Musk Must Relinquish Twitter | The Smirking Chimp

Trump Redux: He Looms Over the 2022 Midterm Elections. He Cannot Be Ignored or Wished Away. | The Smirking Chimp

Rather than ignore him, we must demand that Trump be prosecuted. Instead of pretending the poison he released into the American system is behind us, we must acknowledge that it is spreading.

As opposed to dismissing him, we must deal with him and the lawmakers who are enabling him head-on — and stop him, and them, through every non-violent means possible.

Source: Trump Redux: He Looms Over the 2022 Midterm Elections. He Cannot Be Ignored or Wished Away. | The Smirking Chimp

Republicans are trying to win by spreading three false talking points. Here’s the truth | Robert Reich | The Guardian

‘Research has repeatedly shown that crime is rising faster in Republican, Trump-supporting states.’

Republicans are telling three lies they hope will swing the midterms. They involve crime, inflation, and taxes. Here’s what Republicans are claiming, followed by the facts.

None of these three lies is as brazen and damaging as Trump’s big lie. But they’re all being used by Republican candidates in these last weeks before the midterms.

Know the truth and share it.

1. They claim that crime is rising because Democrats have been “soft” on crime

2. They claim that inflation is due to Biden’s spending, and wage increases

3. They say Democrats voted to hire an army of IRS agents who will audit and harass the middle class

Source: Republicans are trying to win by spreading three false talking points. Here’s the truth | Robert Reich | The Guardian

Informed Comment Robert Reich- The Last Hearing

Today: The Criminal Case Against Donald Trump by Robert Reich | October 14, 2022 – 7:43am | permalink

Next steps?

This is probably the last of the committee’s hearings. If Republicans succeed in their drive to win the House majority (which seems likely), they will almost certainly disband the committee in January and shut down any official accounting by Congress for the largest attack on the Capitol in centuries.

This means the panel has less than three months to finish up its investigation, write and release its final report (likely in December), make any legislative recommendations, and decide whether to make a criminal referral to the Justice Department.

The January 6 committee, led by Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), has done America a great service — giving the nation exactly what it has most needed: an accounting of what occurred January 6, why it occurred, and Trump’s role in it.

Whether this will lead to Trump being held criminally accountable does not depend on the committee making a criminal referral. Regardless of whether it makes such a referral, that decision is solely up to the U.S. Attorney General, Merrick Garland (who would now be sitting on the Supreme Court had it not been for Mitch McConnell and a Republican Senate majority).

But the committee’s work — its investigation and its public hearings — have played a part in persuading Garland to move forward with a criminal case against Trump. If you’d asked me six months ago, I’d have said Garland would not do so, for fear of dividing the nation even more deeply. Now, I believe he will.

Despite Its Record of Utter Failure, Trickle-Down Economics Is Still With Us. Why? | The Smirking Chimp

But perhaps the main reason for the public’s amnesia is that Democrats in the US and Labor in the UK have failed to offer what should be the obvious alternative: A bottom-up economics that invests in the education and health of the public, and the infrastructure connecting them. This is the only true path to higher productivity and widely-shared prosperity.

Source: Despite Its Record of Utter Failure, Trickle-Down Economics Is Still With Us. Why? | The Smirking Chimp

Trump Will Be on the Ballot in 5 Weeks | The Smirking Chimp

As I said, Trump is effectively on the ballot in the midterms. Which means — regardless of whether he decides to run again for president — our democracy is on the ballot. The midterm elections in five weeks will lay the foundation for all future races.

My friends, I cannot say this with more concern: Trump’s anti-democracy movement has been making astounding progress. We must stop it.

Source: Trump Will Be on the Ballot in 5 Weeks | The Smirking Chimp

The US ultra-rich justify their low tax rates with three myths – all of them rubbish | Robert Reich | The Guardian

‘Many of the richest Americans had the advantages that come with wealthy parents. Jeff Bezos’ garage-based start was funded by a quarter-million dollar investment from his parents.’

Australia’s forthcoming tax cut for the rich and Truss announcement in the UK are just as indefensible and even increasing numbers of the current wealthy are against it.

A record share of the nation’s wealth is in the hands of billionaires, who pay a lower tax rate than the average American. This is indefensible

Source: The US ultra-rich justify their low tax rates with three myths – all of them rubbish | Robert Reich | The Guardian

Hurricane Ian Reminds Us We’re in This Together | The Smirking Chimp

America spends very little on social insurance compared to other advanced nations. Almost 30 million Americans still lack health insurance. Nearly 51 million households cannot afford basic monthly expenses including housing, food, childcare, and transportation. We are the only industrialized nation without paid family leave.

Source: Hurricane Ian Reminds Us We’re in This Together | The Smirking Chimp