Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich, a co-founder of The American Prospect, is a Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. His website can be found here and his blog can be found here.

Recent Articles

How McConnell Is Killing the Senate

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo
Congress has recessed for two weeks without passing a desperately-needed disaster relief bill. Why not? Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell didn’t want to anger Donald Trump by adding money for Puerto Rico that Democrats have sought but Trump doesn’t want. America used to have a Senate. But under McConnell, what was once known as the world ’s greatest deliberative body has become a partisan lap dog. Recently McConnell used his Republican majority to cut the time for debating Trump’s court appointees from 30 hours to two—thereby enabling Republicans to ram through even more Trump judges. In truth, McConnell doesn’t give a fig about the Senate, or about democracy. He cares only about partisan wins. On the eve of the 2010 midterm elections he famously declared that his top priority was for Barack Obama “to be a one-term president.” Between 2009 and 2013, McConnell’s Senate Republicans blocked 79 Obama nominees. In the...

The Myth of Meritocracy

Most Americans still cling to the meritocratic notion that people are rewarded according to their efforts and abilities. But meritocracy is becoming a cruel joke. The Justice Department recently announced indictments of dozens of wealthy parents for using bribery and fraud to get their children into prestigious colleges. But the real scandal isn’t how far a few wealthy parents will go to get their kids admitted (apparently $1.2 million in illegal payoffs), but how commonplace it has become for them to go almost as far without breaking any laws—shelling out big bucks for essay tutors, testing tutors, admissions counselors, and “enrichment” courses (not to mention sky-high tuition at private schools feeding into the Ivy League). Inequality is lurking behind all this, and not just because the wealthy can afford it. Researchers Daniel Schneider, Orestes Hastings, and Joe LaBriola found that in states with the biggest gaps between rich and poor, well-to-do parents...

The Real Scandal of Donald Trump

We may never know for sure whether Donald Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin to obtain Russia’s help in the 2016 election, in return for, say, Trump’s help in weakening NATO and not interfering against Russian aggression in Ukraine. Trump and his propaganda machine at Fox News have repeatedly conjured up a “witch hunt” and maintained a drumbeat of “no collusion,” which already has mired Robert Mueller’s report in a fog of alt-interpretation and epistemological confusion. What’s “collusion?” What’s illegal? Has Trump obstructed justice? Has he been vindicated? What did Mueller conclude, exactly? What did he mean? The real danger is that as attention inevitably turns to the 2020 campaign, controversy over the report will obscure the far more basic issues of Trump’s competence and character. An American president is not just the chief executive of the United States, and the office he (eventually she) holds is not...

Trump Cornered

What does a megalomaniacal president of the United States do when he’s cornered? We’ll soon find out. House Democrats are beginning a series of investigations and hearings into Donald Trump . Senate Republicans have begun to desert him: Twelve defected on the wall; seven refused to back Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. In the House, Republicans joined Democrats in a 420-0 vote on a resolution to make Robert Mueller’s report public. That report, not incidentally, appears imminent. Trump cannot abide losing. His ego can’t contain humiliation. He is incapable of shame. So what does a cornered Trump do? For starters, he raises the specter of violence against his political opponents. In an interview with Breitbart News published on Wednesday , Trump noted: “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump—I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough—until they go to a certain point...

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...

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