Tag Archives: Robert Reich

OWS has transformed public opinion

31 Oct

…for the first time in more than half a century, a broad cross-section of the American public is talking about the concentration of income, wealth and political power at the top.

Score a big one for the Occupiers.

Even more startling is the change in public opinion. Not since the 1930s has a majority of Americans called for redistribution of income or wealth. But according to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, an astounding 66 percent of Americans said the nation’s wealth should be more evenly distributed.

A similar majority believes the rich should pay more in taxes.

via OWS has transformed public opinion – Occupy Wall Street – Salon.com.

Nine Ideas Up for Grabs

20 Oct

Economist Robert Reich (Secretary of Labor under Clinton) has nine suggestions for specific reforms (from Salon magazine).

One, Anger (cf Occupy America and Change History):

What’s needed isn’t just big ideas. It’s people fulminating for them – making enough of a ruckus that the ideas can’t be ignored. They become part of the debate because the public demands it.

Two, jobs:

The nation needs a real jobs plan, one of sufficient size and scope to do the job – including a WPA and a Civilian Conservation Corps, to put the millions of long-term unemployed and young unemployed to work rebuilding America.

Three, to address long-term debt, raise money by:

What about halving the military budget …? It doubled after 9/11, and military contractors are intent on keeping it in the stratosphere. . . .

And what about really raising taxes on the rich to finance what the nation should be doing to create a world-class workforce with world-class wages? . . . Incomes of more than $5 million should be subject to a 70 percent rate. (The top marginal rate was never below 70 percent between 1940 and 1980.) And these rates should apply to all income regardless of source, including capital gains. . . .

And a tax on financial transactions. Even a tiny one of one-half of one percent would generate $200 billion a year. That’s enough to make a major contribution toward early childhood education for every American toddler. Continue reading