Business Robert Reich

  • Why wages won't rise

    For worker wages to rise, the unemployment rate would have to sink far lower than it is today, probably below 4 percent. And there’s reason to believe the link between falling unemployment and rising wages has been severed.

  • How insider traders are rigging America

    Insider trading is illegal but major players on Wall Street still make tons of money because they're good at using confidential information.

  • Why college is necessary but gets you nowhere

    Since 2000, the incomes of young people who have graduated college have barely risen. The problem is this; while a college education is now a prerequisite for joining the middle class, the middle class is in lousy shape. A college degree no longer guarantees a good job. 

  • What happens when robots replace all of our jobs?

    The combination of advanced sensors, voice recognition, artificial intelligence, big data, text-mining, and pattern-recognition algorithms, is generating smart robots capable of quickly learning human actions. That's bad news for the skilled labor market. 

  • America's well-being can't count on corporations

    The US economy is picking up steam but most Americans aren’t feeling it. Most European economies are still in bad shape, but most Europeans are doing well. Thank the outsize influence of American corporations. 

  • Will the Democratic nominee for 2016 take on Wall Street?

    The Democratic nominee for President will campaign on reviving the American middle class. But will she take on the moneyed interests – the large Wall Street banks, big corporations, and richest Americans – who have engineered the largest upward redistribution of wealth in modern American history?

  • How to make companies pay 'independent contractors' properly

    Independent contractors, including Uber drivers, franchisees, consultants, and free lancers, are subject to low pay, irregular hours, and job insecurity. In order to protect these workers, we need a better way to determine who qualifies as an employee of a company. 

  • How trade deals boost the rich and bust the rest

    I used to believe in trade agreements like the upcoming Trans Pacific Partnership. That was before the wages of most Americans stagnated and a relative few at the top captured just about all the economic gains.

  • We're setting the job market back 200 years

    With the rise of on-demand jobs like Uber, we're reverting back to a 19th-century job market where 'freedom  of contract' ruled the day. It was an era when many workers were 'happy' to toil 12-hour days in sweat shops for lack of any better alternative. 

  • Uber, Airbnb, and the 'share-the-scraps' economy

    Uber, Airbnb,Instacart, and other multibillion dollar startups make up what is referred to as the 'share economy.' A more accurate term would be the 'share-the-scraps' economy,' one that allows workers to patch together barely enough to live on. 

March 30, 2015

Photos of the day 03/30

A boy feeds his sister in a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday.

More Robert Reich
  • Why college is necessary but gets you nowhere

    Since 2000, the incomes of young people who have graduated college have barely risen. The problem is this; while a college education is now a prerequisite for joining the middle class, the middle class is in lousy shape. A college degree no longer guarantees a good job. 

  • The real reason Democrats lost big in 2014

    If you want a single reason for why Democrats lost big on Election Day 2014 it’s this: Median household income continues to drop, and this is the first 'recovery' in memory in which this has happened.

  • How the government spends more per student at elite private universities than public

    Private university endowments are now around $550 billion, centered in a handful of prestigious institutions. Public universities, by contrast, have little or no endowment income. They get almost all their funding from state governments, and those subsidies have been shrinking.

  • The richest get richer, but that's not growing American business

    America’s wealthy are richer than they’ve ever been, and big corporations are sitting on more cash they know what to do with. But the wealthy aren’t investing in new companies.

  • Why Donald Trump doesn't bear the economic risks of ordinary Americans

    In America, people with lots of money can avoid the consequences of bad bets and big losses by cashing out at the first sign of trouble – like Donald Trump and his ill-fated Atlantic City casinos. But workers who move to a place like Atlantic City for a job, invest in a home there, and build their skills, have no protections

  • What is Harvard Business School's responsibility in addressing income inequality?

    For years, some of the nation’s most talented young people have flocked to Harvard Business School and other elite business schools  in order to take up positions at the top rungs of American corporations. But are they learning the right lessons about helping society thrive? 

  • The 'Soda Wars' are coming to your town

    Berkely, Calif. is facing major opposition from the beverage industry for its proposed soda tax, which will be on the ballot in November. The beverage industry has spent millions defeating such measures across the country, but can it do so in America's most progressive city? 

  • Why the poor are paying for Detroit's bankruptcy

    Detroit's bankruptcy is a model for how wealthier and whiter Americans escape the costs of public goods they’d otherwise share with poorer and darker Americans. Are Detroit, its public employees, poor residents, and bondholders the only ones who should sacrifice when 'Detroit' can’t pay its bills? Or does the relevant sphere of responsibility include Detroit’s affluent suburbs?

  • College shouldn't be the only gateway to the middle class

    Millions of young people head to college and universities, assuming that a four-year liberal arts degree is the only gateway to the American middle class. It shouldn’t be.

  • Back to school, and to widening inequality

    American kids are heading back to school, but they're entering back into a school system that is widening the achievement gap between lower and higher-income children. Here's what we can do about it. 

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