Business Robert Reich

  • 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. 

  • 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 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. 

  • Wall Street is a threat to the American middle class

    The middle class is a hot political property for Republicans and Democrats alike, but the middle class can't be saved unless Wall Street is tamed. 

  • Jeb, Mitt zero in on inequality. Can Republicans get it right this time?

    Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney have outlined plans to reverse widening income inequality, alleviate poverty, and provide 'opportunity for all.'  However, evidence suggests that almost every time a Republican has moved into the White House, his policies have widened inequality. 

  • 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.

More Robert Reich
  • 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. 

  • Money has made Americans sick of politics. What we can do about it.

    Americans are sick of politics. A large portion of the public doesn’t even bother voting, assuming the political game is fixed. The only way back toward a democracy and economy that work for the majority is for most of us to get politically active once again, becoming organized and mobilized.

  • Market Basket protests a victory for capitalism for all, not some

    Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas worked to keep prices low and pay his employees more. No wonder that when the board moved to oust him in favor of someone who would increase profitability for shareholders, managers, employees, and customers of Market Basket were outraged. 

  • Robert Reich: Valuable workers to society are underpaid

    People who contribute to society, such as teachers and social workers, make far less money than they should, writes Robert Reich. For example, Robert Reich points out that personal-care aids who help the elderly and people with disabilities make about $20,000 a year. 

  • Should we worry if big global corporations are 'American?'

    People should stop worrying about whether or not giant global corporations are 'American,' writes Robert Reich. Instead, the US should focus on what the US wants from these corporations, like job creation.

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