Robert Reich Quotes
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The only way to grow the economy in a way that benefits the bottom 90 percent is to change the structure of the economy. At the least, this requires stronger unions and a higher minimum wage.
A leader is someone who steps back from the entire system and tries to build a more collaborative, more innovative system that will work over the long term.
There will always be a business cycle, and white-collar workers will get hit in the next recession like they always do in recessions.
America has become the most unequal society among advanced countries, and rich people are now free to spend as much money on political campaigns as they wish.
The liberal ideal is that everyone should have fair access and fair opportunity. This is not equality fo result. Its equality of opportunity. There's a fundamental difference.
We're the richest economy in the history of the world. For the majority of Americans not to get the benefits of this extraordinarily prosperous economy, there's something fundamentally wrong.
Social change occurs when the gap between the ideals that people hold and the reality that they see every day gets too large.
We do not want to live in a theocracy. We should maintain that barrier and government has no business telling someone what they ought to believe or how they should conduct their private lives.
It is a myth that higher taxes lead to less demand and slower growth. In the first three decades after World War II, US top tax rates on the wealthy were never below 70 percent.
The largest party in America, by the way, is neither the Democrats nor the Republicans. It's the party of non-voters.
The faith that anyone could move from rags to riches - with enough guts and gumption, hard work and nose to the grindstone - was once at the core of the American Dream.
Cynicism is the largest obstacle to social change. Cynicism is dangerous because people throw up their hands and say, "Well it's not possible. Why should I even try?"
Standing up to bullies is the hallmark of a civilized society.
Globalization and free trade do spur economic growth, and they lead to lower prices on many goods.
Inequality is bad for everyone, not just the middle class and the poor.
I think the big problem is you have a vicious cycle of wealth and power in America that's just gotten completely out of control and you've seen it in politics.
Median wages of production workers, who comprise 80 percent of the workforce, haven't risen in 30 years, adjusted for inflation.
True patriotism isn't cheap. It's about taking on a fair share of the burden of keeping America going.
Cynicism is the last refuge of those who don't want to do the work of creating a better society.
Terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face.
Radical conservatives want to police bedrooms.
Regardless of how you interpret the facts, you have to come to the conclusion that inequality is widening in the US and in almost every other country.
Most Americans are on a downward escalator. Median wage in the United States, adjusted for inflation, keeps on dropping.
Education is not the only answer and it's certainly not the immediate solution. At best, it's a necessary, but not sufficient response to widening inequality.
Liberals are concerned about the concentration of wealth because it almost inevitably leads to a concentration of power that undermines democracy.
When I was a kid, the bigger boys would pick on me. So I got an idea that I would make alliances with older boys, like just one or two, who would be my protectors.
There is a deep desire to change the power structure.
There is a crisis of public morality. Instead of policing bedrooms, we ought to be doing a better job policing boardrooms.
The silent majority really is a liberal majority, even though the word liberal has taken a real beating over the last 20 years by radical conservatives.
It's not government's business what people do in their private bedrooms.
You can't inspire people if you are going to be uninspiring.
Averages don't always reveal the most telling realities. You know, Shaquille O'Neal and I have an average height of 6 feet.
The key to understanding the rise in inequality isn't technology or globalization. It's the power of the moneyed interests to shape the underlying rules of the market.
I'm 40 years old. What I have seen my whole life is widening income inequality.
If leadership is about anything, it's about leading. Not leading people back to where they already are, because they don't need that. They're already there.
Socialism for rich bankers and capitalism for everyone else.
You can't create a political movement out of pabulum.
In the '90s it was irrational exuberance. Now it may be irrational doom and gloom.
In the life of a nation, few ideas are more dangerous than good solutions to the wrong problems.
Look, any cut in greenhouse gases is going to be expensive for American consumers, who are in no mood to bear additional costs.
One thing I've learned from 35 years in the classroom is that people learn best when they are laughing, when they are emotionally hit, that it's both the brain and the heart.
I have found over the years that the most important way of getting people to relax is self-deprecating humor.
I want a shot for people like me to grow up and do something with themselves.
The United States is a safe harbor.
Every organization, no matter who it is, just follow the money.
The core corporation is ... increasingly a façade, behind which teems an array of decentralized groups and subgroups continuously contracting with similarly diffuse working units all over the world.
If you give up on democracy, you might as well give up on everything.
There's sort of a chilling effect on non-profits and the media and a lot of other places because the establishment is so powerful. That's where the money is.
I grew up poor. My mother raised a family of four on between $9,000 and $15,000 a year.
Bill Clinton was a very, very good speaker. But like many people who are great speakers and great thinkers and have a lot of energy and ambition, he talked too much.