Politics & Law

The secret big-money takeover of America

Robert Reich

Not only is income and wealth in America more concentrated in fewer hands than it’s been in 80 years, but those hands are buying our democracy as never before – and they’re doing it behind closed doors.

Hundreds of millions of secret dollars are pouring into congressional and state races in this election cycle. The Koch brothers (whose personal fortunes grew by $5 billion last year) appear to be behind some of it, Karl Rove has rounded up other multi-millionaires to fund right-wing candidates, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling corporate dollars from around the world into congressional races, and Rupert Murdoch is evidently spending heavily.

No one knows for sure where this flood of money is coming from because it’s all secret.

But you can safely assume its purpose is not to help America’s stranded middle class, working class, and poor. It’s to pad the nests of the rich, stop all reform, and deregulate big corporations and Wall Street – already more powerful than since the late 19th century when the lackeys of robber barons literally deposited sacks of cash on the desks of friendly legislators.

Credit the Supreme Court’s grotesque decision in Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission, which opened the floodgates. (Even though 8 of 9 members of the Court also held disclosure laws constitutional, the decision invited the creation of shadowy “nonprofits” that don’t have to reveal anything.)

According to FEC data, only 32 percent of groups paying for election ads are disclosing the names of their donors. By comparison, in the 2006 midterm, 97 percent disclosed; in 2008, almost half disclosed.

Last week, when the Senate considered a bill to force such disclosure, every single Republican voted against it – thereby revealing the GOP’s true colors, and presumed benefactors. (To understand how far the GOP has come, nearly ten years ago campaign disclosure was supported by 48 of 54 Republican senators.)

Maybe the Disclose Bill can get passed in lame-duck session. Maybe the IRS will make sure Karl Rove’s and other supposed nonprofits aren’t sham political units. Maybe pigs will learn to fly.

In the meantime we face an election that marks an even sharper turn toward plutocratic capitalism than before – a government by and for the rich and big corporations — and away from democratic capitalism.

As income and wealth has moved to the top, so has political power. That’s why, for example, it’s been impossible to close the absurd tax loophole that allows hedge-fund and private-equity managers to treat much of their income as capital gains, subject to a 15 percent tax (even though they’re earning tens or hundreds of millions a year, and the top 15 hedge-fund managers earned an average of $1 billion last year). Why it proved impossible to fund expanded health care by limiting the tax deductions of the very rich. Why it’s so difficult even to extend George Bush’s tax cuts for the bottom 98 percent of Americans without also extending them for the top 2 percent – even though the top won’t spend the money and create jobs, but will blow a $36 billion hole in the federal budget next year.

The good news is average Americans are beginning to understand that when the rich secretly flood our democracy with money, the rest of us drown. Wall Street executives and top CEOs get bailed out while under-water homeowners and jobless workers sink.

A Quinnipiac poll earlier this year found overwhelming support for a millionaire tax.

But what the public wants means nothing if our democracy is secretly corrupted by big money.

Right now we’re headed for a perfect storm: An unprecedented concentration of income and wealth at the top, a record amount of secret money flooding our democracy, and a public in the aftershock of the Great Recession becoming increasingly angry and cynical about government. The three are obviously related.

We must act. We need a movement to take back our democracy. (If tea partiers were true to their principles, they’d join it.) As Martin Luther King once said, the greatest tragedy is “not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

What can you do?

  1. Read Justice Steven’s dissent in the Citizens United case, so you’re fully informed about the majority’s pernicious illogic.
  2. Use every opportunity to speak out against this decision, and embarrass and condemn the right-wing Justices who supported it.
  3. In this and subsequent elections, back candidates for congress and president who vow to put Justices on the Court who will reverse it.
  4. Demand that the IRS enforce the law and pull the plug on Karl Rove and other sham nonprofits.
  5. If you have a Republican senator, insist that he or she support the Disclose Act. If they won’t, campaign against them.
  6. Support public financing of elections.
  7. Join an organization like Common Cause, that’s committed to doing all this and getting big money out of politics. (Personal note: I’m so outraged at what’s happening that I just became chairman of Common Cause.)
  8. Send this post to your friends (including any tea partiers you may know).

Cross-posted from Robert Reich’s blog.

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Comments to "The secret big-money takeover of America":
    • Carl Williams

      Vince :
      Thanks for holding your temper I know you have had it!and Brother your not alone.These kinds of discussions are like think tanks and you got stuff on your mind.And honest public servant is hard to find, how would a election look like if each candidate were alloted one million,with no outside contributions.And steep prison terms for violations,FBI monitors could that restore faith in your estimation. I for one do not hold out any chance for our putrefying, Decadent,perverted Government.

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    • Vince

      Speaking of Democratic Party money man Soros, he is the hedge fund king who in 1992 thrashed the GB pound in a huge and damaging short play and his ASEAN market escapades in 1997 are the stuff of legend. Here is an interesting question to think about – where is Soros now in respect of the dramatic fall of the USD. Anyone care to speculate what kind of USD positions Soros Inc. holds? Should the Democrats be so tied to this fellow while throwing rocks from their glass house at the other party?

      Vince

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    • Vince

      Carl:

      Look, I am not happy about the impact that big money has on our elections.

      I just find it hard to take this highly partisan call to arms from professor Reich – where was he when the Clintons were accepting offshore money in an outrageous and likely illegal manner and when George Soros and many like him bankrolled the professor’s team in the last national election – outraising the Republicans by a significant amount and not being transparent about their sources of funds. The professor’s essays belong on moveon.org or some other lefty website. Not on my alma mater’s blog.

      Sorry professor, but you come off sounding like Louis Renault in Rick’s Cafe Americain.

      Vince

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    • Carl Williams

      Vince: why would you be upset at someone who has taken on the Big money boys, Professor Reich has thrown his hat in the ring. Professor Reich is more disappointed in us for being the sheeple we are.Focus your anger in cyber space,networking groups that feel the same way you feel,bend the ear of any one who you feel might be energized by this.Our Political leaders are all for sale!the lobby train must be derailed,and done away with.

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    • Vince

      Professor:

      This is a clenched fist partisan scream predicated in part on a significant factual error. What are you hoping to accomplish here? My tax dollars pay help pay your big salary. We deserve better from you sir.

      Vince

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    • Carl Williams

      John :
      This medium can’t be censored by the Cabal that sways the political continuum.The right words could turn on the light, that has always been waiting to be switched on,who then is our orator? that matches the conditions to jump start a nation wide cyber connection, to rally this energy of cohesion.A virus of conviction fueled with solution.Sound like the framers.Any volunteers?

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    • Anthony St. John '63

      The key fact to focus on is that Robert Reich is absolutely right about the “big-money takeover of America.”

      America must restore the “framers” mentality in this new age of worldwide electronic communications that can bring people together to support a common cause of universal cooperation to fix failed institutions systems in America, and around the world.

      Cal students appear to have forgotten about trying to restore the spirit of the 60s when the Free Speech Movement fought back as successfully as any student movement in the last half of the 20th century.

      However, even those of us who were around during the FSM started raising families and took our eyes off the need for constant citizens’ involvement, allowing big-money to go on to corrupt every political, judicial, economic, academic, press, labor and religious institution in America.

      Hopefully Robert Reich is the right person in the right place to make the right things happen to restore American Democracy with the support of We The People once again.

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    • Carl Williams

      I have a feeling that conservatives are like liberals. They will never define any position that would expose their true ambitions in a way that one might understand, on penalty of corporate contributions blacklisting. “Convoluted” comes to mind in these strange and perverted times.

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    • Anthony St. John '63

      Carl, The saddest fact of life about the state of American Democracy today is that the leaderships of both the republican and democratic parties are total failures. This fact of life is proven daily in news reports.

      Meanwhile the apparent leaders of the Tea Party are schizophrenic.

      The good news is that the best possible scenario to cure the current failure of American politics is now available to students at Cal and all other colleges throughout the U.S. by using the power available to them with the newest electronic mass communications technologies to participate and co-create conversations to fix American Democracy by creating new leaderships for both parties that are truly representative of We The People at last.

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    • Carl Williams

      Gary I appreciate your desire to hear my thoughts on the issues.I have posted so many points of view that it would take thousands of words to encapsulate my views however; we are not at odds on many of the pressing points.The greatest impediment is first you must define what a new departure from direction would look like, in regard to GAT,NAFTA,protectionism,ETC because personally I am in the Dark like most of the electorate on what the Tea Parties goals are? And if you chose to take on this almost undefinable weight please be specific,in the event you ask me these same questions I will chose to do the same.

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    • Gary Lehrer '77

      Thanks for your reply. I don’t think this is the place to get into a discussion of the Tea Party it is off topic. As I recall, the only reason I brought it up because Prof. Reich suggested his approach on campaign might appeal to members of the Tea Party. I’m not really sure where he got this idea or maybe I misinterpreted his remarks.

      Actually,I’m not sure that the Tea Party has formal positions on those subjects at this time, the main focus as I see it is to decrease spending, shrink government, stop Obamacare and make sure that this country remains the strongest military and economic power in the world. I am impressed with your knowledge, you obviously are greatly informed and have a mastery of details that elude most people. Thanks for your input.

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    • Gary Lehrer '77

      “Use every opportunity to speak out against this decision, and embarrass and condemn the right-wing Justices who supported it.”

      Professor Reich, this comment is just silly and tasteless. Why can’t liberals just have an honest disagreement with someone or a difference of opinion? These justices were confirmed by the Senate, and were deemed qualified to serve. Also, your contention about Karl Rove and secret money have been just about totally debunked. Speaking of Rove, character assassination of opponents of the welfare state, the status quo and big government probably began before Goldwater and and continues to this day against Whitman, Angle, Rand Paul etc. Your suggestion that we embarrass and condemn those justices seems to me that because you can’t compete in the marketplace of ideas you would rather just resort to bullying tactics. Is your blog a meaningful discussion of issues or just a piece of political propaganda designed to keep the Democrat political machine in power? At any rate, these justices made a decision they felt was constitutional, important for free speech and vital to conducting free and fair elections. You want to castigate them for that? I thought Obama was going to end the politics of personal destruction but that was done the day after he took office.

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    • Khloe

      If they invested in employees they would rev up our economy and more money would be flowing to buy their services and products. Even in our democratic society their has to be a symbiotic relationship with those who toil to keep our society growing and moving. When it gets imbalanced government will eventually have to step in just like they did with Standard Oil and others in the early 1900s

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    • Greg

      Team Obama Gave GE -Parent Company of MSNBC- $24.9 Million in Stimulus Grants. Now that is big corporations at work. MSNBC is rich, this was a buy-off and typical left-wing stuff Tea Party hates. Obama takes US tax-payer money then pays off his supporters to keep in power; hardly working for the general population. I’m glad I did not vote for him because he communicated this long before the general election. Perhaps that is why Mexico is getting former US manufacturing jobs, not paying taxes, because Obama wants the Latino Vote. Great soom we will all live in a slave farm. Thank’s Cal for supporting a Socialist Dictator in Chief.

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    • Ella

      Professor Reich I forwarded this article to my adult children, nieces & nephews because they are the ones who will have to live with the consequences of our generation’s actions or inaction. With an acknowledgment that there are perpetrators in both parties, and whenever those in power are not held accountable, chaos reigns.

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    • C. Romero

      More and more our country is being controlled by corporate oligarchies whose ruthless capitalist agendas are to enrich themselves and their stockholders– the rest of the public be damned. Most corporations have no regard for their social responsibilities to the the US populace and society, the very consumers that support their existence by buying their products and services.

      What is even more obscene, currently corporations are holding on to massive profits and reinvesting in themselves instead of hiring more employees. If they invested in employees they would rev up our economy and more money would be flowing to buy their services and products. Even in our democratic society their has to be a symbiotic relationship with those who toil to keep our society growing and moving. When it gets imbalanced government will eventually have to step in just like they did with Standard Oil and others in the early 1900s

      These corporations are not only pouring millions into campaigns that will ultimately undermine sound governance — for and by the people– it will indeed ruin our very democracy. It was disregard and abuse of the American worker that gave rise to unions. And we must never forget it was the efforts and sweat of unions that gave rise to the middle class in America. If we keep going like we are, in 30 years there will be no middle class just the haves and have-not.

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    • Carl Williams

      Gary:
      Republicans have had the power more than the Democrats in the last forty years.One of the great ones, almost a dictator Richard M Nixon who if you didn’t know suspended the Brenton Woods Act,took us off the gold stand ard,inflation soured 1979 Gold 848 per OZ,Houses went up seven times in six years to 120,000 for a three bedroom two bath, up from average 20,000 in 1975.It sounds like you may be to young to remember Nixon in China with Chu In lei setting up trade relations.It was anything but trade relations,it was the selling out of the middle class allowing industry to move to China, with Get this a tax credit for taking their corporation off shore[I think that was one of your beefs]and another was trades Unions being the reapers of this great rip off of the middle class!Who do you think the middle class is the kid that works at burger King.1981 18% interest rate yet wages for the middle class remained flat,Reagan the great lier had dominion over stagflation,created eight million minimum wage jobs while the 18 to 35 dollar per hr jobs found their way to China.From what I can gather you seem to be perturbed by the same issues that float around the many posts that are responded to.Excluding the Bogyman Union fellow who by the way built America.Maybe you should get out more.

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    • Gary Lehrer '77

      Carl, you still have no clue as to what I am talking about. If we don’t change things, no matter who is at fault, Democrat or Republican, we are going to be faced with entitlement programs we cannot afford, huge payments on the national debt, continued debasement of the currency, lack of economic opportunity and continued loss of jobs overseas and Obamacare’s attack on the medical system. Both parties have been guilty of rearranging the furniture on the Titanic when the ship of state is about to hit an iceberg. The only people who like things the way they are are members of the aristocracy and the recipients of the Welfare State. What we need are statesmen, not politicians. What we don’t need are some meaningless reforms designed to actually make it more difficult to those opposed to the status quo to get a voice. I don’t want to be harsh or unfair, but it appears to me that Prof. Reich is more concerned with keeping the Democrats in power than really correcting what is wrong with the current political system that rewards people for bad behavior in so many ways. Your thoughts?

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    • Carl Williams

      Gary:
      Republicans have had the power more than the Democrats in the last forty years.One of the great ones, almost a dictator Richard M Nixon who if you didn’t know suspended the Brenton Woods Act,took us off the gold stand ard,inflation soured 1979 Gold 848 per OZ,Houses went up seven times in six years to 120,000 for a three bedroom two bath, up from average 20,000 in 1975.It sounds like you may be to young to remember Nixon in China with Chu In lei setting up trade relations.It was anything but trade relations,it was the selling out of the middle class allowing industry to move to China, with Get this a tax credit for taking their corporation off shore[I think that was one of your beefs]and another was trades Unions being the reepers

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    • Bsmiles

      Carl you are absolutely correct, the few who can remember the 70′s can not forget the wholesale sell-out of the American Dream. Also, it was during this period that they started to modify/alter our food supply (corn & milk) we watched as family farms were bought by foreign corporations.

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    • Carl Williams

      Gary Lehrer:
      Open mouth insert foot!Clinton wasn’t Great but half a
      Billion in the black sounds better than thirteen trillion in the “RED” Both Parties have their Demons but to blame the Demo’s for the whole crash is immature like most of the tea party oversimplification to perverted Government.Oh you read where Obama is upset about Republicans accepting foreign money,last week when the Senate considered a bill to force disclosure every Republican,yes you read right every Republican voted against disclosure!also hundreds of millions of dollars are coming in to all the races from secret untraceable sources,mostly for the dingbat republican candidates who can’t prove which schools they went to?
      Point #7 in the post treats with getting Big Money out of Elections. You think Soros tried to save the middle class he was selling everything short
      because his ponzi scheme was failing also.You blast the Unions for fighting for prevailing wage, and you beef the tax structure for not supplying government funding or tax credits to small businesses and,you want lower taxes wasn’t eight years of Bush&Cheney cutting all regulation enough for you freedom fighters.Two terms of tyranny thirteen trillion in dept to everyone, and we can tighten our belts a bit more.If you are rank and file supporter of the group you call Tea baggers your compass is broken,or maybe you self righteous bearers of your standard could tell us right here on this blog what you stand for,rather than ramble out of order the message in this post.Cause you sure have taken a lot out of context.

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    • Gary Lehrer '77

      Carl, it’s obvious you have not understood a word I have said. Furthermore, the national debt increased very year under Clinton, although the budget deficit grew smaller thanks to a Republican Congress. Also, thanks for bringing that up, it gave me a chance to clear up one of the Left’s many big lies. Look it up yourself if you don’t believe me. Carl, my advice to you is to make sure that you have your facts correct before posting and make sure you understand what is being said.

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    • Gary Lehrer ('77)

      8)Send this post to your friends (including any tea partiers you may know).

      What makes you think members of the Tea Party are going to agree with you? What are your credentials? Have you spoken out against the unfair influence of Labor Unions, lawyers and environmentalist in politics? Have you spoken out against the IRS? What have you said about the failed stimulus, congressional earmarks and deficit spending? Have you written a critique lately about how the welfare system creates generational dependency, rewards bad behavior and wastes taxpayer money? Have you ever said anything about the difficulties small businesses have in raising capital and funding the hiring of additional employees? Have you ever suggested to anyone that lowering taxes actually increases economic behavior that leads to more revenue generation than merely raising taxes? Honestly, my fellow members of the Tea Party would howl with laughter with me sending them a blog from an elite member of the ruling class on how to help him support the policies that are running us into the ground. Nice try! Can’t blame you for trying!

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    • Gary Lehrer ('77)

      What you don’t disclose is that the DISCLOSE Act was written specifically to help the Democrats stay in power. Check this out:
      ACLU Urges No Vote On DISCLOSE ACT
      Bill Will Compromise Free Speech

      Again, I’d like to point out that you are not against big money in politics until the Republicans start taking in enough money to become competitive. However, what we really need is transformational change. The last 40 years of both parties has made us a second rate economic power, caused manufacturing to move offshore, given us a ridiculous IRS code, committed to us entitlements that will bankrupt the country with huge payments required on the national debt, debased the currency, threatened the destruction of the best medical delivery system in the world, created a permanent underclass of citizens dependent on transfer payments, wrecked the housing market and I’m sure I’ve left something out – oh yes, trying to get us to accept huge levels of unemployment as the norm so you can justify european style socialism and introduce the VAT. If this had happened under Bush you would have been urging people to riot in the streets, but the Democrats have plenty of blame for this. This is a pretty sorry record that you are trying to defend. And then you have people fretting over global warming nonsense when the entire country is going to hell in a hand basket. So you want us to support the DISCLOSE act so this insanity can continue. Good grief!

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    • Tony

      CNN Has Rove lashing out against the Obama TV ‘ad’attack to which is a lie and has tricked Robert Reich believing such lies as true. What does this say about the best university in the world?

      $44,000,000 Chinagate 1996 / DNC Bill Clinton, money from suspect Asian sources, never given back to them, although the DNC Claimed, AP stated otherwise as falese claims — they did not return the money.

      $400 million was spent in 2008 to help elect Barack Obama.”

      Do we have Cal professors exclaiming these were a problem?

      (CNN) – Karl Rove is lashing out at President Obama and the Democratic National Committee over a new ad that alleges the former top Bush aide is “stealing our Democracy.”

      “They are tossing out these baseless charges,” Rove said Sunday during an appearance on Fox News.

      from a Tea Party Member.

      Note until their is honesty from the far left the Tea Party will never join forces.

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    • Carl Williams

      Well said John:
      American politics operates on emotion like a TV Reality show.Capitalism operates in a vacuum,We the people are left with a poor choices of candidates,some can’t prove if they even have a Degree,propaganda fuels the debate not issues.Do any of you out there want to change the direction this nation is headed[Keep in mind the ship of state is like and aircraft carrier if some one falls off it takes twenty miles to turn around,policy takes twenty years to turn around.Would you like to get the attention of the ones that pretend to lead us?Alternative view,tell everyone you know to stop paying income tax.

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    • Gary Lehrer ('77)

      Ever hear of George Soros? Your main objection is that somebody is trying to fight the Democrat Party’s attempts to destroy the middle class, stifle competition and regulate us to death. You only object to the types of campaign financing that allows real freedom of speech and political activism against your party, but when it benefits your side you say nothing. This morning I read an interesting article about how Obama complains about foreign sources helping Republicans when he accepted contributions from untraceable prepaid credit cards. This is what motivates the Tea Party, we are sick of corruption, cronyism, taxes, over spending and hypocrisy whether it be from either party. We are loyal to ideals, ideas and the philosophy of personal freedom and economic liberty, not to a political machine.

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    • Anthony St. John '63

      Professor Reich, a most important “What can you do?” fact of American life that keeps getting overlooked, once again during this latest election, is that political advertisements continue to prove that emotions control our decision-making.

      This fact of life proves that Berkeley professors such as yourself must do a better job at overcoming a self-destructive problem for human race, that our emotions control and implement our decisions and actions before our prefrontal cortex has a chance to think out and prevent unacceptable long-term consequences.

      A paramount question today is:
      Can we save ourselves socially, psychologically, innovatively, politically, economically, environmentally (food supplies, clean water, quality of life, sharing, problem solving, etc.) in time to prevent global warming from destroying our species?

      The way we are doing things to perpetuate quality of life for the human race nationally and internationally today is a failure. We fail to use moral sense, sympathy, conscience as individuals and groups to calculate the moral consequences of our actions so that we can behave for the public good.

      Competition between individuals and groups defeats altruism with increasingly out of control consequences.

      A worst-case scenario is that UC and their national labs have actually had the ability to prevent global warming destruction of the human race for over half a century, but have instead allowed profits from perpetuation of hydrogen bombs to prevent implementation of controlled fusion energy production. You and your colleagues have even marginalized the Keeling curve for far too long to maximize those profits.

      Worst of all, far too many world leaders enable the richest and most powerful to dominate the future of the human race, while the poor and the weak are left to fend for themselves even if when the consequences continue to be suffering and death for an increasing majority of the human race.

      Policies that are morally abhorrent such as unregulated capitalism, brutal criminal justice systems, a class system locked in place by social immobility, militarism, colonialism, racism and enforced eugenics dominate our actions to prevent any potential for improvement.

      We must find a way to improve health, wealth, education, opportunities, intellectual and quality of life achievement for all, find a way to strengthen control over our emotions with an extreme sense of urgency or fail as a species.

      Professor Reich, you must first ask yourself and your colleagues throughout the UC system to stop ignoring the question “What can you do” at Berkeley.

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    • Seedy

      the reason the wealthy are buying their way in to office is to protect themselves from the eventual riots that will occur once the working class can’t take it any more. Eat your “freedom fries” folks! God forbid we start guillotining like the French! We will all be killing each other over stupid subjects like race while they watch from their luxury boxes eating caviar. The working class is the ultimate reality show, and we’re all trying to win!

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    • Jo

      It’s booooshhheeees fault. The lie keeps going like the energizer bunny. Socialism always creates the haves and have nots, lower class and rich class — fedualism. The right wing has always been middle class. The left wants to overthrow the right wing. and they are doing a good job. All you need to do is lie, propoganda, and understand that all public schools are funded by the socialists. So that explains why all most all of the faculties are leftwing. Also private schools are funded by the leftwing, because the left wing is the party of the filthy rich and want to supress the poor. In order to keep doing so they make up a boodyman, called the republicans. Obama owns this economy. If he cannot run the economy then he should give it up to someone else who can.

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    • Carl Williams

      What a bunch of wimpy replies,Professor Reich is trying to inform you of the pearls,of MONEY buying office IE:Jr’s grab in Florida 2000.Well I for one have not sold my soul.I worked as a pipe fitter for thirty five years
      my tax rate was, hold on to your hats! 48% because I was Union pipe fitter
      and we made prevailing wage.Americans stood by without protest when Bush&Cheney ram rodded the Patriot act through the House and senate suspending our civil Liberties for our protection? Americans are soft cry babies.Two Wars going on right now,walk outside and see if you could find any evidence of War being waged by America,no-no-no-the Pentagon has found ways to sanitize conflict.I don’t know about you but I am outraged,at the behavior of our politicians,they mascaraed like they know how to Run the largest Economy in the world however;when you here them speak are you assured,when the supreme court found in favor of the Wall street practice of derivatives which all brokers can’t explain,buying a stock with the expressed intention of selling it short and,taking insurance against loss bundling loans with class a securities,criminal!because many of the loans they bundled were [stated income loans]all American business practice is a ponzi scheme “WAKE UP”

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    • Ramon Quintero

      “Secret big money taking over American” I agree! big money is and has always control American politics. This is not a new development to me or any other inform American and Robert Reich does good to point it out. But he fails to point out that it is worse today then it ever was because of the weak labor unions and because of the support of the Democratic Party (sic) for the elites of the world. So called democrats like Richard blum a regent of the UC System and partner of a California State Senator is a war profit criminal and a friend of Robert Reich. The Democratic Party rich elite are also part of the problem and not the solution, there is a contradiction that is demonstrated when they do not support union workers today. The idea that double agency is possible is complicated and false in my opinion, I believe that it only allows for people to kill the cow and eat it to. Lets face it we are all involved in double agency but not all are in a position of power. I had enough of elite democrats that play the double agency position to feel good about them self and gain a political position at the expense of real working class people. Good intentions are not good deeds; it will take more to change the status quo. Richard blum can not be allow to use the working class banner with the support of intellectuals like Robert Reich and others. Check the following link and you will see what i am talking about: http://blumcenter.berkeley.edu/

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    • Jack

      So the republican party is in the hands of nefarious corporate thugs. Big surprise there. Thanks for the news Mr. Reich. So when you say we must “take back our democracy” what are you exactly implying there? If one of our two options is so soiled, then hmmmm… what could Professor Reich be suggesting as a course of action for “taking our democracy back”? Oh vote for the democrats. They’re of course clean as silk.

      I enjoy the Berkeley blog for its educative posts. Please don’t use this as a forum for your partisanship Professor Reich.

      [Report abuse]

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