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A good fight to have

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | September 20, 2011

So the really big fight — perhaps the defining battle of 2012 — won’t be over Medicare. It won’t even be over Obama’s jobs program. It will be over whether the rich should pay more taxes. The President has vowed to veto any plan to tame the debt that doesn’t increase taxes on the rich. … Continue reading »

Obama’s jobs plan better be big

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | September 8, 2011

Today,  President Obama unveils his jobs plan. He’ll choose either Plan A or Plan B. Plan A would be big enough to restart the economy (now barely growing) and reduce unemployment (which continues to grow). That means spending another trillion dollars over the next two years – rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, creating a new WPA … Continue reading »

The President’s jobs plan (not)

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | July 12, 2011

What did the President do in response to last week’s horrendous job report — unemployment rising to 9.2 percent in June, with only 18,000 new jobs (125,000 are needed each month just to keep up with the growth in the potential labor force)? He said the economy continues to be in a deep hole, and … Continue reading »

The need for a real jobs plan from the President

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | June 14, 2011

Today the President met with business leaders on his “jobs and competitiveness council,” who suggested more public-private partnerships to train workers, less government red-tape in obtaining permits, and more jobs in travel and tourism, among other things. The President then toured a manufacturing plant in North Carolina, and made an eloquent speech about the need … Continue reading »

A new look for fuel economy stickers

Holly Doremus, professor of law | May 27, 2011

If you go shopping for a new car in model year 2013, you’ll see a new sort of fuel economy window sticker, like the one to the left below. This is a fascinating example of the challenges of making labels both easy to absorb and informative. (It’s definitely going in my environmental law casebook update.) It’s far … Continue reading »

Obama returns to his moral vision

George Lakoff, professor emeritus of linguistics | April 18, 2011

Last week, on April 13, 2011, President Obama gave all Democrats and all progressives a remarkable gift. Most of them barely noticed. They looked at the president’s speech as if it were only about budgetary details. But the speech went well beyond the budget. It went to the heart of progressive thought and the nature … Continue reading »

President Obama’s real proposal (and why it’s risky)

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | April 15, 2011

Paul Ryan says his budget plan will cut $4.4 trillion over ten years. The President says his new plan will cut $4 trillion over twelve years. Let’s get real. Ten or twelve-year budgets are baloney. It’s hard enough to forecast budgets a year or two into the future. Between now and 2022 or 2024 the … Continue reading »

A. Lincoln, Socialist?

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | April 6, 2011

A while ago, I was dumbstruck by a comment a Republican party insurgent in Utah made about her former governor, Jon Huntsman, Jr., a Republican politician who received strong kudos from the libertarian Cato Institute. “‘On a good day,  a socialist,’ said Darcy Van Orden, a co-founder of Utah Rising . . . .  ‘On … Continue reading »

Why Governor LePage can’t erase history, and why we need a fighter in the White House

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | March 24, 2011

Maine Governor Paul LePage has ordered state workers to remove from the state labor department a 36-foot mural depicting the state’s labor history. Among other things the mural illustrates the 1937 shoe mill strike in Auburn and Lewiston. It also features the iconic “Rosie the Riveter,” who in real life worked at the Bath Iron … Continue reading »

Why Obama isn’t fighting the budget battle

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | March 14, 2011

In the next week the action moves from Wisconsin to Washington, where the deadline looms for a possible government shutdown over the federal budget. President Obama has to take a more direct and personal role in that budget battle — both for the economy’s sake and for the sake of his reelection. But will he? … Continue reading »

The new Obama narrative

George Lakoff, professor emeritus of linguistics | January 28, 2011

For the first two years of his administration, President Obama had no overriding narrative, no frame to define his policy-making, no way to make sense of what he was trying to do. As of his 2011 State of the Union Address, he has one: Competitiveness. The competitiveness narrative is intended to serve a number of … Continue reading »

Overconfidence in politics

Don Moore, professor, Haas School of Business | January 7, 2011

Congress greets the new year with a crop of newly elected representatives, many of whom have ridden to power on a wave of discontent with the Democratic political leadership. There is a sense that President Obama is failing to substantiate all the hope his campaign inspired. In truth, Obama’s presidential approval ratings follow a predictable … Continue reading »

Let Obama be Obama

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | June 8, 2010

In the wake of the Gulf oil tragedy, almost as much attention has been given to the President’s demeanor as to the spill itself. The punditry has been offering advice: show anger, get in BP’s face, shake a moralizing finger, share the pain. Two questions arise in response to these suggestions. First, why are so … Continue reading »