Is Capitalism Really Working For Everyone?

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Economist Robert Reich joins us to talk the latest debate over capitalism, and how it’s really working now.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, speak during the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Las Vegas.  (AP)
Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, speak during the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP)

We’ve talked so long about free markets versus government’s role in America that we’ve lost sight of what really going on, says Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor. The world has changed. The rules of our economy – our capitalism - have been rewritten. And the money and wealth is flowing up. The old deal in America is gone. The New Deal of the 1930s and beyond is gone. The middle class and poor are in big trouble. We need, says Reich, to reset the dials. Or we’re all in trouble. It sounds right out of the 2016 campaign. This hour On Point, Robert Reich on saving capitalism.
-- Tom Ashbrook


Robert Reich, Chancellor's Professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Author of the new book, "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few." Also author of "Beyond Outrage" and "The Work of Nations," among many others. Former U.S. Secretary of Labor. (@rbreich)

Jason Fichtner, senior research fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center. Co-author, with Jacob Feldman, of the forthcoming book, "The Hidden Cost of Federal Tax Policy." (@jjfichtner)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: The System Looks Like a Con Game, With Most of Us Victims — "The entire economic system is starting to look like a con game, with the spoils going to the top and everyone else getting conned. Fifty years ago top executives received about 20 times the pay of average workers; now, it’s 300 times. Corporate lobbyists and campaign bundlers are overrunning Washington and state capitals, creating laws that increase profits and the pay of top executives while gutting laws that constrain profits and top pay."

Rolling Stone: Robert Reich on Why Capitalism Needs Saving — "Economic inequality is shaping up to be one of the central debates of the 2016 election: Those on the left – most notably Bernie Sanders – decry the increasing wealth and power of those at the very top of the economy, while others are left behind. Those on the right respond that this upswing in inequality, however regrettable it might be, is the natural result of free markets."

Newsweek: The Economic Fantasies of Robert Reich — "Reich offers no explanation for why the decline has taken place, but contents himself with denouncing the 'myth of the free market' and the idea that the government should not 'intrude' into the business of its citizens. More concretely, Reich starts by insisting that it is a fantasy to assume that there can be a free market without government to create property rights, control monopoly and enforce contracts. But he fails to note that this exact list of tasks is what classical liberals like myself assign to government as well."

Read An Excerpt Of "Saving Capitalism" By Robert Reich

This program aired on October 20, 2015.



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