Robert Reich Profile picture
Berkeley professor, former Secretary of Labor. Co-founder, @InequalityMedia. Sign up for updates, analysis and drawings: https://t.co/U9YAAOuQvg
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6 Nov
Call me a radical Lefty, but billionaires shouldn’t be setting tax policy by Twitter polls.
With stunts like these, Elon Musk and other modern-day Robber Barons are gleefully making a mockery of how little they pay in taxes.
Remember: Musk pays little in federal income taxes, while his companies have raked in millions in federal contracts.

nytimes.com/2021/06/10/opi…
Read 5 tweets
14 Sep
Yesterday, before results were released in the California recall, Larry Elder’s campaign launched a website promoting baseless claims that the election was stolen.

We've reached the point where Republicans don't even wait until polls close before claiming an election was rigged.
It’s tempting to laugh at the absurdity of Elder’s ploy, but it’s a grave warning sign of how Republicans plan to run campaigns from here on out. Any result they don’t like will be written off as fraudulent.

We must keep fighting back against Republicans’ authoritarian agenda.
P.S. Californians, don't forget to vote in person before 8 p.m. today, or mail in or drop off your ballot as soon as you can. The stakes are too high to sit this one out.
Read 4 tweets
20 Jul
I remember as a kid talking with other kids my age about becoming an astronaut. At the time, astronauts came from middle-class and blue-collar families. They’d gone to public schools.

It was something any of us could aspire to.

Today’s space race could not be more different.
We used the term β€œwe” to describe being the first to land on the moon. Bezos and Branson aren’t β€œwe.” There's no common good in their achievement. They symbolize the extreme apex of wealth, much of it gained by paying workers low wages, dodging taxes and shutting out competitors.
If Branson and Bezos are advancing anything or anyone, it’s the prospect of making boatloads of money by selling future seats to other people able and willing to pay huge sums for the thrill. It's hardly impressive or heroic.
Read 5 tweets
9 Apr
Let me be clear: The Amazon union fight is far from over.
For seven weeks, Amazon pulled out all the stops in its most blatant anti-union blitz yet. Workers were forced to attend anti-union meetings, received multiple anti-union texts a day, and were bombarded by anti-union fliers in bathrooms.
The company hired an infamous union-busting law firm for the cool price of $3,200 a day, and even got the county to change the traffic light schedule so that union organizers had less time to talk to workers as they entered or left the warehouse parking lot.
Read 10 tweets
26 Feb
THREAD: Here is every state where a minimum wage worker can afford 2 bedroom rent:
β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€”
β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€” β€”
Read 5 tweets
2 Jan
The cynical ploy of Ted Cruz and 10 other Republican senators will now force every other Republican member of Congress to openly choose democracy or fascism.
America will watch and remember those who choose the path of treason on January 6.
Here are the enemies of democracy:
Ted Cruz (TX)
Ron Johnson (WI)
James Lankford (OK)
Steve Daines (MT)
John Kennedy (LA)
Marsha Blackburn (TN)
Mike Braun (IN)
Cynthia Lummis (WY)
Roger Marshall (KS)
Bill Hagerty (TN)
Tommy Tuberville (AL)
Read 5 tweets
7 Nov 20
While the forces that propelled Trump to the presidency β€” racism, corruption, and greed β€” still plague America, we can find hope in this victory.

Thank you for still believing in democracy.
Every single one of you who organized your community, who mobilized your friends and family, who made even just one phone call, should be incredibly proud.
This election is just the beginning. Now our work to rebuild America as a true democracy centered on social justice and human rights can begin in earnest.
Read 4 tweets
17 Oct 20
When this nightmare is over, we need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It would erase Trump’s lies, comfort those who have been harmed by his hatefulness, and name every official, politician, executive, and media mogul whose greed and cowardice enabled this catastrophe.
I love the people responding to this tweet as if it's a radical, undemocratic idea. theconversation.com/do-truth-and-r…
Just came across this thoughtful piece by historian Jill Lepore on why such a commission -- while useful in other societies that have gone through traumatic periods -- would probably not be useful in post-Trump America. washingtonpost.com/outlook/truth-…
Read 4 tweets
14 Oct 20
Blue wave: Vote!
Vote Vote
Vote Vote Vote
Vote Vote Vote Vote
Vote Vote
Vote Vote
Ga: Voters wait up to 11 hours to cast ballots on 1st day early voting.

NC: Nearly 1 in 5 of roughly 500K who have returned mail ballots so far didn't vote in the last pres election.

Mich: More than 1 million β€” roughly one-fourth of the turnout in 2016 β€” have already voted.
Roughly 15 million Americans have already voted, despite barriers erected by the coronavirus pandemic and voter suppression, setting a trajectory that could result in the majority of voters casting ballots before Election Day for the first time in U.S. history.
Read 4 tweets
10 Oct 20
"When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs."
This is the first time the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine has editorialized about an election since its founding in 1812.
Read 4 tweets
28 Sep 20
Apart from Trump tax frauds, keep the other outrages in your (and everyone else's) heads as well:

1. New Covid wave starting at higher level than last, while
Trump still against CDC, masks and social distancing.
2. Trump is pushing an illegitimate SCOTUS justice who will kill the ACA -- along with people with pre-existing conditions.
3. Fires and hurricanes still rampaging, yet Trump rolling back EPA rules and subsidizing oil and gas.
Read 6 tweets
4 Jun 20
Thank you, General James Mattis:

β€œI have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words β€˜Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding."
It is a wholesome and unifying demandβ€”one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values."
β€œWe must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American peopleβ€”does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us."
Read 6 tweets
11 May 20
So let me get this straight: Elon Musk is willing to subject his factory workers to COVID, but won’t subject himself to criticism on Twitter?
So Elon continues to respond, even though I’m still blocked.

Here’s actual footage of a billionaire’s ego when you call him out for breaking public health orders and jeopardizing the safety of workers.
But, more importantly, Musk and Tesla have a long history of worker safety issues, including efforts to downplay occupational injuries at their factories.
revealnews.org/blog/a-users-g…
Read 6 tweets
30 Apr 20
The $2 trillion coronavirus relief package made the rich richer and left working people with crumbs.

Instead of another handout for corporations and the wealthy, here's what needs to be in the next package to actually help working Americans.

Thread.
An essential workers bill of rights:

β€”Health and safety protections
β€”Hazard pay
β€”Collective bargaining protections
β€”Universal paid sick leave
β€”Whistleblower protections
β€”An end to worker misclassification of independent contractors
β€”Child care support
β€”Full health care coverage
Economic relief for all people impacted for the duration of this crisis:

β€”Paycheck Guarantee Act to keep people on payrolls

β€”Cancel rent & mortgage payments

β€”Emergency housing assistance & a moratorium on utility shut-offs

β€”$2,000 monthly payments

β€”Student debt cancellation
Read 8 tweets
8 Apr 20
Dear Bernie,

I'm sorry you will not be president, but the country is far better off because of your unrelenting courage and commitment to the progressive change we so desperately need in a country riddled with inequality and division.

Thread.
Four years ago, in the 2016 Democratic primaries, you made it respectable to talk about Medicare for All, tuition-free college and taxing the rich. You alerted America to the vast and growing gap in income, wealth and political powerβ€”and its dangers for our economy and democracy.
This time, you've not only made it respectable to talk about these and other urgent issues, such as a Green New Deal, but you've persuaded a majority of Americans that these problems can and must be addressed.
Read 5 tweets
7 Apr 20
Milwaukee, where COVID's hitting black neighborhoods the hardest, cut its polling places from 180 down to five. Now thousands of voters are forced to wait in hours-long lines while risking their health.

This is the culmination of every dirty trick in the GOP’s playbook.

THREAD.
After sweeping into power in 2011, the Wisconsin GOP launched a full-fledged gerrymandering campaign, and their new maps worked exactly as intended.

In the 2012 elections, Republicans won 48.6% of the votes, but took 61% of the seats in the legislature.
Immediately following the GOP takeover of the Wisconsin government, the legislature passed a strict voter-ID law that reduced black and Latino voting, resulting in 200,000 fewer voters in 2016 than in 2012.

For context, Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by fewer than 23,000 votes.
Read 9 tweets
24 Mar 20
I have a new book out today. It's called THE SYSTEM: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It. Here’s how it relates to the crisis we’re experiencing right now.

THREAD.
As power has concentrated in the hands of corporations and the wealthy few, those few have grabbed nearly all the economic gains β€” and political power β€” for themselves.

Even when they take a financial hit, they’re first in line to benefit from a $2 trillion "stimulus" package.
Just yesterday, Senate Republicans tried pass a $500 billion slush fund for corporations that have been dodging taxes, shafting workers & bending the rules to enrich themselves for decades.

And now CEOs are calling for their employees to go back to work. It's more class warfare.
Read 7 tweets
24 Mar 20
As a former secretary of labor, I can tell you that we shouldn't be talking about stimulating the economy or going back to work.

We should be talking about shutting down the economy and keeping people home, with enough money so they can pay their bills.

THREAD.
Every bit of taxpayer money should be spent helping workers who need income, people who need help paying medical bills, and hospital workers who need protective gear.

Not one penny should be spent bailing out giant corporations.

This is a pandemic. The economy is irrelevant.
Corporations don't need bailouts. They have assets that'll be as valuable when this is over as they were before it started. They can get low-interest loans & use assets as collateral. Or they can use ch. 11 of the bankruptcy code to reorganize their debts until the crisis passes.
Read 11 tweets
20 Mar 20
Think about this:

Weeks before you had any inkling you were going to lose your job, Senator Kelly Loeffler was selling off millions of stocks β€” and *buying* stock in a teleworking company.
Weeks before you were scrambling to figure out how to homeschool your children for who knows how long, Senator Richard Burr was selling off his stocks in hotel chains and telling wealthy constituents behind closed doors to prepare for the worst.
Weeks before you were frantically trying to get your college student home before quarantines went into effect, Senators Burr and Loeffler knew exactly what was coming β€” and they took care of their own personal wealth instead of warning the rest of us.
Read 4 tweets
18 Mar 20
Nine questions Trump must answer (a thread):

Why don't we have a map of where the foci of the virus are exponentially expanding?

Why haven't the army corps been mobilized to set up quarantine units for Americans stricken in cities with high incidents of the virus?
Why aren't we building, like China did in Wuhan, new prefabricated 1000 bed hospitals in the 15 largest U.S. cities to deal with the massive numbers of people that are inevitably going to need them?

Why are ventilator machine factories not on 24/7 production regimes, right now?
Why aren't ICU's being set up in every hospital at a rapid pace, right now?

Why is the government not purchasing tens of thousands of RVs to be driven to wherever the need for isolation units will arise?
Read 6 tweets
15 Mar 20
The dirty little secret is that there is no real public health system in America.

We have a private for-profit system for individuals lucky enough to afford it and a rickety social insurance system for people with jobs.

theguardian.com/commentisfree/…
At their best, both systems respond to the needs of individuals rather than the needs of the public as a whole. In America, the word β€œpublic” – as in public health, public education or public welfare – means a sum total of individual needs, not the common good.
Contrast this with America’s financial system. The Federal Reserve concerns itself with the health of financial markets as a whole. Late last week the Fed made $1.5 trillion available to banks, at the slightest hint of difficulties making trades. No one batted an eye.
Read 8 tweets