Robert Reich: Progressive Socialist Democrat Troll -- 10 Ways to Fix Inequality -- Empowering Socialism and Reducing Your Freedom

There is little doubt in my mind that Robert Reich, former President Bill Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor, is an extremely bright and articulate advocate for socialism/communism as evidenced in his prescription to fix inequality …   


Robert Bernard Reich born June 24, 1946) is an American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997.

He attended Dartmouth College, graduating with an A.B. summa cum laude in 1968 and winning a Rhodes Scholarship to study Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Oxford. Reich subsequently earned a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Reich is pro-union, saying "Unionization is not just good for workers in unions, unionization is very, very important for the economy overall, and would create broad benefits for the United States."<Source>

Inequality is little more than a selling point of international socialists and communists to create a class of disadvantaged and disaffected people who are willing to serve as agitators and revolutionaries seeking a mythical solution to their human failings and inability to compete. It is the nature of mankind, proven throughout history, that there will be strong people and weak people, smart people and dumb people, leaders and followers.To believe that any government entity can, without some measure of totalitarianism, strip some human beings of their human rights, property, and value of their labor, create equal outcomes instead of providing equal opportunities, is to believe the Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

Let us examine the progressive socialist democrat troll’s 10 ways to fix inequality …  [my comments in blue italic]

Robert Reich: 10 Ways to Fix Inequality

 What We Must Do

1) Make work pay. The fastest-growing categories of work are retail, restaurant (including fast food), hospital (especially orderlies and staff), hotel, childcare and eldercare. But these jobs tend to pay very little. A first step toward making work pay is to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, pegging it to inflation; abolish the tipped minimum wage; and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit. No American who works full time should be in poverty.

[As a political economist, Reich should understand that capitalism is about equal opportunity rather than equal outcome. In fact, our capitalist system incentivizes education and productivity and any attempt to institute wage and price controls in a society leads to a spiral of increasing government control and marketplace failure. It should also be noted that poverty is relative to one’s circumstances as the citizens of most third-world nations would consider those living in poverty in the United States to be wealthy beyond belief. That the working poor do not invest in their future or demand that their children success can be seen in the achievement differences between Asians and recent immigrants to the United States – especially when compared to the indigenous minorities (including American Indians) who have been offered government assistance.Notice that almost all of the positions mentioned above are union targets.]

2) Unionize low-wage workers. The rise and fall of the American middle class correlates almost exactly with the rise and fall of private-sector unions, because unions gave the middle class the bargaining power it needed to secure a fair share of the gains from economic growth. We need to reinvigorate unions, beginning with low-wage service occupations that are sheltered from global competition and from labor-replacing technologies. Lower-wage Americans deserve more bargaining power.

[As my regular readers know, I am no fan of unions. First, unions are the manifestation of repressive socialism. Second, unions are somewhat dodgy, involved in organized crime and in many cases subverting the political establishment to the point where elected officials no longer represent “We the People” but the unions and special interests. The rise and fall of the American middle class correlates with the increase in political corruption and the increase in public employee unions that are sucking the people’s money out of the system at such an unattainable rate as to raise the spectre of municipal bankruptcies. Look what the private sector unions have done to the automotive industry, the airlines, and domestic manufacturing. Demanding more money without regard for productivity is folly as most companies simply outsource jobs to areas where unions do not exist. There is no cure for automation, certainly not interposing a corrupt union organization as a bargaining agent.]

3) Invest in education.This investment should extend from early childhood through world-class primary and secondary schools, affordable public higher education, good technical education and lifelong learning. Education should not be thought of as a private investment; it is a public good that helps both individuals and the economy. Yet for too many Americans, high-quality education is unaffordable and unattainable. Every American should have an equal opportunity to make the most of herself or himself. High-quality education should be freely available to all, starting at the age of 3 and extending through four years of university or technical education.

[Education in America has been highly unionized and is mostly ineffective. Pre-Kindergarten education has not proven effective at doing anything more than providing a unionized babysitting service. And, in spite of the billions poured into K-12 education, we are still turning out functional illiterates who are mostly useful in putting an “x” on the ballot to elect progressive socialist democrats.

Today’s children could not past the tests that were routinely required decades ago to graduate from high-school. And, I would posit that many of their unionized teachers would also fail. Reich speaks of technical education, but does not mention the vocational education that was prevalent in past times and that provided the necessary tools for a solid middle-class life. No, unionized teachers believe that everybody should have a college-level education even though pushing children through unwanted and unnecessary college preparatory classes only increased the drop-out rate.

And, let us not mention the cultural and discipline differences that are driving a widening gulf between a class of super-achievers (Asians) and domestic minorities (Blacks and Hispanics). Given the same learning environment, one must suspect outside forces beyond government control at work. Our children cannot compete with each others, let alone internationally. The unionized system is broken and rife with corruption – and until that changes, education is little more than advanced babysitting and political manipulation.] 

4) Invest in infrastructure. Many working Americans—especially those on the lower rungs of the income ladder—are hobbled by an obsolete infrastructure that generates long commutes to work, excessively high home and rental prices, inadequate Internet access, insufficient power and water sources, and unnecessary environmental degradation. Every American should have access to an infrastructure suitable to the richest nation in the world.

[We must invest in repairing, replacing, and growing our infrastructure. Unfortunately, much of our infrastructure involves corrupt unions. Unions where seniority is rewarded over merit, the status quo is feted over innovation, costs are skyrocketing with no increase in productivity, and outrageous work rules demand that single-person tasks be completed by multiple people. With no accountability for malfeasance, incompetence, and outright criminal activities.

We should eliminate public employee unions and the necessity to use unionized labor at artificially manipulated wage rates in public and private sector jobs. No more hundred million dollar cost overruns and years late delivery. How can Reich speak of environmental degradation when his people invented pollution indulgences, allowing gross polluters to continue to kill or injure people as long as they paid the correctly-calculated pollution taxes? Sufficient water and power – when the infrastructure repair and replacement funds were channeled into vote-getting social programs?]

5) Pay for these investments with higher taxes on the wealthy. Between the end of World War II and 1981 (when the wealthiest were getting paid a far lower share of total national income), the highest marginal federal income tax rate never fell below 70 percent, and the effective rate (including tax deductions and credits) hovered around 50 percent. But with Ronald Reagan’s tax cut of 1981, followed by George W. Bush’s tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, the taxes on top incomes were slashed, and tax loopholes favoring the wealthy were widened. The implicit promise—sometimes made explicit—was that the benefits from such cuts would trickle down to the broad middle class and even to the poor. As I’ve shown, however, nothing trickled down. At a time in American history when the after-tax incomes of the wealthy continue to soar, while median household incomes are falling, and when we must invest far more in education and infrastructure, it seems appropriate to raise the top marginal tax rate and close tax loopholes that disproportionately favor the wealthy.

[Robert Reich is either disingenuous or stupid not to notice that taxing the wealthy does nothing as the companies and organizations they own or control simply adjusts the price of goods and services to the consumer to equal or exceed the imposed taxation. This is known as a “quiet tax’ where the government does not take the brunt of the dissatisfaction and heat for directly raising the taxes on individuals. A scam to say the least.

As for those who are taxed at the highest rates – it is all Kabuki Theatre. These people have their lobbyists insert loopholes in the tax code and very rarely pay the full freight. Look at Warren Buffett who constantly campaigns for higher taxes claiming his secretary pays more taxes than he does. Buffett is little more than a billionaire playing the system as an insider. Thinking his public pronouncements will keep the government off his back while he profits on his investments. Even his charitable giving is a tax dodge. Someone should ask Reich, who the hell created the tax loopholes – it certainly wasn’t the poor or middle-class.]

6) Make the payroll tax progressive. Payroll taxes account for 40 percent of government revenues, yet they are not nearly as progressive as income taxes. One way to make the payroll tax more progressive would be to exempt the first $15,000 of wages and make up the difference by removing the cap on the portion of income subject to Social Security payroll taxes.

[I hate the word progressive because in my world it is often synonymous with socialism and communism. I have no problem with removing the top cap on Social Security and Payroll taxes – other than we are taxed enough and our money is not well-spent. It is being siphoned-off by the politicians and their special interests rather than being prioritized and well-spent.

The progressive socialist democrats need this money to fund the unfunded pension liabilities of the unions that soon will wreak havoc on their membership and the progressive socialist democrats who have mismanaged much of the nation’s spending and destroyed the rate of return on the union’s investments.]

7) Raise the estate tax and eliminate the “stepped-up basis” for determining capital gains at death.  As [author] Piketty warns, the United States, like other rich nations, could be moving toward an oligarchy of inherited wealth and away from a meritocracy based on labor income. The most direct way to reduce the dominance of inherited wealth is to raise the estate tax by triggering it at $1 million of wealth per person rather than its current $5.34 million (and thereafter peg those levels to inflation). We should also eliminate the “stepped-up basis” rule that lets heirs avoid capital gains taxes on the appreciation of assets that occurred before the death of their benefactors.

[As it stands now, you are renting your private property from the government when you pay taxes. This would complete the circle and insure that the government owns more of your estate than your children when you die.

The issue that these progressive socialist democrats never mention is that they can’t control the wealthy who have inherited their wealth as easily as they can control a meritocracy based on labor income. After all, isn’t that what socialism and communism are all about – the elimination of private property and the control of the labor force? ]

8) Constrain Wall Street. The financial sector has added to the burdens of the middle class and the poor through excesses that were the proximate cause of an economic crisis in 2008, similar to the crisis of 1929. Even though capital requirements have been tightened and oversight strengthened, the biggest banks are still too big to fail, jail or curtail—and therefore capable of generating another crisis. The Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial- and investment-banking functions, should be resurrected in full, and the size of the nation’s biggest banks should be capped.

[Again, Reich is being dishonest. It was the government’s regulatory agencies that failed the public; especially those headed by industry people who turned government leaders by passing through the ever-revolving door between the regulators and those they regulate. Again, it was government corruption that brought about the near failure of the nation’s economy and financial system.

The rules were subverted by the special interests and the corrupt politicians. It was progressive socialist democrats and political asswipes like House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd who demanded that financial institutions extend credit to those who could not, under any circumstances, qualify for a fully-amortized loan.

It was the progressive socialist democrats who treated mortgage behemoths Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as their personal piggy-bank. Failing to criminally sanction big progressive socialist democrats who took tens of millions in bonuses while cooking the books – an audit costing over $1 billion dollars.] 

9) Give all Americans a share in future economic gains. The richest 10 percent of Americans own roughly 80 percent of the value of the nation’s capital stock; the richest 1 percent own about 35 percent. As the returns to capital continue to outpace the returns to labor, this allocation of ownership further aggravates inequality. Ownership should be broadened through a plan that would give every newborn American an “opportunity share” worth, say, $5,000 in a diversified index of stocks and bonds—which, compounded over time, would be worth considerably more. The share could be cashed in gradually starting at the age of 18.

[Can you say wealth-redistribution with a straight face? Why do the progressive socialist democrats refuse to allow private medical insurance accounts? If Reich was not a progressive socialist democrat troll, he would be suggesting that we pay down our debt rather than burdening future generations with far more than a crappy $5000 share in a corrupt Wall Street gambling den.

Every American now shares an investment in America with access to an infrastructure that allows him to educate themselves at little or no cost, to become an entrepreneur with little or no investment. This plan is little more than giving the government more control over your life.] 

10) Get big money out of politics. Last, but certainly not least, we must limit the political influence of the great accumulations of wealth that are threatening our democracy and drowning out the voices of average Americans. The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision must be reversed—either by the Court itself, or by constitutional amendment. In the meantime, we must move toward the public financing of elections—for example, with the federal government giving presidential candidates, as well as House and Senate candidates in general elections, $2 for every $1 raised from small donors.

[This is pure and utter bullshit. All of the progressive socialist democrats are demanding to take big “private”money out of politics, but are leaving the big “union” money that supports them untouched. Explain why people are willing to spend millions of dollars to obtain a job that pays less than $200,000? Because it is a ticket to the gravy train that will make them rich and powerful. Corruption pays and political corruption pays exceedingly well.

Want campaign finance reform, I can do it in ten seconds with a very short bill. “Corporations are not artificial individuals and do not have free speech rights entitling them to donate money to political causes.” ]

Read the whole socialist/communist screed at:Robert Reich: 10 Ways to Fix Inequality | Alternet

Bottom line …

Robert Reich, the learned pointy-head professor, appear to be little more than a shill for socialist and communism. He appears to be a “big government” guy that fails to mention “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in his political prescription. Vote for smaller government, lower taxes, and above all, less progressive socialist democrat corruption.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

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