Friends, This week we look at one of the most hidden of all contributors to widening inequality — macroeconomic policies. Given the current fight over the debt ceiling and the budget deficit, the timing of this class couldn’t be better. Just click on the link below and you’re in.
In 1861 members of the Republican Party, who, back then, were True American Patriots, invented the U.S. income tax and graduated it to make sure that “the burdens will be more equalized on all classes of the community, more especially on those who are able to bear them,” as Senator William Pitt Fessenden (R-ME) put it and Justin Smith Morrill (R-VT) agreed saying “Not upon each man an equal amount, but a tax proportionate to his ability to pay.”
How about it Republicans? It was your party that helped our country get back on its feet after the Civil War.
A 2020 study by Carter C. Price and Kathryn A. Edwards of the RAND Corporation showed that the changing economic distribution systems of the past forty years, starting with Ronald Reagan, have moved a staggering $50 trillion upward, out of the hands of the bottom 90% of Americans. (The national debt is currently about $31.5 trillion.)
To me that means the top 10% could pay off the country’s deficit and still have Trillions left over!!!
A very special thank you to HCR for the very important history lesson.
The term "Macro" refers to something that can be easily seen with the naked eye conversely "micro" refers to something that needs the assistance of a mechanical device to make something large enough to be viewed. Our economic problems are of such a dimension that they can be seen from the moon. Politically driven, our finical problems have been put in place to cause complications not to solve them. The Republicans are using economic power to weaken the current administration with little to no concern for the country as a whole. Their lust for power and control is the result of one man's greed and short sightedness. Donald Trump needs no microscope to be understood, he exists for one purpose and one purpose only, himself. Following him has no economic position of any value, it will only leave a person floundering in stupidity. His pressering of McCarthy to throw sand in the gears of our government is typical of a man that doesn't understand this country or our people.
Is there a mistake (this is from last year. All the prior lessons were from this year). Did he post the wrong link?
This is the second time I am “taking” this class. If there is one thing that Joe American should know but widely misunderstands is that “There is no such thing as the ‘Free Market.’” Who gets in power is pulling the strings and making the rules. I’m hoping the youth of America along with us aging hipsters can use what’s left of our voting rights to correct the course of this nation. This ship needs to be righted before we all go down together! Oh, and the average Joe should take a statistics class because he ain’t gonna win the lottery or somehow pull themselves up by their bootstraps and miraculously join the top 1%!!!!
If anyone gets a chance please read the Hartmann Report for Friday may 26th about how the GOP has successfully used the bait and switch propaganda of 2 Santa's in drag to justify tax cuts for the rich under the guise of trickle down economics and supply side economics that has allowed all the rich people and corporations to avoid an estimated $50 trillion in revenue for America 🇺🇸, not to mention the almost $8 trillion Trump's shenanigans added to the deficit in only 8 years while Biden has done everything to reduce the deficit almost $2 trillion in only 2 years 😉 Unfortunately that does nothing to stop the domestic terrorism of the Geezers Oppression Program holding all of America 🇺🇸 hostage over the debt ceiling under the guise of the 2 Santa's scheme. Please read it's a real eye opener!!
Wow. What awesome content. I look forward to this class every Friday. Thanks for sharing this class with us, professor Reich.
Our most immediate concern for our government is the Republicans. They are a menace
You might also want to check out “An Opportunity of a Lifetime”: Covid-19 in the Age of Finance. In Tim Di Muzio, and Matt Dow edited. Covid-19 and the Global Economy. Chapter 1, P. 29-47. (2023, Routledge Publishing).
The 8th class posted today appears to be from 2022. Is there one from today?
Thank you so much for all the readings & your insights on this vital issue.🙏🏽
Over 50 yrs ago I was a history major at TCU and I took Economics 101 as an elective. Dr. Perkins, a dramatic fellow, tattooed the lecture below on my ass and it remains. He called the man “Lord John Maynard Keynes.” The story made sense to me, so much sense that I decided on a double major. In this lecture, you will be given a picture of how our economy actually works and why such a large disparity of wealth cripples it. Inequality eventually kills demand. Without demand, you don’t need factories that employ workers who spend the money that fuels the demand for CAPITAL to build the factories that employ the workers that fuel demand. Soon after college, I began reading Dr. Reich and the story hasn’t changed. That’s why I call him a man with the curse of Cassandra! There has been two great storytellers in my life, Joseph Cambell and Robert Reich. They are students of mythology and poetry. Dr Reich can turn numbers into poetry, and that ain't easy but it puts tattoos on the ass of his listeners! Many of Dr. Reich's listeners never know they are hearing poetry. They think it is just facts doled out from an "Enlightened" thinker. Reich is a sneaky SOB!
Those making the decisions are rich and so no matter where we go the rich determine our lives
At 18:00 - A local restaurant, "The Grapevine," IMMEDIATELY started offering free deliveries when the pandemic started in The Town of Tonawanda, New York. (A suburb outside Buffalo.) They were able to EXPAND and MODERNIZE their restaurant as they went completely empty for months!
THEY made BANK by lowering prices and delivering for free. I just wish they would bring back their beef rib burger.
And remember...POOP -- Political Organization for the Oligarchical Party...is who is/are/will be mostly running things...
I was wondering if a now retired economist might at some time also consider retiring economics. Discuss a world where the needs of the citizens are satisfied by the technologies. Maybe start with the uncoupling of income from work along with a pull approach to satisfying needs and move on from there. It would be healthy to have someone so vested in economics address a civilization without the need for money.
I like Robert Reich for many reasons, but not when it comes to economic theory. He fails to distinguish the macro from the micro. The failure to properly understand the difference by the average American has been weaponized by Republicans, especially kleptocrat tools like McCarthy, to get the unwashed 99% to consent to bring robbed blind by the 1%. We must be “fiscally responsible,” he says, and Biden agrees. The federal budget must be balanced, they say, just like a household budget, and federal debt must be limited with a self-imposed “ceiling.” We are the only country which has such an artificial ceiling, except for Denmark. Almost no one says a word when Congress, in its wisdom (or whatever it is that passes for wisdom) routinely ignores this ceiling to bless our military with more funding than it asks for. It gets most of the federal budget, and is now bigger than the military budgets of the next-ten-biggest global budgets *combined.* Why is the national budget NOT like any others (household, state, local, or corporate)? Because only Congress ISSUES our currency. That’s why Congress need not, and cannot, fund federal programs with our federal taxes, borrowing from other nations or future generations--it’s self-funding. This must be Reich’s Lesson One. He needs, like the rest of us, to learn MMT (that “theory” the kleptocrats love to hate). Lesson 1a: Federal Taxes Do Not Fund Federal appropriations. (“Spending” should be a term restricted to the microeconomic realm.) Lesson 1b: federal taxes are deleted, as spreadsheet entries, on receipt. For the lessons which follow, visit a website like realprogressives.org to see why and how we can always afford what we need to survive and thrive.