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Dear Professor Reich,

John Fugelsang gave you a great plug on his Saturday morning podcast. He said the following:

“Let me quote Robert Reich today who wrote, what do these corporations have in common?, Netflix, Ford, Tesla, T-Mobile, Duke Energy, Dish Network, Met Life, Dominion Energy, United States Seal, in recent years these corporations pay their executives more than they pay in taxes! This is what a corporate rigged system looks like.

Dear God, let us use all the science and technology we have to make Robert Reich live forever!”

I second this statement. Keep your facts coming!

Sincerely

Keith Olson

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I second that!!

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founding

I third that

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Mar 18·edited Mar 18

Well sure, trump is insane but so is Wall Street. I volunteered for the Obama campaign (first time not second) but the Dems consistently keep in the republicans. Even DeJoy is still destroying the post office. Biden can't get rid of him?

So, meh. The Dems must step it up and be an FDR and lead a Pekora style hearing once again.

If you want to read more about 2008 then watch the free The Con https://www.thecon.tv

Call me names if you want on here but I hope that some Dem will listen to and demand (like Bernie said) a progressive FDR agenda. Otherswise - I'm not excited.

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I disagree. If Biden’s obvious agenda wasn’t opposed in every aspect by the Republican Congress, it would be close to an FDR plan for the future. No, there is no magic cure but it would narrow the income gap. Indifference will kill all of us and pooh-poohing all Democrat politicians is a self mutilating agenda.

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Biden is trying to do a lot of good things. We need to vote for him in November. Equally important, vote Democrat down ballot to give him the Congress he needs to pass his legislation.

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try he might, but he is too weak a leader to pull it off, but he will still be lining his pockets nonetheless. what a crook!

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The Republicans aren't opposing Biden on principle. They oppose Biden because Trump says so, and they don't want to give him a win, even when he is giving them what they want, like the immigration package.

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The Republicans are opposing Biden on principle, and this is why they support Trump. The Republican Party is owned and controlled by super-wealthy libertarians. They want to privatize SS, Medicare, and public education. They also want to outlaw labor unions, eliminate federal government jurisdiction over consumer protection and environmental regulation. Quite a few of them also think that the surest way to accomplish their goals is through an "energized" presidency, a dictator in other words. They admire Putin and Orban, not Thomas Jefferson, and certainly not FDR, whom they consider "socialist."

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Victor, I honestly don't think Republicans think that far. They are more like toddlers who want whatever they want that moment. They have no idea of what life is like for folks under Putin or Orban or any of the other dictators because when/if they ever visit they are shown a theatre piece that has no relation to reality for the people, even the rich ones. For Republicans, fear, ignorance, Trumped-up anger and hatred work to keep the folks in line and spouting insanities that they do not even understand like that they would like Trump to be a dictator. I hope we can stop the Trump madness, but our media and the Supreme Court do not seem in any way interested in stopping it (OK Trump's dementia) from warping our democracy, destroying it if they can. Trump has already promised a "bloodbath" with him at the center watching and cheering it on. That sounds a whole lot like treason to me.

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TOTAL BS, propaganda in its worst form.

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You have to build from where you’re at. The rest is fantasy. If you don’t like what the Democrats are doing then get in there and fix it.

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BUT don’t let the Republicans in, because they will install a fascist oligarchy.

VOTE BLUE, and stay involved and work for the changes we need.

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The Dems leave the same people in positions of power. I watched Obama do exactly that with my own eyes. Jamie Dimon walked into his office, wrote a check, and walked out -

:)

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plus don't forget it was the Dems who organized the KKK.

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again, total bullshit as is usual from the left.

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Steve that is a facetious and obfuscatory comment. None of us can"fix" it, we don't have the money, the position, the connections.

Your comment is akin to "America love it or leave it"

We without power, do what we can do, with the only power we have.. our vote and voicing our opinion.

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The Dems had it and let it go. Bill Clinton did in social programs and wrote off Glass Seagal.

Dems have lots of excuses and tell them they have no magic wands and can't do anything. Why should I vote for it???

:)

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No argument Janet, you are absolutely correct on all accounts, Dems are in fact complicit, chasing donor cash, and having people like Larry Summers and Jamie Dimon rule the roost, behind the curtain.

Yet the situation in 2024 is different,much different and it is a question of shall we have a dictatorship of the religious right, or continue to live in relative freedom?

There is no other choice either vote for dictatorship by voting for Trump, a third party or not voting, or vote for freedom of thought and action.

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kinda a loaded comment don't you think?

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Because if you don't you may never vote again, for anything.

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The Dems didn't even vote for Katie Porter? She put down Jamie Dimon with a white board LOL.

But poor Dems... we need time to change our ways.

I think what people on here don't realize is that a big majority of republicans wanted to vote for Bernie. It's true. However, the Dems don't get out and listen much anymore. Heck even the candidate who ran against DeSantis didn't bother to stop and thank volunteers... sheesh.

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really, you sound like Chicken Little, shouting "the sky is falling, the sky is falling"

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In real life you have to make compromises. It does not mean that you have to compromise your principles; all it means is that to advance your long-term goals you have to make short-term concessions. You have to be flexible to be resilient and advance your cause. The libertarians are playing a long game and are prevailing.

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Yea, well - the working class has already compromised enough.

I saw Obama compromise and NO he did NOT have to at all.

The Dems long and short term goals are to accept wall street money and stay in some power all the while rolling over and complaining they "can't do anything".

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Janet Adams, we need more Dems and more progressive Dems. When we’ve had the majority in recent years our numbers have been too slim. The Republicans (and people like Manchin and Sinema) keep blocking good programs and policies. The Dems aren’t perfect but we can all pitch in and help make them better.

(And if you’re striving for perfection, please remember that perfect is the enemy of the good.)

Help Democrats win!

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OH, stop cherry picking—- I’ve written about Bill Clinton {Slick Willy} for YEARS — Have no use for that arrogant chauvinist. And Wall Street shill.

But it was ALSO the Dems who tried to rectify that awful situation by enacting some reform in Dodd-Frank, and the Republicans put obstacle after obstacle in the way of that, turning it into a weak and ineffectual remedy.

But it’s the Dems who had Al Franken. It’s the Dems who have Jamie Raskin It’s even the Dems who caucus with our Bernie!!

Just get OFF it with what you are angry about — vote for the only party that has people in it who even TRY to fix it — or the party that tries to be “for the people” at least part of the time {Republicans have been the party of “business” for as long as I can remember, and I am 77 years old}.

{And don’t nobody try to say the modern Democratic Party is descended from the KKK or slavers — THAT situation was turned on its head by the Republican “Southern Strategy” to recruit voters when Democrats in the South left the party after LBJ enacted Civil Rights —you know, LBJ, that Democrat who was on the edge of ending the Vietnam War in 1968, until Republicans went to Paris and made a secret deal with Saigon that let Republican Nixon keep the war going for SIX MORE YEARS — and they are still pulling dirty tricks even today. Yeah, baby, you can point to things the Dems have done wrong, but MORE to things they are trying to do right. }

Just get a little bit of PERSPECTIVE about where our world is and where we need it to go. And think about who is going to get you there … It’s not Donald J. F**kWad. Or a bunch of loony-tunes anti-vaxxers.

[Too angry? Yeah, but that ain’t the half of it.They tell me I should be nicer, but being nice is getting harder to do with people who don’t think.]

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Then don't.

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I'm muting the thread. I guess we all disagree. I hope the Dems will pay attention to the working classes like Bernie does.

best to everyone.

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Mar 18·edited Mar 18

Steve, I agree. We are being held in a Catch 22, which takes CAREFUL consideration of our options and what is gained and lossed in our vote.

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Ellen Z. is right. Republicans vote against everything President Biden and democrats try to do to help average Americans. So, we need to vote republicans out of Congress.

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ain't gonna happen!

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The Dems have been taking money from wall street for a long time.

Do people on here not realize that democracy is already - gone?? Wall street controls both parties.

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Janet, Why should you vote for it? Because if you don’t you are effectively voting for Trump and Project 2025. However much democracy is “gone” as you say, that’s nothing compared to the fascism that Republicans are determined to create.

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Voting is the foundation of our democracy and we still have a right to do it,and we better.WE don't want a Putin,China or Cuba type existence.

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Your argument is invalid. I vote for who I want to.

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Janet, “invalid”? Really? Because you disagree? Of course your vote is your choice. However, my point remains that a consequence of not voting for Biden is a significant increase in the likelihood of a Trump win. I understand making a vote in protest against important things, even crucially important things. Unintended consequences are still consequences, and in this case those consequences will very likely be the death knell for not only our democracy (no matter how badly flawed) but other democracies around the world. A win for Trump is a win for Putin, a loss for Ukraine, and an increase in the likelihood of another world war, as Putin feels emboldened to attack NATO countries.

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Not so quick Janet. The question is not your vote, but whether you are voting for Trump or Biden... this is the last chance, and maybe the last election.

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Janet, Oh, please, no one is suggesting otherwise. That sounds like a petulant response with no commitment. I suspect you will do better when the time comes.

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Contrary to widespread gossip democracy is not quite gone --yet.

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The Democrats are more open to campaign finance reform and should take the lead on it.

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THAT IS A LIE! they want reform that is totally in their favor

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Janet, are you a shill for Republicans?

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No, are you??

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Mar 18·edited Mar 18

What it really comes down to is how can we change society based on a vision of creating more wellbeing for the vast majority of people in our country and around the world? "Demanding" a progressive agenda is part of the answer, but of course there's more. Few if any elected officials can lead the change because they're far too dependent on money, media, and public perception shaped by wealthy influencers. I think we all know who that leaves. Changing how and what people think happens one person at a time and we all have a role to play.

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"Demanding" that I vote for Biden ?? That's not changing anything either.

Its called organizing. The unions are demanding for changes - is that okay?

Should Bernie just step aside and not hold hearings for a 32 hour week.

So how long do you expect people to suffer so that the few wall street Dems benefit??

With smiles!

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Mar 18·edited Mar 18

I try not to demand specific choices from others. Each of us gets to ask ourself how can I make the biggest difference? How can I draw other people to join me? For me finding peace within, learning from others to become well informed, and demonstrating kindness and compassion feels important. Often it seems the more one side pushes against, the more the other side pushes back.

How long do I expect...? I see changes occurring but also that it happens slowly. I think Trump and many Republicans will be defeated because they don't represent what most people want: honesty, integrity, fairness, and compassion. Reigning in Wall Street will take longer and needs to be done in a way that is seen as fair without punishing people for playing by the rules. As I see it "Bidenomics" is starting to grow the economy "from the bottom up and the middle out" and also benefit the wealthy. Supply side crony capitalism has not really been good for the economy. The evidence is there, it's just a matter of time for more people to cognize the reality.

War still doesn't work. What's different now is that instead of jumping to join in, more countries and leaders are looking for ways to contain the conflict or de-escalate.

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Well said. It is difficult to converse with someone who merely lobs a challenge without substantiating the challenge or offering an opinion to counter what is being challenged.

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So - I should not disagree with the Dems? I'm pointing out the facts. I watched in disbelief as Obama sold out the working class to the bankers. I watched Bill Clinton sell out to the bankers and people on welfare.

Changes can happen very fast. After all, that's the Dems argument against trump, right? He'll destroy the US in one day???

The facts are - the Dems have to step it up. Sure, the republicans are worse but at this point. No one will benefit.

:)

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Whoa, that’s just not true.

Actually, AT THIS POINT, we will all benefit if we do NOT let Republicans take the White House or Congress in November. We will all benefit if we vote blue.

Absolutely, even though Democrats make huge mistakes, they are not trying to undo our entire government and usher in an autocracy.

OH, yes, disagree with Dems and point out where they are going astray. That’s a good thing, and we need to keep it up way past just the election, so we can get some things addressed that badly need addressing.

Don’t for a minute, though, think Republicans would do better — especially not in this day and age.

Couple of questions or you, Janet:

1. You watched Obama sell out to Wall Street? Do you mean the bailout that was voted in by Republicans in the Bush administration {which for the record BROUGHT ON the crash of 2008, before Obama ever set foot in office}, and that bailout was passed on to Obama in his first months in office, with no provisions made to help homeowners or other non-rich people? Do you mean there was no money in that REPUBLICAN-CREATED recovery package for homeowners whose lives were upended by the Financial Industry, which then tried to put all the blame on those very homeowners for taking out loans that the Financial Industry perverted ….? You mean that? {Hint: that was a Right Wing contrivance!}

Now, I DO think Obama had too many Wall Street types in his administration and on his cabinet, and I say it all the time. Criticizing Democratic heroes is not a bad thing. But to get literally ANYTHING done on health care, Obama had to give in to Republican demands that the plan include prerogatives for the insurance industry, and STILL the Rs did not vote for it!! Do you mean THAT when you criticize him?

If you mean something else, be specific, please …

2. Bill Clinton DID sell out to the bankers on welfare reform. Ostentatiously and horribly. I hate that and criticize him all the time. That and on criminal justice changes he made that were horrendous. AND YET, you said Clinton sold out TO the people on welfare. Did you mean he betrayed people on welfare and sold them out? Because he did NOT provide poor people with anything of value, nothing that hard-working poor people deserve …He did no sell out TO them!

So, was that a misstatement? Or, if you meant it, please be specific.

BECAUSE, sure it’a fine to criticize how the Dems are handling things—- but how about you do it accurately, with some specifics, and some thoughts on what they could have done better.

Otherwise, you just come off like a crank or a troll. I don’t think you want to sound that way.

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founding

You should absolutely disagree with them. I think most people here do. We have a lot of work to do to change them but it's difficult because this is essentially a conservative country. Doesn't mean we won't keep trying though.

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Janet, I don't know from what source you are getting your "facts" but I would strongly suggest you broaden your sources. I'm quite sure none of us here on Substack would proclaim the Democrats a perfect party. What we do say is, don't let the MAGAts anywhere near the seat of government, then start working on the kind of party we want. Work to dethrone any legislator who is 'on the take' Strive to overturn 'Citizens United' and return to maximum $2500 per year per candidate - or better yet - limited funds for all. Pass our own code of ethical conduct for ALL governmental officials, Demand an independent Ethics Watchdog Bureau. Unless we, the citizens of the United States, start demanding the kind of government we want, we will never achieve good government. And there will always be a small crowd that prefers a corrupt government to achieve their own greedy goals.

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WHAT are you talking about?

And WHO is “demanding” anyone vote for or anyone?

We are all asking, pleading, arguing, hoping …

I don’t get what you are saying.

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Your point is well-made, Peter. Many of us are overwhelmed at the complex challenges we face– politically, economically, psychologically, physically that all results in mass confusion, noisy debates as we all continue treading in the mud puddle and getting nowhere besides anticipating the results of the coming election. what seems to be driving this is collective fear of the results of the coming election and it's aftermath. That is why you are correct in urging us to get back to the basics just as human life begins with a minuscule cell dividing, so must we strategize one person at a time by speaking to friends, acquaintances, and any who will listen to the need to do the right thing with our lives for the sake of all of us.

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Janet - what you say is exactly why I've lost hope. Most dems are repugnant lite; they take corporate money with few exceptions and further the corporate agendas. by the way, dejoy infuriates me - i received a certified letter 12 days after it was mailed. that never happened before him. also, he's an insurrectionist - he tried to interfere with vote by mail in 2020. additionally, the justice dept is full of drumpf appointees - why are they still there? biden is a classic neoliberal servant of the oligarchs.

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DeJoy is a REPUBLICAN installation with protection from being fired, and the system is protecting him. NOT Democrats — the system. He DOES need to be dumped, but you must know he’s foisted on us by Republicans and we’d get MORE of it, if we let them win in November.

Please apply rational thought along with the emotional disgust that all the rest of us feel, too.

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Pat - see Lee's comment below. He is correct. Biden has had ample opportunity to get rid of this insurrectionist. Also, what is irrational about expecting an executive (biden) to clean house? Again, see Lee's comment below

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It is NOT up to Biden to do it. The board has to be made up of a specific mix of bipartisan people. and THEY have to get rid of the guy. I don't say Biden has given it the push I'd have liked. But it's not his right to dump the guy.

I said he doesn't have carte blanche to do it. He does not have unfettered authority. And he WAS stymied for quite some time. Even his appointments need to be approved by the Senate.

YES, I want the guy gone. YES, I want to see Biden pushing for it. But it's not his place to dump him. The Board of Governors has to vote him out.

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If Biden is purposely slow-walking this guy's departure, I'd like someone to show me that. I know a LOT of Democrats have ben encouraging him to get it done. Has he been resisting? And why do you think that would be?

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Correction Pat. i will say it again. Two seats came empty on the Board of Governors in 2020 and Biden appointed a Republican and a Democrat.

Two more seats have come empty in Dec 2022, and Biden has left them empty, thus leaving DeJoy in charge.

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The make-up of the board requires a bipartisan representation — Biden can’t pack it the way McConnell packed the Supreme Court {and that in itself is a hoot!}.

If he wants a simple majority to ditch DeJoy, he has to be sure he has what he needs on the board.

I worry that he thinks the PO is a lower-level priority, with all that is on the plate in Washington, but I’d love to see it bring it higher and get rid of that DeZasster.

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Obama left the people in place from the 2008 Banker induced, manufactured housing crisis.

Please apply facts and rational thought to the facts - the Dems are beholden to wall street too.

And, the personal comments about people are not welcome.

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Exactly, the facts hurt both parties. But the Dems have let me down the most. And, no the republican's care even less about anyone's "kitchen table".

I'm going to keep demanding the Dems stand up for working people like FDR.

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It is good to expect the best. Remember, though,that Democrats don’t operate in a vacuum. They can’t change things via fiat.

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Sure they can!! Obama could replace all of those wall street bankers in one swoop of a pen. Bill Clinton got rid of G&S in one swoop.

LOL - so the Dems best argument is that change happens slowly.... but the republicans can destroy democracy in Jan 25 very quickly??

Pick up the pace :)))))

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So...feel the Bern? How'd that work out in '16?

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It didn't work out because the DNC [it their thumb on the scale for Hillary.

And the wise women of South Carolina were snookered. Bernie has real civil rights credentials, he marched even. Hillary's civil rights credentials are specious, and verbal. Yet the wise women of SC voted for her in the primary and the rest of the south fell in line.

S.C and the south basically control the primary, but by the same token, the have the opposite effect on the General.. like it or not the voting public is still race oriented.

Biden in 2020 is not an exception, by 2020 a head of cabbage could have beat Trump, any one the DNC put up would have beat Trump.

The DNC is has a paleolithic attitude, and it fronts candidates, Gubernatorial and Presidential based on length of service, loyalty, credentials and they have no race horse in the paddock to take to the starting gate, other than those who have patiently stood in line, padding around the paddock, earning what the establishment considers necessary credentials. Like Hillary and the DNC demand that she be Secretary of State, for what they perceived was the necessary foreign services credentials.

By the same token by fronted Terry McAuliffe, a former head of the DNC for Governor of VA and the old fool screwed that one quick.

The DNC has not and probably can't learn a lesson from mistakes, because it really is addicted to donor cash. Bernie out raised Hillary, from individual contributions, but that lesson is lost on the DNC.

The problemis the DNC, DSCC and DCCC as well and maybe especially the DLCC founded by Clinton or under his reign.

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Don, see Lee's comment below. Bernie would have beaten drumpf.

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I agree Janet,

Why hasn’t the Democratic Party pushed back!!!! De Joke, the Supreme Court, the scary scary thugs taking our so called laws into their own hands to screw all of us. Let’s learn how to screw!!!

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I want them to push back A LOT, too, Jean. And be way more savvy and stop letting Republicans eat our lunch.

But DeJoy holds a protected office and he can only be fired by a board that has been purposely kept short of a few members by the Republicans who WANT DeJoy in there ruining the Post Office.

I think Democrats need to be more hardnosed about getting him out, yes. But it’s not as easy as just givning him the heave ho.

At least, it isnt now. Civil Service and a lot of government jobs are isolated from the “whims” of those in power. That is actually something the Heritage Foundation and the Republicans want to UNDO. So, they can fire anyone they want and dump a loyalist in there, kind of like Orban did in Hungary and Putin can do in Russia, now that I think of it.

Do you WANT to usher in that kind of change?

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Again Pat. In 2020 Biden had the chance to appoint to Dems to the BoG of USPS, he appointed a Republican and a Democrat, there are two vacancies since Dec 22 and Biden hasn't filled them.

So Biden's fault then, and What is going on.?

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I think that's exactly what FDR did in the Pekora hearings. There are plenty of lawyers willing and able to do it again.

Heck - even Katie Porter put down Jamie Dimon with only a white board? And the Dems, didn't vote for her?

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founding

I voted for her.

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I was in the wrong state. There were two awesome women running... I just shake my head.

I hope she's reading this. That was the best take down ever of Jamie Dimon. Just image if she had a Pekora hearing what she could do!

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Janet, I know you can't tolerate being corrected when you make a factual error, but I do think you mean the "Pecora" hearings.

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KP had strong rivals in Barbara Lee and Adam Schiff.

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There were only two Katie Porter and Barbara Lee - in my opinion anyway.

Has Adam Schiff ever taken out a white board and clearly demonstrated the useless of the bankers? Is Adam going to champion the 32 hour work week? I doubt it.

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What do you mean by "the useless of the bankers"?

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I don't vote in California,. but am disappointed with the nomination of Schiff.

Schiff is a publicity hound, she speaks a great game on TV, but is otherwise ineffectual

My real gripe is that Shiff and the frmr Congressman for NY, Patrick Mahoney, who was also head of the DCCC, went junkateering in Paris during the 2022 election when they should have stayed home and oversaw the NY congressional elections and the result is that four NY seats flipped to Republican and look what that has wrought.

\

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founding

I used to like him but I've changed my mind for the reasons you cite and those dirty tricks he pulled in the primary to get Garvey on the ballot. I voted for Porter but I am not happy with her claiming that the election was rigged. Now I wish I'd voted for Barbara Lee but it doesn't matter.

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Biden had a chance to get rid of Dejoy in December 2020 Two seat on the board became vacant. If he filled them with two Democrats, the Board of Governors could have fired Dejoy, but he appointed a Democrat and a Republican.

Two more seats came empty in Dec 22, and Biden hasn't filled them. I am sure that if he did one would be a Republican, thus maintaining the balance, Only the Board of Governors can fire DeJoy, and Dejoy and his deputy have one vote each, the board is split and has been.

The question asked, but not in the "liberal" media is why hasn't Biden filled the seats with Democrats and thus fired DeJoy.

DeJoy also cancelled the contract for electric vehicles and gave it to his friend at Oshkosh, in which he holds stock.

And there Joe sits like a stonewall, doing nothing.

Biden is not omnescient, but his actions and inactions make me wonder just who the éminence grise behind the "throne" might be... Larry Summers, come to mind, he made his foul prescence known with Obama, and was behind the appointment of Timothy Geithner and the bank bail out, and who knows what else, I suspect privatizing, neo liberal, Rahm Emanuel as well.

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Janet, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Every politician is a flawed human being, as we all are, but it's self-evident that the other side has politicians who are far more flawed.

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I hate hate that expression Jeff, Rahm Emanuel coined it to justify the ACA when we could have had Medicare for all, by simply amending the Medicare Act to say Eligible from Birth.

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Do current Medicare recipients support Medicare for All? Medicare and Affirmative Action divided the middle class by race and age. Nixon grabbed the ball right away.

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That's the best you got ;) so sorry. But taking an argument off course doesn't work either.

I'm just the messenger - the Dems need to step it up.

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It doesn't take the argument off course. In fact, it gets to the very heart of the argument. You clearly are someone who will only be satisfied with a politician who, out of 330 million Americans, agrees with you, Janet Adams, in every way and meets your, Janet Adams', standards for moral clarity and perfection. Otherwise, they don't deserve your vote. You're sick and tired of voting for the lesser of two evils! I get it.

So because the Democrats haven't earned your vote, you will either not vote or you will vote for a third-party candidate. If that's what you want to do, Janet, well, it's a free country--for now.

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You are clearly making assumptions.

You are clearly not listening and not actually care about the working class???

SO if you actually want the Dems to win - start now with substance - not "fear of xyzzy"

Just saying that's all.

All the best.

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founding

I agree with you. Asking people to vote against Trump does not solve their problems. Telling them how you will help them is the way to go.

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Well, there’s progressivism and then there is not so well thought out progressivism. I’ll give you but two examples of the latter. First, I actually read a U of Illinois professor claim that math was racist. Really? Isn’t it something that most humans need to understand to actually function in the world? The entire premise was, it’s racist because a bunch of white Europeans such as Newton invented calculus or other aspects of modern math. Forgetting that who invented various aspects of the math we use today were created by multiple cultures over centuries. Newton can’t help who he was or that he was smart. Are we now to abandon common sense because of such idiotic claims? I fear for the future of this country if this is the tact that we embark on. Second, here in Minneapolis, the left wing city council over rode the liberal mayor in forcing Uber and Lyft to pay a certain base pay. Never mind, that value was from an Oregon initiative, where the cost of living is substantially higher than here in MPLS. Almost twice the existing salary. So what happens? Uber and Lyft are threatening to pull out and leave the city with few alternatives to support the community. While I’d agree that the owners of said services take advantage of the workers, what the council failed to do was its job to evaluate all the alternatives, much less the implications. Instead, just as bad as some republicans on the other side, they shot from the hip. In the end, everyone loses. Stuff like this takes work, which seems to beyond the capability of some Americans. With every action, there is an equally opposite reaction. Not considering what those could be in either case is beyond unconscionable!

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To be an FDR you need a Frances Perkins!!

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Janet, the USPS, during Nixon's term in 1970 was re-formed from a governmental agency performing the will of the people to a self funding quasi-governmental business with an independent board of directors. Biden cannot, by that law, "get rid of" Louis de Joy. Only the USPS has that privilege. That position happened to pop up during the trumpster's reign of terror and naturally he appointed a man whose sole business was a competing delivery service. Of course, de Joy wants to destroy USPS.

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Why didn't Obama replace all of the republicans when he came into office? He had the power to do it. Trump is the aftermath of banker induced financial crisis.

In peace, :)

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I agree, Obama made a huge mistake retaining some of the Bank and Securities bailouts instigated by Bush's Henry Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury. I don't think Obama, immediately understood the depth of the calamity of 2008. He, Obama, did replace all but Robert Gates, Secretary DOD. The "talk" of his retaining "all those Republicans" was just that - talk no substance. Fact check Janet.

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I agree with you, Janet. One quibble, though: no, Biden can't get rid of DeJoy. He can appoint members to the governing board as vacancies come up, but until there's a critical mass of anti-DeJoy members, the incredibly misnomered DeJoy isn't going anywhere.

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Maybe - but would that stop a republican? It never seems too.

There are other things to Dems can do. I turned off Biden's address when he said "I'm not anti corporation". The corporations have a monopoly and rolled up most small businesses. Even the supermarkets are now - florist, bakery, butcher, deli, sub shop, sell in bins, an international isle. It's not free market when there is no meaningful competition. Then everyone is forced to work low wages, irregular schedules, no medical insurance, etc.

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EXACTLY, on all counts!

Biden isn't anti-corporation?? Well, I guess not, after he's been in bed with them his entire career. There's gotta be a reason he was initially elected from his home state of Delaware, the incoporation base for credit card companies and thousands of large businesses.

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I hear you. But most folks are uncomfortable with upsetting the status quo. And I also hear them. How can we effect change without cooperation? This is the paradox. And that is the solution - radical change that brings quick, positive results. Like I saw elsewhere where you said ejecting the pawns of Wall Street from within the administration. That is a place to start.

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well, the Dems have been cooperating with wall street for a while now. Obama had everything going for him.

I'm just telling the Dems what they don't seem to want to hear.

We're tired of it. To not vote for Katie Porter who took out Jamie Dimon with just a simple white board - that says it all.

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deletedMar 18
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I'm trying to explain to the Dems what people are saying. We're tired of the slick ads. I found that the poorest streets in the county had a better grasp of the reality of policies than the well heeled Dems "think" the issues are.

Just saying - cheers. I'm not the one this group needs to convince.

:)

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Janet, you are focused on class issues, but most voters are mesmerized by what they see on TV: the border tragedy, the spectacular store robberies, gang violence, and, of course, they see the high grocery prices. These people will vote Republican.

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Are you sure about that?

Well, if the Dems want to focus on TV - best of luck. The serious voters are not. Not the ones, I've spoken with anyway.

All the best.

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Don't ignore the polls. Wishful thinking can lead to tragedy.

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❤️ Reich ❤️:"Please spread the word....Had the [ability to deal with Rejection Desensitization when asking for a raise and thus]pay of American workers kept up with what had been the trend decades ago [before Purdue Pharma's Valium marketing subverted Americans balls by subverting Eleanor Roosevelt:"Do one thing everyday that scares you"...]— and kept up with their own increasing productivity.." today's fear of AI began 1960 to 1980 when we feared computers would take our jobs... we overcame that fear... multiplying our productivity by 10 or more but we didn't overcome our fear of asking to be paid for it because NO AMERICAN TOOK THE INOCULATION RECOMMENDED BY THE WHITE HOUSE"Do one thing every day that scares you." WHILE ALL AMERICANS KNOW THE WORD VALIUM

First Do No Harm... Stop the Lying 🤥

"Don't Sweat It " is a lie... Exercise and Exposure Therapy are mandatory and both cause sweat.

The US Senate's Dr Haidt's The 3 Great Untruths that Gen Z believes that are dooming Gen Z and democracy include Exposure Therapy demonization and State Dependent Learning

Subscribe for details 😁 but only if you're ready to serve on our Focus Group 😁😁

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Donald Hodgins

Donald’s Substack

just now

Donald Hodgins

Donald’s Substack

1 min ago

Trump's belief that there will be blood in the streets is a moronic pipe dream. Just more fear and chaos. Republicans bleed just as easily as Democrats. Instead of the red stuff, let's smear a bit of understanding. Strange, I saw no Red MAGA hats at Sawgrass this weekend. Where have all the MAGAs hats gone, Mr. Dooley.

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POS is going to lose election BIGLY

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There are more Democrats than Republicans and there are more anti Trumpers than there are Trumpers.

But it isn't votes that count, it is who counts the votes.

The Trump party, former Republican party) has shut down programs like minority outreach and all money is going tinto lawfare (war fare), voter caging, appointing Trumpers to election committees in the counties, voter suppression, I feat that despite everything the Republicans will rig this election,unless Democrats get on the ball and short stop them.

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Only one direction--

Donald Hodgins <silencenotbad@gmail.com>

11:54 AM (0 minutes ago)

Laws were created by people in power as a means through which to control the masses. Trump's purpose here is to control the people in power and by doing so circumvent the laws he hates so much. He will most likely speed up the judicial process by doing away with it all together. Trump's law!

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founding

😀😀

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founding

Donald, please explain why you think there won't be violence. BTW, I too was surprised this weekend. I drove quite a long distance to see a friend and saw only two Trump flags the whole time.

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Paula--What would be the point? It would be us against ourselves. If it really came down to that, a world in tatters is not a place for peace.

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founding

I'm not sure I'm following you. Are you saying MAGAs won't shoot and destroy because it isn't in their interest?

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Paula--No! I'm saying how in the hell will they be able to tell us from them.

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Young people don't vote because they lack Rejection Desensitization!

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lack rejection desensitization is a double negative.

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A word from other Republicans than the Lincoln Project:

https://youtu.be/yJfGEIUSwz4?si=vN3QYcUb1qbnunq3

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Justice Matters, Glenn Kirschner

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I always look forward to this guy - Anthony Davis - too: https://youtu.be/WOfJeLpdk0U?si=HnfS-m0FZa2ddoiQ

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Five Minute News and the Weekend Report are my go to podcasts

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His comments are my daily faire, along with MidasTouch and Popok.

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Keep turning your Hamster wheel to keep yourself fit for this long fight

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Nothing matters. Good ad copy for us.

For MAGATS "Trump hates dogs" and "Trump stole from kids with cancer" is more effective..

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If you edit people, you can make it look like they’re all saying “nothing matters,” when most of them are saying essentially, “It seems that Republicans believe nothing maters.”

We all know that THE COMING ELECTION MATTERS, and it matters greatly.

It DOES matter that Donald has been indicted. But is he really facing consequences, or is he going to skate?

THAT is still a huge question.

And, yes, IT MATTERS!

Vote Blue.

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founding

He's also having trouble raising that half a billion dollars. I'm laughing my head off.

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I certainly hope so. The Republican Party is becoming his piggy bank. I hope people realize ... !

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founding

And even they can't seem to help him through this one. Ha ha ha!

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you might want to check your facts! your rose-colored glasses are a bit foggy!

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This is not Just Trumpet 🎺 vs Biden

This election is the Patricians ( REPUBLICANS ) Vs the Plebs ( DEMOCRATS )

Trumpet 🎺 is waging Class WARFARE

Trumpet 🎺 talks inclusiveness but his actions are Exclusive . Thumpet 🎺 wants to Exclude everyone that doesn’t have Money or Property.

Trumpet 🎺 wants to Cut; End Social Security , Cut Food Stamps; Cut Education, Cut Veterans Benefits…

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Mar 18Liked by Robert Reich

I have worked hard all of my adult life. I have paid my taxes and followed the rules. I am a good citizen and I've never run a scam or lied in order to enrich myself. That social security is mine. I earned it. These politicians that want to use citizens like chess pieces need to be voted out. We need a Congress that will ALWAYS put the American people first. When my mom was alive, she would tell me not to worry about getting old. She said that was the time that you could relax, enjoy your favorite things, and do the things you couldn't do while you were raising your family and working hard. I'm so glad she isn't here to see what has happened in our country. If my children were not helping me, I would be homeless and living in poverty!! My heart hurts for the older generation that are barely getting by. Some are homeless, some are barely scraping by and to think that the politicians don't give the furry crack of a rat's ass about us makes me so angry!! We are not pawns in your stupid back and forth game of look at us, we can do whatever we want!! The fact is, you can't do whatever you want. We will vote you out! We will demand term limits on every one of you. Vote Blue, America!! At least Democrats believe in helping ALL Americans, not just their fat cat friends!!!

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Mar 18·edited Mar 18

I live in the blue hair state. Back in the 50's when air-conditioning was invented, lots of retirees moved to Florida. They used most of their savings to buy a small home, planning to survive on Social Security and the remainder of their savings. They were glad to be rid of harsh winters and high taxes.

Then reality struck hard. We have retirees at our food banks. There are a few reasons for this: (1) the death of a spouse, (2) declining health - medicaid doesn't allow home ownership, but in many situations, the home is necessary for the other spouse (3) the value of their land and the taxes on it boomed out of control, (4) the cost of insurance in an age when storms are normal at category five, (5) the cost of maintenance in aging or poorly constructed buildings, as well as lawn and landscape care, and (6) the cost of living expenses, especially groceries and transportation.

People who worked diligently and were careful to save, suddenly found that it wasn't enough. Peggy is right. There is no golden age, but there are kind people with true compassion for others. I hope I will be one of those.

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Thank you, Shaf. There are kind people with true compassion for others and you are one of them!! I envy those countries who revere their elders. They look to them for wisdom and guidance. They respect them. Unfortunately, we are not one of those countries. Sometimes I feel that these politicians are spitting on us. We are the unseen and unheard. They sound like they would like to be rid of the whole lot of us!! But, I have to smile because, in time, every single one of them who wanted to cut our social security and Medicare, well, they are gonna be old, too!! I'll be long gone but I will be laughing from above watching realization dawn on their ignorant faces!! Welcome to old age, you idiots!!!

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As of today, the Catfood commission, which Robert has discussed previously, is poised to recommend cuts to all benefits. Social Security, Medicare, VA, Black Lung, etc. Republicans have tried to eliminate SSI.

Social Security is social insurance and everyone who is fully and currently insured has the equivalent of a million dollar policy covering the entire family. There are two funds, the retirement fund and the disability fund. As of today, the funds are still solvent, although it's estimated that the retirement fund will "default" in 2033. Republicans tried to kill the disability fund several times. I've written about it, Save the Social Security Disability Trust Fund! and Reduce SSI Exposure to the General Fund, 36 J. Nat’l Ass’n Admin. L. Judiciary 142 (2016). https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1601&context=naalj

I've also written about the retirement fund. The main problem is that baby boomers had huge populations that will expend expenses until the apex in 2033, when population should return to normal. Once upon a time, my theory was that if the rate of contribution were supplemented, using charitable deductions, the apex could be exceeded.

Here's a paper I wrote for lawyers, December 01, 2011 FINANCIAL PLANNING

Social Security—Maybe Charity Should Begin at Home

By Daniel F. Solomon

For most of its history, Social Security was a terrific bargain: our parents and grandparents most probably received significantly more benefits than they paid into the Social Security Trust Fund. The trust fund comprises the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Funds (OASDI, collectively).

In most cases, because our family units could rely on these benefits, they were able to enjoy enough financial independence to send people like us to school so that we could become lawyers—productive and, in some cases, wealthy, members of society. For 75 years, the Social Security Trust Fund has helped enable American soci- ety to achieve far beyond the aspirations of its founders, ultimately providing more than subsistence to retirees by also protecting widows, orphans, and disabled people. The dignity provided to needy beneficiaries surely far outweighs the economic value of the funds.

However, financial experts have long predicted a future insolvency of the funds. A majority of Americans have invested in the funds, recognize their social utility, and do not want to burden their heirs. Although there have been legislative attempts to “fix” the system, there is no consensus how to do it. The Congressional Research Service reported:

For example, for workers who earned average wages and retired in 1980 at age 65, it took 2.8 years to recover the value of the retirement portion of the combined employee and employer shares of their Social Security taxes plus interest. For their counterparts who retired at age 65 in 2002, it will take 16.9 years. For those retiring in 2020, it will take 20.9 years.

Geoffrey Kollmann and Dawn Nuschler, “Social Security Reform” (October 2002).

The National Commission on Social Security Reform (informally known as the “Greenspan Commission” after its chairman) was appointed by the Congress and President Ronald Reagan in 1981 in response to a short-term financing crisis that Social Security faced at that time. Estimates were that the OASI Trust Fund would run out of money possibly as early as August 1983. Congress rendered a compromise that extended the retirement age from 65 to 67, through a deal that raised payroll taxes and trimmed benefits enough to keep Social Security solvent. See Jackie Calmes, “Political Memo: The Bipartisan Panel: Did It Really Work?” New York Times, January 18, 2010. However, the legislation addressed only the immediate problem and did not address the long-term viability of the fund. See also Rudolph G. Penner, “The Greenspan Commission and the Social Security Reforms of 1983,” in Triumphs and Tragedies of the Modern Presidency, David Abshire, Editor. Washington: Center for the Study of the Presidency, pp. 129–31.

The George W. Bush administration commission deliberated on the issue and then called for a transition to a combination of a government-funded program and personal accounts (“individual” or “private accounts”) through partial privatization of the system.

President Barack Obama reportedly strongly opposes privatization or raising the retirement age but supports raising the cap on the payroll tax ($106,800 in 2009) to help fund the program. He has appointed a National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which is to report and offer another fix.

Current estimates predict that payroll taxes will only cover 78% of the scheduled payout amounts after 2037. This declines to 75% by 2084. 2010 OASDI Trust- ees Report, Figure II.D2, www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/2010/ trTOC.html.

Although the congressional plan was to ensure solvency through Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax, there is a private means to help: to also consider the humanitarian and charitable nature of the Social Security Administration (SSA), which has been possible since a legislative fix in 1972. Before then, bequests naming Social Security or a trust fund as a beneficiary could not be accepted, which caused problems in administration of some estates. Money gifts or bequests may be accepted for deposit by the managing trustee of the OASI and DI funds. Section 170(c)(l) of the Internal Revenue Code lists the U.S. government among the educational or charitable organizations to which donations are acceptable. Gifts must be unconditional, except that the donor may designate to which fund the gift should be donated. If no fund is designated, the gift is credited to the OASI Trust Fund.

However, SSA has not publicized its charitable persona. Although the agency has received some gifts and bequests, they have been insignificant and not given consideration in a possible fix. The concept has been so unimportant to the experts that the Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin does not specify how much the administration has received in gifts and bequests. Total revenue from gifts to the trust funds has been quite small. From 1974 to 1979 the most received in any one year was $91,949.88. During that period, the average annual amount was only $39,847. In 1980, almost two-thirds of the gifts were less than $100. The median gift size was $50. One person, for example, donated $13.11. She arrived at that amount by applying 5.85% (the employee tax rate then in effect) to her benefit amount and donated it to help “‘shore up’ the sagging, dwindling Social Security fund.” However, the 2010 Social Security Trustees Report lists them as about $98,000 (www.ssa.gov/OACT/TR/2010/III_ cyoper.html#2). Compared to many other charities, this is a paltry amount.

Apparently, SSA has never done a feasibility study nor marketing research to determine how an aggressive campaign could raise funds to support Social Security, or how gifts and bequests could reduce the current estimates of impending doom. According to some estimates total deductions taken for all charities next year would be $413.5 billion. Estimates for fiscal year 2011 are that SSA will spend $730 billion. That amount is already covered through “contributions” (taxes), but it is reasonable that charitable contributions to the trust fund could significantly lessen taxpayer exposure for impending doom, if not return the fund to solvency.

As lawyers, we have the capacity to remind our families, our clients, and the public at large that there is a way to contribute to help endow future generations in the pursuit of the same kind of social stability that Social Security provided to our parents and grandparents.

[signed me]

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Daniel, I learned a lot from this post. Thank you for sharing your expertise on this topic. It helps clarify things for people like me who honestly don't understand government workings. Your information was helpful!

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Thank you for sharing

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founding

Excellent article, Daniel. Thank you for posting it.

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I dont understand the so called charity issue - why would any taxpayer regard the SSA as a charity? Why donate to the government?

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SSID saves disabled taxpayers, widow(er)s and orphans, is the greatest benefactor, more than any 501 C 3 charity. Donors get a write off.

Once past the apex, contributions will cover.

I am advised that SSA posted it's link after I pressured them and a few people have taken my advice.

BTW I received thanks from several past commissioners.

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founding

To help older people who are struggling.

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Peggy, they plan to grift money away from everyone else and live off that and not need SS.

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Not sure I understand, Midwest. Who will they grift money from?

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The election of 2024 will come down to "Good" -vs- "Evil." If you love this country and you wish to see it continue you must vote foe Joe. If discontent and disorder is your vision of the future, then Trump is your choice. Just remember, if you submit that ballot with Trump's name on it, you just took a dump on this country and our constitution.

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Well said, Donald, well said!!! Vote Blue, America!

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"Good vs Evil" is the evangelicals language.

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You already are

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Me 2 - but honestly have the Dems not sold out to wall street too?

The Con https://www.thecon.tv

Call me names if you want on here but I hope that some Dem will listen to and demand (like Bernie said) a progressive FDR agenda. Otherswise - I'm not excited.

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A start would be a more equitable and sustainable tax code. Gee, we might even see the deficit decline 😉. Last time we had a surplus, was thanks to Clinton, conservative as he really was.

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Janet: You have me blocked so you can't see my posts. Damn shame because I agree with every comment you have made thus far.

I too am disappointed with the Democrats and Biden, for being an appeaser, a compomiser, bipartisan because it is a waste (the Republicans aren't), it is a betrayal of our democracy and principles.

I am pissed because Congress did not pass a law legalizing abortions. om the interregnum when they had control of the Presidency and congress, (21 days in 2021) Perhaps because Biden when a senator was vehemently against abortions, and not all Democrats in congress are even liberal, or progressive, plus there are quite a few Catholic members of Congress, and it seems that few practicing Catholics want to run afoul of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who will excommunicate you in a heart beat and deny the excommunicate their weekly supplement of wafer and wine.

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Thank you! Power to the People!

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"At least Democrats believe in helping ALL Americans, not just their fat cat friends!!!" LOL.. Are you sure about that? There's plenty of corporate Democrat politicians that cater to their donors and care very little or at all about the rest of us.

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Here is a link to an American tax website that compares taxes in the US to taxes in socialist France:

https://www.companow.com/us-vs-france-where-do-you-pay-the-most-taxes/

As you'd expect, it shows that income tax rates are far higher in France than the USA. But it goes on to compare what you get in social benefits in France that you'd have to pay for in the US. They conclude, when all is taken into account, the real taxes are LOWER in France.

Taxes in France include;

- Almost free healthcare, eye care and dental care in one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Interesting that American healthcare costs 5 times as much per capita than France.

- heavily subsidised childcare, freeing up more women to work if they choose.

- Very low taxes for families with children, so with 3 kids, almost zero taxes.

- Free good quality State education. University education for $450 per year. Yes, you read that right!

- An index-linked generous State pension, with a guaranteed minimum income for people over 70.

- All kinds of safeguards for the unemployed, including subsidised housing.

- Here in France, if you work half the year in tourism or fishing or agriculture, you can receive up to 80% of your salary from the State through the off-season.

- State owned retirement homes with their own medical facilities.

- A train network that crosses the country at a silent 230mph, and each city has good, subsidised public transport. In my town, 1$ for anywhere in the town.

- in the winters, it is illegal to evict tenants, or for suppliers to shutoff water or electric or gas for unpaid bills.

Etc, etc......

Which are just a few of the reasons I live in France and not America!

But the points I'm making are these:

Firstly it is CHEAPER for a country to provide good services that keep the population healthy, well trained, mobile, and fit for work or retirement, because it improves productivity and tax take.

Secondly people can feel safer when the State provides practical safety nets. Less stress, less crime, less aggro. Fewer guns!

Lastly, France has a number of taxes targeting the rich and famous, including wealth taxes, and yet VERY FEW RICH PEOPLE LEAVE FOR LOWER TAX COUNTRIES! They can afford the taxes and they'd prefer to live in a safe and civilised country.

The USA seems to have a very simplistic view of taxes and benefits. Taxes are bad and should be made lower. Social services, education and retirement are expensive and must be made cheaper.

Perhaps it comes back to that basic philosophy.

- America is run for profits, and people are just workers or customers. If they are neither, then they don't count.

- France is run for people, and the corporations are here to serve their needs with well paid jobs and quality goods.

Where would you rather live?

-

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I wish a move to France was an option. (If trump wins, many Americans will be looking for a place to go.)

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As that well known American, Henry Ford said, "If you think you can do something, or you think you can't, you are probably right"

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No, you need to stay to fight back. Yours is the easy way out.

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Just one note on the cost of a university education: As in Germany, the price of low-cost university education is far fewer seats for students at universities. France and Germany account for this by having robust white-collar apprenticeship systems that train high-school graduates for a great many jobs that in the US require a college degree. Without establishing a similar system or a mindset change in the US, it would be extremely difficult to offer university tuition at French or German rates.

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Generally speaking, there are sufficient places in France for the demand for most subjects. Obviously the top rated unis are hard to get into, but the entry requirements are based on ability, not ability to pay - big difference!

Having been involved in education in UK and France, the quality of French students is generally far higher. They come to Uni with better schooling, are more serious, committed, and intellectually inclined. But hey, what would you expect when State schooling still includes Philosophy!

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Do they track kids at an early age in France? In Germany they separate the kids out when moving into 5th grade. Tough for late bloomers.

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Ireland does not have places for every kid who wants to go to college. Its highly competitive and selective.

Age 18 irish kids all take the Leaving Cert [high school final exam] to compete for limited places at a University for their preferred 'major'. Your score determines whether you qualify for law, med or arts degree eg philosophy. You then go right into it, graduating with a law or med degree [med requires more years of course].

Fees are zero or nominal, tuition is covered by the government. I dont think room and board is covered and most of the colleges probably dont have rooms [Trinity has rooms]. Its more cost effective and than what we do in the US but then the US colleges serve different purposes than the Irish colleges.

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Need to raise high school standards which are also appalling in comparison to European and British ones.

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A lot of that is due to local control of schools. When I went to college, I appreciated how good my high school education was compared to that of many of my fellow students.

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Why do you attribute differences to local control ? Can you explain what you are thinking?

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Locally elected schoolboards

Local property taxes to fund schools - more affluent communities are much better funded, higher pay attracts better teachers, facilities are better, more money for supplemental programs and activities. A district near where I grew up had a planetarium…

Very diverse standards and graduation requirements from state to state. There is no true baseline for kids entering college.

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I thought you might mean that by local funding. As for True baseline that’s something that I have problems with but that’s outside of the scope of anything here.

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Education in the US is a joke, people are writing PhD

thesis on crap like rap or survivor, next is the Golden Bachelor or Kate Middleton.

There is so much emphasis on an advanced degree, that I wonder is this isn't ginnged up by the finance industry.

The way things are, it doesn't matter what kind of degree you have, if you want an office job or even assistant manager at Booger King, you need a degree, any degree will do. Whether it is relevant or not.

Want to be an officer in the armed forces, you have to have a degree, if an officer wants to get promoted he needs and advanced degree..

Want to be a pilot, a degree, doesn't matter the subject or type..

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Cheating I suspect has been always widespread in the US in all walks of life especially among the entitled elites. America the home of the brave.

Educational institutions, Wall ST., Banks, government contractors etc probably have to do alot of covering up. Who knows? If an institution has any integrity it will screen out or remove cheaters and frauds.

The recent resignation [removal] of President Gay at Harvard is a counter example; she'd been selected President notwithstanding her plagiarism record.

When I was in high school, cheaters were booted. I was at a private academy west of NYC. One sunny day we were all given a fairly easy pop arithmetic test.

A big school meeting was held the very next day: Phil Andersen, Headmaster, announced that a number of students were expelled for cheating on this easy little test. Several had heretofore been headed to ivy league college, until they snagged their knickers on this little test. Maybe the colleges that accepted them didnt get wind of the cheating.

But why did they cheat?

I did a bit of tutoring recently and the same question immediately cropped up because the very first three 'scholars' that appeared eagerly with work in hand at my door told me they wanted me to do their work for them. Two were grad students who asked me to ghost write their Master theses for them.

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I’ve read similar comparison calculations for the Scandinavian countries. It mostly comes out as a wash or slightly ahead for the masses of citizens. The point is the money is coming out of one’s pockets regardless of whose hand is in the pocket. The Europeans have a fair system that provides for their citizens. In the U. S. we have a system that benefits the wealthy with regressive low taxes while the masses struggle with the money they have left, reaching in their pockets and not finding much to spend for what the European system provides without incurring huge debt.

Minor editorial comment - the use of “socialist” in front of France. The terminology is part of the problem. The wealthy, the Republicans, the tax haters see that word and full stop. “socialist” translates to them as high taxes and communism. To them there’s no further discussion on the benefits to society.

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If you, as a country, are so hooked on your own corruptions and misinterpretations of language, you have much wider problem in the debate about good or bad than just Trump!

A few years ago I gave a talk that included something like this:

When you drive into a village in France there is often a sign that tells you the population. It'll read, 'Commune de 1,957' for 1,957 inhabitants. They are of course a community. They have a number of communal facilities, such as the school, etc.

Does that make the inhabitants communists?

Words are simply annotations to describe and contain our thoughts and concepts, but always restrict our thinking. In the same way as the map is not the terrain, the words are not the reality. In short, if the word socialism is the bogie-man that stupid people use to frighten themselves, then the ideas of more intelligent people must not be suppressed by their stupidities. Why bow before their limitations?

Who cares what stupid people and/or Republicans think! You will never convince them of anything real because they are lost in their stupidities of their beliefs and prejudices.

But you can take reasonable people with you, and generally the middle ground in politics is inhabited by reasonable people. They don't need to be clever, or intellectuals, and you don't need to manipulate them with fake ideas. But if you give them the facts in simple terms that anyone can relate to, they do, on average, come up with a sensible response.

That, to me, is the only saving feature of Democracy as a concept and as a practice.

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founding

We need to take back the language. They've perverted words like "socialism."

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I once read that Socialism was the idea of an Anglican priest in Dickensian England.

The money powers after 1917, conflated socialism with communism, and it has stuck. They would have us believe that communism is a political theory opposed to capitalism, which people believe or have been led to believe is responsible for the great wealth of the west.

Truth is that communism is a political theory of authoritarianism, and China has proven that capitalism works fine within a communist state.

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Communism in political terms comes from Karl Marx, who predicted that the internal flaw in Capitalism would make the rich richer and the poor poorer, until the mass of poor people became desperate enough to overthrow the rich elite. At that point he proposed that the masses would reject the failed Capitalism and instigate a 'Community' government that owned everything of value, and managed it 'To each according to his needs'.

Neither Russia nor China have actually instigated a communist government, not least because they haven't had a truly capitalist society first. It would be more meaningful to describe them as 'Russianist' and 'China-ist' for their particular mishmash of one-party police states and oligarchs.

I have often wondered if the USA, as the dominant force for Capitalist ideals, will be the first country to experience the collapse of Capitalism, and out of the mess for pockets of Communism to emerge. Certainly if anything is going to put the majority of people off Capitalism, it will be Trump and his loony MAGA stormtroopers!

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I lived in Ireland in '83. ...........much much better than the US,.

Americans are so hogswoggled. I dont think the US is so wonderful. All materialism and massive wealth.

Great if you dont care about the impacts materialism and hegemony and Empire imposes on anyone.

Jim McDermott, retired Congressman from Seattle, moved to France https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2024/02/27/jim-mcdermott-expat-france-trump/

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I have met lots of Americans in France. For many, their minds are so altered by the experience that they can never again settle back in America..

So be warned - it is addictive!

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Az, thank you for this valuable information.

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France is an intentional civilization. I think 95% of US citizens would like a society like that (they think we actually have one, or something better, but they don't know the difference). 5% convince people that they wouldn't like a fairer system. America is a rich nation, for some, but there is a lack of human morality. Not being fixable, we have to try - voting Blue is a start, but we live in a society where people get dumped, and that will continue to grow.

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Unless you decide to do something about it?

I find it interesting that the American and French Revolutions happened around the same time, used the same philosophers and texts, and created remarkably similar Constitutions. But America became hooked on greed, wealth and power, perhaps to prove itself worthy, whereas France was more confident and put the Citizen at the centre of its existence.

So here we are, over 200 years later, discussing the results so far. Which one came out better, do you think?

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The really big thing is religion. France never suffered the scourge of Calvinists. Calvinism was born of a synthesis of the protestant rebellion and Orthodox Judaism beliefs. Mainly the belief in pre destination.

That man is born favored of god, and that the way to tell is by his wealth. A rich Jew is a good Jew, a poor Jew is a bad Jew, I tis the same mentality in Calvinism.

France is a constitutional secular state. America isn't so theocracy has been allowed to grow and inbed itself.

IMO, the trouble started withe the Great Awakenings, there were two of them, basically tent revivals held by New England missionaries that were raised on Puritan ideology.

Massachusetts could not join the union until it redid it's constitution and got rid of the theocracy, that it was.

Ben Franklin fled Boston for Philadelphia because it was rigidly theocratic.

These missionaries, so infected the public that they have metastasized and are now the source of our woes.

They were immensely popular, As much of the south was illiterate, and easily scared with hell fire and brimstone. One of the most famous and popular revivalists was Lorenzo Dow, and if anyone does any degree of genealogical research in the south, and the west to the Mississippi River he or she will run into many Lorzenzo Dow Jones and Smiths.

We are on the verge of a authoritarian theocracy , a redundant phrase, because our vaunted founders did a shitty job of writing our constitution.

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I would suggest that the difference between French secularism and American secularism goes back to Napoleon, who set up a rigorous State education system right across the French empire. It was said that on any Tuesday afternoon you could walk into any school anywhere in the empire and find the same class of the same subject being taught. If it was Maths in one, it was Maths in all of them.

In America, in contrast, education was always hit and miss. Outside of the cities the rural population could access little formal education. Even today, American education is very variable, with the rich accessing the best education, and the rest having to make do.

Religion has always thrived in places with poor formal education. Whereas French kids learned to thrive on their educational achievement and they could probably name their 5 greatest French philosophers, American kids could instead name their 5 favourite Hollywood stars, or Western gunfighters, or Prohibition gangsters!.

No wonder then that morality was left to the pastors, and philosophy (including political philosophy) was discouraged. I wonder how many Americans could identify their 5 favourite American philosophers? Most would struggle to get past Walt Whitman! 😂

Today, Evangelicals thrive amongst the poorest and uneducated, and that combination of Old Testament beliefs and Right Wing extremism is strong. But this has been 200-odd years in the making, so isn't going to change anytime soon.

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Az, you are skipping over a lot of things. France had many revolutions, and in the 1940s it got a taste of fascism and profound national humiliation. We are arrogant and irresponsible because we have not experienced anything like that.

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I think I would like to live in France, but I'm too old to have a chance to buy in. If it didn't have so much resistance, I'd like to try some Bernie Sanders socialism.

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Move to France, try it for a couple of years. See if you fall in love with it, or hate it and can't wait to go back to what you know. In my experience, about 50/50 for Americans.

Don't go to Paris. Try Montpellier or Nice for a city, or Villefranche Sur Mer village, if you like the Mediterranean heat. Or Sete or La Rochelle if you like the seaside.

"If you think you can do something, or you think you can't, you are probably right."

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AZ--which cities or towns do you think would be most welcoming to an American considering living in their environs?

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If you want to see what its like, try these two films;

'A Good Year', 2006, with Russel Crowe in Provençe.

'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' filmed along the Cote d'Azur (Villefranche sur mer and Beaulieu, mostly), with Steve martin and Michael caine.

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Wherever you like, the French are very accommodating. Obviously the more metropolitan places are most used to strangers and foreigners, but I live in a small port town that has a 200 year history of English expats living in it, and I have neighbours that include an American lady, a German lady, a few Dutch people and lots of Brits.

The more rural and isolated you get, the more insular the people tend to be.

Places like the Cote d'Azure (Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Beaulieu, Menton, etc) have a long history of American expats living there. Lovely off-season, although they can get too busy and hot in the summer for my taste. And nearby the tiny country of Monaco is worth a visit for the buzz.

Some favourites to visit? Try Sete and Montpellier on the Mediterranean coast, try La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast (one of my favourite places).

Paris is a good capital city to visit, but can be hard to live in, and Parisian abruptness certainly seems difficult for Americans.

Good luck!

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Thanks Az. I will stay here, unless I can't (I can invite some French folks, maybe). Being with the wrong people, in the right place, could spoil it. It's the roll of the dice - about 50/50 still. Sounds great though - I should try to visit. I wonder what it is like to build in metric?

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You end up bilingual; inches and centimetres! But I still think in Feet and inches.

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Thank you. Well put!

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Great analysis but you need to get this message to the idiots who are voting for that moron TRUMP

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Mar 18·edited Mar 18

The trumpers will only say things like their lives are in the hands of God. You have to get the message to the pastors that their older parishioners will not be donating as much and will require more help. (Do churches even help their elderly anymore?)

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I would love to go church to church interviewing the pastors or priests and ask: How will Trump help the poor, the elderly, handicapped or the disadvantaged? Or how would Jesus greet the immigrants coming to our borders ? With words of faith or with hatred and scorn like Trump?

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Susan, the sad, sad truth is that evangelicals got rid of pastors who raised these issues. Many Catholics use religion to promote the interests of the wealthy. People tend to use religion in ways that benefit their perceived interests. It's a very old problem; you can read all about it in the Bible and the Quran.

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That sounds like a good interview. Maybe even one to ask that young man, I think his name is Charlie Kirk, one of trump’s religious mouthpieces.

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“Do churches help their elderly any more?” No.

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Mine does. It's an inner-city Protestant church.

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There is a church (in my very red neighborhood) which has a meal ministry helping the elderly. Twice a week church volunteers deliver home cooked meals to those who need assistance.

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