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Reich: Quick Jolt or Major Rebuild?
Workers are seen on the frame of a building under construction in Folsom, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009. American consumers and businesses cut back everywhere in the final three months of 2008. Shoppers chopped spending on cars, furniture, appliances, clothes and other items. Businesses dropped the ax on equipment and software, home building and commercial construction. And overseas sales of U.S.-made goods and services tanked as foreign buyers grappled with their own economic woes. (AP)

Workers are seen on the frame of a building under construction in Folsom, Calif., on Jan. 13, 2009. (AP)

An epic debate in the U.S. Senate this week on the Obama stimulus plan. Epic scale. Epic stakes: to push back recession, to stave off a depression, if we can.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich says the ultimate stakes are, and should be, greater even than that. Reich doesn’t want to just pop the economy back to where it was — with growth, but also with deep inequality, a struggling middle class, crumbling infrastructure, global warming.

He wants growth and to change those things. Growth on a new foundation.

This hour, On Point: Robert Reich on the real fight in Washington.

You can join the conversation. What do you want from the federal government? From the Obama administration? A simple restart, thank you very much? Or a reshaping of the U.S. economy? What do we need?

Guest:

Robert Reich joins us from Berkeley, Calif.  He was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton and is now a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley. His commentary in Sunday’s Washington Post examined the debate over short-term stimulus versus fundamental restructuring of the economy. His most recent book is “Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life.”

 

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