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Robert Reich: Plutocracy or Democracy

Reich talks about the economy and the perfect storm — he says — that threatens American democracy.

Robert Reich was U.S. Labor Secretary in good times — the Clinton years, where America saw low unemployment and strong growth.

Now that’s all turned around. And Reich is warning not just about the health of the U.S. economy, but the health of American democracy. Inequality, he says – concentrated wealth — is at historic highs. And it’s drowning out ordinary voices, and economic demand.

The Tea Party might beg to differ. We hear conservative pushback today. But Reich says if we don’t bring on higher taxes for the rich, our economy and our democracy are in trouble.

-Tom Ashbrook

See Reich’s tough words to On Point Wednesday about the Supreme Court and the new campaign finance environment.

Guests:

Robert Reich, author of the new book “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future.” He was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton and is now a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

Allan Meltzer, professor of political economy and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He was an economic advisor to Presidents Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy.

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

 
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
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