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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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Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

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