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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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Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, second from left, appears before Judge Megan Shanahan at Hamilton County Courthouse for his arraignment in the shooting death of motorist Samuel DuBose, Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Cincinnati. Tensing pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter. (AP)

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Jul 31, 2015
In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Two Zimbabweans arrested for illegally hunting a lion appeared in court Wednesday, July 29, 2015. (AP)

Canned lion hunts and the fate of big game in Africa, after the outrage over Cecil.

 
Jul 31, 2015
Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing, second from left, appears before Judge Megan Shanahan at Hamilton County Courthouse for his arraignment in the shooting death of motorist Samuel DuBose, Thursday, July 30, 2015, in Cincinnati. Tensing pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter. (AP)

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