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Sun Jan 3, 2016, 09:46 AM

 

At Stake in 2016: Ending the Vicious Cycle of Wealth and Power Robert Reich

http://robertreich.org/post/136502296710


What’s at stake this election year? Let me put as directly as I can. America has succumbed to a vicious cycle in which great wealth translates into political power, which generates even more wealth, and even more power...The way to end this vicious cycle is to reduce the huge accumulations of wealth that fuel it, and get big money out of politics. But it’s chicken-and-egg problem. How can this be accomplished when wealth and power are compounding at the top?

Only through a political movement such as America had a century ago when progressives reclaimed our economy and democracy from the robber barons of the first Gilded Age. That was when Wisconsin’s “fighting Bob” La Follette instituted the nation’s first minimum wage law; presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan attacked the big railroads, giant banks, and insurance companies; and President Teddy Roosevelt busted up the giant trusts. When suffragettes like Susan B. Anthony secured women the right to vote, reformers like Jane Addams got laws protecting children and the public’s health, and organizers like Mary Harris “Mother” Jones spearheaded labor unions. America enacted a progressive income tax, limited corporate campaign contributions, ensured the safety and purity of food and drugs, and even invented the public high school.

The progressive era welled up in the last decade of the nineteenth century because millions of Americans saw that wealth and power at the top were undermining American democracy and stacking the economic deck. Millions of Americans overcame their cynicism and began to mobilize. We may have reached that tipping point again. Both the Occupy Movement and the Tea Party grew out of revulsion at the Wall Street bailout. Consider, more recently, the fight for a higher minimum wage (“Fight for 15”). Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign is part of this mobilization. (Donald Trump bastardized version draws on the same anger and frustration but has descended into bigotry and xenophobia.)

Surely 2016 is a critical year. But, as the reformers of the Progressive Era understood more than a century ago, no single president or any other politician can accomplish what’s needed because a system caught in the spiral of wealth and power cannot be reformed from within. It can be changed only by a mass movement of citizens pushing from the outside. So regardless of who wins the presidency in November and which party dominates the next Congress, it is up to the rest of us to continue to organize and mobilize. Real reform will require many years of hard work from millions of us. As we learned in the last progressive era, this is the only way the vicious cycle of wealth and power can be reversed.


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Reply At Stake in 2016: Ending the Vicious Cycle of Wealth and Power Robert Reich (Original post)
Proserpina Jan 2016 OP
peacebird Jan 2016 #1
Uncle Joe Jan 2016 #2
Proserpina Jan 2016 #3
Uncle Joe Jan 2016 #4
ms liberty Jan 2016 #5
jwirr Jan 2016 #15
daleanime Jan 2016 #6
Amimnoch Jan 2016 #7
Betty Karlson Jan 2016 #8
DhhD Jan 2016 #9
yellowwoodII Jan 2016 #10
pangaia Jan 2016 #11
StoneCarver Jan 2016 #13
pangaia Jan 2016 #14
hunter Jan 2016 #12
Vincardog Jan 2016 #16

Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 09:48 AM

1. K&R

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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 09:49 AM

2. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, Proserpina.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 09:52 AM

3. Always a pleasure to get your approval, Uncle Joe

 

Happy New Year to you and yours from us goddesses. LOL

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Response to Proserpina (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 10:00 AM

4. Thanks for the kind words and Happy New Year to you and your mom, Proserpina.

Peace to you and Demeter.

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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 10:08 AM

5. Love RR and agree with him.

Probably my favorite person from the Clinton administration. Almost the only liberal/progressive, too. I would love to see him in a Bernie administration; I'd say that about a Hillary administration as well, but I doubt he'd even be asked.

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Response to ms liberty (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 12:59 PM

15. In his documentary of Netflix he said that he had been very

glad to be asked to be part of their administration because finally he could get some of the things he believed in done. But in the end that is not what they wanted and they would not listen. I don't think Hillary is yet ready to listen.

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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 10:09 AM

6. K&R....

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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 10:26 AM

7. So true! With sanders at the helm the US will definitely not be known for wealth or power.

 

That cycle will be ended!

A president that cant' get anything done, a congress shut down, and ton of broken promises. Yep, very true OP even if it isn't in the way he meant it.

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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 10:26 AM

8. K&R for exposure. eom

 

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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 10:32 AM

9. Wealth and power put another way: end the revolving door and Citizens United.

https://newrepublic.com/article/122324/elizabeth-warren-challenges-hillary-clinton-end-revolving-door


IMO, Clinton will extend the revolving door and is for leaving Citizens United in place. She needs a source of donations as the American public will not give her the monetary support she expects. Bernie Sanders understand fairness and equality as upward mobility for Americans. We are so lucky to have him. Clinton is the status quo.

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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 10:59 AM

10. I love Robert Reich

I would gladly vote for him for President if he would run. You can share his FB page to get his wonderful writings on a regular basis.

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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 11:54 AM

11. Nothing good ever came from the political right wing and never will.

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Response to pangaia (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 12:11 PM

13. What a statement

 

Richard Nixon gave us the EPA. There was a time when Republicans were normal people. Ike railed against the military industrial complex. Bill Clinton moved the left right and the right went bat shit crazy. If you want one party rule -move to the former Soviet Union. They had one party rule and one person on the ballot.
I long for the days when I could disagree with Bob Dole, George HW, etc. They loved our country but had a different take on it.
Stonecarver

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Response to StoneCarver (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 12:15 PM

14. I said RIGHT wing.

I still hold to my opinion.

None of those people you mention are what I would consider right wing.


" There was a time when Republicans were normal people. "

Exactly my point.



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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 12:04 PM

12. Robert Reich is a Progressive Democrat.

I'd like to believe his opinions would represent the center of DU, with people like me to the left of him, more conservative Hillary Clinton Democrats to the right.

Alas the majority of the U.S.A., and perhaps even sometimes on DU, dismiss Reich as a U.C. Berkeley leftist. He's not.

Democrats in office would do well to listen to him.

Unfortunately many Democrats are essentially owned by the big money players who finance their campaigns.


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Response to hunter (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 3, 2016, 05:57 PM

16. Unfortunately many Democrats are essentially owned by the big money players who finance their

campaigns; and that is what we have to change.t

#1 Publically finance all Federal elections. Report all contributions to all elected officials.
#2 constitutional amendment a) Money is property not speech. b) Corporations have no human rights.
#3 all federal elections have to be on paper ballots and verifiable.

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