Best Quotes from Robert Reich

The only way to grow the economy in a way that benefits the bottom 90 percent is to change the structure of the economy. At the least, this requires stronger unions and a higher minimum wage.

Robert Reich

We do not want to live in a theocracy. We should maintain that barrier and government has no business telling someone what they ought to believe or how they should conduct their private lives.

Robert Reich

Globalization and free trade do spur economic growth, and they lead to lower prices on many goods.

Robert Reich

True patriotism isn’t cheap. It’s about taking on a fair share of the burden of keeping America going.

Robert Reich

The faith that anyone could move from rags to riches – with enough guts and gumption, hard work and nose to the grindstone – was once at the core of the American Dream.

Robert Reich

Sugary drinks are blamed for increasing the rates of chronic disease and obesity in America. Yet efforts to reduce their consumption through taxes or other measures have gone nowhere. The beverage industry has spent millions defeating them.

Robert Reich

A society – any society – is defined as a set of mutual benefits and duties embodied most visibly in public institutions: public schools, public libraries, public transportation, public hospitals, public parks, public museums, public recreation, public universities, and so on.

Robert Reich

Nations are becoming less relevant in a world where everyone and everything is interconnected. The connections that matter most are again becoming more personal.

Robert Reich

Freedom is the one value conservatives place above all others, yet time and again, their ideal of freedom ignores the growing imbalance of power in our society that’s eroding the freedoms of most people.

Robert Reich

Can we please agree that in the real world, corporations exist for one purpose and one purpose only – to make as much money as possible, which means cutting costs as much as possible?

Robert Reich

Can we please agree that in the real world, corporations exist for one purpose and one purpose only – to make as much money as possible, which means cutting costs as much as possible?

Robert Reich

Before the rise of the nation-state, between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, the world was mostly tribal. Tribes were united by language, religion, blood, and belief. They feared other tribes and often warred against them.

Robert Reich

You can’t inspire people if you are going to be uninspiring.

Robert Reich

To get back to the kind of shared prosperity and upward mobility we once considered normal will require another era of fundamental reform, of both our economy and our democracy.

Robert Reich

A leader is someone who steps back from the entire system and tries to build a more collaborative, more innovative system that will work over the long term.

Robert Reich

If we give up on politics, we’re done for. Powerlessness is a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Robert Reich

I wish it were simply a nightmare, but I think that any reasonable person watching American politics would come to the conclusion that a second Bush administration would in fact incorporate a more radicalized version of what we’ve seen in the first administration.

Robert Reich

Standing up to bullies is the hallmark of a civilized society.

Robert Reich

Increasingly, corporate nationality is whatever a corporation decides it is.

Robert Reich

Money buys the most experienced teachers, less-crowded classrooms, high-quality teaching materials, and after-school programs.

Robert Reich

It’s not government’s business what people do in their private bedrooms.

Robert Reich

Public fear isn’t something to be played with.

Robert Reich

It’s true that redistributing income to the needy is politically easier in a growing economy than in a stagnant one.

Robert Reich

We need a national infrastructure bank to rebuild our crumbling highways and water and sewer systems, thereby putting additional people back to work.

Robert Reich

We already have an annual wealth tax on homes, the major asset of the middle class. It’s called the property tax. Why not a small annual tax on the value of stocks and bonds, the major assets of the wealthy?

Robert Reich

Yes, the rich will find ways to avoid paying more taxes, courtesy of clever accountants and tax attorneys. But this has always been the case, regardless of where the tax rate is set.

Robert Reich

Much of what’s called ‘public’ is increasingly a private good paid for by users – ever-higher tolls on public highways and public bridges, higher tuitions at so-called public universities, higher admission fees at public parks and public museums.

Robert Reich

Bankruptcy laws allow companies to smoothly reorganize, but not college graduates burdened by student loans.

Robert Reich

You can’t create a political movement out of pabulum.

Robert Reich

As digital equipment replaces the jobs of routine workers and lower-level professionals, technicians are needed to install, monitor, repair, test, and upgrade all the equipment.

Robert Reich

Technology is changing so fast that knowledge about specifics can quickly become obsolete. That’s why so much of what technicians learn is on the job.

Robert Reich

News and images move so easily across borders that attitudes and aspirations are no longer especially national. Cyber-weapons, no longer the exclusive province of national governments, can originate in a hacker’s garage.

Robert Reich

Too many young people graduate laden with debts that take years, if not decades, to pay off.

Robert Reich

In the 1980s, corporate raiders began mounting unfriendly takeovers of companies that could deliver higher returns to their shareholders – if they abandoned their other stakeholders.

Robert Reich

Teachers, social workers, public lawyers who bring companies to justice, government accountants who try to make sure money is spent as it should be – all need at least four years of college.

Robert Reich

Centrism is bogus.

Robert Reich

We never used to blink at taking a leadership role in the world. And we understood leadership often required something other than drones and bombs. We accepted global leadership not just for humanitarian reasons, but also because it was in our own best interest. We knew we couldn’t isolate ourselves from trouble. There was no place to hide.

Robert Reich

Economies are risky. Some industries rise, and others implode, like housing. Some places get richer, and others drop, like Atlantic City. Some people get new jobs that pay better, many lose their jobs or their wages.

Robert Reich

Average working people need more fresh starts. Big corporations, banks, and Donald Trump need fewer.

Robert Reich

Community colleges are great bargains. They avoid the fancy amenities four-year liberal arts colleges need in order to lure the children of the middle class.

Robert Reich

In reality, most of America’s poor work hard, often in two or more jobs.

Robert Reich

One tax dodge often used by multi-national companies is to squirrel their earnings abroad in foreign subsidiaries located in countries where taxes are lower.

Robert Reich

As long as the big banks are allowed to remain big, their political leverage over Washington will remain big. And as long as their political leverage remains big, the taxpayer and economic tab for the next mess they create will be big.

Robert Reich

It is hard to bite the hands that feed you, especially when you are competing for food.

Robert Reich

Our young people – their capacities to think, understand, investigate, and innovate – are America’s future.

Robert Reich

Public employees should have the right to bargain for better wages and working conditions, just like all employees do.

Robert Reich

The curious thing is Americans don’t mind individual mandates when they come in the form of payroll taxes to buy mandatory public insurance. In fact, that’s the system we call Social Security and Medicare, and both are so popular politicians dare not touch them.

Robert Reich

No company can be expected to build a nuclear reactor, an oil well, a coal mine, or anything else that’s one hundred percent safe under all circumstances. The costs would be prohibitive. It’s unreasonable to expect corporations to totally guard against small chances of every potential accident.

Robert Reich

By the mid-1950s, more than a third of all America workers in the private sector were unionized. And the unions demanded and received a fair slice of the American pie.

Robert Reich

More people are killed by stray bullets every day in America than have been killed by Ebola here. More are dying because of poverty and hunger.

Robert Reich

Not only do unemployment benefits help families who are hurting; they also put money into their pockets that they’ll then spend – and their spending will keep other Americans in jobs.

Robert Reich

The liberal ideal is that everyone should have fair access and fair opportunity. This is not equality of result. It’s equality of opportunity. There’s a fundamental difference.

Robert Reich

Your most precious possession is not your financial assets. Your most precious possession is the people you have working there, and what they carry around in their heads, and their ability to work together.

Robert Reich