Robert Reich

October 11, 2010 - Robert Reich 10/11/2010 Views: 40,109

Robert Reich believes America can't get out of the recession until the circle of prosperity is enlarged for the middle class. (6:35)

OH, THEY'RE HUNGRY FOR FLOOD.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS THE FORMER

LABOR SECRETARY AND HAS A NEW

BOOK ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THE

U.S. ECONOMY.

I CAN TELL YOU THE FUTURE OF THE

U.S. ECONOMY, AND IT AIN'T

BOOKS.

PLEASE WELCOME ROBERT REICH.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

SIR, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

WE'VE MET ON THE SATELLITE

BEFORE BUT NEVER IN PERSON.

GREAT TO SEE YOU.

>> IT'S ABSOLUTELY AN HONOR.

>> Stephen: YOU REALLY SEE

MORE REAL.

>> IN REAL.

>> Stephen: IN REAL.

IT'S AMAZING, 3-D DOES YOU GOOD

GRACES.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: NOW, YOUR NEW BOOK

IS CALLED "AFTER SHOCK: THE NEXT

ECONOMY AND AMERICA'S FUTURE."

IT IS A SLENDER VOLUME.

( LAUGHTER )

DOES THAT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE

NEXT ECONOMY?

IT'S A RATHER THIN DOSSIER.

>> IT'S MUCH HARDER TO WRITE

SMALL BOOK THAN A VERY LARGE

BOOK.

I WANTED TO MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE

SO PEOPLE CAN READ IT AND

UNDERSTAND WHERE WE'RE GOING.

>> Stephen: WHAT DO YOU THINK

WE NEED TO DO?

YOU'RE ONE OF THESE REDISTRIBUTE

THE WEALTH GUYS.

>> NO, NO, NO.

>> Stephen: YOU THINK RICH

PEOPLE HAVE TOO MUCH MONEY AND

YOU WANT TO RAISE TAXES ON GUYS

LIKE ME AND THAT'S CLASS

WARFARE.

>> I'M NOT A CLASS WARRIOR, I'M

A CLASS WORRIER --

W-O-R-R-I-E-R.

>> Stephen: YOUR CLEVERNESS

WILL NOT PROTECT YOU.

>> HERE'S WHAT I'M WORRIED

ABOUT, SO MUCH OF THE WEALTH IS

GOING TO THE TOP, THE VAST

MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING CLASS,

THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO

BUY ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE

PRODUCED BY THE AMERICAN ECONOMY

AT FULL EMPLOYMENT.

THAT'S WHY WE CAN'T GET OUT OF

THE GREAT RECESSION.

>> Stephen: BUT GUYS LIKE ME,

AND I'M RIGHT UP THERE IN THAT

TOP ECHELON, OKAY, I EARNED IT.

NOBODY GAVE IT TO ME.

I'M UP THERE, AND I AM A GOAL

FOR THOSE PEOPLE.

IF I'M NOT UP THERE UNTAXED,

THEY'VE GOT NOTHING TO DREAM

ABOUT.

( LAUGHTER )

WHAT'S HEAVEN FOR?

THIS IS HEAVEN RIGHT HERE.

>> I UNDERSTAND.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

>> Stephen: SO IF YOU... YOU

KNOW YOU CAN'T CREATE JOBS BY

TAXING RICH PEOPLE.

NO ONE EVERY BECAME RICH BY

TAXING A RICH GUY.

>> HERE'S THE POINT.

YOU WOULD DO BETTER WITH SMALLER

SHARE OF A RAPIDLY GROWING

ECONOMY THAT WOULD BE RAPIDLY

GROWING BECAUSE MORE PEOPLE LAD

MONEY TO BUY INTO IT, THAN YOU

WILL DO WITH A LARGE SHARE OF A

ECONOMY THAT IS ALMOST DEAD IN

THE WATER.

>> Stephen: WHY, WHY, WHY?

I STILL HAVE ALL MY MONEY.

IF THE ECONOMY GOES IN THE

TOILET, THEN EVERYTHING BECOMES

CHEAP AND I CAN JUST GOBBLE UP

THE OF THE WORLD AS A RICH

PERSON.

I WOULD NEVER DO THIS BECAUSE

I'M A GOOD GUY, BUT I'M JUST

SPEAKING AS A RICH GUY.

I CAN GO OUT THERE AND GOBBLE UP

REAL ESTATE IN EVERY DIRECTION

BECAUSE I HAVE CASH TO DO SOME

AGAIN, I'M NOT MR. POTTER, BUT

MR. POTTER KEPT HIS HEAD DURING

THE DEPRESSION AND GOBBLED UP

THE TOWN.

ISN'T THAT THE LESSON OF THAT

MOVIE?

KEEP YOUR MONEY AND GOBBLE UP

THE TOWN?

>> YES, BUT THAT MOVIE...

REMEMBER THE POTTERSTOWN, IT WAS

AN AWFUL, ANGRY PLACE.

THAT'S WHAT WE ARE POTENTIALLY

CREATING IF PEOPLE ARE ANGRY AND

ANXIOUS AND FRUSTRATED AND

WORRIED ABOUT THEIR INCOMES, NOT

ONLY DOES THE ECONOMY NOT GROW,

BUT ALSO WE HAVE AN UGLY, ANGRY

POLITICS.

>> Stephen: IF WE HAVE UGLY,

ANGRY POLITICS, THAT GIVES ME

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT EVERY

NIGHT, AND I GET RICHER.

( LAUGHTER )

JUST SPEAKING AS A PUNDIT, NOT

AS A HUMAN.

( LAUGHTER

( APPLAUSE )

SO YOU SAY THERE IS AN ENORMOUS

GAP.

>> YES.

THE GAP REALLY, TODAY'S GAP IS

BETWEEN PEOPLE AT THE VERY TOP,

AND THIS IS NOT RESENTMENT

POLITICS, THIS IS JUST PLAIN

ECONOMICS.

>> Stephen: YOU DON'T RESENT

THE RICH?

>> NO, NO, NO.

>> Stephen: WOULD YOU LET YOUR

DAUGHTER DATE A RICH PERSON?

>> IF I HAD ONE.

I HAVE A GRANDDAUGHTER.

BUT SHE'S ONLY TWO.

( LAUGHTER )

BUT I THINK... BUT THE POINT IS

THAT THERE IS SO MUCH... THE

LAST TIME WE HAD THIS MUCH

WEALTH AND INCOME AT THE VERY

TOP WAS 1928, AND YOU KNOW WHAT

HAPPENED IN 1929.

>> Stephen: UH, UH, THE JAZZ

SINGER.

WE'RE ABOUT TO HAVE A HUGE

TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION IN

ENTERTAINMENT.

>> YOU KNOW, WE CAN'T GET OUT OF

THE GREAT RECESSION IF WE HAVE

JUST A GAP THAT ESSENTIALLY ROBS

THE MIDDLE CLASS AND THE WORKING

CLASS OF THE KIND OF MONEY THEY

NEED TO GO AND BUY ALL THE

THINGS THAT HAVE TO BE PRODUCED

IN THE ECONOMY.

>> Stephen: HOW DID WE GET

HERE?

IS IT OUR FAULT?

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

WE'VE HAD A GREAT ECONOMY FOR A

LONG TIME.

NOW THAT THINGS HAVE GONE SOUTH,

WHY ARE YOU PUNISHING GUYS LIKE

ME?

>> REALLY THERE'S NO PUNISHMENT.

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED, FOR 30

YEARS, THE WAGE OF THE WORKER

SMACK IN THE MIDDLE DID NOT

RISE.

MALE WORKERS ACTUALLY SAW NO

RISE.

THE ONLY WAY FAMILIES COULD

CONTINUE BUYING STUFF IS IF

WOMEN WENT INTO THE PAID

WORKFORCE AND THEN IF PEOPLE

WORKED LONGER HOURS AND FINALLY

IF FAMILIES BORROWED MORE AND

MORE AND MORE AGAINST THEIR

HOMES.

BUT YOU CAN'T SUSTAIN THAT.

FINALLY THAT DEBT BUBBLE

COLLAPSED.

IT BURST.

>> Stephen: WHAT'S NEXT?

WHAT'S GOING TO BE THE NEXT

ECONOMY?

WHAT IS AMERICA'S FUTURE?

>> YOU HAVE TO READ THE BOOK.

>> Stephen: I WON'T DO THAT.

YOU SEEM LIKE A NICE GUY, AND IT

SEEMS LIKE MY LENGTH OF A BOOK,

BUT I JUST WON'T DO IT.

( LAUGHTER )

OTHER PEOPLE SHOULD.

>> HERE'S THE CHOICE WE'VE GOT.

EITHER WE HAVE REFORM, AND IN

THIS COUNTRY WE HAVE ALWAYS

CHOSEN, WHEN WE UNDERSTAND THE

NATURE OF THE PROBLEM, WE ALWAYS

CHOOSE REFORM, REFORM THAT

ENLARGES THE CIRCLE OF

PROSPERITY FOR MOST PEOPLE, OR

WE HAVE A BACKLASH, AN ANGRY

POLITICS THAT STARTS PICKING ON

IMMIGRANTS OR STARTS PICKING ON

FOREIGN TRADE OR STARTS BLAMING

THE POOR OR BLAMES EVEN THE

RICH.

I MEAN, WE...

>> Stephen: GO BACK THE THAT

BLAMING THE RICH FOR A SECOND.

IS THERE ANY CHANCE THAT IF WE

DO NOT GIVE THE POOR AND THE

MIDDLE CLASS WHAT THEY NEED THAT

THEY WILL GANG UP TOGETHER ON

RICH PEOPLE AND TAKE AWAY MORE

FROM US THAN WE SHOULD GIVE THEM

IN THE MEANTIME?

( LAUGHTER )

>> THAT COULD HAPPEN.

( APPLAUSE )

>> Stephen: I MIGHT NEED TO

READ THIS BOOK.

ROBERT REICH, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

>> STEPHEN, GREAT TO SEE