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A Bold New Idea to Boost Wages


A Bold New Idea to Boost Wages

Robert Reich

The challenges are well known: Working Americans are struggling to keep up with the increasing cost of living. Unemployment is low, but wages of most Americans have remained flat. More than three-quarters of Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck. Most can’t afford a $500 emergency.

There’s a simple and bold solution that would cost about as much as the Trump tax cut. But instead of helping corporations and the rich, it would help millions of working and middle-class Americans by putting money directly in their pockets.



Add to that - take part of the $ and buy into a local food co-op. Fair trade, organic access and supportive of producers in your region and the lives of the employees, community and groundwork for justice.
Begin to explore potential for employee owned companies.
Public Banks - are on the rise. More and more, states are recognizing the North Dakota public bank model is a gem.

If its good enough for trillion$ corporations that claim to be persons, YOU KNOW its right for human beings:

Take our country out of the hands of predatory capitalism. Be the educational values and change you want to see!



One question on your usage of the words “Predatory Capitalism”.

By definition it my opinion that all forms of Capitalism are predatory and the two words put together in that way accurately reflect the “value” on which Capitalism built. That said it could be read a different way so for the sake of clarity, do you feel there another version of Capitalism that is not predatory?

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I tend to leave that to the experience and discretion of the viewer. [ Are eyes on a screen those of a viewer or just a ‘reader’? how do they differ? ] Are the two necessarily mutually exclusive? Can a conversation between two people of differing experiences on those variants be productive?



One slight correction: the minimum wage is not even HALF of $15./hr.

Secondly: In whose world do folks earning $75,000./yr qualify for government assistance. For years I’ve read articles referencing people who are struggling to get by on “ONLY” $60,000./yr. This screams that even those well-meaning ‘liberal’ journalists are completely out of touch with the world of working folk.

After earning a scientific graduate degree, I spent over 35 yrs working in medical research. performing highly technical biochemical, microscopic, and surgical procedures. i’ve been in charge of analysis, quality control, data generation, and data management for national FDA qualifying studies, involving dozens of clinical centers, as well as hundreds of other NIH funded studies. I’ve been involved in writing and editing many well-regarded scientific papers. My spouse has a medical degree and as the sole provider in a rural area is still struggling to keep afloat a practice where many rely on medicaid. Our COMBINED incomes have never approached either of the figures referenced above. When our kid graduated near the top of the class from an Ivy league school, with degrees in chemistry and physics, she got a job running a mass-spectroscopy / gas chromatography facility at a major research university. After 2 years she had to accept that her $26.000./yr salary would never provide even a modest living wage. This was only 7 yrs ago, and In this world we still count ourselves among the most fortunate.

In this country, the ‘American Dream’ has morphed into wishing to become an NBA superstar, a reality TV show celebrity, or winning the lottery. It is that PERVASIVE LEVEL OF DESPERATION that projectile vomited the current vile scourge upon us. It is that level of desperation that truly populist leaders need to understand, empathize with and tap into.

The EITC is a good thing, a useful tool to help smooth out income disparities caused by the power imbalance of capital vs. labor. However it does NOT replace the requirement to restore the rights of labor in our economy. The widespread MYTH of a free market, the insanity of expecting the magical “invisible hand of the market” to cure all of our ills, the willful blindness to the destructive force of unregulated capitalism, can lead to nothing except accelerating the death spiral in which we now find ourselves.



“It follows therefore that in proportion as capital accumulates, the situation of the worker, be his payment high or low, must grow worse.” - Marx

This is in relation to the social wealth that the working class produces



The EIT is a half-vast nibble that doesn’t get at the central problem. It’s a typical Clintonesque band-aid.

The problem has nothing to do with income taxes. It has nothing to do with too much money sent off to DC by people struggling to get by. It has EVERYTHING to with their stolen productivity. Their/Our employers have stolen from us for 45+ years. The minimum wage has been gutted for 50+ years. And Social Security has been starved because of both.

Quit trying to be cute. Solve the God Dam_ed problem!



Anything short of a full Universal Basic Income and a Jobs Guarantee Program won’t make a big difference in the grotesque wealth inequality not only in this country but around the world. Global corporations combined with human greed have created a mess that we can’t fix utilizing the very same ‘markets’ that have allowed this problem to fester and grow.

The majority (save for 10 - 15% of us) of human beings are literally incapable of doing what is right for the common good - period. Left to their own, they will not only screw over everyone, but screw themselves as well. At this point, I envision a need to provide a ‘parent substitute’ to these human beings to give all of them a much needed ‘spanking’ and tell them, “this is how we are going to do things from here on out”. Just like children who push the limits until they are guided back by a parent, the greedy, selfish, narcissist inhabitants of America need to be ‘grounded’.

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My wife is an accomplished research scientist at a major med school. The pay is embarrassingly low.

That’s my way of saying ‘I feel your pain.’
This entire economy is a travesty.
The oligarchy owns the planet.