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Robert Reich on the Vicious Cycle of Wealth and Power He Says Threatens Capitalism
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2016
Posted: January 17th, 2016

Robert Reich, former secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton and a professor of public policy at University of California, Berkeley, spent years warning of twin demons: Technology and globalization. Machines displaced ... workers whose routine jobs could be automated, and globalization meant the flight of manufacturing and service jobs to factories and call centers in emerging countries. The result was ever-widening inequality. In his latest book, Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few, hes changed his tune. While those two factors still play a role in growing inequality, he cites a new culprit: the increasing concentration of political power in a corporate and financial elite that has been able to influence the rules by which the economy runs. [Reich explains], "Capitalism is based on trust. Its impossible to have a system that works well and is based on billions of transactions if people dont trust that others are going to fulfill their obligations, or they fear someone will take advantage of them or exploit them. Thats when a system moves from production to protection. Economists have been documenting inequality using various measures, but I havent seen much documentation of this issue of power. Political scientists and economists are [reluctant] to get into this field. Economists look at market power and monopolies, but the other areas Ive talked about - this vicious cycle of compounded wealth and power that changes the rules of the game - economists are really not taking it on."

Note: Read how the market is rigged to grow inequality in this summary of a Robert Reich essay that recently appeared in Newsweek. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.

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