No economy can continue to function when the vast middle class and everybody else don't have enough purchasing power to buy what the economy is capable of producing without going deeper and deeper into debt.

— Robert Reich

The most promising Robert Reich quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening

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.


There will always be a business cycle, and white-collar workers will get hit in the next recession like they always do in recessions.


America has become the most unequal society among advanced countries, and rich people are now free to spend as much money on political campaigns as they wish.


The liberal ideal is that everyone should have fair access and fair opportunity.

This is not equality fo result. Its equality of opportunity. There's a fundamental difference.


We're the richest economy in the history of the world.

For the majority of Americans not to get the benefits of this extraordinarily prosperous economy, there's something fundamentally wrong.


Social change occurs when the gap between the ideals that people hold and the reality that they see every day gets too large.


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.


The largest party in America, by the way, is neither the Democrats nor the Republicans. It's the party of non-voters.


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.


Corporations don't create jobs, customers do.

So when all the economic gains go to the top, as they're doing now, the vast majority of Americans don't have enough purchasing power to buy the things corporations want to sell - which means businesses stop creating enough jobs.


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.


We used to be so proud that our country offered far more economic opportunities than the feudal system in Great Britain, with its royal family, princesses and dukes. But social mobility in the UK is higher than in the US. Our social rift is as big as it was in the 1920s.


About Robert Reich

Quotes 144 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Economist
Birthday October 16

Cynicism is the largest obstacle to social change.

Cynicism is dangerous because people throw up their hands and say, "Well it's not possible. Why should I even try?"


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


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


Inequality is bad for everyone, not just the middle class and the poor.


A funny thing happened to the First Amendment on its way to the public forum.

According to the Supreme Court, money is now speech and corporations are now people. But when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with the political consequences of this, they’re treated as public nuisances and evicted.


I think the big problem is you have a vicious cycle of wealth and power in America that`s just gotten completely out of control and you`ve seen it in politics.


We are born, we grow up, we live our lives as best we can.

If we are thoughtful we are good parents and good partners. If we are wise we strive for integrity and intimacy. If we are fortunate we discover love and joy. If we are able, we make the world a little better than we found it.


A smaller government reflecting the needs of the middle class and poor is superior to a big government reflecting the needs of the privileged and powerful.


Median wages of production workers, who comprise 80 percent of the workforce, haven't risen in 30 years, adjusted for inflation.


Being critical of the nation is a far cry from being unpatriotic or anti-American. In fact, most social criticism . . . is based on a love of America's ideals and a concern we're not living up to them.


When corporations get special handouts from the government, subsidies and tax breaks, it costs you. It means you have to pay more in taxes to make up for these hidden expenses, and government has less money for good schools and roads, Medicare and national defense and everything else you need.


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?


The dirty little secret is that both houses of Congress are irrelevant.

... America's domestic policy is now being run by Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve, and America's foreign policy is now being run by the International Monetary Fund [IMF]. ...when the president decides to go to war, he no longer needs a declaration of war from Congress.


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


Cynicism is the last refuge of those who don't want to do the work of creating a better society.


Terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face.


Radical conservatives want to police bedrooms.


Most Americans are on a downward escalator.

Median wage in the United States, adjusted for inflation, keeps on dropping.


What we really need to understand here is that it`s all about power.

This is where the surge is coming from for Bernie Sanders. In some ways, it`s a very different - it`s a different surge, but it`s coming out of the same sort of sense of fundamental powerlessness and anger and frustration for Donald Trump.


The managers of the big brands have a very clear responsibility.

It's attracting and keeping talented people in order to sustain and build the trustworthiness of that brand. There is no clearer objective in the economy. Your economic success depends on expanding and building your economies of trustworthiness.


I mean, you hear the word 'globalization' over and over and over again.

Globalization, globalization, globalization. Rarely has a word gone so directly from obscurity to meaninglessness without any intervening period of coherence.


We are creating a one size fits all system that needlessly brands many young people as failures, when they might thrive if offered a different education whose progress was measured differently. Paradoxically we're embracing standardized tests just when the economy is eliminating standardized jobs.


Liberals are concerned about the concentration of wealth because it almost inevitably leads to a concentration of power that undermines democracy.


Education is not the only answer and it's certainly not the immediate solution.

At best, it's a necessary, but not sufficient response to widening inequality.


One logical consequence of this New Economy composed of big brands and entrepreneurial groups is that the unit of production is no longer a particular, identical product. The unit of production is the creative individual.


The Trans Pacific Partnership (and fast-track authority to whisk it through Congress without debate) is fast approaching. If you haven't seen our video about it, please watch. If you have, please share. And mobilize and organize friends and colleagues to call their senators and representatives to tell them to vote against this reprehensible deal.


A lot of attention has been going to social values - abortion, gay rights, other divisive issues - but economic values are equally important.


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.


There is a deep desire to change the power structure.


The core principle is that we want an economy that works for everyone, not just for a small elite. We want equal opportunity, not equality of outcome. We want to make sure that there's upward mobility again, in our society and in our economy.


The key to understanding the rise in inequality isn't technology or globalization. It's the power of the moneyed interests to shape the underlying rules of the market.


The silent majority really is a liberal majority, even though the word liberal has taken a real beating over the last 20 years by radical conservatives.


It's very hard to establish an economy of trustworthiness.

The key is continuing to innovate and to keep your customers through innovation, because the customers can leave. But once you are a dominant player that continues to innovate and provide a good deal, customers will stay with you.


The only way America can reduce the long-term budget deficit, maintain vital services, protect Social Security and Medicare, invest more in education and infrastructure, and not raise taxes on the working middle class is by raising taxes on the super rich.


The intellectual equipment needed for the job of the future is an ability to define problems, quickly assimilate relevant data, conceptualize and reorganize the information, make deductive and inductive leaps with it, ask hard questions about it, discuss findings with colleagues, work collaboratively to find solutions and then convince others.


I'm 40 years old. What I have seen my whole life is widening income inequality.


There is a crisis of public morality.

Instead of policing bedrooms, we ought to be doing a better job policing boardrooms.