Search for...
Follow @ontheissuesorg
OnTheIssuesLogo

Robert Reich on Government Reform

Former Secretary of Labor; Democratic Challenger MA Governor


Politicians subjected to more lobbying & money than in past

Large corporations have less economic power now than they had 3 decades ago. The world economy contains far fewer oligopolies than it did decades ago, and almost no monopolies apart from those created or maintained by government.

As for politicians, they have not grown noticeably more corrupt, rapacious, or otherwise irresponsible than they were 3 decades ago. Politics has no more rotten apples than most corporations, although other occupations are typically spared the rotten headlines. In recent decades, however, politicians have been subjected to a great deal more lobbying than before, and the need for more money to finance their campaigns has grown. For this reason, their behavior has changed. The immense increase in lobbying and campaign money, however, is not due to any increase in the market power of any individual corporation; it stems, paradoxically, from a decrease in their market power.

Source: Supercapitalism, by Robert Reich, p. 10-11 , Sep 9, 2008

Cut wasteful programs, start with across-the-board 3% cuts

I’d look for places to cut wasteful spending. I’d start by cutting administrative costs by three percent across the board. I’d also focus on eliminating unnecessary make-work jobs, like the $18 million a year on patronage jobs in the court system. Over the past four years, they’ve cost the state more than $50 million. Or, to take another example, I’d cut the $4.5 million the Republican administration now spends on press secretaries. Political corruption [no longer] takes the form of outright bribes, or even campaign contributions expressly linked to particular votes. It is more subtle.

Here's how it works. A wealthy individual receives an invitation to have coffee with a Congressman. The photograph memorializing the coffee chat, complete with signature, hangs on the person's office wall.

What does this mean for the wealthy individual in incalculable. Suddenly he has become a person of influence.

Source: Link , Sep 17, 2002

Establish satellite governor’s office in Berkshire County

Reich said that if he is elected, a satellite governor’s office will be established in Berkshire County.

Standing on a wooden box behind the lectern, Reich, who is 4’10“ tall, drew laughs when he declared himself to be ”the only candidate with a real platform.“

Source: D.R. Bahlman, Berkshire Eagle , Apr 22, 2002

Money corrupts politics subtly

Political corruption [no longer] takes the form of outright bribes, or even campaign contributions expressly linked to particular votes. It is more subtle.

Here's how it works. A wealthy individual receives an invitation to have coffee with a Congressman. The photograph memorializing the coffee chat, complete with signature, hangs on the person's office wall.

What does this mean for the wealthy individual in incalculable. Suddenly he has become a person of influence. Such a reputation is valuable to him socially & financially.

In return, the politician may or may not get a campaign contribution directly from the wealthy individual. But through the wealthy individual the politician gains access to a network of wealthy people: the individual's friends & business colleagues. These new contacts may have previously harbored misgivings about the politician's values or objectives. But now the wealthy individual's relationship to the politician reassures them.

Source: The Future of Success, by Robert Reich, p.137-138 , Feb 8, 2002

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Government Reform.
  • Click here for a profile of Robert Reich.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Robert Reich.
  • Click here for AmericansElect.org quiz by Robert Reich.
Other pundits on Government Reform: Robert Reich on other issues:


Opinion Leaders on the Right:
Milton Friedman (Nobel Economist)
Rush Limbaugh (Radio Talk Show Host)
Ayn Rand (Author and Philosopher)
Heritage Foundation (Think Tank)
Libertarian Party
Republican Party
Ronald Reagan(President,1981-1989)

Opinion Leaders on the Left:
American Civil Liberties Union
Noam Chomsky (Author and Philosopher)
Arianna Huffington (Internet Columnist)
Robert Reich (Professor and Columnist)
Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks)
Green Party
Democratic Party
John F. Kennedy(President,1961-1963)
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty

Page last updated: Jul 07, 2014