Robert Reich quotes

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Leadership #Teamwork #Long

  • The United States is a safe harbor.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Safe #United States #Harbors

  • The only way to grow the economy in a way that benefits the bottom 90 percent is to change the structure of the economy. At the least, this requires stronger unions and a higher minimum wage.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Stronger #Minimum Wage #Benefits

  • One thing I've learned from 35 years in the classroom is that people learn best when they are laughing, when they are emotionally hit, that it's both the brain and the heart.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Heart #Years #Laughing

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Opportunity #Equality #Differences

  • I have found over the years that the most important way of getting people to relax is self-deprecating humor.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Self #Years #People

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Running #War #Dirty

  • I want a shot for people like me to grow up and do something with themselves.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Growing Up #People #Want

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Teamwork #People #Together

  • I grew up poor. My mother raised a family of four on between $9,000 and $15,000 a year.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Mother #Years #Four

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

    #Memorial Day #America #Remembrance

  • I knew Hillary Clinton from undergraduate days and was enormously impressed with her. She was a terrific energy and enthusiasm, and a great organizer. And I knew that she was going to have a political future.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Political #Enthusiasm #Energy

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Track #Video #Watches

  • Yale Law School was the kind of place you went if you felt you needed to go to law school, maybe, for your resume, but you really didn't want to practice law. You wanted to do public policy, or maybe go into politics.
    -- Robert Reich

    #School #Law #Practice

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

    #Party #America #Atheism

  • Bill Clinton was a very, very good speaker. But like many people who are great speakers and great thinkers and have a lot of energy and ambition, he talked too much.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Ambition #People #Bills

  • The world of politics is divided between people who are introverts - who lose a little bit of energy out of each interaction they have so that by the time the day ends, after 1,000 interactions, they're exhausted - and people like Bill Clinton who are extroverted - who get a little bit of energy from each interaction.
    -- Robert Reich

    #People #World #Littles

  • The presidency is probably the loneliest office in America. Regardless of your friends, regardless of how good your marriage is, regardless of anything, you are alone there at the top.
    -- Robert Reich

    #America #Office

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Answers #Inequality #Response

  • We are paying teachers who are in charge of our human capital, arguably more important than our financial capital, a very tiny fraction of what Wall Streeters are paid.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Teacher #Wall #Important

  • One of the things I tell my students is that if you want to understand what's been going on and also what needs to be done, you've got to get out of the blame game. Some people on the left want to blame the rich and corporations. Some people on the right want to blame the poor and government. Either of those frames of reference gets you nowhere and they aren't even truthful. You've got to understand the dynamic itself.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Government #Games #People

  • If you give up on democracy, you might as well give up on everything.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Giving Up #Democracy #Might

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

    #Years #Income #Life Is

  • Britain's is traditionally a rigid class society.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Class #Britain

  • Humor itself is a great disinfectant. It enables people to listen.
    -- Robert Reich

    #People

  • Inequality is bad for everyone, not just the middle class and the poor
    -- Robert Reich

    #Class #Poor #Middle

  • The rich would do better with a smaller share of a rapidly growing economy then they're doing now with a large share of an economy that is barely growing at all.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Growing #Rich #Economy

  • When I was a kid, the bigger boys would pick on me. So I got an idea that I would make alliances with older boys, like just one or two, who would be my protectors.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Kids #Boys #Ideas

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Benefits #World #Majority

  • 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?"
    -- Robert Reich

    #Hands #People #Trying

  • If you ever want to get a sense of your own personal failure, look at yourself trying to get across a point that nobody is listening to and the situation gets worse and worse.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Listening #Trying #Want

  • 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

    #Class #Debt #Enough

  • If you give up on politics, you're giving up on democracy. And if you give up on democracy, you're basically saying to the moneyed interests, the powerful people and institutions of society, take it all. That's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Then we give up. Then we are 100 percent plutocracy.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Giving Up #Powerful #Self

  • I am not an economic determinist. If I were, I would throw up my hands; I just would not bother. I think it's wrong to be an economic determinist. I think it's wrong to simply say, "Well, inevitably, if you're poor, you're going to get a lousy education; if you're lower-middle class, the cards are going to be stacked against you, and you'll probably never get anywhere."
    -- Robert Reich

    #Thinking #Hands #Class

  • We reform the system. We save capitalism from its own excesses.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Reform #Excess #Capitalism

  • The poverty line understates the true amount of poverty because it measures it as three times the breadbasket that a family needs, but it doesn't consider all the other things that are inflating far, far faster than food prices.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Lines #Poverty #Three

  • If consumers don't have the wherewithal to spend because all the money's going to the top, and the people at the top only spend a very small fraction of what they earn, then the economy is almost inevitably destined to slow.
    -- Robert Reich

    #People #Economy #Fractions

  • Cutting taxes is not bad. But if you cut taxes on the wealthy, which is what they wanted to do, you're not helping people who need better schools and better infrastructure and healthcare. You're basically robbing the middle class and the poor to provide tax cuts to the rich.
    -- Robert Reich

    #School #Cutting #Class

  • I think that in politics, when people want to discredit a particular position, they say, "Oh, they are liberals," or "They are conservatives; we are centrists." Everybody wants to be a centrist.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Thinking #People #Want

  • If leadership is about anything, it's about leading. Not leading people back to where they already are, because they don't need that. They're already there.
    -- Robert Reich

    #People #Needs

  • Bill Clinton was a great politician. Bill Clinton loved a fight. He was willing to fight. But he also wanted to be loved. He wanted to be admired.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Fighting #Bills #Politician

  • In journalism, there are only two stories - "Oh, the wonder of it," and "Oh, the shame of it."
    -- Robert Reich

    #Two #Stories #Journalism

  • To be a skilled politician, you have to be genuine. To really make it work, you have to love people. You have to love the contact, you have to love the energy, you've gotta love inspiring people and getting their adulation in return. You can't separate what's genuine from what is necessary.
    -- Robert Reich

    #People #Inspiring Love #Return

  • I don't think that our problem, our jobs problem, is fundamentally a problem of trade. I think it has much more to do with the fact that we have not sufficiently educated our population. We have not got out of this great recession with adequate stimulus and adequate fiscal and monetary policies over all.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Jobs #Thinking #Population

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

    #Gay #Issues #Rights

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Real #Taken #Years

  • It is impossible to fight bullies merely by saying they're going too far.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Fighting #Bully #Impossible

  • It's not government's business what people do in their private bedrooms.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Government #People #Bedroom

  • You can't create a political movement out of pabulum.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Political #Movement

  • Standing up to bullies is the hallmark of a civilized society.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Bully #Hallmark #Civilized

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Dream #Moving #Hard Work

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Mean #Coherence #Obscurity

  • 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?
    -- Robert Reich

    #Home #Class #Why Not

  • In the life of a nation, few ideas are more dangerous than good solutions to the wrong problems.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Ideas #Problem #Dangerous

  • Averages don't always reveal the most telling realities. You know, Shaquille O'Neal and I have an average height of 6 feet.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Humorous #Reality #Feet

  • I think the Obama Administration has done a lousy job marketing and selling and explaining this entire thing. And, as a result, all of these right-wing front organizations financed by the Koch brothers, are blanketing the airwaves with lies about Obamacare. And people are scared.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Brother #Jobs #Lying

  • Most Americans are on a downward escalator. Median wage in the United States, adjusted for inflation, keeps on dropping.
    -- Robert Reich

    #United States #Dropping #Inflation

  • Terrorism itself is not the greatest danger we face,
    -- Robert Reich

    #Faces #Terrorism #Danger

  • Radical conservatives want to police bedrooms.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Police #Want #Bedroom

  • When top executives get huge pay hikes at the same time as middle-level and hourly workers lose their jobs and retirement savings, or have to accept negligible pay raises and cuts in health and pension benefits, company morale plummets. I hear it all the time from employees: This company, they say, is being run only for the benefit of the people at the top. So why should we put in extra effort, commit extra hours, take on extra responsibilities? We'll do the minimum, even cut corners. This is often the death knell of a company.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Running #Retirement #Jobs

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #America #Political #Criticism

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Jobs #Data #Decision

  • There is a crisis of public morality. Instead of policing bedrooms, we ought to be doing a better job policing boardrooms.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Jobs #Morality #Bedroom

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

    #White #Next #Economics

  • Look, any cut in greenhouse gases is going to be expensive for American consumers, who are in no mood to bear additional costs.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Cutting #Looks #Cost

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

    #Years #Wages #Workforce

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

    #Philosophy #Political #Growth

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

    #Democracy #Wealth #Concentration

  • In Washington, it's dog eat dog. In academia, it's exactly the opposite.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Dog #Opposites #Academia

  • Those who analogize the federal budget to a family's budget must know nothing about either.
    -- Robert Reich

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Class #America #Long

  • I think re-engineering or restructuring or downsizing or rightsizing or whatever you want to call it, it's basically firing, has gone way too far. Employees, as I've talked to them across the country, feel that they are not respected, they are not valued, they are worried about their jobs. They simply feel that the company is no longer loyal to them. Why should they be loyal to the company, they ask me. Why should I go the extra mile? Why should I care?
    -- Robert Reich

    #Country #Jobs #Thinking

  • On the Republican playing field, Republicans always win.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Winning #Fields #Republican

  • America's real business leaders understand unless or until the middle class regains its footing and its faith, capitalism remains vulnerable.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Real #Class #America

  • You can't inspire people if you are going to be uninspiring.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Moving #People #Inspire

  • Our moral authority is as important, if not more important, than our troop strength or our high-tech weapons. We are rapidly losing that moral authority, not only in the Arab world but all over the world.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Technology #Important #World

  • The problem right now is jobs. The problem right now is the economy and economic growth.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Jobs #Growth #Problem

  • Regardless of how you interpret the facts, you have to come to the conclusion that inequality is widening in the US and in almost every other country.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Country #Facts #Inequality

  • And now we're suffering the logical culmination of all this: the largest group of government-hati ng, racist, homophobic, misogynistic know-nothing, climate-change denying, evolution-denyi ng, science-denying , anti-immigrant House Republicans in history, bent on taking America back to the 19th century.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Government #America #House

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Thinking #Wish #Firsts

  • When the President decides to go to war, he no longer needs a declaration of war from congress.
    -- Robert Reich

    #War #President #Needs

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Powerful #Class #Government

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Believe #Government #Want

  • 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.
    -- Robert Reich

    #Real #Funny Things #People

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