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Three big myths blinding us to economic truth

Robert Reich

  1. The “job creators” are CEOs, corporations and the rich, whose taxes must be low in order to induce them to create more jobs

    Reality check: The real job creators are the vast middle-class and the poor, whose spending induces businesses to create jobs. Which is why raising the minimum wage, extending overtime protection, enlarging the Earned Income Tax Credit, and reducing middle-class taxes are all necessary.

  2. The critical choice is between the “free market” or “government”

    Reality check: The free market doesn’t exist in nature. It’s created and

    enforced by government. And all the ongoing decisions about how it’s organized – what gets patent protection and for how long (human genome?), who can declare bankruptcy (corporations? homeowners? student debtors?), what contracts are fraudulent (insider trading?) or coercive (predatory loans? mandatory arbitration?), and how much market power is excessive (Comcast and Time Warner?) – depends upon government.

  3. We should worry most about the size of government

Reality check: We should worry about who and what government is for. When big money from giant corporations and Wall Street inundate our politics, all decisions relating to #1 and #2 above will be rigged against average workers.

Source: Robert Reich’s blog (reproduced in Alternet, 11 Mar 2015)

Robert B. Reich is a professor at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and former secretary of labor in the Clinton Administration. He also served on President Obama’s transition advisory board. His latest book is “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future.” His homepage is

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