Robert Reich on AFTERSHOCK

Video Title: Robert Reich on AFTERSHOCK

 

 

 

 

YouTube URL:  http://youtu.be/hNDgbRUwMSk

 

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Uploaded by Knopfdoubleday on Sep 20, 2010

A brilliant new reading of the economic crisis—and a plan for dealing with the challenge of its aftermath—by one of our most trenchant and informed experts.

When the nation’s economy foundered in 2008, blame was directed almost universally at Wall Street. But Robert B. Reich suggests a different reason for the meltdown, and for a perilous road ahead. He argues that the real problem is structural: it lies in the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top, and in a middle class that has had to go deeply into debt to maintain a decent standard of living.

Persuasively and straightforwardly, Reich reveals how precarious our situation still is. The last time in American history when wealth was so highly concentrated at the top—indeed, when the top 1 percent of the population was paid 23 percent of the nation’s income—was in 1928, just before the Great Depression. Such a disparity leads to ever greater booms followed by ever deeper busts.

Reich’s thoughtful and detailed account of where we are headed over the next decades reveals the essential truth about our economy that is driving our politics and shaping our future. With keen insight, he shows us how the middle class lacks enough purchasing power to buy what the economy can produce and has adopted coping mechanisms that have a negative impact on their quality of life; how the rich use their increasing wealth to speculate; and how an angrier politics emerges as more Americans conclude that the game is rigged for the benefit of a few. Unless this trend is reversed, the Great Recession will only be repeated.

Reich’s assessment of what must be done to reverse course and ensure that prosperity is widely shared represents the path to a necessary and long-overdue transformation. Aftershock is a practical, humane, and much-needed blueprint for both restoring America’s economy and rebuilding our society.

 

 

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Transcription:

 

Opening Credits:

 

ROBERT B. REICH

 

AFTER-SHOCK

 

THE NEXT ECONOMY AND AMERICA’S FUTURE

 

We have not seen this kind of an aftershock.  With regards to a recession since the Great Depression.

 

And it requires us to re-think what this economy is all about.  What’s happening now is not a typical cyclical phenomenon.

 

It’s structural.  There is something really fundamental going on.  And until we face that fundamental reality.

 

And until we understand the choice the choice in front of us.  Then we are going wobbling in this after shock for a very long time.

 

The structural problem we are dealing with is that.  Although the economy has been growing for the last 30 years.  Almost all of the gains of growth have gone to a small sliver people to the top.

 

I mean 30 years ago, ah the top 1% was taking home around 9% of total income.  And then more and more, the income got concentrated at the top.

 

To the point where like 2007.  The top 1% was taking home about 23 1/2% of total income.

 

And the problem is when you get that kind of lopsided distribution.

 

There is no way that the vast middle class has enough purchasing power.  To buy the goods and services the economy is capable of producing.

 

There are remarkable connections and parallels.  Between the Great Recession and the Great Depression.

 

Ah first of all if you look at the 2 peak years, with the top 1% of the population was taking home over 23% of total income.

 

When were they?  One was 1928 and of course we know what happened in 1929.  That was the Great Crash.

 

The other was 2007.  That we know what happened in 2008 and there after.

 

The choice has a practical matter.  And people would come to understand this.

 

It’s between either reform that expands the circle of prosperity and enables more and more Americans to partake the gains of economic growth.

 

Or a reactionary politics that turns us against each other, and against the rest of the world.

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