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A New Democratic Platform

Robert Reich is a great leader in the Democratic Party.  After serving as Secretary of Labor from 1993 to 1997 he became a fixture in thoughtful magazines, speeches, and talk shows.  He is currently a Chancellor’s Professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UCal, Berkeley.

Reich has recently collaborated with moveon.org to create a series of short videos describing “The Big Picture” – things which need to be done to transform our economy into a more dynamic, fair, and productive new economy for a post-depression world.  Taken together, I believe these make up a new platform for the Democratic Party which must be a central organizing piece for the elections in 2016.

Whether or not you agree with Reich, he and this platform are a force to be reckoned with.

Since I have yet to see them presented together in one place as a coherent work, I have taken the liberty of doing so myself.  Each item is presented here with the title as a link to the original post on Reich’s blog, with the short video above it.  Please follow the links for more information in Reich’s own words.

Initially, this project was billed as “Ten Ideas to Save the Economy”.  There are now 12 videos in the series, branching out a bit into political reform.  If there are more they will be added later.

1.  Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 per hour

2.  Make Work Family Friendly

3.  Expand Social Security


4.  Bust Up Wall Street

5.  Reinvent Education

6.  End Corporate Welfare

7.  Strengthen Unions

8.  Raise the Estate Tax on the Very Rich

9.  Make Polluters Pay Us

10.  End Mass Incarceration Now

11.  Why Medicare isn’t the Problem, it’s the Solution

12.  Most Important of All, Get Big Money Out of Politics


11 thoughts on “A New Democratic Platform

    • We have to strengthen the bargaining power of labor one way or the other. Right now, working people are at a terrible disadvantage and are simply not getting their fair share of the pie. Some of that will work itself out in a tighter labor market, which as you know I believe is coming as Baby Boomers retire, but that alone is still not enough.

    • Yes, I didn’t say much, did I? 🙂
      The short answer is that Reich takes everything a bit further than I would, but I support everything he says in principle for sure.
      I would like to see something more for employers in here as part of a bargaining chip – for example, I am still working on what it would mean if we adopted the mantra “Tax profits, not labor” – how can we reduce the overhead per employee to make higher wages, specifically the minimum wage, more palatable?
      But as an opening position from the Democratic side of the debate I think that Reich has done something absolutely wonderful. If this is what we debate and move towards compromise and consensus on we will do allright.

  1. This is exactly what the country needs. I can’t say that I am 100% behind what Robert Reich says but this is a solid plan that definitely needs consideration. Has anyone running for president endorsed this? I would feel a lot better about Hillary if she came out for this plan or something very much like it. I would assume that given his background Robert Reich supports her, is that true?

    • Reich has not endorsed anyone, and he speaks far more about Sanders than Clinton at this point. I would hope that he could influence Clinton and her team.
      You and I are on the same page with respect to this platform, as I said above. It is at the very least where the Democratic Party needs to start. The election is a great time to work very hard to sell this to the public and build a national consensus on these issues.

  2. How about requiring everyone to have an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering.

    Double e as it was known in my day : )


    • Electrical and Computer Engineering or ECE now at most schools. 🙂 But seriously, there is work of all kinds to be done. We all do better when we all do better, which is to say that when everyone can reach their full potential of productivity and happiness we all live in a more productive and happy world. For some people, that’s installing or physically making something. For some people that’s thinking and designing. For some it’s inspiring and leading. Each role is important and each needs people who can do their best. That takes education and opportunity.

  3. Study and innovation however always ruffles a few feathers”…

    Take Robert Greene writing 1592 what is the first historical mention of Shakespeare:

    “”…for there is an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers, that with his Tygers hart wrapt in a Players hyde, supposes he is as well able to bombast out a blanke verse as the best of you: and being an absolute Johannes fac totum, is in his owne conceit the onely Shake-scene in a countrey”

    A rough translation would be: Shakespeare is nothing but an attention-grabbing upstart, who makes himself seem talented by performing our plays, is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and thinks that he can write as well as us: he is a Jack-of-all-trades who is conceited enough to think that he is the best actor in the country.””


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