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.
A store can’t make a profit if it isn’t open, can it? On one very special day of the year, however, it may be much more profitable to stay closed. That special day is Thanksgiving, a sacred holiday that unites families and many traditions of this great Promised Land of North America.
How is that possible? Because the backlash against being open ahead of “Black Friday” is growing and more stores are not just staying closed but announcing their plans proudly. It’s becoming a great selling point that may help them boost sales in the weeks after – and perhaps put an end to the horrible encroachment on Thanksgiving without a single law being passed.
Black Friday is well named. The term seems to originate with the Philadelphia Police, who in 1966 started to dread the massive disruption in traffic that put them all on overtime the day after Thanksgiving. The massive public expense for the benefit of retailers was given the dark moniker because it was something that the city wanted to dissuade.
It’s worth noting that this was the first holiday retail season after the debut screening of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in December 1965, which also decried how commercialism has destroyed Christmas.
From this simpler time, things have only gotten worse. After a few decades of tacit acceptance of the dark day, the hours have been pushed back from a 6AM start time to before midnight. This year, Wal-Mart plans to open at 8PM on Thanksgiving Day and workers are organizing a strike that may shut the whole operation down. The issue? Over work, under pay – and much of the cost of low, low prices ultimately born by the public. It’s time to put a stop to Black Friday as we know it.