Robert Reich: The Trump Economy Is Doomed from the Start

Robert Reich

Robert Reich Former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Professor at Berkeley

How to build the economy? Not through trickle-down economics. Tax cuts to the rich and big corporations don’t lead to more investment and jobs. 

The only real way to build the economy is through “rise-up” economics: Investments in our people – their education and skills, their health, and the roads and bridges and public transportation that connects them.

Trickle-down doesn’t work because money is global. Corporations and the rich whose taxes are cut invest the extra money wherever around the world they can get the highest return. 

Rise-up economics works because American workers are the only resources uniquely American. Their productivity is the key to our future standard of living. And that productivity depends on their education, health, and infrastructure.
Just look at the evidence. 

Research shows that public investments grow the economy.

A recent study by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth found, for example, that every dollar invested in universal pre-kindergarten delivers $8.90 in benefits to society in the form of more productive adults. 

Similarly, healthier children become more productive adults. Children who became eligible for Medicaid due to expansions in the 1980s and 1990s were more likely to attend college than similar children who did not become eligible. 

Investments in infrastructure – highways, bridges, and public transportation – also grow the economy. It’s been estimated that every $1 invested in infrastructure generates at least $1.60 in benefits to society. Some research puts the return much higher.

In the three decades following World War II, we made huge investments in education, health, and infrastructure. The result was rising median incomes. 

Since then, public investments have lagged, and median incomes have stagnated. 

Meanwhile, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush’s tax cuts on the top didn’t raise incomes, and neither will Donald Trump’s.  

Trickle-down economics is a hoax. But it’s a convenient hoax designed to enrich the moneyed interests. Rise-up economics is the real deal. But we must fight for it. 

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Reposted from Alter Net

Robert Reich served as the nation’s 22nd Secretary of Labor and now is a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley. His latest book, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, is now in bookstores. His earlier book, “Supercapitalism,” is out in paperback. For copies of his articles, books, and public radio commentaries, go to www.RobertReich.org.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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