Robert Reich speaking truth to the clueless

Two years ago Robert Reich gave a lecture at Berkeley and posited what a candidate “who was forced to speak nothing but the truth” would have to say, and why he could never be elected.

  • A solution in Iraq is going to be tough.
  • Treating more sick people will mean younger people will pay more.
  • It’s too expensive to treat older people at the end of their life “so we’re going to let you die”.
  • If we use government to control costs there will be “less innovation” in medical technology and you should not expect to live much longer than your parents.
  • Global warming can only be tackled by a carbon tax which is going to cost you a lot of money.
  • We’re going to have to pay teachers more for quality education — costing you more — but we have to be willing to fire the turkeys despite the unions.
  • Anyone who does an unskilled, repetitive job will lose it in the near future to outsourcing or automation. And there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
  • A minimum wage doesn’t help as much as an earned income tax credit.
  • Helping people at the bottom earn more is going to cost higher income people more money.
  • Medicare will bankrupt the nation unless something is done and will impoverish the youth.
  • The best way to ameliorate global poverty is to do away with farm subsidies.

I particularly like this part:

The student audience, which at first clapped enthusiastically as Reich started to tell his unspeakable “truths”  stopped clapping by the end. Reich had uttered the fundamental heresy. You really can’t have something for nothing. Pulling in one direction meant giving way in another. He went on to say that America was hopelessly addicted to fantasy; that anyone who got up on stage and reeled off the points he had made was politically dead.

Do you remember John Bolton, our UN Ambassador? He too spoke the truth – everyone knew it but no one wanted to hear it and he was driven from his post. The trouble with denying the truth is that you can only do so for so long, and then it bites you.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Robert Reich speaking truth to the clueless

  1. Peg

    Hmmmm; you can’t have something for nothing. Pretty catchy – I’ll have to remember that.

    Too bad our president and Congress have no appreciation for this concept.

  2. Arouet

    I agree with every single thing Reich said, but I can’t get past Josh Bolton’s mustache long enough to take him seriously.