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Why Our Democracy is Succeeding on Social Issues and Failing on Economic Issues

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Right wingers who were previously opposed to gay marriage have now "evolved" and support the initiative. The same conservatives who opposed a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants are now saying they're in favor. Did logic and reason change the collective GOP Mind? No. Public opinion is what changed. How do Americans feel about cutting tax loopholes? How do they feel about Medicare and Social Security? Socially, elected officials listen to the public. But, why is it that deals over economic policy almost always compromise what Americans want? Why is any tinkering of taxes forbidden? Robert Reich (Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley, and former Labor Secretary) explains why money is the priority, not American favor. https://twitter.com/RBReich http://robertreich.org/ Support The Point for FREE by doing your Amazon shopping through this link (bookmark it!) http://www.amazon.com/?tag=townsquaretyt-20
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Text Comments (70)
Evirthewarrior (4 years ago)
He states "90% support universal background checks" then shows a chart that doesn't show that at all, there are background checks at gunshows, almost all sales at gunshows are by FFL dealers, all FFL dealers are required to do a background check currently by federal law.
Earthshine Rush (4 years ago)
You all are being controlled by the rich and powerful.
balderdashery G (5 years ago)
Bang on again Mr. Reich!
Lobos222 (5 years ago)
Stop using SS. Use Sosec or something similar. The right wing uses the SS acronym to draw fake imaginable lines between social security and Nazism.
Lobos222 (5 years ago)
After looking it up and looking past the "scum" part. You do have a point. Lower trade walls in I-Nations to "compete" on a international level with "slaves" from India and China is never a good idea if saving jobs nationally is the goal. Robert Reich is a NeoLiberal (privitaice everything, deregulation, free trade etc) and did/dose still promote/defend NAFTA. Cheaper gods dosent really matter if the unemployment rate risks going over 10% and people cant afford to buy stuff.
Kino Tzoi (5 years ago)
Yup. Guess who helped shipped all those good jobs out of this country? You're watching him right now on this video.
Kino Tzoi (5 years ago)
I find it funny that Robert Reich never mentions that he was the chief architect behind NAFTA, which absolutely devastated the middle class by outsourcing good paying union jobs to third world countries. You wanna know why our democracy is failing on economic issues? It's because of neoliberal scum like Robert Reich.
Fight the Lies That Be (5 years ago)
Didn't they try to give him a raise and move his show to the weekend, essentially cutting his 5 day a week broadcast. Also, telling him to tone everything down.
GUMMRUCHK (5 years ago)
I would not say that the US is successful on social issues not at all 2013 and Americans are finally coming around to support these social issues I call that a failure on social issues.
philosophicalreason (5 years ago)
You are the one that has no clue,they never tried to "buy him out" he did not like that they would not let him tell stories the way he saw it and wanted to tell him what to say.My comment until proven different stands.
Fight the Lies That Be (5 years ago)
Yup, they destroyed the unions of MI, made it a desolate wasteland, moved jobs to the south with low wages, and then created NAFTA to send more factories to Mexico. Good Job, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush jr.
Fight the Lies That Be (5 years ago)
They tried to buy him out, he took the high road and left msnbc. Don't say stuff if you don't know wtf you are talking about.
Fight the Lies That Be (5 years ago)
That is a good idea, turn democrats into conservatives, get rid of the republicans and then we can create our own party of progressives.
joylesstiger (5 years ago)
Well, duh... Eloquently synthesized though.
Matt Schilling (5 years ago)
Those are economic issues, watch the video
Matt Schilling (5 years ago)
Robert Reich is awesome, hopefully he brings in the 4th reich
doggy4death (5 years ago)
and that's all included in the economic part. We are winning on social issues like weed and gay marriage, and it is obvious that this is what he is talking about. Stop picking an argument where there isn't any
Pat Doyle (5 years ago)
The President can't make this happen - Congress must. However, Presidents are just as well (or more so) rewarded by the current system as any other elected official. I would be interested to hear any other suggestions you have to get the people who profit by money in politics to vote to take it out. The ONLY remedy I can see is to vote them out until they act.
05candyman (5 years ago)
I have many, many suggestions. If only i was president.
Tyrone Biggums (5 years ago)
Economic inequality IS a social issue. So, we are failing social issues.
mrx00666 (5 years ago)
No dude he's not talking about social programs where money is involved in the least. We're talking about social issues that really have little or no financial gain for someone. It's very easy to push an issue through that speaks about a right that is being denied to someone, and where there is no opposition money-wise. Those can be won with the people changing their minds with polls showing the swing of it. So many politicians changing their "views". These issues mean nothing to them money-wise.
Pat Doyle (5 years ago)
How do you suggest we do that? I made one suggestion as to how. Simply saying it in all caps doesn't do anything. I'm not MAKING this complicated, it is complicated. We have a situation where the people who make the rules regarding money in politics have great incentive NOT to do that, and little incentive to do it. Only if we can get voters to make this a top priority can it happen.
05candyman (5 years ago)
You're making it more complicated then it is, get money OUT OF POLITICS. If this was any other nation, one vote and it would be gone. But we live in America, the worlds most dangerous JOKE.
Pat Doyle (5 years ago)
I agree. The problem is that the people who would have to make this happen are the same people profiting by the status quo. I would join a movement (even though I hate 1 issue voting) to vote against anyone who does not support drastic campaign finance reform. A couple of election cycles with a majority of legislators losing their jobs is the only way to make this happen. However, I suspect FOX and others would convince enough sheep to fight this.
biggydx (5 years ago)
Might I also say, that a Democracy doesn't function well when you have a highly misinformed general populace. When 60% of the voting populace can't even name a single supreme court justice, or that a large percentage of Americans wouldn't even pass their own citizenship test, we have a conflict of the two (Democracy & Information).
Politicians in the United States of American, as in dictatorships, don't have any or at least very little incentive to represent the people of the country. Don‘t get me wrong, the U.S.A. is not a dictatorship, it‘s just a completely broken representative democracy where the represented have become the politicians themselves and the wealthy they rely on.
05candyman (5 years ago)
Well, 93% of the nation agrees with background checks, but you don't see politicians flocking to the idea of stronger gun regulations, now do you? We have to understand it isn't reason, societal views or the tides of history that drives these politicians, no. What makes these politicians do the dirty things that they do, is the same thing that gets the strippers down at "Wandas'" dancing...money. We get money out of politics, and everything will begin to progress for the better.
05candyman (5 years ago)
Man, we're really spiraling down into a giant pit of shit, huh?
Drake Santiago (5 years ago)
In short, no meaningful political effort to reform our economy can take effect without first getting money out of politics. In a true democracy it should be that one person gets one vote. Organizations, like corporations, with a vast amount of cash, can subvert this democratic process by exercising influence that no single voter can hope to exert.
ChaoticUtilitarianism (5 years ago)
Ultimately the real solution here is to remember the lesson of Tragedy of the Commons. This is commonly told with a well-known example of a common field that cows destroy with overgrazing. This is commonly thought of as a resource morality play, but what is commonly overlooked is who actually benefits the most from having better fences and regulations. Of course the answer is those with cows. The rich are hurting themselves most by not properly fencing govt simply because they have the most!
ChaoticUtilitarianism (5 years ago)
He said "social issues", not "social programs". "Social programs" collectively are very much an economic issue.
waswestkan (5 years ago)
The supreme Court has ruled that money has free speech rights, so legislation can't get rid of big money. Perhaps underground campaigns to garner write in vote might work, I don't know. I have other suggestions that aren't violent at all, but may be labeled as terrorism.
waswestkan (5 years ago)
Of course social issues doesn't = social programs. Social Security/ Medicare a glaring exception though, because they are both.
shifty0ne (5 years ago)
If big money talks how do we get rid of the big money? Lets forget all the other gobbledygook and focus on our corupted politicans.
Toughnut (5 years ago)
Unfortunately, Fox News and the wordsmiths of the Republican party have poisoned the well of so many conservative voters that it will take generations to get true conservatism back on the right. For the time being, it appears that the Democrats are effectively filling that roll with the president at the helm.
Disulfide Bond (5 years ago)
Social issues != Social programs.
Stylez Davis (5 years ago)
How can you be condescending and ignorant at the same time? A constitutional republic is a form of liberal democracy. Do you think people are advocating for a direct democracy with no rule of law or protection of civil liberties?
klondike444 (5 years ago)
Energy, population, capitalism - that should do for a start. And it's "dummy".
Ned Thumberland (5 years ago)
Just wait until the gap between the "haves" and "have not's" grows to a point where those who listen to huge corporations are voted "out." Big money can help them fund their campaigns. But what if campaigns no longer bring in votes. It might take a while, but those elected officials who listen to "big money" will be discarded like garbage by the public.
Zom (5 years ago)
Giving an established path to foreign workers further de-powers low or under employed workers, who then have to compete against people who have other tax law structures and can work for less. legalizing undocumented workers is a corporate issue, and isn't about families being split (which is only a side issue) its about devaluing american workers even more and leveraging these slave wages as the next "minimum" wage that we have to compete against.
Leon Johnson (5 years ago)
I would love to see public a public opinion poll on whether 2+2=4. Unfortunately, not everything is a matter of a vote. Can we simply alter the the dynamics of supply and demand by having a vote on it? No. This means that you have to bend to economic realities because it will not bend for you. Please understand that if certain concepts like supply and demand are taken to be "laws" then there will necessarily have to be consequences that flow from them. If they are not laws then state your case.
Thagros (5 years ago)
Thanks, Professor!
princeleron (5 years ago)
Naw it's much more simple than that. Social issues require little work and people have things to hide behind. When it comes to non-social issues the matter of facts get involved and people are afraid to look stupid. People do not read enough to understand complex issues so the are forced to accept what they are told. I was a student intern in a lab and one day I shut down my older "co-workers" on health care and the economy and they make sure to never discuss politics when I was around.
NY OneLove (5 years ago)
What is he a dumby about?
NY OneLove (5 years ago)
But the immigration reform is pathetic. It doesn't match what the people desire.
klondike444 (5 years ago)
TYT isn't at that stage yet. Cenk Uygur is a bit of a dummy in some respects, but he knows politics and he has talent and personality and principles.
Lobos222 (5 years ago)
Worker rights are also social issues. In that area USA is failing and has been since they 80s. With less than 20% of Americans being Unionized anyone living there should not expect average jobs to become better paid.
LiamE69 (5 years ago)
Wolf dash pac dot com
Clanki (5 years ago)
On Social Issues the USA is a DISASTER as well! Decades behind europe DECADES!
Michael Martinez (5 years ago)
Actually background checks do tinker with big moneyed interests. Thats why it did not pass. If a universal background check were enacted, Gun manufacturers would naturally make less money. But you are right about immigration and gay marriage. Same thing with marijuana. A majority support its legalization, but it will remain illegal because of the financial interests of private prisons who have a stranglehold on Washington.
Serocco (5 years ago)
What does that have to do with social issues?
Kardashev (5 years ago)
It's not a democracy it is a constitutional republic from the title I can tell they don't have a clue.
philosophicalreason (5 years ago)
I am leary of that....most companies like TYT start out innocent enough than when they get big,they inevitably get bought off and paid to say what others want.
philosophicalreason (5 years ago)
I wont pretend to know about politics well except for the very basics,but why do republicans hate democrats so much?The history of republican forms of governments have failed,perfect examples are Rome and Germany.
Fafnd (5 years ago)
A very optimistic view of the issue professor. Interesting, but I disagree on what is driving these actions and it is not the will of the people.
klondike444 (5 years ago)
pfreddyp (5 years ago)
Robert Reich/Elizabeth Warren 2016
Greg Lawrence (5 years ago)
I like these little talks from Robert...about ten years too late.
crimsonsamuraiftw (5 years ago)
Lol I was going to say something to the same effect, thanks for saying it ahead of time.
John Bowling (5 years ago)
Economic changes to make things more equal would cut into our legislator's personal money, and they would rather ruin the middle and lower classes and not take a reduction in their already excessive income. They do not understand that continuing as it is would ruin the economy of our country - those without spendable income cannot buy. This is Econ 101 and our government has failed for over 20 years and is continuing to fail.
Christopher McGowan (5 years ago)
Every progressive person in the western world needs to see this video.
easternwarbird (5 years ago)
No. Americans want a prosperous economy. Their opinions on the means to get there is not as important.
ollopa1 (5 years ago)
So how the hell are we supposed to get moneyed interest out of politics when they have more political clout than the majority? Elections are won based on how much money a candidate can raise, so we get the option of voting for someone who promises change but doesn't keep the promise or voting for somebody who promises more of the same and does keep the promise.
Candyliz2003 (5 years ago)
Gee. I didn't see that coming.
Bruce LeeRoy (5 years ago)
Repub logic: Take a surplus, start giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy and start two wars and when there is a sudden deficit, blame it on "entitlement" programs like Medicare and SS.
mungojelly (5 years ago)
I don't suppose this is meant as a call to revolutionary direct action. But that's the only thing that can help. We must form large democratic unions and directly expropriate the means of production.
To be honest raising the min wage alone does nothing.
Lost Beetle (5 years ago)
Look at America 50 years ago, look at America just 20 years ago, compare the laws, compare the polls, yes it may be slower than desirable but America is winning on social issues.
4tech69 (5 years ago)
Mr. Reich love your work. However, please stop calling it a democracy, why would you spread this fallacy? I can also sum up why social issues are coming to light more often for the people. It's because of the economy. When things are bad, people start to take notice of issues they before ignored. Social issues being first on the list. The economy comes last because we have less power there because of the same reasons you talk about.
AznPride (5 years ago)

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