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Robert B. Reich: Why the Rich Are Getting Richer and the Poor, Poorer

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Reich graduated from Yale Law School and served in the Clinton administration. Although he does not have a degree in economics, he has written several books on the subject, including “The Work of Nations”. Reich is considered an authority in “the relationship of governmental policy to the economic health of the nation”.

Reich believes that as large corporations go global, as they hire workers to do complex things all over the world, and as they export all over the world, they are having less impact on their own nation’s citizens’ standard of living. He believes that the traditional blue-collar worker who is relatively unskilled or semiskilled is disappearing fast in much of North America. Unskilled manufacturing jobs are going to Southeast Asia, Latin America, and to places around the world where they can be undertaken more cheaply than in the United States or Canada. He does not believe in writing off these workers though. For example, a check-out clerk at a grocery store, sitting behind a computer, who is able to look at data on the merchandise coming out of the store and use the data to control inventory can be a highly valued employee and earn a relatively high wage. He goes into great detail about all of this in his book “The Work of Nations”, which is a play on the title of Adam Smith’s book “The Wealth of Nations”. Reich believed in improving the economic position of the lower workers and I do not think that is a bad idea.

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