For anyone who believes that liberal isn’t a dirty word but a term of honor , this book will be as revitalizing as oxygen. For in the pages of Reason , one of our most incisive public thinkers, and a former secretary of labor mounts a defense of classical liberalism that’s also a guide for rolling back twenty years of radical conservative domination of our politics and political culture.
To do so, Robert B. Reich shows how liberals can:
.Shift the focus of the values debate from behavior in the bedroom to malfeasance in the boardroom
.Remind Americans that real prosperity depends on fairness
.Reclaim patriotism from those who equate it with pre-emptive war-making and the suppression of dissent
If a single book has the potential to restore our country’s good name and common sense, it’s this one.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Reason|
|Release Date: 05-11-2004|
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|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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Prelude: The Revenge of the Radcons
Wealth and Power
It might help you to know a few things about me so that you understand where I’m coming from. I was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and grew up in a rural part of New York State, near the Connecticut border. My father worked six days a week and my mother five days a week at their two clothing stores. We weren’t poor, but I remember my father worrying a lot about paying the bills. Another thing you should know is I was very short for my age. I still am. Both my parents were normal size, so my short height was something of a puzzle. But being a very short boy, it was natural I got picked on at school.
There’s no way of proving these things, but I suppose my early worries about paying the bills and being bullied had a few long-term effects. As an adult, I’ve been teaching and writing about the economy and government—that is, about wealth and power. I’ve also had the honor of serving under three presidents, most recently in Bill Clinton’s cabinet. In these roles I’ve tried to help people without much money get better jobs, and also tried to stop some corporations from abusing their power.
The market is where wealth is accumulated; politics is where public power is exercised. In a democracy, they are supposed to be kept separate. But in fact, people with a lot of wealth exert significant political power, and people with a lot of power can arrange things so that they end up with a lot of wealth. When wealth and power are concentrated in a relatively few hands, democracy can become a sham and a lot of bullying can occur. The great liberal Supreme Cour