Press Releases

New: About Robert Reich: Things Are Seldom What They Seem!!!

Harry Brill
Saturday October 08, 2016 - 09:15:00 PM

In 1993, when Robert Reich was head of head of the U.S. Department of Labor, he supported President Clinton's notorious NAFTA legislation, which decimated about 700,000 domestic jobs. In other ways as well, the law was harmful to working people and their families. He denied that there would be any major net job loss despite the evidence. Later on he acknowledged the damage NAFTA caused. 

Has Reich changed course since then? Rhetorically, yes. But in reality, not quite. Currently Reich is supporting Laurie Capitelli for mayor of Berkeley although Capitelli is among the most conservative members of the City Council. In fact, Reich attributes the recent victory of the minimum wage to Capitelli's work on the issue although the very opposite has been true. As among the most active participants in obtaining an improved minimum wage, I can say with certainty that this is false. Instead, among the key players were Jesse Arreguin, a latino, and Kriss Worthington, both progressive candidates, who are running against Capitelli for mayor. Arreguin is a very progressive latino who is serving on the city council. On labor issues, he is many light years ahead of Capitelli. 

Reich does not seem to be enthusiastic about local activists. Several years ago he had written critical comments about Berkeley's Tax the Rich group, which contained observations that were untrue. Reich lives in the same area where the Tax the Rich group rallies. Yet during our five years rallying on Solano Avenue he never stopped by even once to engage us. We are not beyond criticism but nor are we beyond reach, although Reich apparently thinks so.