• The System

    by Robert B. Reich
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    The System
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May 11, 2020

Robert B. Reich

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes ROBERT B. REICH—renowned economist and author of The Work of NationsSaving Capitalism, and The Common Good—for a discussion of his latest book, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It. He will be joined in conversation by Harvard's MICHAEL J. SANDEL, author of Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? and What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets.

Details

Millions of Americans have lost confidence in our political and economic system. After years of stagnant wages, volatile job markets, and an unwillingness by those in power to deal with profound threats such as climate change, there is a mounting sense that the system is fixed, serving only those select few with enough money to secure a controlling stake.

With the characteristic clarity and passion that has made him a central civil voice, Robert B. Reich shows how wealth and power have interacted to install an elite oligarchy, eviscerate the middle class, and undermine democracy. Using Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase as an example, Reich exposes how those at the top propagate myths about meritocracy, national competitiveness, corporate social responsibility, and the "free market" to distract most Americans from their accumulation of extraordinary wealth, and power over the system. Instead of answering the call to civic duty, they have chosen to uphold self-serving policies that line their own pockets and benefit their bottom line. Reich's objective is not to foster cynicism, but rather to demystify the system so that we might instill fundamental change and demand that democracy works for the majority once again.

About Author(s)

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations and has written fifteen books, including The Work of Nations, which has been translated into twenty-two languages, and the best sellers The Common GoodSaving CapitalismSupercapitalism, and Locked in the Cabinet. His articles have appeared in The New YorkerThe AtlanticThe New York TimesThe Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, and he writes a weekly column for The Guardian and Newsweek. He is co-creator of the award-winning film Inequality for All, and the Netflix original Saving Capitalism, and co-founder of Inequality Media. He lives in Berkeley and blogs at robertreich.org.

Michael J. Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. His books What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets and Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? were international best sellers and have been translated into 27 languages. Sandel’s legendary course “Justice” was the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and has been viewed by tens of millions. His BBC series “The Public Philosopher” explores the philosophical ideas lying behind the headlines with participants from around the world.