Public Immorality

Robert Reich is always worth listening to whether about economics or trade or work, usually all three at the same time.  In recent blog posts he’s gone after the disappearance of public morality in great corporations, an absolute necessity, he says:

An economy depends fundamentally on public morality; some shared standards about what sorts of activities are impermissible because they so fundamentally violate trust that they threaten to undermine the social fabric.

He’s written about it twice in recent weeks, following on earlier posts about The Outrageous Ascent of CEO Pay and Corporate Welfare in California

 

 

At a time many Republican presidential candidates and state legislators are furiously focusing on private morality – what people do in their bedrooms, contraception, abortion, gay marriage – America is experiencing a far more significant crisis in public morality.

CEOs of large corporations now earn 300 times the wages of average workers. Insider trading is endemic on Wall Street, where hedge-fund and private-equity moguls are taking home hundreds of millions.

A handful of extraordinarily wealthy people are investing unprecedented sums in the upcoming election, seeking to rig the economy for their benefit even more than it’s already rigged.

Yet the wages of average working people continue to languish as jobs are off-shored or off-loaded onto “independent contractors.”

All this is in sharp contrast to the first three decades after World War II.

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And if you didn’t see him in Inequality for All, here is a trailer.  Available out there in internet land

 

 

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