“Inequality for All”: Economist Robert Reich Vs. the One Percent

In Jacob Kornbluth's documentary Inequality for All, the famed economist, UC Berkeley professor, and jovial short person Robert Reich (pronounced “Reish,” like you're slurring “rice”) takes us through a PowerPoint-augmented lecture about the disappearance of the middle class, and just why the One Percent has all the money. It's not actually strictly fair to call Inequality for All a lecture, because while the framing device is Reich speaking to his class along with many Errol Morris-style talking heads, it's thoroughly entertaining even while being more than a little depressing. Reich himself is charismatic and upbeat (and really likes Dolly Parton's “9 to 5”), and the points he makes will probably resonate with those who don't automatically write him off as a commie pinko. As Reich tells us, his first job was with the Ford Administration — hardly a liberal hotbed — and while he went on to work for Democratic Presidents Carter and Clinton, he also guest-hosted for Bill O'Reilly on Fox News. But Reich remained a centrist as the culture shifted around him, resisting the ever-increasing partisan battles, and we see O'Reilly recently dismissing Reich as a communist — his punishment for not toeing the pro-corporate company line. Is Inequality for All a hagiography of Reich? People who disagree with him will probably think so.

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