Reich, Robert Bernard

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Reich, Robert Bernard

Robert Bernard Reich (rīsh, rīk), 1946–, American political economist and government official, b. Scranton, Pa. He attended Dartmouth, Oxford (where he and Bill Clinton were Rhodes scholars), and Yale Law School. After graduation in 1973 he entered government service, becoming assistant solicitor general in the Dept. of Justice (1974–76) and director of policy planning at the Federal Trade Commission (1976–81). He taught at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government (1981–92) and was secretary of labor (1993–96) in the first Clinton administration. A neoliberal, Reich supported the development of high-tech industries, economic flexibility, labor-management cooperation, limited government intervention in labor disputes, and the education of a technologically adept workforce. He also has been critical of the influence of corporations and the wealthy on government. From 1997 to 2005 he was a professor of social and economic policy at Brandeis Univ. Since 2006 he has been a professor of public policy at the Univ. of California, Berkeley. His books include The Next American Frontier (1983), The Work of Nations (1991), Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America (2004), Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life (2007), Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future (2010), and Saving Capitalism for the Many, Not the Few (2015).

See his memoir Locked in the Cabinet (1997).

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