Today I am launching a digital newsletter on power, politics, and the real economic system.
It will include thought pieces from me, along with audio recordings, office hour opportunities, and even a few of my drawings.
I’m hoping to create a more direct line with readers on the issues facing America, where the power is lodged, and how to change the structure to make our system work for the people. Please consider joining the community at robertreich.substack.com.
The first post is duplicated below.
We’ve been through a traumatic few years – Donald Trump, the pandemic, a racial reckoning, an anti-democracy insurrection, environmental devastation. The tempest isn’t over. If anything, the forces of authoritarianism, inequality, corruption, climate change and injustice seem to be intensifying.
Over the years I’ve grown ever more convinced that the only way our society can improve and our democracy can function is if people know the truth, and understand how the system functions and actions they can take to improve it.
Which is why, whatever else I’ve done, I’ve always been a teacher – in classrooms, as a writer of books and columns, and a maker of documentaries and videos (and even an amateur cartoonist). And I was a teacher in a different way when I argued before the Supreme Court, served as a cabinet member, and advised politicians.
In recent years, I’ve utilized social media – working with a small team of talented people who have helped me hone sometimes complicated concepts into sharp, simple, sometimes humorous messages. This is the essence of good teaching.
But I’ve wanted to try a medium whose success can’t be measured in the number of clicks on social media or even in how many people have watched one of my documentaries or read one of my books. I’ve wanted more direct communication – a means of building a community of learners, activists, reformers, and organizers.
Most of all, I’m seeking thoughtful people who are curious about the system – why it’s failing so many, and how to change it for the better.
Let me begin by setting out my hopes and expectations for this letter. First, I’m excited to see what this space brings and hope you’ll be part of shaping it.
I’m planning to post most days, and reserve at least one day for discussion.
I want to key off current news, but I don’t want this to be a mere summary of what’s happened or will likely happen. You can get that elsewhere. I will try to provide context, background. Connect the dots.
I want to try out several media in this space – not just the written word but also a podcast, some drawings, and a few videos that I and my team are producing. And I want to hear back from you. To be a good teacher is to be engaged in a discussion and be willing and eager to learn from the people you’re teaching.
Most of this will be available to all readers, although I intend to limit some of it to paid subscriptions because I want to compensate my colleagues for their time and efforts, and be able to invest in other projects – perhaps another documentary. The more support you’re able to provide, the more I’ll be able to do.
I hope you sign up to receive this newsletter, and that many of you will also pay for a subscription.
And I hope our discussions will inspire you to reach out to others – widening our community and deepening our own powers of understanding, persuasion, and activism.
Please join me.