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Former cabinet member to speak about economy

Photo: Drake University

Robert Reich is a name not yet too familiar to Drake students, but after his Sept. 8 speech, that could change.

“To the average Joe, his name might not mean much, but most labor and economics policies come from those who are appointed, like him, not those who are elected,” stated Rachel Caufield, associate professor of politics and international relations.

Reich, the former secretary of labor for the Clinton administration and is currently the chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California Berkeley.

Reich has written 13 books, including “The Work of Nations,” which has been translated into 22 languages. In addition, he has written news columns, held television spots and has been the voice of American Public Media public radio. Caufield believes most of his success is due to not only his position in government, but to his personality.

“He is very outspoken, but also listens and responds well; it’s his most successful trait,” Caufield said. “He also has a great sense of humor which people like.”

Reich is also the founding editor of “American Prospect” magazine and the chairman of the citizen’s group “Common Cause.”
Caufield feels that everyone should attend the speech, not only politics majors. She felt that pharmacy majors might also be particularly interested because of their stake in the economy today. Sean Severe, assistant professor of economics, agreed.
“It is a great chance to hear from someone who knows from the inside how things work in government and economy,” he said.
Severe added that because of his involvement in both economics and politics, his views are prominent today.

“For my intro-level classes, the speech won’t really help, but long term you will at least get a feel for what’s going on in politics,” Severe said.

According to Caufield, Reich’s speech will be relevant to everyone who wants a job in the economy today and wants to see real world applications of politics and economics.

Recently named one of Time Magazine’s ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century, Reich has been making some of the most important policies on labor and economics. His remarks are particularly relevant in today’s economic standing. Caufield stated that the idea that we only learn in the classroom is ridiculous and this presentation would be a great way to engage in how theory meets practice.

Although Reich was most prominent during the Clinton administration, he remains an important part of politics and the economy today. In 2008, he endorsed President Barack Obama in his campaign and he continues to blog about most aspects of politics today.

Reich will be coming to speak at Drake University on Sept. 8. His speech, entitled “The Next Economy and America’s Future” will begin at 7 p.m. in Sheslow Auditorium with a question and answer segment to follow. This event is open to the public and is free of charge. Reich’s newest book, “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future,” will be available for purchase and there will be a book signing in Levitt Hall to follow.

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