“The common good is no longer a fashionable idea,” writes Robert Reich in his latest book, The Common Good. Yet renewing the concept, he argues, is urgent: “If there is no common good,” he writes, “there is no society.”
Reich’s new title offers both a careful accounting of the American history of moral deterioration, beginning with the Nixon administration, and a call to arms to bring back moral leadership. It’s also a searing indictment of the Trump administration’s frequent dismissal of “the common good,” which Reich believes undercuts our democracy.
Reich makes a persuasive case that the shift toward greed and power and away from the common good has been hugely detrimental to our society. He urges leaders to renew trust in institutions they oversee; if they are found guilty of using their positions for personal gain, Reich presses us to hold them accountable.
Reich has served in three administrations, including as Secretary of Labor for Bill Clinton, and is the author of thirteen books including 2015’s Saving Capitalism. He is currently a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley.
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