Robert Reich disturbed by something called ‘indefensible wealth’

Yes, indefensible wealth. We’re pretty sure we don’t have it, and we’re certain if you asked him, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich would say he doesn’t have it either. His old boss might, but we’d need a little more information to know for sure.

How much do they pay Reich to teach this stuff at Berkeley? That might be where the “indefensible” bit comes in.

  • Silenttype78

    This is the sort of utter st00pidity taught at universities ALL over the country!
    We’ve been sold a load a crap about the importance of 4 yr. (+) degrees.

    A 40k mistake I’m steering my kids away from.

    • waltermitty2012

      Please rethink sending your kids to college. It’s not a mistake. In general, people with a 4-year degree earn more during their lifetime and have a lower rate of unemployment. The starting salary for a mechanical engineer is almost $60,000 a year.

      • Silenttype78

        I’m pushing them toward 2 yr tech/trade programs. Take some time to explore other options.
        Learn a valuable trade,reevaluate once completed.
        Why do we constantly push this notion that a 4 year degree is the only path to or measure of success?

        Ultimately it’s up to them.
        They are coming from a home where both parents are degree holders.This is not an uninformed choice and we are not the only ones telling their young to look into other options.

        • waltermitty2012

          My oldest will be ready for college in 8 years, by then college will probably cost twice what it does today. Hopefully, he will earn some scholarships to defray the cost. I just hope his sister does too.

          We want them to go to college, actually, we want them to want to go to college. I even thought of arranging a trip to U of A this year or next just to see what its like as an inducement.

          I think there’s a lot to the saying, “The more you know, the farther you’ll go.” Granted, college isn’t for everybody, but if you have a chance to go, take it and make the most of it.

          • Silenttype78

            The University of Alabama “U of A” ? My husband is a proud University of Alabama alumnus. He wouldn’t trade his time there for…well…most anything.
            His memories have little to do with time that went towards credit hours.
            I believe knowledge is a choice and learning happens both in and out of classrooms.
            There’s no shame in learning a skill that is valuable as well as rewarding.
            I hate that we have become a society of “intellectuals” where physical hard work is snubbed and seen as some sort of “less” worth while pursuit.
            Especially when idiots like this tool are benefiting directly from this line of thought.

          • waltermitty2012

            Think Tucson, instead. Though I’ve been to Alabama many, many times and the Greenbrier, the original one (I’ve been to both), is one of my favorite places to eat. I love their hush puppies.

            I’m not trying to judge you or anyone else. We need plumbers, painters, masons as much as we need doctors, dentists and engineers.

            I agree that whatever you choose to do should be rewarding. But, if you have the skill and talent to do more, to learn more, you should live live up to them. I don’t think we’ve become a society of intellectuals, but we do live in a society where we value knowledge and hard work.

            I know a lot of people who spent 10 years or more to earn their degree and all of them worked full-time while going to school. As for myself, after a stint in the Army, I had enough money to go to school and graduate debt free.

          • Jillane Kent

            I second the University of Alabama endorsement. Though my eldest decided not to go there, they offer free tuition and housing to any National Merit Finalist/Semifinalist and can attract top students that way. It is also a beautiful campus.

          • Calcat36

            Funny you write that. This weekend my daughter had 4 friends stay over. I made a big breakfast and sat down to eat with them. They asked why it is ok to talk about mooslims in public school but they cannot say Merry Christmas. Out came the Constitution. They LOVED the discussion when the “old world language” was translated into today’s language that they understand! The thing that offended them most? When they were disciplined for saying “God bless you” after someone sneezed! Teacher said that is forbidden! I hope no one sneezes now. The teacher is in for a lesson on the First Amendment!

          • GoSellCrazySomeplaceElse

            The problem isn’t the four year degree, it’s the total indoctrination of liberalism of the students. As a parent, you must talk to your children daily about America and her history. You must teach your kids, educate them on our constitution, bill of rights and freedom. And hopefully, their morals and judgement will prevail over the lies of a liberal college education. When your children are truly armed with knowledge, no one will be able to take that away. Good luck to all your kids.

      • Frustrated Teacher

        I have two daughters. One is definitely the 4 year degree type and possible beyond. The other I don’t know about. She is not a great student and her interests are in areas where a degree will not really help her. There are a LOT of 6 figure jobs out there in trades and tech that do NOT need a 4 year degree. What we are headed for is a LOT of degreed people working at McDs and Circle K.

      • Blame Big Government

        An old stale and pre-Great Recession statistic. You’re looking a rear view mirror

      • V the K

        What is the starting salary for a Womyn’s Studies major? I’ll check with Starbucks.

        • mary

          V, that is a good one!

      • Jillane Kent

        That is highly dependent upon what they decide to study, as you have acknowledged. For every 60K mechanical engineer, my husband (a University professor) happens upon a former humanities major working at the mall in a position that makes no use of their time and investment.

      • RightThinking1

        A week ago, we developed a sewer clog. After a call, a guy shows up, rolls his rooter machine out of the van. 45 mins. later I’m writing a check (fairly gratefully) for $150. Assuming he has the calls, doing 4 such jobs a day would be easy, time-wise. The math is easy too: 4 x 150 x 5 = $3000/wk.

        None of my engineer pals are getting paid anything like that.

        • Hiraghm

          Now calculate his expenses. Now calculate the weeks he doesn’t get any calls. Now calculate the days that he has to do one call all day long. Caculate rent for the office, expenses for office supplies and furniture, payroll, etc.

          I don’t think you can calculate any of that without attempting the trade.

          • RightThinking1

            I never supposed for a moment the fellow doesn’t have significant overhead. Having spent a good deal of my career as an independent contractor, I well understand all of those things.

            When people would ask me what it was like to be self-employed, I would describe all of the risks, and there are many. The most significant of which was, when I stopped working (for whatever reason), the business stopped. There were constant worries; where was the next contract going to come from? What if I was disabled for some reason. Etc., etc.

            Conversely, one of the great rewards was that I spent *ZERO* time being PO’d with the management, arranged vacations as I wished, and directly enjoyed the fruits of my labors.

            The point of my original post was that a diligent skilled tradesman can enjoy a comfortable income. There were certainly many, many aerospace engineers that were laid off of their jobs in the 80’s that would have been, perhaps still would be, envious of his circumstances.

            My bottom line would be, the rooter guy provides a more meaningful and valuable service than Robert Reich.

          • Jillane Kent

            Now calculate the student loan payments that he doesn’t have to make. What I would not give to go back in time and never sign on that particular dotted line.

    • OutdoorFrontiers

      There’s not a darned thing wrong with working in the trades. A good plumber or electrician will earn good money without thousands in college debt…

      • Boo Rhodes

        True for now, but unfortunately as time goes on these fascists will make your children get licenses for whatever business they decide to run and will only accept those businesses. If they have their way all the professional trades will require a degree from their colleges because they will make them available to “everyone”.

    • GW

      I agree. I’m going to tell my kids to treat college like job training. Unless you need the degree to get the job, don’t spend the money. Going $100K into debt to end up working at Starbucks is not a good financial plan. Personally, I am in engineering and my degree has paid off.

    • ceemack

      I’ll tell you what I told my students during my brief stint teaching in a university. College does help you in life, but education is not just a route to a better job or a higher income–it’s a goal in and of itself. A proper education helps a person better understand himself (or herself) and the surrounding world.

      The fact that so much mis-education goes on in today’s academia doesn’t mean that education is a mistake.

      I went to a state university, where the cost was low enough that I could pay the fees out of the proceeds from my part-time job. There were good teachers and there were crappy teachers. You could coast along with the crappy teachers, learning nothing, or you could challenge yourself and take classes with the good teachers–the ones who gave you writer’s cramp because you had so many notes to take. You got out of it what you put into it. Life is a bit like that, isn’t it?

      Rather than telling your children not to go to college, try to find the right college. They’re out there. Hillsdale and Chapman are just a couple. Help them understand that even in a good college they’ll have to be careful under whom they study, and very often they’ll have to see through the B.S. being spouted by their professors–especially the ones who got their Ph.D.s at Berkely in the 60s.

      Stay involved in their education, so you can help see a bigger picture than what their professors may be giving them.

  • dwsmokin

    Wow-perhaps he’s right. With all these filthy wealthy types like Al Gore, George Soros, Bill Gates…oh, sorry.

    • MadDog1

      He’s right about what exactly? Can you explain “indefensible wealth?” And why is it indefensible? Is there defensible wealth?

  • V the K

    The Napoleon complex is strong with this one.

    • Hiraghm

      He’d have to stand on a milking stool to even get close to Napoleon’s stature…

      • V the K

        It’s hard to watch Robert Reich on TV without thinking “Follow the Yellow Brick Road.”:

  • TugboatPhil

    I remember when home VCRs hit the market. They were the size of a medium suitcase and cost about $1500. However, they were a good enough device that people wanted them. I sure couldn’t afford one, but within a few years I could buy one that wasn’t top of the line for a few hundred. That number continued to drop as more were bought and made.

    I’m very thankful that there are people with more money than me that will move the marketplace with their purchases and allow me to be able to enjoy some of them.

    You can also ask a tradesman how much he likes people that want someone to install cabinets, carpet, plumbing, you name it. Thank God for rich people. Thank Satan for politicians that can never take enough from people who work for their money.

  • $29561723

    White guilt is an industry

  • jonhartz

    Sounds like jealousy…I’ll bet he has the biggest truck on his block, too…

    • Frustrated Teacher

      Sounds like a Socialist to me. He was always and egg-headed idiot…now he is just showing it off!

    • TocksNedlog

      He definitely suffers from a “little man” complex.

  • MacsenMcBain

    Someone should make the little bastard write the 10th commandment 1000 times on the blackboard.

  • Maxx

    Hey Reich, let me know the next time you see a poor guy hiring 5,000.

    • iamhungry

      Hey Maxx, you think that rich guy would hire any more workers if he didn’t have any “poor guy” customers?

      • Bristel

        the question, stay on topic, is what Reich believes is “indefensible wealth”? $10,000? $100,000? $1,000,000? People like him are frequently weasel-y about exact amounts because they’d love to make people believe that even ten-thousand is an indefensible amount of wealth.

      • Jillane Kent

        Being a consumer, largely, is a choice. What would you have a proprietor do? Give away his labor and investments for free?

      • almarquardt

        Tell that to the factory worker of Rolls Royce, or the brick-layer of a 7-figure house. It’s a sad fact, but poor people contribute less to the economy than rich people. I am a land surveyor, and I wouldn’t have a job if people couldn’t afford to buy and develop land — people who make a hell of a lot more than I do.

        • Hiraghm

          As a 5th generation mason, I endorse this message.

          • almarquardt

            5th generation! That’s awesome. I’ve always loved brick buildings. There’s something very warm and inviting about them. In my downtown area, many of the buildings are made of brick and they are works of art. In fact, when my husband and I were looking to buy a home, one of my three criteria was that it be brick.

      • ForTheRepublic

        Why would it matter if his customers were poor?

  • CR

    You know what… there absolutely IS such a thing as indefensible wealth. Here are a few definitions for those of you who doubt:

    Indefensible wealth: Millions made off of selling to stupid people a crappy autobiography featuring “composite girlfriends” and ghost-written by a former 60’s radical who wanted to blow up the government after the DNC inexplicably thrusts you into political power FOR NO REASON.

    Indefensible wealth: Money made by tenured professors off of the backs of students who are forced to listen to your liberal drivel.

    Indefensible wealth: Money obtained from government benefit checks for your nine out-of-wedlock children who are all on “disability”

    These are just a few of many examples of indefensible wealth that I can think of off of the top of my head.

    • GW

      Don’t forget about Congressional insider trading. How much did Pelosi’s husband make off of her deals?

  • willie9797

    So what if I bought a congressman or 2 so I could get favorable treatment from the government, get rid of the competition and get mine no matter what the cost to the rest of you suckers. I built that!

    • Shawn Smith

      Okay, dumbass, listen carefully. What you’re complaining about there isn’t capitalism. What you’re complaining about is the kind of government interference in the private market that, taken to its logical end, has the government taking over the market i.e. communism & the political favor-buying that goes with it. Obama is the man for that kind of government. Milton Friedman, Ron Paul, & John Stossel are your friends if you dislike it.

      Got it?

    • Penny Robinson Fan Club

      Oh, you mean like one of those Solyndra-esque “green energy” boondoggles?

  • goldwater89

    Reich is worth around $4 million. I guess he doesn’t consider that ‘indefensible wealth’

  • JLP

    Why do we keep paying attention to this bozo?

    • Infinite_Indeterminism

      Because there is a high probability that a number of students (and various others) actually listen to him, in the mistaken belief that he’s speaking sense – and if that is the case, then we need to listen, also – with the specific intention of setting right whoever gets confused by his emanations…

  • Ben Bollman

    rarely has half of the country listened to this guy’s indefensible stupidity

  • israelp

    I can define “indefensible wealth.” It’s whatever you bought with food stamps that isn’t food.

    • dmacleo

      nice one :)

    • Deb

      It’s what Al Gore accumulated perpetuating lies.

  • Fellow Traveler

    Why should people have to defend their wealth in the first place? Why is it any of my business how much wealth someone has? None of us should even know how much wealth someone has unless he chooses to show it to us.

    • Infinite_Indeterminism

      What he’s spouting about, probably is about amounts…. But there is a genuine question of defensibility, and that goes to method of acquisition, not amount…

      • Fellow Traveler

        If I don’t have the right to demand your financial records, then neither do I have the right to delegate such powers.

        • Infinite_Indeterminism

          In case you didn’t get my point: I was speaking about the principle of the thing, not about how (or whether) some form of control would be done…

  • peteee363

    so somebody works hard and amasses billions of dollars, such as bill gates. now there is no reason for him doing so, did anybody ask bill, or tell him how selfish it was to work so hard? also, doesn’t our constitution mention private property rights, and wouldn’t gates’ wealth be considered private property?

  • George Washington Mclintock

    I like the phrasing. It’s a good way to define my goals. I’m busting my hump in order to get “indefensibly rich.” And when I do. everyone on Twitchy can come to my rich man soirees and we’ll have an indefensibly good time.

  • KNG of the WCKER PPL

    Waiting for him to complain about “indefensible height” next

    • RightThinking1

      Now…, I know that LOL has become an overused, trite abbreviation, but this morning it applies.

      Aside from the snorting coffee bit, you have given me a wonderful chuckle to start the day!


    Hey Rob,

  • mary

    ANY wealth he has is indefensible. He earns it by saying idiotic things that people read and comment on. (guilty me)

  • NRPax

    I think I know the answer: “Indefensible wealth” is defined as “any dollar that does not belong to him.”

  • Axelgreaser

    GIVE ME A BREAK! Robert Reich is worth $4 million.

  • Stephen L. Hall

    The question is not what one is defending, but from whom does one have to defend it?

  • Infinite_Indeterminism

    If you put quotes around the word “indefensible”, then this is a very correct observation.

    The phenomenon described does, of course, arise from a complete lack of insight into things like logic, justice, and market economics – but the observation as such, is quite correct.

  • RightThinking1

    How about ‘Indefensible feeding at the public trough’. which is all that Reich has done, to my knowledge. The last salary that I can find for him at UC Berkley was $210k in 2008. Presumably there have been annual raises, so I’m guessing that he’s sucking down at least a quarter million a year now.
    I’m willing to bet Reich has had something to say about the cost of student loans, all the while he has been soaking up those taxpayer dollars. Not that we aren’t getting our money’s worth, after all the guy takes time to blog for Huff Po, what more could we ask?

  • $35072932

    Spoken like a true Socialist.
    He believes that people’s property is ‘collectively owned’ and that he and his comrades should control other people’s property – but certainly not his.

  • Penny Robinson Fan Club

    Of course what’s most disturbing is that having wealth is something which needs to be defended. These people never get far from the main theme, whether it’s a 30 billion dollar bank account or a 30 round magazine — it’s what THEY think YOU “need.”

  • Everybodys All American

    Personally, I’m more disturbed by unquenchable socialist like Reich and Obama.

  • J.N. Ashby

    Former US secretary of Labor. Obviously a Communist. Redundant statements are redundant.

  • Calcat36

    Who listens to this useful idiot on any subject? He is truly a “little man” who hides behind facial hair.

    This douche is the reason that I pray for armed revolt against the liberal tyranny we are suffering now.

    This jack-a-lope is worth $4 million, so he demonizes anyone that makes $4.1 million as having indefensible wealth. What a little girl.

  • thtroll

    Wee man trying to stay in public eye.

  • Mark James

    Democrats wont be happy till they meddle in every aspect of your life. The founders would have had this little runt hanged for treason.

  • Right Wired

    I’m disturbed by his indefensible stupidity.

  • Axelgreaser

    AIRSICK BAG, PLEASE! Mr Reich, YOU are worth $4million, which in my ‘circle’ is a ‘lotta lettuce.’ Would you say that YOUR wealth is indefensible? What do you have to say about the $36 million in wealth of America’s ‘Star Kist Tuna Queen’ & North America’s First Self Annointed & Appointed ‘Pope’ and Re-Interpreter of the Holy Scriptures as they are applicable to Democrat ideology, Nancy Pelosi, whose ‘biblical transcriptions were and are decreed in support of HRH, Ba’Rock Obama, Hussein II, King Regent & Immaculate Orgainzer of North America, to be exact (himself worth an estimated $20 million, up from $2.5 at First Coronation.

  • Boo Rhodes

    I don’t believe in the “offensive” rule of our first amendment, but if I did, then I would see this comment about OUR money by @rbreich as very offensive. He has NO BUSINESS telling us how much money we are allowed to make. This is the kind of person you people have put into the White House right now and this is why we are having problems in our Congress. Stop voting for these people and they will stop putting idiots like this in charge and they will stop hiring them to teach our children.

  • thepoliticalchef

    Reblogged this on Thepoliticalchef's Blog and commented:
    Um wait, what? So who gets to decide what “indefensible wealth” is? My guess is NOT ONE leftist’s/progressives wealth will qualify as “indefensible wealth.”

  • BristolGOP Backup

    Initially, I thought he meant people who participated in the vulture socialism of government largess, like Solyndra; or were too important to be bound by the law, like MF Global.

    But then I remembered what we are dealing with. He clearly means to besmirch people who we in America would have foolishly called “a success” back in the dark days of 2007.

  • littleones

    Hey, at least he agrees they’re spending it, eh?

  • BeeKaaay

    So why do leftwingwackos have so much wealth, Mr. Robert ThirdReich? That’s indefensible!

  • massjim

    OK, so Reich hates Secretary of State John Kerry, a very, very wealthy man who never earned it, but married tremendous wealth – twice.