A guy who makes this much money for speaking ought to know when to keep his mouth shut.
Robert Reich, the former labor secretary during the Clinton administration, and a man who’s been a liberal icon for most of his career in academia and Democrat governments, has made a good name for himself being a public face of leftist policies.
He’s also made a very, very good living.
Reich’s income as a professor of public policy at the University of California-Berkeley, as well as a side income he’s received from lucrative speaking engagements, came flashing into the public eye after Reich took to Twitter to moan about a Wall Street Journal report about very rich people who are able to afford keeping sharks as pets.
Reich’s tweet was almost a caricature of liberal angst.
At a time when nearly 80 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, some wealthy families are installing shark tanks in their homes. Instead of cutting taxes so the rich can own a pet shark, how about ensuring every family has a roof over their heads? https://t.co/hVh1CvFWQZ
— Robert Reich (@RBReich) July 31, 2018
First of all, it’s always funny when Democrats start a line of argument with “at a time when….” And they’ve been doing it for decades, like their party is oddly detached from the realities of American political life it’s done so much to warp since the Eisenhower administration.
Second of all, from Reich’s tweet, a reader could easily get the impression the guy is living out of his car on the Berkeley campus, showering in the school gym, and cadging meals where he could in Southern California.
Fortunately, iconic conservative commentator Michelle Malkin was around to point out how obscenely wealthy (as a liberal might put it) Reich has gotten by denouncing the wealthiest people in America.
Robert Reich makes 36% more than average CEO and gets $40k for a one-hour talk vs. average worker pay of $46k/yearhttps://t.co/oJ6AEftiRB
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) July 31, 2018
According to a 2014 article from the conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute, Reich was making just more than $240,000 per year for his faculty Berkeley faculty job. (His current salary was unavailable Tuesday, but he’s still at Berkeley and there’s no reason to think he’s making any less.)
Will Americans catch on to the kind of scam liberals like Reich are running?
Besides almost a quarter-million-dollars a year in regular pay, AEI reported, “he commands a handsome speaking fee of $40,000 for a one-hour talk (including Q&A) plus first class travel for one or two people from California, hotel accommodations for up to two nights, ground transportation, meals and incidentals.”
The robber barons of America’s Gilded Age, the one liberals like Reich love to despise, never had it so good. Indeed, as Malkin’s tweet pointed out, the guy who was complaining about how filthy rich some of America’s wealthy are is actually making more money than most CEOs.
Just his $40,000 speaking fee for one hour is almost equal to a yearly average American wage of about $45,000, as described in a Bureau of Labor Statistics news release from July 17.
In fact, according to a California Public Policy Center study from 2016, Professor Reich’s considerable income put him in the top 2 percent of Americans by wealth.
Naturally, Reich’s shark tweet attracted its share of critics for the evident hypocrisy.
How much of your huge salary/speaking fees are you giving away, dude? BTW, your “compassion” re: Obamacare destroyed my small business and the decades of my life I spend building it. If you had left me alone, I’d be WAY better off ensuring I continue to have a roof over my head.
— Restive Rabble (@RestiveRabble) July 31, 2018
You think people like Mr. Reich who take in at least $40,000 per speech virtue-signaling about income inequality don’t exploit the less fortunate to benefit only themselves? Instead of talking about inequality, wouldn’t he better achieve equality by giving his top 2% income away?
— Restive Rabble (@RestiveRabble) July 31, 2018
One Twitter user even asked if Reich would be willing to give up three-quarters of his salary to help someone less fortunate.
Robert, would you be willing to cut your salary by 75% and give it to someone earning less…that would help the inequality you are talking abt…earning $300k per yr or $40k on speaking commitments..is that equality you speak of…hypocrite.
— Remlap (@PAMAE4) July 31, 2018
Please. Reich probably thinks he’s worth every penny of his time for whatever wisdom comes from a career spent with a snout deep in the public trough.
Considering how long that career’s lasted, though, he can’t be surprised at the criticism either.
But a guy who gets paid so much to talk really ought to know when to keep his mouth shut.
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