Paying Attention: Robert Reich on Income Inequality

​Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich spoke to ATTN: about the political and economic forces that shaped the 2016 election in an exclusive interview released on Tuesday. He also laid out some of the challenges — such as rising income inequality — that President Donald Trump will face during his administration.

In the mid-twentieth century, strong union representation, Wall Street regulations, public infrastructure investments, and a proportionally higher minimum wage helped the U.S. secure a more equitable economy, Reich said. But the gradual degradation of those policies — as well as the introduction of tax codes that have benefited the wealthiest Americans — have created a sizeable income gap.

The failure of Democrats, who "traditionally have been a party of the working class," to effectively respond to these economic challenges in the 2016 election represented "one of the most damning indictments of the Democratic party," he added.