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Robert Reich, the US Secretary of Labour, argues that government can create incentives for companies to act in the public interest as well as their own

By Robert Reich   February 1996

The New York times

January 5th 1996

If the us Federal government is to do less, then the private sector will have to do more. But AT&T’s stunning announcement on the first business day of 1996, that it would lay off 40,000 employees, raises profound questions about the private sector’s ability to take on more responsibility for Americans’ economic well-being.

I do not mean to pick on AT&T. It is but one in a long list of companies that have delivered large numbers of pink slips in recent years, despite record profits. Wall Street’s initially positive response to the…

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