Robert Reich – Some Follow Up Questions

Setting aside the fact that he apparently didn’t get Martin Luther King Jr.’s memo, can former Labor Secretary Robert Reich please clarify several confusing aspects of his remarks a couple of weeks ago in front of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee? Outlining what he believes should be the focus of President Obama’s economic stimulus, he said [h/t NewsBusters]

I am concerned, as I’m sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high school people who are already professionals or to white male construction workers. I have nothing against white male construction workers. I’m just saying that there are a lot of other people who have needs as well.
And therefore, in my remarks, I have suggested to you, and I’m certainly happy to talk about it more, ways in which the money can be — criteria can be set so that the money does go to others. The long- term unemployed, minorities, women, people who are not necessarily construction workers or high skilled professionals.

1.) “high school people who are already professionals”
Don’t most professionals possess education beyond the high school level? So are you opposed to high school graduates receiving government stimulus money or professionals receiving it?
[Edit: To quote Emily Litella, never mind. Andrew just pointed out that I mis-read “high skilled” as “high school”.]
2.) “there are a lot of other people who have needs as well”
So among all the needy people in the country, you wish Congress to choose certain ones who will receive this government largesse. What do you propose as their criteria for making this selection? Will such criteria identify those who are neediest? Or is that not a requisite?
3.) “people who are not necessarily construction workers or high skilled professionals”
Isn’t this stimulus money supposed to go to rebuild the national infrastructure? How would we accomplish that without employing construction workers, architects and engineers?
As to the theory that underlies his remarks:

And that vicious cycle is that because consumers don’t have the money, then businesses are not going to produce. And if businesses don’t produce, they’re going to lay people off. And if they lay people off people have even less money.

In fact, Mr. Reich indicates that much of the stimulus package should be spent on expanded unemployment benefits, food stamps and aid to state governments. Is there any indication, any basis to assert that directing large amounts of money in these particular directions will pull our economy out of its slump?
Further, stipulating for a moment that simply getting money into certain people’s hands as fast as possible however we do it is the right answer, whose money would we give them? Who would fund this massive distribution of government money?

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12 years ago

I want the most talented to fix my infrastructure, whatever their color or sex may be. I think it’s time to stop this foolishness. We need to go out to bid, and put quality workers at a reasonable price to work. I want to be able to go over a bridge and not worry it’s going to fall down after we have spent money on it’s repair. Broken infrastructure we already have. If the govt is going to be absurd, then I guess we better take the long way around. I don’t want sinkholes, and collapsing bridges under my wheels.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
12 years ago

I sincerely hope that this malignant dwarf professor has to depend one of these days on the competence of a second or third rate job recipient in a critical situation,preferably one that involves his health and/or personal safety.
Oh,and how about dropping the requirements for his job and giving it to some out of work white male construction worker?
This Reich is another POS from the Clintonista mafia.
Maybe they can bring back that scumbag fraud Doris Meissner to run ICE?Or even better Shana Kurland of the Olneyville Neighborhood Association?She and Obama have both accused ICE of “terrorizing our communities”.
If the Senate Republicans play dead on Holder,Geithner,and Panetta I hope they can explain themselves when the roof caves in on this country.

12 years ago

Great post, Monique. I too was horrified by the arrogant dwarf’s comments.

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