Mr Reich generally needs to be taken with a grain of salt. He has been, and as far as I know, continues to be fundamentally wrong on the most important economic questions. Saying that, he has flashes of insight on political issues, and here’s one.
Of course we issue the standard disclaimers with this piece that we do with many of the folks we choose to feature here who we feel are too enamored with the state.
That he still can’t grasp (or is frankly willing to admit) that for the most part this country should thank its lucky stars for the TEA Party and the mini-revolt of 2009 is a big flaw in his argument. Another one is that he says that the TEA Party promoted “outright racism.” (I almost didn’t run his piece because of this chunk of baloney. A few memes promoted in the Huffington Post don’t count. I was there. I never saw it. Ever. I’m betting Reich didn’t attend many rallies.)
And yet another myth he promotes is the idea of some kind of post-World War 2 golden age of government. That is just a flat out misunderstanding of the situation.
In 1964, Americans agreed by 64% to 29% that government was run for the benefit of all the people. By 2012, the response had reversed, with voters saying by 79% to 19% that government was “run by a few big interests looking after themselves.”
This may be true but this is because before the information revolution the average person didn’t understand how the game, the government game, was played. It is, and has always been played for powerful interests. It’s just that we know it now. It was because Americans were basically ignorant (through no fault of their own) that 64% of people thought government was run for the benefit of the people.
They may have THOUGHT it was. But it wasn’t.
We woke up. Mr. Reich hasn’t. At least on this very important point.
So why run his piece?
Because we do think Reich honestly cares about crony capitalism and even though we disagree with him on important points he still makes some good ones and he makes them from a pro-state position. This is interesting to see, first because it’s good to see people from the statist camp becoming aware, but also because we think it highlights the failure of pro-statist thinking. One can not be pro-state, pro-big government, and be against crony capitalism. The 2 are exclusive.
Yet in a market of ideas we welcome those who we believe come forward in good faith, even if we think they are 90% wrong. On the immediately below he’s right.
(From The Christian Science Monitor)
Yet in the last three decades – when almost all the nation’s economic gains have gone to the top while the wages of most people have gone nowhere – the ruling class has seemed to pad its own pockets at the expense of the rest of America.
We’ve witnessed self-dealing on a monumental scale – starting with the junk-bond takeovers of the 1980s, followed by the Savings and Loan crisis, the corporate scandals of the early 2000s (Enron, Adelphia, Global Crossing, Tyco, Worldcom), and culminating in the near meltdown of Wall Street in 2008 and the taxpayer-financed bailout.
Along the way, millions of Americans lost their jobs their savings, and their homes.