Sunday, April 8, 2012

Robert Reich Has It Right

Robert Reich, for Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, penned an article today "For the rich, the recession is over." He's right.

The various policies put in place during the Fall of 2008 -- TARP, Federal Reserve activity, followed by the Stimulus Package of early 2009 and regulatory burdens of Dodd-Frank have all combined to rescue rich people, but promise to thwart any serious economic recovery. On top all of these misguided policies the Congress passed the "Affordable Care Act" which virtually guarantees no future economic growth for the US.

Absent a real economic recovery, poor folks really don't have a chance. The combination of laws that forbid hiring poor people (minimum wage laws) and laws that make it illegal for banks to loan money to poor folks (Dodd-Frank) and laws that make it virtually impossible to break the union monopoly of many construction jobs (Davis-Bacon, etc.), the deck is stacked against the poor and the middle class. As if this weren't enough, projects that could (eventually) lower gasoline prices and provide an immediate source of job creation (Keystone project as just one example) are blocked and taxpayer money is poured down ratholes of Administration supporters (Solyndra, etc.)

Politicians don't have to get jobs in the private sector, so they can blissfully claim that they are looking out for poor people as they pass laws that prevent the poor from having any real opportunities. The Congress and the Administration have combined to prevent the economy from having a chance of a normal economic rebound. This hurts poor people and middle class people. But, it has little or no effect on rich people.

Thus, Reich's conclusion. "For the rich, the recession is over." For middle class America, things will remain difficult.