Thursday, January 22, 2009

An Inside's Guide Into The Birth of American Socialism

Robert Reich is a former Secretary of Labor under former President Bill Clinton. He is relied upon on the Sunday morning round table shows for labor and economic questions. He is also an economic advisor to President Obama.

His blog,, is mainly a site where he espouses his political and economic viewpoints. As first pointed out by Michelle Malkin on her blog, Reich makes some interesting statements in his post "The Stimulus: How to Create Jobs Without Them All Going to Skilled Professionals and White Male Construction Workers"

Aside from the post title, here are some of the more controversial points...

But if there aren’t enough skilled professionals to do the jobs involving new technologies, the stimulus will just increase the wages of the professionals who already have the right skills rather than generate many new jobs in these fields. And if construction jobs go mainly to white males who already dominate the construction trades, many people who need jobs the most — women, minorities, and the poor and long-term unemployed — will be shut out.

What to do? There’s no easy solution to either dilemma… People can be trained relatively quickly for these sorts of jobs, as well as many infrastructure j0bs generated by the stimulus — installing new pipes for water and sewage systems, repairing and upgrading equipment, basic construction — but contractors have to be nudged both to provide the training and to do the hiring.

I’d suggest that all contracts entered into with stimulus funds require contractors to provide at least 20 percent of jobs to the long-term unemployed and to people with incomes at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. And at least 2 percent of project funds should be allocated to such training. In addition, advantage should be taken of buildings trades apprenticeships — which must be fully available to women and minorities.
As someone who understands the construction industry, you just don't 'train' the unemployed to involve themselves in heavy construction. That is welfare and not unlike the forced employment under the Soviet regime. In addition, to once again penalize the most qualified people to do the job simply because they are white is flat out wrong. It is racism. It works both ways... If something of this sort is implemented nationally, it will not go over well.

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