Friday, September 03, 2010

Bravo II

I just saw that Robert Reich has an editorial in today’s New York Times. While the theme is the same as his blog entry, he (of course) saved some new phrases for the editorial. (Mr. Reich is a pretty savvy businessman. A blog, a book, an editorial, guest appearances on TV, etc., etc.)

How to End the Great Recession

”THIS promises to be the worst Labor Day in the memory of most Americans. Organized labor is down to about 7 percent of the private work force. Members of non-organized labor — most of the rest of us — are unemployed, underemployed or underwater.”

”THE Great Depression and its aftermath demonstrate that there is only one way back to full recovery: through more widely shared prosperity. In the 1930s, the American economy was completely restructured. New Deal measures — Social Security, a 40-hour work week with time-and-a-half overtime, unemployment insurance, the right to form unions and bargain collectively, the minimum wage — leveled the playing field.”

Did you catch that part about unions?

Lest it escape your notice, Robert Reich was the Secretary of Labor under President Clinton. That’s the difference between having a Democrat and a Republican as President. Have any of you younger controllers read up on Bush’s Secretary of Labor -- Elaine Chao?

”During Chao's tenure, Labor Department gave Congress inaccurate and unreliable numbers that understated the expense of contracting out its employees' work to private firms, according to a Government Accountability Office report issued on November 24, 2008.”

”A report by the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform alleged that Chao and other White House officials campaigned for Republican candidates at taxpayer expense. The report describes this as a violation of the Hatch Act of 1939, which restricts the use of public funds for partisan gain, but no action was taken by any entity with responsibility for enforcing the Hatch Act.”

Contrast that with Secretary Reich.

”In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the Ten Most Successful Cabinet Members of the century, and The Wall Street Journal placed him among America's Top Ten Business Thinkers.”

”During his tenure, he implemented the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), successfully promoted increasing the minimum wage, successfully lobbied to pass the School-to-Work Jobs Act, and launched a number of job training programs. At the same time, he lobbied Clinton to address bigger societal issues, countered Robert Rubin and others in the administration who wanted Clinton to pare his investment agenda, and pushed for improvement of conditions for those in poverty.”

Have any of you guys ever used the Family and Medical Leave Act? Yeah, I thought you might have.

Contract or “white book?” Republican or Democrat? In November you get to choose for the House and the Senate. Over.

Don Brown
September 3, 2010

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