Thursday, September 30, 2010

It’s Getting to Him



I think Robert Reich is getting close to the edge. I recognize the signs. Sometimes, the answer is blindingly obvious to just a few -- a few that just happen to be in the right place at the right time to see what needs to be done. Those that Fate chose.

They worked hard at their professions. They were prepared. But still, it was Fate that picked the crisis for which they were prepared.

Take Paul Krugman for example. He spent his academic career studying economies in crisis. Krugman literally wrote the book -- The Return of Depression Economics -- about economies in crisis. Please note he wrote it in 1999.

He would be brilliant regardless. He would probably still be writing a column for The New York Times. He would still be unbelievably successful. But Fate picked this time -- his time -- to have The Great Recession.

Robert Reich is in a similar position. A Professor of Public Policy. A former Secretary of Labor. He has the brains and the skills to be successful at any time in history. But at this moment in time, Fate has given him a special advantage. Take a look at this from his Wikipedia entry.

“In The Next American Frontier he blamed the nation's lagging economic growth on "paper entrepreneurialism" -- financial and legal gamesmanship that drained the economy of resources needed for better products and services.”

The Next American Frontier was written in 1983.

Considering that most of us are just coming to grips with the fact that Wall Street hasn’t been “creating wealth” for the last 30 years -- it’s only been draining it from the middle class and putting it in the hands of the new robber barons -- it’s pretty extraordinary that Robert Reich was writing about it almost 30 years ago.

30 years is a long time to be right. It’s a long time to fight the good fight and wait for others to see the light. It can make you nuts. It can make you want to scream. I’m so glad controllers get to retire early.

I don’t think the blog entry is up to his usual standards. He’s right of course. He is so right. But mostly, it’s revealing about how frustrated the professor is.

The President’s Backyard Discussion of the Economy (as It Could Be)

Don Brown
September 30, 2010

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