Sunday, March 25, 2012

Robert Reich... Getting it Partially Right

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


I am not now, nor have I ever been one who believed Robert Reich is what the left views him to be. He is more often than not wrong. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Capitalism is under attack as never before, and the reason is directly attributable to those who occupy corporate boardrooms and the shady halls of Washington's power brokers.

Both Corporate America and the American Government suffer from a great lack of understanding what constitutes proper ethics and ethical behavior. Rather than acting in their long range rational self interests they act short range, shortsighted, and in ways that is detrimental to business, the people who keep the economic engines running, and the nation in general.

Robert Reich, former President Bill Clinton's Secretary of Labor has an article worth considering. At least in part.

Real Clear Politics - Morality crisis is in the boardrooms, not bedrooms

Robert Reich, © 2012 Robert Reich

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Republicans have morality upside down. They're condemning same-sex marriage, abortion, access to contraception and the wall separating church and state.

But the moral crisis in America isn't a breakdown in private morality. It's a breakdown in public morality. What Americans do in their bedrooms is their own business. What corporate executives and Wall Street financiers do in boardrooms and executive suites affects all of us.

We're living through a new Gilded Age of financial fraud and conflicts of interest; exorbitant pay to executives, traders and hedge-fund and private-equity managers; tax loopholes that allow them to pay a lower rate than many middle-class Americans; and legalized bribery of public officials through unlimited campaign "donations."

Greg Smith, the former Goldman Sachs vice president who created a furor with a stinging public rebuke of the firm for putting its own profits before the interests of its clients, would have seen the same practices anywhere on the Street.

The problem isn't excessive greed. If you took the greed out of Wall Street, all you'd have left is pavement. The problem is endemic abuse of power and trust.

Political scientist James Q. Wilson, who died a few weeks ago, noted that a broken window left unattended signals that no one cares if windows are broken. It becomes an ongoing invitation to throw more stones at more windows, ultimately undermining the moral standards of the entire community.

The windows Wall Street broke in the years leading up to the crash of 2008 remain broken. Despite financial fraud on a scale not seen in this country for more than 80 years, not a single executive of a major Wall Street bank has been charged with a crime.

The new Dodd-Frank law that was supposed to stop Wall Street from a repeat performance is now so riddled with loopholes, courtesy of the Street's lobbyists, that it's almost a sham. Wall Street prevented the Glass-Steagall Act from being resurrected and successfully fought against limits on the size of the largest banks.

And now money is flowing more freely than ever from giant corporations and Wall Street banks into the coffers of candidates for public office. The Supreme Court's shameful decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission opened the floodgates.

Americans are entitled to their own religious views about same-sex marriage, contraception, abortion and God. A society where one set of religious views is imposed on a large number of citizens who disagree with them is not a democracy. It's a theocracy {Read More}

First a correction. Mr. Reich, our nation is not now, nor has it ever been a democracy. Our nation is a Republic, designed as such by our founders and for damn good reasons.

Reich makes valid points and highlights flaws in our system early in his article. Unfortunately he lapses into the typical blame game and class warfare politics. In as much as he is right in pointing to the flaws he quickly becomes "part of the problem."

But even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Even if only partially.

8 comments:

  1. Hmm.

    I reckon my Drill Sergeant was correct when he said, "Even a blind pig gets an acorn now and again."

    I agree that he spiraled into class warfare rhetoric, but he did make some salient points before that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The reason Reich is right is because we do have a class problem in this country. We have a class of very wealthy, very powerful, very selfish and immoral people out there running this country into the ground, pitting the underclasses against each other with silly, pointless, hot-buttons and dog whistles, and BS economic and political "philosophies," to keep our eyes off the prize - the political power we deserve as ordinary Americans.

    These people come from the "left" and the "right." But the ones most responsible for sucking this country dry are the righties. The left may have an impact on culture and attitudes, but the right controls the military, the banks, the police state, and general welfare and education, in the broad, national sense.

    What you libertarians and objectivists have to learn is that the right has the real power.

    JMJ

    ReplyDelete
  3. The reason Reich is right is because we do have a class problem in this country. We have a class of very wealthy, very powerful, very selfish and immoral people out there running this country into the ground, pitting the underclasses against each other with silly, pointless, hot-buttons and dog whistles, and BS economic and political "philosophies," to keep our eyes off the prize - the political power we deserve as ordinary Americans.

    These people come from the "left" and the "right." But the ones most responsible for sucking this country dry are the righties. The left may have an impact on culture and attitudes, but the right controls the military, the banks, the police state, and general welfare and education, in the broad, national sense.

    What you libertarians and objectivists have to learn is that the right has the real power.

    JMJ

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mr. Reich, in his book, "Supercapitalism", calls for an end to the corporate income tax. That suggestion, I DO agree with.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So do I. Off course, there will be a demand for more revenue and cuts from somewhere... May I suggest, in order, the top marginal rate and the military???

    JMJ

    ReplyDelete
  6. May I say I agree. However I suggest cuts in this order... military, entitlements, government, and then if more revenue is needed an increase in the top marginal tax rate.

    ReplyDelete
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