In his op-ed piece in today's New York Times, Robert Reich did something that always makes me happy — he agreed with me. Look back one posting to this blog and you will observe that I attributed our current economic woes to "the gap between the rich and the rest of us." Reich goes into the subject in depth, tracks the history of the gap, and offers some very constructive ideas for reducing its size. I consider Reich's article required reading for anybody who really wants to understand what happened to our economy and what should be done to repair it.
As I have observed in the past, Obama picked the "wrong Bob" to form his economic policy team — Rubin rather than Reich. Both served in the Clinton administration, although Rubin was far more influential even back then. Back in April, I referred to Rubin acolytes Geithner and Summers as "zombie slaves of the financial industry." Both seem to have been gnawing a very little bit at their marionette strings (please excuse my mixed metaphors) but, sadly, cognitive dissonance makes it impossible for either one to abandon faith in the infallibility of markets and embrace genuine change.
Minority leader John Boehner says Obama should fire Geithner and Summers. I agree, but feel quite confident we would disagree on the matter of potential replacements. I like Reich.
Our President, adhering to the Bill Clinton school of politics (possibly including loss of Congress at the midterm), persists in striving for "moderation," and continues to make me feel ill. He seems to have made Peter Orszag and Christina Romer feel ill as well, by ignoring their advice and sticking with Summers (read Rubin.) While I would love to have Elizabeth Warren as head of the new consumer protection agency, if she even is nominated to the position by Obama, I promise to risk lower back injury by posting a picture of myself with my foot in my mouth. Our President is far too cowardly to endorse any policy radical enough to make a real difference, so nothing much is likely to happen until 2012.
Anyway, read Reich's analysis, and think about his proposals. The man makes a hell of a lot of sense.