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Social justice, identity politics and overreaching
Posted by: McQ on Monday, January 12, 2009

I would put this under the category "they just can't help themselves". On yesterday's podcast I briefly talked about this Robert Reich blog post that pertains to the stimulus package being contemplated by the incoming Obama administration.

In this case it isn't about the cost or the necessity (or lack thereof) - I think anyone who reads this blog even semi-regularly understands my feelings about both. It is, instead, about the ingrained ideological propensity liberals have toward using every opportunity presented to enact their "social justice" agenda. Reich is no exception.

He begins his argument by pointing out that the Obama stimulus package should provide "lots of new jobs and investments in the nation's future productivity."

Of course some of the jobs he highlights - infrastructure repair - have little to do with 'future productivity' except in a rather indirect sense. And the green jobs he touts are, to this point, are based on vaporware. But that's not the really objectionable part of his argument. Read the following carefully:
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.
Most would argue the purpose of a stimulus package is to stimulate the economy quickly by providing funds for infrastructure repair. But to the "social justice" crowd, it has another purpose altogether. It is an opportunity to ensure jobs go to their favored demographics - the one's who rarely benefit from their programs but, for whatever reason, help keep them in power.

Reich's argument is that these jobs shouldn't necessarily go to the best prepared with the best skills to accomplish such work efficiently and quickly (but happen to be the wrong color and sex), but to the unskilled who "need" them more (and happen to be the right color and sex).

Yes, that's right - good old identity politics.

Reich, like Rahm Emanuel, views this crisis as a golden opportunity to enact the agenda liberals have wanted to enact for decades but could never sell in normal times. So given these perfect circumstances to push his social justice agenda, Reich proposes the following:
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 — wich [sic] must be fully available to women and minorities.
I would hazard a guess that this is just the first of many such proposals which will further deepen the government's controlling reach into the economy. And unlike the past, they're much more likely to be favorably received. Of course the problem is these types of encroachments never go away and thus the economy becomes incrementally less and less free. Unfortunately, I look for a lot more of these in the next few years.
 
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White males in construction?

Man hasn’t been to Texas recently.
 
Written By: John
URL: http://
many people who need jobs the most — women, minorities, and the poor and long-term unemployed — will be shut out
Has he even thought about what it takes to be long-term unemployed in this country?
 
Written By: huh
URL: http://
JOHN, that was the first thing I thought of. I live in Houston, it’s been a long long time since I saw a white person in any sort of construction industry.

As far as placing certain incentives on government programs to hire the impoverished, It actually makes a certain sense because it would reduce the number of people on the dole. However, we all know that it won’t be used in that way. The chronically unemployed will not get even these jobs because they either don’t want to work, or are incapable of holding a job.
 
Written By: kyleN
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
If you ever needed a clear example of what it REALLY means to be liberal, here it is.

Reichhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh is effectively advocating spending other peoples’ money in the interest of making himself feel good: "Look how nice I was when I spent somebody else’s money! Wow! What a splendid fellow I am!" Never mind that he and the rest of the liberals are effectively lying to get their hands on the money in the first place by claiming that it’s going to be spent on "stimulus".

Keep this in mind about liberals: there is no crime that they won’t commit in the interests of propping up their feelings of moral superiority.
 
Written By: docjim505
URL: http://
kyleN and John,

It’s the same here in Kentucky. I can’t think of the last time I saw a white person yielding a hammer on a construction site.

What exactly makes Reich think that all these minorities, women, chronically unemployed and poor people want to go into the construction trade?

What happens if they put all these set asides in these contracts and not enough of the "special classes" apply or show up?

I sometimes wonder if he actually believes what he says.
 
Written By: autot
URL: http://
...instead a social justice opportunity in which jobs don’t go to the best prepared with the best skills to accomplish such work efficiently and quickly (but the wrong color and sex), but to the unskilled who are parts of favored demographics.
Gosh, the next thing they’ll be dreaming up is home loans for the under qualified.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
Doesn’t matter if they create this type of requirement. Working for an engineering firm, I have seen very creative ways of getting around the the women and minority disadvantage business requirements. Particularly in California on public based/funded jobs. All it really does is cost the project more money by having to sub-sub-contract small portions of the work to make those required numbers, resulting in inefficency.
 
Written By: JamesT
URL: http://
Detroit has a similar "Executive Order" E.O. 22 (In place 30 years). This is such a resoundingly bad idea. To say the least it increases cost, lowers productivity and is easily abused by the connected few. Maybe Riech ought to take a walk around Detroit and see the type of grand revitalization his suggestion will provide.
 
Written By: coaster
URL: http://
"He begins his argument by pointing out that the Obama stimulus package should provide "lots of new jobs and investments in the nation’s future productivity."
So would enslaving everyone and forcing them into a job (to a point) but that’s not really issue.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Reich is such a fantasy land idiot.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
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.
What the heck!?!? By all means give contracting jobs to people who are basically incapable of productive employment and to people who made poor life choices over the years so they wound up - poor. That sure would be one productive work force! But don’t worry, 2% of the money would go to training these very same productive employees.
 
Written By: jjmurphy
URL: http://www.allthatisnecessary.com
"white males who already dominate the construction trades"
"Man hasn’t been to Texas recently."

It ain’t just Texas, muchacho. Obviously that diminuitive dolt has never even seen a construction site except maybe in a television commercial for pickup trucks. Of course he is from Westchester County, NY, via Dartmouth, Yale, etc., so it is doubtful he has actually seen a contruction worker. Domestics and yard workers, probably. Maybe even the occasional retail clerk or restaurant employee, but construction workers? Nah.
I wonder where he thinks all the oppressed, uneducated minorities do work.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Also, I suspect that white males make up some large percentage of the long-term unemployed, so why exclude them?

I also enjoy that they plan to target people at 200% below poverty. That just shows you how rich our country is when 150% below poverty is too rich to help.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
You know, Federal contracting has had that program for years; google 8A company sometime. All that happens is that a bunch of white guys hire a minority "CEO" to talk to procurement.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
While Drudge reports: NEW PLUNGE: CITI ...
The problem with Citi’s capitulation is that it means that not just Citi will have to pay the Beltway outfit if the bill passes. Other banks, borrowers and taxpayers will also suffer. In fact, this deal is looking more and more like a case of Citi colluding with its new political owners in order to force competing banks to break contracts and take more losses. This kind of politicized banking is precisely why the Bank of the United States was shut down in the 19th century.

After years of resisting, Citi has suddenly signed off on Senator Dick Durbin’s plan to allow judges to rewrite mortgage contracts for borrowers in Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Under the Illinois Democrat’s plan, which is earmarked for inclusion in the pending stimulus bill, judges could reduce the amount of principal, lower the interest rate, and change the length of the mortgage term.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://

 
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