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Will Rogers claimed to have never met a man that he didn’t like. I’m consistent too. I never read anything by Robert Reich that I liked. Dr. Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton and currently a named professor at UC Berkeley, is at it again. In writing for the U.K.’s The Guardian, April 23, 2012, Reich lays out a re-election economic game plan to enable President Obama to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Reich identifies four villains: big banks, oil speculators, anyone attempting to cut government spending and, of course, income inequality. My own dislike of big banks raised a fear in me that I might lose my perfect score in disagreeing with Dr. Reich. Big banks have all the mismanagement problems of big corporations and big governments: wasteful activities that benefit the management at the expense of the owner-voters. But in reading Dr. Reich’s position on big banks, my fear dissolved. Dr. Reich is not opposed to big banks per se—only big banks that do not do his imperial biddings. President Obama, according to Reich, should threaten banks. If they do not “provide meaningful relief to homeowners,” he’ll break up the biggest ones and resurrect the Glass-Steagall Act to prevent commercial banks from engaging in investment banking activities. Presumably, if banks do Imperial Washington’s public policy activities, they can remain too-big-to-fail and continue to go their merry way taking outrageous financial risks under implicit and explicit federal guarantees. Oh, and big banks don’t forget to make your obligatory campaign contributions.