“All animals are equal” read the original sign in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, but shortly after Napoleon and his fellow porcine commissars take over that motto is emended to “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”
I wonder whether Robert Riech, America’s 22nd Secretary of Labor and currently one of Obama’s top economic advisors, has read Animal Farm? On January 7, Mr. Reich testified on C-SPAN that throwing gobs of government (i.e., your) money at revamping the nation’s “infrastructure” was a good way to “stimulate” the economy. Let’s leave aside the question of whether he is right about that that and consider how he thinks the government’s (i.e., your) money ought to be spent. “I am concerned,” he said on C-SPAN, “. . . that these jobs not simply go to high skilled people who are already professional or to white male construction workers.”
Here’s little experiment thought: what if Mr. Reich had said “I am concerned that these jobs not go to black male construction workers”? What then?
In case you think Mr. Reich had misspoke in the heat of the moment, he returned to this theme on his blog the next day, when he favored readers with his plan to “Create Jobs Without Them All Going to Skilled Professionals and White Male Construction Workers.” How was he going to keep the government’s (i.e., your) money from getting into the hands of white males? Simple. Quotas for a start. “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 . . .” At least 20 percent, mes amis: a number that can always be adjusted if there are too many white male workers bustling about the place with jobs.