Roger’s Rules

All animals are equal . . .

“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.

Mr. Reich’s outrageous plan elicited no comment, and certainly no criticism, from his master, “I won” Obama. It has been picked up here and there on the internet–as usual, Instapundit was there straight off the mark. But Mr. Reich’s comments–and the culture of coercive political correctness out of which they emerged–deserve much more public exposure and criticism than they have yet received.

Exposure? Criticism? Early signs suggest that the administration of Barack “I won” Obama will not be particularly receptive to either: “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,” Obama lectured Republican lawmakers who had assembled to listen to–er, “discuss”–how Obama planned to spend all those billions of the government’s (i.e., your) money “stimulating” the economy, banks in Barney Frank’s back yard, and musuems devoted to organized crime in Las Vegas (so long, of course, as there are not too many “professionals” or white males involved in those enterprises).

Will people speak out while they still can? George Orwell, I suspect, would not have been optimistic:

Amazed, terrified, huddling together, the animals watched the long line of pigs march slowly round the yard. It was as though the world had turned upside-down. Then there came a moment when the first shock had worn off and when, in spite of everything–in spite of their terror of the dogs, and of the habit, developed through long years, of never complaining, never criticising, no matter what happened–they might have uttered some word of protest. But just at that moment, as though at a signal, all the sheep burst out into a tremendous bleating of–

“Four legs good, two legs better! Four legs good, two legs better! Four legs good, two legs better!”

It went on for five minutes without stopping. And by the time the sheep had quieted down, the chance to utter any protest had passed, for the pigs had marched back into the farmhouse.