Clinton’s Labor Secretary Pleads for Wall Street Control of the White House

Wall Street
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The One Percent on Wall Street must save the nation by taking political control from President Donald Trump, says former President Bill Clinton’s far-left labor secretary.

“If the leaders of American business remain silent about what Trump is doing to American democracy, they will be complicit in its demise,” Robert Reich begged Wall Street CEOs in the April 26 San Francisco Chronicle.

Reich, who was a progressive Secretary of Labor from 1993 to 1997, justifies calls for a virtual occupation by Wall Street of the White House, saying:

As the Republican Party moves toward Trump’s looniness — his xenophobia, isolationism, attacks on the media and on truth, conflicts of interest, anti-Muslim and racist provocations, climate-change denials, proposed cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, and the evisceration of the constitutional divide between church and state — Dimon and his ilk could come out big losers.

Let them try to sustain corporate profits as America slides toward authoritarianism. Let them try to maintain comfortable lifestyles as America descends into angry populist tribalism.

Don’t [Jamie] Dimon [chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co. bank] and other CEOs have a moral responsibility to sound the alarm?

This Reich is very different from the 2011 Reich, where he passionately supported the short-lived Occupy movement against Wall Street. In November 2011, Reich wrote:

… break up the big banks. In the wake of the bailout, they’re bigger than ever. Twenty years ago, the 10 largest banks on the Street held 10 percent of America’s total bank assets. Now they hold over 70 percent.

You don’t have to be an occupier of Wall Street to conclude the Street is still out of control. And that’s dangerous for all of us.

When he was working for Clinton — who was a moderate compared to former President Barack Obama — Reich was also credited with popularizing the “corporate welfare” term. Populists share Reich’s criticisms of corporate welfare but often highlight different examples.

But even though he often complains about economic inequality, Reich urged a dramatic increase in the government-delivered supply of foreign workers to U.S. employers via extra immigration and more amnesties.

In practice, the foreign labor supply just forces down Americans’ wages and salaries while aiding Wall Street investors, including Dimon. This month, for example, Dimon called for an unlimited supply of foreign college-grads to take white-collar jobs from Americans in the United States.

“Those [foreign students] who get an advanced degree in the United States should receive a green card along with their diploma,” Dimon said in his annual letter to investors. “We need these skilled individuals in America.”

That cheap-labor agenda is common on Wall Street, which would gain greatly if white-collar immigration slashed white-collar salaries, as it has in the computer sector with the aid of roughly 600,000 resident H-1B outsourcing workers.

For example, Bruce E. Aust, the vice chairman of the Nasdaq stock exchange, called April 13 for the federal government to import more engineers, scientists, and programmers. Aust made clear that companies do not want raise salaries to encourage Americans to train and take those jobs, but instead want a government bailout in the form of taxpayer-funded training and looser immigration rules. He wrote:

Employers also have the responsibility to lead in this area by partnering with schools and non-profits to get more young people interested in STEM and mentoring people within their organizations to take on new challenges and leadership roles.

Still, we currently face persistent high-skilled labor shortages, and startups also need access to the best talent from across the world to fill those jobs and continue innovating.

we also need high-skilled immigration reform that helps fill critical high-skilled labor shortages and increases our global competitiveness.

Trump’s deputies are trying to curb the H-1B outsourcing program and to raise American graduate’s salaries.

But amid Trump’s triumph over progressive hopes, Robert Reich is pleading with Wall Street to take the wheel, saying:

I’m old enough to recall a time when CEOs were thought of as “corporate statesman” with duties to the nation. As one prominent executive told Time magazine in the 1950s, Americans “regard business management as a stewardship,” acting “for the benefit of all the people.”

Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.

But the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting roughly 1.1 million new legal immigrants, by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.

The Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via mass-immigration shifts wealth from young people towards older people, it floods the market with foreign laborspikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate priceswidens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.


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