27 January 2009

Amy Alkon is a Dim Bulb (3rd Installment in an Irregular Series)

It has been a while since I'd stopped over at the "Advice Goddess" blog. Not much has changed ~ lots of huffing and puffing, the same casual attitude toward truth and accuracy, and a whole lot of "look at me! aren't I wonderful!"

Well I was unsurprised to find that the inimitable Ms. Alkon has jumped on the bash Robert Reich bandwagon. Here is her post from last week (23 January) in a nice cute mauve:

"The Best Person For The Job

(...As long as that person isn't white or a man.) Shockingly, Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is coming out against hiring white male construction workers. He writes on his blog a blog item charmingly titled "The Stimulus: How to Create Jobs Without Them All Going to Skilled Professionals and White Male Construction Workers." An excerpt:

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.

While I'm against government stimulus packages, and for government getting out of the way of business to kick-start our economy, if our tax dollars are going for a stimulus package and I don't have a choice in the matter, I'd really like to see the hiring done based on who's the best person for the job.

And, I don't know about you, but *I* sure don't hire the person who needs the job the most, and I sure don't want to patronize businesses that do."

Thanks to the nice literate folk at Media Matters, here is what Reich actually wrote:
"[I]f 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."
This is pretty much Economics 101 which, apparently, Ms. Alkon either slept through or never took. What Reich was addressing was the danger of distributing funds from any economic stimulus plan in ways that simply line the pockets of workers with certain sorts of skills. He argued for a distribution of funds across sectors in a way that they might help (via job training, etc) the broadest number of people. This is clear in what he subsequently said in testimony before the House Democratic Caucus Steering and Policy Committee Forum:
"I have nothing against white male construction workers. I'm just saying that there are a lot of other people who have needs as well. And therefore, in my remarks I have suggested to you, and I'm certainly happy to talk about it more, ways in which the money can be -- criteria can be set so that the money does go to others: the long-term unemployed, minorities, women, people who are not necessarily construction workers or high-skilled professionals."
Reich said that nearly two weeks before Amy produced her screed - which is precsiely what her post amounts to even gussied up in that cute mauve. Gee, Amy, I guess if you did a bit of research and stopped relying on the right-wing echo chamber, you might not have gotten things exactly wrong. But being accurate or truthful or correct wasn't much of a concern all along, right? For such an intrepid individualist it certainly is ironic how you take talking points and spew them like all the other unthinking reactionaries.

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