Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reich drools over thoughts of authoritarian power

On ABC's This Week, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich could barely contain himself over the prospect of having Chinese-style control over the economy.

"But I want to go back to, George [Will], your point, because I think the big issue over the next 10 years and the big contest is going to be between authoritarian capitalism, a la China, and democratic capitalism, a la the United States. And it's not clear to me that authoritarian capitalism is not going to win. That is, it -- there is so much efficiency. The Chinese say, ‘We're going to build 10 new universities. We're going to build this. We're going to build this.' And, boom, it happens."

Astonishing. After Reich wipes the drool off his chin, he backpedals slightly:
"I am betting on Democratic capitalism," Reich added. "But I think that the -- authoritarian capitalism, we cannot understate the threat to the way we go about our -- our business, the way we think about the world."

Reich isn't the only one who thinks this way. Tom Friedman has expressed similar longings. I get the distinct impression this is a widespread sentiment among --dare I say it-- the self-professed elites. Our betters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'd second the sentiment - I'm not saying it's "better" but I'm saying that in the short and medium term it may have better performance. If we look at the recent evolution of Democratic Captilism it brought us a bunch of insiders paying each other a shit ton of money for short term performance and a series of non-retractable bonuses that changed the scope and scale of investing to undermine american industry. If you executed people - I think this would be less likely. But that's just me...