The Reich Stuff

Even as his campus smoldered from the latest riots, former labor secretary Robert Reich – now the highly paid, long tenured chancellor's professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley – put in an appearance to spread his latest brand of liberal lies.

Reich, you may remember, served in the Bill Clinton administration at the behest of his old Oxford classmate and chum.  Naturally, he was a huge supporter of Hillary in her latest unsuccessful bid for the White House.  In a political opinion piece, Reich declared that "anyone who doesn't vote for Hillary Clinton can't call themselves [sic] 'liberal.'"

Reich has referred to the 2016 election as "very strange. "  And as much as he admires Hillary, he despises Trump, whom he has described as a "dangerous, bigoted, misogynistic, narcissistic, [sic] megalomaniac with fascist tendencies [who] if elected president can wreak irreparable damage on Americas and the world."  Reich has referred to Republicans as "the other America," bemoaning the fact that much of the rest of the country does not resemble the West Coast.

A lifelong leftist, Robert Reich is a self-promoting tin-horn general in what he touts as America's raging class warfare.  He piously professes to do battle on behalf of the working-class poor of America, while at the same time hypocritically managing to live high on the academic hog.  In a 2014 article in the American Enterprise Institute, stats from University of California database pegged Reich's annual academic salary at $242,613.  He was scheduled to teach only one undergraduate class again the following fall semester – Public Policy 260 – which met once a week for two hours.

For the mathematically challenged, this works out to about $2,500 for each hour of lecture time that Professor Reich spends with U.C.-Berkeley students.  And one can hardly expect that he would have taken a cut in pay since that report, which means his compensation is likely even higher now.  It's hard to substantiate this, however, because even though American taxpayers partially foot the bill for Reich's lofty teaching salary, there seems to be no requirement for transparency.

In addition to his light academic load, Dr. Reich rakes in substantial amounts from well paying speaking engagements.  Perhaps he is not as handsomely compensated for this activity as is his old buddy Bubba, but it is documented that he has charged as much for a speech, or more, as many struggling Americans earn in a year.  As an economist, he is also well paid for writing books on the subject and traveling around the country to promote them.

With his tidy nest egg, it's no wonder that photos of Reich sometimes show him leaning back and smiling in his Veritas-crested Harvard chair, with his arms behind his head, appearing to have no care in the world other than that of transmitting his left-leaning doctrine to students eagerly supping at his progressive trough.

My one clear recollection of Secretary of Labor Robert Reich was when he referred to decent hardworking Americans in the fast food industry as "burger flippers."  I was again reminded of that condescending remark during the last presidential campaign, when Secretary Clinton chortled with similar disdain at Pennsylvania coal miners, reminding them that under a Hillary presidency, they would be out of work in short order.

Incidentally, according to the website Pay Scale/Human Capital (Jan. 2017), the national average hourly rate for a coal mine worker is $24.  It is one thing to demand, as liberals customarily do, that employers pay higher wages to workers.  It is quite another to demean the efforts of those who contribute in some way to the work force, no matter how insignificantly they are judged by smug eggheads like Robert Reich.

When violence at U.C. Berkeley last week canceled Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos's scheduled speech, Professor Reich was quick to claim that Breitbart News itself had played a role in organizing the violent mob that shut down the conservative speaker's scheduled event, resulting in his being hastily hustled off the campus in fear of his life.

Asked by CNN's Don Lemon whether the conservatives were actually providing a strategy behind the riots, Reich responded, "I wouldn't bet against it, Don.  Again, I saw these people.  They all looked almost paramilitary.  They were not from the campus.  And I've heard – I don't want to say factually ... there was some relationship here between these people ... and the right-wing movement that is affiliated with Breitbart News."

Reich charged ahead in claiming that Breitbart News had an affiliation with the violent rioters who lit fires around campus and beat and pepper-sprayed the Milo supporters who were waiting to get into the speaking venue.

Professor Reich went on to claim that he had never before "seen"" those people on campus – a ludicrous statement in itself, since he surely has not "seen" everyone on Berkeley's large campus and could not have recognized these rioters if he had, since they were wearing heavy clothing and woolen caps to obscure their identity.

Such charges could not be substantiated in any event, inasmuch as the Berkeley campus police chose – or were instructed – to stand above the fray on second-story balconies, from which safe vantage points they did absolutely nothing to apprehend the rioters, who thus proceeded, unhampered, to break windows and damage school property to the tune of thousands of dollars.  So much for the taxpayers' well intentioned expenditure on behalf of campus safety.

The hubris of Robert Reich has taken many forms over his long career in government and academia.  But it is most egregiously defined by his present intention to sacrifice freedom of academic expression on the altar of his own left-wing ideology.

It is apparent that, in order to justify shutting down freedom of speech on his vaunted campus, Profession Reich was entirely willing to speculate in falsehood and deceit.  We should expect better than that, even from a burger-flipper.