James Petras run a good story recently on the meritocracy. He doesn’t mince his words, the elite and powerful positions at the top of American society is dominated by American Jews, and is highly unrepresentative of American society. They say they got to these elite positions because of merit and that that they are highly qualified. Many have PhD’s and some are university professors, but their record is abysmal; they crashed the US economy and then helped their mega rich buddies to loot the American people; they started wars all over the Middle East leaving millions dead and millions more homeless; and when Russia embraced western capitalism under Yeltsin, they looted the Russian people.
You think university professors are all academics, erudite, thoughtful, you don’t think that they could be gangsters, part of organised crime, but they went on the rampage helping Russian oligarchs and criminals to seize control of whole state industries and then shift $billions into offshore bank accounts.
Many of these elite at the top did not make their wealth through merit, instead they have wrecked everything they have touched while lining their pockets in the process. Rather than get even more top posts, they should be put on trial for treason, as Paul Craig Roberts says.
Self-promoted, academic spokesman for the American worker, Robert Reich received his JD at Yale Law School and taught at Harvard. He served as Labor Secretary under Clinton (1993-97). During Reich’s tenure, labor union membership steeply declined, laws prohibiting worker organizing were tightened and the minimum wage became a minimum survival wage. Reich hung on to his Cabinet position even after the North American Free Trade for the Americas (NAFTA} was approved destroying over two million once secure American manufacturing jobs. He hung on as President Clinton carpet bombed the renowned worker self-managed factories of Yugoslavia. He kept his luxurious office in Washington after Clinton bombed Sudan’s principle factory for the production of vaccines and antibiotics leaving million of children and adults without basic vaccines and medicines. Reich kept ‘mum’ even as Haiti was invaded and a harsh neo-liberal anti-worker agenda was imposed to permit the democratically elected President Aristide to return to office.
While domestic inequalities deepened and economic deregulation extended, Reich remained in office. Reich ignored Israeli violence against Palestinian labor unions and workers, backing Clinton’s “carnal relation” with Tel Aviv.
After years of devastation against workers at home and abroad, Reich left Washington for a cushy $243,000-a-year appointment at UC Berkeley where he ‘teaches’ two hours a week assigning his own op-ed columns in the mass media as ‘reading material’. When not engaged in such strenuous scholarship, Reich has managed to churn out books ‘critical of neo-liberalism, inequality and social justice’. ‘Crying all the way to the bank’, this intellectual for the oppressed worker has to manage the $40,000 he is paid for each 45 minute speech on the lecture circuit. On an hourly basis, Reich earns 6 times more than the average US corporate CEOs he denounces.