I certainly didn’t expect to hear this from the liberal super-pundit and former Secretary of Labor. This is from ABC:
REICH: I agree with Liz. I think that — that in preparation for this trip [to China], as in many others, even the trip to Europe to try to sell Chicago as the Olympics, there needs to be more thought about the appearance of weakness or strength that may come out of the trip.
But I want to go back to, George, 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.
I’m hope Reich remains an advocate if strength when it comes to other subjects. But I part ways when it comes to his pessimism about free-market capitalism and veneration of the Chinese. It reminds me of all those who praised Japan’s unstoppable engine of government-led capitalism. It’s hard not to conclude that Reich and those of his ilk simply can’t resist the hope that more government control will prove to be the best thing for all of us.