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Reconstruction project.

The billions President Obama is seeking to rebuild American infrastructure come with a catch: whites and white collars need not apply. Obama's economic adviser Robert Reich, in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, said, "I am concerned, as I'm sure many of you are, that these jobs not simply go to high-skilled people who are already professionals or to white male construction workers ..."

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So who should be building our bridges? According to Reich, criteria can be set "so that the money does go to others, the long-term unemployed, minorities, women." In other words, the jackhammers, cement mixers, and other heavy equipment should be manned by layabouts, affirmative-action hires, and mothers.

On his personal blog, Reich noted how replaceable experienced laborers are: "People can be trained relatively quickly for these sorts of jobs, as well as many infrastructure jobs generated by the stimulus." So why aren't companies already toeing the PC line? Because, Reich says, "contractors have to be nudged both to provide the training and to do the hiring." Funny how the language of economic incentive sounds so much like bribery.

"I have nothing against white male construction workers," Reich added during his testimony--besides training and subsidizing their future competitors while discriminating against them in the largest construction projects of the next generation. Perhaps by 2012, high-skilled professionals and white males will qualify as the long-term unemployed.

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Title Annotation:JOBS; infrastructure plans
Publication:The American Conservative
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 9, 2009
Words:231
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