Written by the 22nd Labor Secretary of the United States Robert Reich, Locked in the Cabinet appears to be written with noble goals and intentions. That is, “to bridge the widening gap between the rich and the poor.”
Robert Reich is a friend of former United States President Bill Clinton for 25 years and ended having extremely opposing views.
He turned out to be a disillusioned member of Clinton’s cabinet. He pointed out the failure of Clinton’s administration to fulfill its intended aims and roles for the benefit of its constituents.
In the book, Clinton was treated with hesitation. Reich did not deliberately stated “President Bill Clinton” in the book. He would refer to a certain “Bill” who, he said, his longtime friend. He was, perhaps, also considering their friendship while criticizing the leadership of his very own close friend.
It is commendable that Reich aims for bridging the gap between the rich and poor. He stressed his being a liberal who has always been ready to fight for the rights of their constituents.
For him, being liberal is giving an individual his rights. He stressed the importance of giving such because it is the main role and function of the government, anyway.
As a liberal labor secretary, he advocated the rights of every worker especially their right for a wage increase. He even tried to convince company owners and manufacturers not to use their powers against the striking workers. These workers are just airing their rights and sentiments, in the first place.
Pertaining to the legitimate role and functions of the government in a private enterprise economy, he stressed out the role of the government on giving the outright benefits that a worker should have.
He pushed for wage increase among the workers in the United States. He stressed the importance of some sort of “government intervention” in pushing for the rights of the workers.
Even if Clinton is his longtime and close friend, it did not stop him in voicing out his criticisms towards Clinton’s unsatisfactory leadership through his book.
He said that Clinton’s administration did not know what should be prioritized and seemed to forget what the purpose of his coming to Washington. He related that Clinton had the leadership but did not have the enough courage to take effect what is best for the people. But then, his disappointment over Clinton’s policies and administration has always been overshadowed by his affection towards his longtime friend.
He views contemporary American policies as a “disaster” which does not actually respond to the actual needs of their constituents. He bluntly criticized everything he thinks not in the right place.
I totally agree with his concept of liberalism. He cares for the “liberation” of every individual’s rights. He put forth the importance of giving everyone of what is due to him. As a statesman, it just right for him to have the heart for the oppressed and not for the oppressor. He has showed concern for the advantage of the people.
It is just that he was “locked in the cabinet.” He implied that limitations of being a member of a cabinet. It might appear that cabinet members have all the power to take effect pro-people policies and actions, but then, they are subjected to the bureaucracy’s approval.
He used many underlying themes in his book. This somewhat gave a twist on the sharp opinions that he wants to present.
He admitted that he is indeed a frustrated secretary who wished that everyone would hear his and the society’s plight.
Reich’s book is really informative. It is amazing how he is able to present such controversial revelations given that Clinton is his very close friend. He presented his point bravely leaving no missed point behind.
I guess he just showed an objective setting of the situation of Clinton’s administration and the United States government system in general, particularly to the labor sector.
With no doubt, he showed, through his book, his deep concern for people.
On the other hand, the book, behind its impressing underlying themes, also received criticisms, perhaps from those who were behind the administration of Clinton. They claimed that Reich’s work was just like a fictional work and even claimed that it is a mere propaganda. They added that Reich’s claim were not realistic at all.
Well, I guess, they just have to see the bigger picture. I believe that Reich has noble goals and aims as he presented his points in the book.
Undeniably, Reich’s book deserves a commendation. He did his work well as the labor secretary fighting for the workers’ rights.
People in the government should get a copy of his book immediately.
Reich, R. (1997). Locked in the Cabinet (1st ed.). Norwalk, CT: Easton Press.