'This Week' Transcript: NEC Director Larry Summers

REICH: Jake, I'm very concerned. This is the long-term problem, and it's a problem for Democrats, Republicans, for Americans, for middle class. You see, as globalization has proceeded and as technological change has proceeded, many Americans without the right skills -- and most Americans, you know, they have college degrees -- most Americans have high school degrees, but not everybody has a college degree, nor should they -- but, you see, we don't have the skills that we need to keep up in a global economy.

And, therefore, when the dust settles, maybe people will have jobs, but they're not going to have very good jobs. They have priced themselves out of a global economy. And that is going to lead to even a wider gap between people at the top and average working Americans. WILL: Bob mentions globalization. One of the most fascinating developments in recent months was the announcement this week that in March General Motors sold more -- a lot more cars in China than it did in the United States.

REICH: George, that's what the big companies are doing. Big companies are doing well globally. They're not doing well in the United States. They're hiring like mad abroad. They're not hiring in the United States. And we are beginning to see now something that some of us predicted years ago, and that is a really decoupling of the strategies of big companies, big global companies headquartered in the United States, from the American economy.

TAPPER: There's one other thing I wanted to ask before we -- we take a turn to Michael Steele's job, which seems to be at issue, and that is, I could almost hear your teeth gnashing in the Green Room when I was interviewing Summers and Greenspan on the subject of financial regulatory reform.

REICH: Well, look, the fact of the matter is that Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers and Bob Rubin all, if any trio were responsible for deregulating this financial economy, whether you're talking about getting rid of the Glass-Steagall Act that separated commercial banking from investment banking, or you're talking about saying to Brooksley Born at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, "No, you may not regulate derivatives," it's those three.

TAPPER: But those -- and those two moves the Obama administration is looking to undo. They want to regulate some derivatives, and they want to put a wall between commercial and investment banking activities, not to the degree that existed before.

REICH: This is my -- my worry. Everybody is enthusiastic -- or everybody who says that they're looking at financial reform is enthusiastic about doing something about the too-big-to-fail problem. But when it comes right down to it, if you look at the details, there is nothing in the hopper right now that is going to fundamentally change the situation so that, 5 or 10 years from now, you don't have a few big banks making wild bets with other people's money and then expecting to be bailed out by the federal government.

TAPPER: OK. I want to move on to the Republican National Committee and Michael Steele's job. Tony Perkins, who is the head of the conservative Family Research Council, is now telling Republicans and conservatives, "Don't give money to the RNC." Here he is.


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