By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
May 5, 2010

Apple isn’t the problem, says Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor. Big banks are the problem.

“Why is the Federal Trade Commission threatening Apple with a possible lawsuit for abusing its economic power, but not even raising an eyebrow about the huge and growing economic (and political) muscle of JP Morgan Chase or any of the other four remaining giant banks on Wall Street?”

So begins a spirited defense of Apple’s (AAPL) third-party developer policies posted Tuesday by Robert Reich on his blog and The Huffington Post.

“Apple’s supposed sin,” writes the former Clinton cabinet member, “was to tell software developers that if they want to make apps for iPhones and iPads they have to use Apple programming tools. No more outside tools (like Adobe’s Flash format) that can run on rival devices like Google’s Android phones and RIM’s BlackBerrys.”

What’s wrong with that? Reich asks. Apple and its many competitors are “innovating like mad,” he writes, “as are tens of thousands of independent developers.”

“Our future well being depends more on people like Steve Jobs who invent real products that can improve our lives, than it does on people like [Chase CEO] Jamie Dimon who invent financial products that do little other than threaten our economy.”

He’s got a point.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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