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Listening to Hillary: Economy

August 20, 2016

Here’s a report on Hillary’s speech at an aerospace manufacturing business in MI on Aug 11.

Most important, to me (in case you don’t want to read far down the page): at times she did an excellent job of speaking personally, by telling the story of her grandfather who was a factory worker and especially of her father, who owned and operated a small business (printing, selling, and delivering fabrics, e.g. curtains). When she told how he worked to silk-screen the fabrics on a long table, it was obvious that she had seen it done, she could feel it viscerally. The image was still in her bones and muscles. I don’t know how many times she can tell that story and still summon up such genuineness of vision and caring, but it’s the kind of thing that puts across “authenticity,” and makes people feel as though she’s like them, and knows it, and wants to have a conversation about her proposals.

Second most important: “I want you to hold me accountable for delivering results.”

In case you still have some time for reading and you missed the speech:

She spoke of “common sense” actions that government can take to provide opportunities through growth of the private sector to provide employment that pays well. She emphasized manufacturing; better incentives, especially through tax credits or penalties; making it easier and more rewarding to both work and raise a family; and bipartisanship.

The speech was structured by four questions that “voters should be asking,” with her explanation of why the answer is H.

(1) Who has a real plan for creating “good paying jobs”?

She proposes:

The biggest program since WWII to create jobs by modernizing our entire infrastructure, including a huge, renewable-energy power grid, and by attending to needs of underserved neighborhoods, including broadband everywhere.

(I’m guessing she knows that O’s stimulus was a very good thing and should have been much bigger—I hope she’ll borrow to finance it adequately, in addition to taxing the rich.)

American leadership in clean energy tech and precision manufacturing; we should be making the machines that we need, and exporting them.

Assistance to businesses by making credit more available via an “infrastructure bank,” community banks, and credit unions. “Market tax credits” for creation of jobs in depressed areas.

For small businesses and entrepreneurs: cut red tape, simplify tax filing [I’ve never understood why the Dem party could not become the party for small business people].

Empower workers—and here she effectively named a lot of trades and kinds of small contractors, and workers in the service sector.

Support entry into well-paying employment by way of union training programs [to me, this is big], paid apprenticeships, community colleges.

Insist on better trade deals, and enforcement of the rules in them (will appoint our first “chief trade prosecutor”); targeted tariffs [also big].

She opposes TPP, “and will as president.”

(2) Who will restore fairness, including making the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes?

She proposes to change the system of incentives, including a more “progressive tax code,” so that everybody who contributes shares in the profits; corporations who choose to leave America will repay tax breaks that they have received at any level, plus an “exit tax;” Buffet Rule; close the “carried interest” loophole; strengthen wall St rules.

(3) Who will “go to bat for working families”?

“…make it easier to be good workers, good parents, and good care-givers” all at the same time; child care availability, expanded child tax credit, guaranteed equal pay, paid family leave, higher fed min wage, expanded soc sec, immigration reform, strong unions [very big].

Public Option for health insurance in all states.

(4) Who can bring together Ds, Rs, and Is, to “deliver the results”?

She will provide “serious steady leadership that can find common ground and build on it based on hard but respectful bargaining with the other side….There was a time when Ds and Rs worked together….get everyone at the table.”

On the opposition:

I think she did a good job of criticizing T throughout, and sometimes the Rs (though she isn’t honest enough about them, probably because she doesn’t want to offend, to alienate the beyond alienation, because—reminiscent of O, she has in mind getting them to work with her. Really? On the proposals she’s making? I think she should shoot for a Dem Congress, even if it takes a couple of years, and then really get something done.).

On Style:

I’m guessing that her style is quite authentically her, while she’s also pointing up the contrast with Trump’s style, and with Bernie’s. It seems to be a large part of her message: that she’s very sober, restrained, steady, pragmatic, down-to-business, determined, prepared, and dependable, and knows how to get things done [Yes, VA, there still is a Third Way].

She uses a lot of clichés, which to me seem inauthentic, as if there isn’t real thought or engagement going on (but maybe that’s because I’m an English major). I hope that her writers can come up with some signature phrasing.

I thought it was an informative speech, although it needs to get shorter and more pointed, and probably will.

[The page on which I promised to pay better attention.  Listening on 8/25: Racisists]

[A critique by friend JO:  “I question the few specifics that you & she mentioned … Obama’s Trillion Dollar (a thousand Billion dollars) was not a success … about 6 months ago I searched for a non-partisan evaluation studiy and could not find any that definitively attributed X # of jobs created to the trillion dollar stimulus package. The best I could find was administration assertions that the recession would have been worse (I.e., worse than the 10% unemployment) than it would have been had we not spent this money. Nor could I find much on what infrastructure was actually created/improved as a result. Any evaluation of the program by the administration would be suspect since they have a vested interest in declaring it a success or money well-spent. But we need concrete, non-partisan evidence before we spend any more in this direction. Secondly, most “infrastructure” throughout the US is maintained by local government …. states, counties, cities and towns. It’s primarily a local government responsibility, and it’s funded by local taxes (i.e., not federal) but also by a multi-trillion municipal i bond market…. i.e., it’s privately funded; the states, counties and cities borrow the money from private investors to build roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, etc., etc.) . You failed to mention that Hillary said that she wanted to fund this Trillion dollar-plus federal government infrastructure program with increased taxes, particularly from higher income groups like yourself. So, as I see it — (a) the Trillion dollar Obama stimulus spent on “shovel ready” infrastructure was NOT a success in either job creation or infrastructure development (or, at least, there is no hard evidence yet of success) ; ((b) Hillary wants to increase taxes to pay for another huge federal government stimulus package; and (c) expand the size/role of the federal government.”]

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