Skip to comments.From Each According to His Ability... Hillary Clinton's quest for economic justice
Posted on 01/23/2008 5:20:01 AM PST by .cnI redruM
During this week's Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton said putting together the right kind of stimulus package is "a part of economic justice." The remark reflected a major campaign theme for the New York senator, who has declared she would pursue "a new vision of economic fairness" as president.
That slogan should set off alarm bells for anyone who recognizes that economic outcomes result from myriad individual choices. To impose her vision of economic fairness, Clinton would have to override those choices, compromising freedom in the name of equality.
Clinton's aim is economic equality, not legal equality, and you really can't have both. As the economist and political philosopher F.A. Hayek observed, equal treatment of people with unequal abilities leads to unequal outcomes. In this sense social justice is, if not a "mirage," as Hayek argued, at least in conflict with procedural justice.
So it's not surprising that many of the policies Clinton believes promote economic fairness strike others as decidedly unfair. In 2006, for example, she endorsed a successful Commerce Department petition by Syracuse candle makers to impose a tariff of more than 100 percent on candles imported from China.
"Our manufacturers deserve a level playing field," Clinton explained, "and we owe it to them to make sure that others do not unfairly circumvent our fair trade practices." In Clinton's view, then, fairness demands that all Americans pay more for candles to subsidize manufacturers in her state.
More generally, Clinton advocates "smart" trade rather than free trade, insisting on "strong protections for workers and the environment" that reduce the competitive advantages of foreign producers. She wants "jobs that cannot be shipped overseas," which can be achieved only by interfering with companies' profit-maximizing (and consumer-benefiting) decisions. For her, globalization is not what happens naturally when people are free to exchange goods and services on mutually agreeable terms; it's a process that needs to be "managed properly."
Clinton wants to "curb the excesses of the marketplace," which in her view include not just foreign competition but high salaries for corporate CEOs, risk-based insurance premiums, and foreclosures on the homes of people who fail to make mortgage payments. Intent on implementing her "new economic blueprint," she overlooks the possibility that such practices developed for sound reasons and that arbitrarily limiting or abolishing them might have unintended consequences.
When it comes to fiscal policy, Clinton seems to see herself as a kindergarten teacher "fairly" doling out cupcakes, giving no thought to who baked them in the first place. In a recent New York Times interview she worried that "inequality is growing" and waxed nostalgic for the "confiscatory" tax rates of the post-World War II decades.
Clinton would use higher taxes to pay for universal preschool, universal college, universal health care, and universal high-speed Internet access, among other taxpayer-funded goodies. These she calls "the investments we make in each other," and they are just like investments, except that there is no reliable test of whether they make sense, since the people paying for them have no choice in the matter and are not the ones who stand to benefit.
There's a similar problem with Clinton's proposal to "create millions of new jobs by investing in clean energy" through a $50 billion Strategic Energy Fund. When a politician talks about the jobs government spending will create, it's usually a signal that the spending cannot be defended on its own merits. A Strategic Thumb Twiddling Fund could create millions of new jobs too.
In the Times interview Clinton suggested that as president she would be prepared to ram through her economic program on straight party-line votes. "If you really believe you have to manage the economy," she said, "you have to stake a lot of your presidency on it."
The history of central planners and their failures suggests a different lesson: If you really believe you have to manage the economy, you shouldn't be president.
In Hillary’s world, we’ll all be working at gunpoint, otherwise, there will be no incentive to produce.
Point Barrow could become the next Maxim Gorky...
She is taking off the mask and now believes that we have lulled the vast amount of Americans hooked on government benefits or at least enough Americans NOT paying taxes but getting some kind of subsidies, that it's now time to get the "rich to pay for all."
If Hillary becomes president, I’ll retire and let the rest of you support me. I’m damned sick and tired of getting up early every day.
sounds like a good time to move to a low stress, low pay job in a comfortable town; let someone else pay the freight!
How about this one: equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome....
oh wait, that’s what we have now so why would those whose choices necessarily limit their outcome want to vote for Hillary?
Hitlary is just trying to out Stalin Baaaarack O.
Under Hillary’s regimelife here will make the communist bloc Nations of the 50’s and 60’s seem luxious. She and her henchmen will be wealthy and live a life of luxury and the rest of the Country will starve.
With the field of candidates the Republican Party now field a Hillary Presidency is now a foregone conclusion.
It’s funny, I had a short conversation with a woman who is planning on voting for Hillary. I respectfully asked why and she said, “I just think it’s time to have a woman in office”, “America seems read for it”. Is there another reason why?, I asked, .......”crickets chirping”......
This woman had no idea who she was voting for, but by God she is a woman and it’s time.
Voting should be an earned right.
Hillary is a communist. She will take money from those who have some because of their hard work, and give it to those who have none because of low mental capacity, laziness, substance addiction, low self-esteem.
The first step was to make failure criminal. Outlaw failure and you guarantee there will be no more success.
Hillary wants to destroy what made America great: the ability for a man to be rewarded for investing his full potential to make an honest living.
Am I going to have to explain to my children and grandchildren why the American Dream was perverted and thrown away? Great.
If Hillary! was a man, I wouldn't vote for him, either.
I am surprised that she is exposing her vision. What a fabulous opportunity for a conservative to debate, educate and WIN!
I wouldn’t say idiots. I would say lazy and ignorant.
Much of Hillary’s support comes from: 1) People who want to destroy the U.S 2)People who have no loyalty to the United States and its heritage (immigrants) 3)People who are too lazy to get up and make their own living and want to leech off of others (welfare) 4) People who know nothing on their own, and let the media and others think for themselves 5) Generations indoctrinated that America’s heritage is full of rich, evil, white men, and it needs progressive change now.
A communist in communist clothing. At least she doesn’t bother to doll it up. She is telling the American populace that they are incapable of managing their own affairs, that they are inept at recognizing their true duties to society, that she knows best what is good for each and every one of us.
However, the failing remains the same...Hillary, like all the other megalomaniacs in Washington, refuses to realize that government funds ultimately come from only ONE source, the people. And, once the people have had enough, there will still be Hell to pay.
These socialist bastards need to be put out to pasture. Get them out of the way, free up the engine of commerce, and set the world aright...
That is the US destiny. Let’s get started.