Inside Financial Services

Hillary’s Misguided Economic Ideas

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I admit I wasn’t prepared to be open-minded to the ideas laid out in the two economic speeches Hillary Clinton has given in the last couple of weeks, but was surprised at how irked I’d already become before she was even done running through her warmup, tear-jerker anecdotes: “The single mom who talked to me about juggling a job and classes . . . The grandmother who works around the clock providing childcare other people’s kids . . . The young entrepreneur whose dream of buying a bowling alley  . . . was nearly derailed by student debt.”

Wait. If these people’s problems are the kind that Hillary Clinton thinks can be solved by mere economic reforms, she’s more delusional than I had imagined. Not to sound too hard-hearted, but the best way to avoid the burden of student debt is—are you ready?–to not borrow a lot of money in the first place. The best way to ease the strain of having to work during your golden years (and what ever happened to Social Security, by the way?) is to save enough for retirement ahead of time. And the best way to avoid becoming a single mother is . . . well, I’ll bet you know the answer to that one, already.

Hillary Clinton’s economic “program,” if it can be called that, isn’t so much about enacting policies that would speed up economic growth as it is about doling government cash and perks to preferred groups, all as if accounting—or even arithmetic—didn’t exist. Thus she ends up with a laundry list of expensive, dumb ideas: an “infrastructure bank” to pay for the construction of public boondoggles, as a sop to the construction unions; tax breaks on “green” energy investments, as a thank-you to her deep-pocketed environmentalist donors; subsidized pre-K as a payoff to the teachers unions; subsidized child care as a salute to the Democratic Party’s ever-loyal constituency of single mothers. The list goes on and on. This isn’t a coherent set of economic ideas. It’s a coherent (to Hillary’s self-interest, anyway) set of political payoffs.

More broadly, Hillary says she’ll get the economy going by facilitating “convening, connecting, and collaborating” by the economy’s key players. She puts it this way because, “I’ll expand the crony capitalism initiative my predecessor began” doesn’t test well in focus groups. In any event, big business will be expected to be part of the mix. Hillary will reward companies her administration prefers, and punish companies in industries it doesn’t like. We’ve already seen a lot of this in the Obama years, and the result has been instructive. Thus, for instance, the big banks are still being pilloried for being “too big to fail,” while the auto industry is apparently also too big to fail–and yet the administration was more than happy to shovel money its way. Do you mine coal for a living? We’ll do what we can to put you out of business. Is solar energy your game? Here’s a tax credit!

It’s the classic progressive game of the government trying to pick winners and losers. How’s that going so far, would you say? Under a Hillary presidency expect more of it. Meanwhile, her understanding of how the free-enterprise system actually works, and how large organizations are run, seems surprisingly limited. For as long as I’ve been in the investing business, critics have harped about companies being run for short-term results at the expense of long-term investment. If there’s any scientific literature that backs up this assertion, I have yet to see it. Real-world experience, meanwhile, says it can’t possibly be true. Within the past twenty or so years, real brutal competitive pressures have had the effect of upending the structure of industries ranging from automaking, computer technology, and retailing to newspaper publishing and the brewing of beer. Moral of story: if you seriously stint on long-term investment for the sake of near-term results. You’re going to lose. Badly. Hillary’s carping about “quarterly capitalism” is a bunch of nonsense.

She knows it’s nonsense, of course. Perhaps the most discouraging thing about Hillary’s two speeches, in fact, is that it’s obvious that she doesn’t believe a word of what she said in either of them. Infrastructure spending, free child care, and a higher minimum wage? If that’s what the voters want to hear. Hillary Clinton just wants to be president.

What do you think? Let me know!


22 Responses to “Hillary’s Misguided Economic Ideas”

  1. Joe Gordon

    Spot on! Tom, speak louder so you get coverage….but the talking heads at CNBC likely cannot air anything critical of America’s #1 Crime Family

    • Denis

      The coverage of this isn’t too dlfuicfit to understand. Coverage of politics is approaching the coverage of sports, pro football in particular. The true political season, like a football season, is relatively short. But now, we make a tremendous issue out of an insignificant campaign statement (but a pretty good joke) made more than twelve months before any votes will be cast in any primary and more than twenty months before we decide who the next President will be. The pro football analogy is continuous offseason coverage of the draft and the free agent market. Just like 24-hour sports channels, 24-hour news networks need a constant supply of events to report about, even if they really don’t mean much in the bigger scheme of things.And just like football games, we now have political reporters and analysts dissecting statements in immense detail, as if they were John Madden showing you eight different replays of the same play and telling you how this lineman missed a block and that safety took the wrong angle on the receiver.I just wish Hillary had simply admitted the joke. It might have allowed her to defuse an issue that I still think lingers for some voters out there why did she stay with Bill through his marital infidelities? I think a lot of voters simply assume the worst that she wanted to stay close to power, an assumption that reinforces her negatives. I think if she had answered questions with a smile and the rhetorical question, who do you think I was talking about? , she could have conveyed another message that a lot of people (and maybe more importantly a lot of women) would understand: Sure, I married a lunkhead, but he’s my lunkhead.

  2. Judge Roy Bean

    She would continue the classic crony capitalism that Washington thrives on. She would be a disaster as president for our economy. Government is not the answer to all that ails us.

  3. SW Pilgrim

    Stop “lending” this person executive aircraft! Let her pay her own way in this brief interim before she’s back at the public trough. SWP

  4. jsc173

    No surprise. Not newsworthy. Like hearing that her husband had another “affair” under his desk.

    • Dedi

      The type of physician I would like to work for is a Pediatrician. Pediatrician’s spceialty is to work with children. I have been working with children for a long time mainly because I work at a daycare facility. I’ve got to a point where I feel like I can handle anything that will come my way with them. It would also leave me feeling good at the end of the day to know that I have helped in some way to make a child feel better.The type of physician I would not care to work for is a Epidemiologist. Epidemiologist’s specialize in epidemics caused by infections agents and also work with sexually transmitted diseases. I feel if I were to work in this type of spceialty I would be putting my self at risk of exposure to these infectious agents. Also I would be focusing a lot of my time on trying to not get infected instead of having a steady mind on what I was actually supposed to be doing.

  5. Lisa

    Tom, your comments are completely misguided and demonstate that you have no understanding of the underclass in America.
    First, student debt is often brought on by one’s strong desire to get out of their existing circumstance…i.e., to obtain a college degree. Tuition has become so inflated that even upper middle class families are challenged with how to pay for it…so to state that one should not borrow is a bit shortsited. As well, most Americans don’t save as well as they should for retirement because day to day expense are exceeding their pay and pay raises. High costs of food, fuel, child care – staples of daily life make it a challenge for Average citizens….Again, I believe that you are completely insensitive to average american’s plight…

    • Parkite

      …..latest iphone, new car, trip to disney world.

    • Morgan's Mom

      I understand your comments Lisa, but Hillary Clinton IS NOT the answer. We do not need more and more bureaucracies. Tom is spot on, her rhetoric is one of payoff to donors and special interest groups. Who is to pay for all the “free” childcare?, which companies can afford higher and higher minimum wage?, not the small ones. I am a middle class single, divorced woman, putting a daughter through school and though I hate the high tuition I am paying, forcing others to pay is just flat wrong.

      “AT THIS TIME, WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE”……….it makes a difference to me NOW AND ALWAYS.

      • Binod

        I had a rather hard time chnooisg just one type of physician I would want to work for. So many of them fascinate me, and with me not really going into any medical field other than support, I never gave this any thought in the past. After reading the list, I am more favorable of working for a neonatologist. It is difficult to think about how neonatologist physicians sometimes have the most difficult job in the world, but I can only imagine how amazing it would be to be a part of saving a baby’s life. I had a coworker once whose baby was born at 36 weeks, and her baby had a lot of heart and lung problems. There were concerns about whether or not they would ever fully develop once she had him, but after many months in the NICU, and many scares that happened during it, the doctors were able to save him and he is now a very healthy 5 year old. It is because of that I have a higher interest in the neonatologist field.I hate to say which type of physician I would care less to work for, and it is because I worry that many will take it the wrong way. When I was 16, I used to help my mom at an assisted living home as a caregiver. We would get to work at 7:00 A.M. every morning to prepare breakfast for four of the elderly men and women that we were caring for. We would then make sure that all bedding was changed, rooms were cleaned, meals were prepared, and appointments were handled. We worked 12 hour days, and they were always grueling. The owner of the home made sure that everyone had their medicine and made it to their doctor appointments on time. However, she was more worried about getting paid for her services than actually helping the elderly. She would yell at them if they did something wrong, and even call them terrible names. My mom reported her and we both quit our job, but it has always left a sting in my heart since then. It is because of my experience with that situation that I do not think I could ever work for a gerontologist. I know that the situations would be much different, but ever since my experience with caring for elderly individuals it is very hard for me to think about assisting a physician in geriatrics because I worry that someone else might treat the elderly in the same way the owner of the home did. I am a firm believer that the elderly deserve the ultimate care and comfort when going through any treatment and aging in general, but I do not think I could ever work in that environment again.

    • Open

      McCain,Sorry to take so long to respond. Duty claled. Anyway, here is my list of Dem seats in play. We won’t win all of them but +6 is my best guess. CO, CT, IL, NV, AR, DE, IN, 1 NY seat, ND, OR, PA and WI. Of course, I think there are a couple of open seats, held by R’s (OH and NH) that could go blue. I am much less pessimistic on that than I was a few months back. Out of the above list, with a gun to my head, I would guess that the 6 most likely to red would be (in no particular order):CT, CO, PA, DE, ND and NV.

  6. Nancy

    You haven’t mentioned her determination to raise and extend the holding period for capital gains taxes. Sure to bring in more revenue as investors are reluctant to take timely capital gains, and instead ride winners into losers. Further, a six year holding period could result in a nominal gain, but a purchasing power loss (think inflation) on which one would pay capital gains taxes.

    I wonder if Hilary ever took an economics course at Wellesley?

  7. Pat O'Brien

    Hillary trying to cast herself as outside the tent pissing in is absurd. Hunter Thompson described the Republicans as the party of big business and the Dems as the party of big labor; both see Washington as a money hose, they just point it in different directions.

    • Gerardo

      For me, choosing a mecdial specialty is easy. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work as a Dermatologist Tech prior to moving to Alaska. What an amazing field! No two cases are the same and more than one type of procedure can be performed in a day. Working for a dermatologist provides the benefits of both a private office setting and hours along with the experience of surgeries and unique treatments. Cyst removals and cancer treatments became the most interesting procedures to me and I can not wait to get back into the field!There are not many positions or specialties I would turn down when it comes to the mecdial field. If I had to pick one, however, it would have to be gynecology. Why would this be the field I turn down? I am honestly not sure. I must be lacking the gene the would cause me to be interested in the subject! For whatever reason I would choose to work anywhere else before choosing gynecology. Specialty clinics are like sushi I guess. How do you know you don’t like it if you’ve never tried it?!

  8. sue

    “Not to sound too hard-hearted, but the best way to avoid the burden of student debt is—are you ready?–to not borrow a lot of money in the first place.”

    That’s just classic Tom Brown jackassery. Thanks for the great advice. Unfortunately not everyone is fortunate enough to have their college education funded by shrewd investments in First Marblehead.

    • Judge Roy Bean

      Life is full of decisions. When u make a bad one don’t expect the rest of the world to bail you out. How about working your way through college? How about community college vs Private schools? People do it all the time. Is it a challenge? Absolutely. But it is better than graduating with six figure debt. The decision to take on that debt is the individual’s not society’s. I would venture to say that many people don’t want to pay for a total stranger’s education, home, car, etc. and whatever other bailout someone needs. If you do, then God Bless You and your fortunate circumstances that allows you to do that.

  9. Charlie1939

    How about deconstructing the clowns on the otherside too…

    • Pep

      (I’m not sure if I’m posting this in the corrcet place as I was unable to post it from the Dashboard.)The type of physician I would like to work with is a gerontologist. A gerontologist specializes in caring for the elderly. I have a fondness for our older population. They built out society and lived in a time that many of us can learn from. I would take great pride in caring for them as they age. In my opinion, working with a doctor that shares my passion and excitement would be the ideal work environment.The type of physician I would not be as excited to work with would be a proctologist. To be completely honest, I just don’t think I have what it takes to be in that environment. It’s important to be professional in any medical environment. I believe my sense of humor would not allow me to be as professional as I would need to be. I would also prefer not to work with ophthalmologist. Several years ago I spent a week with my grandfather at a specialist to have cataracts removed. I found it very difficult to watch the videos of my grandfather’s up coming procedures. It wasn’t difficult caring for my grandfather after surgery, but I must admit the pre-op was an experience that I would not want to assist in on a daily bases.

  10. JRG

    Tax cuts, deregulation, repeal Obamacare seal off the border send the 12million undocumented back, start a war with Iran and finally let the free market work and it will take care of all of our problems. That’s what we need to do

    • Gemma

      For me this is a relatively easy qusotien, but has a pretty complex answer. The specialty I have actually looked forward to working with is OB/GYN. I find that the ability of a woman’s body to produce a child, endure the amount of abuse it takes during a pregnancy, and the amount of pain endured during delivery is amazing. The joy of being able to be present as life enters the world is truly one of the greatest moments in life. To me that would be the best possible option. I also would love working in the operating room with a surgeon. I have experienced the OR quite a few times, and have been on both sides of the table. I have to say I would love to work with any surgeon in the OR except for Orthopedics. The reason behind that is the surgery’s are pretty brutal when it comes to the skeletal system. Having been in the OR with an Orthopedic surgeon and seeing the use of the saws, hammers and other heavy equipment in order to perform the surgery just sends chills up my spine. I know that type of surgery is not for me. I think my favorite surgeries have to be that of the abdominal cavity. The specialties that I would least like to work for are few, and for simple reasons. Pediatrics is not a specialty for me since I have four children of my own. My Aunt is a neonatal nurse practitioner and I followed her in high school and saw the good, the bad, and the ugly so I can honestly say I could not emotionally handle that type of position. Podiatry is also an area I could not see myself working. The reason behind this is pretty silly, but here goes, I very much dislike other peoples feet especially if they are not well kept. I know in the medical field you will encounter feet on a daily basis, but I could not mainly work with feet on an everyday basis. My last specialty is Orthopedics for the reasons I noted above about the barbaric nature of the surgeries and treatments for the musculoskeletal system. Its just not for me.

  11. Rajat

    I couldn’t agree more about gareitrics. I miss sitting with some of the elderly individuals I used to help and they would tell me stories for hours about the things that they witness when they were younger, and the lives that they lived up to the point that they needed care. I have always felt that the elderly know how to live their lives better than anyone, and they for sure never take it for granted! Sometimes the people taking care of them are not good people though, and it always breaks my heart to see someone talking badly to an elderly man or woman.I like how you made a switch from little tiny babies that have no real experience with life, to elderly men and women who have lived life to its fullest and still have more life to share with others. Such opposites!

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