Analysis of Clinton’s Michigan Speech

August 12, 2016 (Sam diego) The speech delivered by Secretsry Hillary Clinton was not just a contest with Donald j Trump’s, but a full thrashed endorsement of Democractic party planks. It was also a very different vision of the country. While Trump pointed to Detroit as a failing city, and the product of free trade, Clinton highlighted the new economic developments of the innovation economy.

She said:

We are builders and we need to get back to building!
So we’re making progress, none of us can be satisfied until the economic revitalization we’re seeing in some parts of Michigan reaches every community. But it is inspiring to see this combination of old-fashioned hard work and cutting-edge innovation.

When Clinton emphasized that building rockets does not happen in third world countries, it was a fine point of American Exceptionalism. Though this ignores that the aerospace industry is also getting exported. Rocket building is happening in both India and China. Just a tad of fact checking. 

She also emphasized the growth of the innovation economy, and promised to invest heavily in it. 

This though is standard speech fare trying to differentiate the two candidates.  What we also saw is a good dose of the ideology that currently pervades the Democratic Party, and this is the idea that good schools and merit will fix all. She said:

This is personal for me. I am the product of the American middle class, I was born in Chicago, I was raised in a suburb. But my grandfather worked at the Scranton lace mill in Scranton, Pennsylvania, for 50 years. And because he worked hard, my Dad was able to go to college, and eventually start his own small business – and then send me out into the world to follow my dreams.

No matter how far those dreams have taken me, I have always remembered, I’m the daughter of a small-business owner and the granddaughter of a factory worker — and proud of both.

This of course leads to one of the promises her campaign is making, which is college education that is affordable. 

Clinton is also promising to create jobs and invest in infrastructure. It was a call back to Keynesian economics of the New Deal, what her opponents will gleefully call big government.  This project includes affordable housing and universal access to the internet. 

She is also promising to expand clean energy production. Clinton is correct that we trail China, but this is part of the Climate Action Plan that stared under Barak Obama, as well as the Paris agreements 

What we also found curious is that taxes are critical for both campaigns and both are promising simplification for small businesses. 

We found this particularly curious:

For example, our modern service economy is empowering consumers with more choices and greater flexibility. But we need to do more to empower the workers in our service sector too.

While some of the service sector is very well paid, for example the financial services, quite a bit is minimum wage, and has led to the hollowing of the economy. It seems both party candidates have an issue recognizing this. 

 For the first time though, wwe are hearing a national politician not just emphasize a college degree. She said:

And here’s something else I really want to emphasize, because I don’t think anyone in America is talking about this enough and that is: a four year degree should not be the only path to a good job in America.
You should be able to learn a skill, practice a trade, and make a good living doing it.  
So many Americans have the talent and the will to succeed –– whether they’re kids right out of high school or older people displaced by automation and outsourcing.
For too long, big promises about the power of training and retraining haven’t delivered like they should. It doesn’t help anyone to be trained for a job that doesn’t exist.

This is a recognition of why we are seeing quite a bit of economic malaise. This is also a recognition of one of the effects of free trade. This is the displacement of blue collar workers. She is also promising to throw a bone to unins, and organized labor. 

Clinton recognized some of the core issues with free trade. She said:

Well, let’s start with this: It’s true that too often, past trade deals have been sold to the American people with rosy scenarios that did not pan out. Those promises now ring hollow in many communities across Michigan and our country that have seen factories close and jobs disappear.
Too many companies lobbied for trade deals so they could sell products abroad but then they instead moved abroad and sold back into the United States.

It is also true that China and other countries have gamed the system for too long. Enforcement – particularly during the Bush administration – has been too lax.

She promised to fight theTranspacific Partnership as well. This is a recognition of where we are. It was what many progressives want to hear. But she also stated that trade means exports and jobs. 

One thing that surprised me, since this is not standard talk in the US was profit sharing. How that could be mandated is a good question. 

She did attack Trump and his views, no surprise there.  But very correctly she addressed the State Tax…(what Frank Luntz dubbed the Death Tax.)

Then there’s the Estate Tax, which Trump wants to eliminate altogether. If you believe that he’s as wealthy as he says, that alone would save the Trump family $4 billion. It would do nothing for 99.8 percent of Americans. So they’d get a $4 billion tax cut, and 99.8 percent of Americans get nothing.

This she is very correct, and since most of us will not leave behind close to $6 million, we don’t have to worry. 

She was clear in the differences. She was also big on promises. Some were classic fare going decades. A few tinge were new. Some it will be a wait and see. Both parties know that free trade is not popular. In 2008 then Senator Obama promised to deal with the issues of free trade. Once president he continued a trade policy that started in the late 1980s, what professionals call policy drift. 

To be fair, this writer will be shocked if either candidate does change those trade policies once in office. 

Here is the full transcript. 



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