Clinton’s Resume Vs. Reality

The New York Times reports that Hillary Clinton is campaigning in upstate New York, a region that helped her win the Senate in 2000.

Hillary Clinton’s political ascent can be traced to the time in 1999 when she expressed her support for dairy farmers in the upstate New York village of Endicott. And the summer that year when she shunned Martha’s Vineyard to vacation in Skaneateles, and promised voters in the depleted industrial city of Schenectady that as a New York senator she would revive the upstate economy.

The strategy helped Mrs. Clinton win her 2000 Senate race by double digits, a victory fueled by the unlikely support of white working-class voters in upstate New York who had previously voted Republican but were won over by the first lady’s attention to their underserved area.

But there’s a problem.

Now, 16 years later, Mrs. Clinton is again promising to bring jobs back to the region as she courts the people who helped secure her first election victory….

…But Mrs. Clinton’s critics say that she failed to deliver on the centerpiece of her 2000 push — a promise to bring 200,000 jobs to New York — and many cities upstate have higher unemployment than when she became a senator. The number of private-sector jobs in upstate New York remained virtually stagnant in the eight years Mrs. Clinton served in the Senate, according to state Department of Labor statistics.

Fool me once, shame on you, etc.

To combat Mr. Sanders’s message, Mrs. Clinton and a lineup of influential New York surrogates, including Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, plan to take voters down a memory lane of proposals, from the quirky to the conventional, that she advanced to spur the upstate economy.

And, you know, she really can list a number of jobs initiatives she brought to the region.  And when you see all these initiatives on a piece of paper, it looks pretty impressive. But her initiatives amount to tweaks when the region needed an overhaul. And Hillary doesn’t do overhauls. She tweaks. Instead of rebuilding broken systems, she works within the limitations of the broken system. Which is why she fights and fights and fights and doesn’t deliver all that much.

Robert Hockett, a professor of law at Cornell who specializes in financial regulation and is supporting Mr. Sanders, said his anti-trade message would resonate as it has in other economically ravaged areas.

“Upstate New York is the classic Rust Belt on the one hand and the classic working-poor rural population on the other hand,” Mr. Hockett said. “The things Bernie wants to do are things this population generally agrees with.”

Christopher Ryan, president of the Communications Workers of America Local 1123, which represents Verizon and American Red Cross workers in Syracuse, said that he backed Mrs. Clinton in 2000 but that the area had been eviscerated by jobs moving overseas. He plans to vote for Mr. Sanders, whom the union has endorsed.

“You see the weeds growing through the parking lots at factories,” he said.

Bottom line, all of Clinton’s heartfelt little tweaks that created a few jobs here and there couldn’t override the damage done by trade deals.  She’s repudiating trade deals, you say? She loved ’em when she wasn’t running for office. And if you think she won’t push for more trade deals once she’s POTUS, you aren’t paying attention.

11 thoughts on “Clinton’s Resume Vs. Reality

  1. Upstate NY was the Eater part of the Rust Belt. It’s also still dairy country.

    Companies that once were the life-blood either moved South, or out of the country.
    IBM shut down a lot of plants – including a major one in Endicott (and in the Mid-Hudson Valley) – and those that it didn’t, they laid people off, and then rehired a small percentage at contractors. In the Poughkeepsie area, they let 30,000 people go in the early 90’s, and this area has only started to come back recently.

    In the dairy industry further Upstate, less demand and increasing automation eliminated a lot of jobs.

    I love Kirsten Gillibrand, the woman who replaced Hillary in the Senate – aND she’s from that aRea of Upstate – but she hasn’t been able to do what Hillary promised to do, either. And our other Senator, Up-Chuck Schemer, has focused his attention on NYC and Wall Street (and don’t get me started on him!).

    Gov. Patakimspent the 90’s and early-mid 00’s handing out huge tax us for the wealthy and corporatioms.
    FSM, did he SUCK!

    Some areas are coming back a bit because Gov. Cuomo, thanks to increasing some taxes, has been doing what the South did so well:
    Giving money to companies to stay, or to move here, and promising huge tax breaks for 10 or more years.
    So, states are eating each others life-blood companies!

    So, again, I’m left to ask:
    What could Hillary have done for that area, when there was little money at that time thanks to tax cutting Republicans in Albany and DC?

    As I said, some areas are coming back, but that’s thanks to small tax increases by Obama and Cuomo (and Spitzer, until he got caught… with something other than his hand in something other than a cookie jar).

    I hate to keep defending her, but I don’t hate her.
    She does a lot of indefensible things, and I’ll be voting for Bernie in the primary in a few weeks, but I will gladly vote for her in the general if she’s our nominee.
    And so will most Bernie-bro’s/sis’s. Or, at least I hope they do.

    And in one of my last comments, is addressed disillusioning the young people who are adamant supporters, so I’ll spare everyone from repetition.

    And as a commenter in the last post said, there may not be a GOP or a Democratic party in the near future, due to a reallignment, so we may all have to Sr amble to associate with a completely new political environment.
    Hopefully, it’ll be a far better one than we’ve had for the last 40-50 years!

  2. Wonder how upstate NY views Bernie and Vermont. Are they willing to cast their lot with the liberal hippies next door?

  3. “So, states are eating each others life-blood companies”

    I would argue the “companies” are eating the states lifeblood- it’s taxpayers. The more tax breaks these governors promise the more the tax burden is shifted to the taxpayers, and the more vital infrastructure is left to rot, eventually making the area unfit for development.

  4. Just heard a businessman on MSNBC talk about how ‘some politicians in the Presidential race’ are talking about how ‘all corporations are evil’ and that they do not understand how the economy works and that they stretch the truth about economic issues.

    He said that with a straight face.

    Was he merely lying, or did he really not know his statement about people’s, let alone candidates’, positions on corporations was total poppycock? I’ve been around a long time, and the number of people who I’ve heard or read having made such a blanket condemnation of corporations can be counted on my hands, and they were mainly very young. The rest of his discussion indicated HE was the one who did not understand much about the economy and the role of actual people in it and was relying on stretched ‘truths’ to make his unmakeable point.

  5. c u n d gulag: I think the point is if you run and make promises, win and fail to live up to said promises, it is perfectly acceptable for voters to hold you accountable for that failure. She never said “vote for me and I’ll try to do some things but I may not succeed.” She said vote for me and I’ll do it. And frankly Senators do have some power to bring jobs to states.
    I go so far as to say even insane claims can be held against a politician. Bush ran for President promising to keep the price of gas low – he and his VP were old Texas oilmen after all. The president has virtually no say in what a gallon of gas costs so it was a worthless promise. Nonetheless when gas prices spiked it was perfectly fair for people to criticize Bush for that. Once you make the promise you are accountable for the promise.
    Clinton today is making the same promise she made previously. Last time she failed to deliver. We should believe she will succeed this time because?

  6. Trade deals… that worries me, because I think it’s treating a symptom. I think the problem is really skyrocketing productivity.

    Everyone in Econ loves trade. A common example is, if the UK sells beer to France, and the French sell wine to the UK, they both end up with more, better beer and wine, and some of the people in the UK who’d have wasted their time trying to make local wine can now concentrate on something else that boosts the UK economy, and similarly, the French brewers can do something else to boost the French economy, more than UK wine, or French beer.

    But if productivity gets high enough, the UK sells beer to France, and the French sell wine to the UK, and the UK winemakers and French brewers are now jobless. There aren’t jobs that will boost the economy, if only the labor can be found. No, those jobs are already being done, for the most part.

    The way I’m seeing it, there was a time when GM might soak up workers who’d otherwise be building roads to drive the cars on, so if GM automated, it would release workers, creating some available labor that can now go out and build those roads, helping increase the demands for still more cars. But if cars AND roads get built with less labor, where do either sets workers go? We always *assume* they’ll go *somewhere* because they always *have* because there was always more that could be done, if only there was the ability to get it done.

    Could that change? Sure. At one point, in the first half of the 20th century for sure, there used to be around 30% of the US put work into growing food. Now, around 3-5% does. What happens when that happens to a few manufacturing sectors, and a few service sectors? New products and services will show up – but when 1/6th of the workers can do the work, we need 5x again as many new products and services. Is that going to happen?

    The trade deals might make things happen more quickly, more obviously – the factory moved to (whereever) takes the jobs with it, and no one sees those laid off workers picking up new work in other areas. But the real problem could well be that productivity is growing faster than wants and needs.

    • LHW — Interesting points on productivity, although in the case of farming we have to keep in mind that the move from small farms to mega-farms comes at a huge environmental cost that people haven’t gotten around to paying, yet. Also, “wants and needs” can’t very well grow when people don’t have money to pay for those wants and needs. The fact of productivity outpacing demand may not be just a matter of efficiency. Still, it may be that the whole consumer-driven economy may need to be rethought. There’s plenty of work that needs to be done that doesn’t get done in the U.S. because nobody makes a profit from it.

  7. LHW,
    Interesting points.

    I’d like to add that if salaries matched productivity, or came close, workers who remained would have more money to spend, which should cause companies to hire more workers because of the increased demand.

    But while the productivity of American workers has gone through roof over the past 4 decades, salaries have remained on the first floor – if not down in the basement.

    Of course, the .01% don’t notice any of that, because with the rise in productivity going through the roof, and not increasing salaries, has allowed them to live near the roof, in their penthouses, or out in the country in their mansions.

    As automation and robotics increase, less labor is needed, and profits continue to soar for the wealthy.
    The only solution for America’s workers, and workers around the world, is a “Universal Licing Wage.”

    But good luck selling this to the greedy psychopaths and sociopaths!
    The greedy don’t give a shit for the needy.
    They think that that the Scrooge at the beginning of “A Christmas Carol” was the hero, and that young Scrooge and reformed Scrooge are just dim-witted saps!

  8. “Still, it may be that the whole consumer-driven economy may need to be rethought.”

    Maha was responding re the economy to LHW about who made a comment about skyrocketing productivity. Both are right but I’d ask people to step back and put the concepts in focus. It takes less and less human time to produce a ‘widget’, be it food or products or services. So we have a rising availability of products at lower costs while the money to purchase those goods is declining. It’s no longer science fiction to project a society fully able to produce the all food and goods which that society needs in a framework where a segment of that society will be unable to purchase those goods because there won’t be jobs.

    Economies are ‘thing’ we invent to model reality. (NOT the other way around.) Money is a ‘thing’ we invented to facilitate trade. If there was food and products and no such thing as ‘money’ there are other ways which food and products might be distributed. In a world where you have infinite paper money, but no one produces food or essential goods, we all perish. Money, and all economic systems are an invention of man and they have ALWAYS morphed to meet the circumstances of reality.

    Money and economic systems usually change so slowly that no generation notices the change. Our generation (old folks like me) are the exception – debit cards, instant transactions from my bank to the store at the cash register – instant global transfers of money where no gold and no cash ever physically moves would have been fiction before I was born.

    A guaranteed ‘stipend’ for every citizen may be part of the new economic model. That’s a formula for ruin without population control of some sort. But we’re outgrowing the old system at an exponential pace – the plutocrats are trying to establish absolute control before the masses demand adaptation which will deprive the plutocrats of the empires which they want the new economy to guarantee for the VERY few.

  9. That need for population control does not agree with empirical reality. In fact, when people become relatively economically secure, and women relatively equal in social-political status, birthrates fall rapidly.

    I basically agree with everything else you said Doug.

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