Hillary Clinton: Profiteer of Convenience

Hillary Clinton, while preparing to continue Obama’s war against profit, greed and selfishness, has made a cool $200,000 a speech ($5 million total), paid for by companies who fear her future rule over them.

Pretty good for someone who condemns capitalism and profit for a living.

MotherJones.com [5-21-14] reports:

Since leaving [the State Department], [former Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton has made more than 90 speeches and notable appearances. Her hosts have included private equity firms, investment banks, nonprofit galas, trade association conventions, and a slew of colleges and universities. At least two-dozen of those were paid speeches. With her usual fee of $200,000 a speech, Clinton has banked close to $5 million for her speeches and appearances in the last 15 months. (A spokesman for Clinton did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

People who support Hillary Clinton are usually people who support high taxes on the wealthiest — the higher, the better; advocacy of the idea that we are all our brother’s keepers, and government policies (in health care, and much else) should reflect this fact; and that the environment is a gift of “God” or “Mother Nature” and we should dispense with materialistic concerns to be at one with the non-material.

It’s difficult to understand how people with even leanings in this direction can consider someone who makes so much money a leader. But the double standard rules.

The same people who decry double standards when applied to whites over blacks; gays over straights; or the “less abled” in favor of the “more abled,” are ones who have no difficulty applying a double standard when it involves something they like.

Mother Jones is arguing from the “left” side of Hillary Clinton when it ponders:

Hillary’s for-profit speaking gigs raise a serious question for a possible presidential candidate: Is she being courted by and/or providing access to the well-heeled companies and industry groups—including Goldman Sachs, the Carlyle Group, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the National Association of Realtors, and the US Green Building Council, among many others—that have paid her to speak?

Ironically, those in favor of economic freedom and unhampered capitalism could ask the same question. Is the rich Hillary beholden to those who pay her? If so, then how will that influence the favoritism she provides once in office?

One answer is the Marxist solution: Have the government simply nationalize and literally take over all private property. This idea is no more popular than the opposite alternative, free market capitalism.

Most Americans are not Marxists. At the same time, almost nobody supports unhampered free market capitalism, which puzzles me to no end. In a totally free market, nothing would be against the law other than force or fraud. Government would make no rules, provide no subsidies, impose no corporate taxes, no special favors, credits, exemptions or subsidies provided for some while not for others.

Everything that happens in the economy would be the result of decisions made by businesses; that’s true. But everything that a private business does would be the result of determining what best pleases customers. That’s what businesses do; that’s what businesses have to do in order to survive, most of all in a free market.

We talk about “regulation” as if it’s some mystical process which somehow makes sure a business runs smoothly. Do we ever stop to consider that a business regulates itself, and that it must do so if it’s to please customers and survive? Yes, we must have a government to prosecute fraud and to uphold contracts when people who voluntarily sign them fail to uphold them. But why must government play the role of telling businesses what to do? Why do we entrust this very important task to people — elected politicians and unelected bureaucrats — whom the vast majority of us (based on polls) don’t like or trust at all?

The reason Mother Jones has to worry about things like to whom Hillary is beholden is that we have a situation in which government has too much power and control. How much is too much? Anything the government does beyond being a policeman, an enforcer of contracts and a prosecutor of fraud is too much government.

If we had a totally free economy, then politicians would not have power, not the kind Mother Jones worries about. Mother Jones is not an advocate of economic freedom or unhampered capitalism, not at all. But it’s ironic to observe how those on opposite sides of the political spectrum can have the same concerns, if only with completely different solutions.

Hillary Clinton has built her career on proclaiming the evils of corporate greed, “excessive” profit and the alleged dysfunction of unhampered capitalism (which has not existed in her lifetime). She’ll ride to office, if she does, on the same tired themes of her predecessor, Barack Obama. So much for “change.”

The truth everyone will continue to evade or forget? We have nothing to fear from capitalism. It’s only the politicians who can do damage. The ones we applaud and admire the most are the ones who pose the biggest threat to economic vitality as we still (partially) know it.



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