As LU contributor Joe Newby notes at Conservative Firing Line, Hillary Clinton has yet another excuse for why she wasn’t elected president in 2016. It’s because she sees herself as one of the few remaining capitalists in a party that is tilting so far left that by her own estimates 41% of current Democrats “are socialists, or self-described socialists.”
I’m asked if I’m a capitalist, and I say ‘yes, but with appropriate regulation and accountability,’ you know. …
Her claim about the percentage of Democrats who are socialist bears investigation, but the overall claim is undeniable. But what’s fascinating, based on the platform she ran on in 2016, is that she considers herself a capitalist.
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Dennis Prager filed a column at National Review in August of 2016 in which he wrote:
… [I]t is vital to understand what happens if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency. This country will be so far from what the Founders wanted … that it is almost impossible to see how America would recover from her — or any Democrat’s — victory.
He follows up that premise with quotes from the speech Mrs. Clinton delivered days earlier at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. Here are a few of them:
- If you believe that companies should share profits with their workers, not paid executive bonuses, join us.
- American Millennials are far more likely than older generations to say the government should be able to prevent people from saying offensive statements. … Four-in-ten Millennials say the government should be able to prevent people publicly making statements that are offensive to minority groups.
- We’ll build a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants.
- Give me a free college education, absolve me of my financial debts, give me free health care, give me benefits until I find the job I deem commensurate with my college degree. …
There’s more. An article published at Vox in September 2017 carries the headline “Hillary Clinton almost ran for president on a universal basic income.”
Her plan, which she ultimately abandoned because she and her team “couldn’t make the numbers work,” is detailed in her book “What Happened”:
Before I ran for President, I read a book called With Liberty and Dividends for All: How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don’t Pay Enough, by Peter Barnes, which explored the idea of creating a new fund that would use revenue from shared national resources to pay a dividend to every citizen, much like how the Alaska Permanent Fund distributes the state’s oil royalties every year. Shared national resources include oil and gas extracted from public lands and the public airwaves used by broadcasters and mobile phone companies, but that gets you only so far. If you view the nation’s financial system as a shared resource, then you can start raising real money from things like a financial transactions tax. Same with the air we breathe and carbon pricing.
Once you capitalize the fund, you can provide every American with a modest basic income every year.
If this is Clinton’s understanding of what it means to be a capitalist, we should all be doubly thankful she lost. Under that system of capitalism, the nation would have gone belly-up in no time flat.