Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How have Hillary's views about economics changed?

The preferred move for both Clinton and her supporters is to avoid this conversation altogether, but when they can't, this is always the fallback option: to insist, without argument, that her views must about economics have completely reversed with the passage of time.

Fortunately we don't have to speculate about how they've evolved and what Clinton's influences have been - in an interview with Bill Moyers a while back, Elizabeth Warren explained it quite clearly:
ELIZABETH WARREN: And she says, “Tell me about bankruptcy.” And I got to tell you, I never had a smarter student..and she said, “Professor Warren, we’ve got to stop that awful bill,” referring to this bankruptcy bill that was sponsored by the credit card companies...The last bill that came before President Clinton was that bankruptcy bill that was passed by the House and the Senate in 2000 and he vetoed it. And in her autobiography, Mrs. Clinton took credit for that veto and she rightly should. She turned around a whole administration on the subject of bankruptcy. She got it... 
BILL MOYERS: And then? 
ELIZABETH WARREN: One of the first bills that came up after she was Senator Clinton was the bankruptcy bill. This is a bill that’s like a vampire. It will not die. Right? There’s a lot of money behind it, and it… 
ELIZABETH WARREN: She voted in favor of it.
This is a particularly damning anecdote for the Clintonites, because it undermines just about every premise of their enlightenment narrative. At the very least, we can no longer take for granted their much-cherished assumption that Clinton has secretly moved left in the years since she was an outspoken poor-blaming welfare scold. But even if we suppose that she has learned anything since then, there is no reason to conclude that she has learned the right lessons, or that Clinton's liberal technocratic understanding of economics governs her politics. Even when it's clear that she knows what a disaster her policies will be for the poor, she's ready and willing to advance them for the sake of her donors.