By William K. Black
October 23, 2016 Kansas City, MO
The general media has been treating the WikiLeaks disclosures of the Clinton campaign documents, particularly the transcripts of her lucrative talks with Goldman Sachs as much ado about nothing. I have not found any article about the disclosures, however, that reported on the extraordinary statements she made in her talk with Goldman Sachs on June 4, 2013.
Hillary told the Vampire Squid that the “good news” was that China was removing workers’ (meager) legal protections so that their employers could “forc[e] down wages” in order to increase corporate profits. She used China’s (pathetically weak) legal protections for workers as her exemplar of China’s “structural economic problems.”
Thirdly, they seem to — and you all are the experts on this. They seem to be coming to grips with some of the structural economic problems that they are now facing. And look, they have them. There are limits to what enterprises can do, limits to forcing down wages to be competitive, all of which is coming to the forefront…
Clinton’s support for “forcing down wages” by removing China’s meager protections for workers reveals that her (leaked) admission that she is increasingly “far removed from the struggles of” the working and middle-class is a grave understatement. She is not simply “far removed” from their “struggles” – she continues when speaking secretly to Wall Street to attack workers’ interests.
The purported urgency for China to aid its corporations in “forcing down wages” was that it would enable the corporations located in China to win the global “competiti[on]” by forcing down wages. American workers would have their wages forced down as the companies they worked for threatened to move their production to China to take advantage of the lower wages extorted from Chinese workers shorn of their legal protections. When Hillary says it is “good news” that China is “forcing down wages” for Chinese workers she knows that the inevitable result will be “forcing down wages” for U.S. workers.
This is where Hillary Clinton’s rapturous support in her Goldman talks for global “free trade” fits in. She wants American workers to have no protections against the global assault on wages that she says China’s government is leading. She applauds that assault as the “good news” coming from China. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was crafted by corporate lobbyists to allow corporations to go to kangaroo tribunals to try to obtain massive fines against governments for laws and rules that create “structural economic” “limits” on the ability of corporations to “forc[e] down wages.” The purpose of the TPP is to permit corporations to extort governments through the fear of these ruinous penalties not to adopt new, and remove already adopted, legal limits that protect wages and protect the environment. Clinton revealed to Wall Street in her lucrative and secretive talks that universal trade deals of this nature were her “dream.”
The transcript of her talk to the Vampire Squid shows that Hillary did not understand that anyone could disagree that “forcing down” Chinese workers’ already inadequate wages represented “good news.” She knew her audience. The Vampire Squid, as Matt Taibbi aptly labeled Goldman Sachs partners (though I think he was unfair to vampire squids), are as Hillary noted “the experts” on “forcing down wages.” Hillary didn’t even add a perfunctory statement of supposed concern for the workers who would have their wages forced down in China and the U.S.
The English word “gospel” takes its meaning from a Greek word that meant “good news.” The New Democrats’ gospel of enriching Wall Street executives always requires suppressing workers’ wages. We now know from the Clinton campaign email disclosures that Hillary believes that “forcing down wages” represents “good news.”