Hillary: The “Good News” is That China is “Forcing Down Wages”

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.”

35 Responses to Hillary: The “Good News” is That China is “Forcing Down Wages”

  1. Is there a link to the transcript, or to the article by Matt Taibbi?

  2. While Hillary Clinton is your typical globalist, Donald Trump is a volatile, racist cult figure of a globalist who has taken both sides of the wage issue. Trump is even farther removed from the “little people” than Clint0n is. Don’t be fooled.

    And, as far as economics is concerned, forcing down wages means people can buy things more cheaply. And clearly the Great Recession was not just a housing crash, but also mark to market and a credit crisis and the forcing down of wages. The Fed forced down wages to make the US more competitive.

    I have no idea, since I am not an economist, if forcing down wages is good or bad in the long run. I personally think it could turn out for the worse, as the divide between rich and regular people widens. But, I understand that not being competitive could be the downfall of nations.

    But forcing down wages should allow the wealthy to be taxed more, so that our crumbling infrastructure could be fixed. My car is in jeopardy every day I drive down poor roads and over dangerous bridges. That means Goldman Sachs needs to pay a lot more in tax. And the sooner the better.

  3. So, I would not have a problem with wages being forced down if house prices and rent would be forced down as well. Destruction of the regular worker is possible with this squeeze happening. The powers that be should think long and hard as to how much of a monopoly they want to keep over main street.

    • Here, Here!

      Can we force executive pay down too, but do that one first?

    • madame de farge

      Even the Fascist Henry Ford PAID his workers so that they could buy his product.. Forcing down everything turns the economy into a DEEP DEPRESSION as we had in the 1930s as a result of Hoover and even FDRs initial actions… That just bankrupts the middle class who have tried to accumulate some few assets so that they don’t starve… when they lose their jobs, their health or a spouse……

      • Yes, Ford did pay a better wage. However, the economy is more global now, and there are restrictions. However, I agree with you, that at some point, wages being boosted can be a stimulus and tight money coupled with commodity price expansion does hurt mainstreet.

        And Jack, executive pay is obscene. But, how do you upset this freight train without destroying the companies that rely on them?

  4. Ray LaPan-Love

    I don’t understand this article’s position on the TPP. The TPP in fact requires that member nations have environmental and worker protections ‘before’ gaining access to the markets of the other member states. Each nation required to have a minimum wage, and, to have eliminated child labor and etc. This being what the NAFTA/CAFTADR lack. Plus, in other efforts to make the TPP’s protections enforceable, some of the environmental protections will be monitored by international agencies. For example, from the section of the treaty on wildlife protections:

    “All TPP countries are parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the world’s preeminent agreement to protect endangered species. The Environment chapter requires each TPP Party to implement its CITES obligations and effectively enforce its laws and regulations that achieve that end.”

    Its seems possible too, that since the treaty was not made public until recently…that there may be some confusion from the extensive speculation that occurred beforehand.

    https://ustr.gov/tpp/#text (the treaty)

    https://medium.com/the-trans-pacific-partnership/environment-a7f25cd180cb#.r1dncryvh (environment section)

    • madame de farge

      Really sweetie, in your wildest dreams who do you think is going to enforce any of those laws… Of course we can financially rape them before we bomb them…

      • Ray LaPan-Love

        From the treaty:

        “TPP has the strongest protections for workers of any trade agreement in history, requiring all TPP Parties to adopt and maintain in their laws and practices the fundamental labor rights as recognized by the International Labor Organization (ILO), including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; elimination of forced labor; abolition of child labor; and the elimination of employment discrimination. It also includes commitments, again required for all TPP Parties, to have laws governing minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health. All these are fully enforceable and backed up by trade sanctions”

  5. Bill, I appreciate the gravity of what you are describing, but I believe, at this point, we should wait until after November 8 to publicly highlight Hillary’s misconceptions–and then try our best to re-educate her.

    • Whatever power over Hillary Clinton that you don’t have now will be an even greater don’t have after the election. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how you could think you would have more power over her after she has safely got 4 years of guaranteed work.

    • Thanks for the valuable insight. A rephrase of this common media gem (canard) might go like this: ‘An election means making the right choice, and then following that up with some other kind of choice or action after the candidate has been elected anyway.’ Alternatively, an election that offers no real choices is an election where there will be no real choices, once the referendum itself is over with.

      In the spirit of defeatism then, each of our readers can consider voting in this Presidential contest as an act of supporting a “well run bank with warts” i.e Goldman Sachs, since that’s the only choice in this election – and they can feel good about it. Other logos or brand names apply, but Goldman is a big one and at this point many voters will proceed with predictable cognitive affect – without spending any more thought on how ridiculous or specious the claim that there participation matters more than simply completing a ballot. Completing a ballot is extremely important to the status quo, their systems and their press – since it definitively removes most Americans from the processes of power.

    • wait until she is elected and then pressure here? you think you’ll have more leverage that way? what am I missing here? Hillary’s record is crystal clear – more neoliberalism. Jill Stein supports federal job guarantee, one of the main jewels of mmt. Where is the support for her?

    • The cattle futures queen has full comprehension of what is transpiring, and she is just as culpable as everyone else: remember, please, it was HRC who brought in that India jobs-offshoring outfit to Buffalo when she was senator, claiming that she was helping their “unemployment”!

      Orwellian doublespeak at its finest . . .

    • J.D., I agree. Hillary is definitely the lesser of the 2 evils, for those of us who lean more toward Sanders’ political and economic program.

      And if Hillary won’t be re-educated, then Bernie and the rest of us need to have huge demonstrations in the streets, until we get her attention.

  6. it’s scary how politicians can succumb to new lows to make profits for themselves and their corporate friends.
    lol we live in a truly very horrible world

    • madame de farge

      and that is exactly why we should restore the Eisenhower tax rates and replace the property tax system with an wealth tax system.

    • Our system is structured so that politicians that get elected are the ones who do this. Get Big Money out of politics, and the problem is solved.

  7. Wall Street is addicted to greed. How much profit is enough for these people? “Maximize profits, cut costs and ELIMINATE LABOR!” is their mantra. Wall Street doesn’t care about creating jobs in this country with a living wage, profit sharing, occupational health and safety and environmental sustainability. They only care about profits and the quick, fast buck.

    • madame de farge

      from Hillary…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.”

    • True, Paul. The sad thing is that Trump’s supporters believe he will be their savior in all of this. If people can come together for common goals, without any con artists dem0gaogues as leaders, we can solve this.

  8. And this, is the exact reason Trump is enjoying as much popularity that he has.

    Although, I suspect Obama plans to pass TPP during lame duck session with GOP congress, so HRC can pretend to be against it and have no recourse to her fake stance. Then when she gets in office will say with exhaustion in her breath ” there’s just nothing I can do about it now against the gop congress”

    • Amazing how people think that the guy who doesn’t even pay his contractors is going to be the great savior of the working class. OTOH, Hillary doesn’t even tell them what they want to hear like Trump does. The problem is that there is nothing behind Trump’s words.

  9. Hate to say this but this line does not mean what you claim it means:

    “There are limits to what enterprises can do, limits to forcing down wages to be competitive, all of which is coming to the forefront…”

    Wages in China have risen substantially over the past 15 years essentially from market forces as firms source more goods from Chinese factories. The market limits how the firms can force down wages. This is a good thing for Chinese workers. I think this is clear. Which means this criticism of yours is completely off base.

    • The market limits how the firms can force down wages.

      Frankly, I don’t understand your objection. How does the market limit firms’ power to force wages down?

      Enlighten us.

      • I think pgl means that there is some wage level, below which people will not work for wages. So maybe corporations can’t work people for 10 cents an hour or so. This is a common Right Wing and Libertarian view. The market takes care of all problems. Or if it doesn’t, workers are not allowed to press government to intervene on their behalf, because The Free Market is God. And one can’t interfere with God.

        And besides that, Libertarians and Right Wingers who vote FOR their best interests, rather than AGAINST their best interests based on propaganda, don’t tend to be the people who are working for slave wages, so all is good as far as they can see.

  10. David Harold Chester

    This is plain nonsense. The average wages of Chinese workers from about 8 years up are so low that any attempt to cut them will make the current slavery conditions so difficult that the workers would be better to starve! Of course there are a few bloated bureaucrats, even in China, whose wallets are so well-filled that their cars are allowed to add to what pollution is already exceeding reasonable limits by a huge margin. Let them walk off their fat and live in conditions that more resemble their exploited masses!!

  11. Nothing surprising about the emails, this is a politician and her machine participating, campaigning and getting the job. The press has manipulated and sensationalized content that only the most simple, brainwashed, or completely trusting political fops would consider worthy fresh-meat, or gossip most urgent.

    Most of the audience is technically illiterate, they don’t know what hacking means, they don’t understand email. Moreover, the media nonsense has extended a supposedly technical method indemnify the emails validity, through impressive sounding (for the general public) system checks. Oh bull#$it. If anyone does bother to read the emails, it’s obvious the authors are well aware their content might be read or made public, at any point, by someone or anyone.

    Again, they don’t reveal anything new – at least to people who have followed elections over the span of any amount of time. This is give and take and business as usual.

    • True. And it also is true that many Americans are naive enough to believe conspiracy theories about how unusual and unusually criminal all this is.

  12. most of the comments posted here is missing the point: Hillary is the neoliberal queen and she has no tolerance for workers or work anywhere. And it does not mean that we have to vote for Trump. Jill Stein supports federal job guarantee, the main jewel of mmt. Why not support her?

  13. Quite a number of confused commenters here (as far as worker protections and the TPP, those are voluntary, as far as those rules and regulations which positively affect multinationals and negatively impact workers, those are legally binding) on both finance, economics, the TPP and politics.

    To all still clueless, Donald Trump is nothing more than the Controlled Opposition, the same as Ross Perot (Ramsey Clark’s brother-in-law) was in the 1992 election — brought in to split the ticket so that Clinton could come in and pass NAFTA, GATT, WTO legislation, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, allowing for the reconstitution of AT&T back to a super-telecom, which took place, and the consolidation of the American media into the American NonMedia, the REIT Modernization Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act, the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, the highly lucrative tax credit for the creation of charter schools, privatized prisons along with his Omnibus Crime Bill, and early on in his administration, the major change at the SEC, allowing investment firms to no longer record who their largest investors were, thereby allowing the hiding of the ultimate owners of everything today!

    And we are told by the sheepletons and Noam Chomsky followers that we will “hold Hillary’s feet to the fire” — now how many times have they whined those very same words over the past three decades or more????

    A vote for Hillary is a vote for the bankers and hedge funds; a vote for Donald is a vote for the hedge funds and bankers!

    The future appears bleak . . . .

    • We seldom hold politicians’ feet to the fire. If we start doing so, things will change. Bernie needs to get out in the street and lead tons of the rest of us in massive demonstrations.

      Donald Trump is not the “controlled” opposition, although he does have the effects you mentioned. He is totally out of control–can’t stop shooting himself in the foot. Not that this matters to his die hard supporters. If he did get elected, there would be significant risk of Nuclear WWIII, AKA The War of the Small Hands.

      After he loses the election, somehow we need to communicate with his followers, many of whom do want to address the same problems we do, and get them out in the street demonstrating with Bernie and us– rather than following the next lying con artist conspiracy theories demagogue.

    • Carol Balliwicker

      Posting on social media is for the hedge funds and bankers (by the way) – otherwise, controlled opposition is the election itself.

      Nice list – but it’s notable that at the time each of these were announced by the press, there was very little controversy, since there’s usually no need to confuse the public any more than usual. These were great acts of congress. I don’t remember any real critic, since the mocking birds were mostly mothballed.
      since controversy must be “the right kind of controversy” for public consumption. The 90s were about Presidential sexual indiscretion, a nice opportunity to play finance and get rich for absolutely nothin’, rather than the mafia finally re-establishing their access to the old swindles.