Presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined a broad economic vision Tuesday, saying it's time to replace an "on your own" society with one based on shared responsibility and prosperity.Actually markets work best with fewer rules, since rules skew incentives and outcomes. But that is beside the point.
The Democratic senator said what the Bush administration touts as an "ownership society" really is an "on your own" society that has widened the gap between rich and poor.
"I prefer a 'we're all in it together' society," she said. "I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none."
That means pairing growth with fairness, she said, to ensure that the middle-class succeeds in the global economy, not just corporate CEOs.
"There is no greater force for economic growth than free markets. But markets work best with rules that promote our values, protect our workers and give all people a chance to succeed," she said. "Fairness doesn't just happen. It requires the right government policies."
Context for this pronouncement of economic principals is important in this case and should not be overlooked.
Clinton spoke at the Manchester School of Technology, which trains high school students for careers in the construction, automotive, graphic arts and other industries. The school highlighted one of the nine goals she outlined: increasing support for alternative schools and community colleges.Um, actually, a free market works best if you have fewer rules. One of the most interesting facets of a free market is that despite some of the inequities, some basic sense of fairness still pervades, it is a reflection of our shared values. While employer wants to pay the employee as little as possible and still get quality work done, they can't pay any less. When an employee provides more value to the employer, he can ask for more pay--that is the nature of a free market.
"We have sent a message to our young people that if you don't go to college ... that you're thought less of in America. We have to stop this," she said. "Our country cannot run without the people who have the skills that are taught in this school."