Last week ExxonMobil posted record-breaking profits. This news provoked an immediate reaction from Senator Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Committee in Baltimore on Friday. “I want to take those profits,” Clinton said, “and put them into an alternative energy fund that will begin to fund alternative smart energy alternatives that will actually begin to move us toward the direction of independence.”To be fair, Senator Clinton did not “openly call for the government seizure of an industry,” although that is a logical inference from her statement. How else can the government take an industry’s profits? It would be a refreshing change if today’s politicians did openly call for government seizure of industry, instead of leaving them nominally in private ownership, regulating them to death, forcing them to be little welfare states for the workers and then blaming them for problems in the economy.
Clinton’s remarks are the first time that a nationally known Democrat has openly called for the government seizure of an industry since President Harry Truman tried to nationalize the steel industry in 1952. The U.S. Supreme Court slapped back Truman’s takeover in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. et al. v. Sawyer. (Like Senator Clinton, Truman also championed a national health-care scheme.)
While other politicians have suggested establishing an alternative energy fund, Clinton is the first to advocate funding it by taking the earnings of a publicly held American company. ExxonMobil has some eight-hundred thousand shareholders, any of whom depend on these earnings to fund their retirements.
Senator Clinton blundered by showing too much of the iron fist inside the velvet glove of the American mixed economy. This is remarkable because she learned from her husband and the DLC that the path to Democrat power is to be perceived as a moderate, not as a far leftist.
It is hard to pretend to be something one is not. Over time the truth has a way of slipping out.
Hillary Clinton is a radical New Leftist. She was a student of the Marxist Saul Alinsky, who wrote Rules For Radicals, a book that teaches leftists to use any means necessary to gain power. She has no understanding of capitalism or how the free market works. She actually thinks that our standard of living and our prosperity is due to government intervention in the economy:
You know, for the last 100 years, we have slowly and steadily constructed a social compact. Our nation has built the foundation for our prosperity on the basis of that compact. And the compact was, really, rooted in the principles of the American dream, you know, if you do work hard, you do play by the rules, you do get a good education, you do have willingness to get ahead and sacrifice today to make life better for the next generation, you will be rewarded with a decent paying job that provides a standard of living that gives you a better chance at the American dream. And that, at least in the past, provided health care benefits and some kind of pension retirement security in addition to Social Security.Without government telling corporations what to do and redistributing wealth through "entitlements," America would not have prosperity. In Senator Clinton’s mind, if it were not for the noble and good altruists in government, cigar-smoking capitalists would oppress workers as “wage slaves.” Her understanding of economics is Marxist.
Bill Clinton would not have made this mistake. The last thing a Democrat running for President wants to do is say anything that makes people think, “Uh, that sounds communist.” This strategy does not win votes in America.
I believe she did not think through the logical inference of her statement. Her mind vaguely thought something like, “Oil companies are making record profits. We need an alternative energy fund. Why not use the profits for that fund?” The fact that the government is not supposed to dictate the use of profits in America did not occur to her. There are probably many politicians in both parties who agree with Senator Clinton, but they're smart enough to cloak their ideas in the vague, happy-fuzzy talk of our mixed economy. "Let's create incentives for the oil companies to explore alternative energy," and so on.
Does this mean Senator Clinton is too honest for the mixed economy? No, her scandals during the Clinton Presidency proved her willingness to lie. I think her blunder shows that she is not terribly intelligent. Her mind is nowhere near as agile as her husband’s. I think this is why she stays away from interviews. The notion that she is intelligent is a feminist myth. But her lack of intelligence hardly makes her exceptional in government. Look at George W. Bush, Barbara Boxer, Patty Murray Smith, Sheila Jackson Lee, Robert Byrd and so many others. An idiot can do quite well in American government. There is still hope that Hillary Clinton can make it to the top, but she needs to run everything past her husband before she goes public with a statement.
UPDATE: Slight revision.
UPDATE II: One reason people mistake Hillary Clinton for intelligent is that she is not a happy woman. For whatever reason, people equate unhappiness with intelligence and happiness with stupidity. There was a scene in an old Woody Allen movie in which Woody, who is never happy, went up to a young couple to find out why they were happy. I forget what the young people said, but they were both airheads. Happy=stupid. Ignorance is bliss.