Among her almost infinite flaws, Hillary Clinton is stunningly lacking in self awareness, and her statements often—astoundingly often—point to her own misconduct and ethical bankruptcy without her comprehending the self-indictment. She has tweeted, more than once, this sentiment, for example:
“To every survivor of sexual assault…You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed. We’re with you.”
…though Hillary was emphatically not “with” the women who credibly accused her husband of sexual assault, and still do. She will make statements to one group that are the exact opposite of what she recently said to another group, without batting an eye. Hillary actually committed the meta-lie of saying she never has lied, which is manifestly unbelievable. Then there was this Titanic-style gaffe…
“There should be no bank too big to fail and no individual too big to jail.”
…coming from someone who is, many legal experts believe, not already under indictment purely because she is “too big to jail.” (and then there is hubby Bill, who engaged in flat-out illegal election conduct in Massachusetts that you or I would have been arrested for, and didn’t even get a rap on the wrists.) Neither Clinton has any integrity at all, or shame either. It’s really quite stunning.
Last week, Hillary tweeted this howler:
This is an example of a politician intentionally playing to class divisions, ignorance and bias, and worse, encouraging them. It is exactly like saying that it is “unacceptable” that Jimmy Fallon, who only hosts a silly late night show, makes more money than any cancer surgeon, special needs teacher or EMT alive. In some ways it is worse, because most people understand what those jobs are, and may sort of comprehend the economic principles at work: if Jimmy Fallon drops dead, there is no replacement who will bring to the job exactly what Jimmy Fallon did. He is a unique commodity, and EMT’s are not. The statement is just an emotional attack on the fact that people value laughing over things that are objectively more practical, and entertainment salaries reflect that.
Using hedge fund management like this, however is cheating, because the average person, especially the average 20-something crypto-socialist and Social Justice Warrior who reacts like Pavlov’s dogs to any mention of wealth and income gaps, has no clear idea of what a hedge fund is, and what hedge fund managers do. They are just vaguely Wall Street creatures, and “Wall Street BAD!” They are also rich, and Hillary, like Bernie, indeed like their entire party, like to demonize rich people, even though Hillary is rich herself.
Hedge funds are, obviously, nothing like kindergarten classes, so comparing anything about hedge fund managers and kindergarten teachers is invalid and intellectually dishonest. The have different roles, handle different risks, serve different functions in society, require different skills, have different clients and stakeholders, exist in different systems, and by the nature of their work are compensated differently (you can pay someone a percentage of assets developed, but you can’t give them a kindergartner’s foot or ear)and suggesting that there is anything at all useful about concocting comparisons is either intentionally misleading or stupid. (This is Hillary Clinton, so we will assume that misleading comes first.)
As it happens, the top 25 hedge manager do make more than all the kindergarten teachers combined, and the proper response to that is “So what?” The 25 top hedge managers manage the investments of pension funds for the parents of kindergarten students, and will allow those 5-year-olds to go to college, because those parents work for corporations, the government, or belong to labor unions. The hedge fund managers manage sovereign wealth funds for entire countries. They manage the cash assets of insurance companies, corporations, and trust funds. This is important work that affects the lives of almost everyone, and when the managers mess up, poor kids can’t get scholarships, charities can’t feed the starving in Chad, and mommy and daddy have to work until they drop.
Of course, Hillary is counting on the fact that the low-information voters she’s appealing to with this dishonest, ignorance-feeding garbage doesn’t know any of this. All they understand is that kindergarten teachers keep tots out of their hair for half the day, and “Think of the children!”
Are hedge fund managers paid too much? Lots of economists and ethicists think so, and it’s a legitimate issue, but comparing them to kindergarten teachers—see, most hedge fund managers with a little training could probably teach a kindergarten class, but I would trust very few kindergarten teachers, especially mine, to manage the Yale endowment—-is ridiculous. I can see income disparity discussions focusing on the size of corporate CEO compensation to compared to what the average line worker employed by the same company is paid, because that comparison makes sense. If the ratio was 16-1 in i973, why is it 2000-1 now, especially if the company in question lost market share and money last year? That’s an honest argument…unlike Hillary’s kindergarten teacher demogoguery.
Now tell me what “That’s not acceptible” means. Acceptable to who? To kindergarten teachers? What do they care what a hedge fund manager is making, except that the taxes he or she pays on their huge fees help pay for kindergarten teachers? Not acceptable to the clients of hedge fund managers? Nobody’s forcing those clients to hire them. Obviously it is acceptable to them, as they are willing to see these financial wizards get millions if it helps them, their pensions, their company, their university, their charity, their trust, their nation make more millions.
Is it unacceptable to Hillary, whose own foundation uses hedge fund managers? Is she proposing limiting salaries and fees by fiat, eliminating freedom of contract, or suspending the free market? Nahhh, she is just appealing to blind jealousy, envy, and the general feeling that life is unfair, because if it were fair, I, the best person I know, would be getting as much money as strangers who do stuff I don’t even understand.
Gee, what a responsible, Presidential, ethical position! By the way, my level of sarcasm and contempt for this kind of dishonest campaign rhetoric is higher than the total level of sarcasm reached by the top 25000 sporting goods clerks in the last seven months. How about that?
I digress, however: I was talking about Hillary’s lack of self-awareness, and hence her assumption that her blind and corrupted supporters are insensitive to her obvious (at least to uncorrupted others) hypocrisy and willingness to say anything for political advantage that this kid of ridiculous statement reveals. Amusingly, a twitter user pounced on Hillary’s tweet with the perfect rejoinder:
“You make more in one speech than I do in 3 years of work.”