Hillary’s Speech, an Ad Against Her and So On

Traditionally presidential election campaigns are said to begin in earnest after Labor Day, but with the mutual rancor between the two parties and their candidates, things should heat up right away now that both conventions are over.

This became concrete today, when a reader brought to my attention an anti-Clinton TV ad, consisting of excerpts from a speech Clinton gave in India. There Clinton says trying to stop offshore outsourcing is a “dead end,” something we should not bother with. Pretty powerful stuff, quite an effective counter to the brief mentions Hillary made against offshoring in her speech tonight. So powerful, in fact, that the DNC is trying to get TV stations to pull the ad from the air.

Of course, the more DNC pushes, the more attention will be called to the ad. This is a rare stumble for the well-oiled DNC machine/Clinton campaign, but the implications of the ad are of great significance, in my view. Here’s why:

In my post last night, I referred again to a Computerworld article in which an IT worker took  Clinton’s recent comments on the H-1B work visa as showing that, while she sympathizes with American workers harmed by the program, she considers them “collateral damage,” to be sacrificed by what she considers the greater good. After hearing her speech tonight, and the slick bio preceding it, to me the pieces of the puzzle are finally coming together.

I found the account of Hillary’s mother quite touching — virtually cast aside as a child, going to work as a housekeeper at age 13, and so on. (I wonder how many people know that Trump’s mother also started out life as a poor housekeeper.) No wonder Clinton has not just sympathy, but empathy, for the welfare of children, the issue on which her main accomplishments have been. Good for her.

But at the same time, it is clear where the Greater Good motivation comes from. Clinton wants to do good things for children, underclass families, and so on, and she sees that in order to be in a position to do so, she needs to make common cause with the tech industry, the Wall Street banks, and so on. The TV ad begins by saying that after she made that speech in India, she received a hefty donation from an Indian politician for the Clinton Foundation, whose major focus is on the very issues Hillary cares about, i.e. children and so on.

Given that, it would be easy for Hillary to rationalize the inherent contradictions. She railed this evening against the misery caused by the banks in the 2008 crash, but fails to mention that some of the major factors underlying that catastrophe were policies that her husband Bill put into place while president, under pressure by those same Wall Street banks.

In her remarks in that recent interview reported in the Computerworld article, Hillary conceded that both high-skilled and low-skilled immigration harm American workers. But in her speech tonight, she said that rather than fixing immigration policy, her approach would be to expand the economy so that there are enough jobs for everyone. This was not an original line at all; on the contrary, it is a standard go-to line in the Democratic Party. I recall, for instance, a staffer for Sen. Barbara Boxer dismissing the H-1B problem, because (this is close to verbatim) “Mobile apps will be booming in the coming years, so there will be enough jobs for both Americans and H-1Bs.” Of course, what happened was that those jobs went mostly to even more H-1Bs. For instance, one of the most strident firms pushing Congress to expand the H-1B cap is Qualcomm.

It is no accident either that the Party has embraced the writings of my UC Davis colleague Giovanni Peri, who sees immigration in general, and H-1B in particular, as job creators for natives. As even a pro-immigration Financial Times writer pointed out, the White House report on Obama’s executive actions on immigration cited Giovanni no less than 38 times, with just a passing mention about the contrary views of George Borjas, and even then in a derogatory manner, but again this rationalizes Clinton’s views, and of course those of the Democratic Party, which wants to use the H-1B issue to leverage amnesty for what comedian Jay Leno called “undocumented Democrats.” In the interview, Hillary had referred to the “economic argument” in favor of H-1B, presumably Peri’s (which has been countered by other research).

It’s clear that it will be a nasty, nasty campaign. The above-mentioned ad is quite reasonable (though predictably, the Race Card was played immediately), but the ads will get more and more personal, more and more in-the-other-candidate’s-face. After I heard about the outsourcing ad this afternoon, I wondered what would come next from the Trump campaign, and my mind wandered to the issue of which candidate would make a better commander-in-chief. The Democrats have been saying Trump is too impetuous for that role, and that reminded me of the famous photo of the White House Situation Room, in which they were watching the events that they would hope would lead to bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice.

When that picture came out in 2011, my thought was, “Oh, no, Hillary looks awful, with her hand over her mouth, a look of fear” — certainly not a trait we want in a commander-in-chief. Thus, today I thought this may show up in an anti-Hillary commercial. So, imagine my surprise this evening when the slick bio shown at the convention actually tried to put a positive spin on the situation, claiming Hillary had the look of leadership. Maybe this was  a pre-emptive defense on the Democrat’s party.

In any case, there is no shortage of past public comments by both candidates that will come back to haunt them in biting commercials this campaign.




26 thoughts on “Hillary’s Speech, an Ad Against Her and So On

  1. > This became concrete today, when a reader brought to my attention an anti-Clinton TV ad, consisting of excerpts from a speech Clinton gave in India.

    Yes, I believe that I saw that ad on CSPAN during today’s coverage of the Democratic Convention. To be fair, it appears to be carefully edited like many political ads. Following is Clinton’s full statement according to http://hotair.com/archives/2016/07/26/will-hillary-clinton-mention-job-outsourcing-in-her-speech/ :

    “No, I DON’T THINK YOU CAN EFFECTIVELY RESTRICT OUTSOURCING. I think that there are incentives that perhaps are appropriate to try to persuade American companies without any sanctions, but you know, through both moral persuasion and then perhaps some economic incentives too at least think very hard before those decisions are made, but you know, it’s an inevitability,” she said.

    “THERE IS NO WAY TO LEGISLATE AGAINST REALITY, SO I THINK THAT THE OUTSOURCING WILL CONTINUE. I just fault my own government for not doing more to open up new areas where America would have a competitive, comparative advantage and to do more on the education front, to do more with new technologies that we could be developing for our own use as well as for export, BUT I DON’T THINK THERE’S ANY WAY TO, YOU KNOW, LEGISLATE AGAINST OUTSOURCING. I THINK THAT’S, YOU KNOW, JUST A DEAD END.”

    The part in all caps is what was quoted in the ad. Hence, it left out Clinton’s suggestion that the outsourcing might be able to be affected through “moral persuasion and then perhaps some economic incentives” before the outsourcing occurs. Also, it left out her suggestion that the government could open up other areas and do more on education. Of course, this latter suggestion does little to help current workers whose jobs are outsourced to save money. But then, I haven’t heard much discussion about exactly what to do about outsourcing.

    In any event, Clinton does appear to have bought into the claim that there is a shortage of STEM workers. As described at http://econdataus.com/claim400k.htm , a factsheet on her web site quotes the false claim that the BLS predicts that there will be a million worker shortage in just 4 years.

    Speaking of outsourcing, I just attended a C++ meetup and it felt like going back in time by 10 or 20 years. There was a panel of ISO C++ standard committee members and none of the panel and relatively few of the audience appeared to be obviously foreign-born. I suspect this is because younger programmers are less attracted to C++. Still, my last company did manage to outsource all of their C++ work.


    • The parts the ad left out are even worse than what was included. More claims of a “STEM labor shortage.” The EPI has debunked these claims, and the organization is very close to the Democratic Party. Hard to believe she is unaware of this.


      • The pattern always seems the same. One “study” puts out a claim with one or two numbers in it and politicians and the media just parrot those numbers over and over, never bothering to check the sources to do any independent analysis. In the case shown at http://econdataus.com/claim400k.htm , the numbers are “1.4 million computer-science related jobs” and “400,000 computer science graduates”. Any fool can see that the first number is bigger than the second. No further analysis is necessary! In the case shown at http://econdataus.com/claim262.htm , Zavodny came up with 2.62 jobs gained and everyone quotes that. Any fool can see that 2.62 jobs gained is a good thing. Again, no further analysis is necessary!

        Even if they are not able to evaluate the studies, politicians and the media should be able to google the topic and see if there are any conflicting views. That’s why I made up the page at http://econdataus.com/stemshortage.htm which shows that the supposed STEM shortage is, at the very least, a heavily contested topic. I sent it to my local representative since he has expressed belief in the STEM shortage. I also asked if he had made an attempt to meet with those researchers who disagree with the claim of a STEM shortage. That was several weeks ago and I have received no reply.


      • I just looked at the another claim on a Clinton “fact sheet” that “there were over half a million good-paying tech jobs unfilled last year”. It came from the White House and I finally traced the source back to Burning Glass Technologies. Have you heard of them? Anyhow, it sounds like a deeply flawed approach that simply looks at job ads. I posted what I found at http://econdataus.com/claim600k.htm . As I mention there, the Burning Glass database and methodology are proprietary and cannot be examined or verified. For example, there is no way to verify that Burning Glass properly accounts for duplicate or fake ads and a number of other problems.


        • Hundreds of thousands of “good paying jobs” will always go unfilled. The main reason is that companies being used to scout for talent have a vested interest (business model) in maintaining a “wage wedge” between the company looking for workers, and the workers looking for jobs. These gatekeeper companies will force down wages in order to skim off more for themselves. If they can’t find cheap workers, they will simply tell the company that contracted with them, “There is nobody available.”


  2. “Collateral Damage” is an excellent term to describe the Clinton agenda on everything else, too. For example, under “HillaryCare”, it was estimated that up to 10,000 small businesses would be bankrupted. The Madam’s response? “Who cares about a few thousand undercapitalized businesses!!”

    “Collateral Damage” includes 85 worshippers in their church building in Waco, TX. It also includes the dozens killed and injured in the cover-up blast in West, TX, on the week of the 20th anniversary of the Waco massacre. The Clinton machine believes that individuals and families are to be sacrificed regularly for the “greater good” — as they define it.

    I think the Trump collateral damage from hiring H1-B’s is a result of convenience, not malice. And I think that’s the only real difference here.


    • Anybody who quotes the Waco situation basically makes any other argument they make invalid. Koresh immolated himself and the other 85. Please stick to the point.


      • The “cover story” that Koresh and his followers burned themselves up is just that — a Demo cover story. The reality can be viewed in government and news media videos on many places on YouTube. You can watch the tanks with flamethrower attachments, the men with breathing tanks and masks, and the FLIR video of machine-gun toting agents firing non-stop into the gymnasium doors to prevent people from escaping the flames. This was a government massacre using military personnel and equipment on U.S. soil — a violation of federal law.

        Remember also that the longest and most expensive federal case in U.S. history was directed, not against gun-runners, dope smugglers, or even the banksters. It was directed against a small, privately-owned child care center in California called the McMartin Preschool. It resulted in traumatized children, a shuttered business, and zero convictions for any violations whatsoever.

        This is the type of government that the Far Left dreams of — absolute authority over children from womb to tomb, including their beliefs, their family structures, and anyone who has regular contact with them.

        The idea that Madame Clinton “wants good things for children” fails to ask the question — Just how would she know all that is “good for children”? Why should her personal and professional opinions on child care become federal mandates, backed up by massive federal court cases, bureaucratic busybodies, and military force if needed?


    • I think Trump hired H1Bs because everyone in the industry was doing it, it was standard practice. And he had to stay competitive. Same thing with his ties and shirts. Now, if Trump makes it standard practice to hire Americans First and to Make Things in America, then businesses will follow suit.


  3. The idea of “job creation” from H1-B is faulty, because the fired U.S. workers will end up getting jobs at convenience stores and fast-food joints to feed the imported H1-B workers. Sure, “net new jobs” go up, but the new jobs are low-wage service-industry jobs. If all that matters is a number on a spreadsheet and a monthly employment statistic, then that’s what will happen. If the quality of life of U.S. workers was an issue, this kind of “trading places” would not be happening in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The claim is so ludicrous that only a moron would believe it. You can’t create jobs by eliminating jobs. The problem is that no one has ever refuted this false claim. And it has entered the realm of “received wisdom” – something considered so true that it does not need to be checked.


    • I question any & all statistical figures from FWD.us including that number (2.5 new jobs created) though I wonder how many American STEM grads are working as Uber drivers. You did hit the nail on the head on the 1%’s lack of empathy for the 99%. This is one of the major reasons for the support for Trump and Sanders.


  4. >her approach would be to expand the economy so that there are enough jobs for everyone.

    The language she used last night is almost verbatim from her New York senate campaigns, which IIRC is exactly the time she was dancing with the Indian outsourcers as now quoted in this ad. And btw, employment in New York state continued to decline the whole time she was in the senate making these fancy promises.

    Her theory, insofar as it is not *all* simply empty rhetoric, is to tax “the rich” to pay for new infrastructure projects for the jobs they entail. Now, we need a lot more infrastructure work, all levels of government have been ignoring that – instead we in California get gigantic boondoggles like the bullet train, and fiercely overpriced freeway expansion projects. And there are even some who extend infrastructure to running fiber to the house. But I don’t see how any of that helps STEM jobs at all.


  5. The irony of Giovanni Peri’s comment is that as an unemployed American born Software Developer I am building a company that will automate the work being sent to India and being done by the H1B’s.


    • I’d like to see this, since in my experience software development can be standardized and automated only up to a point. We’ve seen this over the years as many types of applications have been built to handle standard biz problems. But this always requires adapting the out-of -the box App to the specific business environment, which can’t be automated. And H1Bs are moving up-market, doing more than just coding. And if your products work, you’ll be putting Americans as well as H1Bs out of work.

      But not to discourage you. This is an inevitable progression of tech. Presumably AI will put us all out of work eventually, although we’ll need a new economic system at that point.


  6. In her speech Hillary said that she will create more jobs as she will clean up gridlock in the US Congress. Ironically, the first bill that Bill had put through congress was NAFTA and we’ve been listening to the “sucking sound” ever since.


  7. “the DNC is trying to get TV stations to pull the ad from the air … rare stumble for the well-oiled DNC machine”.

    This maybe never happened. The only source of this info is the New York Post, a tabloid newspaper. The Post Editorial Board endorses Trump. No names of persons within the DNC are mentioned. The Republicans may be trying to capitalize on the “Streisand effect”.


    • For reasons I’ve given in the last year or so (search for “Julia Preston”), I consider the New York Times to be the tabloid. Caveat emptor on any news source these days — except this blog, of course. 🙂


      • All media sources have bias. The challenge is to wade through it all and build a nuanced and detailed picture. Tougher yet is to see through one’s own bias when building that picture. Caveat emptor applies in all cases.


  8. The main problem is getting past the nonsense that comes out of that worthless pseudo-science economics where we have the “fallacy of the lump of labor” which is supposed to show that the amount of labor isn’t fixed so immigrants do not take jobs from Americans.

    The whole line of reasoning is a total misdirection and a simplification of real life to the point of uselessness. Of course there isn’t a limit to the amount of labor people can do. We can have a morning crew dig a hole, and and evening crew fill it up and have jobs for everybody.

    The real issue is who has the money to pay people for their labor and that, while not completely fixed, is fixed at any point in time and grows so slowly as to be considered fixed for all practical purposes when dealing with human lifespans. For someone to pay somebody else for their labor requires that such labor performs something useful or he has to be prepared to get nothing for his money. The amount of useful things that can be done are also relatively static at an instant in time.You could remodel your kitchen every year, but who would do so? Throw in the fact that our society is extremely debt based where people cannot service that debt if they are out of work for even a short length of time or have to take a pay cut and the damage cause by outsourcing is compounded.


  9. A lot of these numbers are propaganda masquerading as fact. There should be a public debate in the Oxford style, where both sides can present their numbers along with the methodology they used and the opposite side can try to tear it down.

    No one should be able to just throw up some numbers and everyone, especially the media, should just take those numbers for granted.

    This is propaganda, not journalism.


    • I’d love to have a debate with my colleague Giovanni Peri. Since we are on the same campus (and do know each other), it’s odd that no one has suggested it.


  10. Perhaps you can ask the UC Davis Debate Team to set something up ( https://localwiki.org/davis/UC_Davis_Debate_Team and https://www.facebook.com/Debate-at-Davis-136161186443941/ ). They do Oxford/BP style:

    In 2008, Colin Murphy, an alumni of UC Davis 2001 and RIT 2006, initiated a British Parliamentary Debate program at UC Davis, in accordance with the popular global debate format practiced at Oxford and Cambridge.

    Some of their recent topics:
    – Welcome End of USA as Sole Global Superpower
    – Pope Francis Should Endorse Socialism
    – Ban Consumer Advertising
    – Privacy vs Homeland Security
    – Migrant Crisis

    There’s also the Davis Rational Ethical Debates and Discussions club (DREDD):

    “The main focus of our club is the ethical boundaries which surround different issues impacting society,” Baroumand said. “Most traditional debate clubs focus more on policy-making and risk-assessment, which isn’t our focus. Our focus is more on ‘right vs. wrong,’ ‘what is right,’ ‘will people be hurt by this and why?’”

    I would recommend to have displaced American IT workers and anti-H1B people in the audience to balance out all the F1/OPT students and other pro-H1B people like most college profs and admin/execs.


  11. Sanders campaign had a pretty devastating video of Clinton actually saying outsourcing has help some parts of America–she is once again speaking to an Indian audience which seems to be concerned over the political rhetorical over jobs. Hillary basically says, don’t worry the US will continue to outsource.


    “This new video shows Secretary Clinton says different things to different audiences about outsourcing,” Jeff Weaver, Bernie 2016 campaign manager, said. “In the United States she condemns it but when she’s in India she says it has benefitted many parts of our country. Secretary Clinton should explain to the people of Michigan how they have benefited from the outsourcing of their manufacturing jobs. The relevant section begins at approximately 51:30.


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