Hillary Clinton puts middle-class pay rises centre stage

July 13, 2015 7:20 am

 Hillary Clinton’s economic agenda will be organised in three parts. Photo / AP

Centring her presidential campaign on boosting incomes for
middle-class Americans, Hillary Clinton tomorrow will begin unveiling an
economic policy agenda designed to lift working families that have
experienced years of wage stagnation and economic anxiety. Democratic frontrunner also aims to give women more flexibility to enter workforce.
The
Democratic frontrunner will lay out a diagnosis for why wages have been
stuck and a framework to ensure economic growth benefits more ordinary
workers, according to campaign officials.
Clinton will endorse a
host of popular Democratic policies such as raising the minimum wage and
investing more in infrastructure. She will emphasise proposals tailored
towards working women, such as expanding access to child care and
providing workers with paid family and sick leave. The ideas sound
similar to the second-term agenda of President Barack Obama.. Clinton
goes further in her emphasis on giving women more flexibility to enter
the workforce and on new government efforts to change the investment and
pay decisions of corporations.

Clinton’s speech will cement a leftward shift in the
Democratic Party. Clinton is carving out space between the Republican
candidates, who pay more attention to growing the economy than to
raising wages, and her leading Democratic primary opponent, Senator
Bernie Sanders, who focuses more on redistributing income to solve the
inequality problem than on growth.
The economy grew only 2.4
per cent last year, and over the past 15 years, growth has slipped well
below the averages of the 1980s and 1990s.
Clinton’s economic
agenda will be organised in three parts: Breaking down barriers to
joining the workforce, reducing income inequality and corporate reform.
She will later roll out more details.
Liberal groups will be
watching with a sceptical eye. Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive
Change Campaign Committee, said he will listen to hear whether she
takes on “the power of Wall Street and corporate bad actors. Do her
proposals go big and represent game-changers in the lives of millions of
people? Or do they go small and tweak around the edges?” Jared
Bernstein, a liberal economist, said he thought she would satisfy
progressives because her agenda “reconnects growth and middle-class
prosperity.”
Three Parts to Clinton’s economic agenda
1.
Breaking barriers to work Clinton will focus on women’s participation
in the workforce, previewing policies on child care, paid leave and paid
sick days.
2. Reducing income inequalityShe will assert that the
current economy unfairly rewards some work more than others. She will
urge raising the minimum wage, fighting wage theft and overhauling the
tax code to make the wealthiest Americans pay what she considers their
fair share, as well as supporting collective bargaining and reducing
health-care costs.
3. Corporate reformClinton plans to argue that
companies should focus more on creating lasting value, including
investing in their workers, than on earning quarterly profits to satisfy
shareholders. To that end, she will call for more investments in
research and development, changes in tax structure and new rules on
shareholder activism.

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