If things are to improve for women, a key step would be to gain higher wages and more job security. There is still a large gap between the average wages of men and women, and this is more than just a relic from a ‘backwards past’. Due to a lack of social services and welfare support for women, especially in regards to maternity leave and parental pay, they are concentrated in the lowest paid and least stable industries in the workforce.
If Hillary Clinton became president, who’s to say she wouldn’t reform America’s tight-fisted welfare and scarce social services to give all women the equality they deserve? She’s proclaimed that she wants to be the champion of everyday Americans. We’ve already seen women’s rights groups announce their support for the Hillary 2016 campaign. But what has Hillary herself said throughout her political career?
It has recently come out that Hillary is in America’s top 0.1% of income earners. She earned over $31 million just last year. And what kind of strenuous toil did she have to go through to earn these millions?
A majority of this money came from giving speeches at various events and institutions. None of these events were the opening of a women’s refuge, or an abortion clinic, or a government-funded childcare centre. They were at well- established big businesses or institutions that want to keep propping them up.
Hillary Clinton’s support of big business can be traced to her position on the Walmart board of directors from 1986- 1992. In 1995, Walmart was America’s fourth largest business with a revenue of over $80 billion. Today Walmart is the world’s biggest business with a consolidatedrevenueofover$480billion.
In her 2003 book Living History Hillary states that she “learnt a great deal about corporate integrity and success” from the CEO of Walmart at the time, Sam Walton. Given that a Walmart employee’s yearly salary puts them below the poverty line, integrity obviously isn’t a concern. All through her time on the board Clinton sat with silent approval as Walmart smashed up unions and paid their workers next to nothing.
Business conglomerates, like the ones Clinton has so avidly supported, only reach the size they do through mass exploitation of labour. Backing wealthy corporations has no progressive benefits for your average citizen, particularly the working class woman. The idea that business profits ‘trickle down’ to the masses is a farce. While the American GDP has quadrupled over the last 30 years, the average American household income, adjusted for inflation, is lower now than it was in 1985.
From 1993 to 2001 Hillary Clinton was America’s First Lady. This era of her nlife is also mentioned in her 2003 memoir. She writes “by the time Bill and I had left the White House, welfare rolls had dropped 60 percent.”
Did the Clintons really manage to increase living standards so that 60% of the people who had been on welfare no longer needed it by the end of Clinton’s presidency?
Her tenure as the US Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013 was spent vomiting out support for foreign military intervention. This isn’t surprising given that she was a resolute supporter of the Iraq War in 2003. As Obama’s Secretary of State she pushed for the expansion of both troops in Afghanistan and drone strikes in Yemen. These drone strikes have killed hundreds of civilians.
Exceptionally unsettling is her bolstering of Israel. She is a self-described “emphatic, unwavering supporter of Israel.” She supports Israeli settlement, the West Bank barrier, and the 2014 attacks on Gaza. Israel’s massive attacks on Gaza resulted in the death of 1,617 civilians. Hillary has been shown to be even more aggressive in her military support than certain Republicans.
Hillary has come out with the slogan ‘Everyday Americans need a champion. I want to be that champion’. Considering Hillary’s habits of welfare-slashing, big business support and military expansion, she’s not so much their champion as their enemy.