Hillary Clinton’s Statement on CNN’s GPS

This past Sunday on Fareed Zarkia’s GPS on CNN, Hillary Clinton said something that I found striking.  Indeed, it sounds similar to Rawls.  This is what she said roughly: There must be, what we would call a safety net, in society: things like health care and social security making the citizens secure so that they can spend.

Interesting.  The point of capitalism is to make sure that the people spend money.  If the citizens don’t spend money, the economy falters.  What’s interesting about Clinton’s argument is that she’s saying that the best way for people to spend is to make sure that the citizens are first and foremost, secure.  For her, this means some sort of safety net.  So if people aren’t healthy or do not have some sort of social security, they’re not going to spend.  Rather, it seems implicit that without some health care or social security, people will save the majority of their income, thus it won’t get circulated in the economy.  I wanted to see what everyone thought of this argument.  Like I said before, it sounds Rawlsian.  Note again about my comment policy.

About shaunmiller

I have just completed a visiting position as an assistant professor at Dalhousie University. My ideas are not associated with my employer; they are expressions of my own thoughts and ideas. Some of them are just musings while others could be serious discussions that could turn into a bigger project. Besides philosophy, I enjoy martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), playing my violin, enjoying coffee around town, and experimenting with new food.
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2 Responses to Hillary Clinton’s Statement on CNN’s GPS

  1. thekillerj says:

    Well, that is Rawls POV. The problem is this implies government run health care causes people to feel secure. I’m not so sure. Look at the town hall meetings!

    • shaunmiller says:


      It took me a full day to think about your comment. There is one thing I disagree with you, but more importantly, I think you’re onto something. First, here’s what I disagree with:

      You suggest that the town hall meetings are evidence that people are not feeling secure. Sure, I can see that. The problem, however, is that these people are so misinformed that they’re getting scared for the wrong reasons. The media isn’t helping because they don’t even suggest what the health reforms are. There isn’t even a debate in the country and that’s a damn shame. I’m actually very disappointed in Obama because part of his platform was better health care and he was serious about it. Now that it’s on the agenda, he speaks of it in extremely general terms. Now, with this, the right is no better. People like Sarah Palin and Newt Gringrich are saying that these are simply “death panals” and they should be stopped. This is just a poor excuse of judgment. With statements like these, I can’t help but think that maybe Plato’s right when it comes to democracy. In the end, these town hall meetings are a joke. People are shouting at each other and there’s no substantial debate. It’s just mob chatter and these people are so misinformed. Everyone is pulling fallacies left and right and it’s just dumb. These town hall meetings aren’t evidence that people don’t want health care. At best, they just show that the people are misinformed.

      More importantly, let’s talk about what I do agree with. You said:

      The problem is this implies government run health care causes people to feel secure. I’m not so sure.

      Indeed, I’m not so sure either and maybe Clinton’s logic is flawed, but here’s how I see it. There are many governmental systems that we rely on, I’ll just name a few:

      1. Medicare
      2. Medicaid
      3. Social Security
      4. public schools
      5. libraries
      6. public universities
      7. parks
      8. zoos
      9. museums
      10. freeways
      11. foreclosure bail-out plan
      12. federal student loans
      13. police departments
      14. fire departments
      15. sanitation department
      16. Veterans Benefits
      17. military
      18. prisons

      In 1-3, I don’t have an opinion. Honestly, it seems that it covers insurances (or security) for old people. I’m not old so I really can’t say if it’s better or not. So I’ll just simply say, “I don’t know.”

      In 4-6, I think these are good things that the government provides because it improves society. But does it make us secure? Well, strictly speaking, I’m not harmed if those things go away, so I guess I agree with you on these: this doesn’t cause security.

      In 7-10, these are things that goverment provides for pleasure or convenience. Again, this doesn’t make us secure. After all, I’m not being harmed if those things are taken away.

      In 11-12, these are things that the government provides for educational or to make sure big companies don’t fail. That was the thinking with AIG. If it fails, no one in America has insurance. Does this make us secure to have these things? Well, maybe. If we didn’t have insurance, clearly there’s a harm there indirectly. Or maybe we would have to be extra cautious. As for loans, well hardly anyone could get a better education. For me, if no one is advancing their education, then they are being harmed. However, I could easily see you replying back saying that banks could be the loaning officer and not the government. So I guess this depends.

      Finally, in 13-18, I would say unequivocally that these things do provide saftey and security to the public. If the government did take these things away, I would say that we were being harmed.

      So here’s the question, where does health reform fit in? Again, I think it’s hard to say, but I would say it’s in the 11-12 category. It depends. I know, sucky answer but it’s because I’m very ignorant on the issue of what this bill says. I wish politicians would be more clear about their bills rather than trying to get more votes. But that’s the problem with democracy. As Plato puts it, people are more concerned with getting more votes rather than the truth.

      It’s a long reply, but like I said, it took me about a day to think about this.

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