Tuesday, May 29, 2007

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton outlined a broad economic vision yesterday, saying it’s time to replace an “on your own” society with one based on shared responsibility and prosperity.

The New York senator said that what the Bush administration touts as an ownership society really is an “on your own” society that has widened the gap between rich and poor.

“I prefer a ‘we’re all in it together’ society,” she said. “I believe our government can once again work for all Americans. It can promote the great American tradition of opportunity for all and special privileges for none.”

That means pairing growth with fairness, Mrs. Clinton said, to ensure that the middle class succeeds in the global economy, not just corporate chief executive officers.

“There is no greater force for economic growth than free markets. But markets work best with rules that promote our values, protect our workers and give all people a chance to succeed,” she said. “Fairness doesn’t just happen. It requires the right government policies.”

Mrs. Clinton spoke at the Manchester School of Technology, which trains high school students for careers in construction and the automotive, graphic arts and other industries. The school highlighted one of the nine goals she outlined: increasing support for alternative schools and community colleges.

“We have sent a message to our young people that if you don’t go to college … that you’re thought less of in America. We have to stop this,” Mrs. Clinton said.

Beyond education, she said she would reduce special breaks for corporations, eliminate tax incentives for companies that ship jobs overseas and open up pay for chief executive officers to greater public scrutiny.

Mrs. Clinton also said she would help people save more money by expanding and simplifying the earned income tax credit, create jobs by pursuing energy independence and ensure that every American has affordable health insurance.

In 1965, the average corporate chief executive earned 24 times as much as the average worker, she said. By 2005, it was 262 times as much. In the last six years, productivity has increased, but family incomes have gone down, Mrs. Clinton said, leading to rising inequality and pessimism in the work force.

“It’s not as if America hasn’t been successful these last six years, but the measure of success does not relate to what’s happening in households across our country,” she said. “It’s like trickle-down economics, without the trickle.”

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