Advice for Sen. Hillary Clinton: Don’t make promises you can’t (won’t? forgot to?) keep.
Sen. Clinton, who now doubles as a presidential candidate, showed up four years ago in Buffalo, N.Y., in my back yard bringing with her a company that promised it might create up to 100 news jobs.
New York state has “lost 26,344 manufacturing jobs and 810 manufacturers since August of last year.” Western New York has been hit particularly hard, losing 3,000 manufacturing jobs â€” the good-paying kind â€” in the past year.
So anyone who promises to create jobs in and around Buffalo is literally promising to throw life preservers to men and women drowning in a job-loss nightmare.
So as a candidate for re-election to the Senate and in midst-dance about whether she’d run for president, Sen. Clinton brought to town Tata Consultancy Services and its promises of job creation.
A reporter for the Buffalo News called the local office of Tata recently and just asked, so, how my workers you got? “Ten.” Yep. Just 10. (Here’s a tip to politicians. Don’t give precise numbers. They can be checked.) And the PR hit gets worse …
According to the News, Tata, an Indian company, is one of the worldâ€™s largest outsourcing consultants. So not only is Tata not bringing in the promised 100 jobs, it’s shipping other jobs out of the country. The News quotes John Bauman, founder of the Organization for the Rights of American Workers:
She touted how she brought Tata to Buffalo â€“ and in the meantime Tata is one of the biggest body shops in America, bringing cheap foreign labor to this country while exporting other jobs to India.
Consider this rolling text found on Tata’s home page:
To go far, first explore what is near.
Trust is built on a promise.
Insights into Certainty.
A torch well passed burns no one. [emphasis added]
Her critics are having a field day. Says Ron Hira, an assistant professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology and author of â€œOutsourcing America”:
What she did was really pretty dumb from an economic development point of view. Tata destroys a lot more American jobs than it created [in] Buffalo.
The campaign’s response? Here’s Philippe Reines, Sen. Clintonâ€™s spokesman:
Since her first day in the United States Senate, Sen. Clintonâ€™s priority has been to support local businesses and entrepreneurs in order to spur job creation and economic growth throughout New York State, and this is just one of the literally hundreds of cases where she did so.
Sen. Clinton talks a good, if vague, game. Her campaign Web site says she’s all about “strengthening the middle class“:
In New York, Hillary championed tax incentives like wage credits for businesses and job creation in upstate New York and elsewhere. She also helped launch economic development initiatives to provide critical resources to small and micro businesses and helped launch a private sector venture called New Jobs for New York that makes venture capital available to New York’s innovators.
Perhaps more reporters at western New York’s newspapers ought to be calling to see what “critical resources” have been provided to “literally hundreds of cases” of “small and micro businesses” like Tata Consultancy Services. Those reporters should check what jobs â€” at what levels of pay â€” have actually been created in western New York.
At the very least, Sen. Clinton’s campaign ought to pay more attention to detail. Remember, it didn’t check on shady fundraiser Norman Hsu, either.