Live from NRF: Hillary Clinton Addresses Retailers

New York–Retailers have “worked hard” and been rewarded for their efforts during the past few years, but “it can’t last forever,” said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) during her keynote luncheon address at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Convention here on Jan. 12. For retailers and other U.S. industry to succeed in the long term, the government and businesses alike will have to do a better job creating more new jobs, she said.

“The bulk of your business is tied to this country in your stores or online,” Clinton said. “We keep telling our young people to finish school and get a job. But we’re going to have to think differently to have a more robust economy.” That different thinking is more along the lines of the thinking of the country’s innovators at the beginning of the 19th and 20th centuries, she said, when they built the country’s railroad system and other vital elements of the infrastructure.

“We have to have a similar attitude in the 21st century, because there’s a lot of deterioration in our sewers, ports, tunnels, and bridges, and we need to invest in them,” Clinton added. “There’s a lot we can do to build a new infrastructure.”

The country needs a “smarter economic policy, and to make investments in human beings,” Clinton said, “to create new jobs and help give us a better standard of living.” Clinton pointed to the runaway success of Toyota’s Prius hybrid automobile, which she said is the fastest-selling car in the U.S., noting how Japan has stepped up to such new thinking as hybrid cars, whereas the U.S. has not.