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CNBC Transcript: CNBC's Becky Quick Sits Down with President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with President Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative today. Video excerpts of the interview are available on CNBC.com.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

BECKY QUICK: MR. PRESIDENT, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: THANKS BECKY.

QUICK: WE ARE FORTUNATE TO HAVE A LOT OF NEWS THAT'S BEEN GOING ON TODAY. SO IT IS AN OPPORTUNE TIME TO HAVE YOU HERE TODAY. LAST NIGHT THE UNITED STATES BOMBED ISIS FROM SEVERAL LOCATIONS INSIDE SYRIA. I JUST WONDER IF YOU THINK THAT THIS MEANS THAT AMERICA SHOULD PREPARE FOR ANOTHER LONG BATTLE IN THIS REGION? AND IF THIS CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED, IF THIS GOAL CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT PUTTING AMERICAN SOLDIERS ON THE GROUND.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: THE ANSWER TO THE FIRST QUESTION IS I THINK IT WILL BE AN EXTENDED INVOLVEMENT WITH AIR POWER AND WITH PROVIDING INTELLIGENCE AND OTHER INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT. TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE FIGHTING ISIS AND TRYING TO CREATE A MORE INCLUSIVE SET OF GOVERNMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST. IF YOU LOOK AT IRAQ AND SYRIA, THEY HAVE GOT A LOT OF DIVERSITY. THEY NEED A GOVERNMENT IRONICALLY MORE LIKE TINY LEBANON WHERE YOU HAVE MANDATED PARTICIPATION BY THE SUNNI THE SHIA, THE MARONITE CHRISTIANS, THE DREWS. INCLUSIVE GOVERNANCE IS BASICALLY THE ONLY THING THAT WORKS IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT. I THINK WE'LL BE INVOLVED IN THIS FOR AS LONG AS SOMEBODY IS TRYING TO HAVE TOTAL CONTROL. PARTICULARLY IF IT IS ISIS AND THEY ARE PREPARED TO KILL PEOPLE. THEY BEHEADED TWO AMERICANS THEY HAVE BEHEADED ONE OTHER PERSON NOW THEY MURDERED A BUNCH OF SYRIAN SOLDIERS IN A HUMILIATING WAY IN THE DESERT. AND EVEN THOUGH WE ACTUALLY DON'T SUPPORT THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT IN THIS CONFLICT IN SYRIA. THOSE SOLDIERS WERE JUST PEOPLE DOING THEIR JOB. THEY DESERVE TO BE TREATED BY THE RULES OF WAR. SO YES I THINK IT WILL BE GOING ON A WHILE. ON THE OTHER HAND NO I DON'T THINK IT MEANS A PROJECTED OR PROLONGED INVOLVEMENT AND A LAND WAR. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE LEARNED IRONICALLY DURING THE SURGE IN IRAQ, IT WORKED. IT WORKED BECAUSETHE SURGE WAS ACCOMPANIED BY SUNNI TRIBAL LEADERS, DECIDING THEY WANTED TO FIGHT FOR THE INTEGRITY OF THEIR COUNTRY AGAINST AL QAEDA AND IRAQ. THEY GOT ANGRY AND THEY FOUGHT. NOW, IF THEY CAN KEEP A UNITED GOVERNMENT, THEY WILL KEEP FIGHTING AND WE'LL BE ABLE TO DO THAT. BUT WE DON'T NEED TO BE THERE ON THE GROUND. AND I DON'T THINK THAT IT MEANS A LAND WAR IN IRAQ. I ACTUALLY THINK IN THIS CASE THE PRESIDENT OF THE ADMINISTRATION'S STRATEGY HAS A CHANCE TO SUCCEED. BUT I WOULDN'T EXPECT IT DAY AFTER TOMORROW. I THINK IT IS GOING TO TAKE A WHILE.

QUICK: YOU THINK THIS TAKES YEARS AND YEARS THOUGH?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: NO. NO, AND I THINK THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN ELIMINATING ALL ADVERSARIES AND REDUCING THE THREAT, BOTH TO AMERICANS AND OTHERS BEYOND THE BORDERS OF IRAQ AND SYRIA. BUT ALSO TO THIS STABILITY OF IRAQ ITSELF, TO THE POSSIBILITY OF A RECONCILED UNIFYING GOVERNMENT IN SYRIA. THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE. YOU DON'T -- NO ONE EXPECTS IN THE WORLD WE ARE LIVING IN NOW THAT EVERY THREAT CAN BE ELIMINATED. IT IS TOO DISPERSE. POWER IS TOO DISPERSED. BUT YOU CAN GET TO THE POINT WHERE THE WINNING SIDE IS INCLUSIVE, PARTICIPATORY GOVERNMENT AND A REASONABLY SECURE ENVIRONMENT. DO I THINK THAT CAN BE ACHIEVED IN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME? I DO.

QUICK: DOES IT REQUIRE US EITHER ARMING THE REBELS IN SYRIA? OR WOULD WE SOMEHOW WIND UP WORKING WITH THE PRESIDENT THERE?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: THAT IS NOW ABOVE MY PAY GRADE. THE MORE I SAY ABOUT THAT, THE MORE LIKELY I AM TO CAUSE TROUBLE FOR THE DECISION MAKERS. I'M NOT SURE I KNOW ENOUGH TO MAKE AN INTELLIGENT COMMENT. I'LL DEFER TO WHAT THE AMERICANS SAY ABOUT THAT.

QUICK: LET'S TURN TO SOME OF THE THINGS WE'VE BEEN FOCUSING HERE ON IN THE UNITED STATES, AND THAT'S THE ECONOMY. AND THE STOCK MARKET HAS BEEN GOING GANG BUSTERS. A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE FEELING BETTER BECAUSE HOME PRICES HAVE RISEN. BUT AT THE SAME TIME WE'VE SEEN THE MIDDLE CLASS REALLY STAGNATE. DURING YOUR PRESIDENCY WE SAW THE MEDIAN INCOME FOR FAMILIES GO FROM 37,000 TO 49,000. WE BEEN ABLE TO ACHIEVE GROWTH LIKE THAT IN A VERY LONG TIME. WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MISSING? WHAT'S WRONG? AND HOW DO WE FIX IT?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: MEDIAN INCOME HASN'T GONE UP FOR THREE REASONS. ONE IS THE LABOR MARKETS AREN'T TIGHT ENOUGH AND WE HAVEN'T RAISED THE MINIMUM WAGE AS WE SHOULD. I HOPE WE WILL. IF THE CONGRESS DOESN'T, THEN ALL THESE CITIES AND STATES ARE GOING TO. THE SECOND REASON IS WE HAVEN'T CHANGED THE JOB MIX ENOUGH, THAT IS, TO RAISE THE MEDIAN INCOME AND HAVE MORE POOR PEOPLE WORKING THEIR WAY INTO IT. THE COMBINATION OF JOBS HAS TO PAY ON AVERAGE HIGHER WAGES. SO YOU GOT TO HAVE A SOURCE OF NEW EMPLOYMENT THAT PAYS ABOVE THE AVERAGE WAGE EVERY FIVE TO EIGHT YEARS. IN THE LAST TWO QUARTERLY JOB REPORTS FOR THE FIRST TIME I THINK IN TEN YEARS THIS HAS HAPPENED. 40% OF THE JOBS WERE IN HIGHER WAGE CATEGORIES. SO WE MAY BE GETTING THERE. SO I THINK THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT. THE THIRD THING IS, IS THAT GDP GROWTH DOESN'T NEED TO GROWTH IN MEDIAN INCOMES BECAUSE COMPANY AFTER COMPANY TAKES MORE OF ITS PROFITS AND SPENDS IT ON DIVIDENDS, STOCK BUY BACK, MANAGEMENT INCREASES AND LESS ON SHARING IT WITH THE EMPLOYEES BROADLY. ALTHOUGH I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED IF IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS THAT DIDN'T START TO CHANGE AGAIN. I SAW JACK MA JUST ON ONE OF OUR PANELS THIS MORNING SAYING THAT HE THOUGHT HIS INVESTORS WOULD MAKE MONEY OVER THE LONG RUN IF HE PLACED HIS CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEES FIRST. THIS MARKET BASKET CASE IN MASSACHUSETTS AND NEW HAMPSHIRE WAS A BIG ISSUE BECAUSE THE FAMILY THAT OWNED IT WANTED TO GET RID OF THE GUY WHO WAS RUNNING IT. THEY THOUGHT HE GAVE TOO MUCH OF THE WEALTH OF THE COMPANY TO THE EMPLOYEES. THE CUSTOMERS LOVED IT. SO THE EMPLOYEES AND THE CUSTOMERS LEFT WHEN THEY GOT RID OF HIM. THEY HAD TO BRING HIM BACK. NUCOR STEEL WAS VERY CONTROVERSIAL WHEN IT BECAME THE THIRD BIGGEST STEEL MILL IN AMERICA, RUN BY A CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN WHO WAS NOT A UNION FIRM BECAUSE THEY PAID WITH BONUSES AND WAGES 130 TO 200% OF THE AVERAGE WAGE THAT THE STEEL WORKERS GOT IN TRADITIONAL… AND THEY ALL GOT EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS AND THEY WERE ALL IN PROFIT SHARING PLANS AND HAD A STRICT NO LAYOFF POLICY. AND IT WAS CONTROVERSIAL AT THE TIME BUT IT WORKED. THEY ACTUALLY MADE MORE MONEY AND THEIR COMMUNITIES LOVED THEM AND THE WORKERS NEVER QUIT IN HARD TIMES. SO I PREDICT TO YOU THAT THE NEXT BIG FRONT IN THIS WILL BE CORPORATIONS MOVING AWAY FROM WHAT WAS A NEW IDEA IN THE '70S WHICH IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERED WAS THE STOCKHOLDERS AND THE EXECUTIVES SHOULD ALL BE PAID ACCORDING TO THE STOCK PRICE BACK TO MAYBE THE EMPLOYEES AND THE CUSTOMERS SHOULD MATTER MORE. AND THEN THE STOCKS WILL BE A GOOD INVESTMENT OVER ANY 3 TO 5 YEAR PERIOD.

QUICK: BUT YOU THINK THAT'S COMPANIES DO THEMSELVES OUT OF THE GOODNESS OF THEIR OWN HEARTS? OR DO YOU THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO MANDATE AND PUSH?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: WELL, I THINK THE GOVERNMENT CAN HAVE INCENTIVES THAT WOULD ENCOURAGE IT. YOU KNOW, THEY CAN LENGTHEN THE TIME PERIOD FOR CAPITAL GAINS TO TRIGGER, FOR EXAMPLE. BUT I THINK BY AND LARGE, IT WILL HAPPEN, IF IT DOES, BECAUSE OF PROOF THAT MARKETS WORK BETTER THAT WAY. THAT COMPANIES ARE MORE PROFITABLE OVER THE LONG RUN IF THEY TAKE GOOD CARE OF THE COMMUNITIES AND THE PEOPLE. ONE OF THE COMPANIES THAT ALWAYS COMES HERE TO CGI IS CORNING IN NEW YORK. ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES AND ONE THAT HILLARY'S WORKED WITH A LOT. YOU KNOW, THEY ARE POPULAR BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALWAYS – THEY HAVE STAYED WHERE THEY WERE BORN. THEY DO LOT OF BUSINESS AROUND THE WORLD BUT THEY TAKE CARE OF THEIR COMMUNITIES AND THEY TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE THAT WORK FOR THEM, WHEREVER THEY ARE. I THINK THAT IS GOING TO BE COME MORE AND MORE OF A GOLD STANDARD, JUST LIKE I THINK ALL OF THESE CORPORATIONS HERE WHO DO SO MUCH GOOD AROUND THE WORLD TAKING CARE OF THE PEOPLE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID THEY WOULD LIKE TO BE ABLE TO SELL THEIR PRODUCTS TO. I THINK ALL THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN. THAT IN THE 21ST CENTURY WORLD WHERE POWER IS DISPERSED, DOING GOOD AND DOING WELL WILL BECOME CLOSER ALIGNED. IT WILL BE PROFITABLE TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

QUICK: ARE CORPORATE INVERSIONS UNPATRIOTIC. IT'S BEEN CALLED THAT LOTS OF PLACES IN WASHINGTON?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: WELL WHETHER IT IS OR NOT. COMPANIES, PARTICULARLY THOUGH THAT ARE ANSWERING TO SHAREHOLDERS HAVE A SHORT-TERM PERSPECTIVE. A LOT OF THESE COMPANIES FEEL DUTY BOUND TO PAY THE LOWEST TAXES THEY CAN PAY. AMERICA HAS TO FACE THE FACT THAT WE HAVE NOT REFORMED OUR CORPORATE TAX LAWS, WHEN 100% OF THE PEOPLE FROM DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, INDEPENDENTS AGREE WE NEED TO. WE -- I SHOULD MAKE FULL DISCLOSURE HERE. I SIGNED AND SUPPORTED THE BILL THAT RAISED THE CORPORATE TAXES IN AMERICA TO THE LEVEL THEY ARE NOW. OKAY? SO LET ME MAKE FULL DISCLOSURE. HOWEVER, WHEN I DID IT, LET ME MAKE FURTHER FULL DISCLOSURE. WHEN WE WERE DECIDING THAT WE HAD TO REDUCE THE DEFICIT TO GET INTEREST RATES DOWN AND SPARK AN INVESTMENT BOOM IN AMERICA -- AND IT WORKED -- WE DECIDED TO HAVE SPENDING CUTS AND REVENUE INCREASES ABOUT 50/50. AND THAT CORPORATIONS SHOULD PAY A LITTLE MORE BECAUSE THEIR SHARE OF THE OVERALL TAX CONTRIBUTION HAD DROPPED DRAMATICALLY. BUT I REMEMBER THE DECISION WE MADE AND THE DAY WE MADE IT. I SAID, LOOK, WE CAN ASK FOR MORE. BUT DON'T GO ABOVE THE AVERAGE RATE OF OECD COUNTRY, THAT IS THE WEALTHIER COUNTRIES. THAT AVERAGE RATE WAS IN 35% AND WE HIT IT BULL'S EYE. NOW ONLY JAPANESE COMPANIES THAT FOR A VARIETY OF CULTURAL REASONS DON'T LEAVE PAY ABOUT WHAT OUR COMPANIES DO. WE HAVE THE HIGHEST OVERALL CORPORATE TAX RATES IN THE WORLD. AND WE ARE NOW THE ONLY OECD COUNTRY THAT ALSO TAXES OVERSEAS EARNINGS ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT THE COMPANIES PAY OVER SEAS AND WHAT THEY PAY IN AMERICA WHEN THEY REPATRIOT THE MONEY. SO A LOT OF THESE EXECUTIVES EVEN IF THEY WANT TO BRING THE MONEY HOME THINK OH THIS IS CRAZY. I CAN BORROW THE MONEY IN AMERICA FOR 2% OR SOMETHING AND INTEREST RATES ARE BELOW INFLATION. AND BETTER THAT I BORROW THE MONEY AT 2% THAN REPATRIOT IT AT 20 OR 10 OR 5 OR 6 OR WHATEVER IT IS. WE NEED TO REREFORM THE TAX SYSTEM. MEANWHILE I THINK THE TREASURY SECRETARY JACK LEW AND PEOPLE IN CHARGE OF TAX COLLECTION HAVE A DUTY TO COLLECT AS MUCH REVENUE AS THEY CAN FROM COMPANIES, PARTICULARLY THAT EARN IT IN AMERICA. BUT NOTHING THAT HAS BEEN DONE WILL PREVENT THE TREASURY FROM COLLECTING TAXES – WHEREVER THESE COMPANIES CAN SET UP SHOP IN PALAO IF THEY WANT TO. THEY WILL STILL HAVE TO PAY THE AMERICAN TAX RATE ON THE MONEY THEY EARN IN AMERICA. AND WE HAVE TO COME TO TERMS WITH THE FACT THAT EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD HAS STOPPED TAXING ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT THEIR COMPANIES EARN IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY AND AT HOME. SO WE NORMALLY THINK OF NORWAY, SWEDEN, DENMARK, FINLAND AS VERY SOCIALLY LIBERAL, UNIFYING COUNTRIES THAT THEY WOULD ALWAYS HAVE HIGHER TAXES THAN WE DO. THEY DO AS A PERCENTAGE OF GDP BUT DON'T TAX THE OVERSEAS EARNINGS OF THEIR OWN COMPANIES. SO WE NEED TAX REFORM. MEANWHILE THE TREASURE SHOULD DO WHAT THEY CAN IT IS THEIR DUTY TO COLLECT WHATEVER MONEY IS OWED UNDER AMERICAN LAW. IF THEY CAN FIND A WAY TO DISCOURAGE PEOPLE FROM MOVING OVERSEAS THEY OUGHT TO BUT THE BEST DISCOURAGEMENT IS TO REFORM TAXES AND TO GIVE INCENTIVES TO REPATRIOT NOW NEARLY 2 TRILLION DOLLARS OVERSEAS --. AND TO PUT SOME OF IT INTO AN INFRASTRUCTURE THAT WILL PUT THE REST OF AMERICA TO WORK. THAT IS ANOTHER THING THAT WILL CHANGE THE JOB MIX.

QUICK: DOING SOMETHING LIKE THAT, OVERHAULING THE CORPORATE TAX CODE PROBABLY WOULD TAKE TWO SIDES THAT WOULD BE WILLING TO TALK WITH EACH OTHER AND WORK WITH EACH OTHER IN WASHINGTON. AND I JUST WONDER IF YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO MIGHT GO TO WASHINGTON IN 2016 AND START THAT PROCESS?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: THAT MAY BE THE -- I HAVE BEEN ASSAULTED BY CLEVERNESS ON ALL FRONTS FOR QUITE A LONG WHILE NOW. THAT MAY BE THE CLEVEREST IN I'VE EVER HEARD. YEAH, I THINK FIRST OF ALL LET ME PAUSE AT THE FIRST THING YOU SAID IS CLEARLY RIGHT. WE CAN'T DO THIS WITHOUT SOME BIPARTISAN SOLUTION. AND, YOU KNOW, I MAY BE NAIVE, BUT I ALWAYS THOUGHT WE COULD GET A CORPORATE TAX FIX. BECAUSE THE DEMOCRATS WHO BELIEVE WEALTHY CORPORATIONS SHOULD ACTUALLY PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE OF AMERICA'S LOAD UNDERSTAND THAT YOU CAN'T – IT IS THEIR MONEY AND YOU CAN'T MAKE THEM DO SOMETHING THEY WOULDN'T HAVE TO DO IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY ON EARTH THAT MAKES IT MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE TO OPERATE HERE. SO A LOT OF DEMOCRATS ARE IN FAVOR OF CHANGING THE LAW. AND THE REPUBLICANS WHO DON'T THINK CORPORATIONS -- THEY THINK THEY ARE PASS THROUGHS AND CORPORATE TAXES OR DOUBLE TAXES AND ALL THAT, THEY UNDERSTAND THAT IN A WORLD WHERE ALL THE GAINS HAVE GONE TO PEOPLE AT THE VERY TOP OF THE INCOME LEVEL, THEY ARE NOT GOING TO GET VERY FAR PUSHING THE TOTAL EVOLUTION OF CORPORATE TAXES. SO THERE OUGHT TO BE A BASIS FOR RESOLUTION HERE AND I HOPE THERE WILL BE. AND I HOPE THEY DO IT NEXT YEAR. LOOK, EVERYTHING WE ARE DOING NOW INCLUDING THESE INVERSION RULES, I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH I UNDERSTAND THE TREASURY DEPARTMENT IS LEGALLY OBLIGATED TO GET AS MUCH REVENUE AS IS OWED THAT THEY CAN COLLECT. BUT WE ARE BAILING WATER OUT OF A LEAKY BOAT. AND THE ONLY TWO THINGS THAT THE PLUG THE LEAKS IN THAT BOAT, EITHER WE UNDERTAKE CORPORATE TAX REFORM OR EVERY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD SAYS WE ARE WRONG AND WE'LL GO BACK TO DOING IT THE WAY WE USED TO DO IT. THE LATTER COURSE SEEMS UNLIKELY AND THIS IS NOT A MORALITY PLAY. THIS IS PRACTICAL ECONOMICS AND PRACTICAL POLITICS. AND WE'VE GOT TO FIND A WAY. AND BY THE WAY BECAUSE WE STILL GIVE MORE LOOPHOLES AND DEDUCTIONS THAN MOST OTHER COUNTRIES DO WE COULD ACTUALLY LOWER THE CORPORATE TAX RATE QUITE A LOT AND ELIMINATE THE LOOPHOLE AND COLLECT AT LEAST AS MUCH MONEY AS WE'RE COLLECTING NOW BUT WE DO IT IN A MORE COMPETITIVE WAY. I WILL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE DOW CHEMICAL IS A COMPANY THAT'S REALLY MADE A HEROIC EFFORT TO LEAVE JOBS IN AMERICA AND TO REPATRIOT JOBS WITH GROWTH GOING UP AND WITH ENERGY SUPPLIES AMPLE AND COMPETITIVELY PRICED. I THINK THEY PAID LIKE 33% TAX LAST YEAR WITH SOMETHING LIKE THAT WITH ALL THEIR DEDUCTIONS. AND EXXON WHICH MAKES MORE MONEY OVERSEAS BUT HAS ACCESS TO MORE AMPLE TAX CONSIDERATION PAID SOMETHING LIKE 17%. THAT IS A HUGE GAP. AND SURELY, IF WE REDUCE THE RANGE OF THE GAP WE COULD FIGURE OUT, YOU KNOW, WHAT IS OUR REVENUE STREAM NOW. AND HOLD ON TO IT. IF WE JUST HAD AN ALTERNATIVE CORPORATE MINIMUM TAX. THEN NEARLY EVERY AMERICAN OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO AGREE TO. AND IT WOULD BE BELOW THE GLOBAL AVERAGE MIMIMUM.

QUICK: MR PRESIDENT YOU HAVE BEEN ON THE GLOBAL SCALE FOR DECADES. YOU KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD, WHERE THE PROBLEM SPOTS ARE AND YOU UNDERSTAND PHILANTHROPY FROM WORKING WITH THE CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE. OVER THE LAST NINE YEARS I THINK CGI HAS HELPED IMPROVE THE LIVES OF ABOUT 440 MILLION PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE. IF YOU HAD 40 BILLION DOLLARS TO PLAY WITH, WHAT ONE OR TWO PROBLEMS WOULD YOU ATTACK, AND HOW?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: WELL, IF I WERE WORKING AROUND THE WORLD, WHAT I WOULD DO IS TRY TO EMPOWER PEOPLE – I WOULD TRY TO FIRST OF ALL END THE DEATHS OF CHILDREN UNDER 6, WHICH IS NOT VERY EXPENSIVE. AND GET THEM STARTED IN SCHOOL. YOU COULD DO THAT FOR NOT VERY MUCH MONEY. AND THEN ESTABLISH THE COMPETENT, HONEST GOVERNMENT IN THE BASICS. IF YOU DO THAT, PEOPLE COULD WORK THEMSELVES OUT OF POVERTY. BECAUSE ALL THESE MARKETS ARE ATTRACTIVE TO GLOBAL COMPANIES. AND BECAUSE THE INTERNET MEAN THAT THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT THAT IS UNIVERSAL THROUGHOUT THE WORLD CAN BE TAPPED IN EVERY COUNTRY. AND SO IF YOU JUST GOT EVERYBODY READY AND THEN MADE SURE THEY HAD HONEST GOVERNMENT AND THE FRAMEWORK WITHIN WHICH EFFORT COULD BE REWARDED I THINK A THAT WOULD LEAD TO RAPID ECONOMIC GROWTH AND RESOLUTION OF THESE MATTERS. IF I HAD 40 BILLION DOLLARS THAT'S WHAT I WOULD DO. IF I HAD 40 BILLION DOLLARS IN AMERICA, I WOULD TRY TO CREATE UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO RAPID BROAD BAND AND MAKE SURE THAT WE COULD IN ESSENCE CREATE ALL THESE JOB OPPORTUNITIES FLOWING OUT OF IT. AND THEN I WOULD TRY TO GET OTHER PEOPLE TO MATCH IT AND DO WHAT REALLY SEEMS TO WORK IN EDUCATION FROM FINLAND TO SHANGHAI WHICH IS I'D PAY TEACHERS MORE, TRY TO GET REALLY GOOD TEACHERS AND TRY TO CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT IN WHICH WE REALLY BELIEVED ALL OUR CHILDREN COULD LEARN AND THEY DID. AND THEN WE WOULD CREATE AN OPPORTUNITY HERE THAT WOULD CREATE MORE JOBS AND HIGHER INCOMES. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO SHARE THE FUTURE. IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER WHAT YOU DO HERE. WE ARE GOING TO SHARE INEQUALITY, MISERY AND CONFLICT. OR WE ARE GOING TO SHARE PROSPERITY AND RESPONSIBILITIES AND A SENSE OF COMMUNITY. IN THAT SENSE EVEN THOUGH IT IS A LITTLE OFF TOPIC HERE. I THINK SCOTLAND DID THE WORLD A FAVOR WITH THIS VOTE.

QUICK: BECAUSE?

PRESIDENT CLINTON: BECAUSE THE SCOTTS WERE SAYING WE COULD BE OUR OWN COUNTRY. WE AFTER ALL MADE UNIQUE CONTRIBUTIONS TO SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY IN THE 1600s. THE FIRST BRITISH KING WAS JAMES OF SCOTLAND. WE COULD WELL BE OUR OWN COUNTRY. WE'D PUNCH WAY ABOVE OUR WEIGHT. BUT MAYBE WE'LL STAY. MAYBE WE CAN HAVE A UNIQUE AND DECISIVE INDEPENDENCE AND IDENTITY AND BE PART OF A LARGER WHOLE. AND OUR LIVES WILL MATTER MORE THAT WAY. BECAUSE IN A WAY, THAT IS A CHALLENGE FACING EVERYBODY. HOW CAN YOU BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE, RAISE YOUR CHILDREN TO KNOW WHO THEY ARE, UNDERSTAND THEIR DISTINCT IDENTITY AND HERITAGE AND BE PART OF A LARGER WHOLE. INCLUSIVE IDENTITIES WORK. CONFLICT, EXCLUSIVE IDENTITIES DON'T. IF BY WORKING YOU MEAN YOU GET TO LIVE INSTEAD OF DIE. YOU GET A CHANCE TO EDUCATE YOUR KIDS AND EARN A DECENT LIVING. AND SHARE THE BLESSINGS OF COMMON HUMANITY. AND SCOTTS, IT IS DEEPLY PSYCHOLOGICAL CONFLICT THEY HAD TO RESOLVE. IT WAS TOUGH. I WAS VERY SYMPATHETIC FOR THE PEOPLE WHO VOTED IN FAVOR OF INDEPENDENCE BUT STRONGLY IN FAVOR OF THOSE WHO VOTED TO STAY. AND THAT LITTLE DRAMA AND THAT IS BEING PLAYED OUT IN BILLIONS OF PEOPLES LIVES EVERY DAY IN ANOTHER WAY.

QUICK: MR PRESIDENT I'D LIKE TO END IT ON THAT NOTE OF HOPE. AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME TODAY.

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