On The Wealth Re-Distribution Road – With Bernie Sanders

One of Vermont’s aging but still marginally feisty Senators, Bernie Sanders, recently took his Progressive dog-and-pony show “on the road” to points other than ones in Vermont to sell his agenda.  For Bernie, the rich don’t pay their fair share (despite all the evidence to the contrary that Bernie happily ignores), so his job is to fight for ever more re-distribution in order to fix the horror that exists in that some people make more money than others.

Not pictured:  An aspiring Senator from Brooklyn.

Not pictured: An aspiring Senator from Brooklyn.

Let’s take Bernie point-by-point, to better digest the insanity.

Sanders last weekend took his fight for progressive politics to stops in South Carolina, North Carolina and Minnesota. In Charleston, S.C., on Friday, he spoke to a packed meeting at the College of Charleston about the high cost of college education and student indebtedness, the need for a national health care system guaranteeing health care for all and how income and wealth inequality are moving our country toward an oligarchic form of government.

College education:  College costs are high because of federal subsidization and the availability of student loans.  Why do college tuition rates go up at 2-3 times the rate of inflation annually?  Because they can.  The reason is that student loans are a huge part of the average financial aid package and the government is guaranteeing them, so what incentive is there for a school not to build a new cafeteria with huge TV screens and water slides and laser tag if part of their mission is to recruit the largest possible number of qualified candidates, and there are thousands of schools to choose from?  Sanders complaining about high costs of education is like someone complaining about the heat after they turned the thermostat up to 85 degrees.  Sanders is part of the problem, not the fix for it.

As this Pell Grant analysis shows, the more dollars that are available for higher education, whether it’s in the form of a grant or a loan, the price for education goes up:

Since 1982, the cost of attending college has increased 439 percent, more than four times the rate of inflation. Increases in college costs exceed increases in health care costs, which have risen more than 250 percent over the same time period.

Costs have risen because of the expansion of available federal assistance in Pell Grants and student loans.  If you have a business that attracts more customers than it can handle, and those customers are willing to take out loans to buy the product you sell, what incentive is there to reduce the price of your product?  In case Bernie skipped his econ classes (and all the evidence shows that he did), there is every incentive to increase the cost of the product.  Every time you raise the price, you don’t see a decline in enrollment.  So why would a college slow its spending?

Health care for all:  Well, there was health care for all before ACA, there’s just less of it now after ACA, an act that Sanders voted for.  The thermostat analogy applies here, too.  As does a

Bernie's health care for all mantra in full bloom.

Bernie’s health care for all mantra in full bloom.

useful idiot analogy.

Income inequality:  Continuing to bang the inequality drum as a warning about oligarchic government is hilarious in the extreme.  The same government that regulates industries to death can’t complain about regulatory capture, but Sanders here is actually making that argument.  If the SEIU is about fixing income inequality, why are they such a huge contributor to political campaigns, including Bernie’s?  Talk about oligarchical tendencies.  The same pro-labor movements that Bernie has been a big part of are huge participants in the aggrandizement of government, and influence election outcomes.

But the indefatigable Bernie plows ahead:

That evening, he spoke to another large crowd in Charleston at the Longshoreman’s union hall about the need for a massive federal jobs program to address the unemployment crisis. 

Ah, more economic fixes by spending more money taken from the half of the country that actually pays income taxes.  So let me get this straight:  You grow the economy by taking more earnings from people who have jobs, route it through a federal bureaucracy, then pay people to work on dubious federal programs with the dollars other people earned?  All this does is transfer wealth around, it does not grow an economy.  Which means it is a net zero gain in employment, since the dollars taxed to pay for this jobs program aren’t being used somewhere else in

the economy.

He also called for a significant increase in the minimum wage. In Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, Sanders met with more than 50 young workers from throughout the South who work at fast-food restaurants.  Organized by the SEIU, the workers are fighting for increased wages and better working conditions.

Yet again, let’s increase the cost of businesses that operate on already-thin margins and wonder why unemployment doesn’t magically go down.  If you raise the cost of something, demand for that product goes down – which negates the reason for hiring someone at any wage level, since fewer people want the product that business is offering.  Did Bernie take any notes in his Econ classes?

Later on Saturday, Sanders addressed a large gathering of students and faculty at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.  In Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sanders joined Rep. Keith Ellison, co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, for a well-attended meeting at the SEIU Hall.  Among other issues, Sanders spoke about the disastrous Citizens United

Re-distribute your wealth to me NOW!

Re-distribute your wealth to me NOW!

Supreme Court decision, the need for a constitutional amendment to overturn that decision and for the public funding of elections.

Well, the coup de gras:  The same Senator that decries oligarchical government attends a meeting of the largest public-sector union in the country, the same SEIU that gave $28 million to President Obama’s campaign in 2008.  Sanders complains about Citizens United, but attends a meeting of united citizens who spend tens of millions to influence elections and are themselves

the recipients of federal, state, and local paychecks, so their interest in politics is all about expanding government.  I guess the irony is lost here on Sanders, or he just doesn’t care, as long as the size of government increases, he gets re-elected, and he still gets his $174,000 per year salary, with lifetime benefits.

If there’s to be a poster boy for everything that’s wrong with Congress, Bernie should be knocking people out of his way to pose for the camera.



One thought on “On The Wealth Re-Distribution Road – With Bernie Sanders

  1. If, for example, the minimum wage moves to $15 I could quit my 9-5 job where I have to use my mind and go take a job from a high school drop out who thought s/he was going to get good pay for little effort! After all, if a hiring manager is FORCED to pay at least $15 he will ensure he gets the best candidate(value) for the money and that likely won’t be from an entitled slob with his hand out talking about everything he deserves. Those who could have and would have been willing to work for less will suffer. The high school teen willing to work a menial task for $5/hr for example will go unemployed and the unpaid intern who would be happy to earn ANYTHING continues to be unpaid because while the employer might have been willing to pay an untrained, unskilled intern an hourly wage, the gov’t mandates the least the intern can be paid is $15 and if the employer can’t afford to pay that much, they will continue to pay nothing.

    A staff job at McDonalds was never intended to support a family of four, nor should it. A job pays a worker partly based on the productivity or sales a worker returns to the company. If the worker’s benefit’s exceeds their value to the company the worker will lose hours or possibly their job. That worker then likely ends up on the dole and will be used as an example of why we’ll need even MORE gov’t intervention in the economy to save us from the evils of capitalism. It’s a no lose proposition for the pols suggesting it. Those schooled in basic econ can debate them intelligently, but the liberal political base doesn’t care (provided they even understand the argument being made) or worse the base is sold on the phony argument that those preaching economic freedom simply hate the poor.

    From Friday 5/2 Jobs Report
    The Headline: Economy adds 289K jobs in April

    The Details:
    1 806K workers left the labor force accounting for most of the drop in U3 unemployment.
    2 Workers Younger Than 55 Lost 259K Jobs In April
    3 Workers From 25-54 Lost 209K Jobs in April
    4 Workers From 55-69, Gained 174K jobs in April
    5 Four of the top six industries that saw job pick ups were in the lowest paying fields (Education and Health, Retail Trade, Temp Help and Leisure and Hospitality)
    6 Labor Participation Rate at lowest since the late 70s (moved from 63.2% to 62.8%)


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