Bernie Sanders is the most popular Democratic party candidate next to the controversial Hillary Clinton. He has taken approach not much different than current president Obama. When I started hearing about Sanders some months ago, I thought he was just another run of the mill democrat going against the usual conservative GOP narrative. However, it turns out, he is nothing like any democratic contender I have ever seen in my life or looking back throughout American election history.
Sanders’ hails from Vermont, a state known for its communist leaning and loose gun control. Its also known for its maple syrup and delicious Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream. Sanders’ has been a figure in Vermont politics for many many years. He identifies as a independent. I recently came across an article that was posted by a friend on facebook. Of course, in looking at the source it was a legit scholarly written article. Here is the link. This article is from a institute that promotes and educates on different topics including politics and economics. More specifically focusing on Austrian economics, freedom and peace. You can read more into it on the about page on their website.
This article which is called the Economics of Bernie Sanders. It is quite a read too. William L. Anderson takes on this journey exploring what Bernie’s campaign platform offers and then comparing it to other historical political figures. In a nutshell, Anderson focuses on the economic tools that Bernie intends to implement if elected. If you follow any Bernie coverage then you probably know that he is for things like: 15 dollar national minimum wage, higher corporate taxes, free college tuition for all and a healthcare system similar to Canada’s. (Full list in Article) Anderson compares Bernie’s economic vision with that of the economies of countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
The most interesting part of the article comes were he compares Sanders to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. However, he does not suggest that Sanders wants to conquer the world and make a genocide. He puts it best:
“A number of people have pointed out that the Sanders “program” is not socialism per se, but rather is something based upon socializing the results of private enterprise, or what one might call secondary socialism. The Bernie Sanders regime would take control of some of the produce of private enterprise, as opposed to taking outright control of factors of production, which would remain in private hands. If this reminds one of the fascism of the 1930s, that is because Sanders is promoting a version of the governing models of Germany under Adolph Hitler and Italy under Benito Mussolini.
Of the two, Sanders certainly is closer to Mussolini. Like Sanders, Mussolini called himself a socialist and was a leader in the Italian Socialist Party. Like Sanders, Mussolini decried “profiteers” and the wealthy, and spoke out against political corruption. Like Sanders, Mussolini spoke of a larger “national purpose” and sought to harness nationalism as a political force. Like Sanders, Mussolini sought to impose more and more controls on Italian businesses in order to direct production in a way to satisfy political purposes. Like Sanders, Mussolini built political power by appealing to Italian voters by saying that other Italians were well-off because they had gained their wealth on the backs of the poor.” (Anderson, Mises Daily)
What Anderson really suggests is that Sanders is seeking the same sort crusade against the rich or the one percent to gain control over the economy. He wants a more state controlled economic system. Of course, Anderson cites the many failed attempts at state-run economies. The most interesting point to me is that Anderson points out that Sanders economic agenda will actually do nothing to help the economy. in other words, Sanders wants to make cosmetic changes. Anderson also outlines that Sanders brand of socialism is not results driven but more political in nature. This means that success is based implementing the measures rather than achieving a specific result.
My own opinion is that Anderson does excellent job and I would recommend reading the article in full. In my opinion, I think thats where Sanders falls short for me. His economic plan scares me. The consequences for some of things he wants to do could lead us down a path we really do not want to go. My perspective is that of a person who has 60,000 dollars of college loan debt and has only worked minimum wage jobs. Hear me out though, the college tuition plan sounds great but in the end someone has to pay for it. If its not me, then its taxpayers. Although if Sanders were to say cut some unnecessary spending in certain areas. Its very viable to make college free. The problem becomes what to cut. The bipartisan politics will kill his plans before they even get started.
Another hot topic is the minimum wage. Sanders has been a huge voice for it. New York Sate will have 15 dollar minimum by 2020. I believe that its just really bad idea. Most people argue that it would help the single parent families and poor families out. This is not the case. Increasing base pay for every single means increased cost for everyone. It also decreases the need for an college education because wages are high in any job whether its Mcdonalds or EMTs. The economy needs people who work at Mcdonald’s for 8 dollars a hour. They have a critical role and those people should be teenagers. Raising minimum wage would not only increase the cost of all products in all retail and food businesses. These business depend on low wage workers to turn a profit. I think that people forget that business must make a profit or they go out of business. I understand also that business may not need billions of dollars but some of the larger companies do need that. Otherwise, how will they invest and create new products?
From my own personal experience working at a two Mcdonald’s over a 5 year period has taught me first hand about this topic. Let me tell you that working at Mcdonald’s is easy. The skill required in a mental capacity is almost nothing. Its all physical. I didn’t deserve 15 an hour for what I did and neither did anyone else at the same position. Managers and store managers always made more and earned it. My store manager at Mcdonald’s told me he feels that it threatening because he does so much more than any crew or shift manager. He has to run the business side of the restaurant and also the food service itself. Not an easy job. My restaurant was very small only making half a million year. Even still, raising minimum wage means either not hiring more employees meaning slower service or even laying off workers because it costs too much.
I just hope that when people consider Bernie Sanders that they consider that his cosmetic fixes only look good on paper. Much like socialism in the past, it always look better on paper. I admire Bernie Sanders’ ability rally so many people and his successful attempt at being unique. His campaign is not quite like any other. I believe despite his early success, the opposing democratic candidate also has a strong base. Hillary Clinton will not go away due to her name recognition. One thing that is going for Sanders’ is Clinton’s email saga which only seems to be crazier each day.
Thank you for reading. More election candidates coming.