I Like Bernie Sanders   6 comments

No, seriously. I believe he’s sincere. I think he wants to make the United States a better place to live. Moreover, I admire the man’s willingness to stand up to Hillary Clinton. There’s evidence that some who have done that in the past have paid some pretty heavy costs for their bravado, so to get up there time and time again and call the shovel a spade is admirable.

He’s right. She cannot stand up to Wall Street because she is bought and paid for by Wall Street hedge fund managers. She also gets a lot of money from George Soros, several media outlets, labor unions and several health insurance and health care corporations.

I also admire his principle in sticking to small donations. It’s hard to be owned by any one (or a couple of dozen) donor when you take very small donations from a wide group of people.

I also agree with many of his criticisms of Republicans — the wars, the corporate welfare. I suspect, were I to sit down with him, we would find a lot of areas of agreement between us.

If Alaska’s Democratic primary were not a closed caucus, I might even vote for Bernie in the March caucus, not because I think he’d be a good president but because I’d like to see Queen Hillary’s head explode if she doesn’t get the nomination. Alas, you have to be a Democratic Party member to “vote” in the Democratic caucus in March and it is against my principles to join a political party, so I’ll have to leave it up to actual Democrats to coalesce around denying Queen Hillary her crown.

So, back to Bernie. I admire the man. I won’t be voting for him. It’s not personal. I’m a principles voter and admiring the man does not mean I agree with his principles. What he believes is good for the United States would be an economic disaster. No one who has taken an actual economics course believes you can give everyone everything for free and not raise taxes except on corporations and rich people. Tuition-free college, single-payer health insurance, expanded Social Security benefits, and all these other giveaways that he proposes all cost money, which must be paid for by taxing people.

Remember — I think taxation is thievery. It may be necessary thievery under the current system we live under, but it is still thievery. I want to reduce the thievery as much as possible by reducing the size and scope of government, which is the exact opposite of what Bernie is proposing.

I also recognize a reality that apparently has never occurred to Bernie. No poor person who ever given me or anyone I know a job. The more you tax “the rich” the more you reduce employment in this country, thereby creating more poor people. The fastest way out of poverty is to get a rich person to give you a real job doing something real, as opposed to having government create jobs that exist for the sole purpose of providing jobs, that must be funded by stealing tax dollars from productive members of society. That is an endless cycle of using other people’s money to prop up a system that is unsustainable. Sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money and you have to start taxing the very people you were trying to help in the first place. This has happened in every country that has tried socialism. We’ve seen the outcome in the Soviet Union and China. We see the increasing wobble in Europe. Do we really want to go there as a nation?

Then there’s his health coverage plan. Bernie proposes we all go under Medicaid. Have you ever had anything to do with Medicaid? No? Well, I have. I worked in social services for 15 years, so I am intimately familiar. It is an awful system that, by and large, does not allow for preventative care and delays treatment of conditions until they are fatal. It is characterized by many bureaucratic hoops between the doctor and the patient and by very long waiting lists. Only medications that are cheap and old are covered, so better medications are not available. In most states, Medicaid is the single largest expenditure in the state budget and it is a huge cost to the federal government. It also pays doctors at about 60% of the prevailing current rates, disincentivizing the creation of new doctors to replace the ones trapped in this new Sanders Medicaid system.

But, hey, it would make everyone equal … and, by and large, sick and untreated as well as unable to afford to purchase better health care even if it were available. It would also make us a nation enslaved to the tax man. England, Norway, many other single-payer health insurance countries tax pretty much everyone who is not on the government dole at better than 50% of their income to pay for their version of Medicaid. There are no entrepreneurs in Europe. Europeans of that mind set mostly immigrate to the United States because they can’t afford to be entrepreneurs in their home countries. Again, do we really want to go there as a nation?

Remember what I said about my principles remaining the same no matter who is espousing them? Well, admiring Bernie Sanders for being true to his convictions does not translate into thinking his convictions are a good idea. Enslaving your fellow Americans to pay for your health care … retirement … job … college … is a bad idea in every time and in every place. Doing it when you have no way to pay for it just doubles down on bad ideas. I believe he means well, but his goals are not going to work out to his pleasure.

So I won’t be voting for Bernie Sanders if he makes it to the general election. He seems like a nice guy, but I don’t think he understands how the real world works …

Which is mostly true of all socialists, by the way. Glorious pie-in-the-sky intentions backed by magical thinking that has never worked out anywhere in the past.

6 responses to “I Like Bernie Sanders

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  1. Frankly, your comments on there being no entrepreneurs in Europe are a joke. Plus, tax rates are nothing like 50% of income in the UK and of the tax we do pay only about a quarter goes towards the health service.

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rates-and-thresholds-for-employers-2014-to-2015
    http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/uk_health_care_spending_10.html

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    • Colin, I’ve had several friends who immigrated from Europe who have told me that they, though middle income, paid 50% + of their income in combined taxes and government required health insurance. These folks are from England, Germany, Sweden and Norway who immigrated to the United States and now pay less than 40% of their income in taxes. You can say it’s a joke, but it is not a sustainable system which is why you have pockets of libertarianism breaking out throughout the EU.

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      • I have no ides where your friends get their figures from, but these are the actual UK tax rates

        Tax rate Taxable income above your Personal Allowance (£10,600)
        Basic rate 20% £0 to £31,785
        People with the standard Personal Allowance start paying this rate on income over £10,600

        Higher rate 40% £31,786 to £150,000
        People with the standard Personal Allowance start paying this rate on income over £42,385

        Additional rate 45% Over £150,000

        Bear in mind that Britain’s average salary is £26,500.

        Now, you do have national Insurance on top of that and of course VAT but it still doesn’t add up to anything like 50% of salary for the majority.Sweden and Norway do have higher taxes but also very good welfare systems. I guess if most Swedes and Norwegians didn’t like that they’d vote for something different. I don’t know what the tax rates are in Germany.

        Personally, other than being paid to write I have never ever wanted my own business because it’s a time-consuming pain and I’ve always wanted to walk away from my job each day and do something else.

        Europe, apart from places like Spain and Greece which are still hit by the recession, is doing fine. We’re just not like the US and most of us don’t want to be. I’d also say that I have known quite a few Americans who’ve settled in the UK because they like how we do things.

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    • Just a discussion of the lack of European entrepreneurship. To Americans, most of whom see starting our business and working hard to get to whatever our personal definition of wealth is, to be constrained by the government from pursuing our own interest and ridiculed by our countrymen for forging our own path is not a joke. It is economic and political slavery and absolutely deplorable —

      http://www.economist.com/node/21559618

      The link is four years old, so I went looking and found some more recent supporting citations.

      https://books.google.com/books?id=EHekBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA159&lpg=PA159&dq=there+are+no+entrepreneurs+in+europe&source=bl&ots=h7z7hy81Xl&sig=LYT4HKsozx-gR67wSEqZmsSt87o&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjDyKnNmr_KAhVY0WMKHSPGC-sQ6AEIMzAD#v=onepage&q=there%20are%20no%20entrepreneurs%20in%20europe&f=false

      http://www.weforum.org/agenda/2014/06/europe-eu-entrepreneur-economy/

      Your government can say whatever it wants. The US government also lies on its official websites — they claim we’re at 6% unemployment when the long-term unemployment rate is actually above 30%. That long-term rate are people who have stopped drawing benefits because they have expired and many of these folks are our entrepreneurs. According to my European ex-pat friends, these people would be on the permanent dole in Europe, with pretty much no hope of ever getting off it. Here at least they can still make things happen for themselves … for now.

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  2. BTW, I am unemployed and on benefits and am happy to stay like it while I complete my novel. Yes, I’m financially poor but everything that I really need is covered.

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  3. Pingback: Issues Voting | aurorawatcherak

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