I will use Bernie’s “10 radical ideas that most Americans agree on” to summarize the problems he does not solve, including climate change, which will not stop changing even if all carbon-producing machines were turned off tomorrow.
Referencing the above article, I have no problem with items 1, 2, 6, 9, and 10, but Bernie whiffs on the other items. If we don’t fix the economy, the other things won’t matter. In general, Bernie believes that socialist policies provide economic solutions that have never worked – even once. I guess people are just determined to get their turn at bat to prove they too can strike out.
This mendacious, magical thinking, as Denninger highlights, also plagues the Right, because the policies depend on confiscating an ever-increasing and therefore unsustainable sums from taxpayers. It doesn’t matter if the unsustainable spending is done on defense, healthcare, or public pensions, govt eventually runs out of other people’s money, which results in a destructive debt death spiral that devalues the currency and squeezes the last bit of blood (production) out of taxpayers (as witnessed in Greece right now). As a socialist, Bernie will never address the govt debt problem, which is the worst of all debts; nor will he ever address the fraud and corruption that is inherent with govt largess, which produces the fraudulent monstrosities like the TSA and NSA.
I believe Bernie would vote “yes” on Greece’s referendum, which would seal the fate of Greece, as it would continue the debt death spiral of EU bureaucrats sucking that last bit of productivity out of the Greece economy to pay banksters until depression becomes severe enough that civil war breaks out. EU politicians must not realize who ships their goods all over the world.
Bernie would also follow the same policies that are destroying Illinois and Chicago, which thinks that raising taxes to cover inept management is always the solution. Bernie would also support taxing “The Cloud”, as if tech companies cannot pick up and move to more economically-friendly locations.
Nothing is more important for society than providing jobs that can at least keep pace with living expenses. Bernie, like all socialist, cannot do this because his “solution” requires money printing that devalues purchasing power, debt that carries an ever increasing interest expense, and ever increasing taxes that degrades the economy and therefore tax receipts. Before getting to Bernie’s whiff’s, allow me to recognizes the areas he at least makes contact:
1. Curbing Big Money in Politics – Corporate contributions need to be banned and punishable with long prison terms, not cost-of-doing-business fines that shareholders pay and are tax deductions for corporations. To reduce the bribes, the career politician, like Bernie, must be eliminated with short term limits.
2. Breaking up the big banks – Bernie believes the banks should not be TBTF, but he doesn’t think it applies to unionized industries, like autos, or the biggest abuser, GOVT. It is the tenants of free-market capitalism, not socialism, that promotes creative destruction and forces bankrupting policies that fail – not getting bailed-out, like the banksters and GM. It was the Left’s darling, Bill Clinton, that sold out to the banks when he signed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, repealing Glass-Steagall, which replaced traditional relationship banking with the currently destructive transaction banking.
6. Keeping Social Security and Medicare – When it comes to mathematically-impossible handouts, the Greeks are not alone. Everyone wants a free lunch, but ignorance of math does not alter reality. When you pay into a system that can’t meet obligations, that system is unsustainable. However, “magical thinkers” continue to believe that social security and govt pensions can be paid with economically-draining taxes and low investment returns, caused by artificially suppressing interest rates that the Feds hope will prevent blowing up their ballooning debt. When rates rise, all of the govt debt that’s held in Social Security, pensions, insurance funds, and on the Feds balance sheet will blow sky high.
Like the govt workers and elderly in Greece, that are depending on an unsustainable system, magical thinkers all over Europe, Japan, and the US can either accept reality now, or they will be dealing with the harsh reality of civil unrest and war that will leave their posterity in the dust bin of history.
9. Legalizing marijuana – Anyone that understands the prison industrial complex and the benefits of hemp knows that marijuana should have been legalized long ago.
10. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – Anything that has to be negotiated in secret, like Obamacare, should not be passed, but that is what we got with OBAMA’s ‘Fast Track” bill. Like NAFTA, the giant sucking sound that Ross Perot predicted, will also come to fruition with TPP…but what will our govt-subservient society do about it?
3. Reducing the wealth gap – The vast majority of the wealth disparity is due to asset inflation, not income. Asset inflation, particularly stocks and real estate, is the result of money printing, capital flows from countries harmed by US policy, and shipping jobs overseas, which are the result of central planner policies, most of which would be supported by Bernie.
Increasing the minimum wage to the levels discussed (i.e. $15/hr) will eliminate more jobs than it helps, by driving small businesses out of business and replacing workers with robots that are cheap to finance with artificially suppressed interest rates. Robots will be replacing workers faster that most understand, even in higher paying jobs. Mish covers this topic in depth.
4. Making healthcare affordable – Bernie does not address the underlying problem, which is the cost of healthcare products and services. This is largely the result of anti-competitive legislation bought with bribes paid for by the large healthcare corp’s. Premiums and deductible are predictably rising, which is taking an ever greater toll on the middle class, and the economy. Eliminate the monopolistic protection provided those in the healthcare industry, and prices would drop by a factor of 10. Since Bernie believes that blood letting is the cure for the economy, it’s not surprising to see him fighting symptoms and not the root cause.
5. Making college affordable – first of all college is not a right, and not even the best path for many, especially when most of what is taught will need to be unlearned in the real world. Secondly, the reason tuition has risen 10x faster than it should is due to subprime money being offered to anyone with a pulse (just like with real estate bubble). You also have overspending on admin, pensions, and non-educating fluff (marketing) designed to attract the bloated demand caused by subprime student lending that is turning our young people into surfs. Shut down the Dept of unEducation and IQ’s will start rising. Bernie thinks confiscating more from taxpayers to pay pensions will increase learning…NOT!
7. Rebuilding our infrastructure – accounting for maintenance is SOP for managing any asset. Since govt obviously does not know how to manage anything, is it any wonder they rob the maintenance fund (like social security) and then yell to confiscate more from the people to cover their neglect and fraud. If this happened in the private sector, heads would roll, which is exactly what needs to happen in govt to instill accountability. Bernie would support raising taxes to mask govt neglect and mismanagement. Better off turning it over to the private sector.
8. Fighting climate change – total bs and he should be disqualified immediately for spreading this propaganda. Below is just one of my fact filled commentaries that reinforce the warming trend stopped 16 years ago, and we are likely headed into a mini ice age? This is the inconvenient truth for those that have agenda’s. Like all energy, climate is cyclical, and even if we shut down all carbon-producing machines tomorrow, the climate would keep oscillating from hot-to-cold-to-hot. Always has been, and always will be. We should be focusing our energies on how to live within these cycles, versus wasting time trying to manipulate or manage them.
The BELIEF that climate cycles are man made, even though warming and cooling cycles existed before man and the internal combustion engine, is the same religious hubris that infects central bankers and planners who think that can manipulate the business cycle (even though they have not eliminated even one recession, and the current negative GDP growth in 1Q15, in the face of 7 years of unprecedented money printing and near zero interest rates, proves they are impotent. Central planners only make the boom and bust amplitudes worse. Stop fighting nature – you will always lose!
Pollution is bad – everyone gets it. Anyone that has had their basic survival needs met, does not want dirty air, water, or land. The problem is there are many in the world that are having trouble meeting their basic needs and their govt’s are not going to risk raising the cost of living, which would make the natives restless and put at risk their perks and power. Why don’t the regulators simply enforce existing environmental laws?
The establishment on both sides of the isle, whose jobs, perks, and power are dependent on NO systemic reform, are quickly destroying Europe and the US. Boehner’s undemocratic iron fist is going to split the Republican Party, producing a 3rd Party. How traitors like Diane Feinstein and Harry Reid have not split the Democratic Party already is a mystery, and if Bernie can make people think about the founding principles on which this country was founded, then Bernie is the lesser of the evils. Unfortunately, Bernie stands for policies that are failing in Europe, Illinois and Chicago, and have already failed the citizens of Detroit, Stockton, and civilizations throughout history that could not control their govt spending.
There are real solutions that don’t depend on magical thinking. It may take a miracle to see them implemented proactively, but even if they come after the pain of war, they are solutions that will result in a sustainable society that is FREE. The alternative is significantly less freedom, as govt will continuously tighten the screws on anyone that makes money until they cook their goose by destroying the earning potential of those that pay for govt.
Below are solutions (many stole from Armstrong), that will prevent history from repeating and a Greater Depression that destroys our way of life: