Here, from The Economist, is the one picture that shows why Bernie Sanders is foolish to call himself a socialist:
Socialists are the least likely of the above groups to be political winners in America. (Well, at least they probably beat child molesters and telemarketers.)
The fact is that despite his strange claims, Bernie is not a socialist.
Merriam-Webster Definition of Socialism
1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done
Medicare-for-All, Sanders’s signature proposal, is not a socialist program.
1. It does not propose governmental ownership and administration of anything.
2. It does not propose the elimination of private property.
3. It does not propose that the means of production be owned and controlled by the state.
4. And it does not propose the unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.
What it does propose is federal funding of programs vital to the health and welfare of the people. Mere funding is not socialism. It’s what every government in history has done.
Contrast Medicare for All, which proposes paying the private sector (hospitals, doctors, nurses and other hospital employees, medical equipment manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, etc.) with the socialist Veterans Administration, which owns its own hospitals and other medical facilities, and employs their personnel.
So why does Sanders continue to call himself a “democratic socialist”? Perhaps Bernie merely is stating the obvious. The entire government of the democratic United States is a combination of functions, having some socialist and some capitalist characteristics.
By not explaining to the voters what socialism really is, and also not explaining how Monetary Sovereignty could pay for his Medicare for All, Sanders has made serious mistakes, perhaps electorally fatal.
Even with Professor Stephanie Kelton advising him about Monetary Sovereignty, Sanders has exhibited a troubling stubbornness that may sink his candidacy.
It’s a shame.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.
The most important problems in economics involve:
- Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
- Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.
Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone
3. Provide a monthly economic bonus to every man, woman and child in America (similar to social security for all)
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
5. Salary for attending school
6. Eliminate federal taxes on business
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually.
8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.
9. Federal ownership of all banks
10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9%
The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.
5 thoughts on “The one picture that shows why Bernie Sanders is foolish to call himself a “socialist.””
BINGO. If I were Bernie, I would completely jettison the word “socialist” from my vocabulary, and call myself progressive instead.
Indeed, government funding (to one degree or another) is what all governments have done throughout history. The real question is not the size of government, but really who does it serve? We the People, or the oligarchs at the top?
So if that’s not socialism, then what do you call the opposite of this? “Austerity” is the most common euphemism for the opposite of it, and it is highly toxic, regressive, and recessive. And if anyone brings up Grover Cleveland and his vetoing of drought relief in the 19th century, and his rationale for doing so, we would ultimately learn the hard way during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl that his rationale was outmoded, and the genie is ultimately out of the bottle now.
Completely agree Rodger. A politically fatal mistake by Bernie not to be honest with the American people. He simply needs to say he is not a socialist and that he believes in monetary sovereignty.
i remember that there was a lot of talk about the money issue between the elections, and the consensus appeared to be that explaining such a concept to the U.S. populace was a non-starter because of the constant hyping of reverse propaganda by all media plus all elected officials.
recently, an older friend of mine said that his inability to fully and clearlyexplain how he would fund the programs was why she could not vote for him. when i tried to explain why he appears to waffle on it, i directed her to your website. i still have no idea whether the thing bore fruit or not.
as for his socialism–i agree with you. why confuse the issue? while he has harped on the billionaires, he has not really harped on the governmental/monetary system that allows them to keep going. it is like he is fighting a moral crusade against rooting out evils (billionaires) instead of a revolution of consciousness by rooting out ignorance.
frustrating, yet i was still willing to vote for him.
Thanks. As an alternative to Trump, almost anyone would be a good choice. I’d even vote for Pence, and that really is scraping the bottom of the barrel. Currently, Biden seems to be favored. If so, I hope he picks a good, attractive, youthful running mate.
Pence is in many ways worse than Trump, in that he would likely turn the USA into Margaret Atwood’s worst nightmare if he had his way. But still, at least is far less likely to get us all killed than Trump is. Pence is evil and a cold-blooded sociopath, while Trump also evil but a hot-blooded malignant narcissistic sociopath. Or in D&D lingo, Pence is “Lawful Evil”, while Trump is “Chaotic Evil”.