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DraganOfStip 09-01-2015 01:08 PM

U.S. Politics & Presidential Elections

I recently came up across an article about Bernie Sanders,an american senator that runs for the Democrat's presidential candidate (polls still give the advantage to Hillary Clinton as the probable Democtaric presidential candidate but Bernie seems to get closer with each passing day).
I haven't heard about him previously (maybe US-based Macedonians like Gocka are more familiar with him) but from what I read,this guy can be the turning point of American policy in general.
As the article and Wikipedia state,the guy is a self-declared socialist that has a history of government-defying moves (he was arrested for breaking racial segregation in the 60's,he marched alongside Martin Luther King and was a gay rights supporter since his youth),he supported the victims of American imperialism and even raised money for the Korean orphans after the Korean war.
He feels America is today modeled for the rich at the expense of the citizens and the workers.
He was against the american involvement in the Iraqi wars and is an opponent of the American policy supporting Israel in the Palestine actions.
He opposed IMF's policy of impoverishing the workers and supported the first ever black american presidential candidate Jesse Jackson.
According to reports he's getting more and more supporters,gathering more crowd at his meetings than any of the other candidates and is now considered the main opponent to Hillary Cliinton for the democratic presidential nomination.
I feel a lot of potential in this man and if he becomes the next president of the USA I believe we will witness a dramatic shift in it's politics,both in it's foreign policy and domestically.

Here is more about him:



Gocka 09-01-2015 05:05 PM

He is a ideologically consistent person, which is unheard of in politics. He has held the same views ever since hes been in politics, and its those views that have elevated him to his current status. Like his views or not at least he stands by them and doesn't flip flop every time he does an interview. All that being said he will not win the nomination, and that is because of his views and his willingness to embrace the label of socialist.

The reality is that America is not ready for a socialist yet. The country is split roughly 50/50 between right and left but because of decades of official anti communism campaigns and propaganda, Americans for the most part are afraid of the words communism and socialism. The average American still sees the two as one in the same, and on top of that believe that they are some evil anti democratic movements. He is rising in popularity with people who also embrace socialism but the amount of people in the USA who actually embrace socialism is not anywhere near a majority. Its been far to stigmatized for far too long. As the demographics shift to a majority Hispanic population, that will change.

I like Bernie, but he shouldn't have called himself a socialist, His plan was: by not shying away and denouncing it he would take the negativity out of the label, but I think when we get to general election time, that label will hold him back. I do think he is honest and genuine, and he has a shot at beating Hillary Clinton in the primary because despite what he media keeps saying she is a very bad candidate.

From the start the media anointed Hillary as the definite candidate to go to the general election, but in reality, many people just dont like her for many reasons, Which is how a black man no one had ever heard of before beat here in 2008. People dont like here because she is a woman, sexism is more prevalent than racism. People dont like her because she is part of the establishment, part of two political dynasties, many people have anti establishment feelings currently. She has open question marks over Benghazi and the email scandal, people dont trust her. Women wont vote for her, women hate women. Finally, she is a terrible speaker. All her speeches are scripted and she sounds like a robot. If she didn't have the Clinton name to lean on, and her familial political ties, no one would notice her.

As for Bernie, hes a stand up guy, but will never be elected.

Nikolaj 09-01-2015 07:06 PM

[QUOTE=Gocka;161707]As for Bernie, hes a stand up guy, but will never be elected.[/QUOTE]

Really what I was about to write, sadly for America.

DraganOfStip 09-02-2015 01:08 AM

That's a shame,he really looks like a people's man,he could have done more for the wellbeing of Americans.
Too bad they're blinded by other things...

Philosopher 09-03-2015 03:25 PM


Philosopher 09-03-2015 03:26 PM

by William L. Anderson | | September 3, 2015

As the political campaign of Hillary Clinton continues to run aground, Democrats are flocking to the campaign of Bernie Sanders, the self-described “socialist” US senator from Vermont, who has been a fixture in that state for more than three decades.

Not unlike the presidential campaign of Ron Paul, Sanders is drawing large, enthusiastic crowds who are very receptive to his message of increased state control of the US economy.

Obviously, when a person running a campaign based upon socialist principles is drawing attention and big crowds, we might ask just what does Sanders mean by “socialist,” and what would he do if he were elected president of the United States? To better answer that question, I am taking a closer look at what we would call the “economics” of Bernie Sanders.
What Do We Mean by “Socialism”?

Before looking at Sanders’s platform, however, I believe it is important to note that when socialists speak of “victories” in the economy, they are not talking about actual results, but rather political achievements in the forms of laws being passed that mandate certain policies. Whether or not these policies actually achieve what socialists claim will be accomplished is another story altogether, but results are irrelevant to socialists.

This should surprise no one because, after all, socialism is based upon political control of the economy. True (or at least original) socialists believe that state agents via the “magic” of their authority should allocate all resources to where there is the greatest need for them. Political representatives, not surprisingly, determine what constitutes the greatest need. The state would take ownership of all factors of production and then wisely determine the needs and how production of goods would fulfill them.

Ludwig von Mises in 1920 in his short work, Socialism (three years later expanded into a book), exploded the socialist myth by pointing out that in a world of scarce resources, economies needed private ownership, prices, profits and losses to determine where resources should be directed. The early years of the “experiment” of the Soviet Union proved Mises correct, and socialists then sought to redefine what socialism actually meant.

In the USSR, and later in China and North Korea, the state took ownership of factors of production, but tried to create a parallel economy by using shadow prices and production functions via the mechanisms championed by Polish communist Oskar Lange, who admitted that Mises had pointed out serious flaws in the original plans of socialists. We also know how that “experiment” turned out, which is why there no longer is a USSR, China has abandoned much of the economics of Mao, and North Korea is a failed state where most people live in grinding poverty.

But people like Bernie Sanders, while maybe not rejecting the old socialism spiritually, nonetheless have embraced a “socialism” in which government takes ownership of large portions of what has been produced by private enterprise and transfers wealth from one group of people to another. A look at the Sanders website spells out his brand of “socialism” that he says is based upon what Nordic countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway have done, levying high taxes with governments using that funding for social programs like medical care and other public welfare initiatives.
Secondary Socialism

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 thefascism 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.

Having similar economic proposals to Hitler and Mussolini does not make Sanders either of those two men and it is important to emphasize that while Sanders regularly employs the powerful political tool of appealing to voter resentment of others, he is not advocating the kind of genocide that ultimately helped to characterize the fascism of Central Europe in the 1930s and 40s. Bernie Sanders is an economic nationalist, and economic nationalism was at the heart of European fascism, but we do not want to make unwarranted accusations against Sanders, either.

At the same time, I do not want to let Sanders off the hook. He promotes economic nationalism and has built his campaign upon resentment, the kind of which Henry Hazlitt wrote in 1966 in his famous, “Marxism in One Minute.” Hazlitt wrote:

The whole gospel of Karl Marx can be summed up in a single sentence: Hate the man who is better off than you are. Never under any circumstances admit that his success may be due to his own efforts, to the productive contribution he has made to the whole community. Always attribute his success to the exploitation, the cheating, the more or less open robbery of others. (Emphasis mine)

As one moves through the website for the Sanders campaign, there is plenty of resentment for others. First, there is the ubiquitous “One-Percent” that is the main focus of the typical Sanders stump speech:

This campaign is sending a message to the billionaire class: “you can’t have it all.” You can’t get huge tax breaks while children in this country go hungry. You can’t continue sending our jobs to China while millions are looking for work. You can’t hide your profits in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens, while there are massive unmet needs on every corner of this nation. Your greed has got to end. You cannot take advantage of all the benefits of America, if you refuse to accept your responsibilities as Americans.

While I would agree wholeheartedly that the US economy is in serious trouble, it is not because of the “greed” of billionaires. It is because the US government, through the Federal Reserve System, has created what David Stockman has called the “casino economy” that has substituted trading of sovereign debt and monetary manipulation for a real economy with interest rates that reflect actual economic fundamentals. Like the Bush and Clinton administrations before it, the Obama administration has promoted political entrepreneurship and demonized market entrepreneurship.
Sanders’s List of Recycled Twentieth-Century “Solutions”

Americans are not jobless because some people are not paying “their fair share” of taxes; they are jobless because the US government insists on directing resources from higher-valued uses to lower-valued uses, as determined by consumer choice. They are jobless because Washington insists on remaking the economy in its own image, and there is nothing in the entire Sanders campaign that would change any of the things that vex the US economy the most.

So, what does Sanders propose to “revitalize” the US economy? Here are some things listed on his website:

Raise taxes on US corporations (ironically, corporate tax rates in the Nordic countries are substantially lower than current corporate taxes in the USA, something that has escaped Sanders’s notice);
Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour;
Expand the reach of labor unions and vastly expand their membership;
Make it illegal for US corporations to manufacture goods abroad, and then sell those goods in the USA;
Impose new taxes on financial transactions;
Spend at least a trillion dollars on building and repairing roads, bridges, and utilities;
Create a “youth jobs program” in which unemployed young people are given government-sponsored jobs (Sanders sees no connection between high minimum wages and youth unemployment);
Enact “equity pay” that will “guarantee” that women are paid the same as men for comparable work;
Break up banks and financial institutions;
Enact a Canada-style single-payer healthcare system;
Provide free tuition for all public colleges and universities;
Expand Social Security benefits;
Require businesses to provide 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, at least 10 days of paid vacation a year, and seven days per year of paid guaranteed sick leave.

Notice that there is nothing in the Sanders platform that calls for “nationalization” of the means of production, nor does he propose to do away with the price system. In other words, Sanders’s vision of socialism is not what Mao or Trotsky or Lenin proposed, yet there is not one thing in the entire platform that would reverse the dangerous economic trends of the past decade.

Instead, Sanders proposes to direct huge amounts of resources in the direction of constructing something akin to a European welfare state. To put it another way, Sanders wishes to “turn back the clock” to create or promote social and economic structures that already have been undermined by the modern “sharing” economy.

If one reads Sanders’s platform from another perspective, it would be the New Deal. Indeed, there is nothing Sanders has written or said from the stump that would not be reminiscent of a New Deal rally (with the possible exception in appealing to black Americans, which was not part of the Democratic Party agenda in the 1930s, as well as Sanders’s appeal to furthering the Sexual Revolution). Bernie Sanders pushes an economic agenda that is frozen in time.

The problem, economically speaking, is that Bernie Sanders proposes nothing that actually would enable entrepreneurs to help bring about a true economic recovery. In Sanders’s world, entrepreneurs are parasites and employers are oppressors who seek to harm their employees, and wealth is defined by how much governments have in their treasuries.

If I could put the economics of Bernie Sanders into a nutshell, it would be this: Burden private enterprise with one directive after another, and then demonize it when it ultimately falls down under the awful weight of taxes, higher costs, and mandates. While many people believe that instituting the Sanders economic agenda would help turn the USA into another Sweden or Denmark, the more likely outcome would be turning this country into another Venezuela.

Gocka 09-03-2015 11:25 PM

We are going to name drop Mussolini and Hitler, but .... dont get the wrong idea though he is only partially like them but you never know.

What the article above fails to do is explain what needs to be done in order to fix this so called broken economy. More deregulation, lower taxes, less vacation, lower wages, less equality for women, less maternity leave? If the opposite of all of those would be bad for the economy, then the above most be good right?

Capitalism, is just as flawed as socialism. Wealth filters upward at a faster rate than it is created. The distance between the wealthy and everyone else, only keeps growing. These are facts, and have been facts throughout human history.

You are delusional if you think that if you raise taxes on Apple, that they will suddenly wake up one morning and say "oh well, because of increased taxes we will only make 250 million next year instead of 500 million, tell them to shut up shop, its just not worth it anymore". Companies wont just stop because they make less profit. If you impose it, they will grit their teeth and bear it and move on.

Income over a certain amount was once taxed at a 90% rate in the USA, it was one of the most prosperous and innovative times in its history, where millions were lifted out of poverty.

More on taxes of Nordic countries to come....

DraganOfStip 09-04-2015 01:27 AM

This is taken from the Wikipedia article about him:
[QUOTE]A self-described [U]democratic socialist[/U],he favors policies similar to those of social democratic parties in Europe, particularly those instituted by the Nordic countries.[/QUOTE]

So,he's actually a social democrat which is very far from actual socialism.
I believe the main focus of his opponents will be the "social" instead of the "democrat",intentionally excluding the democratic part to present him as the American Lenin.

Vangelovski 09-05-2015 07:23 PM

The Swedish utopia:


George S. 09-05-2015 10:23 PM

Yes tom you are right about the Swedish situation I think the country is slipping into oblivion some say into a third world country.

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