Friday, October 23, 2015

Bernie Sanders: Reading Past the Campaign Slogans (Part 3)

"All power struggles need to create a "bad guy" to justify retaining their positions of power."

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In the "us-vs-them" mentality, especially in politics, Right-vs-Left, Democrat-vs-Republican, Rich-vs-Poor, the disagreements and anger serve as a tool to divide and incite mistrust, and treats the public (you) as a means to and end: votes for political and ideological power.  As Kant rightly said, "Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only".  This moral philosophy seems to fall on deaf ears in our current political climate, rife with identity politics and corruption.

Bernard Sanders is using you, preying on your hatred for the "Rich 1 Percent" in order to secure your vote and legislate via his numerous "Acts" a socialist ideology in place of what should be a free market with limited government, otherwise called a Constitutional Republic.  Continuing with the sentiments and frustration that spurred Occupy Wallstreet, Sanders' main campaign platform calls for the Rich 1% and Wall Street to pay their "Fair Share".  But what does this actually mean? Calling things by their proper names is the beginning of wisdom.

Sanders said, "The fairest way to reduce wealth inequality and to rebuild the disappearing middle class, preserve our democracy, is to enact a progressive estate tax on multi-millionaires and billionaires," and "Our nation cannot survive morally or economically when so few have so much and so many have so little. We need a tax system which asks the business class to pay it's fair share of taxes." 

At face value, these statements seem perfectly logical and hit a nerve with the majority of Americans.  But: What is fair? What is equality? Logically we all know nobody is exactly equal to another.  Some people have greater intelligence, or greater beauty.  Some people are born extremely tall or athletic, giving them advantages in sports.  Some people are geniuses who invent amazing and profitable inventions.  We know that not everyone can be exceptional, and in reality the majority of us are destined to be perfectly average. For the in depth scientific study on this topic, see The Bell Curve. 

This rhetoric implies that the rich are evil.  It implies the rich and business class prey upon the lower and middle class by cheating, lying, and stealing to create their wealth.  This is pure propaganda created to incite anger, resentment, frustration, and indignation at a group of people in America that for the most part, created their wealth by hard work, ingenuity, delayed gratification, intelligence, smart investments, and creating products and services that have value.  Now, if a wealthy person makes money but doesn't produce anything of value that is stealing.  You have to ask yourself, did all the people in the say, top richest 10% of society make all their money by stealing it from the bottom 90%? No! They created value and provided services that the market and consumers demanded.  Communism preyed on the hatred and resentment of the rich Bourgeoisie, which is the class of people or the "other" that you are allowed to hate and despise.  So why not just steal from the Bourgeoisie to reduce inequality if all they do is steal from us? The faulty logic says, "I am poor because someone else is rich." This is a ridiculous zero-sum argument and lacks basic economic understanding of how markets and government actually function.  Politicians like Sanders promise to take rich peoples' money and redistribute it to the "underclass" - this is simply a bribe for your vote.  So when people say Sanders is a Communist, even though they are technically incorrect, they're not far off. 

"A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers." - F.A. Hayek. For further reading: The Road to Serfdom - Hayek

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