October 21st, 2016

Max’s View: I’m Rooting For Bernie Sanders – But Not For the Reason That You Think

By Max Abrams
The only thing that your vote in the Presidential election accomplishes is perpetuating the status quo. And the only thing that your vote can change is which lying politician gets to be enriched and corrupted by Washington, D.C.

Maybe I’m fooling myself, but I want to believe that Bernie Sanders is different. He seems to be a man of ideas rather than just another politician obsessed with power.

I am no Socialist. I do not have faith in government. If you had asked me 15 years ago, I would have told you that I fundamentally disagree with everything Bernie believes in. But times have changed. And so has my perspective. Fifteen years of working for a multi-national bank corporation has opened my mind to the need for intervention and regulation.

Bernie says of bank corporations: “if it’s too big to fail, it’s too big to exist.” Breaking up the big banks – Teddy Roosevelt-style – really does make sense after the 2008 financial crisis.

I hear the CEOs complaining now: “Oh, no, that socialist is punishing us for mistakes that happened nearly a decade ago!” No, CEOs: a fair socialist punishment for what you guys did would be for Bernie to nationalize Citigroup, Chase, and Bank of America and put the boards of directors into old-fashioned stocks so little kids could throw tomatoes at them. Breaking up the big banks into separate mortgage, investment, and credit card companies in order to make them more manageable is just a common sense safety measure.

Last year, Senator Sanders introduced an intriguing bill that would provide states with funding to establish and expand employee ownership centers. The goal is to slowly increase the amount of employee ownership and participation in the companies for which they work.

“Oh, no, Bernie Marx is trying to Sovietize the United States!” Not really. His idea seems like a genuine attempt to save capitalist America. Currently, an undesirably large percentage of corporate profits goes to the stockholders, while the workers get progressively poorer.

Even most conservatives agree that the disparity of wealth between rich and poor is getting too large. Company ownership by workers is a more wholesome way to redistribute wealth than higher taxes or more welfare.

I don’t think it is uncapitalistic to publicly shame specific corporations that are misbehaving. I love that Bernie has called out cable companies for their high costs and obnoxious sales tactics.

To clarify, I don’t agree with all of Bernie’s ideas. His call to raise Social Security rather than slowly phase it out is absolute madness. To me, raising Social Security is like driving Uncle Sam’s car up the highest mountain in Greece and then cutting the breaks.

In the end, I’m not rooting for Bernie Sanders because I think he’s always right. Mostly I’m just excited about the concept of a leader who has real plans and the bravery to fight for them. The Sanders administration will be the true test as to whether a politician can change the status quo.

If President Sanders actually changes America, I’ll get excited about politics and eagerly vote for a pacifist libertarian in 2020. If President Sanders fails to get anything done, I’ll know that I was right all along: voting is a pointless exercise in futility.

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