Not Cease from Exploration

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Response to Tom Borthwick's posting, Bernie Sanders for President

In response to Tom Borthwick's latest blog posting, promoting the Presidential campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.  You can link to Tom's posting HERE.

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Hey Tom, glad to see you posting again.  I'd say "keep it up", but I don't want to jinx anything.

I view Bernie Sanders like many other politicians.  While Rafael Cruz panders to the far right, sometimes (well most of the time) Senator Sanders does the same to far left.  He's right about climate change, but  he's also guilty of sound-byte commentary on the equal pay issue, quoting an incorrect 78% statistics.   Here's a very good & quick read on the issue by the not-conservative Pew Research Center that proves my point -

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/14/on-equal-pay-day-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-gender-pay-gap/

In summary, he's simply wrong when citing a 78% wage gap.  Sloppy and pandering.

I'll also call him guilty of pandering on the promotion of trade unions as well; "card check", in place of secret ballots for union elections, is bad policy that opens the door for strong-arm tactics.  If a union is right for an organization, then what's to fear from a secret ballot election?  That employees will actually vote their conscience?

Lastly, as for "taking on Wall Street", well don't you see just a bit of irony in the U.S. federal government, the ultimate expression of "too big to fail" telling others that they are "too big to fail" and therefore should be broken up?  Now conceptually I actually agree that too much power is concentrated in too few financial institutions, but I simply don't trust the federal government enough to make those decisions.  Who gets broken up?  Who gets to own the pieces?  If anything, "too big to fail" targets are a smoke screen for the federal government's inability to actually prosecute the bad actors in the last financial crisis.  How many big CEOs went to jail after the 2008 collapse?  I know, that's a trick question, in part because greed isn't really a crime, but then again stupidity isn't either (and large financial institutions count on the financial illiteracy of Americans).

Anyway, welcome back Tom.  It's going to be an interesting summer.

Regards,
- Steve

1 comment:

Tom Borthwick said...

I think my favorite part of blogging again is that responses to my posts become posts of their own on your site!

By way of response, all politicians are panderers, by definition.

On equal pay, your link states women make 93 cents on the dollar compared to men. Anything less than equal is wrong. I didn't see a citation for his 78% figure when I went to his site, but the article you've linked to definitely talks about how women have it a little tougher than men do.

I don't have a problem with "card check" legislation, because current labor law allows for employers (i.e. Walmart and Target) to discourage forming unions and intimidate and punish employees. But more realistically, "card check" is just like a petition -- pretty harmless. It's also odd to say he panders to unions for having a position that favors them, because that would equate to condemning literally everyone who has a position that benefits anyone or anything.

While I'm not a fan of the operation of the federal government, it has the power to regulate and should exercise it. Somebody has to regulate the financial sector. Corporations aren't going to do it themselves. The government's ineptitude when it comes to prosecuting the guilty is a symptom of the problem: what politician is going to push for the censure of the very people who lobby them and bankroll their campaigns?

Bernie at least has a record of not being bought. His average donation was $43. Check the Republican candidates. Or Hillary. I'll take grassroots candidates any day!