Arthur Christopher Schaper
Before his first stint on "Meet the Press" to announce a possible Presidential bid, Independent US Senator (and democratic socialist) Bernie Sanders had tested out his liberal populism campaign rhetoric earlier this year, but Congresswoman and former Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann (R-MN) took the offense, responding with effective examples and characterizing the lofty ideals of government intervention and income distribution for the failures that they become.
On a CNN blitz debate with Wolf Blitzer, the two federal legislators discussed income equality (the underscoring marquee).
Here is a short list of Sanders' talking points:
1. Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare
2. The cost of education is rising
3. The need for the United States to learn from other (i.e. European, socialist) countries
4. The Top 1% are getting richer at the expense of everyone else.
5. 95% of income wealth went to the Top 1%
Congresswoman Bachmann did a phenomenal job tying the moral bankruptcy of liberal policies, which prevented poor single mother on federal entitlements from improving her living situation and getting a job.
"It's not income inequality. It's income opportunity."
"Ann wants a job."
Bachmann is learning what conservative activists have demanded repeatedly from Republican lawmakers: go on the offense. Somewhat crude but necessary, Bachmann pointed out the Democratic Party's War on (Working) Women.
Sanders focused heavily on the importance of education, a worthy point, but offered nothing substantive in this discussion about expanding access to a quality education. The Minnesota Congresswoman returned to the personal focus: the single mother in the previous clip wanted a good job.
Bachmann stated a moral argument, while Sanders' conflict-theory socialism rhetoric diffused quickly.
Listening to Socialist US Senator Bernie Sanders talk about wealth redistribution, he gives the impression that government intervention and taxation is a voluntary proposal.
In his debate with Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Sanders suggested "asking" the wealthy One Percent to pay a little more in taxes.
Taxation is not asking, but taking, and by force, pure and simple. Where does Sanders get the idea that the government asks anyone to pay their taxes, let alone to pay more?
Another thing: all the talk about raising the minimum wage is misleading rhetoric at its core.
The government, whether state, federal, or even municipal, has no direct power or authority to raise any wage (aside from the salaries which specific agencies pay to their employees).
What legislation does is compel business to make choices regarding wages, employment, investment, or closure.
Businesses do not have to offer a wage. They can layoff workers because they cannot afford to pay them. They can also decline to hire more employees because the cost would be too great.
Businesses can raise the prices of their goods.
They can bring in automation to end hiring.
They can hire individuals illegal (or illegal immigrants) and pay them less than the minimum wage.
They can close their businesses in one location and move to another.
The truth is that governments, and politicians, do not advocate for raising the minimum wage, since they do not have the authority (or the resources) in their own reach to enact such increases.
They force businesses to make certain decisions.
Politicians, governments, legislation force the minimum wage. Nothing more.
If Sanders maintains any pretense of running for President, his drive for the Europeanization of America will invite little support, especially from a bloc of voters who have experienced the relative freedom of a capital economy.
(NB: Senator Sanders provides clips of his interactions with public figures, on news media programs, and with his constituents, yet he did not provide this interview/debate through his YouTube account. Perhaps he did not want to present a discussion which cast his rhetorical skills and arguments for socialist policies in a poor light.)
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.
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