New Economic Perspectives has the article Why Bernie Sanders Should Add a Job Guarantee to His Policy Agenda.
Discussions of the ‘politically possible’ always remind me of a favorite quote: “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.”
Bernie Sanders’ issues page reads like a list of everything we’ve been told is not politically possible. And yet he’s getting record breaking support, precisely because people are tired of being told that something cannot be done–that it is impossible to get money out of politics, or that tackling inequality and racial injustice is unrealistic, or that securing a living wage is a political nonstarter.
Bernie has unapologetically rejected sclerotic visions of what is ‘politically possible’. And now he should add the Job Guarantee (JG) to his list of issues. Indeed, he already has the key ingredients—a bold proposal to eliminate unemployment by creating 13 million decent-paying jobs, a living wage, and a federally-funded youth job guarantee, which Sandy Darity correctly called a stepping stone (a pilot program) to a blanket job guarantee for all.
As a first step to gently letting people in on the secret of why we don’t need to raise taxes to “pay” for Sanders’ proposals, he might start by telling people that we need to raise taxes to take back the $29 trillion that the fed gave to the oligarchs to bail out the banks, and start using the money for programs that will help all the people. Clearly giving all that money to the oligarchs did not work. Let’s put the money to work where it should have been put in the first place. Putting new money to work without taking back the misplaced money would be inflationary. The inflation is already in the stock market. We can’t let the inflation spread to the average consumer.
If we can make the above explanation go viral, the idea of how to explain tax increases on the wealthy might even reach the ears of the Sanders’ campaign itself.
I have been struggling with trying to figure out a way to get Bernie Sanders to stop propagating the myth that “we need to raise taxes to pay for government programs”. It finally occurred to me (see above) that explaining what the taxes are really for is the obvious solution. No need to even mention the silly ideas of what taxes are for. Why give airing to and waste time on the silly ideas, when you can just talk about the good ideas?
Are you ready to start the fight to get people talking about the good ideas and leave the silly ones out of the conversation?
When the pundits ask Bernie Sanders about some silly idea or other, he usually goes almost straight to his pitch for the good ideas. He comes close, but not maddeningly close to ignoring the whole silly question. That is one of the things that I admire Sanders for. He can get the conversation onto the important topics without angering the interviewer.