As the final Democratic primary challenger falls away, the nation moves on to the main event: Trump vs. Biden 2020. Well, most of the nation. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) may have called it quits, but his supporters haven’t. Just as many a cult classic has left its small but zealous group of fans waiting reverently for a sequel that never comes – or doesn’t live up to the hype when it does arrive – Bernie Bros assuage the pain of yet another failure by looking hopefully to the horizon. They envision a world in which all the desires of their entitled little hearts are fulfilled. But will their socialist wishes come true, or are these merely the fever dreams of the delusional? Will America ever feel the Bern?
Writing for HuffPost, Tara Golshan paints a rosy picture of the United States under President Sanders – an America she seems to think might come to pass, eventually.
Free Lunch – And Everything Else
Everyone’s health insurance would be sponsored by the government, prescription costs could never top $200 a year, and medical debt becomes a thing of the past. Having a baby would mean six months of leave for both parents. Student debt would also disappear, as education would be provided from public daycare through tuition-free college. And while we’re asking for the world, why not get a cherry on top? Sure, credit reports can be provided by the government and not cost a penny. If you haven’t caught on to the theme yet, it’s quite simple. As the author explains in the third paragraph, “the government would just do it for you.”
But wait, there’s more. Minimum wage would be $15 an hour – for a while. Of course that would never be enough, as evidenced by the progressive reaction to actually getting that raise. As Liberty Nation’s Andrew Moran explained in early 2019:
Recently, The Gray Lady published a piece, titled ‘The $15 Minimum Wage Is Here. Why We Need $33 an Hour.’ And, no, this is not something written in The Onion. The 900-word article argues that the newly-enacted $15 minimum wage is not enough to combat the affordability crisis, alleviate poverty, or ensure a four-person family can live comfortably in Brooklyn.
One can only imagine a Times headline in the next decade: ‘The $33 Minimum Wage Is Here. Why We Need $75 an Hour.’”
Should we stop there? Oh, of course not! All large companies would come under partial employee ownership, and workers would control about half the seats on corporate boards. All new cars in America would be emission-free by 2030 – and the rest of the country would follow by 2050. Lest you fear we’ve run out of free stuff, rent would not be allowed to increase more than 3% a year, and housing assistance is an entitlement. And of course, we can’t leave anyone out. Immigrants – whether they’re documented or not – could enjoy all these benefits as well. Just come on in and get in line for your freebies – the borders are open, too. Don’t forget to legalize weed, of course, because the only way this plan seems even remotely rational is if you’re stoned out of your mind.
When the Bill Comes Due
And just who will be on the hook when the bill comes due? In a word, everyone. “The uberwealthy would pay a whole lot more in taxes. Wall Street would pay a whole lot more in taxes. Corporations would pay a whole lot more in taxes,” Golshan writes. But what about the rest of us? “And likely,” she admits, “so would individuals in order to support a sweep of social safety net programs that would radically change American life as we know it.” It is nice to see a Sanders supporter demonstrate some connection to reality, but this only skims the surface.
As minimum wage increased in states across the nation, we saw employees laid off, full-time workers reduced to part-time, and small businesses shuttered. The cost of goods and services increased across the board because, well, why wouldn’t they? Not only do consumers have more money to spend, but the employees required to produce and sell those items all got raises, increasing the production cost for companies. This isn’t a prediction of the future; it’s an observation of the facts of the recent past.
And if you think that’s bad, just wait until companies are obligated to cover the majority of the tax burden to fund all these social safety net programs as well as pay employees to stay home and care for infants. The cost of living will skyrocket – until those in power turn to yet another item in the socialist toolbox: price controls. It’s hinted at in the rent limitations, but that’s just the beginning. And then what? Venezuela, Uganda, Cuba, Cambodia, the Soviet Union – take your pick.
The socialist dream come true might seem nice in the beginning, but it would quickly become a nightmare – we just have too many examples of how it doesn’t work to believe otherwise. Will America ever feel the Bern, either under Sanders or the next generation of socialist? For everyone’s sake, the answer had better be no.
Read more from James Fite.
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