Bernie Sanders, Who Got Rich On A Lawmaker’s Salary, Wants To Take Control Back From Rich People

Bernie Sanders never worked in a high salary position since graduating from college. He’s been in politics in fashion or another since the early 1970’s. He was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, from 1980-1989. He was in the House of Representatives from 1990-2007, when he took one of Vermont’s Senate seats, and has been there ever since. He’s made a lot of money along the way, somehow, and has three homes. He takes lots and lots of fossil fueled travel, and taken lots and lots of money from lots of big money Democratic Party donors. Yet, here he is, in an opinion piece in the UK Guardian

Let’s wrench power back from the billionaires

Here is where we are as a planet in 2018: after all of the wars, revolutions and international summits of the past 100 years, we live in a world where a tiny handful of incredibly wealthy individuals exercise disproportionate levels of control over the economic and political life of the global community.

Difficult as it is to comprehend, the fact is that the six richest people on Earth now own more wealth than the bottom half of the world’s population – 3.7 billion people. Further, the top 1% now have more money than the bottom 99%. Meanwhile, as the billionaires flaunt their opulence, nearly one in seven people struggle to survive on less than $1.25 (90p) a day and – horrifyingly – some 29,000 children die daily from entirely preventable causes such as diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia.

At the same time, all over the world corrupt elites, oligarchs and anachronistic monarchies spend billions on the most absurd extravagances. The Sultan of Brunei owns some 500 Rolls-Royces and lives in one of the world’s largest palaces, a building with 1,788 rooms once valued at $350m. In the Middle East, which boasts five of the world’s 10 richest monarchs, young royals jet-set around the globe while the region suffers from the highest youth unemployment rate in the world, and at least 29 million children are living in poverty without access to decent housing, safe water or nutritious food. Moreover, while hundreds of millions of people live in abysmal conditions, the arms merchants of the world grow increasingly rich as governments spend trillions of dollars on weapons.

In the United States, Jeff Bezos – founder of Amazon, and currently the world’s wealthiest person – has a net worth of more than $100bn. He owns at least four mansions, together worth many tens of millions of dollars. As if that weren’t enough, he is spending $42m on the construction of a clock inside a mountain in Texas that will supposedly run for 10,000 years. But, in Amazon warehouses across the country, his employees often work long, gruelling hours and earn wages so low they rely on Medicaid, food stamps and public housing paid for by US taxpayers.

Bernie forgets to mention his own houses. And avoids attacking most of the other Democratic Party donors, like, say, all those Hollywood celebs making millions per movie, or the people who run Google, and GM, and so forth.

In the midst of all of this economic disparity, the world is witnessing an alarming rise in authoritarianism and rightwing extremism – which feeds off, exploits and amplifies the resentments of those left behind, and fans the flames of ethnic and racial hatred.

Interestingly, the authoritarianism comes from Bernie’s side, which loves them some big government

Now, more than ever, those of us who believe in democracy and progressive government must bring low-income and working people all over the world together behind an agenda that reflects their needs. Instead of hate and divisiveness, we must offer a message of hope and solidarity. We must develop an international movement that takes on the greed and ideology of the billionaire class and leads us to a world of economic, social and environmental justice. Will this be an easy struggle? Certainly not. But it is a fight that we cannot avoid. The stakes are just too high.

And how do you do that? With Big Big Big Government. And, of course, massive taxation of That Guy. You know, the ones who create jobs? How many people made a lot of money building those mansions for Bezos, or selling the Rolls’ to the Sultan? Think any policies of Sanders’ will do anything that increase poverty and, surprise surprise! reliance on government? Just look at Democratic run cities like Detroit. We’ve seen this schtick already in a place called the Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics. Bernie is just repackaging that garbage using modern language.

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7 Responses to “Bernie Sanders, Who Got Rich On A Lawmaker’s Salary, Wants To Take Control Back From Rich People”

  1. Jeffery says:

    Senator Sanders’ net worth is estimated at $2 million, hardly a fortune by Senate standards, and irrelevant to his article. Why do attack the Senator personally?

    Why do conservatives hate the poor so much?

    Anyway, we need to face the fact that the world is changing – automation will eliminate more and more jobs. Did you see the recent story on driverless autos? Imagine when most people won’t need to own their own vehicle but can hop in a JohnnyCab to get to and from work each day. Fewer vehicles, fewer workers to build them. Who pumps your gas these days? You do. Electric powered drones or driverless trucks delivering your necessities. How does such an economy distribute resources to everyone? Does a Jeff Bezos get it all (BTW – you forgot to mention that Amazon had a great policy break for years – not charging sales tax while the poor brick and mortar stores did – until they went out of business). Taxpayers were subsidizing Bezos! Nice.

    If you think a few billionaires building 4th homes and buying yachts will keep an economy of 300 million-plus humming you have something to learn.

    Authoritarianism? Look no further than the Stalinesque tRump. He parlayed white nationalism into an electoral win and now wants to shut down the free press. Have you heard any Dems want to eliminate the press? He has installed his own family in positions of power and is working overtime transferring money and power from the working classes to the plutocrats (the political donor class). The Dems are bad, just not as bad as the GOPhers.

    Everything the New Cons advocate is bad for America and her people. Enrich the few at the expense of the many. But not forever. Read on…

  2. drowningpuppies says:

    Bank Fraud Bernie.

  3. drowningpuppies says:

    Some Commies are more equal than other commies.

  4. Jeffery says:

    Almost all his “wealth” came from a book advance.

    According to his June 2017 Senate financial disclosure, Bernie earned around $1 million in 2016, the majority of which ($795,000) came from a book advance. When his various royalties and speaking engagement fees are combined with his $174,000 Senate salary, Bernie’s total income in 2016 was $1,052,000. After taking into account mortgages and retirement accounts, Bernie estimated his net worth to be as high as $2 million.

    Do you begrudge him a book advance?

    He has some equity in three mortgaged properties.

  5. Some Hillbilly in St Louis says:

    “White nationalist” has been an umbrella term used by federal law enforcement and the MSM for at least the last 30 years to refer to hate groups such as the KKK, neo-nazis, etc. Because the left has no way to defend their idiot policies, they instead resort to name calling with the most hateful slur that they have.

  6. Stosh says:

    “all over the world corrupt elites, oligarchs and anachronistic monarchies spend billions on the most absurd extravagances.”

    Dang, sounds just like the s**thole countries that Trump was talking about, and they’re in Africa no less…

  7. Dana says:

    The Distinguished Gentleman from Vermont wrote:

    Meanwhile, as the billionaires flaunt their opulence, nearly one in seven people struggle to survive on less than $1.25 (90p) a day and – horrifyingly – some 29,000 children die daily from entirely preventable causes such as diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia.

    And that’s happening right now, in the socialist paradise known as Venezuela. It should give any intelligent socialist — yes, I know: that is a contradiction in terms — pause to look at what socialism has actually wrought in this world.

    Capitalism allows for unequal results, and for many people to be poor. But the poorest in America are mostly better off than the average Venezuelan, and the poorer people in many of the shithole countries. Capitalism is the only economic system we have ever know which has raised more than a tiny minority above the subsistence level, while socialism has taken moderately successful capitalist countries and returned them to the pre-capitalist standard of having most people stuck at the low subsistence level.

    Venezuela has the world’s largest proven petroleum reserves, but socialism has mostly destroyed the nation’s oil industry, to the point that oil production is the lowest in 28 years, and has dropped 27% just since 2014. Only the thugocrats, the people with guns, are doing decently.

    Under capitalism, Venezuela was Latin America’s richest nation. Throw in the late Hugo Chavez, the darling of so many on the American left, and socialism has trashed the whole country. This ought to be a lesson for the guy so bad he lost to Hillary Clinton, but apparently it isn’t.

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