Bernie Sanders seems to have a particular complaintwith the way politics is run today. He claims that politicians have been bought by the corporations and billionaires and no longer represent the voters.
An example of this would be the ethanol mandate which forces gas companies to use ethanol as part of their fuel blends. One corporation Archer Daniels Midlands, produces about a third of all ethanol and have reaped billions in profits from ethanol production. This despite the fact that ethanol makes gas more expensive, makes food more expensive, and contributes to global warming.
Sanders realized this and in 2011 voted to end the ethanol subsidy saying
““I voted today to end the ethanol subsidy which would save taxpayers $3 billion for the remainder of this year. Subsidizing the ethanol industry not only is a great expenditure of taxpayer dollars, but it also has a negative impact on farmers and consumers in Vermont and around the world in terms of higher feed prices and higher prices for food.””
Ethanol makes food and gas more expensive, this hurts the poor the most since food and gas make up a larger percentage of their expenses than it does for the rich. Ethanol enriches corporations who then in turn donate millions to politicians. Sanders correctly opposed ethanol as a gift to the rich at the expense of the poor.
Yet today Sanders has embracedethanol. He claims it will be a part of the solution to global warming despite all the sciencethat says ethanol is worse for global warming than gasoline.
If we take Sanders rhetoric seriously the obvious conclusion is that Sanders has been bribed by the ethanol industry to change his mind. Yet, I don’t think that is true. He is running in Iowa and many corn farmers vote in Iowa so he is pandering to get their votes. This is true of all the candidates running for president this year except Paul and Cruz. They are responding to the voters and not special interests or billionaires. The problem with politics is not that politicians are in the pockets of billionaires but that they are responding to the voters. So no matter how Sanders tries to get money out of politics special interests will still win because voters are aligned with special interests. Despite being in politics for over thirty years Sanders still does not know how it works.