[I think this op is better here than in Elections but if a mod feels otherwise please feel free …]
Sanders’ singular message is income inequality … caused by Wall Street having the economy rigged.
It’s a nice sound bite, a good marketing angle that hits on Hillary’s vulnerabilities hard, but is it actually true? And would a tax on every trade be a meaningful part of a solution or would it risk significant negative impacts?
(Please note: IMHO income, and more so wealth, inequality must be meaningfully addressed for the good of the society as a whole, the wealthiest inclusive, and I believe that economic populism is a winning political tactic this season. Simple messaging sells best. Selling the product of a candidate or even of an approach is a packaging issue, not a reality issue. This discussion however is hoped to be a reality one.)
My assessment is that reality is much more complicated than what Sanders presents and that the solution he proposes are both simplistic and risk more harms than goods. He wants war on the 1% and as he points out about military interventionalism internationally, sometimes good intentions have unintended consequences.
The hollowing out of the middle class is resulting from multiple factors. [ul]
[li]More and more jobs of the middle class are being automated including jobs of many knowledge workers. maybe eventually increased automation will, by way of increased productivity, raise the whole boat … but for now it mainly raises the prospects of those who own the capital.[/li][li]For both better and worse we are unavoidably part of an international economic community. American workers are competing internationally and we are competing internationally to the place to invest capital. The net global impact is a major decrease in income and wealth inequality as the poorest of the world move up, but we have some negative local impacts.[/li][li]As noted by Sanders, higher education is a virtually required minimum to get a middle class job now, but getting such uses up most families’ ability to accumulate any wealth. (I do not think his solution is realistic, but the observation is, I believe, valid.) [/li][li]And also addessed by Sanders, the tax structure that favors the very wealthiest.[/li][/ul]
Let us assume, for the sake of discussion, that Sanders somehow, with magical pixie dust gets a political revolution and accomplishes his free college in public institutions, paid for by taxes on all trades and much greater taxation across the board but especially on corporations and the income brackets, and increases minimum wage to $15/hr federally … given the first two listed factors, what happens? Does it actually fix them or does it accelerate and amplify their impacts?
My assessment is the latter but I would be interested to hear a reasoned (not sound bite or shouting) discussion of it.