It’s a question seen in the comment section of the Washington Post and on other news sites and political blogs around the Internet. “We’re broke” conservatives will falsely claim. In fact, the United States has “unprecedented abundance.” David DeGraw argues, “In the United States, there is at least $100 trillion in wealth.” That’s enough to pay off the entire national debt five and a half times! The United States is not broke; the federal government has been intentionally under-financed.
DeGraw writes about the need for people to break out of mental slavery, and if Senator Sanders is going to be successful with his revolutionary bid for the White House, millions of middle of the road voters, so-called moderates, will have to break out of their mental slavery, or at least part way out. Voting for a democratic socialist will be a huge leap for mentally enslaved Americans. That jump begins by recognizing our own mental slavery.
Mental slavery, DeGraw explains, is essentially the consequence of having our minds shaped by years and years of political, commercial and state propaganda. Most people’s understanding of the world is deeply distorted by the convincing but false claims made by brilliant propagandists. Glenn Beck’s followers, for example, believe that progress is bad, progressivism is “a cancer,” and Bernie Sanders is a “communist.” Beck is a corporate tool. That is a claim progressives backing Senator Sanders readily understand. Secretary Clinton is also a corporate tool which is why she gets so much campaign money from Wall Street. It is why she tentatively supported the unconstitutional fast track legislation. Of course, President Obama is a corporate tool as well. In other words, they are neo-liberals.
A society with inequality this severe is highly unstable and will eventually destroy itself. ~David DeGraw
Before Senator Sanders launched his campaign as a “political revolution,” the need for revolution was evident. DeGraw writes, “Due to corruption, wealth and power have become consolidated to the point where the richest 400 Americans now have as much wealth as 200 million Americans. When measuring freedom in any society, as famed American sociologist and psychologist John Dewey put it, “There is no such thing as the liberty or effective power of an individual, group or class, except in relation to the liberties and effective powers of other individuals, groups or classes.” A society with inequality this severe is highly unstable and will eventually destroy itself. The aristocracy knows that. That’s one of the reasons why we are seeing the militarization of local police forces, especially in cities with high poverty rates.”
Sanders wants to increase the top marginal tax rate on the “1%” — Americans making obscene amounts of money — to 90% which was the top tax rate from WWII until President Kennedy lowered it to 70%. The wealthy will spend millions and millions of dollars on super PACs to convince the public that electing Sanders to the White House will be bad, but that’s just more enslaving, political propaganda. Sanders supporters will have to work (a word that was stressed repeatedly during the live-feed portion of the thousands of home meetings Wednesday night) hard to help Democrats (for now and the moderates in the middle of the political spectrum late next year) understand that the American economy flourished during the 1950s. Redistribution of income from the wealthy, who have far more than they need, to Americans working on highways, mass transit systems and non-fossil fuel energy development will revive the sluggish economy. The sluggishness in the economy is due to insufficient effective demand for goods. The 1%, or more precisely, the 0.1%, have too much of the nation’s wealth.
ECON 101: Supply-side (low taxes on the wealthy) economics has failed middle class Americans. Senator Sanders is proposing a massive shift toward the demand side of the economy by putting taxes taken from the 1% and spending that money on desperately needed projects. The jobs created will put that money into the pockets of the 99% enabling them to buy more which in turn will stimulate the economy.
During WWII, there was massive spending on military equipment which pulled the United States out of the Great Depression. During the Sanders administration, something close to that level of spending will need to resume to fight the common enemy of mankind, climate change.
Bernie Sanders’ candidacy for the White House is progressive’s chance to assert influence inside the Democratic Party, but it’s much more than that. It is also a necessary political revolution to take the country back, not from the “other” party, but from the oligarchs and plutocrats controlling both major parties. Millions of Democrats will need to break out of their mental slavery to accomplish this.
For a growing number of Senator Sanders’ supporters, it is Bernie at the top of the Democratic Party ticket or else they will write-in his name on the ballot during the general election and let the chips fall where they will. That is a threat that might just jolt the mentally enslaved — “we need a woman in the White House” — Democrats out of their slumber. Another neo-liberal in the White House will be a disaster for the climate in general and for Americans specifically, especially when it comes to the three trade and regulatory regimes referred to as Obamatrade.