The second Democratic Debate made it clear that between the three Democratic candidates the economy is the differentiating factor.
On Saturday November 15,2015, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’ Malley, and Bernie Sanders engaged in the Iowa debate. The Democratic Party has embraced most civil rights issues and environmental issues in a uniform platform. In the 2012 election, the Democratic Party added officially added LGBT rights to their platform along with President Obama.
Hillary Clinton stated during the debate; “All three of us support LGBT rights, minimum wage increases, and believe in global warming (Debate, 2015).” This was the one reference to the Republican Party in the debate and marked a sharp difference from the GOP’s anti-LGBT rights, disbelief in global warming, and resistance to raise wages.
Bernie Sanders stood out as he attacked the American economy and promised to dismantle the entire economic system. Labeling Wall Street with “Corrupt” and “Fraud,” he stated, “Wall Street will have no place in his Capitol (Debate, 2015).” This is odd and shocking considering private investment in the stock market is the private economic balance to the pooling of resources in the government.
America has one of the strongest middle classes in the world and an economy where most businesses are small businesses. It is still important to consider that even with the majority of businesses being small business large corporations provide the fifty –six percent of the GDP (Debate, 2015).
The stock markets and Wall Street allow all Americans to invest in projects that create innovations that shape our future. The money invested on the market allows corporations to raise money that no individual could. This has led to advances in medical treatment, science, and global commerce that would never have been possible without free markets.
Labeling an American institution founded in 1792 as “Corrupt” and “Fraud” because of periods of failure is not leadership. The market failures are also the result of deregulation of housing and securities and an adjustment period. It is much more sound to regulate as Congress did with the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) and subsequent Security Exchange Commission (SEC) rulings, laws passed through Financial Accounting Standard Board (FASB), or the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) than to swish the entire system.
Simplifying and “dumbing down” the economy and financial systems does nothing to create a comparative advantage. The way to stay competitive in the global market is to continue to grow, learn, and innovate. Systems of accounting, finance, and efficiency can be a clear market advantage.
All candidates want to help make college more affordable. O’Mally and Clinton both support increasing Pell Grants and debt free systems but Sanders pushes free (Debate, 2015). This is not economics or possible. If people pay a portion, even at a discount the fiscal impact is massive when multiplied by one hundred million people.
The same is true for healthcare. Clinton addressed that she once supported a single payer system but now fully supports the Affordable Care Act and credits President Obama for creating this system where many people are receiving healthcare for fewer than twenty dollars a month with preexisting medical conditions. Instead of Sanders plan to dismantle private insurance she wants to support market commerce and find solutions like a $250 monthly pharmaceutical cap to make healthcare more affordable (Debate, 2015).
All three candidates want to close tax loopholes; O’Malley mentioned Capital Gains taxes as unnecessary and part of the reason millionaires and billionaires can end up paying a lower tax rate than middle class or working class families.
Sanders make a very emotional appeal that healthcare is a human right but I do not know many politicians who actually want to prevent people from getting healthcare. There is a reality to supply and demand in the markets and limits to how much even the American economy can offer free. Emergency rooms are open and available, it is about making services affordable.
Clinton, O’Malley, and Sanders all want to raise the minimum wage but Clinton caps it at twelve dollars allowing for regional increase while Sanders and O’Mally want $15. While an increase is necessary doubling the minimum wage is a huge increase for employers, one that could reasonably cause them to cut hours, employ fewer people, or close (Minimum wage, 2015). San Francisco’s current minimum wage is twelve dollars and twenty-five cents for one of the most expensive cities in the world (San Francisco, 2015).