Bernie Sanders

Apparently, Bernie Sanders Doesn't Know the Difference Between Revenue and Profit

This guy wants to run the economy?

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This morning, Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) tweeted out his support for efforts to unionize the video game industry. He did so in a fashion truly appropriate for the man—one that made it clear that he doesn't always grasp basic economics:

In the tweet, Sanders confuses "revenue" with "profit." This is not an insignificant mistake, but it's one that is common in reporting about large American corporations. All too often, reporters talk about how much money a company takes in without offering any analysis of that company's expenses. Amazon, for example, despite massive revenues has only recently begun making an actual profit. In the Time story that Sanders links to, writer Alana Semuels similarly fails to differentiate between revenue and profit when covering the efforts to organize.

It's true that the game industry did bring in $42 billion in revenue last year from customers in the United States (and nearly $140 billion worldwide). But revenue is the money a company brings in before deducting its expenses, like, for example, workers' wages. So, in reality, video game industry workers did get a cut of those billions. It's only after such workers are paid (and other expenses are deducted) that we can talk about profit.

Sanders, of course, has a long history of failing to grasp the basics of market economics. He frequently sees marketplace choices as a threat, even as they open avenues and opportunities for our poorest citizens or provide all of us with ever improving mass entertainment.

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110 responses to “Apparently, Bernie Sanders Doesn't Know the Difference Between Revenue and Profit

  1. Socialist systems, done correctly, have no prices, ergo neither revenue nor profit. Why would Bernie care about such a use distinction?

    1. And given that Bernie has never managed to earn a real paycheck in his life, I see it as little surprise he can’t tell income from reserved funds.
      I am absolutely certain he imagines truly productive people as mysterious at least and likely as someone close to a magician; he simply has no context to understand starting with an idea and ending up with a successful product.

    2. “Socialist systems, done correctly, have no prices,..”

      Sorry, you pretty much lost me already. This is not consistent with the reality of the improvement in quality of life in the 20th century.

      1. Your sarc meter needs calibration.

    3. well it’s not just about silly socialism, but to expect something like this from a President nominee of the most powerful country is quite embarrasing.

    4. Actually, capitalist systems also have no profits over the long term.

      Production levels are where marginal cost equals marginal revenue.

  2. Bernie wants everyone to receive according to their need and to give according to their ability. Capitalist economic concepts like “revenue” and “profit” just muddy the water.

    1. What will be his response when he is given a shovel and pointed to the elephant pens at the zoo?

      1. More importantly, what will be the elephants’ reaction, and will PETA come to their rescue?

    2. “From each according to his interest in producing, to each according to his desire to consume” would, of course, be more aligned with human nature.

  3. The difference between gross revenue and profit is not market economics per se, it is basic understanding of accounting. However, you give Bernie way to benefit of the doubt to presume it is a mistake rather than a deliberate misdirection. It is the same “mistake” he makes complaining about corporations not paying their fair share in taxes, which are on profits rather than gross revenue.

    1. you give Bernie way to benefit of the doubt to presume it is a mistake rather than a deliberate misdirection

      I’m not sure there is a real, clear distinction there. True believers are good at convincing themselves that total bullshit is obvious truth. Unless he really believes that the distinction doesn’t really matter in the end, I’m not sure what he thinks he’s going to accomplish with the misdirection. Of course, I could be giving him too much credit when it comes to rational behavior.

    2. ” However, you give Bernie way to benefit of the doubt to presume it is a mistake rather than a deliberate misdirection.”

      Never assume cupidity where stupidity will suffice.
      I’d say you give the idiot too much credit. He’s not even ‘clever’ in his stupidity.

  4. Bernie has a narrative to keep, dammit.

    Can’t let the principles of Econ101 get in the way, you know…

    1. Bernie’s still stuck on Ecomm1917.

    2. “They are just economic laws. Congress amends laws all the time.”

  5. “Every game you like is built on the backs of workers,” says Nathan Allen Ortega, 34, who thought he found his dream job when Telltale Games offered him a position as a community and video manager in 2015. Ortega was such a Telltale enthusiast that he used to participate in cosplay—the practice of dressing up as a particular character for events—as Rhys Strongfork, one of the main heroes in the company’s Tales from the Borderlands. So it was an easy decision to pack up his stuff in Texas and relocate near the company’s headquarters in San Rafael, California. But he was soon so stressed out by work that he developed an ulcer and started coughing up blood.

    Rule 1: Under no circumstances should personal responsibility be accepted.

    1. Ulcers are caused by bacteria not stress.

      1. Some Ubers ulcers are caused by bacteria. Some are caused by pedants.

        1. “I was so angry, I got AIDS!”

          Anger doesn’t give you AIDS.

          “Pedant.”

      2. But stress can effect your immune system and make you more susceptible to said bacteria

    2. Moving to California would give me an ulcer, too. There’s a reason everybody else is moving the other way.

  6. The reality is that this isn’t about protecting video game industry workers or industry revenue/profits.

    The workers who generate most of the money (the coders who write the games) are likely to be uninterested in unionizing. It’s not like they have lacked the opportunity to unionize if that’s what they wanted.

    No, what this is really about is that union membership has been declining for decades, and Bernie wants to take people who don’t want to unionize and force them into unions. Hasn’t he talked about unionizing Uber drivers?

      1. That one guy is standing because someone promised him a partership. They should have promised him a preview button.

    1. It’s scary that the younger generation might actually be interested in unionizing. Technology has been good at avoiding that pitfall for a long time.

  7. This is not an insignificant mistake, but it’s one that is common and intentional in reporting about large American corporations.

    FTFY

    1. AND INTENTIONAL

      FFS.

      1. Nope. Just stupidity.
        J-school doesn’t give you much Biz Ad.

  8. ‘Every game you like is built on the backs of workers’

    Does that include indie games made by one guy in his basement? Am I exploiting him?

    What about all that time I (mis)spent as a youth making mods and not even getting paid for it? All those people who got to enjoy them were exploiting my unpaid labor and I’m not gonna take it anymore!

    1. Everything is built on the backs of workers. That’s what workers do: work. How the fuck else do you get things done?

      What a pointless observation.

      1. Well workers only work if there is demand for the product rather than the labor theory of value, for example.

        1. Workers work regardless of demand for what they produce, but usually only if some investor is paying them and losing his money.

          Sometimes the investor *is* the worker. Usually not. That’s why investors’ pay is in *profits*, not a salary.

          1. At the risk of pedantry:
            “Sometimes the investor *is* the worker. Usually not.”

            In (a few? some? many?) start-ups, the ‘worker’ is an investor; sweat equity for ownership.
            many years ago, I was closely involved in the start-up of a vid-game company; the designers were introduced by the CEO as ‘part owners’.
            Similarly, I was once able to negotiate an equity position in one of the early ‘.coms’ in return for passing on my consulting fees, to the benefit of both parties.

          2. My point is that no one invests or works unless there is a demand for their product.

            1. Sort of.
              There are lots of people who invest and/or work to produce products for which there is no demand. That’s why so many businesses fail within a couple of years. Remember the development of “New Coke” to replace real Coca Cola?
              Unless, of course, the “investor” is the government. Then discovering there is no demand can take decades. See, for example, the recent case of the California Bullet Train.
              Which is one of the many reasons why socialism sucks.

      2. ‘If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.’

  9. Oil companies and Walmart are always used as examples like this too. Never mind their actual profits are small. Progs know this ,well maybe not AOC. They are evil and need to be demonized at every turn.

    1. AOC has a degree in economics from Boston College/University.
      She knows, she just doesn’t care for the truth.

      1. Boston College/University

        You realize those are not remotely the same institution?

      2. She thought she saved billions in tax dollars by keeping Amazon out of NYC. Even talked about how to spend all that money. I really doubt she understands. I think it was a minor, or maybe one class. She’s an idiot.

        1. BU’s econ program does have a social justice track. It’s quite possible no real econ classes were required for her degree.

          1. I thought she had a political science degree. Eh well, Kshama Sawant has a degree in economics– it really means nothing.

            1. So does Krugman. Ask him how the market will do after Trump is elected.
              Ask him, now, what he thinks of rent control *now*:
              https://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/07/opinion/reckonings-a-rent-affair.html

              1. My favorite was Krugman explaining away Estonia for 5 years under obama. Hes an idiot.

                1. He was, once, an economist. Punditry pays more, even if it comes with a large helping of embarrassment; has he ever apologized?
                  If not, why not?

        2. She was summa cum laude with the BA in Econ (and maybe a second major).

          What it shows is that you can get through college without learning anything.

          1. Oh, she learned something alright. Just most of it happens to be Marxist theology. Remember when she tried to sound smart by prattling about the gini coefficient?

          2. Two words: Affirmative action.

      3. This doesn’t say much for Boston University.
        They must dread every time AOC opens her mouth to talk about economics. Who would want to do and economics course at Boston if they cannot even teach a student basic knowledge about economics which is already evident to the average man in the street.
        ‘Study at Boston, but leave logic and common sense at the door.’

  10. You know why I still like Sanders despite his awful statements on economic issues? Because he also says great stuff like this:

    Donald Trump is the most dangerous president in U.S. history. He is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe and a religious bigot.

    #LibertariansForBernie

  11. 220! 221! Whatever it takes!

    1. Mr. Mom FTW

  12. Hahaha, this needs no comment. Christ, what a dumbass.

    1. I just don’t know how anyone takes him seriously.

      I know actual smart people who like the guy. I just don’t get it.

      He does have the occasional decent observation, but 90%+ of what I hear him say is just plain wrong. And obviously so.

    2. Bernie is dangerously stupid. Other politicians seem stupid because they are calculative. Bernie is stupid, legitimately so.

      1. The American experiment will last as long as…..

  13. Sadly, I wants had a law partner who also did not know the difference between revenue and profit. He claimed that his department was the “most profitable” in the firm because it had the largest revenue. Unfortunately, when you deducted expenses, his department barely broke even, while my department ran a 16% profit over costs – One significant reason he is no longer my partner.

    1. Sadly, I wants had a law partner who also did not know the difference between revenue and profit.

      Please tell me you’re using speech to text.

      1. Why do you ax?

        1. Not knife!

          1. OK, that’s good.

  14. I used to think Bernie was well-meaning but just dumb.
    Recently though, I’ve concluded that he’s just a scumbag. A worthless hack with no meaningful life experience and no talent or skills, and now he’s just a bitter old fucker who wants to tear down everyone else.

    1. I’ve given up on trying to figure out people’s motivations like that.
      He’s just wrong. Good intentions don’t count for jack shit.

    2. He started out as a bitter young fucker who just wants to tear everyone else down. It’s why he became a commie.

      -jcr

    3. I think the answer is pretty simple: he is consumed by class envy.
      He would love for a revolution to take place, violent or otherwise, with 100% confiscation of wealth taken from everyone richer than he is and given to the ‘deserving poor’.

  15. Maybe Bernie learned accounting from progressive journalists:

    https://twitter.com/wcvarones/status/1136271371313410049

  16. Those seeking investments on “Shark Tank” frequently try to pull the same stunt. A shark, usually Kevin or Mark, asks what the profit is on said revenue and usually learns “Oh, we will start making a profit next year based on our projections” or some such nonsense. Maybe the confusion arises because the average person pays his or her federal income tax on their adjusted revenue and not on what’s left over after basic essential expenses?

  17. This is not an insignificant mistake, …

    Look, I know it’s hard – you’re not paid much, you’re churning out product for a webzine, etc. – but please, if you have to preface a statement with this kind of “assurance,” take a step back and re-draft.

    It’s basically lampshading how petty and pointless the piece is: “Bernie confused revenue for profit!!!!” Snore.

    1. Bernie is proposing and justifying policies based on mistaking gross revenue for profit. That is has more far reaching effects than simply an old fart having a senior moment.

      1. “Bernie is proposing and justifying policies based on mistaking gross revenue for profit.”

        I think he just likes unions. The article hints at this.

        1. Yes, he does. That does not contradict my point.

    2. “Look, I know it’s hard – you’re not paid much, you’re churning out product for a webzine, etc. – but please, if you have to preface a statement with this kind of “assurance,” take a step back and re-draft.”

      He assumed idiots like you and trueman were in the audience.

  18. He really is dumb as a box of hammers and sickles.

    1. ?!? Tony, is that you? Every once in a blue moon, you rip a good one.

      1. My god, Bernie’s so stupid that even Tony won’t support him?

        That’s peak leftard, right there.

        -jcr

  19. To be fair, Bernie has only ever worked for the government. “Costs” to him are just a reason for a bigger budget.

    1. And BTW, please, no more HD close-ups of politicians’ faces.

      1. Why not? Do you want Reason to help politicians hide their craziness?

    2. “To be fair, Bernie has only ever worked for the government. “Costs” to him are just a reason for a bigger budget.”

      Exactly.
      He has zero concept of what remains of revenue after costs and no context by which to learn.
      This is not a clever guy, conflating those issues to buy votes; he is, simply, a fucking ignoramus who has no idea regarding how stupid he is.
      Keep in mind: This is a guy who was tossed out of a hippy commune, for pete’s sake!
      He has never, in his entire life, produced anything of value and has no idea how others do.

      1. Mind, it could be worse. He could have actually promised to cure cancer like Biden.
        I shudder that absolutely none of the sycophantic media will ever question him further on how exactly he will manage to do so when he obviously knows fuck all about medicine or the subject of cancer. How ridiculous did he look after he made this statement.
        It just seems to me that these Dem candidates are attempting to out promise each other on what they will do.
        It’s bad enough that they all support the ridiculous ‘green new deal’ which will literally bankrupt the country, many of them are promising to tax the rich at 70% which will simply lead to these ‘rich’ people leaving the country and relocating their businesses abroad. They are also promising to forgive all student debt. Everything about their platforms is about giving everything to everybody except genuine tax payers who will be left footing the bill.

      2. In his defense, he did figure out how to make a profit on his book.

  20. You’ll have to forgive Comrade Bernie.
    He never worked in the private sector, got kicked off a hippie commune for not doing his fair share of manual labor and loved socialism so much that he honeymooned in Moscow during the Cold War.
    Plus, being just plain stupid doesn’t help him out either.

    1. Did he court racist Democrats like George Wallace? During the cold war Democrats of all political stripes would pay obesience to these racist power brokers to attract voters, especially in southern states like Alabama. If Sanders grovelled before racists, he won’t go far. If the worse that can be said of him is that he honeymooned in Moscow (during the cold war), he will be forgiven.

      1. Him and most liberals champion a racist eugenicist.

        1. “Him and most liberals champion a racist eugenicist.”

          He honeymooned in Moscow. That’s not going to damage his chances. Had he sought the approval of racists, as previous Democrats have done, he’d be finished. The fact that you can’t even name this ‘racist eugenicist’ that he and most liberals champion speaks volumes.

          1. I could tell he was referring to Margaret Sanger, and the organization she founded to advance eugenics which operates today the same way it did almost a century ago.

            Or were you not aware of her organizations original purpose? Or that it’s methods haven’t changed?

            1. I’ve never heard Sanders championing Sanger or eugenics and neither have you.

    2. You’ll have to forgive Comrade Bernie.

      Nah, I really don’t.

      -jcr

  21. It also doesn’t know that local, state and federal taxes comes out of that revenue. So if all the governments tax less it will leave more to be divided up with part going to the game creators. But also other expenses also comes come from that revenue such as insurance, health insurance utilities and emergency fund.
    But what else would you expect? After the employees are paid the rest belongs to the government!

  22. Come on, Scott, hero workers get paid out of Kindness or Fairness or some other unicorn crap (and those that pay workers too little clearly lack Kindness). Revenue or profit or whatever bags of loot fill the executive swimming pool are what corporations gain by raping the public and the planet, and clearly have no connection to Kindness.

    1. They actually hire the wealthier portion of the planet. Corporations are predictably greedy, but the alternative is much worse. I love kindness, by the way. Only small altruists, operating in limited circles, can practice this with global impact.

      1. “‘people’ are predictably greedy, but the alternative is much worse.”
        You, too, unless you looked to find the highest price you could pay for what you bought today.
        It’s called ‘taking care of your own interests’, and those who assume people can or will act otherwise are both evil and ignoramuses.

  23. This guy should not be President. He shares something with Trump…a willful disregard for the truth. He knows who supports him, and he doesn’t care about anything else.

    In Bernie’s case, revenue, profit, who cares the distinction? Only the 2% see either one. Let’s kill them both. Trump, well, don’t get me started.

    1. I like how idiots make every article they can about trump.

    2. mchughjj
      June.18.2019 at 9:35 pm
      “…He shares something with Trump…a willful disregard for the truth.”

      Do a bit of research. You are not without help. With assistance, should you choose to get it, your TDS will not be fatal.
      If you don’t, we hope it is.

  24. Bernie is certifiable and should always be referred to as such. Discussing his economic ideas is akin to discussing anything seriously from a 3-year old. And that may be denigrating 3-year olds.

  25. Commie doesn’t know shit, film at 11.

    -jcr

  26. He also doesn’t know that nose jobs aren’t covered by health insurance.

  27. No surprise, of course. Sadly, I’m pretty sure most of the other Democratic candidates don’t know the difference either.

  28. or shit from shinola either!

  29. […] got called out on social media after he posted a tweet that made it appear as though he doesn’t know the difference between revenue and […]

  30. Don’t kid yourself. He knows the difference. He just hopes that none of the VOTERS do.

  31. POTUS doesn’t “run” the economy!

    Never has. Never will.

  32. Bernie supporters are as dumb as he when it comes to basic economics. To heck with god – Free market help us!!

  33. Bernie sweats just from preaching/yelling. That’s a bad sign.

  34. […] to fight poverty in all the wrong ways. Indeed, it appears that he doesn’t even understand the difference between revenue and profit. These are significant flaws—there’s no need to invent a fake sexism […]

  35. […] fight poverty in all the wrong ways. Indeed, it appears that he doesn’t even understand the difference between revenue and profit. These are significant flaws—there’s no need to invent a fake sexism […]

  36. […] wants to fight poverty in all the wrong ways. Indeed, it appears that he doesn’t even understand the difference between revenue and profit. These are significant flaws—there’s no need to invent a fake sexism […]

  37. […] fight poverty in all the wrong ways. Indeed, it appears that he doesn’t even understand the difference between revenue and profit. These are significant flaws—there’s no need to invent a fake sexism […]

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