Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

The Economic Ignorance of Bernie Sanders

Sanders' ideas would be just a joke if millions weren’t paying attention.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is all over the internet!

New York Magazine says he is "quietly building a digital media empire."

Mic.com calls it "one of the most powerful progressive media outfits in America."

This matters because bettors rank Sanders one of the top four Democratic presidential contenders.

I resent Sanders' "empire" because it pushes bad ideas, yet his videos are viewed more often than mine. His videos have been seen almost a billion times.

Some are just recordings of him making noisy speeches, ranting about how Republican policies hurt Americans. For example, "Tens of thousands of them will die" if Obamacare is repealed. (He ignores the fact that more will live if the economy is allowed to grow.)

Other Sanders videos are edited, produced pieces, much like videos that I make.

One powerful one begins with a President Trump speech where the president recites the song "The Snake," in which a woman nurses a snake back to health—only to have it bite her. "You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in!" shouts the president. He was arguing against loose immigration controls.

But the video cuts to Trump calling criminals "animals," and an "expert" says Trump is using "the same kind of language that the Nazis used."

The video never mentions that when Trump said "animals," he was talking about MS-13.

A recurring Sanders video theme is that Trump supporters are "faces of greed" who scheme to get even richer by doing things like abolishing the estate tax.

Sanders never mentions that the estate tax taxes money that had already been taxed; it's double taxation.

He could still argue against repealing it, but he ought to be fair.

Many Sanders videos demand that government make college free.

His staff interview themselves.

May Ayad, a Sanders associate media producer, tells us, "It's not just one or two people saying, 'I can't afford to go to college.' This is like the majority of college students in the entire nation!"

Winn Decker, research intern for the Senate Budget Committee, whines, "Student loans kept me from doing things like purchase a home."

Sanders staff assistant Terrel Champion tells viewers, "Somebody has to foot the bill. The government should assume that responsibility!"

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  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""May Ayad, a Sanders associate media producer, tells us, "It's not just one or two people saying, 'I can't afford to go to college.' This is like the majority of college students in the entire nation!"""

    At first I was going to ridicule that statement but then I realize some people probably are going to school while thinking they can't afford it.

    People knowing they can't afford it, do it anyway, then demand other people bailout them out.

  • Sevo||

    In the paper version of 'the paper' this morning, there was a column bemoaning the fact that on 18% of SF residents could afford to buy a home here, and yet every house that is offered for sale gets bought.
    To be a proggy, you must be able to ignore salient facts at will.

  • WillPaine||

    Heh?..no sense, less reasoning....yes?...peace

  • Sevo||

    WillPaine|8.9.18 @ 5:50PM|#
    "Heh?..no sense, less reasoning....yes?...peace"

    Fuck off, slaver imbecile.

  • WillPaine||

    You funny

  • Sevo||

    WillPaine|8.10.18 @ 9:19PM|#
    "You funny"

    You stupid.

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    "To be a proggy, you must be able to ignore salient facts at will."

    And that is just the beginning ...

  • LarryA||

    This is like the majority of college students in the entire nation!

    True, once you define "college students" as "every kid who finishes high school; because then they need four more years of socialist indoctrination."

  • IrishEddieOHara||

    College is highly overrated. It has become a big business, making money into the billions of dollars while teaching students such high-rated skills as "Basket Weaving 101" and "How to Tell if you are Transgender."

    It is a freakin' joke.

    I told my sons when they were in high school, "If you want to be busy all the time and make a good living, LEARN TO FIX SOMETHING." Tradesmen in our area get from $100 an hour up. That ain't exactly chicken feed and they don't have a $70K college tuition bill hanging over their heads.

  • WillPaine||

    Well said

  • WeWantsTheRedhead||

    It's interesting to me that the people who would theoretically stand to make the most if Keynesian Economics actually worked are the ones with actual stable jobs, making enough to support their families. No need to break windows when you've made good career decisions.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else."

    -Bastiat

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Where's the punchline to that joke?

  • Libertymike||

    Maggie Thatcher used that line frequently.

  • Alcibiades||

    Maggie Thatcher used that line frequently.

    That and about how socialism always runs out of other people's money.

    The UK needs somone like her these days.

    There's a movie on YouTube called the Falklands Play that's worth watching for the actors that play Alexander Haig and Jeane Kirkpatrick sniping at each other in front of Reagan in the Oval Office and also for Thatcher scolding the Americans on their lukewarm support at first to the UK.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI-0C7UWnbo&t=4s

    Supposedly the play was commisioned by the BBC but shelved for a while because it portrayed Margaret Thatcher in a positive and human light.

  • Flinch||

    We are, if we lay down and take it.

  • WillPaine||

    When I read Maggy likes it, click..a very royal masters and slaves, bit of wit.

  • Sevo||

    Imbecilic comment; trueman sock? Nearly that stupid.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""'I can't afford to go to college.' This is like the majority of college students in the entire nation!"""""

    I wonder how many of them are in business management?

  • mpercy||

    Why are we subsidizing the creation of more Social Workers and Gender Studies grads when it is clear we have a glut of them already?

    My idea: tie student loan interest rates directly to the unemployment rate for graduates in each major.

    7 Majors With the Highest Employment Rates

    Agriculture and Natural Resources - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 4.5%
    Physical Sciences - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 5%
    Education -
    Industrial Arts, Consumer Services, and Recreation - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 5.4%
    Health - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 6.1%
    Engineering - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 6.5%
    Business - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 7%

    7 Majors With the Highest Unemployment Rates

    Architecture - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 10%
    Social Science - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 10%
    Arts - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 9.5%
    Psychology and Social Work - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 9%
    Law and Public Policy - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 8.6%
    Humanities and Liberal Arts - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 8.4%
    Computers, Statistics, and Math - Recent College Graduate Unemployment: 8.3%

  • Echospinner||

    Because if the government starts picking which majors and degrees it will support then we end up with what Sanders is after, total government centralized control of the education system.

  • Fauxchahontas (D-MA)||

    Just make student loans forgivable in bankruptcy with the condition that the institution they were taken out in order to attend be on the hook for paying back part of the forgiven loan. That'd inject a lot of discipline into schools with lots of junk majors overnight.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Why the institution? Why not the lender? They were the ones willing to take the risk.

  • Enemy of the State||

    Because under BarryCare, the student loan industry was nationalized. We are now the lenders as well as the gurantors...

  • Echospinner||

    You can get private loans. Sallie Mae sells them. The government backed loans are better deal of course.

    Back in the day all my loans were from banks but interest subsidized by government. They all ended up in Sallie Mae eventually.

  • Fauxchahontas (D-MA)||

    It's basically a nationalized market and it penalizes schools for churning out lots of graduates with junk degrees who will be unemployable. The lenders should also take a hit but forcing schools to pay a direct penalty when they churn out a graduate who cannot pay their bills at least provides a semblance of discipline that a market should provide but the current system does not. It'd be lovely to have some popcorn in hand to watch what happens to all of the various SJW studies departments when they're forced to justify their expenses when most of their graduates are employed flipping burgers or making coffee..

  • IrishEddieOHara||

    My sense is that the whole college thing has become an enormous scam in which the ones who are really profiting are the people making the loans to suckers called "Students."

  • ||

    Am I the only one who read this in Stosselian?

    "Winn Decker, research intern for the Senate Budget Committee, whines, "Student loans kept me from doing things like purchase a home."

    Sanders staff assistant Terrel Champion tells viewers, "Somebody has to foot the bill. The government should assume that responsibility!"

    OMFG these people are retarded. No amount of government intervention can help them. The best you can do is give them a helmet, cross your fingers, wish them luck and kick them in the ass into the cruel, dark world.

  • Sometimes a Great Notion||

    Every Stossel article I read in his voice and if I haven't shaved in a bit I twirl the ends of my mustache in a villainous fashion.

  • WillPaine||

    "The government" is running on your money. YOURS. Get a gangster in there, and he will get people to thank him for taking as much as he and his friends can, FROM YOU. Well, maybe not you guys but, and what a trick, eh? And yeah, all of us, smiling or not. I love Trumpits; they are easy to teach if you don't argue with them. Yeah, they are that

  • DjDiverDan||

    What's the matter, WillPaine, didn't you get your fill of Billy Goats this morning? Go back under your bridge, I'm sure there will be someone to eat coming along shortly.

  • WillPaine||

    You funny too; I don't eat corpses

  • Sevo||

    WillPaine|8.10.18 @ 9:22PM|#
    "You funny too; I don't eat corpses"

    You stupid; fuck off.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    You guys are taking the completely wrong tact here. Rather than deny the FACT that student loans are so burdensome to some people that they can't take on a second major loan to purchase a home, I think the better approach is to ask the question: why are they so burdensome? Stossel touches on the answer to this question when he explains that tuition prices are influenced by the loan system. They're also high because of the nature of the corporatist hierarchy created by massive federal subsidies to business (direct or indirect), occupational licensure, and the war against entrepreneurship. The university industry is the natural consequence of these government policies, and that includes the tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt that graduates are finding themselves in.

    So in that sense, Bernie is right. His proposed solutions, however, only exacerbate the problems.

  • ||

    I would love Stossel to cover what's happening to Infowars.

  • mchughjj||

    Why? I don't agree with 'censoring' Infowars on social media, but I don't think Alex Jones is the right poster child for big brother choking off freedom of expression. In terms of limiting free speech, it's often cited you shouldn't yell "fire!" in a movie theater. Isn't that sort of Alex's gig? Whatever floats your boat, but I don't see a lot of utility in his 'work'.

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    In terms of limiting free speech, it's often cited you shouldn't yell "fire!" in a movie theater.

    That's only cited by people who are fundamentally ignorant of 1A jurisprudence.

  • Sevo||

    Thanks.
    I was going to point out that a assertion is not a citation; you made the statement irrelevant regardless.

  • Shadow_Rider||

    It's often cited incorrectly, as here. *Falsely* shouting fire in a crowded theatre is the key bit.

  • mchughjj||

    OK. Has Alex Jones not 'falsely' shouted 'fire' in a movie theater, speaking hyperbolically?

  • Trollificus||

    Not really, unless you're telling me the frogs aren't really gay.

  • ||

    You're ill-informed about the 'fire' bit. Go read up on it. But that's irrelevant here. It diesn't matter who it is. Gazoo or God or Jones. What matters is the throttling of free soeech. Try and see this in high resolution.

  • Oscarphone||

    Free speech issues don't occur in private enterprise. Period. In Jones' case, YouTube can do what they wish with their product. They decided Jones wasn't germane to their profit and audiosed him. The aspects of free speech are a government issue however. Government can not decide who can and can not be heard. Alex didn't "yell fire" (or its equivalent). Bad analogy. Telling those that want to listen about 9/11 conspiracies won't cause 300 people to run screaming from a building fearing for their life. In other words, causing panic isn't a free speech opinion.

  • Flinch||

    I suspect he's already coverd "why can't they handle free speech?" in a roundabout way. Do we need a new column on "trigger artists: free speech or public menace"? He has pretty good instincts - let him go with his gut.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Socialism is just the worst.

  • RobHatesTheSwamp||

    When Elon Musk started talking about an org that would fact check media, you're the first guy I thought of. Why don't you talk to him about it? Maybe get Apple to fund it? I would love to see your videos that debunk the dreck that comes out of both the left and right.

  • John C. Randolph||

    He's a commie. Of COURSE he's pig-ignorant.

    -jcr

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Correlation =/= causation. Some commies are commies because they hate other people and want the power to act on that hate. Some commies are just ignorant tools. Some are both (see: Tony).

  • Jerryskids||

    To be fair, it's not just Bernie and his sort that are economically illiterate and really, really bad at math and logic. We all want to believe we can get something for nothing, we all want to believe in miracles. It's what keeps the lottery in business, made Bernie Madoff rich, Elizabeth Holmes famous, got Dr. Oz his own TV show. They say you can't cheat an honest man, and we're all guilty of trying to cheat the universe. Bernie's not suckering anybody that doesn't want desperately to be suckered.

  • Plow Horse||

    So if a good or service is too expensive, just declare it to be free. Sanders is a friggin' genius.

  • I'm Not Sure||

    You know what's expensive? Government. So let's declare that all government should be free. Just think how much money would be saved by not paying public employees, politicians, bureaucrats, etc.

  • An Owl Named Dur||

    BREAKING NEWS: Socialist spouts economic nonsense.

    AFTER THE BREAK: Dog bites neighborhood man.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    SPECIAL REPORT: Politicians lie.

  • AlgerHiss||

    This Sanders character is simply a turd: A steaming, stinking, ignorant, noisy turd.

    It really is no more complicated than that.

  • Oscarphone||

    Benie is a turd with the work resumé of Maynard G. Krebs (WORK!!!).

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I just wonder where the "free" college thing would stop.

    I mean, it wouldn't be terribly long before we start hearing a new wail: "But I want to be a lawyer! So I need free law school too!"

    Or "It's so unfair that I can't afford to move 2000 miles to go to the college I prefer! So the taxpayers should pay for me to move! Not just me of course, I can't go without my entire family to support me!"

    And so on...

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    The first 12 years of education are free. I know this because I pay $7000/year in property taxes to support it.

  • WillPaine||

    Heh?..and so on, no?..Have you tried meditation to clear the images in your head of what reality and reason is and are. No offense here but, and where does such a construct in your head come from; really, not the "I don't have what all I want, so others ..? I don't speak for you; I am just guessing here, and mean no offense. I just don't see what you are saying, has any way to reason; or maybe it does...peace

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Do mirrors confuse you?

  • Sevo||

    Pretty sure a LOT of stuff confuses the newest idiot.

  • WillPaine||

    I don't spend time in the mirror

  • Trollificus||

    Tell me, WillPaine...magnets. How they work?

  • Mcgoo95||

    Funny you should mention this..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO0r930Sn_8

  • Echospinner||

    I noticed an interesting market alternative to the tuition problem has been developed by Google. Faced with a shortage of qualified IT workers they developed their own certificate course for IT support. It takes about 12 months and is almost free at $50/ mo which pays the company hosting the course. It is designed to prepare for an entry level IT job paying about 52k on average. It has the backing of a bunch of other tech firms.

    In other areas where there are shortages such as nursing there are reimbursement programs offered by employers or the government which can pay all or part of tuition.

    All student loan payments should be tax free. That would be fair. Tuition is a business investment.

  • Shirley Knott||

    It may have something to do with how appallingly bad the training provided for a CS degree is.
    At least, when measured against the needs of the software development field.
    I've worked with CS students and graduates of a very large university in the Midwest.
    They don't learn SQL or database technology of any sort.
    They've never SSH'd into a server.
    They've done some assembly language, but compilers do it better.
    They're useless for business purposes. All they've done is demonstrate an interest and the ability to graduate with a degree. They may have learned some basics, they may have done projects using GitHub, but really, the only advantage they have over eager bright HS students is *maybe* a bit more maturity. You're going to have to train them up regardless.

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    The OP was discussing IT support training, not CS.

  • WillPaine||

    How can I tell you are not a robot? Love your language construction. Does such make you happy? Great for the what, corporatocracy (sp?)? Machine? Train them up, get 'em. We do need a tech army, no?...peace

  • Sevo||

    WillPaine|8.9.18 @ 6:08PM|#
    "How can I tell you are not a robot?"

    What would it matter to a fucking ignoramus like you?

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    They don't learn SQL or database technology of any sort.
    They've never SSH'd into a server.
    They've done some assembly language, but compilers do it better.

    I teach undergrad CS majors every year. We teach classes in all of those things at my university. Even a single 6 month rotation in my lab they'll work directly with SQL and SSH in the first week. I think the university you're working with might be the problem, not the way we teach CS and ECE.

  • arbe59||

    CS graduate working in software development here, and I can't agree enough with these statements. I learned no SQL/database anything in college. What separates me from most software engineers is my ability to work with business users, see the bigger business picture behind the systems we are developing, and translate tech/business speak both directions, which is a skill I get praised for continually because it is lacking in the vast majority of software engineers. Not trying to toot my own horn, just pointing out a fact, and those communication/business skills were not something taught by my college professors in any course, it's just a personal aptitude I happen to have. I'm sorely aware of the fact that in reality, I would've been equally prepared for this job (perhaps better prepared) had I simply taught myself a base of critical technical skills, which could've been done in less than half the time (cutting out things like assembly language, for example) and a fraction of the cost.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    A lot of people don't realize that certificate programs are EXACTLY THE SAME THING as degree programs, with one very significant exception -- one is accredited and the other isn't. Why do we care about accreditation? In a free market, we shouldn't. But in the non-free market that we live under, accreditation matters because you need that degree to work in certain professions whereas the certificate will make it literally illegal for you to work in the same profession.

    It all comes down to something Reason rails about a lot but which doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves: occupational licensing. Get rid of occupational licensing and this is the first major step toward eliminating the stranglehold that the university industry has on Americans.

  • arbe59||

    Even in industries that do not legally require industry certification, a 4-year degree from an accredited institution (can be in virtually anything) is an application requirement just to get an interview. I could teach my own kid everything he needs to know about software development, and he could be further along than most recent college CS graduates in terms of job preparedness, but wouldn't qualify to apply for most of these jobs, whereas a graduate with a history degree could at least apply and may score an interview. For employers, it's simply a filtering mechanism, but it is a major factor in upholding the artificially high demand for college degrees, and it allows universities to take advantage by raising tuition because 1) you can't get a good job with such a degree, and 2) regardless of the cost or your ability to repay, loan funding is available, so people will borrow and attend.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    So ask yourself why these companies place greater weight on the college degree than on the certification.

  • Rob Misek||

    Any economy is a FICTION.

    It is conceived and created by men, with all their faults and foibles.

    Our economy has recessions, depressions and fluctuates with the randomness and corruption of "the markets".

    That only makes sense to the elite who can manipulate the economy with their unholy hordes of money.

    Look at your hands. If enough people are "willing" to work, the economy should be healthy.

  • Sevo||

    "Any economy is a FICTION."

    And yet, I can eat while Venezuelans use money for toilet paper.
    I'd say you're a simplistic idiot.

  • Rob Misek||

    I'd say you proved my point.

  • ace_m82||

    There are around 7.6 billion economies in the world right now.

  • Uncle Jay||

    Comrade Bernie provides grand comic relief every time he starts talking about his plans if he were president.

  • WillPaine||

    He has done it already. The Dems have put a lot of his work into their platform. As the Mayor of Burlington, he showed everyone how to actually use wealth to do good things; all prosper, and wealth only goes up. It is not a take from, it is a healthy society. Rich stay rich, no more poor. Yes, it can be done. Glad this world amuses you..peace

  • Sevo||

    WillPaine|8.9.18 @ 6:06PM|#
    "He has done it already. The Dems have put a lot of his work into their platform. As the Mayor of Burlington, he showed everyone how to actually use wealth to do good things; all prosper, and wealth only goes up. It is not a take from, it is a healthy society. Rich stay rich, no more poor. Yes, it can be done. Glad this world amuses you.."

    You're full of shit.

  • WillPaine||

    Babble on

  • Sevo||

    WillPaine|8.10.18 @ 9:24PM|#
    "Babble on"

    No babbling involved. You make an imbecilic claim and were called on if, fucking ignoramus.
    Got evidence? Post it, or STFU.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    The sign of youthful ignorance is signing everything you say with "peace". That you think your contribution is the final word says much, however, what it says isn't at all positive... Peace

  • Hidebehindyourcause||

    He needs to figure out his minority problem before he thinks about being president.

    Dems can't win without them.

  • Frank P. Tomasulo, Ph.D.||

    i remember during the 2016 campaign that the mainstream press corps RARELY asked Bernie how much his proposals would cost the average citizen. Some local reporter finally asked about his universal health care plan's costs.

    Bernie looked VERY sheepish and, at first, claimed he didn't have the numbers handy. Then he finally admitted that it would cost every family $5,000-$8,000 per year to cover everyone. He dropped in the polls considerably after that admission.

    I'm actually in favor of some sort of Medicaid for All plan, but I also expect that the politicos who endorse it be honest about its costs.

  • wareagle||

    Medicaid is for the poor, though like many other welfare programs, it's become a lifestyle since recipients tend to stay on it a long time. Perhaps you meant Medicare for everyone which isn't what it's touted as, either. Medicare covers hospitalization. The other parts - lab work, outpatient, meds - all require coverage that comes with out of pocket costs.

  • WillPaine||

    You give about as much just to the military budget; hoorah, no?

  • Giant Realistic Flying Tiger||

    So the moral of the story is kill entitlements and cut military spending. This is probably the first cogent point you've made.

  • Sevo||

    WillPaine|8.9.18 @ 6:02PM|#
    "You give about as much just to the military budget; hoorah, no?"

    Cite missing for your patently false claim, slaver.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Obamacare is essentially Medicaid for all that don't have something better which is obviously the way to go considering people are satisfied with their employer provided policies. The only problem with Obamacare is the Democrats made it so convoluted and complex...and they should never have pretended to pay for it because obviously taxes are going to be unpopular. I say get rid of the Exchanges and extend Medicaid up to 300% FPL and have automatic enrollment with payment up to one's tax return. So at 150% FPL they get their full tax return while at 250% FPL they get a hefty chunk of their tax return taken away so they either need to get a job with benefits or ask their boss to provide health insurance.

  • Sevo||

    Sebastian Cremmington|8.9.18 @ 9:40PM|#
    "Obamacare is essentially Medicaid for all that don't have something better which is obviously the way to go considering people are satisfied with their employer provided policies."

    Why do idiots presume unsupported assertions to be arguments?
    SC, get lost. You are in over your head.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Lol, you are such an idiot.

  • Sevo||

    Sebastian Cremmington|8.10.18 @ 12:59PM|#
    "Lol, you are such an idiot."

    I see there is still not argument, fucking ignoramus.
    Try again; I'm sure an ignoramus like you will do no better at all.
    Or, fuck off.

  • WillPaine||

    Talk about a lack of economic understanding; you claim that estate taxes are double taxation. Look around you, and do simple economic math, with common sense and reason. Everything is not only doubly taxed, often your money is taxed multiple times, in our render unto Cesar. Bernie knows what he is doing...peace

  • Mcgoo95||

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=double+taxation
    You really are dense.

  • Sevo||

    "Dense" is too kind.
    Fucking ignoramus is mo betta.

  • Rapacious Industrialist||

    It's hard to imagine the stupidity of Bernie supporters. Thanks for the concrete examples.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    You were correct until your last sentence. Yes, nearly everything is double taxed (or more).

  • jjjjj||

    I'd like to hear from the socialists where are the failed capitalist experiments. Don't say the United States because we are pretty damn successful. I mean failed experiments in the way that Venezuela is a failed socialist experiment. Just one data point. Find some middling country that a few decades ago said "You know, we're going to lower taxes, reduce the scope of government, and privatize industries" and has since turned into a total craphole. And a five or ten year rough "shock" period doesn't count as turning into a craphole unless it has stayed a craphole.

  • STRAMBOTIK||

    The Unired States is a failed capitalist experiment, you moron.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    By what metrics?

  • Don't look at me.||

    He's not getting enough free stuff.

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    By what metrics?

    The "Muh Feelings Index".

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    That index always trends negative.

  • cluskillz||

    Calling someone a moron while failing to read past the first sentence of the post you're responding to.

    Not exactly a recipe for success.

  • Sevo||

    "The Unired States is a failed capitalist experiment, you moron."

    With some a population of 300,000,000 mostly well-fed and well housed, I think we're well within reason to call you a fucking ignoramus,

  • WillPaine||

    Read Perkins and get back to us..#:-)..peace

  • Gracchus||

    I'd like to hear from the socialists where are the failed capitalist experiments.

    What would count as a "failing" capitalist society? What are the metrics for "failing"? Are they same for both, or are they specific to each economic system? Can capitalism fail, or are the metrics used to define "capitalist failure" just some abstraction concocted by a central planner?

    And a five or ten year rough "shock" period doesn't count as turning into a craphole unless it has stayed a craphole.

    Technically speaking, the crisis in Venezuela wouldn't count as a "craphole" in this case, since it only started around 2013-14 with the decline in oil prices.

    In any case, post-communist Russia doesn't seem very "successful" from a capitalist perspective, given the iron rule of the oligarchs and the declining population/life expectancy of its people.

  • Sevo||

    The return of a lefty shitpile:

    Gracchus|8.9.18 @ 9:19PM|#
    "What would count as a "failing" capitalist society? What are the metrics for "failing"? Are they same for both, or are they specific to each economic system? Can capitalism fail, or are the metrics used to define "capitalist failure" just some abstraction concocted by a central planner?"
    Gee, we can start by asking whether you can buy toilet paper, you fucking ignormaus

    "Technically speaking, the crisis in Venezuela wouldn't count as a "craphole" in this case, since it only started around 2013-14 with the decline in oil prices."
    Technically speaking, you're both an unlettered asshole and a fucking ignoramus.

    "In any case, post-communist Russia doesn't seem very "successful" from a capitalist perspective, given the iron rule of the oligarchs and the declining population/life expectancy of its people."
    So you found one example of what you claim is a "capitalist" country (which is, in truth, a kleptocracy run by left over Soviet thugs), and therefore capitalism doesn't work?
    Your brains fell out on the way here. Fuck off, slaver.

  • Gracchus||

    The return of a lefty shitpile

    Glad to see that I've stirred the wrath of Reason.com's resident Inquisitor.

    So you found one example of what you claim is a "capitalist" country (which is, in truth, a kleptocracy run by left over Soviet thugs), and therefore capitalism doesn't work?
    Your brains fell out on the way here. Fuck off, slaver.

    Not sure how "kleptocracy" and "capitalism" are mutually exclusive. You can have a society driven by private property and the profit motive that's corrupt as shit. Unless of course you define "capitalism" to include all the good stuff and keep out all the bad stuff; y'know, No True Scotsman and all that shit.

  • Sevo||

    Gracchus|8.10.18 @ 12:54AM|#
    "Glad to see that I've stirred the wrath of Reason.com's resident Inquisitor."
    Truth =/= "wrath", lefty shitpile

    "Not sure how "kleptocracy" and "capitalism" are mutually exclusive. You can have a society driven by private property and the profit motive that's corrupt as shit. Unless of course you define "capitalism" to include all the good stuff and keep out all the bad stuff; y'know, No True Scotsman and all that shit."
    So you offer arm waving as a response?
    No wonder you're known as a fucking ignoramus.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    I was looking forward to a rebuttal of his points, but instead we get to read this garbage. Anyone else want to take a crack at it?

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Find some middling country that a few decades ago said "You know, we're going to lower taxes, reduce the scope of government, and privatize industries"

    The US doesn't qualify. In 1776 they raised taxes and increased the size and scope of government.

    There are plenty of successful capitalist experiments though. Libertarians often cite medieval Iceland as the ideal example.

  • mchughjj||

    If the foil to Bernie's economic fallacies weren't named Donald Trump, it would be easy to know who to root for in the realm of public opinion. The blind socialist vs. the hardcore protectionist. Can we just fast-forward twenty years? I want to know how it turns out.

  • STRAMBOTIK||

    There are many lucid critics of socialism. However John Stossel isn't one of them. Stossel's economic arguments are crude, demagogic and hypocritical. This reflects Stossel's general ignorance about economics and his tendency to view everything through a short-term, purely political lens.
    By featuring Stossel instead of some reputable economist, Reason is dabbling in fake news.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Translation - nobody to the right of Krugman will do.

  • mchughjj||

    Krugman is probably the most banal Keynesian ever. I'd love to hear a name of a new intellectual leftist economist. It should be low hanging fruit, in the age of Trump.

  • Sevo||

    STRAMBOTIK|8.9.18 @ 5:21PM|#
    "There are many lucid critics of socialism. However John Stossel isn't one of them. Stossel's economic arguments are crude, demagogic and hypocritical. This reflects Stossel's general ignorance about economics and his tendency to view everything through a short-term, purely political lens.
    By featuring Stossel instead of some reputable economist, Reason is dabbling in fake news."

    Why is it that lefties constantly confuse an unsupported assertion as an argument? Is it rank stupidity or dishonesty?

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    "Why is it that lefties constantly confuse an unsupported assertion as an argument? Is it rank stupidity or dishonesty?"

    Why can't it be both?

  • Trollificus||

    It's some kind of echo-chamber effect. They make assertions, they get applauded (finger snaps only, unless you're online, then Twitter likes). This clearly leads them to believe that all that is required to make a successful argument is a grammatically correct assertion. I always remind them "quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur".

    Which gets me no where. :-(

  • WillPaine||

    Hi REASON folks; I will have to do some legal work on how publicly available platforms can call themselves free from Constitutional restraint, as a private company. That does get into some fascinating areas of First Amendment interpretation, and definitions of what a "platform" constitutes. There is a REASON that the First Amendment is the first. Love you guys.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Start with "Congress shall pass no law"

  • WillPaine||

    Well said

  • Sevo||

    WillPaine|8.9.18 @ 6:00PM|#
    "...Love you guys."

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • WillPaine||

    You still funny

  • Sevo||

    WillPaine|8.10.18 @ 9:26PM|#
    "You still funny"

    You still fucking ignoramus.

  • Enemy of the State||

    Contestant :"What is the longest book ever written?"

    Alex Trebeck: Correct for $400!

  • DrZ||

    Everyone...quit! Give up, resistance is futile. Public school indoctrination mills have been working for many years convincing students that socialism is compassionate.

    Little do they know....

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    I didn't think there was enough computer capacity in the world to list The Bern's shortfall in economics.
    But, the post would be drastically shorter if it was titled:
    The Economic Knowledge of Bernie Sanders.

  • Rockabilly||

    My advise is not to go to college to get a degree in male feminist transgender yoga studies.

  • WillPaine||

    I promise..#:-)

  • WillPaine||

    So lets keep funding (corporate welfare) and their wars with the illusion that what is made here, the best, will never be sent away, and you who remain to continue building the enormous wealth your forefathers began to build, will be treated well. God Bless America; I live in a trailer, and I live better than western kings; better education, better food, clean water...etc. Isn't much; I have more than enough. How much do you need? enough 2020 VISION: BERNIE

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    If you have more than enough while other people don't, then you are a kulak and a wrecker. I'll save a spot for you at the transit camp. Sometimes the trains run late, so you may have to wait a while.

  • WillPaine||

    I share, a lot; how much food, water, clothes, car warm bed do you need; I would bet a lot you have more than I do, and yet; here we are

  • CapitalistRoader||

    Lev Davidovich Bronstein reincarnated:

    In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced by a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.
    ― Leon Trotsky

  • Trollificus||

    No wonder he got icepicked. Just askin' for trouble.

  • Sevo||

    He was also willing to starve those who did not agree with *HIM*. His gripe was that Stalin was starving them before Trotsky got a chance.
    It's a real shame they both weren't locked in a cage with axes in the hopes neither was more killed than the other.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Actually free college is something conservatives should get behind and Medicaid for all is inevitable so conservatives need to do a better job reforming Obamacare.

    The conservative approach to free college should be getting private colleges to use their endowment for tuition for students from middle class families like the Ivy League schools are already doing. So use a fraction the money we currently use for student loans to entice private colleges to use their endowment for tuition and then get rid of most of the federal student loans and discourage private student loans for everything but medical school. If private schools get back to providing value for their degrees I think that will put more pressure on state universities to keep tuition affordable.

    Obamacare has ruined the individual market so the only way forward is to increase the pool eligible for Medicaid up to 300% FPL and then just go back to the way things were with the individual market. The individual market has always been a second class market so it will go back to that when most of the really sick people are eligible for Medicaid. I wouldn't have an individual mandate I would just have automatic enrollment and then take money out of people's tax return to pay for their Medicaid which would encourage people to get a job with health insurance and encourage employers to offer health insurance.

  • Sevo||

    "The conservative approach to free college should be getting private colleges to use their endowment for tuition for students from middle class families like the Ivy League schools are already doing. So use a fraction the money we currently use for student loans to entice private colleges to use their endowment for tuition and then get rid of most of the federal student loans and discourage private student loans for everything but medical school. If private schools get back to providing value for their degrees I think that will put more pressure on state universities to keep tuition affordable."

    You have an active fantasy life. There never was and never will be The New Soviet Man, and similarly, you can forget The New Soviet University.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Many private colleges were affordable in the not too distant past...the problem is obviously student loans. Do you work for Navient?? Student loans are one of the dumbest ideas ever that Americans ever thought up.

    Republicans like Rick Perry actually have attempted to make college more affordable they just focus on it from the cost side which obviously liberals would never support because college administrators and professors are liberals so they want to throw more money to help liberals.

  • Sevo||

    Sebastian Cremmington|8.9.18 @ 9:48PM|#
    "Many private colleges were affordable in the not too distant past...the problem is obviously student loans. Do you work for Navient?? Student loans are one of the dumbest ideas ever that Americans ever thought up."
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with loans for any purpose a borrower and lender freely agree to. Do you work for Stupid?

    "Republicans like Rick Perry actually have attempted to make college more affordable they just focus on it from the cost side which obviously liberals would never support because college administrators and professors are liberals so they want to throw more money to help liberals."
    Oh, well, uh, yeah. Was there a point buried in that mess?

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Omg you are a dumb one...student loans are government subsidized and they have distorted the market. Why don't you take up a new hobby like huffing glue instead of wasting my time.

  • Sevo||

    "Omg you are a dumb one...student loans are government subsidized and they have distorted the market. Why don't you take up a new hobby like huffing glue instead of wasting my time."

    So you sort of left out that the loans you dislike are subsidized? Oh, gee!
    Why don't you take up a new hobby like posting what you intend instead of wasting my time, imbecile?

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    Where did this new pack of fucking retards come from, artie poo's garage ?

  • Sevo||

    Dunno, but "Bernie" may be the call.
    Stupid and numerous.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    These are fair points, but I think you have to elaborate on this sentence:

    So use a fraction the money we currently use for student loans to entice private colleges...

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Student loans benefit the college they don't benefit students. So we have a lot of federal money being funneled to colleges in the form of student loans so I don't think we should just cut off federal funds entirely but we definitely need to reduce the amount we funnel to colleges. So conservatives and liberals should have the same goal of no student debt but conservatives should approach it from the angle of getting colleges to use their endowments for tuition.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    Right, but I'm not sure what you meant by "entice". Most major universities already adapt their prices to student need (although, as you point out, not to the extent that the high endowment places do). So if the suggestion is that they should be "enticed" to do this better, how do you do this? Do you give them a cash reward for it?

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Make no mistake—student loans are primarily for the benefit of the COLLEGE!! So unfortunately you can't just get rid of them because then many private colleges would go bankrupt. I propose getting rid of student loans by replacing them with money that goes directly to private colleges and the funds would be allocated based on how much of the endowment is going to tuition for students from the middle class. Private colleges will actually do better because it essentially means many of the students are on scholarship which is a badge of honor in America and then their graduates will look better in the job market. If they do better in the job market they will donate money to back to the college when they are successful.

    The program I am proposing would have to spend much less than student loans so it might mean fewer liberal professors and liberal administrators but the status quo is unacceptable.

  • vek||

    The funny thing is that as outrageous as college tuition is now, people who study actual useful things are still wise to take on the debt. If you can be an engineer, doctor, etc it will more than pay off in time.

    It's the idiots that study Gender Studies, rack up as big a bill as a chemical engineer, and then go on to make lattes that are fucked. But they should have known better in the first place.

    I legitimately cannot understand how people don't get this. EVERYBODY knows you don't make good money with art degrees, gender studies degrees, etc. So why the fuck does anybody who isn't getting a full ride from mommy and daddy do this shit???

  • vek||

    ALSO, Bernie is a fucking retard. I'm glad he's really old so he'll be dying soon and we won't have to listen to him for another 30 years or whatever.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    If you can be an engineer, doctor, etc it will more than pay off in time.

    You're absolutely correct, but humans being what we are... delayed gratification is a bitch. So the massive debts that are being acquired in the course of trying to join these professions end up delaying wealth, quite significantly for many of these folks. So Bernie's points are correct when he implies that some doctors (i.e. people with licenses to practice medicine) can't afford homes while their colleagues who may have taken different career paths can.

    Consider that a typical residency and fellowship are about 5-6 years combined, where the salary is well under $100k/yr (typically about $60k if I'm remembering correctly). That's not too bad when you're also not responsible for $200k in debt. If the average medical residency begins at age 28, then that means that doctors are about 35 years old when they start actually making money. That's relatively "old" in the buying-a-house world.

    But the other thing we have to remember is that the patients end up paying for their student loans. Loan burden is directly considered by employers when determining physician salary.

  • vek||

    That's true. And in a world where we didn't have the government jacking up the cost of tuition by allowing all the debt tuition would be lower... But Doctors are an exception to the rule really.

    For many other "wise" choices, you graduate at 22ish, and hop straight into the job market in the high 5 figures or low 6 figures. Often with a lot less than $200K in debt. This would apply to many types of engineers, programmers, etc. If you want to be a doctor realize that is a different trajectory, that might have you buying a place later. Or move to a cheaper area since doctors are needed in Cleveland too.

    If we have a problem with doctors, how abouts Harvard and all the other insanely well endowed private AND public universities just lower tuition for doctors and eat it out of the endowment? That's kinda the whole point of the endowment setup isn't it???

    Most people who are screwed long haul are the gender studies/art major morons. People who study real things might have a few years of delays etc, but they'll be fine.

  • JunkScienceIsJunk||

    I don't think starting salaries are nearly as high as you're suggesting. Closer to $60k is more realistic. And debt may be quite high for even just a four-year degree. The median is about $40k-$50k if I recall, but medians are just medians. The upper quartile is much higher, and the top 10% starts to approach $100k in debt, especially when you consider that a Masters Degree is becoming the "new" bachelor's degree (and is a degree requirement for many professions).

    Yes, of course, people will be fine. But that's not the point. A system that is quite literally intentionally designed to saddle people with debt is a bad system. And when I say "intentionally", the banking industry has a vested interest in this matter. They don't give a shit about education. They care that there's such a thing as a loan that is 99% guaranteed that they can make a fucking fortune from.

    Also, there are lots of people who are screwed who didn't major in gender studies. If I recall from the stats, architecture majors have historically been the most screwed group.

  • vek||

    Agreed that the system is bullshit as it is now. However I will argue that not every activity that generates debt is bad. Mortgage debt sucks! You have to pay tons of interest for 30 friggin' years just to have a place to live that you own!!! ... But it's a hell of a lot better than renting.

    30 year mortgages have likely pushed up home prices a ton versus people paying cash or having 5-10 year balloon mortgages as was common in the past... But it also increased home ownership rates, and people are still perfectly free to pay cash or have 5-10 year balloon mortgages if that suits them.

    I don't think student loan stuff should get special treatment versus any other kind of loan, and the guvmint should get out of it... But I don't agree that taking it on in all instances is bad.

    As far as starting salaries go, it surely depends on the field. I have known a number of people who started out in the 6 figures day one. Or $75K+ a year day one. Not all types of engineering are equal. Architecture may be a horrible one, but anybody with a brain will check these things out before committing. If that field is flooded, and it's tough to make it, either accept that fact if it's your real passion, or choose something else you like if you're mostly after the money.

  • tlapp||

    It's all free. Schools build and maintain themselves, teachers and staff all work for nothing (oops there is that pesky minimum wage they support). Same for hospitals, doctors, nurses and the rest. Medical supplies and drugs all done for free. Why it's utopia, don't we all want utopia?

  • JD3||

    Bernie has the most punchable face, amirite?
    Lord knows how tough it is being a non-violent libertarian.
    I would never actually punch Bernie Sanders in his stupid face.
    But I can THINK it though--and they can't take that away from me...yet.

  • flyfishnevada||

    Honestly, they ought to make college "free" but if you choose not to go they cut you a big check. Same with "free" health care. If you don't use it, you get a big check...and tax free, of course. That's fair, right? Pretty soon no one would go to college or use health care unless it was truly life threatening. We'd all just get big checks from the government. And then someone would have the bright idea that we just cut out the middle man and let people keep their own money. Problem solved...;)

  • Gerald4||

    In 1950 the USA spent less than 1/2% of the GDP for medical care.

    Now US medical care costs are over 18% of the GDP, growing rapidly, and is predicted to be 20% in the next few years.

    How much can the taxpayers of this nation afford to spend on Medical Care before this nation becomes bankrupt?

    I am a fiscal conservative, but I am now in favor of National Socialized healthcare, like the European "Nanny States," rather than rely on local taxpayers to pay for healthcare for US citizens and illegal immigrants who are without health insurance.

    US taxpayers are already paying for most all of the nation's healthcare right now. Local taxes create and support local free hospitals (ala our Harris County Hospital District taxes here in Houston, Texas) providing free medical care for the people from anywhere that cannot otherwise afford medical care or do not have insurance. Other Hospitals raise their charges to cover the costs of other patient care costs that are not paid by the patient or otherwise not collectable.

    Free Medical Care seems to now be considered to be a US government provided right, like Freedom of Speech and the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness!

    There are real limits to how much of the GNP that can the taxpayers afford to pay for any kind of national taxpayer paid for healthcare in addition to paying for the other US government activities before the US national government becomes bankrupt!

  • Gerald4||

    We could eliminate the costs of the Health Insurance Companies and the costs of their salesmen and all of their employees if the USA had National Socialized healthcare or Medicare for everybody.

    More government employees would have to be hired to administrate and control the amount that is paid by the government for medical care, probably at less cost that the insurance companies include into the amount that charge into the premiums they charge.

    Maybe people wanting taxpayer paid free medical treatment for sex change surgery, drug overdoses, mental health issues, addictive drug treatment, cosmetic surgery, experimental surgery, abortions, artificial insemination, and/or fertilization treatments could pay for it themselves and not have the taxpayers pay for it.

  • Sevo||

    "More government employees would have to be hired to administrate and control the amount that is paid by the government for medical care, probably at less cost that the insurance companies include into the amount that charge into the premiums they charge."

    So you are both a liar and an idiot.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Have you heard of the Republican Party??? Any taxes Democrats enact to pay for Medicare for all would be immediately repealed once Republicans regained power. So the well off Americans that are currently paying for health insurance would inevitably get a huge windfall with Medicare for all. The irresponsibility of the Republicans must be taken into account with respect to any new program.

  • Sevo||

    "I am a fiscal conservative, but I am now in favor of National Socialized healthcare,"

    One of those statements is a lie.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Who hurt you? Was it a liberal uncle?

  • Sevo||

    Sebastian Cremmington|8.10.18 @ 7:27PM|#
    "Who hurt you? Was it a liberal uncle?"

    How fucking stupid are you? Too stupid to tie your shoe laces?
    Fuck off, slaver.

  • US Patent Attorneys||

    This reflects Stossel's general ignorance about economics and his tendency to view everything through a short-term, purely political lens.

  • Salero21||

    Communism is ACTS = Absolute, Complete and Total Stupidity.

  • Salero21||

    We have a generation in this nation now, that after 12 yrs of FREE Public schooling which included FREE lunches, and often also FREE breakfasts PAID by the Taxpayers, now this generation wants 4 yrs of FREE College.
    This generation of educated Fools is the one this Detestable, Despicable and Disgusting COMMIE is appealing to.

  • Oscarphone||

    Don't blame just Bernie Sanders. His protege, Ocasio-Cortez, is at least twice as ignorant as he is. She thinks that the reason we have low unemployment is because more people are working two and three jobs. And she has an economic degree from Boston Univ.! She better get her money back! And Trump isn't very bright either. His tariff fascination is harming the very people he wants to supposedly help. He is heads above Obama but that is a pretty low bar. I used to think that it was a good idea that anybody running for public office should have a degree in Econ 101 at the least but after seeing what a degree in economics from a major university gets you, I'm not so sure that's the answer for all of this economic stupidity. And then there is Paul Krugman, speaking of economic stupidity. . .

  • Praveen R.||

    Suposedly OCasio was bad at sharing her tips when she worked as a bartender or waitress. So much for her socialistic ideals.

  • Praveen R.||

    This is why we need to stand up against bad capitalistic outfits that wield too much power in areas and act like mini governments or fiefdoms where the individual is marginalized so we do not give traction to the Bernie Sanders types who actually mean well but are in love with a movement that has no track record of success. I am fine with a basic minimum wage because if you live in a small town and a company rules the roost there, guess what, other than uprooting your family and leaving, your choices can be limited unless you are a really smart driven guy who can start something on his own. Myproblem is where to set the minimum wage. I feel it should err on the side of being less than ideal because we want it as a hedge against true exploiters of labor, not as an idealistic setting of where the minimum wage should be out of pure empathy for the poor. The $15 minimum wage nationwide is ridiculous.

    The free college thing is another dumb idea.

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