Editor’s note: This is an opinion piece and does not reflect the views of the organization.
I imagine this is a spicy opinion. As a college student it might come as a surprise as to why I would make such a bold statement. I’ve had problems with the “democratic socialist” since he appeared on my radar in 2016 when he first ran for president. I won’t be discussing his current state in the campaign cycle and any conflicts with other candidates. I’m addressing his philosophy as a whole. In this post, I’ll make my case as to why Bernie Sanders only offers empty promises and false hopes.
Nothing in Life is Free
To begin, I want to start with a basic economic principle: nothing in life is free. Nothing. You may receive something for free, but it costs something for someone else to make it available to you to no cost.
Even outside of the realm of money, there are many other qualitatively immeasurable things that cost something. There is an expression in America that epitomes this principle: freedom isn’t free. People sacrifice their lives for others to protect or provide something invaluable for others.
There’s also a basic economy to every choice a person makes. If you spend time or other resources on one task, you incur what is called an opportunity cost. This means you can’t use the time for alternative potential tasks or operations. Time is spent, and can never be regained. Even if money was eliminated from the equation, time, energy and resources are still lost.
Nothing in this life is free. It takes resources. So why should anyone believe someone who offers something for free, especially when they are viewing for a position in power and want votes?
The Rich are Evil, except for Me!
I want to make my point two-fold. One on principle, and one on example. The first part I will be denouncing the general gospel of envy, and the second half I’ll be exposing Sanders’ hypocrisy.
Today it is popular to denounce wealth and the people who possess it. The underlying sentiment is that they possess more money than the average person. But average Americans possess more wealth than most of the rest of the world’s population, placing them in the top 1% of global earners.
Numbers aside, blaming the “top 1%” isn’t going to fix anyone’s problems. Only individuals can do that. There is room for discussion about the poor “pulling themselves up by their bootstraps”, but creating class envy and strife because someone can afford a yacht is stupid. It should be common knowledge that a thankfulness is more esteemed than envy and greed.
Besides, being rich or having numerous luxuries only isolates you more from other people. Great figures of history lived modestly or were among the poor. Jesus, Gandhi, Socrates, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Wealth is nothing to desire in of itself, as the common saying goes, “wealth can’t buy happiness.”
Additionally, Sanders doesn’t seem to fully believe his own message. If the rich are so evil, then why does he own three mansions and is now worth $2.5 million? The environmental concerns of mansion energy use should also be concerning if climate change really is to be believed. That’s not to even mention the numerous flights he takes every year to travel the country.
He’s an Old Man
That’s rather ageist and mean to say. But it’s not my argument.
Concerning abortion, I’ve heard it said that old, white men need to stop legislating women’s bodies. I guess Bernie can’t legislate anything about abortion (that would also apply to Joe Biden). No expanded funding for Planned Parenthood, because well, he’s an old white man who can’t legislate women’s bodies. That’s illegal.
Then there is the concern that the next president shouldn’t be an old, white man, but a woman or minority.
A more practical concern that is forgotten is also that he is 78 years old, and if elected president, would be the oldest elected president in United States history as Donald Trump set the record at age 70. His probability of even completing one four-year term seems unlikely given his age combined with the amount of stress the job possesses.
Socialism is a Lie
I’ve written about how disastrous socialism is before, and may expand upon it again in the future, because I hate it. But I specially address Sanders’ socialistic promises.
Democratic socialism is exceptionally dumb, because if it is to be believed as a viable social organization, it would mean that people choose to engage in a system that has proven to have failed numerous times in the last century.
The former Soviet Union, communist China, east Germany, Cuba, etc., then there are the contemporary examples of North Korea and Venezuela. Most of the people of these countries did not have the hindsight and freedom of information as we now do, so they were unwitting victims of tyranny. We should know better.
Concerning socialism overall, Vladimir Lenin said, “The goal of socialism is communism”. Socialism really only has two options: collapse a society, or switch to communism and destroy it almost immediately. Hence why China has slowly adopted more capitalistic practices instead of its failed communist, like the Great Leap Forward.
Concerning his specific policies, I’ll address “free college” briefly, because healthcare is too complex.
Making college “free” would not only increase taxes exponentially, but also waste billions of dollars. College is a great resource, but it’s not for everyone. Trade schools and entrepreneurship are often ignored in favor of sending kids to college because “everyone goes to college.”
And being that skipping college isn’t a government requirement like public K-12 education is, why would anyone feel the need to stay to finish their degree if they didn’t have to? Part of college is investment and cost, and if you aren’t worried about making a return on investment in a career that will pay off the threatening student loans and debt, then why not just quit whenever you feel like it? Millions would be wasted on dropouts.
The overall implications for the economy are unimaginable, but I would predict it would drop dramatically as these world-breaking costs crushed the economy while failing to deliver qualified candidates to industry, especially those who need it the most. College likely will become obsolete, as companies would look to alternative methods that deliver candidates who finished their education and learned useful skills.
Bernie’s plans are unfeasible and absurd. He promises false hope and empty dreams. All of it is derived from a bankrupt ideology. His campaign for president is just a joke to me.
That’s my spicy opinion.