Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bernie Sanders is "middle of the road"

To anyone familiar with Germany and it's politics, Bernie Sanders is a middle of the road politician, not radical at all. Pretty much everything he advocates and fights for is already reality in Germany - with good results and citizens are happy and striving with it.
1. Campaign financing: The federal government in Germany allots funds for campaigns, each party receives a percentage of the available funds equal to votes recieved in the last election. A party that won 40% of the vote, receives 40 % of the funds.
This did make it impossible to buy votes, as the "Citizen's United" rule does. I recommend reading "Dark Money" by Jane Meyer about the history of the Koch family, their rise due to the large profits of petroluem refining and their political leanings and support for libertarian ideas and politics. Only then can you begin to understand how some politicians such as Ted Cruz ("Crusted") is able to state that "regulation cost money" and that he wants to abolish or at least limit the EPA 9plus a number of other outrageous and ridiculous ideas - he is much more dangerous than Trump, because he is calculated and sneaky)
Federal allotment of funds - problem solved
2. Progressive taxes: already a reality in Germany, nobody is suffering, no entrepreneurship is thwarted etc etc. The maximum tax is around 65%. 
Think about it, when you earn 10 million a year, you still get ot keep 3.5 million. You are not poor, you can live happily. And that is what counts. I believe that charity should not be left to individuals, because then it becomes random, spotty, unpredictable, insted of wise and just, as in the case of government directed charity.
Progressive taxes mean that if you earn a lot you should pay more precentage wise, because your survival and your luxury of living increases only marginally after you arrive at the top of the food chain. and with progressive taxes, many more of your fellow humans get to benefit.
This speaks to a fundamental issue: Do you really feel alone, an independent individual or do you feel as a part of a community, as part of a group where your benefit and luck might contribute to the benefit of all? I beleive that this is a fundamental difference in the philosophies underlying the republican and democratic parties.
3. Free colleges and universities: Standard in Germany as well as in most industrialized countries and especially in Europe. The more people learn and study, the better off the country - you knew that, didnt you? Yes, this is paid by taxes, but the higher taxes are worth it.
4. Healthcare for all. Instituted by law in 1884 in Germany, has worked beautifully sicne then. Yes, Germany has problems with being short on funds to be healthcare, just the same as the US. That is because the root cause of the unstoppable rise of cost of healthcare is NOT the system by which healthcare is provided, it is the rise science and technology, ever newer, better and more complicated and more expensive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and developed and introduced. It is also due to the lack of emphasis on prevention, the lack of emphasis of a healthy diet (big agrobusiness fights vigorously against healthy food) and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, also thanks to advancing science and technology. Medicare for all is definitely not my favorite ( sicne I am a physician it will make things more complicated, dramatically jack up regulations and lower income, discouraging hard work), but in the end it might be an advantage for everybody.

And, the main point of Sanders campaign: income inequality! Yes, he is correct, and this needs to be said as looudly as possible. The billionaires have rigged the economy against the remaining 99% and it is about time we changed that. That is the true source for the pervasive disappointment, disillusionment and anger that both Trump and Sanders benefit from.
That has to change - and the best way is what Sanders proposes: Progressive taxes and fees on Wall street trading.

Yet, a word of wisdom - Germany, with all this in place, is still not paradise. The world will not turn into the best of all possible worlds, there will always be some degree of corruption and a good amount of discontent, but it will be a friendlier, more benign world, a nicer world, a world you will like and will like to live in, a world that is not as scary, that does not hreaten you with bankruptcy or homelessness at every turn. a world worth voting for.