I have been paying attention to the candidates and have come to realize that either both parties don’t understand what is happening to the country or they don’t want to tell the masses what is happening. To be fair, Bernie has some great points and so does Donnie. Hillary is a puppet to the big banks, corporations and Wall Street. On a positive note, both Bernie and Donnie represent the people telling the parties they are dissatisfied. I find the awakening to be refreshing.
By Dave H, a contributing author of SHTFBlog
Let’s look at Bernie (the former candidate). He wants to break apart the banks. I agree with him on this point. The banks should have been allowed to fail in 2008. Now they are bigger than ever. The change in the accounting rules to eliminate market based asset valuation has never been corrected. Therefore we don’t have an actual way to value the banks and their solvency. If the banks were allowed to fail the need for banking services would not stop. The assets and most of the people would move from the poorly run banks to the well run banks. This would be capitalism at its finest.
Cost of Education
Staying with Bernie and education. I agree with Bernie that we need to solve the cost of education. Our education costs are out of line with the college tuition costs around the world (click here to see worldwide comparison). In this article the average college tuition cost in the US is just under $14,000. In Germany the average tuition is $933. In Sweden, France, Denmark and Norway the average tuition is $600 or less.
In the US the children of wealthy families come out of college debt free. The children of middle class families come out heavily in debt and they are enslaved by their student loans. Children of poor families have very limited opportunities for advancement because they cannot qualify for the student loans. This leads to a cast society and that is not the basis for America.
My general political leanings are Libertarian with a strong belief in Laissez-faire economics. In this case I feel it is important that we have some intervention for the good of the country. We are in the beginnings of a new economy. It is very similar to the points when we changed from an agrarian society to an industrial society and then from industrial to technology based. This time technology is replacing the human worker. We can argue about percentages of job loss and even the affected industries. The fact is jobs will be lost and we need to prepare the country for the next economic wave. I don’t know the next economic wave. However, I feel strongly that we will need an educated workforce or we will be left behind.
Why not offer a program where our youth has the opportunity to volunteer in the country for a period of 2 years and for that we give them a reduced college tuition? They should be able to volunteer in a variety of ways. Maybe building trails in the national parks or building homes with Habitat for Humanity. How about delivering meals to the elderly?
Now let’s look at Donnie. He wants to have our allies pay for their own defense. You bet! I agree with Donnie. It is simple macro economics of guns vs. butter. You can see the effect on the tuition rates. Europe does not pay for their defense, we do. That needs to change. We are 19 trillion dollars in debt. We simply cannot afford to continue down this road.
Continuing down the defense road for a moment. We spent 49 cents of every military dollar spent in the world. Why? Do you think Russia or China is ready to invade the US? If not, what do we get for our military spending? You may say we get peace in Europe and peace in Japan. Shouldn’t the Europeans and the Japanese cover their own security? What we do get is to project our power across the planet. Let’s ask ourselves about the benefit we get as individuals for the US hegemony. I would say at best the benefit is minimal. If you were Raytheon, McDonnell Douglas or Lockheed Martin you would receive tremendous benefit. Why would we spend $400 billion on the Joint Strike Fighter and not give our sniper teams enough bullets to maintain proficiency? That is because our ’elected’ political whores in Washington represent major corporations and not the people. The Supreme Court made an error when they shot down McCain-Feingold. It needs to be reenacted and expanded to eliminate the loopholes. Corporations are not people and should not be treated as citizens.
Back to Donnie. He wants to close the border. I agree that closing the border is a good thing. Let’s say that Donnie is successful and gets to deport all of the illegal aliens. What would be the effect on the country? It would be disastrous. Who would work in the trades? Who does the roofing? Who does the concrete work? Who does brick laying? We as a society have devalued the trades. We no longer teach metal shop or carpentry in high school. Our trade schools have been converted to junior colleges. The unions ran the apprentice programs and we have devalued the unions.
Donnie gets it correct about closing the border. However, we need to be smart about removing the people. We need to revalue the trades and ensure we pay a living wage. Our country would be much stronger if we trained people in the trades. How can we pull industry back to America if we don’t have the skilled workforce necessary to support the industry? Why not expand the Job Corps program started by Lyndon Johnson in the 1960’s? Why not use the volunteer program described above and give our youth a free trade school education?
Donnie wants to start trade wars. This is a very dangerous course of action. Looking back in history they generally end poorly. What would happen if we took a slightly different approach? What if the US government instituted a Buy American policy? Who is the largest consumer in the country? The US government! Let’s take a couple of examples. How many pens does the US government buy each year? I suspect the answer is a bunch. I don’t have exact numbers so don’t throw rocks at the numbers this is a hypothetical example.
Let’s say the US government buys a million pens made in China for $1 each. That means we sent $1 million overseas and we get no additional benefit (yes there are distributors that get some benefit). The million dollars is simply gone. Now let’s say they buy a million pens made in the US for $1.50 each. The US government would spend $1.5 million on pens. What happens to the $1.5 million dollars? There is a factory in the US that is making the pens. That factory makes a profit and pays takes on the profit. The factory also pays property taxes. The factory employs people. Those people make a wage and pay taxes on their wages. They buy a house or pay rent. They buy food and clothes. The point is money spent in the US circulates numerous times. Each time the money circulates is provides benefit to the country. This is not a trade war. However, it gets the same effect.
Donnie talks about putting a tariff on Carrier air conditioners. I say the government should only buy air conditioners made in the US. No tariffs. We should choose to spend our tax dollars within the country. We can put America back together. However, we need to do it wisely! Your thoughts?
The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author are his alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of SHTFBlog.com