On Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) tweeted that his movement seeks to “change the value system of this country.”
Claiming he didn’t seek to change U.S. politics or economics, the Democratic presidential candidate promised that once he is in power, “We’re not going to worship corrupt billionaires anymore.” Instead, Sanders explained, “we’re going to respect teachers and childcare workers and the working people of America.”
This claim goes along with the senator’s long-held views, demonstrating not only his lacking grasp of economics but also his belief that government has the duty to organize society according to the philosophy of those in power. In order to accomplish the goal of changing our “value system,” Sanders wants to employ policies that will accomplish the very opposite of what he promises.
Behind the Promise
According to the candidate’s own campaign page, Sanders wants to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy, despite America’s already high corporate tax rates. Additionally, he wants to raise the minimum wage and make it illegal — or at least quite impossible — for companies to manufacture goods abroad and then try to sell them in the United States.
By raising the taxes on existing companies, Sanders simply increases the incentive load pushing these same corporations to leave the country altogether. Depending on how heavy the tax burden would be, this policy could potentially eliminate thousands, if not millions, of jobs nationwide.
Furthermore, Sanders’ higher minimum wage rules would actually serve as a boost to the same large corporations he attacks, as only major companies are able to absorb the cost of higher wages. Despite his “buy local” approach to businesses, this policy would only hurt small and medium-sized businesses, as well as struggling competitors of large firms, as they are the ones who cannot afford to keep business going with a smaller number of employees.
Lastly, the senator’s brilliant idea to keep firms that produce goods abroad from doing business in the U.S. is also an attack against the working American.
How many workers would lose their jobs if major companies decided to simply leave due to the high cost of doing business on U.S. soil?
The Desire to Organize Society
Considering Sanders is never clear about the real-world consequences of the policies he champions, it is clear he’s either completely mistaken about his ideology, or that he uses rhetoric that fails to reflect reality in order to obtain the public’s support.
Whatever the case, Sanders is pushing a plan that would completely devastate what’s left of the U.S. economy, hurting the poor and pushing millions of Americans into the welfare system.
It is precisely this lack of care for the consequences of policies that central planners display on a regular basis without ever taking responsibility for their policies’ failures.
As Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises explained in the book Human Action, “Every socialist is a disguised dictator.” Despite Sanders’ promises, the gap between what he plans to implement and the consequences of these policies is much wider than he’s willing to admit.