bernie-sanders

I would vote for this guy in 2016.

Sanders on hypercapitalism

SANDERS: People have lost sight of America as a society where everyone has at least a minimal standard of living and is entitled to certain basic rights, a nation in which every child has a good-quality education, has access to health care and lives in an environmentally clean community, not as an opportunity for billionaires to make even more money and avoid taxes by stashing their money in the Cayman Islands. Can you argue that the era of unfettered capitalism should be over? Absolutely. Does this system of hypercapitalism, this incredibly unequal distribution of wealth and income, need fundamental reform? Absolutely it does. You have the entire scientific community saying we have to be very aggressive in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Yet you’re seeing the heads of coal companies and oil companies willing to sacrifice the well-being of the entire planet for their short-term profits. And these folks are funding phony organizations to try to create doubt about the reality of global warming.

PLAYBOY: Aren’t they just taking care of their shareholders?

SANDERS: Big business is willing to destroy the planet for short-term profits. I regard that as just incomprehensible. Incomprehensible. And because of their power over the political process, you hear a deafening silence in the U.S. Congress and in other bodies around the world about the severity of the problem. Global warming is a far more serious problem than Al Qaeda.

Sanders on corporations destroying the American working class

SANDERS: Bank of America operated 200 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands. In 2010 it got a $1.9 billion rebate from the IRS. There’s a list of about 15 companies that paid nothing, or very little, in taxes. Many of these institutions—Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase—were actually bailed out by the American people. They were wonderful, proud American companies when they came for their welfare checks from the American people. After the bailout, they suddenly love the Cayman Islands and are parking all their money there. The next time they go broke, they can go to the Cayman Islands for a bailout, not the American people. There’s an estimate out there that we’re losing about $100 billion a year because companies are taking advantage of the tax havens in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and so on—$100 billion a year!

PLAYBOY: That’s a sizable pile of cash.

SANDERS: Today one out of four major profitable corporations pays zero in federal income taxes. Got that? Today, what corporations are paying into the U.S. Treasury, as a percentage of GDP, is lower than in any other major country on earth. You would think that before you cut health care, education, nutrition or Social Security, you might want to take a hard look at that issue. I mean, am I missing something here?

PLAYBOY: You once said, “It is Robin Hood in reverse. We are taking from working families who are hurting and giving it to the wealthiest people.”

SANDERS: Welcome to America 2013. We are in the midst of intense class warfare, where the wealthiest people and the largest corporations are at war with the middle class and working families of this country, and it is obvious the big-money interests are winning that war. They are winning the war in terms of their lobbyists negotiating tax breaks for people who don’t need them and then fighting for cuts for working families. The Business Roundtable—CEOs of the largest companies in the U.S.—came to Washington earlier this year and proposed that we raise the Medicare and Social Security eligibility ages to 70. Can you imagine the chutzpah of guys who are worth hundreds of millions of dollars in some cases and have retirement packages the likes of which average Americans couldn’t even dream, proposing that? Can you imagine somebody who will get a golden parachute of perhaps tens of millions of dollars—who is not going to have a financial worry in his or her life—coming to Washington and saying, “I want you to raise Medicare eligibility to 70”?

Link to full interview here.

Posted by James Poling

A socialist, tinkerer, thinker, question asker and all around curiosity seeker. If you'd like to reach me you can use the contact link above or email me at jamespoling [at] gmail [dot] com.

9 Comments

  1. Love Bernie, love Playboy, read the article and while he has been saying the same thing for years maybe it will hit a new audience and maybe it will have some impact, maybe.

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    1. Sanders/Warren (or Warren/Sanders) 2016?

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  2. I frequently thank the people of Vermont for sending him to DC. He’s about the person worth a damn inside the beltway.

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    1. *the only person* (goes to get more coffee)

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  3. I couldn’t agree more. There’s nothing wrong with Capitalism in and of itself, its when it’s run amok that it begins to fuck the middle class… but the problem there too, is once it has totally wiped the middle class off the map, it begins fucking with the upper classes. A nice mix of everything keeps things in balance, a little bit of social(ism) regulation, a little bit of capitalism, and a little bit of state owned (military/defense/govt) stuff I think is the best way to go. But that’s just me.

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    1. You’re right. For some reason people confuse capitalism with a total free for all. For a capitalist society to be successful there needs to be regulations. There needs to be checks and balances. Otherwise you get what we have now where a few people manage to amass a majority of the wealth then use that wealth to change the rules that gave them the opportunity in the first place. It had already started happening before but you can draw a direct line to the decline of the middle-class to the start of heavy deregulation in the early 80’s.

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  4. Yeah, I love the whole argument made back in the 80s and 90s… they deregulated, and then the S&L crisis hit… they said “Oh my god, Deregulate MORE; that will keep this from happening again!!” So they repeal even more, including the VERY important and golden-era of banking bill Glass-Steagall… and by the END of the next Presidential administration, we’re in the worst financial disaster since Glass-Steagall got passed. Such a coincidence, isn’t it? Heh…

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    1. Very well said. You’re exactly right about their reaction to the S&L crisis. The blind leading the blind.

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