History, Reality and “Socialism”

Bernie Sanders has been running on a policy platform of increasing taxes to the rich, raising the minimum wage and breaking up the big banks. Conservatives call it “socialism” and say it’s certain to lead to economic ruin (something they know a lot about having engineered the three worst economic periods in our history – the Great Depression, the recession of 1973-75 and the recent Great Recession). The idea that taxes and livable wages would lead to economic ruin has been debunked many times, but the myth of “trickle down economics” persists.

Take a look around the states for which ones are doing the best and two immediately stand out: California and Minnesota. Look at the worst and it’s basically Kansas and the entire South. Both California and Minnesota raised income taxes on the highest income brackets and increased the minimum wage. They both implemented laws reinforcing equal wages for women. Both now have not only led the nation in creating new jobs, they also have budget surpluses. Contrast their achievements with Kansas or Wisconsin, both home to conservative Republican governors and legislatures: budget deficits (even with massive defunding of education and public works) and near the bottom of job creation.

Reality is a hard pill to swallow, especially when the Fox News Cable and other conservative media produce an endless stream of fantasy, fear and Reagan nostalgia. The strange thing is that it is nearly impossible to argue facts and reality to Republican voters who have the most to gain from rejecting their own party’s platform, primarily because they have been convinced by fear that their already tenuous economic state would be destroyed if they joined a union, or accepted a living wage… Living in America.

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