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Bernie Sanders – communist

Bernie Sanders advocates the next step below communism: exorbitant taxes for free stuff. Except the stuff wouldn’t be worth having.

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Then-Representative (and Senator-elect) Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks to the press. Would he really be a good fit as "the first Jewish President"?

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has one saving grace. That is: he is among the most honest, meaning straightforward, of those seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2020. Robert J. Ringer would call him a Type Number One Professor in the Political Science department of Screw U.1 He earns that honorary degree because he forthrightly says he will raise everyone’s taxes. Why? To pay for free stuff, starting with health care and continuing with higher education. As a corollary, he actually predicts his increased taxes will delight many Americans. Or not so much the taxes, but the free stuff the taxes will bring under his rule.

The Bernie Sanders interview

Bernie Sanders said this—about a “delight” in taxes—in an interview with Anderson Cooper at CNN.

The senator calls his program “The Economic Bill of Rights.” This program of positive rights (to goods and services, not from government interference) would mirror the Nordic countries and Canada. To pitch this, Bernie Sanders asks, “Are you free if you can’t afford [such-a-thing]?” several times. Mr. Cooper then asks the senator about the higher taxes Nordic and Canadian nationals pay their governments. In reply, Bernie Sanders says “a lot of people” would delight in paying higher taxes, if “comprehensive health care” and free college became their right.

I live 50 miles away from the Canadian border. You go to the doctor any time you want. You don’t take out your wallet. You have heart surgery, you have a heart transplant and you come out of the hospital and it costs you nothing.

Free hospitals and free tuition

Senator Sanders goes on to talk about free tuition:

Your kids in many countries around the world can go to the public colleges and universities tuition-free, wages in many cases are higher. So there is a tradeoff, but at the end of the day, I think, that most people will believe they will be better off when their kids have educational opportunities without out of pocket expenses and when they have health care as a human right, when they have affordable housing, and when they have decent retirement security, I think most Americans will understand that is a good deal.

Oh, yeah? Let’s see.

A recap on college for all

Regular readers of this site will recall your editor’s earlier essay, College – Who Needs It. The answer is: not everyone. “Wages in many cases are higher,” Bernie Sanders tells us. But are they? Many does not equal most, and certainly does not equal runaway favorite. Remember what your editor said: most majors do not prepare you to earn more. In fact, most majors prepare you to apply for faculty positions—too few positions to take all of you.

Do you plan for a museum to hire you as a junior assistant curator? Or do you plan to work for the CIA, translating intelligence take? Or maybe you think you’ll be a concert pianist on the order of Van Cliburn or Philippe Entremont. Or a composer on the order of Bernard Hermann, John Williams, or Jerry Goldsmith. Careers like these go to the top talents. But Bernie Sanders seems to think the world has no top talents. Can anyone at all learn all one needs to be a top-flight composer, performer, painter, or sculptor? In a word: no.

Health care, Bernie Sanders style

Look again at how Bernie Sanders describes health care in Canada. Ask enough Canadians. Can you really go to the doctor whenever you like? No! You have to wait your turn! Today, a Canadian will wait 21.2 weeks for specialty care. Which means you’ll wait longer than the 20 weeks you waited in 2016. And you’ll wait more than twice as long today as you waited in 1993. Then, you waited 9.3 weeks.

In America, you might wait two weeks, if you have to wait at all.

You have to wait. So what?

So what, indeed. According to Dr. Barua’s report, when you have to wait your turn, you get even sicker. First, you have to live with your sickness and often don’t even know how much longer you have to wait. Suspense creates stress, and stress itself makes one sick, as any honest doctor will tell you. And often, if you wait too long, you’ll get so sick you’ll never get well. Then suppose you can’t work while you’re sick? How does Bernie Sanders propose to handle that?

Dr. Barua also scathingly said Canada has the worst wait-time problem among eleven countries surveyed. (Source? Here!) According to this, you cannot go to a doctor whenever you feel like it! Canada has the worst problem with a doctor seeing you today or tomorrow, the second-worst problem keeping you out of the ER when it isn’t an emergency, the worst wait time in the ER, the worst wait time to see a specialist, and the worst wait time to get an elective operation.

Bernie Sanders just earned another title to go with his title of Senator: Liar.

Do Canadians die on wait lists?

Your editor has often asked a certain ultra-patriotic Canadian that very question. This private person (the identify of whom CNAVshall keep secret, to respect his privacy) always answers: NO! Well, this report says YES. If the patient doesn’t die while waiting for treatment, he’ll die earlier after treatment than if he got the treatment faster. This might not be quite the same as “dying on the waitlist.” But a patient dying earlier than he has to, before or after treatment, is just as dead.

In short, that long wait has a consequence. This last report came out in 2013. Since then, the problem has only gotten worse.

Is this what Bernie Sanders wishes on America?

The answer would seem to be yes. In 1988, his city of Burlington, Vermont became a sister city to Yaroslavl, Russia. At the time, of course, Russia called itself the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Then-Mayor Bernie Sanders honeymooned in the Soviet Union, to celebrate.

Judge for yourselves these two reports about that visit, one in The Guardian,2 the other in National Review. See also this report by Lee Edwards at The Daily Signal. Mr. Edwards visited the Moscow area also in 1988. And according to him, Bernie Sanders didn’t see everything he could have seen. (Or maybe he doesn’t talk about everything he saw.)

The devil lies in the details

That last report fills in details Sanders does not discuss. For instance, “affordable housing” even in 1988 was like a college dormitory suite. In a word, cramped. That even assumes you would get an apartment. Ask Viktor I. Belenko, who defected from the Soviet Union in 1976. Long before his defection, he once asked himself:

If I had a choice between having a house now and maybe getting wiped out later, and waiting maybe fifteen years for an apartment, which would I choose?3

Later, he got an apartment, all right—but then had to repair its floor and plumbing and electrical connections himself. Then one night the building split down the middle!4

This is the sort of society Wannabe Commissar Bernie Sanders wants to build in the USA.

Bottom line

So: how many Americans would delight in paying higher taxes for free stuff? Very few, once people realize the low quality of the free stuff.

Americans will take their chances with having to pay for their stuff by themselves. If the costs are as high as Bernie Sanders says, the quality is an order of magnitude higher. But let no one believe that the taxes would be less than the present costs. Let no one believe, either, that the quality would be as good. The answer to both question is: NO.

About the image

The featured image of Bernie Sanders addressing his followers after winning election to the Senate appears courtesy of the House of Representatives.


1 For a full explanation of the Three Types of people one meets, see Ringer RJ, Winning Through Intimidation, 1977. Ringer also describes “Screw U.,” the school of experience.

2 CNAV offers kudos to The Guardian for deciding not to erect pay walls on their site. Instead they ask for donations.

3 Barron J, MiG Pilot: The Final Escape of Lieutenant Belenko, 1980

4 Ibidem. Note also: that Lt. Belenko did as well as this, was only because he was an officer in the Soviet Army Strategic Rocket Forces. No ordinary civilian could have lived as well.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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