Why would a sane business person vote for Bernie Sanders? Here’s why.
Once, a few years ago, I was on a flight from New York to Chicago when lightning struck the cockpit, knocking both pilots unconscious and severing communications with the ground.
You can imagine the scene. It was pandemonium! The plane began to tailspin. People were screaming. Bags were flying. Without thinking, I bravely flung myself to the front of the plane. With a super-human adrenalin rush I broke down the steel-reinforced door with my own bare hands, moved the pilots aside and managed to take control of the plane. Even though I had absolutely no experience flying a jetliner and no one to guide me, I managed to land that 737 safely at O’Hare, through a storm, saving the lives of all 237 people on-board and taxiing to the gate in time for everyone to make their connecting flights.
That was one tough task (even if it were true, and it is not). But today, I’m going to do something even tougher. I’m going to try to give you, a sane and reasonable business person, not one, not two…but three reasons why you may vote for Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders, you say? Isn’t that the guy who calls himself a socialist? The one who sounds like George Steinbrenner on “Seinfeld?” The presidential candidate who vows to raise taxes by more than $18 trillion on the rich, corporations and estates? The one who supports a national $15 per hour minimum wage, 12 weeks of paid time off for all employees and the end of international trade agreements? The guy who’s also campaigning for a single-payer healthcare system, expanded unions, increased pensions, free education and a reform on Wall Street speculation? Isn’t that also the guy who once spoke on the Senate floor for eight hours straight and recorded an absolutely terrible folk music album where he sang war protest songs?
Yup, that’s him. I’ve come up with three reasons why you would vote for him. Ready?
Reason 1: Sanders wants to spend a ton of money on infrastructure.
His proposed “Rebuild America” plan would spend more than $1 trillion and employ 13 million people to rebuild the country’s roads, bridges, seaports, airports, electrical and broadband systems and other key infrastructure. It would be paid for by increased corporate taxes, particularly on those devils who now legally shelter their profits through overseas companies. Your opinions on corporate America notwithstanding, let’s agree that a solid infrastructure is at the heart of every good economy for quick transport of goods, people and communications and that it’s the government’s job to provide this. And let’s agree that America’s infrastructure is seriously falling apart. You want to expand your business and make commerce is easy as possible and you need a sound infrastructure to do this. Did I now hear you say “Go Bernie, go!” Yeah, I thought so.
Reason 2: He supports a single-payer healthcare system.
My wife, who is from the U.K., could never understand why businesses in this country are involved in their employees’ healthcare. And she’s right. The U.K. health system has serious problems. But so does ours. Maybe, just maybe, a single-payer system can work better than our current, broken one and more so than this Obamacare mess. If implemented right, it could take all your company’s healthcare problems out of your hands. Not surprisingly, Sanders’ plan would require more taxes on businesses and individuals (according to his website it would be paid for by a 6.2 percent income-based health care premium paid by employers, a 2.2 percent income-based premium paid by households, progressive income tax rates, taxing capital gains and dividends the same as income from work, limiting tax deductions for the rich, adjusting the estate tax, and savings from health tax expenditures). You cry: Have you lost your mind, Sanders? But wait…maybe this could still be less expensive than the high premiums and administrative and overhead costs you’re incurring for healthcare right now! Not to mention a little headache relief? The government built the Hoover Dam. I saw it. It’s awesome. Could it not build a working single-payer healthcare system too?
Reason 3: He wants to make college tuition free.
Sanders believes that the government should fund tuition at public universities for anyone who wants to go. He also wants to reduce student debts, which has proven to be a huge barrier to someone who wants to start up a business. This plan would cost $75 billion a year and be funded through increased taxes on those evil Wall Street speculators. He also wants to invest $5.5 billion in a youth jobs program. OK, you say – he’s not really addressing the bloated university budgets that are filled with high-paid educators, many who have tenured jobs for life, get the summers off and enjoy healthcare and pension benefits you can only dream of. I admit – a small oversight. But there are more than 5 million unfilled jobs in this country, many due to the lack of a skilled workforce. Small companies like mine and yours can’t afford to train them. Maybe it’s to our benefit that the government provides more people with skills so that we can give them jobs and also profit ourselves?
Have I convinced you? Have I made a business person’s case for Bernie Sanders? Would admitting that he’s a well-liked guy and way, way more genuine and honest in his beliefs than most of the other presidential candidates make a difference? Sure, he’s a socialist. But you can’t deny he’s a cuddly one. And, sure, his election could very well be the worst thing that ever happened to the U.S. economy since Walter White died.
But, as I hope I’ve explained, he may not be as bad for your business as you think. His folk album? Yeah, that was pretty bad.