I’m talking about Bernie Sanders, in what seems to be a series of posts talking about what he wants to do, should he be elected President. In this post, I’ll be talking about what Sanders wishes to do in relation to creating jobs that pay well. My initial thoughts before reading the page is that:
- You don’t, like every other President, Congressman, Governor, etc… before you, create jobs. The private sector, you know, the sector he barely only spent a 1-1.5 years in, creates jobs. Government can only make conducting business harder by imposing more rules and regulations and raising the costs of business.
- Judging by your previous statements, about wanting more fringe benefits for workers, a higher minimum wage, and so on, Bernie isn’t going to be able to create the jobs he wants.
Remember, only after this line below will I have read. These are just some preliminary thoughts. Now, let’s dive into the real stuff.
Before I actually address his key points listed in “Creating Decent Paying Jobs“, I’d like to share with you his opening statement, and it’s actually shocking to see this coming from a Leftist like Sanders:
The real unemployment rate is much higher than the “official” figure typically reported in the newspapers. When you include workers who have given up looking for jobs, or those who are working part time when they want to work full time, the real number is much higher than official figures would suggest.
It’s even worse for young people. A recent study found that over 50 percent of young African-Americans and more than one-third of white and Hispanic youth are looking for full-time work.
We are in the midst of an ongoing unemployment crisis, and we must take bold action to address it.
Holy #$%&! A leftie said this? I’m not kidding.
He’s able to see the problem, and that’s a good thing. The first step in anything is to identify the problem. The solution he presents though, well, it’s not really any better.
#1. Infrastructure Investment
Introduced legislation which would invest $1 trillion over 5 years to modernize our country’s physical infrastructure, creating and maintaining at least 13 million good-paying jobs while making our country more productive, efficient and safe.
I have already covered this issue in my second post, when I discussed his “Income & Wealth Inequality” section. I would like to include this though.
Government is grossly inefficient. Driving through Detroit is a perfect example of this. I recent came across a story where people in (I think it was) Hamtramack, MI (part of Detroit) were outside on their street, filling pot holes. These weren’t people who were paid by the city, county, or even state. These people did it by themselves, because the government has no money from which to fund road repairs.
Now they’ve got a GoFundMe page for their group, Hamtramack Geurrilla Road Repair. They had a goal of $5,000, and they’re only about $500 away from making it. Reading down in the comments, the top comment is from a person who works in construction who was willing to donate cold patch to their organization.
Now, my response from the earlier post:
Putting at least 13 million Americans to work by investing $1 trillion over five years rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, railways, airports, public transit systems, ports, dams, wastewater plants, and other infrastructure needs.
While on the surface, that might sound somewhat nice, in reality, there’s a few things Bernie leaves out. The first is that we spending many tens of billions of dollars on infrastructure on the Federal level already. In 2013, for instance, the Federal Government allocated $76 Billion to infrastructure, and that’s not including what’s going on at the State level. Clearly, there is money there to actually do stuff, but it really doesn’t show.
State spending on infrastructure is different, since they hold the burden for doing more, like local and state highways, as well as regular roads. Both the Federal & State levels are mired in inefficiency and corruption. Take South Carolina for instance. State Sen. Tom Davis (R) took up opposition to State Republican legislators raising the State Gas Tax to pay for road work projects. He said the following in an article he wrote:
Yes, our roads and bridges are in bad condition, but that’s because spending decisions are made by a politically motivated and legislatively controlled state agency. (More on that below.)
Even if one concedes more money is needed, however, that does not mean higher taxes are necessary.
Existing revenues are sufficient if we have the political will to spend them wisely.
For example, the Senate recently passed a budget appropriating an additional $69 million for roads and bridges. In addition, that budget includes a supplemental section (which appropriates tax revenue anticipated but not yet certified) providing an additional estimated $100 million.
In the remaining weeks of this year’s session, instead of debating massive gas-tax hikes, the legislature should focus on structural reforms to the S.C. Department of Transportation, the state agency that makes the expenditure decisions.
Capital outlays by the SCDOT for new transportation projects in recent years have been more than triple the amount spent on repairs and maintenance, and that’s a direct consequence of the SCDOT commissioners being elected by lawmakers.
There’s a reason South Carolina has the fourth-largest state highway system in the nation; no politician ever held a ribbon-cutting for a pothole-filling initiative.
Better still, abolish the commission and have expenditure decisions made by a Cabinet-level Secretary of Transportation, appointed by and directly accountable to the governor. That way, the voters can hold an official elected statewide directly accountable for the wise or unwise spending of their money.
There is great inefficiency in government handling of the roads, and why wouldn’t there be? This is government. Government has no incentive to spend money wisely and to be fiscally responsible.
Bernie wants a huge make-work program to put millions of people to work, but that’s not how that’s going to be. Make-work programs, and that’s what this is, don’t work. According to the CATO Institute, using data from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), they write the following:More important than the complexity, there is little evidence that federal employment and training programs actually work very well. The GAO report concluded that “little is known about the effectiveness of employment and training programs we identified.”17 Only 5 of the 47 programs the GAO examined had done detailed impact studies. The GAO found that “the five impact studies generally found that the effects of participation were not consistent across programs, with only some demonstrating positive impacts that tended to be small, inconclusive, or restricted to short-term impacts.”
#2. Opposing “Free Trade” Agreements
Opposed NAFTA, CAFTA, permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with China, the TPP, and other free-trade agreements. These deals kill American jobs by shifting work overseas to nations which fail to provide worker protections and pay extremely low wages.
I have talked about the TPP before, and I’ve seen Bernie talk about this too. I also believe I have already covered this, but I’ll restate my response from the last time.
From my post discussing “Income & Wealth Inequality“:
#4. Trade Deals
Reversing trade policies like NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR with China that have driven down wages and caused the loss of millions of jobs. If corporate America wants us to buy their products they need to manufacture those products in this country, not in China or other low-wage countries.
Unfortunately, Bernie one again lacks knowledge of how economics works, and rather opts to appeal to your emotions. While NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR should all be repealed, as they are entangling trade deals that are highly complex and based off of corruption most likely, the free market is what needs to be put in place, and the monetary system needs to be changed back to the Gold Standard. I say this because, while NAFTA seems to have done well, these large deals always have things hidden within them, like the TPP. True free trade does not require an agreement between countries with complex jargon. It merely requires honesty between two countries willing to cooperate.
The second thing I mentioned was the monetary system. Currently, I’m reading Ron Paul’s Audit The Fed, which talks a lot about monetary policy, and how bad it truly is today. The Federal Reserve and the Government have cooperated together in the printing and devaluing of our currency, and this effects everyone, in the form of inflation, higher prices, and the money in your wallet or purse being worth less. From the time that the Fed was created, the dollar has lost almost 100% of it’s value, sitting at about a mear $0.05 worth it’s original value.
#3. Employing Young People
Introduced the Employ Young Americans Now Act with Rep. John Conyers. It would provide $5.5 billion in immediate funding to employ one million young Americans between the ages of 16 and 24, and would provide job training to hundreds of thousands of others.
Oh boy, this sounds… interesting. To start, I’ve already talked about government job training programs, but to save you from having to read another previous thing, I’ll just go ahead and address the issue. I’ll make this shorter, but if you’d like, here’s my source from the last time., from Tom DiLorenzo over at the CATO Institute.
Here’s James Bovard over at the Wall Street Journal, talking about these programs (bolding added for emphasis):
In 1962, Congress passed the Manpower Development and Training Act (MDTA) to provide training for workers who lost their jobs due to automation or other technological developments. Two years later, the General Accounting Office (GAO) discovered that any trainee in this program who held a job for a single day was counted as “permanently employed”—a statistical charade by the Department of Labor to camouflage its lack of results. A decade after MDTA’s inception, GAO reported that it was failing to teach valuable job skills or place trainees in private jobs and was marred by an “overriding concern with filling available slots for a particular program,” regardless of what trainees actually needed.
Congress responded in 1973 by enacting the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). The preface to the new law noted that “it has been impossible to develop rational priorities” in job training. So instead of setting priorities, CETA spent vastly more money, especially on job creation. Notorious examples reported in the press in those years included paying to build an artificial rock for rock climbers, providing nude sculpture classes (where, as the Pharos-Tribune of Logansport, Ind., explained, “aspiring artists pawed each others bodies to recognize that they had ‘both male and female characteristics'”), and conducting door-to-door food-stamp recruiting campaigns.
Between 1961 and 1980, the feds spent tens of billions on federal job-training and employment programs. To what effect? A 1979 Washington Post investigation concluded, “Incredibly, the government has kept no meaningful statistics on the effectiveness of these programs—making the past 15 years’ effort almost worthless in terms of learning what works.” CETA hirees were often assigned to do whatever benefited the government agency or nonprofit that put them on the payroll, with no concern for the trainees’ development. An Urban Institute study of the mid-1980s concluded that participation in CETA programs resulted in “significant earnings losses for young men of all races and no significant effects for young women.”
After CETA became a laughingstock, Congress replaced it in 1982 with the Job Training Partnership Act. JTPA spent lavishly—to expand an Indiana circus museum, teach Washington taxi drivers to smile, provide foreign junkets for state and local politicians, and bankroll business relocations. According to the Labor Department’s inspector general, young trainees were twice as likely to rely on food stamps after JTPA involvement than before since the “training” often included instructions on applying for an array of government benefits.
To recap what just happened here: years of government jobs programs, with nothing good to show for their work. All they did was lower productivity, unless it involves signing people up for welfare. Maybe that’s Bernie’s intentions.
So, besides making productivity of teenagers in the workforce go down, you’ll make it even more HARDER for an employer to hire a young teenager, like me for example. I’m 18. I’m in college. I would love to have a job. I’ve searched for a job, at many places where I knew “Oh, this’ll be easy. I’m going to get this!”, but only get an email back saying I’ve been rejected. The costs of employing a young person are going up, and with Obamacare, they’re not going down, unless the employer doesn’t cover healthcare. Remember, young people have the burden of costs under Obamacare.
Bernie, you’re just going to bleed more cash doing absolutely nothing but making the employment market worse for young people for me, and that pisses me off. You’re going to make it harder for me to work. WHY SHOULDN’T I BE PISSED OFF?
I’m doing a series on Bernie Sanders, and all of those posts can be found at this link here, which will be updated every time I finish a new part of the series.
You can find that page here: [LINK]