On the Senate floor last week, Bernie Sanders spelled out a 12-point plan to cure America’s economic and social ills. Needless to say the common-sense solutions fell on stony ground.
The plan sounds so sensible to me that I wonder why America’s leaders haven’t adopted it already. Surely, Bernie can’t be the only member of Congress who sees what needs to be done?
But you and I know the plan isn’t going to be adopted. Not as long as Republicans control Congress, and the One Percent control Republicans.
The plan includes:
- Repairing and building roads, bridges and other infrastructure across America
- Encouraging production of alternative energy
- Enacting tax breaks for companies that keep jobs in the US and penalties for those that ship American jobs overseas
- Encouraging membership in trade unions
- Raising the minimum wage
- Mandating equal pay for any woman who does the same job as a man
- Reforming trade policies to benefit American workers
- Making college and daycare affordable
- Expanding Social Security and nutrition programs
- Breaking up the too-big-to-fail financial institutions
- Expanding Medicare and Medicaid into a universal health insurance system
- Fixing the cockeyed tax code.
These programs would provide jobs, address income inequality, stimulate the economy, alleviate global warming, improve health care and education for all Americans, and so on.
And – hello – it would benefit the big shots as well as the rest of us. They would stand to make a bundle from all that economic activity.
I know. It’s not rocket science. It’s not complicated. And poll after poll shows the public is overwhelmingly in favor of Bernie’s suggestions.
Furthermore, President Obama has been agitating for this kind of reform ever since he was elected back in 2008.
So why are such programs never enacted in Congress these days?
The only answer I can think of is that powerful interests don’t want anything like that for America. They want cheap labor. They want a divided electorate squabbling among themselves. They want an uneducated and unhealthy underclass they can exploit.
And they have the money to buy influence in Congress and in state legislatures and to brainwash low-intellect voters .
But as long as there are folks like Bernie Sanders, there will be voices raised in protest. There will be advocates for fairness and common sense.
Is anybody out there listening?