Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sanders and your Rights

I have heard it said that we the people are entitled to specific rights and privileges. I have also heard it said that we reside in the wealthiest nation in the world. I was also paying attention to when the good Reverend Wright said “God damn America.” I say all three of these statements are the truth, and we are a piss poor nation. We cannot get over ourselves, we cannot step back from any potential problems and see what is best for business, not just what is best for us personally.

Lower taxes are great for most on a personal level, but in the larger picture of how our economy works, not so good for the societal level. Unless you subscribe to the Modern Monetary Theory that is. Now this subject has been hashed out on this blog before, what rights and privileges should we the people have, and I want to revisit it again. We have a presidential candidate, running in the primary, who seems to feel that maybe there should be more rights, and he is right.

FDR's plan, the Second Bill of Rights, was the start of a massive idea. One that would have taken decades of work, that would have changed the landscape of our once shining nation. Of those the right to work if wanted, the big three (food, clothing, leisure), to be free of monopolies (too big to fail), housing, medical care, our Social Security, and the right to be educated. He saw these things, and others as needing to be protected, and believed that the Bill of Rights we know and love were lacking. For Sanders part, he sees parts of FDR's Second Bill of Rights as being needed now more than ever, regardless of the “cost”.

Again, he is right, Sanders is spot on. You might not be able to see it right now, as people didn't see it when FDR made the speech, the push for these rights and more. But Sanders is lacking, not because his ideas will not work, I doubt we have heard everything he wants to push for, but because they currently do not go far enough. Yeah, a Democratic Socialist in America is not going to be far enough for another Socialist in America.

We agree enough that I see him as the best person for the job at the moment. I agree with his policies enough to vote for him, rather than vote for lessor of two evils. But lets be honest about Sanders, in terms of being a Democratic Socialist, he is pretty moderate. He runs against the grain of this nation, one extreme against the other. But I can live with that, because I believe that if he manages to get a quarter of his plan going, people will see that we can do so much better than we are, and we can go further, without loosing that which makes this country what it is.

So, where does Sanders lack in his plan for a revised Second Bill of Rights, as of today. That leaves housing for a start. The American Dream (or nightmare depending on how badly you got butchered in 07-08), the ability to own a home of your own. Now, as previously stated this does not mean a mansion, or a castle. It could be something small as an apartment, or a mobile home (a trailer if you will). I would go as far as to say even a camper can be a home, if you want it to be. Its not the best of places to live, but when faced with under a bridge, a park bench, or a tent, a camper is a hell of an upgrade. Housing for its part is the easiest thing to remedy, with something like three to seven vacant homes for every homeless person in the US. Of course, owning a home is not cheap. You have upkeep, utilities, taxes, and other incidentals. Who wants to live in a house without a couch, chairs, a table, etc?

But Sanders has in essence laid the groundwork for that. He is pushing for a “living wage”, a minimum wage of $15 an hour. Of course, prices will instantly sky rocket, that new earning power will be sucked dry before it even hits the bank account of the earner. But will it, given he wants to break down the big banks? Yes, he says too big to fail is too big to exist, and he wants to cut down the big banks, but what happens should he start taking down others, like Wal-Mart? Let me ask you this, what happens when Wal-Mart comes to town? Small companies cannot compete, they go under. What happens when Wal-Mart leaves town? We shall see, as Wal-Mart is leaving some 260 stores, closing them down. And not because of wages.

So, Sanders for his part wants a better minimum wage, which if prices do not skyrocket, will afford people the ability have a chance to be secure in the big three, the ability to own a home (or comfortably rent). He wants tuition free college, and that will certainly improve earnings for those who take part. A Single Payer system (Medicare for all) will drive down earnings, but a severe illness, or injury will not bankrupt you.

So, when it comes to housing, that leaves the other things. Have you gone without your utilities recently? Say in the last two months? Without power/gas/water you can be evicted from your home. Depending on locality you can be forcibly removed in less than 48 hours. If you think I am full of it, call your local Health services to verify this. At this point, I am going to say that these are rights, if not outright free, at extremely affordable levels. Do you know why I have become such an advocate of green technology? Part of it is my desire to protect the environment, but the other is the ability for me to live comfortably on the cheap, after an initial chunk of spending.

You see, to make money or save money it requires spending money. But that is for another day. The easiest way to make utilities cheap is to completely upgrade our homes, make them more efficient, to go green. This is also the best of many worlds. Think about it. One, you have to have man power to do the work. They work, they get paid, more people working, wages naturally increase. Utility bills decrease because people are then using more efficient heating/cooling and appliances. Some people might even elect (and I would be on top of that list) to using solar gathering windows to generate power, my Mom wants a wind turbine, others who have streams, creeks or a river on their property line might elect to use water power. That is two or those worlds, I just spoke of. People working, cheaper power bills.

But for now, I am going to leave it at that. Consider this