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Sanders, Socialism, and the Shafted Generation


Sanders, Socialism, and the Shafted Generation

Robert Kuttner

Once again, Bernie Sanders has demonstrated, with a trifecta of big wins in Hawaii, Alaska, and Washington State, that he has broad and enthusiastic support, especially among the young. Equally astonishing is the large percentage of voters who say they are attracted rather than repelled by Sanders’s embrace of socialism.


"And if capitalism means the 1 percent making off with everything that isn’t nailed down..."

I wish that is all capitalists, the 1%, were making off with.


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Classic Kuttner damning with faint praise. Reading this piece one would think Bernie doesn't have a voter not recently out of the cradle.


Kuttner is simply echoing the Clinton campaign play book that:

1) Distracts us from the many voters of all ages supporting Bernie. A spreadsheet showing each state's average age would show that Hillary is winning states with lower average ages while Bernie is winning states with higher average ages, and

2) Exaggerates the tax increases needed to fulfill Sander's proposals. Breaking up the banks alone will free up enough taxpayers' money(that is committed to bank bailouts) to fund the first decade of Bernie's Medicare-for-All proposal.


It isn't a bad article but it is like out of a time warp ... An article from the past not the present. An article that reads like it could have been written back when Sanders was first attracting crowds not now at this late date. Kuttner says at the end that Bernie is telling the truth.

It is nearing the end of the nomination race and so Kuttner is telling the truth too... at the end.


Bernie is now on CNN from Wisconsin. It is over now, CNN said they offered to interview Hillary but she declined, she also is in Wisconsin.


Sen. Sanders is not a socialist. He is a Democrat, and clearly a capitalist today. He used to speak out powerfully about US poverty and the need for legit poverty relief programs, but now apparently agrees that our deregulated capitalism has been a success -- everyone is able to work, there are jobs for all, therefore no need for poverty relief.

We saw the efforts by liberal media to try to apply the label of "democratic socialist" to Sanders, until they were reminded that today's liberals don't support it. Democratic socialism includes a legitimate welfare system. We are the generation that have no mercy on our surplus population -- those who can't work (health, etc.) and those for whom there are no jobs.

Let's be realistic. US liberals have spent the last 20 years preaching the anti-socialist message. Popular middle class elitism is antithetical to socialism, and is a firm confirmation of support for the corporate state. Socialists would be shining a spotlight on our poverty crisis as proof of the significant short-comings of the corporate state. Liberals simply disappeared the truly poor.

Sanders must assure the public that he will protect the system that serves less than 50% of the population -- the middle class. I'd suggest dropping the silly "socialism" theme for the duration of the campaign.


Not sure why Common Dreams enables you to return daily with your LIES about Sanders.

But you LIE about Sanders. Sanders SPEAKS POWERFULLY about US poverty and the need for legit poverty relief programs.

You've been repeatedly given links and cites of Sanders' POWERFUL WORDS about poverty and the need for relief.

YOU DON'T CARE about Sanders' actual words, because YOU ARE HERE TO SPREAD LIES.


Trump and Clinton were in Wisconsin today -- lots of excitement, all the campaign hoopla one would expect of presidential candidates, with longer coverage of Trump's speech than one would expect on the local evening news. Oh yeah, and they also mentioned on the evening news (Madison) that Sen. Sanders was here today, too, someplace up north. I assume he gave a speech.

This pretty much defines campaign coverage in WI.


WTF? How is anything I've said a lie? The fact that you disagree with someone doesn't mean that that person is lying. It could just mean that you disagree. Not so incidentally, I already did vote for Sanders (early voting here).

First, let me ask if you know the difference between min. wage workers and the truly poor -- those who can't work (ill, etc.) and those for whom no jobs are available. We simply don't have jobs for all who need one, and we cut the rungs off the proverbial ladder out of poverty some 20 years ago. Nudging up the minimum wage and creating jobs is indeed positive, but it doesn't address our poverty crisis. These are two distinct issues today.

Yes, Sanders talks about "inequality" and childhood poverty, but I've found no reference to the obvious need for poverty relief programs. He notes Social Security, pensions, and mentions the need for child nutrition programs, housing assistance of some sort. Quite non-specific, none of which apply to today's truly poor. It's not possible to legitimately address our poverty crisis without restoring legitimate poverty relief programs. You can't get a job once you no longer have a home address, phone, bus fare. Sen. Sanders no longer talks about this.

Lots of links are suggested, and these do, indeed, provide for interesting reading. To understand Sen. Sanders' platform, however, go directly to the source, rather than to opinion pieces about his agenda. I recommend http://ontheissues.org/2016/Bernie_Sanders_Welfare_+_Poverty.htm. Plenty said about poverty, while evading the core issue: What should we do with the jobless poor/those who can't work? Until jobs come along, how can they survive?


It's as clear as a bell DHF and there's no one here who does not see it. You smear Sanders daily.


I was at the Seattle rally at Safeco Field. Folks from eight to eighty, all shapes and colors, all feelin' the Bern.


I am of the opinion that most effective way to address poverty (due to any number of valid reasons) is by implementing a "guaranteed annual income".

The following political parties include some form of a "guaranteed annual income" in their party platform/program:

Green Party
We call for a graduated supplemental income, or negative income tax, that would maintain all individual adult incomes above the poverty level, regardless of employment or marital status.
Source: http://www.gp.org/social_justice/#sjWelfare

Socialist Party - USA (SPUSA)
We support the provision of a livable guaranteed annual income.
Source: http://socialistparty-usa.net/platform.html (Economics)

Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL)
The minimum wage should be raised to $20 per hour and a living income must be guaranteed for those who cannot work.
Source: http://www.votepsl.org/program

Workers World Party (WWP)
Everyone can have a job at a living wage or guaranteed income for those who can’t work.
Source: http://www.workers.org/wwp/program/


Totally agree. A guaranteed income would keep people who don't wanna work out of the workforce and away from productive members of society who will actually enjoy the work they do without having to cover for moochers and listen to their constant whining.

I'm willing to pay more tax for that.

The only problem is see is the ones on the government stipend will want the same quality of life life the productive ones.


DHFabian could very well be one of those I.T. computer generated programs meant to SIMULATE a live, real poster.

The common denominator in ALL of DHFabian's post is this idea that Sanders, Liberals, or the Middle Class hate the poor. THAT is the liet motif of all of his/her posts.

Similarly, in about 35% of John Ellis' posts, the ridiculous notion that HALF the nation profits from the other half, or that HALF of wealth is in the hands of this fortunate "half" are repeated ad nauseum... in spite of frequent articles explaining that HALF of the wealth in this nation belongs to the 1%.

Then there's LRX's feigned reinforcements of Hillary Clinton.

The pro-nuclear power shills.

And on and on.

It's a full time job REFUTING the BATTERY of LIES told often here.


News bulletin: it is NOT only the young generation that has been decimated by the neoliberal forces and rightward turn of this country in the last three decades. I'm in my late 50's and have experienced flat and declining real wages, sky-rocketing health care and housing costs, unemployment and underemployment, and more. I gave up, years ago, the hope of any stable or enjoyable retirement or probably of retiring at all. The so-called "American Dream" has been nothing but a joke for me and I recognize it as a long-time myth perpetuated by the 1% who have rigged the whole system and are hording everything for themselves, with zero regard for the rest of us or for Planet Earth and the future.

Yes, I'm 57 and I am an avid Bernie supporter and know plenty of people my age, or outside of the age group you describe, who have been fighting like hell for years for progressive causes. In fact, I first voted for Bernie when he first ran for Mayor of Burlington, VT and won by just 10 votes.

During my adult life liberals/progressives have been ridiculed, marginalized, ignored by the media, and been expected to accept the pathetic "choices" we're given at election time for the least bad of the corporate-owned candidates from the two-headed monster party. I'm extremely happy to see 20-somethings (and teens) become so motivated because I truly fear for their future and understand what they are facing. I work with many in a part-time job that I have to have because my full-time job doesn't pay nearly enough (and I only took it for the health benefits...having been through one bankruptcy due to medical bills and continuing education bills....without the safety net of a Donald Dump type). I know several who are $80k to $100k in debt for school and working for $13-$15 an hour. I know many others paying over 50% of their income for housing (in all age groups, actually). They can see the corrupt and rigged game for what it is and I'm hopeful they'll continue to be active and help bring about the enormous changes that must be made for us to survive. They see through the lamestream media and they see that candidates like Hillary are part of the problem and beholden to the system that has created this plutocracy.

I'm in the fight with Bernie all the way to the convention and afterwards. Even if he does not get the nomination, his movement has to continue in order to change the Democrats, build a powerful progressive wing, keep the heat on Hillary (if she is elected) and be prepared to challenge/fight her on a regular basis, run many more progressive primary challengers to "centrist" Dems, build solid coalitions and grassroots organizations, and turn this country in a whole new direction. We are rapidly running out of time for this and I think this new generation sees it very clearly and there is an urgency in their support for Sanders that is essential.


I am getting sick of your oft repeated lie that Sanders doesn't address poverty. I'm tired of reposting the same proof that it simply isn't true.

You are not just mistaken, you're a liar and you know you're lying.


I was at last Friday's rally at the Moda Center in Portland. The crowd was mostly younger - at least 2/3rds. It was a pleasure to see.

The rally in the same venue last year had more older folk.


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