|Socialist Sanders Versus The Don|
|Like Always The Swing States Decide (click to enlarge)|
Much of Sander's appeal comes from his promises he can deliver a more just society by transferring wealth to those embracing his long-held socialistic values. This highlights a glaring weakness in the democratic system, and that is, a highly motivated minority can overwhelm an unmotivated majority. History shows the promises of generous programs have proven to be a great motivator. It does not hurt that Sanders comes across as sincere and passionate. Those wielding the power to bring about change are often sheltered from the pain inequality and a broken justice system cause. This means they are out of touch with what many people are forced to go through every day. Because of this, the thorny problems of the day become a low priority. Sanders on the other hands seems to relish the challenge of attacking these issues.
The reality that a vast majority of people face diminishing prospects is a concerning trend. This was highlighted by the IMF in a report focused on data showing how middle-income households have continued to move downward. The U.S. middle class has never recovered after being “hollowed out” when manufacturing jobs fled America and incomes fell. Current trends indicate the "equality gap" is not expected to narrow in the future. This comes at a time when the American worker is being told robots are here and more are being deployed each day. this means millions of jobs will soon vanish due to automation, This is a huge threat and could prove to be a big deal. Growing income inequality is not just an American problem but it is an issue across the globe and no magic or silver bullet exists to address the conundrum brought about by this concentration of power and wealth.
|A More Recent Chart Hard To Find! click to enlarge|
Trump's trickle-down economics and tax cuts may sound good but they have not worked for all of America. Trump is very comfortable with economic manipulation and has displayed a surprisingly short-term view in his economic policies. This means he often appears more worried about today than the future. His "damn tomorrow" attitude is reflected in deficit spending, his calls for lower interest rates, and by embracing MMT. The Trump economy which is based on huge deficit spending can only take the economy so far and carries with it a fair amount of negatives. Trump's delusion that his stock market can go straight up forever is not based on years of stock trading but rather his years in real estate where inflation treated him well as prices rose ever higher.
The structural issues that haunt America's competitiveness and far outweigh the benefits of lower taxes. If you are one of the many Americans that pay no taxes this subject only means the government will have less to transfer your way. Healthcare remains a huge issue for most voters and Trump's failure to move healthcare reform forward coupled with Republicans' pathetic excuse for an answer to improve healthcare was short of inspiring. While Trump predicted that Democrats will own ObamaCare if it falls apart reality may not support his view. A recent poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows a majority of voters, 61 percent said they now blame Trump and Republicans for “future problems” with the healthcare law.
Trump's narrative that tomorrow will be brighter is not being heard everywhere, in fact, some people are downright fearful of where he is taking the country. Many Americans balk at the idea their children will enjoy a better life partly because the system has become so unfair. Moreover, a slew of important emotionally charged issues such as immigration and climate change are still being ignored. In fact, Trump often shows a lack of respect and mocks those concerned about these matters In addition to exorbitant healthcare America has a broken justice system that it is both expensive and often unjust. As more Americans retire and become dependent on government anxiety will continue to grow. Also, there is the issue of continuing expensive wars, something Trump pledged to end, not only has he failed to do so but he seems to agitate and inflame discontent where ever he goes.
Just like in the previous elections voters should be prepared to be given a less than inspiring choice for a President to lead us forward. Even though he has been acquitted on impeachment charges Trump still has a reputation of being a schmuck which is something he most likely not be able to shake. Expect both these men to be supported by motivated bases with demographics favoring the Democrats but it is the disaffected independents that will decide this election. Do not be surprised if the decision comes down to who these independents dislike the least, at this point, it is a toss-up. The argument that socialism doesn't work and that all countries that have attempted to institute it have miserably failed may not be enough to turn voters away from seeking new answers.
While I have strong reservations as to the argument Sanders can trump the Don I must say Sanders is clearly shining a spotlight on growing inequality and the unrest bubbling beneath the surface. If Sanders can tap into this feeling it may become more about a kinder more compassionate America than socialism or Trump. This means watching how women and the elderly weigh in. Whether Sanders could win the election without increasing polarization and hatred is questionable but it would be wise for those in power not to get overly comfortable or to underestimate the resentment brewing under the surface.
Footnote; This is an exercise based on Sanders becoming the Democratic party nominee. It should be noted this has not yet occurred. A big wildcard in the 2020 election would be a third party candidate drawing off just enough votes to spoil everyone's plans. Remember 1992 and Ross Perot!.