Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Magic

Bernie Sanders grants a platitudinous interview to The New York Daily News. I’ll save you the trouble of reading the whole thing.

Imagine, if you will, the foothills of Big Rock Candy Mountain. The unicorns are prancing through lovingly tended, non-GMO fields dotted with organic milk and honey dispensers. Windmills disguised as trees are everywhere, rising above the solar panels blocking out the sun. All under the watchful eye of Uncle Bernie’s drones “that could, you know, take your nose off…”

Among other things, Senator Sanders is asked about foreign trade and it’s mentioned that his policy seems very similar to Donald Trump’s.
Sanders: Well, if he [Trump] thinks they're bad trade deals, I agree with him. They are bad trade deals. But we have some specificity and it isn’t just us going around denouncing bad trade. In other words, I do believe in trade. But it has to be based on principles that are fair. So if you are in Vietnam, where the minimum wage is 65¢ an hour, or you're in Malaysia, where many of the workers are indentured servants because their passports are taken away when they come into this country and are working in slave-like conditions, no, I'm not going to have American workers "competing" against you under those conditions. So you have to have standards. And what fair trade means to say that it is fair. It is roughly equivalent to the wages and environmental standards in the United States.
Interestingly more specific than Trump, and all the more fanciful for that. In “fairness” to American workers - as if none of those workers were also consumers - Sanders proposes to cast all economies in the mold of the United States. More accurately: He is proposing economic warfare through elimination of comparative advantage (which will only devastate the target economy).

This is nation building by other means. In "fairness" he'll have to enforce something resembling our property laws, work ethic and contract law in all those countries: Roughly equivalent to the investment, research and development infrastructure standards in the United States. The other "fair" way is to impose their culture, tools, methods and standards here.

To be “fair” about it, then, he’ll also have to force bits and pieces of American engineering and technology companies to relocate to Mexico, Vietnam and Malaysia. And maybe this will happen when he takes Wall Street down.

The Daily News makes an attempt to determine what Bernie thinks the effect would be of forcing JPMorgan, for example, to “break themselves up.” He won’t speak to the consequences (he leaves decisions about how to break up to the breakees), but I think that’s because he knows bread lines might be one of them. And he likes bread lines.

Senator Sanders says, “You can't look at politics as a zero-sum game.” No, for socialists, it’s only economics that’s a zero sum game.

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