SAN DIEGO. Unapologetic, openly socialist candidate Bernie Sanders is surrounded by controversy and kick-back these days. In the Democrat debate, he found himself playing defense against a plethora of attacks from 2020 Democrat hopefuls. Multiple moderates challenged both Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for going so far left that the election may be lost and handed to Donald Trump. America is not ready to embrace socialism.
“I get a little bit tired of Democrats afraid of big ideas, ” Sanders finally says.
Defending “big ideas” always sounds like a clever response. Unfortunately, it turns out that Sanders also has difficulty putting into action ideas that are not so big. Such hypocrisy brought about a different kind of challenge in mid-July. This time, the complaint came not from other Democratic candidates, but actual staffers for Bernie’s campaign.
In mid-July, The Hill reported that not everyone on Sanders’ campaign staff was receiving $15.00 an hour. (Sanders campaign staff fighting for $15 minimum wage he pushed nationally: report)
Such information serves as a sharp contrast to frequent Sanders rhetoric about wages.
After all, in June of this year, Sanders had spoken at a Walmart shareholders meeting, blasting the company for its wage practices:
“Walmart pays many of its employees starvation wages…Walmart can afford to pay its employees a living wage of at least $15 an hour. That is not a radical idea.”
Maybe the idea isn’t radical. However, neither was Sanders implementing the idea amongst his staffers.
When the news first broke, Sanders responded to the complaint by saying,
“We are disappointed that some individuals have decided to damage the integrity of these efforts. We are involved in negotiations. And some are individuals that have decided to damage the integrity of that process before they were concluded.”
In any event, the problem, according to Sanders, has now been fixed.
“So, I am proud that I have led the fight for a $15 minimum wage…And I’m proud that all of our workers are gonna be well paid.”
Whew!!! That was a close one!
Oh yes. There IS one small wrinkle. In order to afford the generous pay raise, many staffers’ hours must be cut. And so, whereas they may be making more money per hour, they will be making less all in all.
According to Sanders, his campaign “will limit the number of hours staffers work to 42 or 43 each week to ensure they’re making the equivalent of $15 an hour.”
Therein lies the problem with mandatory minimum wage, just one of several suggested government intrusions into the private sector. At least Bernie’s staffers kept their jobs. In the case of many small businesses, that does not happen. To afford “minimum wage” sometimes owners cut the number of employees altogether.
So, let’s add up the lessons of this inner campaign battle, “add up” being the obvious, operative words:
In his zeal to seek a presidency that will promote socialism, Sanders has provided one of the greatest examples of socialism in action! And like most “isms” which sound nice, the actual application never comes off looking quite as good!
This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious, obvious.
Bob Siegel is a weekend radio talk show host on KCBQ and a regular CDN columnist. Bob’s novel “The Dangerous Christmas Ornament” is a 2017 “Distinguished Favorite” of the Independent Press Award and the New York City Big Book Award. “About Read” lists this book as one of its Top 30 Recommended Action Adventure Books for 11-Year-Olds.