Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

How Tuition-Free College Education Hurts Young People

Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren recently proposed the College for All Act, which promises to make public universities free for most students. A similar bill just became law in New York, and support is building for tuition-free public universities in other states as well.

Unfortunately, the senators’ proposal would hurt the very Millennials it aims to help, by reducing economic growth. Median wages have stagnated for decades precisely because of the mismatch between the skills workers have and those businesses need. So while wages in some sectors — for example, the IT industry — continue to rise, young people without marketable skills are being left in the lurch.

This includes many college graduates. While defenders of college-for-all proposals point out that a college degree improves a graduate’s lifetime earnings in the aggregate, not all majors are created equal. According to a new paper by Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, over half of graduates in many liberal-arts majors work a job they don’t need their degree for. The problem isn’t just that too many students seek a degree in an obscure subject, either; it’s that too many graduates lack the ability to think critically or write clearly. In a recent survey, only 39 percent of managers said that students were ready for the work force.

Read more at National Review 

Bernie Is Blind to Compassion without Compulsion

During the confirmation hearings for Representative Tom Price’s appointment as Health and Human Services Secretary, Bernie Sanders took aim at Price’s claim that America is fundamentally compassionate. “No, we are not a compassionate society … In terms of our relationship with poor and working people, our record is worse than virtually any other country on earth,” the junior senator from Vermont claimed.

On 2016’s doozy of a campaign trail, Bernie Sanders focused his attention less on societal values and virtues — whether, for instance, we as a whole people act virtuously or otherwise — and much more on the size and scope of government programs and regulations. But the question of whether Americans act compassionately is distinct, and one Sen. Sanders gets wrong. Americans as private moral individuals are rife with the virtue of compassion. And this is not in spite of our wealth and relative freedom, as some might suggest, but because of it.

Sen. Rand Paul, for his part, addressed Sanders’ claim with statistics. At $400 billion dollars in 2014, and similar numbers annually, private individuals and organizations donated more than the GDP of many nations. Paul then compared that figure with “socialized” countries of the sort Sen. Sanders often professes a desire to emulate.

Here, Paul was plainly defining compassionate behavior as something individual moral agents display. The compassion of America is displayed through the generous actions of people. The paradigmatic case of this is in people like Bill and Melinda Gates, whose charitable foundation has received billions of dollars from the couple.

Continue reading at FEE.

Business and Government: A Regulatory Love Affair

Corporations love regulations—and so do politicians from both political parties. Big firms can allocate resources such as personnel and capital to work through complex regulations, but small firms cannot. The reason so many companies have headquarters in Washington, DC is because it is where political profit is made by lobbying the government instead of providing a service to consumers. In the realm of political profit, the company with the most money, lobbyists, and connections wins, and small businesses and consumers are left to fend for themselves in the “free market.” Regulations are used by big corporations and politicians at the expense of consumers and small businesses.

Corporations use regulations to retain and expand their market share in their industry. Politicians pass regulations at the behest of corporations and get rewarded with campaign contributions. For example, Dodd-Frank was viewed harshly by the banking community, but has it really been so bad for them? Since the implementation of Dodd-Frank, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of small independent banks; over 800 independent banking institutions closed from 2007 to 2013. In an economic brief conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond titled Explaining the Decline in the Number of Banks since the Great Recession, economists found:

New [bank] entries are more likely when there are fewer regulatory restrictions. After the financial crisis, the number of new banking regulations increased with the passage of legislation such as the Dodd-Frank Act. Such regulations may be particularly burdensome for small banks that are just getting started.

In another paper titled Reforming the Regulation of Community Banks After Dodd-Frank, economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis found:

If the patterns of consolidation continue and community banks are forced to merge, consolidate, or go out of business because of the cumulative regulatory burden, one result will be an even greater concentration of assets on the books of the “too big to fail” banks.

Even Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders admit that Dodd-Frank has failed by lamenting how “too big to fail” banks are bigger than when the recession began. Their flawed solution, however,  is to fix failed regulation with more regulations.

Regulations increase the cost to produce goods and services, and those costs are passed onto the consumer. Increases in regulation also strangle innovation. Why open a small business when there are thousands of regulations on the federal code? The Small Business Association’s website cites advertising, marketing, labor, employment laws among several others that must be followed before starting one’s business.

The more cost it takes to open a business, the more risk. And the more risk, the less people are going to open businesses and innovate. That is why corporations and politicians love regulations, because it keeps competitors out and protects their market shares. All to the detriment of small businesses and consumers.

No Need to Change Gun Manufacturers Liability

The Democratic primary has become increasingly antagonistic over the past few months, with Hillary Clinton continually lambasting Bernie Sanders for his support of immunity for gun manufacturers.

These repeated attacks have caused Sanders to abandon what was perhaps the only moderate plank of his candidacy, with the Vermont Senator reversing his position earlier this month.

But gun manufacturers can already be sued if they are at fault. There is no blanket immunity, and claims to the contrary only make sensible gun reforms more difficult.

Parents of the Sandy Hook victims are currently suing gun manufacturer Remington Arms, for their production of a firearm used by shooter Adam Lanza. Their argument is that manufacturers like Remington should be held responsible when their firearms are used for illegal—and often tragic—purposes.

This debate carries important implications for what liability truly means.

At the center of the debate is the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which Senator Sanders supported and then-Senator Clinton opposed in 2005.

For Clinton, this is proof she has stood up to the “gun lobby,” while Sanders has given the NRA free-reign.

The truth is less black and white.

Read the full article at Townhall.

Actually Bernie, Markets, Not Socialism, Promote Kindness

Bernie Sanders’ success is remarkable. He may be behind in delegates, but he remains competitive in a two-horse primary race, despite being an avowed socialist who has made denouncing capitalism central to his campaign.

In the last Democratic Party debate, Sanders even refused to disavow the Castro regime in Cuba, after video surfaced of a younger Sanders praising Cuba’s “revolution of values,” and how the Cuban people were working for the common good, rather than just themselves.

Sanders does not favor political oppression, but he clearly prefers Cuba’s collectivist approach over the greed he thinks comes from competitive markets.

He may be surprised to learn that, far from creating selfishness, markets actually promote kindness and a respect for the lives of our fellow man.

Read the rest on FEE, here.