Hillary Clinton has written a new book, What Happened. Apparently, she blames everyone but herself for losing the election. Her circular firing squad is not helpful.
Two recent polls have shown that Bernie Sanders is by far the most respected politician in America. He articulates an economic message whereas Hillary could not. Californians got it. The vice chair of the California Democratic Party is Daraka Larimore-Hall. He told me recently that its platform is “almost identical to Bernie’s platform.” And where California leads, America follows.
The numbers confirm that Bernie’s message regarding economic injustice is correct. Nothing trickles down. It all gushes up. Credit Suisse is a respected Swiss bank. Every year it publishes a Global Wealth Report. Here is the net worth of your typical Joe Blow:
Switzerland $244,002 5.43x
Australia $162,815 3.62x
Norway $135,012 3.00x
Japan $120,493 2.68x
U.K. $107,865 2.40x
Italy $104,105 2.31x
France $99,923 2.22x
Canada $96,664 2.15x
Denmark $52,279 1.16x
U.S.A. $44,977 1.0
What?!? Americans are supposed to be the richest people in the developed world, not the poorest!
Granted, Switzerland is unusual. But Canada is certainly comparable with America. So if Republican policies and Reaganomics are such a good idea, why is the typical Canadian more than twice as rich as the typical American?
Now you understand why I canvassed door-to-door for Bernie Sanders. He wanted you and Joe Blow to have more than $44,977. Hillary was perfectly happy with $44,977. In fact, she wanted even less. She pushed for the pro-corporate, anti-consumer Trans-Pacific Partnership (until forced to abandon it by Donald Trump). Trump pretended to want more than $44,977 for you, but it was all lies, of course.
In fairness, Trump was partly right. The system is indeed “rigged.” America’s staggering inequality is truly at Third World levels. The top 1 percent have grabbed far too much of America’s wealth. Trump claimed he would fix it. But the Republicans’ tax plan will simply continue the same failed policy of tax cuts for the wealthy. There is not the slightest evidence that this policy has succeeded. The evidence is the exact opposite. Some is now under your nose.
The numbers prove that your money has been siphoned away by Reaganomics and other Republican policies for 35 years. This is socialism for the wealthy. In contrast, these other countries have enjoyed the benefits of democratic socialism.
At the mention of the dreaded word “socialism,” old people panic (though young ones do not). What about Soviet Russia, East Germany, Venezuela, etc., etc.? Calm down. I do not advocate full-blown socialism.
Consider gold. Pure gold is soft and unusable, but an alloy strengthens it. I advocate Sanders-style democratic socialism as an alloy to strengthen the pure gold of free enterprise. The so-called “free market” must have responsible adults in charge, working for the common good, not pirates free to empty your wallet.
There is a conspicuous omission in this list. What about Germany? Germany’s median wealth is $42,833 as opposed to $44,977 here. But Germany lost 20 years recovering from WWII and was not reunited until 1990. Germany’s median personal wealth is now steadily rising, unlike America’s, since it has a far higher percentage of workers in labor unions. German workers do not feel cheated.
Finally, note that Credit Suisse has produced this Wealth Report for many years. Its findings are routinely cited in The Economist magazine. We focused on Median Personal Wealth for 2016. This is accumulated wealth (“stash”) as opposed to income. This includes home equity, possessions, savings, 401Ks, etc. The “median” is used by realtors to show the price of a typical house. Half the numbers are above it, half below. A few pricey mansions do not skew the central tendency.
Instead of reading Hillary’s pitiful screed, I shall read another new book, Fantasyland, by Kurt Andersen. It explains how Americans became such suckers. And it may even explain why they are so ignorant about economics, even though economics is the key to winning elections. Hillary’s own husband, Bill, said it best: “It’s the economy, stupid!”