By Rich Pezzullo
I watched Bernie define Democrat Socialism and, after reflecting on his words, I consider him and his ideas dangerous.
The former mayor of Burlington is ill-equipped to deliver on his vision of recreating “the economy and government” in a manner that he considers fair.
Bernie made his goals clear, but nobody wants to really think about what he’s saying.
In Bernie’s words, he wants to use Democracy to create a government “that works for all of us and a political system that is based on one person, one vote.”
Once empowered, he seeks to embark on his vision which includes “Creating a government, an economy and a society which works for all, rather than just the top 1 percent. “
He then wants to use the power of democracy which has the mission of ” Ending the absurd inequality that exists today.”
He seeks to use one person, one vote, to decide the following issues:
– Whether it is appropriate for the top 1 percent to own more wealth than the bottom 92 percent
– Whether we think it is appropriate to have three families owning more wealth than the bottom half of the American Society
– Whether it is right for 49 percent of all the income goes to the top one percent when many people are working two or three jobs just to pay the bills.
Let’s give Bernie the benefit of thoughtful discussion. Let’s assume that with one man, one vote, it was possible to empower the government to seize the $10 million in net worth from each of the 1,200,000 households which comprise the “top 1 percent”
Assuming 120 million households in the US, that would produce about $12 Trillion in plunder to be spread about the rest of the population.
Let’s also assume that the “top 10 percent’ don’t really need this government largess and just focus on the rest.
The other 90 percent of households, they should share in the profits from the heist. That’s roughly 108 million households. Doing some “guzintas,” 108 million guzinta 12 Trillion about 111,000 times.
So, if Bernie gets the first item of his agenda passed, “Whether it is appropriate for the top 1 percent to own more wealth than the bottom 92 percent” – the top one percent would have to liquidate about 12 trillion ins assets, convert them to cash and surrender them to the government who will likely distribute $111,000 to each of the remaining 108 million households.
First of all, we know that won’t happen. The government currently spends approximately $60,000 per year in administration costs running the programs that are supposed to care for households living below the poverty level. If they just gave the money to those households, they would not be in poverty. The government will not evenly distribute the money to the remaining households.
And if they did – would those households use the money to purchase the $12 trillion in assets which were converted to cash in Bernie’s “Raid on the Rich”? Likely not, because it would only inflate the currency and drive up the cost of everything else, like we’re seeing in Venezuela today. Nobody would be happy.
Then we have to think about who would have the cash to purchase all these assets in order to distribute them to the other 90 percent. It would likely be a foreign state or foreign investors, since Bernie would have prohibited any American from having so much more than the rest.
The assets won’t disappear. They will just be owned by people other than Americans. And the spoils of plunder, distributed among the masses, will still be minuscule in purchasing power compared to the new owners.
That’s what would happen if Bernie gets his way.
So, after we realize that forced dissolution would be worse than letting the top 1 percent keep what they earned, we have to recognize that it’s not likely to happen. It’s bad policy and unrealistic. Bernie is promoting a policy which not based in economic reality, but in jealousy, covetousness and greed.
These are not the principles for which our founders shivered in Valley Forge, or bled in Monmouth, Camden and Yorktown.
These failings of character should not be the principles that define the next generation of Americans. Our founding principles have served us well enough for over two centuries. Why would we want to abandon defending liberty and the right not just to pursue happiness, but to keep whatever fruits we produce through those pursuits?
In Bernie’s world, where greed and jealousy empowered the government to seize from people who earn “too much” we would be free to work, but punished if we succeed.
I don’t like that world, and I don’t want my children to be forced to grow up in one like it.
RICH PEZZULLO is a technology specialist, retired major with the U.S. Army reserve, and a former candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 6th District