Corporations these days aren’t trusted any more than Congress, elites or media, even though they provide us with jobs, food, clothing, computers, you name it. Empowered by liberty and decisions by millions, they have helped make us the richest nation in the world, and right now, unemployment is going down and wages are going up. But listen, smacking the unpopular can maybe mean Oval Office occupancy, and the Democrats are coming.
The chief worry is Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist the voters seem to like more and more, though some say he is not really a socialist. A counterargument is that he is not that democratic. The peril of pundits, meanwhile, is pondering polls around the clock instead of askew philosophies.
His plan for the top corporations is to encircle them, in effect making sure shareholders don’t quite own them anymore. He wants other people voting on what is done, and he says workers need to elect 45% of those on the board of directors. He wants these workers to get a percentage of profits. He wants them to be paid off if they are replaced by technology. And he says they should also be given stock for free until they own 20% of a firm.
Sanders’ contemplative conclusion is that all corporations are corrupt and greedy, just making the wealthy wealthier, and so he is going to stick them in this socialist bag known as federal charters. Politicians, never themselves known to be corrupt, at least in numbers statisticians could keep up with, will inexpertly decide how things should be run. Corporate taxes are going to go back up where they were before President Donald Trump lowered them. The loopholes will disappear, meaning there will be no such thing as paying no taxes. Stakeholders — employees, customers and communities — will reign over the poison of profits.
The thing is, profits are good for everybody. They are what keep businesses in business and thereby proffer jobs and desired products to millions, and there is this thing called competition that keeps prices within bounds. Monopolies? Sanders sees them everywhere, and they can edge their way into being, but most do not last too long and most aren’t really monopolies. They have wily rivals. Small businesses supply half the jobs in the country and they are great, but they don’t pay as much and are more prone to go away or lay people off.
Sanders adores unions and pronounces that federal workers should have the right to strike, which is to say, they would have the right to disrupt government of, by and for the people no longer. He wants the government to be a voice in negotiations between private companies and unions. He wants to deny federal contracts to businesses that don’t have unions. When all is said and done, unions will rule. Independent contractors will be done for.
The ideological inanity in all of this is that right now the sort of worker benefits Sanders wants are happening because the authoritarian regulations he wants are not. President Trump’s tax break helped enable the highest wage increases in decades, and the deregulation and other moves helped give us the lowest unemployment seen in a half-century, as well as energy independence and a significantly declining poverty rate. The stuff about some businesses paying no taxes on profits? It’s mostly because they can write off investments and research that lead to innovations that lead to better lives that Sanders rhetorically approves of.
There are certainly issues out there, such as what can and should or should not be done about the power of tech giants, and Trump has major faults, such as the steel tariffs on allies, which have proven disastrous for us, and a debt that could be catastrophic. But the Democrats are no better on trade than he is. Their tax plans to soak the rich will be inefficient, to say the least, and not even pay for all their new spending ambitions actually increasing the debt trillions more than Trump. Sanders wants us to be more like Denmark, apparently not knowing that Denmark has an economy as free or freer than we do and a sane corporate tax practically the same as Trump kindly arranged.
Can Medicare for All keep us alive?