By Bernie Sanders, June 28, 2016
Surprise, surprise. Workers in Britain, many of whom have seen a decline in
their standard of living while the very rich in their country have
become much richer, have turned their backs on the European Union and
a globalized economy that is failing them and their children.
And it’s not just the British who are suffering. That increasingly
globalized economy, established and maintained by the world’s
economic elite, is failing people everywhere. Incredibly,the wealthiest 62 people on this planet own as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population — around 3.6 billion people. The top 1 percent now owns more wealth than the whole of the bottom 99 percent. The very, very rich enjoy unimaginable luxury while billions of people endure abject poverty, unemployment, and inadequate health care, education, housing and drinking water.
Could this rejection of the current form of the global economy happen in
the United States? You bet it could.
my campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, I’ve
visited 46 states. What I saw and heard on too many occasions were
painful realities that the political and media establishment fail
even to recognize.
the last 15 years, nearly 60,000 factories in this country have
closed, and more
than 4.8 million well-paid
manufacturing jobs have disappeared. Much of this is related to
disastrous trade agreements that encourage corporations to move to
Despite major increases in productivity, the
the median male worker in America today is making $726 dollars less than he did in 1973, while the median female worker is making $1,154 less than she did in 2007, after adjusting for inflation.
Nearly 47 million Americans live in poverty. An estimated 28 million have no health insurance, while many others are underinsured. Millions of people are struggling with outrageous levels of student debt. For perhaps the first time in modern history, our younger generation will probably have a lower standard of living than their parents. Frighteningly, millions of poorly educated Americans will have a shorter life span than the previous generation as they succumb to despair, drugs and alcohol.
Meanwhile, in our country the top one-tenth of 1 percent now owns almost as much
wealth as the bottom 90 percent. Fifty-eight percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent. Wall Street and
billionaires, through their "super PACs,“ are able to buy elections.
On my campaign, I’ve talked to workers unable to make it on $8 or $9 an hour; retirees struggling to purchase the medicine they need on $9,000 a year of Social Security; young people unable to afford college. I also visited the American
citizens of Puerto Rico, where some 58 percent of the children live in poverty and only a little more than 40 percent of the adult population has a job or is seeking one.
be clear. The global economy is not working for the majority of
people in our country and the world. This is an economic model
developed by the economic elite to benefit the economic elite. We
need real change.
we do not need change based on the demagogy, bigotry and
anti-immigrant sentiment that punctuated so much of the Leave
campaign’s rhetoric — and is central to Donald
J. Trump’s message.
We need a president who will vigorously support international
cooperation that brings the people of the world closer together,
reduces hypernationalism and decreases the possibility of war. We
also need a president who respects the democratic rights of the
people, and who will fight for an economy that protects the interests
of working people, not just Wall Street, the drug companies and other
powerful special interests.
need to fundamentally reject our “free trade” policies and move
to fair trade. Americans should not have to compete against workers
in low-wage counties who earn pennies an hour. We must defeat the
Trans-Pacific Partnership. We must help poor countries develop
sustainable economic models.
need to end the international scandal in which large corporations and
the wealthy avoid paying trillions of dollars in taxes to their
need to create tens of millions of jobs worldwide by combating
by transforming the world’s energy system away from fossil fuels.
need international efforts to cut military spending around the globe
and address the causes of war: poverty, hatred, hopelessness and
notion that Donald Trump could benefit from the same forces that gave
the Leave proponents a majority in Britain should sound an alarm for
the Democratic Party in the United States. Millions of American
voters, like the Leave supporters, are understandably angry and
frustrated by the economic forces that are destroying the middle
this pivotal moment, the Democratic Party and a new Democratic
president need to make clear that we stand with those who are
struggling and who have been left behind. We must create national and
global economies that work for all, and not a handful of
Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont, is a candidate for the Democratic
Source: The New York Times.
JG: Poor, poor United States! The forces of worldwide capitalism and globalization have totally destroyed what used to be a great nation. The worst is yet to come. People screwing people! Capitalism in just three words.