Why the rich want to bury Bernie, the not-really-socialist


Why the Rich Want to Bury Bernie, the Not-Really-Socialist 

Sanders is fighting capitalist austerity, not capitalist rule, but austerity is ruling class policy, so the Democratic Party must stop him.

The obscene increases in wealth inequality are the desired result and true essence of austerity.”

With the corporate media united in determination to bury Bernie Sanders’ second run at the presidency – even to the point of boosting Elizabeth Warren’s candidacy, apparently in the belief that her multitudinous “plans” to regulate and tax the rich are less dangerous to the ruling class – it is critical to get a handle on just how much wealth the One Percent have amassed for themselves under both Republican and Democratic administrations. 

San Francisco City College political scientist Rick Baum’s analysis  of Federal Reserve Board data shows that the top one percent of the population has increased its share of the national wealth from 23.3% in 1989 to 31.1% in the first quarter of 2019 – a boost of over 33 percent in just a generation and a half. Meanwhile, beginning in 2014 under President Obama, the share of wealth held by the bottom 90 percent dwindled to less than that amassed by the One Percent for the first time since 1989.

The top one percent has increased its share of the national wealth by 33 percent in just a generation and a half.”

The neoliberal policies imposed by both halves of the corporate electoral duopoly over the last 30 years have been highly profitable to the top 1%, and especially to the billionaire class, whose ranks have increased from 55 in 1989  to 412 in 2012,the mid-point of Barack Obama’s presidency, to 609 in 2018 . Baum’s stats show the “average person in the top 1% holds net wealth that is worth 1,200 times the net wealth of an average person among the poorest 50% of the U.S. population.” 

Possibly even more disturbing, is that the top one-tenth of one percent (.1%) of the population —  households making $2.757 million a year  — now number almost 200,000 families, a cohort big enough to create and inhabit a large and coherent social world of its own. From their rich enclaves in every state of the country, this formidable “base” of truly wealthy folks effectively dictate the politics of their regions for the benefit of themselves and the oligarchs at the top of the pyramid. 

“The billionaire class has increased from 55 in 1989 to 412 in 2012.”

In the face of such metastasizing wealth, Baum concludes that the impact on the degree of inequality of Elizabeth Warren’s proposed 2 percent tax on the holdings of the rich over $50 million “would presumably be minimal.” He’s right. And that’s why Warren can truthfully claim that she remains a “capitalist to my bones .” Warren shares other campaign pledges with Bernie Sanders, who claims to be a socialist in the Scandinavian (non)sense of the word. Sanders and Warren would both tax the rich to create free or cheaply affordable “social goods” in the form of health care, education, housing and income supports, so that even those without wealth — which effectively means at least half  of Black America – can lead dignified lives. 

Sanders’ “socialism” is no threat to the rule of capital, or to the 200,000 multimillionaire families – except for grossly overpaid doctors and pharmaceutical and insurance executives that might be wiped out by Medicare for All. But even enactment of the full Sanders wish list would leave the oligarchs owning the commanding heights of the economy, and free to gobble up as much more of the national assets as they wish. The reason the ruler’s have decreed “anybody but Bernie” is that Sanders’ (and to a lesser perceived degree, Warren’s) campaign proposals challenge the austerity regime that has been relentlessly erected since the 1970s precisely to set American workers and the whole capitalist world on a Race to the Bottom, in which each year brings lower living standards and more insecurity to the population at large. The obscene increases in wealth inequality are the desired result and true essence of austerity, which is designed to force working people to be happy to take any job, at any wage, under any conditions because, in the words of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan’s mentor, “There is no alternative.”

“Sanders’ and Warren’s campaign proposals challenge the austerity regime that has been relentlessly erected since the 1970s.”

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