I don’t hide my Leninist identity. This means that I don’t really support bourgeois-democracy in any real capacity. To do so only reinforces capitalist oppression; everyone knows that…right? In any case, Bernie Sanders is the only sane man in Washington. This issue of The Socialist Library will be for any of our social-democrat comrades out there.
“The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of our Middle Class” is a mouthful of a title and a superb book worth a read by any disgruntled American citizen about the excess being exhibited by the bourgeois bankers, the destruction that excess visits upon the entire nation and some ways to fix the problem. The content of the book comes from an impressive eight-and-a-half-hour speech delivered by Senator Sanders on the floor of the Senate to call attention to the problems facing America.
Sanders begins the speech blasting the wealthy who demand more tax breaks so they can keep more of their money: “…it seems to me to be unconscionable…for my conservative friends to be driving up this too high national debt by giving tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires that don’t need it…(or) even want it” (Sanders 2-3). The senator later continues talking about these so-called job-creators are just that: job-creators for countries like China or Bangladesh or Vietnam, usw. I echo Sanders in wishing no harm to the fine members of the proletariat in these countries, but at the same time, American laborers cannot compete with twenty-cents a day wages.
America may have left our production days behind—much for the worst—but that does not mean every person in our country can compete effectively in the mixed economy our country has become. America left her producing jobs behind as poorer countries could do the same work for far less; that’s just good business, ask any economics major. The problem with this is that without any production jobs—that is jobs where no skill is required to at least get a decent job—those without the funds to afford the schooling for the new jobs our economy creates or without skills to succeed in the highly competitive fields are left behind. Capitalists will say that’s acceptable losses—adapt or die. This is faulty thinking. When there are people suffering in a country, even in a capitalist country, that hurts everyone. With more money in more hands, people buy more consumer products which means more money in the market which spurs competition and innovation. Make money such a scarce resource and the economy stagnates as people only buy to survive instead of to thrive. The rich are a very finite amount of people while the proletariat makes a vast amount more of the population. Get those people spending money on leisure goods because they have good jobs that afford that luxury and the economy will heal some. This could also lead to smaller local businesses which are far superior to larger companies for a number of reasons.
Sanders also believes highly in developing American infrastructure as a way to provide work for the unemployed: “We are talking about being in the midst of a major recession, where we desperately want to grow jobs, and yet this proposal does not add one cent into our infrastructure” (Sanders 135). A large chunk of the text is Sanders informing the Senate of the deplorable conditions of American infrastructure; in fact, our train services have regressed since the fifties and our bridges are falling apart. Anyone can be trained to lay track or build a bridge; it may not be glamorous work, but it is highly essential. With the amount of work needed to help American roads compete with China, that could employ a good amount of people which would put more money in the marketplace. Bringing back factories to America as well as improving our infrastructure could do much to employ the legions of unemployed. Hell, it’s worked in the past.
Sanders returns to these few points time after time in the text pounding it into the heads of the Senate and the reader each time backed up with different facts that reinforce his points.
I don’t much care for social-democracy as a means to achieve communism, but that was never its point. If all social-democrats were like Sanders, I’d be inclined to join their ranks.
Text to Take Away: “‘U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue urged American companies to send jobs overseas.’ That was in 2004…that is really patriotic. That is standing up for the United States” (Sanders 177).
Editorial Note: Text used was “The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of our Middle Class” by Senator Bernie Sanders as published by Nation Books