Economics/Class Relations

“The Ron Paul of the left”: Why Bernie Sanders is the cranky socialist 2016 needs

I’m not a Sanders supporter. He’s too much of a social democrat for my tastes. But it will be interesting to see if his campaign has the same effect as the Ron Paul campaign. I wrote a number of articles expressing sympathy for Ron Paul back in 2007 because I was hoping he would be a kind of “gateway” drug for many people to eventually adopt a more radical position. It happened. A lot of today’s anarcho-capitalists and “liberty movement” types will tell you they got their start in the Ron Paul movement. Ron Paul was good at attacking American foreign policy, and Sanders should be reasonably good at attacking the plutocrats/corporatists. Perhaps Sanders will also be a “gateway” drug towards more serious forms of economic radicalism

By Matthew Pulver


Sen. Bernie Sanders on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on April 15.

Liberal Democrats might be a little surprised, pleasantly so, by the nascent Hillary Clinton campaign’s flashes of progressivism. At least in the early going, she’s deploying something of a populist lexicon that is unexpected, given her close ties with Wall Street (and virtually the entire global elite, let’s be honest).She’s already floated the idea of a Constitutional amendment to make campaign finance transparent after Citizens United, and she calls out the vast disparity in the incomes of CEOs and average workers, whose incomes have not risen proportionately with increasing productivity in recent decades. It’s likely that her Wall Street pals are not thrilled with her denouncing a rigged tax code that allows hedge fund managers and other financiers to very often pay lower rates than wage earners.

But let’s not get it twisted: Secretary Clinton is not a populist. She leads all possible presidential candidates of both parties among voters from the millionaire class, according to a survey by CNBC. She is expected to amass a war chest of $1 billion, much of that sum coming from the wealthy elite with whom she’s been associated for decades.


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