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We entirely agree with Bernie Sanders

Summary:
Bernie Sanders has hit the nail right on the head here. This is entirely correct: For too long, these greedy corporate CEOs have rigged the tax code, killed market competition, and crushed the lives and power of workers and communities across America.Well, OK. perhaps not entirely. But we do agree that killing market competition is a very bad idea. It’s the abnegation of everything that makes an economy work too. Sure there are problems with Bernie’s analysis:While the corporate profits that presently go to a small number of ultra-wealthy families are at or near an all-time high, wages as a percentage of our economy are near an all-time low.The American statistical system has its faults. One of which is that overseas profits earned by American corporations are included in that profits

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Bernie Sanders has hit the nail right on the head here. This is entirely correct:

For too long, these greedy corporate CEOs have rigged the tax code, killed market competition, and crushed the lives and power of workers and communities across America.

Well, OK. perhaps not entirely. But we do agree that killing market competition is a very bad idea. It’s the abnegation of everything that makes an economy work too. Sure there are problems with Bernie’s analysis:

While the corporate profits that presently go to a small number of ultra-wealthy families are at or near an all-time high, wages as a percentage of our economy are near an all-time low.

The American statistical system has its faults. One of which is that overseas profits earned by American corporations are included in that profits number but so also are US profits earned by foreign corporations and persons. This shouldn’t be so, that statistical system isn’t properly distinguishing between GDP and GNI. It’s also true that the wage share isn’t the correct part to be looking at, rather the labour share. Which is wages plus employment benefits (like pensions contributions, health care) and, crucially, taxes paid upon employment like Social Security and Medicaid. And which hasn’t dropped by anything like the amount the wage share has because those health care, pensions and Social Security contributions have been rising.

But OK, monopoly and oligarchy are leading to a less than optimal society. We’d agree that such market power is a bad idea and that more market competition will make the society a better one.

Our problem is with what comes next. Quite how nationalising the entire health care financing system - Bernie does intend to make private sector health care insurance a thing of the past - is an increase in market competition eludes us.

As with so much else that is proposed in fact. We entirely agree that setting the rules in order to foster competition is an excellent proposal. But once that’s done we don’t see how getting that ultimate monopoly, the government, to produce and provide more things improves matters.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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