Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont, has been proselytizing on the ills of the American political economy, specifically that the economy is rigged in favor of big banks and the wealthy. I wouldn’t use the word, “rigged”, because that implies that the American political economy was marketed to the average citizen as one that guaranteed some level of success.
That was never the case. Rather from its colonial beginnings, America was marketed as a place where if capital was willing to take on high risk, there would be higher returns on his capital versus had he stayed home in Europe. The system was never designed for comfort-seekers, the type of citizen that Mr. Sanders is catering to in his campaign for the Oval Office. It was designed for risk takers; the investors in the stock trading companies that opened up trading posts in the Americas with the intent of monopolizing trade routes with the blessing of their monarchs.
The other risk takers were those that bought into the marketing schemes of the trading companies that needed people to settle and work the soil in the New World. These common folk were lured by the opportunities to get rich or fell for the narrative that the New World offered haven for those seeking to practice their religion in peace.
I would be remiss not to mention my West African ancestors whose slave labor, along with the indentured servitude of my Irish ancestors, was leveraged by plantation owners to reduce risk of lost returns on their investments in the New World. These individuals would not be sharing in the gains risk takers expected.
One need not look to far for proof that the American political economy favors risk takers. Capital claims larger shares of income than labor. It is capital that fuels commercial growth after all. Also, the tax code favors entrepreneurs versus wage earners where entrepreneurs have overall a lower marginal tax rate and have access to the opportunity to write-off a larger set of expenses against their incomes.
Even if the system is rigged as Mr Sanders believes, then he should share with Americans specifically how the system is rigged and how he plans to un-rig the system. Constantly repeating that “bankers gone bad” traded high-risk securities recklessly in the financial markets and consequently got themselves a tax-payer bailout doesn’t quite move me as a proper description of the cause of a melt-down of a complex American economy.
Mr Sanders policy prescription for solving the problem of a rigged system should address the variables that, in Mr Sanders’ opinion, caused the 2008 melt down in financial markets in the first place. I honestly don’t see the Sanders campaign making this attempt. It is easier to scream rhetoric and raise campaign money than to provide a substantiated, well-reasoned analysis.