I’m going to put on my fiscal conservative hat here and try to convince you that class-war is a losing proposition. That in my mind means Bernie Sanders has it fundamentally wrong. That is what this post is all about.
Capitalism is doing what it is supposed to do. It’s about paying for productivity; the more productive the more pay. Yeah, bargaining power would probably help in who gets the profits but without profits no one benefits. But let’s face it those with the most desirable skill get the best wages.
It is a known fact that between 1989 and 2017 productivity in the high skill industries rose about 34% and wages rose by 26% Engineers in Silicon Valley, management jobs in Chicago are doing well it this economy. Amazon has 30,000 open positions in the U.S. but they require certain skills that have been unmet. Plainly speaking the middle class, that is with marketable skills, are doing quite well in today’s economy.
Finally, getting to Bernie Sanders. His class war story is just not a long-term way to anything successful. As David Brooks said in an oped article recently, the core problem is not of capitalists exploiting their workers, it’s really the rise of productivity inequality. It about those who don’t have the skills to remain in the middle class.
This century will see and explosive growth in technologies. If you don’t have the skills to compete in this new arena you won’t get your share of the productivity accomplished by it. If I ignore Bernie’s class war scenario, he does get it right in other areas including extending free education beyond the high school area. Another area is with healthcare for all. The goal is absolutely right. No one should die from a preventable or curable condition.
Some say that if Sanders wins the nomination that it is political suicide for the Democratic Party. I don’t really see it that way. Everything Bernie is espousing takes money and that comes solely from the legislative branch. Bernie’s goal are certainly commendable and noble but they will take time.
One thing Bernie and Elizabeth also have wrong is sticking it to the most successful capitalist enterprises. Given that I am wearing my fiscal conservative hat for this post I don’t think the solution to our problems is to punish those who do an extraordinary job. I am a loyal Amazon customer. I think they are the new paradigm in what a consumer products retailer should look like.
The real solution is not to punish success but to boost and expand productivity to more for everyone. To do that we need to provide free or low cost educational opportunities for those currently stuck in low paying jobs. But perhaps the biggest challenge in this area is to convince everyone that a high school diploma is just the starting point for preparing for joining the 21st century workforce.
Leaving it to the fundamental capitalists to fix things is by no means the answer. Even though I am wearing my fiscal conservative hat I know that unregulated capitalism a demon not a savior. It spurs greed and that is very contrary to what is needed. Yes, we should celebrate the most successful capitalist but simultaneously making sure they don’t use lobbyist to lock in their advantage.