Democratic Presidential Debate:  The Check is in the Mail

The first Democratic Presidential Debate concluded this evening. If ever you wanted proof that inequality was going to be a top issue for this presidential election, this evening you saw it.  I suggested, some months ago, that inequality was going to be a major topic of debate in the run up to this election year.  See  Piketty’s Ghost Haunts Standard and Poor’s Report on Income Inequality, from August 2014. 

America now has its own “Corbynite” moment with Bernie Sander.  He is America’s response to the UK’s Jeremy Corbyn, who is the unelectible opposition leader of the Labour Party (democrats).  We heard this evening the infallible voting advice: If you want free education, or higher (minimum) wages, or more redistribution, come out and vote for the democrats (and Sanders) at the election. The only funding guidelines, across the panel, was to soak the rich in more taxes.  There was mention of more medical and healthcare services, more education, more social services, more, more, more.  I am looking forward to giving up work in fact it seems so good. 

The facts are that quantitative easing (QE) has made the rich richer – we know this.  See Central Banks are making the rich richer.  But this was the recieved wisdom by supporters of the current administration, as well as the republicans.  It was not the selfishness of the big banks that caused the chaos that led to the crisis. It was triggered more by polices, some years in the past, that encouraged socialist behavior and the lowering of standards to permit more people that could not afford a home, to buy one – as if home ownership is a right. Selfishness was present in many folks – including bankers. But bankers behaved quite logically, as did the poor that were given the chance to “move up”. They didn’t know it was not the right choice.  And that was the failings of our politicians – left and right.

Now the world is about to be asked to sit quietly while the American people decide our fate. If the Democrats take the white house, and the Republicans continue to control the house and senate, we will have continued gridlock. If the Democrats sweep all three branches, we may well focus on the greatest financial and economic rebalance and redistribution in history, and shift to the left that goes with it.   If Republicans sweep the lot, we may have a “go for broke” growth-sprint. We need more than gridlock for sure – but can unfunded and unrealistic Democratic promises, like those we heard tonight for every voting block, really be credibly believed?  Will the wider population fall for that stuff?  Surely not.

I heard more arguments for more regulation.  I heard not one argument to reduced government, less regulation, and more freedom.  

I thought Hilary Clinton was slippery and smart. I found Bernie “Corbynite” Sanders disingenuous as if unbridled, unfunded promises could win elections. I felt Martin O’Malley was credible and effective – perhaps a good democratic VP. I did not find much “debate” however, just defining differences in policy.  What about discsussing the policies?  It was all just too “pandering” for my liking.

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