My Thoughts for May 3rd, 2015 

In all my wildest dreams, I never thought Bernie would do it; run against Hillary Clinton.  I love Bernie because he stands up for the middle class, the homeless, and a government of the people.  He’s an independent.  I love that about him, too.  But he’s missing the most important thing today in American politics: MONEY. 

He ran for Mayor of Burlington, Vermont several times before he won and became Mayor of Burlington in 1981.  The Vermont citizens loved him because he was genuine, honest, and straight forward.  He was elected three more times. 

In 1990 his state sent him to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served sixteen years.  Sanders received 56% of the votes and became the first independent in 40 years to be elected to congress. He has been popular with his constituency year after year, always receiving large margins of the vote.

Bernie calls himself a socialist but worked many years with liberal Democrats.  He opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq but did support vote for a non-binding resolution expressing support for the troops in Iraq.  Recently, he defined himself in more moderate terms as a Democrat Socialist. 

He defines our present day government as being run by money interests that compete against each other in elections but both have little concern for the middle-class or that the middle-class is fast disappearing.  Bernie believes we should strengthen our middle-class, which would result in everyone getting a fair share of the wealth of our nation; not just the 1% at the top who take home 90% of the income in our country.  He believes big money has corrupted our politics and that corporations are too interested in profits for only their shareholders. 

You know, I think he has a point.  I know this because in my classes at USC, we were taught that a corporation’s only duty is to their shareholders. It was stressed that corporations were to maximize profits for the stockholders, period. This got me to thinking about NAFTA and the pending TPP trade agreement now being negotiated.

NAFTA, for those of you that don’t remember, is the North American Free Trade Agreement and was an agreement signed by Canada, Mexico, and the United States. It was initialed in 1992, by our President George H.W. Bush but signing and implementation passed to Bill Clinton.  President Clinton claimed it would provide jobs American jobs, “good paying American jobs.”  Labor unions claimed it cost the middle-class over 700,000 jobs, which mostly went to Mexico.  I guess when Clinton said “American jobs” he wasn’t talking necessarily about U.S. jobs. 

The fact is NAFTA was a trade agreement between big corporations; tariffs were eliminated, Mexican truckers were allowed to travel on U.S. highways without having to get a U.S. license, Intellectual property was to be protected. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce credits the agreement for increasing U.S. trade with Canada and Mexico to over a trillion; a big plus for the rich at the expense of blue collar and farmworkers. 

Today, President Obama wants to fast track the TPP agreement with 12 different nations.  How will this agreement help our blue collar and farm workers?  We don’t know because our President will not discuss what’s in the agreement.  (To me, that’s a bad sign.) The Republicans are for it, (Another bad signal) and the Democrats kind of oppose it.  As Bernie Sanders claims, the bantering back and forth between Democrats and Republicans is nothing more than a fight between two groups that are both too rich.  These trade agreements maybe good for the world economy but in the U.S. they seem to help only the rich.  Maybe Bernie is right, “We need to be more like Scandinavian countries.”  I say, BERNIE FOR PRESIDENT!

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