Saturday, April 30, 2016
sanders takes minimum wage to the maximum
30 April 2016
Indianapolis -- After a thrashing in four out of five northeastern primaries that should have been far more receptive to his socialist message, Senator Bernie Sanders announced today that it was time to "get real about economic policy for America."
Sanders has long been an advocate for a national $15 an hour minimum wage. During the past month, Hillary Clinton has attempted to close the gap by supporting an ambiguous increase in the minimum wage. Sanders met the challenge with a speech at DePauw University this afternoon that had his mainly young and white audience repeatedly on its feet.
"Let's get real. Secretary Clinton has been treating America's economic policy as if she ran one of Donald Trump's roulette wheels. One day she says she supports a minimum wage of $15. The next day it's $12. The next it's $12.50. And then it's a sliding scale of $12.50 to $15.
"Einstein may have been correct that God does not play dice with the universe. But my opponent has no trouble playing dice with your economic future -- and the economic future of all Americans.
"Let's get real. Who can live on $15 an hour? No one. You would need to live in your parents' basement for the rest of your lives. So, why don't we start talking about real wages.
"Let's get real. What we need is a real living wage in America. When I am elected president, on my first day in office, I am going to sit down and issue an executive order that every American business that receives the benefit of the labor of one or more employees will be required to pay each of those honest, hard-working representatives of the people -- $100,000 each year. Payable in full on the first day of employment.
"Let's get real. No one can obtain a doctorate in comparative languages on $15 an hour. With $100,00 each year in your pocket, you will be able to stay in school as long as you like. All you will need is a part-time job in one of our many essential industries -- industries we will not allow to go extinct. Like vinyl record shops and local independent Trotskyite book stores.
"Let's get real. That's what the forces of imperialism and reaction are going to say to us. That we are a bunch of fuzzy-math intellectuals who know nothing of economics. But, you know what? You know what I'm going to tell them?
"Let's get real. The big banks have been hiding a simple truth from all of us. Washington, DC has a mint. It prints money. It's part of the executive branch.
"As president, I am going to walk over to the mint and tell the director: 'Mr. Olijar, there are a lot of hard-working people out there who cannot make ends meet. Some of them are working at two, three, maybe twenty jobs. We need to do something to give them a hand up. Here is what I want you to do. Let's crank up these presses, print lots of money, and get it to our friends out there.'
"And, you know what? He's going to do it. Or I will find someone else who will.
"Let's get real. It isn't as if there are not a lot of precedents for this type of idea. Countries I love and admire have done similar things and are the better for it.
"Che Guevara did it in Cuba. Hugo Chávez did it in Venezuela. Robert Mugabe did it in Zimbabwe. All three are lighthouses of social justice and economic prosperity.
"Let's get real. The only thing that is getting in our way of making everyone in America a member of the upper middle class is our imagination. And I assure you, there is nothing wrong with my imagination. And, if you are supporting me, you must also have a big imagination."
Following the speech, the DePauw football team stormed the podium and carried Senator Sanders three times around the stadium to the roaring standing ovation of the crowd.
Classics professor Hugh Nates remarked: "I don't think anyone has seen anything like this since Trajan's return to Rome -- complete with the donativum. Or maybe that was Joaquin Phoenix."
Just as the football squad was making its fourth pass, Jane Sanders shook him saying "Bernie. You're talking in your sleep again."