The dream of socialism is alive in Bernie Land.
The Washington Post reported Monday that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is soon to roll out a plan that would guarantee every American a job—with benefits—starting at $15 an hour.
From the Post's Jeff Stein:
Sanders joins two other rumored 2020 Democratic presidential contenders who have expressed support for the idea of a jobs guarantee. The push reflects a leftward move in the party's economic policy, away from President Barack Obama's use of public-private partnerships or government incentives to reshape private markets and toward an unambiguous embrace of direct government intervention.
Job guarantee advocates say their plan would drive up wages by significantly increasing competition for workers, ensuring that corporations have to offer more generous salaries and benefits if they want to keep their employees from working for the government. Supporters say it also would reduce racial inequality, because black workers face unemployment at about twice the rates of white workers, as well as gender inequality, because many iterations of the plan call for the expansion of federal child-care work.
Sounds fantastic. While the Sanders camp has yet to say where funding for this campaign will come from, we could just take it from, say, Mark Zuckerberg, who is worth an estimated $61 billion alone. Of course, this is America, where taxing the rich is considered government overreach but taxing the poor is considered character-building, so we should probably leave Zuckerberg with a cool billion dollar allowance that he can spend on all the VR headsets he wants. And by "Mark Zuckerberg," I mean Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and everyone else on this list.
Bernie's plan, of course, will never happen with Republican control of Congress (nor would it have under a Clinton administration, for that matter), but I'm not sure why this should be considered so goddamn radical. There is plenty of work to be done to make this country more livable, including overhauling our crumbling infrastructure, converting our energy system from one based on fossil fuels to one based on renewables, and caring for the huge number of aging baby boomers who will soon require spoon-feeding, diaper-changing, and even more help updating of their iPhones. And it's not like the U.S. hasn't had major job-building projects like this before—for instance, the New Deal. But, of course, all Republicans and moderate Democrats have to do is yell "ACK!! SOCIALISM!!!" and this plan will be dead before it even gets read. Still, gotta hand it to Bernie: Dude will not stop trying to turn us into Copenhagen. Vieren op opwaarts!