Because there are many different issues involved in this political free-for-all for the Presidency of the USA, I’m going to do a number of posts relating to the issues at hand.
I’ve been reading a lot of rants about how Sanders’ adherents seem to want everything “handed to them” and that his supporters don’t include any people who “really work for a living” (defined as primarily jobs which require hard physical labor such as farmers, factory workers, construction workers and the like).
There are a couple points of this where I believe some people don’t understand what either Senator Sanders is standing for, or what his supporters really want.
First off, to answer the main issue of supposedly people want to have things “handed to them.” I am willing to believe that there may be some small portion of the people interested in voting for Senator Sanders who do want everything just given to them. There are always those people, in ALL walks of life and of all political stances.
Farmers (and sadly also many people who own land but do no farming) receive subsidies, some of which is paid to them intentionally to ask them NOT to farm for certain things on their land. Sadly, many of the government’s subsidies are being given to wealthy farmers and agricultural super-companies, leaving the people who NEED the subsidies to go shift for themselves. The government doesn’t make it easy to track down the total amount of farm subsidies paid out in any given year (or at least I couldn’t find a total on any of the federal sites I looked at – taking a reasonable amount of time to research that information). The most clear financial amounts I could find stated a total of $27.7 billion for 2015.
Just like those farmers, the larger percentage of Sanders’ followers don’t want to be just handed money, they want to earn it. What is really going on is that many of us are extremely aware, from personal experience as well as from information from people of all walks of life, that we are not working on a level playing field.
The income and wealth inequality being discussed is NOT about the Robin Hood example that many attempt to use to simplify the negative stereotype of the kind of person who supports Senator Sanders. Most of us don’t want to “rob from the rich, and give to the poor.” The reality of the situation is that since the 1970s it has become almost impossible for someone in a lower tax bracket to move up the ladder, no matter HOW hard they work. It’s not just about the cost of education that is stopping some of us. It’s the fact that certain types of people are consistently passed-over for promotions, for being given more responsibility (even if they have proven to be far more responsible than those around them, or those given the promotions) or even for simply a cost-of-living raise.