U. S. Senator Bernie Sanders – millionaire, socialist and hypocrite – was on his high horse this past week in a column he wrote for The Guardian, the left-leaning British newspaper. The man who reportedly owns three houses was complaining about income and wealth inequality, his favorite topic.
“While the working class falls further behind, multibillionaires like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are off taking joyrides on rocket ships to outer space, buying $500 million super-yachts and living in mansions with 25 bathrooms,” he wrote.
Bernie was in London on Wednesday to join striking British workers at a trade union rally to deliver the same old message: greed is bad, billionaires are worse. We aren’t sure if he shared the number of bathrooms he has in his many residences, but his speech is a familiar one.
And, by the way, who paid for that junket?
Yes, there are people in this wealthy country of ours who wonder where their next meal is coming from. And my heart – and sometimes my pocketbook – goes out to them. Still, a part of me wonders how many have responded to the thousands of “help wanted” signs that have sprung up around the country? And how many have been sitting home since the pandemic waiting for another government handout?
If things are so bad here, why are thousands of people entering the U. S. illegally each day to seek a better life?
Bernie also pointed out that the U. S. has “the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any developed nation on Earth.” You would think the U. S. Congress has the power to do something about that. If they can direct money to “pork” that help keeps them in office, they can help starving families bring home the bacon.
Congress must tread lightly, however, to avoid turning our country into a place where everyone expects to be taken care of by others. If feels like Bernie would love that — if he could figure out who the “others” are after all the wealth in the U. S. has been redistributed.
I don’t care that Jeff Bezos is worth $154 billion. I do care that he gave away $10 billion in 2020 to support nonprofits involved in the climate crises. I also care that Amazon employs 1.6 million people around the world, bringing in 500,000 workers in 2020. And that the average Amazon salary is $64,805, compared to the $15 an hour campaign workers received when they worked for Bernie back in 2019.
How many jobs has Bernie created? Since he’s been on the public dole since 1981, it feels like he knows little about the kind of innovation and hard work it takes to be financially successful.
I also assume that Bernie cares that Amazon contributed $781,837 to his 2020 political campaign, along with nearly a million coming from Alphabet, $480,00 from Apple and so forth.
If you want to make things right, Bernie, you can do more than grouse about it. You can start by telling members of Congress to start working 40 to 60-hour weeks like a lot of us have done during our careers. House members average 146.7 working days a year and bring in a salary of $174,000 – plus per diem, health insurance and retirement benefits. The Senate manages to report to work 165 days out of the year. My adult kids would love those kinds of jobs.
Instead of trying to get rid of their political opponents, Congress needs to start doing something good on behalf of the people who pay their salaries. It’s time for these people to set a good example.
Bernie started his column by saying, “The most important economic and political issues facing this county are the extraordinary levels of income and wealth inequality, the rapidly growing concentration of ownership, the long-term decline of the American middle class and the evolution of this country into oligarchy.” He also urged the reader to “fight back against a corrupt political system.”
A good start would be to make this old Bernie’s last term in office.