Wednesday, September 30, 2015

How Expensive is Free College Tuition, Anyway? (Part 2 of 13)


(Note: This is the second of a series of posts dealing with Bernie Sanders's platform. For the first installment, go here: Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7)

I saw this posted on Twitter the other day, and I think it's worth taking a second look at, because it demonstrates a remarkable lack of understanding of Bernie Sanders's platform. Senator Sanders makes it very clear how we will pay for everything that he proposes, but understanding the nuance of this requires first that I disabuse you of a common misconception.

There are many in this country who decry government spending as if the government is incapable of doing anything well. But the critical issue of our times, as Robert Reich eloquently explains on a regular basis, is not how big government is. The critical issue of our times (and Bernie Sanders, more than any other Presidential candidate, understands this) is who government is working for. Whether we're talking about spending in the private sector or spending by the government, at the end of the day, everything that is spent in our economy counts as a cost for America. If Wal-Mart spends $1,000,000 improving the efficiency of the intersections near its stores, it has the same effect on our economy as if the state, local, or federal government spends $1,000,000 on an identical project.

So, with that in mind, how does America pay for Free/Affordable Public College, as described in the flyer pictured above? Let's take a look:

Monday, September 28, 2015

How Expensive is Universal Healthcare, Anyway? (Part 1 of 13)


(This is the first in what will be a series of thirteen entries detailing specific aspects of Bernie Sanders's campaign platform, and their costs, see subsequent posts for more information: Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7)

I saw this posted on Twitter the other day, and I think it's worth taking a second look at, because it demonstrates a remarkable lack of understanding of Bernie Sanders's platform. Senator Sanders makes it very clear how we will pay for everything that he proposes, but understanding the nuance of this requires first that I disabuse you of a common misconception.

There are many in this country who decry government spending as if the government is incapable of doing anything well. But the critical issue of our times, as Robert Reich eloquently explains on a regular basis, is not how big government is. The critical issue of our times (and Bernie Sanders, more than any other Presidential candidate, understands this) is who government is working for. Whether we're talking about spending in the private sector or spending by the government, at the end of the day, everything that is spent in our economy counts as a cost for America. 

If Wal-Mart spends $1,000,000 improving the efficiency of the intersections near its stores, it has the same effect on our economy as if the state, local, or federal government spends $1,000,000 on an identical project. If, on the other hand, the government can do the exact same job for $900,000, then society as a whole has $100,000 more dollars to spend elsewhere than it would have without the government spending. It stands to reason, then, that if the government can do something better at the same price, or cheaper with the same quality, then the government should do it instead of private industry.

The first step in understand the costs of a policy is to understand what that policy is. Senator Sanders has not released his official issue statement on healthcare reform, but his position on a number of other issues can be found here. Fortunately for us, Senator Sanders's popularity and grassroots appeal has resulted in the volunteer participation of individuals with significant technological skill, who have put together this site where you can educate yourself on Senator Sanders's position on a huge variety of issues. According to that site, Senator Sanders's position on Healthcare can be summarized in six points:


If you have the time, check out all those links for a much more detailed explanation of Senator Sanders's position on healthcare. Then, whether you checked out those links or not, meet me after the jump for the skinny on the costs of Universal Healthcare, as described in the flyer:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Musings on Bankruptcy and Donald Trump

I've been thinking a lot about bankruptcy lately. Obviously, part of that is because I'm a bankruptcy attorney, but it's also been coming up a lot in the news.

At the last Republican primary debate, Carly Fiorina fired shots at Donald Trump, saying that he had filed for bankruptcy four times. Trump responded, disingenuously, that he had never filed for bankruptcy. Trump's statement was technically true, but he knew what Fiorina meant, and what she meant was also true: Donald Trump has caused businesses he owns to file voluntary petitions under the Bankruptcy Code on four occasions.

A presidential debate, sadly, is not the place for nuance, but this blog will give you some after the jump:

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Drawing Lines in the Sand


I started becoming politically active on Twitter a few months back, energized by the presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, who stands as the intellectual and philosophical heir of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Sanders announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States on May 26, 2015. You can see the video of his announcement here:


More musings, after the jump:


Monday, September 21, 2015

An Open Letter to Representative Alcee Hastings (D-FL)

Today I wrote a letter to Alcee Hastings, a Democratic representative from Florida, in response to a quote attributed to him in a story about Bernie Sanders. The full text of that letter is below the jump.