Free Markets, Free People

Sanders gets one right … kinda

Ezra Klein of Vox interviews Bernie Sanders.  Meh.  Nothing particularly newsworthy there.  But in the process of this softball interview, the question of immigration comes up.  Read the exchange:

Ezra Klein

You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view. I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders. About sharply increasing …

Bernie Sanders

Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.

Ezra Klein


Bernie Sanders

Of course. That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States. …

Ezra Klein

But it would make …

Bernie Sanders

Excuse me …

Ezra Klein

It would make a lot of global poor richer, wouldn’t it?

Bernie Sanders

It would make everybody in America poorer —you’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that. If you believe in a nation state or in a country called the United States or UK or Denmark or any other country, you have an obligation in my view to do everything we can to help poor people. What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs.

You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids?

I think from a moral responsibility we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer.

OK, you can quit laughing now.  Klein caught flat footed and gasping.  Sanders echoes exactly what the right has been saying while at the same time trying to put the blame on … the right.

Yeah, no sale Bernie, but the rest?  Right on.  Nailed it.  Oh, and about that $15 minimum wage … yeah, you just killed it.

In reality Bernie likens businesses who want cheap labor with the “right wing”.   Hardly true but for many on the left, business = “right wing”.

However, to categorically call “open borders” a “right-wing” idea is simply absurd.  It certainly isn’t the right in this country pushing for amnesty and open-borders (well, except for some establishment GOP types).  It isn’t the right-wing that has established sanctuary cities.  And it definitely isn’t a right-wing federal administration refusing to enforce immigration laws.

But you all knew that.

So what is Bernie telling us with all this nation-state talk?  That maybe, its really a form of “national socialism” he prefers?

Oh, wait …


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10 Responses to Sanders gets one right … kinda

  • Sanders echoes exactly what the right has been saying while at the same time trying to put the blame on … the right

    Well when you consider that the Republican Congress was tripping over itself to fund Obama’s unconstitutional stab at normalizing a bunch of illegals, it is really far fetched that there isn’t some level of support for dumping labor into the America Labor Market? Considering they’ve never benefitted from sucking up, I doubt that was ‘please love us’ maneuver. And I doubt anyone believes its a net gain in Republican votes. Only one explanation, their benefactors, their largest campaign contributers want it.

    • The voting base might be against it, but when was the last time anyone believed the Republican leadership gave a shit about its voting base.

      Sanders likely couldn’t give a shit about the true wants of his voting base either. He’s looking at the leadership, contributers, & intelligentia of the parties as being the party. As far as I can tell, that group in the Republicans want illegal immigration. Since its short-sighted party suicide, they want it for personal gain for themselves or their benefactors.

  • Okay – replace the words ‘Right wing” with Congress (all of em), the US Chamber of Commerce and the President and Bernie is right on target.

    Damn socialist whacko keeps saying things that are true. In that, he’s like Joe Biden, except Bernie seems to know what he’s saying.
    Ol Joe says em because he got hit in the head too many times playin JV football (either that or because he’d decided when he got up that today was a bad day to give up sniffing glue).

  • You can argue all day about whether this is right wing of left wing, but the truth is that may large corporations want that cheap labor and they con’t cre if they put everybody else in the street to get it.
    Practically every “comprehensive immigration reform” (this is truly a meaningless phrase) proposal is greeted with glee by these corporations if it contains a provision for large number of H1B visas.

    I recently talked to an Indian co-worker about the 7,800 jobs lost at Microsoft. I said that I thought some of them would be replaced by Indians, but not all. He stopped me and said “all of them will be replaced by Indians.”
    He said his brother trains workers in India to replace Americans. One client, Western Union, recently had each US worker replaced by 4 Indian workers .. because they are so cheap.

  • “That maybe, its really a form of “national socialism” he prefers?”
    McQ, when Bernie starts claiming that Nova Scotia has always historically been considered part of the United States we can start to worry 🙂

    I’m trying to decide if I’m more alarmed at a whacko psuedo Republicrat being the the Republican front runner, or an avowed Socialist being the Democrat front runner.
    Hard choice.
    Interesting that so many Democrats don’t mind a socialist though ain’t it?

  • I read the entire interview, and have come to the conclusion that no other candidate on either side would be as ruinous for the Republic as Sanders…

    Which is why I fully intend to vote for him.

  • Well, if you believe, as Bernie evidently does, that there are “No enemies on the left”, then all the bad stuff must be from the right. Simple Socialist logic.

  • Stuck between low wages/no jobs and and a high cost of living, we have painted ourselves into a conner.
    We demand cheap goods, so cheap we could never manufacture them here, so by our own actions, cheap labor is allowed into this country. (our failure to demand immigration laws be enforced is defacto “allowing”)
    There is no simple path from here. We either pay higher prices for goods manufactured here or work for slave wages. I fear it is the latter.
    I feel the worse for our children, the first generation that won’t live better (or even as good as) their parents.
    We are not in the process of getting screwed, we are screwed.
    A simple accounting of SS money coming in/SS money going out, those of us on the verge of retirement are very unlikely to receive what we were promised, because it is mathematically impossible to do so.

    • We either pay higher prices for goods manufactured here or work for slave wages.

      Of the several non-sequiturs included in your comment, that one seems particularly unsupportable.

    • Labor costs in manufactured goods is over-rated.

      Definitely an Advantage for the Chinese when the difference isn’t 20% but nearly 100%, but at first China needed to have hare barrier to imports and currency fixing to add to it, to have enough cost advantage to overcome their disadvantages in know-how and infrastructure and also undercut price too. If we had put up a fuss on the hard barriers and currency fixing in the beginning, it would have been a slow bleed. If it had been a slow bleed instead of a grab to lockdown volume and destroy the competition, they may have considered maximizing profits and the pressure to undercut may have faded. The profits would have lead to trickle down and would have been brought up them to our level instead. The lowest denominator is a product directly of currency fixing which lowers the purchasing power of people in China essentially lowering their standard of living and what I’m sure is a government directive to acquire maximum market share keeping wage pressure down. Two artifacts of central planning distorting what should happen which at worst should have been a drawn out meet in the middle.

      As it is now we’re probably a decade or less of having an irreversible decline in our infrastructure and know-how capabilities. So instead of a former advantage for us, it will be a disadvantage. If we try to pull ourselves up with exports even if we’re in the position to undercut wages, they tell us to go to hell. Nobody will let us China them. Least of all China, itself.