Why I Believe in Bernie Sanders

Original Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Original Cartoon by Matt Wuerker

The reasons are endless. To begin, as a recent undergraduate from Rutgers New Brunswick, I feel the burden of student debts on these shoulders. Often I feel that our hetero-normative society establishes a structured system that produces docile workers who beg for a job that not only crushes one’s dreams but are at the will of the Billionaire class. Sacrificing my aspirations just to dig myself out of a hole that was dug for my Right to Education.

As The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “…higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.” This means that regardless of socioeconomic class those who have shown the academic ability in a rigged educational system have a Right to a college education. The only way this could come to realization is to have free tuition. Not only is free tuition necessary to raise the standard domestically, but it is also necessary to further raise our status as a sovereign nation internationally. Continually ranked as one of the wealthiest nations in the world we clearly have the resources to educate our Citizens.

This leads me to my next reason. Having searched the job market or the lack there of, it is clear the unemployment rate is much higher than reported. Many of my peers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Wondering whether to sell out and accept the first entry level salary we are presented with or to essentially grind it out as an intern or freelancer chasing “The American Dream” we’ve all been spoon fed to believe in while juggling a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle waiting for our big break. There’s that and then there’s, “Should I go to Grad School and increase my debts?” but that’s a post for another day. The gross income inequality that has swept this nation is regrettable but hopefully a temporary evil that is necessary for our young nation. Hopefully we can look back and laugh at it…

From the Baby Boomers and before them, the paradigm was to get an education K-12, may or may not get a college education, land a job and pop out babies. A gross generalization indeed but humor me. The result of this is an exponential increase in employees/consumers and a linear growth in employers.  Ergo income inequality.

Which leads me to the minimum wage. I recently responded to a Facebook post of an individual who seems caught in the battle of divisions. Fast food workers vs. EMT Public Service. I responded with, “If fast food or ‘unskilled’ workers can secure $15 /hour then ‘skilled’ laborers will just say ‘Well hey why am I working so hard? I’ll just flip burgers.’ Then employers who want to keep their skilled employees will be forced to raise their wages. And so on and so forth. You have to raise the foundation in order to raise the standard of living. Not the ceiling which will only increase the wealth gap as trickle down economics has proven. Not to mention the fast food workers protesting for $15/hour is part of a bigger picture which is to raise the minimum wage entirely. So really the end goal would be that both workers get at least $15/hour.”

Needless to say I support raising the minimum wage

I truly believe that raising the minimum wage, allowing equal and fair access to education, and reforming the private prison system will result in a decrease in criminal activity. By guaranteeing that a 40 hr work week will keep one out of poverty, giving the tools to succeed in life, and breaking down a corrupt system seeking a profit instead of reform we can make an honest living more attractive than that of crime.

Going back to being a recent graduate, I feel that it is time for me to leave my footprint on the world. It is time that my fellow Millennials and I start shaping and securing the world our children will grow in as well as making sure we take care of our elders who came before us. I see this accomplished by taking measures to address climate change and in focusing efforts in expanding Social Security. In addition as our society increasingly becomes dependent on prescription drugs, for better or for worse, lowering prices and attacking big Pharma is necessary in order to restore medicine to its healing nature instead of one of profit. In fact, for that matter the whole healthcare system needs reform.

As a recent survivor of a stabbing I see universal healthcare as a necessity. My assailant is of age. But not established enough to be held accountable. He is 22 yrs old and has no assets. I cannot hire a lawyer to sue him for what he has since he has nothing nor can I sue him for his future assets since he is facing jail time. I do not think it is fair that I have to pay the medical bills for his actions and my insurance company feels the same way. If there was ever a way to make money off of contradictions it would be insurance. In theory, in order to generate a profit insurance companies must try to find a way to revoke coverage. When looking at the big picture our current healthcare system seems to be straddling the line of being one of the highest paying jobs and the Hippocratic Oath.

Do I think that Senator Sanders will be able to address all of these issues? I cannot say for certain what Senator Sanders can or cannot do but I do know he will give me an honest answer;

“Let me tell you something that no other candidate will. No matter who is elected, that person will not be able to address the enormous problems facing the working families of our country. They will not be able to succeed because the power of corporate America, the power of Wall Street, the power of campaign donors is so great that no President alone can stand up to them. That is the truth.” -Senator Sanders, Iowa

And that is why I believe in Bernie Sanders. A government for the People, by the People.

-Andie K.

Author: Andie K.

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