Monday, November 23, 2015

Bernie Sanders and the Millennials

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"Alas, poor Karl! I knew him well!"

Saw a story over at Maggie's Notebook about Millennials going ga-ga for Bernie Sanders. I believe the gist of her post was that they were enamored of all the free stuff: free healthcare, free college education...the list goes on. But, I wonder if anyone has really told them about the cost: not tax dollars, per se, but lifestyle changes from what they already have?

Mr. Sanders, for example, was appalled by the wide variety of deodorants he saw on a store shelf.
“You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country.”

23? That's just sprays. You also have a choice of solid stick or roll ons, scented, unscented and extra strength! And by "sneakers", the fifties called, Mr. Sanders. They'd like their terminology back!

By "sneakers" did you mean tennis shoes, basketball shoes, cross trainers, or running shoes? Or is it just all those different colors that disturb you? Why should you have comfortable shoes that match your every outfit when you could have a US government approved pair of US Keds, in black, for every occasion?

Part of the beauty of freedom is that if you think that you have a better formula for deodorant, or idea for a way to apply it, or a design for the package that will make people want to buy it, even though it is identical to all the rest, you are free to do so. You can put your own capital at risk, and/or convince other people that your idea or product is superior, and will give you , and them, a return on your money. What's wrong with that?

And what Mr. Socialist Sanders fails to recognize is that in the process of giving the American people (and sometimes the world) another, possibly better option, is that each of those 23 spray deodorant companies is employing people to make their product. They are buying raw materials from suppliers, purchasing real estate and hiring contractors to build their factories, paying taxes to state, local and federal governments to provide the services their communities require. They are buying office supplies and furniture and paying salaries to people who also pay taxes to state, local and federal governments, to pay for defense, safe food and drugs, highways, etc. Oh, and even welfare for the "children who are hungry in this country".

Meanwhile, we have the choice of buying spray or stick, scented or unscented, Mountain Fresh or Spice, Nikes or Addidas, New Balance or Skechers, cross trainer or deck shoe, black or white, blue or gray or whatever. And as long as the people who make these products can keep a majority of their customers satisfied, what business is it of Bernie Sanders to yell, "You kids get off my lawn!"? Sorry! "You kids don't need all this variety of stuff?"

In my humble opinion, if you really want millennials to run screaming from Mr. Sanders, just see if he would apply the same standard to their phones as he does to deodorant? Why do you need a Galaxy Five or LG, or iPhone 6 or 6s and all the rest when children are going hungry?? Let the state decide for you what the best phone is and let the state limit your choices so you aren't wasting precious resources on stuff you really want instead of what the state thinks is best for you?

Actually, Uncle Bernie already has the phone in mind for you! It weighs about ten pounds, it's black, and comes conveniently wired to the wall so you won't lose it all the time, so you can cancel that pesky phone insurance! Your texting charges will drop to zero, and kids... you'll get used to that rotary dial in no time!

Original art by John Cox. More at John Cox Art

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