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Sat Apr 23, 2016, 11:00 AM

 

Bernie Sanders Will Make the Economy Great Again

Liberal critics like Paul Krugman argue that Sanders’s economic platform is unrealistic. They are dead wrong.

Does Bernie Sanders’s economic program amount to pie-in-the-sky nonsense? The short answer is no. All of his major proposals are grounded in solid economic reasoning and evidence.

But that hasn’t stopped a major swath of leading liberal economists and commentators to insist otherwise. Paul Krugman has led these attacks from his New York Times perch, charging repeatedly that Sanders makes “outlandish economic claims,” embraces “deep voodoo” economics, is “not ready for prime time,” and so forth. A recent Washington Post article by columnist Steven Pearlstein cites several other liberal economists criticizing Sanders’s support for Scandinavian-style social democratic policies, concluding that his program “promises all the good parts of the Scandinavian model without any of the bad parts.”

(Omitted point-by-point, detailed analysis at link)

It is true that the overall share of GDP going to corporate profits and the rich will decline, and this will likely counteract to some degree the positive factors encouraging private investment and growth under Sanders. But even The Economist recently concluded that corporate profits in the United States are excessive, so much as to be damaging the economy’s overall performance. The entirely feasible challenge today is therefore to produce higher growth rates through creating more jobs, getting more money in people’s pockets, widening educational opportunities, and raising productivity rather than allowing the country to slip further into economic oligarchy.

In short, if something like a Sanders program is enacted in the United States, the critical point will not be whether GDP grows, on average, at 3 percent, 4 percent or 5.3 percent. A Sanders economy will be fully capable of growing at healthy rates. But more than just growing, a Sanders economy will also deliver standards of well-being for the overwhelming majority of Americans, as well as the environment, in ways that we have not experienced for generations.

http://www.thenation.com/article/bernie-sanders-will-make-the-economy-great


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