How Far Left Is Too Far Left?
By: C. T. Powers | Our Voice Contributor
With the presidential campaign for 2020 heating up and an influx of new progressive candidates, Bernie Sanders leads the pack with a vision of an inclusive tomorrow. No matter how the race for 2020 turns out, the fire has been ignited and for all the tamping down Nancy Pelosi and others are trying to do, to squash voices, policies and progress, there will always be someone out there, further left than Bernie.
But how far left is too left? What, if any, are the benefits to the country and economy? Bernie Sanders has discussed an “Economic Bill of Rights” which brings some economic freedom to the nation, but is it enough? We need to know how it effects our economy.
A strong GDP is an indicator for high standard of living, but not to determine the quality of life. “Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, comfort, material goods and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class or geographic area. Quality of life, on the other hand, is a subjective term that can measure happiness”.
“Published by the Fraser Institute, the data shows a strong correlation between economic freedom and human progress. People who live in countries in the top quartile of economic freedom not only have a greater GDP per capita than those in the bottom quartile, but also live longer, enjoy higher levels of political and civil liberties, and tend to be happier about their lives.”
Let’s take a moment to discuss economic freedom and its fundamental right that every person is able to control his or her own labor and property. How would it impact economic growth, encourage innovation and other caveats?
Lower healthcare costs mean that business and individuals can channel more money into productive uses. This frees up resources and money that will now go into other channels to help stimulate growth, such as entrepreneurs or the self-employed. It is important to note that the U.S. has a much lower self-employment rate than other countries. Could this be due to tying healthcare affordability with nontransferable employment benefits?
Education helps people’s efforts to lift themselves out of poverty, earn their own success through hard work and help with innovation. By providing and supporting free college, the free-market principles through economic freedom are the most effective means of producing these desirable educational outcomes for all people, regardless of sex, race, religion and culture.Again, this is a potential dividend of citizenship that only adds growth to the economy.
Most of the improvements in clean energy use and energy efficiency are attributed to advances in countries who have economic freedom and freer trade than our own. These countries have created a on-going cycle of investment, innovation, and dynamic economic growth. What will it take for the U.S. to focus on doing our part?
Legalization of Drugs
The legalization of all drugs may increase the number of drug addicts by 25 percent but the current dollar amount of the drug trade is estimated at $100 billion a year. By taking for-profit prisons out of the equation and shifting our focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment, we are reducing the profit motive. Removing the profit motive is a necessary step to reducing the number of people incarcerated. There a way too many people incarcerated and that lifetime stigmata introduces unnecessary barriers to proper housing, reasonable education, the right to vote and adequate employment.
By providing free public transportation we remove the common major barrier to both employment and education. With today’s threat of climate change, a robust and updated Public Transportation System would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce overall consumption of oil, gas and fuel, and encourage people to use and access it rather than depending on their own vehicles.
The United States has been declining in recent years, and with trade and technology developing faster in other countries, there is a high chance that the U.S. will be left behind by politicians preventing any progress. Progress that threatens the status quo they serve. Service that will endanger the country’s overall success for the sake of a few wealthy individuals attempting to becoming economic Titans.
Economic freedom is the best path to greater opportunities and good standard of living for all. With late-stage capitalism leaving a gap of inequality in the country, what are we willing to do to stimulate the economy for everyone? What are we to do to ensure everyone has a truly fair chance at pursuing happiness, preserving life and maintaining their own liberty?
Well… how far left is too far left?