U.S Income Inequality and Bernie Sanders

     “Many Americans’ criteria for voting for president is if they’d grab a beer or barbecue with a candidate or not.” I was absolutely appalled by these words uttered by Mike Gwaltney. How are people so ignorant? Something else that concerns me is the interest that many seem to have in a candidate’s religion. Given my pessimism for religion, I expect being Christian to not impact a leader’s decision making. One can use Christianity or any other religion to fall back on in an adverse time, but justifying legislation based off of what was written in the Bible, a complex text written centuries ago that can easily be taken out of context, is wrong.

     A massive issue brought up in Government, Politics, and Citizenship that I’m interested in further learning about is the income inequality that exists in the United States. The way that this problem is approached falls under the ideology that a politician espouses, not his or her public persona, which evidently is extremely important. Bernie Sanders, a non practicing Jew and self proclaimed champion of civil rights, has brought the inequality to light through his campaign for presidency. He wants to address it by: “Creating a progressive estate tax on the top 0.3 percent of Americans who inherit more than 3.5 million dollars, creating one million jobs for disadvantaged young Americans by investing 5.5 billion dollars in a youth jobs program, and increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2020” (Bernie 2016). 

While his approach can be questioned, Sanders’s compassion for others definitely can’t be. What a lovely guy!

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As a young adult, previously viewed as a child, childhood poverty grabs my attention. Twenty-two percent of children in the U.S experience poverty, which is linked to income inequality. (Global Issues). As stated on Bernie Sander’s website, “There is something profoundly wrong when we have a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires at the same time as millions of Americans work longer hours for lower wages and we have the highest childhood poverty rate of nearly any developed country on earth” (Bernie 2016).

I have been prompted to consider the following question: Why isn’t income inequality a prevalent part of everyone’s campaign given that the majority of the country (ninety-nine percent) is on the rough end of income spectrum? Perhaps it’s because a lot of American simply aren’t well informed.

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(The Washington Post)

A lot of political issues such as taxes has no direct application on me at the moment. The feasibility of going to college definitely does. Motivated students are currently being punished with debt for going to college. Sixty percent of Americans don’t have a college degree (Forbes) and I suspect a key factor to this stat is tuition. Sanders is for making public college’s free throughout the U.S.

To go full circle on my earlier tangent about religion, If you look at everything Bernie Sanders stands for, he seems to be the candidate most in line with what is embraced in virtually all religions: compassion, peace, and equality. I guess in rooting for Bernie, I’ll have to hope that people will see him as a guy they’d rather grab a beer with.

Works Cited

“Issues – Bernie Sanders.” Bernie Sanders RSS. Web. 05 May 2016.

Kelly, Andrew. “The Neglected Majority: What Americans Without A College Degree   ThinkAbout Higher Education, Part 1.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine. Web. 05 May 2016.

“Poverty Facts and Stats.” – Global Issues. Web. 05 May 2016.

“What Americans Think about Income Inequality in One Graph.” Ezra Klein –. Web. 05 May 2016.

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