Working In These Times is dedicated to providing independent and incisive coverage of the labor movement and the struggles of workers to obtain safe, healthy and just workplaces.
Bernie Sanders Not Allowing Himself to Be Distracted by “Constitutional Crisis”
The current scandal about the connection between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russians is not distracting Senator Bernie Sanders from looking out for the working class. While this entire mess is going on, Senator Bernie Sanders has introduced to pieces of legislation that would help the working class more than any other legislation in recent years. Both of these pieces of legislation could make it possible for workers to take ownership over the means of production, which is always a classic socialist strategy for improving working conditions and bringing about equality between workers and bosses.
Now is the perfect time for legislation to come along to improve conditions for the average American worker, especially since our nation is consumed by the current “dog and pony show” of Donald Trump and his minions. While our entire country is being distracted by the current Trump/Russia scandal, Bernie Sanders has retained the proper focus; advocating for the working class. While most people are distracted and disoriented by this current mess, he chooses to take action to help his country. I’m hopeful that we will survive what pundits are currently calling a “constitutional crisis” because I have lived through Watergate, which was also labeled a “constitutional crisis”. I, just like it did back then, have enough faith that the safeguards put into our system will prevail and take Donald Trump out of power, just like the safeguards put Richard Nixon out of the White House. Even though it may take a while, Donald Trump will likewise be dealt with in the same way as Richard Nixon.
These two pieces of legislation, introduced by Bernie Sanders are the WORK (Worker Ownership, Readiness and Knowledge Act) and the US Employee Ownership Bank. Bernie Sanders believes that both of these pieces of legislation will level the playing field, and make it possible for workers to have more control over the businesses that they work in. He also believes that these bills will help to prepare American workers to compete with foreign companies, by improving the skills and training of American workers and encouraging these workers to educate themselves to be better able to compete.
This lack of competition has hamstrung American industry for years. It has gotten to the point where a middle-class worker cannot further education because the cost of education has risen to the point where it has put further training out of reach of the average worker. This causes many workers to be stuck in “dead-end” jobs where they stand little chance for advancement in their careers. The WORK Act would go far in helping to relieve this situation. It provides $45 million in funding to be used to enhance training for workers who wish to advance.
The second piece of legislation put forth by Bernie Sanders, The US Employee Ownership Bank would make available $500 million in low-interest loans that would make it possible for workers to buy out the businesses they work in. Allowing workers to own the “means of production” is an old socialist principle that I would expect no wonder American politician other than Bernie Sanders to embrace, or even have knowledge about. In the United States, our people are not taught about socialist principles, and no matter how good they may be, simply because they are socialist. Americans are taught to fear socialism and to think that it’s bad. Thankfully, Bernie Sanders is not one of those brainwashed people, like most of his fellow Americans.