2017: Whither Democrats?


So like, the Medicare tax is 2.9% between you and your employer. That covers healthcare for old people, the ones who cost the most. If we wanted Medicare for everyone, Bernie says that goes up to 10%. 4% for you, and 6% for the employer.

Right now, between me and my employer, health insurance costs $1200 a month, and is going up another 5% this year. We split this 40%/60%, which is the normal split for employer covered health insurance and it’s what Bernie’s platform proposed. That’s 14,400 a year. If $14,400 was 10% of my salary, I’d be making $144,000 a year. I don’t.

Medicare for all isn’t a handout from hardworking people, it’s a wealth redistribution from the rich to the poor. I’m in favor of that. The only losers in this model are the 1%, boo hoo, and insurance companies, and honestly fuck them. Employers generally come out even and working families win because they are losing less money per check to health insurance.


Pretty much this. If the Dems keep moving right, keep moving right, then eventually fuck 'em.


I’m fine with that- I think college could be handled better- but I don’t think the government should be subsidizing degrees at private universities.

While I agree with Timex on why Hillary lost,I think Bernie’s path is the most unifying among Dems and WWC moderates, who liked Bernie.

The one group that might not like Bernie is the 1% types, but they’re well, 1%, they aren’t that many actual votes. I think a Bernie that avoids going too far left on the social stuff right now is the best bet. (and some of Bernie’s support was folks deluding themselves that he was to the right of Hillary socially)

I’m also with Nesrie on the JK Rowling stuff (seriously, that’s a lot of JK Rowling’s political philosophy, and fits my current life story- though I bet I have a lot more economic insecurity)


If public higher education were subsidized to the same levels as grade school so that anyone could reasonably attend a state school, and private schools were for only those who really wanted, then that would largely be ok. But there needs to be something done to address the exploding cost, and leaving it to the markets has failed there dramatically.


That something to contain cost would have to result in fewer students going to college.


Here’s the problem:
Bernie’s math doesn’t add up.

That tax isn’t gonna be enough to extend medicare to everyone. It’s just a number he made up.

Sanders’ proposed healthcare plans fell short by seventeen trillion dollars.


And that would be fine if other viable paths to self support were created instead.

Which is a big part of the problem, right now there is no other viable path. For high school students the choice really is simply go to college, or be forced to spend your life in barely poverty wage service jobs. Sure there are a few other paths, but as a society we have dismantled or diminished them.

Hell my father never went to college, nor my mother. My dad was a firefighter. Yet today he could not get that position without a degree, and absolutely would never get promoted without one. The same is true up and down the nation, many of the non college jobs (be they technical, apprentice, or public sector) that our parents had as options now are college degree requiring. This is a huge issue.

So I absolutely believe an investment in technical training, and a deemphasis on degrees for jobs that really don’t need them.

But, fundamentally, we have a larger looming crisis. That is that full employment as we know it is likely going to collapse in the next decade or two. Automation is going to kick our ass, and funnel even greater wealth upwards unless we learn to deal with it.


If you click through to the study, it says Bernie’s platform as a whole falls short, not the healthcare part.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders proposes significant tax increases that would raise $15.3 trillion over the next decade. All income groups would pay more tax, but most would come from high-income households, particularly those with very high incomes. Sanders would also implement new government benefits—notably government-financed single-payer health care, long-term services and supports, college, and family leave benefits—and expand Social Security benefits. TPC finds the new government benefits would more than offset new taxes for 95% of households but the combined tax and transfer plan would increase federal budget deficits by more than $18 trillion over the next decade.


But it also specifically says that the healthcare part ALONE dramatically falls short of paying for itself.

What it says is that the cost to taxpayers would be offset by the benefits, but that this cost doesn’t cover the actual cost of those benefits, which results in $18 trillion of new debt for the country.


idk maybe Mexico will pay for it :P

Or we can like, stop paying $89,000 for a drug that’s $1000 in Canada.


We need a less expensive way to prove to employers that someone is worth the effort to hire and train than just the 4 year degree. This is why I mentioned apprenticeship and work experiences. I understand employers don’t like taking risks because new hires are expensive amongst other things. But when you shove everyone into the 4 year degree program, not only are you weeding out individuals who are perfectly capable of doing a good job in some fields that might not be great at college, you’re saddling them all with heavy, unnecessary debt to the point where they literally can’t take a 10.00 HR job to start or they’re wine up in the new 3 decades later telling everyone how they’re credit is trashed, their student loans have ballooned and they can’t get loans for cars or houses or anything. I don’t think answer here is removing the debt.

And on top of that, the demand on the college system makes the prices go up for everyone.

There has to be a better way that keeps individuals still largely responsible for their futures but gives them a good chance at a path to success.

Look, I’m not trying come off like a selfish ass. I know that I can contribute more to getting a more efficient, read better, system. I am willing to contribute more. Bernie was asking for 1k, and I knew, I know that falls short from what was actually needed. I didn’t see anyone else raise their hand to volunteer their 2k a month, so i know that’s a big ask… .it’s too big of an ask. I am not part of the 1%. He sold that very, very well… we’ll take from the ultra rich except his actual documents took from the middle class. It’s not a crime to be middle class.

If the Democrats try to make it a crime to be the middle working class… i think they have a good chance of losing the middle working class, and not just down racial lines. Maybe they don’t care. Maybe the college kids who largely don’t vote (statistically) is enough, or they think they can up that voter participation and won’t care if they lose people like me. Before you cast me off like garbage, you know like the GOP does with pretty much every group outside their inner circle, I’m just asking be heard and not penalized just because I have sometime to lose.


Completely agree.

As long as they are paid. Unpaid work, in the form of unpaid internships, already gate out people from low income families. But I would strongly support measures that bring back technical training and non college learning.

Which is the major issue we have today, and it only will get worse. The cost of college is absolutely out of control, and needs to be brought to heel. And a big part of that is saying no to the 7-8 figure salaries of coaches at public universities, reversing athletic programs to be net inflows to academic programs instead of outflows for students, curbing the growth in administrative positions (seriously it is one of the biggest causes for increase in tuition), and more modest construction and facilities. Some of the temples to excess and luxury accommodations at certain public universities are obscene. And don’t get me started on the costs of textbooks.

True, but it is more complicated. Much like healthcare, though not as extreme, when demand is inelastic (and currently demand is artificially high due to previously mentioned factors) then prices rise without bound. The only way to adjust this are to alter demand (trade schooling/ alternate paths), or impose outside factors to limit costs (regulate prices strictly). I propose we do both. The alternative is to further stratify opportunity to the already wealthy.

The problem is we are forcing kids into an impossible choice, one they are ill equipped to make. Especially for first generation college students. And it is a shitty choice. ‘choose to take life crippling levels of debt to have a chance of landing a decent job that pays 20% less than it would have when your parents entered the work force, or relegate yourself to flipping burgers or working registers at WalMart because there are no good jobs for non college students’. And, further, the amount of the loans is absurdly high, so much so as to make it so that it really is a doomed choice for many.

Which is another reason why every time a Boomer talks about lazy Millenials not getting married/ having kids/ buying houses/ living with their parents at 28 I want to punch said Boomer.

And ties into another problem. Too much aggregating to the top. A greater share of the wealth and income needs to start filtering back to the middle and lower classes. Otherwise the 1% will earn their rich reward some day, at the feet of the National Razor. And, really, had middle class wages risen commensurate with GDP and productivity over the last 30 years much of this would be ameliorated. Now’s the time to get serious and aggressive about correcting this.


I feel like stuff like this is the real problem that no one wants to really address. I don’t think we can ever have any kind of meaningful healthcare reform until the greed of both the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies are somehow addressed. Which is not ever going to happen since they seem to have most of congress in their pockets.


Personally I think a universal basic income is the best way, then let markets decide things from there. It’s kinda a libertarian solution, and we’ll have to figure out the edge cases as they happen (and I can think of some), but to me it’s the only viable option.

It might even incentivize folks to move towards rural areas for lower cost-of-living, which we need to do right now- too much population concentrated in the cities.


Practically speaking, from an environmental and infrastructure point of view, greater concentrations in cities is actually the optimal outcome.

But agree on UBI. As automation further deteriorates the range of human doable jobs, it will go from ‘good idea’ to ‘the way to save your head from the pike, Mr. 1%’.


Yeah, that had me scratching my head a bit. @Alstein, can you elaborate why you feel we have “too much population concentrated in the cities”? It just seems like a recipe for more sprawl to me.


Craig has done a great job of replying to Nesrie and explaining the positions on healthcare and education and (IMO) that’s the only way forward, but I just want to add (as I have so many times before) that healthcare and education costs are solved problems for much of the industrialized world. Ultimately a basic income is going to be required, but that’s not something I see happening in my lifetime.


I see San Fransisco’s cost of living and it makes me shudder.

I’m worried about that becoming copied other places.

I do expect an effect of UBI is folks who can’t find work in big cities will move out to smaller places to make the UBI support themselves fully if possible.


Sure. For persons no longer participating in the workforce, moving out of the cities (i.e. near the jobs) and out into the country (i.e. not near jobs) is actually ideal. And, really, this is the downside to programs that incentivize retirees to keep their homes where they are, it forces younger people further and further out, increases rents and cost of living near those city centers, and generally creates more strain on infrastructure and environment.

But, emotionally, the political cost of eliminating those programs and ‘forcing grandma out of her home’ is waaaayyyy too high for it to ever gain traction.


I don’t believe it’s the only way forward. We’ve discussed more than one way forward right here anyway, with no universal decision.

There’s a general idea that the Democrats abandoned the working class and thus the working class abandoned them. Perhaps it’s time to listen to the working class rather than say just hand it over this is the only way forward.