Like it or not, Bernie Sanders is right about health care. In order to cover everyone (the rational and moral thing) we need to stop diverting billions of dollars into profits for insurance and pharmaceutical companies. We also need to have everybody, including healthy young people, in the insured pool. You can call it socialism if you like, but you’d do better to call it arithmetic.
Bernie is also right about climate change. We have to abruptly stop subsidizing fossil fuel companies. Like buggy whips and slide rules, fossil fuels have outlived their usefulness and it’s time to redirect collective resources to sustainable alternatives.
And yes, while we’re about restructuring our energy system, it makes sense to use the opportunity to rebalance the economy more generally. If you don’t like the name Green New Deal, just call it restoring the middle class.
By choosing to call himself a Democratic Socialist, Bernie scares away potential supporters. Many people reject the idea of socialism, failing to recognize how much we currently rely on it. We tax ourselves to provide desirable shared services: public schools and libraries, police and fire protection, parks and roads. Why do we blanch at health insurance?
It looks like Joe Biden will be the Democratic candidate for President. As such, he needs to acknowledge the merits of the more progressive positions put forth by Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, not just to attract their followers, but because their ideas make sense.