Yesterday Michael Bersin pointed out that DINO Senator Claire McCaskill is so eager to make nice with Hillary Clinton that she’s decided to engage in a little red-baiting when it comes to the surprisingly popular Clinton primary challenger, Bernie Sanders. Seems McCaskill wants to remind us all that Sanders is – oh, the horror – a socialist! (I distinctly remember that when McCaskill first ran for the Senate she had the gall to talk about her progressive values. Well, we live and learn.) When asked to identify three specifically socialist policies advocated by Sanders, she reportedly hemmed and hawed, and finally came up with the following:
a) that Sanders wants to expand entitlements; b) that he supports universal health-care, and c) that he is unsound on The Debt.
Remember this next time McCaskill wants your support. These are the ideas that she thinks disqualifies Bernie Sanders. Too bad that they are also held by a majority of her fellow Democrats. When she joins with Republicans to cut Social Security benefits because of The Debt, don’t say you weren’t warned.
But to get back to that socialist shtick, it might prove useful to take a look at the Legatum Institute’s annual Prosperity Index which measures national prosperity. According to Business Insider, “the Prosperity Index measures countries based on 89 different economic analysis variables that measure success in industry, education, health, freedom, opportunity, and social capital.” The United States ranks at #10 on the index after the following countries:
#3 New Zealand
Notice something? Almost all of these countries could be characterized by the prevalence of overtly socialist or social welfare policies. Nor are the very prosperous Scandinavian countries in this list adverse to high, progressive taxation. Just the type of taxation that might do something about the growing inequality in the U.S. And let us enhance Social Security benefits. And educate our children. And fix our failing infrastructure. And deliver healthcare for all. And lots, lots more. We could have Happy days again.
Paying attention Senator McCaskill? Tell us again why we should be worried by Bernie Sanders? Especially since it’s likely that Hillary Clinton will know how to evaluate what the enthusiastic response to what Bernie has to say means for the direction she needs to take. Or so all of us who aren’t Democratic Senators from Missouri can only hope.