Bernie Sanders on The Joe Rogan Experience

This past week, Bernie Sanders was a guest on The Joe Rogan Experience. It was a great interview, and highly worth the listen. (Which you can do here.) It’s worth the listen because you get to hear one of the presidential nominees talk in long form, actually explaining his point of view. Which doesn’t happen during the debates.

Sanders has been in the political game for decades, and is probably one of the most consistent people we have in politics. I certainly respect him, but want to point out two things from the podcast that, to me, speak volumes to our current political climate. The first is to the Left, the second is to the Right.

To the Left, to the Left:

Rogan is a Libertarian, because he believes in personal freedom in all things. His opinions stem from one core belief: freedom for all in everything. But he’s also curious, very smart, and a great conversationalist. On his show, he also interviews all types of people, from far right to far left (he’s had both Alex Jones and Sam Harris). He listens to their thoughts and opinions, pushes back some, but mainly lets his audience decide for themselves. He asked Bernie a great question pertaining the minimum wage.

The question was this, “When people hear you on the Left talking about minimum wage, they talk about $15 for all people and ask ‘what about high school kids just starting out? Could we do a lower minimum wage for them, for people under 18?’”

Bernie’s answer: No.

This, to me, is the problem with Leftist politics: the inability to compromise.

Sanders goes on to explain that the wage increase will affect mostly non-teens, implying it’s mostly a non-issue that will help families.

Fine.

Good even.

But then why not just compromise on this minor detail in a major policy? Just concede your ideology a little and you can actually make it happen. It’s easy to get behind a living wage for people that have families. $15 (or whatever the number) is great. But humans (especially when emotion is involved) go to extremes; people start to think about their first job, and about how long it took them to make $15 an hour, and then ask: why does a 16-year old sweeping floors in a factory need to earn $15 p/hour?

The answer is: they don’t.

It is fine to prorate the minimum wage for people under 18. Doing so makes it realistic for employers to give kids a job, but not pay a ton of extra money in labor costs.

The Right sees this as governmental interference.

But the other thing is that $15 is not the same in Alabama as it is in California. You can live pretty well on $15 p/hour in Alabama. But not in California. So let’s admit all things are not even to begin with. Let’s get to the point.

It’s good thing to having a living wage, but what if we adjust the wage for regional costs of living and age? That makes sense.

The inability to compromise leads to polarization. Had Bernie simply said, “Yes. I’d be willing to do that'“, he’d have reach a much bigger audience. A hard no simply isolates and cuts people off. Which is too bad, because he had a lot of good things to say.


To the Right, to the Right.

Much of what people on the right think about “socialist ideas” is very wrong. You hear a media outlet saying that poor people don’t want to work, and that that Dems and Lefties are going to give them your money.

False.

What it would actually do is provide things the Right wants: jobs, economic opportunity, and growth.

This would make the country great. (And, I guess technically, if it included fixing up things that were broken, they’d be great - or at least good - again.)

When Sanders ran in 2016 (and got f’d by the Dems, which cost the Dems the general election), he talked about pouring $1,000,000,000,000 into urban areas to revitalize them. Republicans on the Right saw this as a governmental hand out. They considered the cost an expense. But it’s not. The cost goes into improvements. It goes into fixing broken things, and making improvements. Which takes workers. Which creates jobs. It takes materials. Which means manufacturing. It means production. It means training and work. The money, then, goes to people. People that work for it. People that have jobs, and are not on welfare. It goes into places that people can use, which means they’re not on the streets or getting into trouble. It also goes back into the local economy, because people that have money often spend it.

When you work for your money, it’s not a handout. It’s earned.


People on the Right often consider money paid by the government to be handouts….when it goes to poor minorities.

Yet, they don’t consider it a handout when government gives money to people in the military, road commission, or farm subsidies.

Because, they think, those people work for their money.

We should change this thinking. We all pay taxes and we all have constitutional rights. Fixing what’s broken is a good thing. Having a job is a good thing. Working for your money is a good thing. I think we can agree on that.

Give the podcast a listen. It speaks to our political climate. If we can adjust a few things, compromise on a few issues, we can all be better off.



UnWoke: pt. A

I spent a few hours yesterday going through all of my notes, pages of writing, old journals, and ideas. It was fun to notice the themes that have continued throughout the years. For instance, I had three separate folders labelled “fragments”, but most of them are little ideas or lines of dialogue for a character and setting I’ve been working on. But the other thing I noticed is timing.

Timing matters, no doubt. But I think personal timing matters nearly - if not as much or more - as any other type of timing. Things can go on too long, too short, too soon, or too late. For me, this was the second part of this UnWoke series.

My wife has been a beast lately in the professional world. She’s been speaking all over the country, and continues to get requests to speak on things of race and race relations. This ramps up during Black History Month, and so I wanted to try and support her efforts by pointing out things I’ve learned (as a white dude) being married to a black woman.

And I have seen and been privy to situations that a lot of my fellow white Americans have not. And I’ve learned from them, and want to share some of those lessons. But I rushed it. I pushed annual timing in front of my own timing, and the organization was off. Which doesn’t make for a good flow - or do justice to those experiences.

Last week, I recommended a few books that have helped me. I took the second weekly post off for our birthdays. This week, I was really thinking about it, and know that to show my support I must re-route. So I’m going to follow that intuition. We can only grow and change when we’re ready; we can only treat The Other well when we see them as equal, which means waking up - being UnWoke -in a different way.

Ed Blog pt. 24 - 5 Things in 5 Days: Educational Consultants (Day 5)

Educational consultants are an extreme waste of money.  School districts spend a thousand dollars a day - adding to millions a year - to bring in someone to tell them what is wrong with their schools.  They often do nothing to follow through.  They also could have avoided all of this by listening to students, parents, and teachers.  Educational Consultants don't work for the same reason that child support doesn't make up for the actual love and attention from a parent.  

Throwing money at a problem, without addressing the root need and cause, does nothing to fix that problem.  In some ways, it makes it worse.  In the worst case of child support, a parent gives a lot of money to provide for their child(ren); through this act, the parent believes they are filling the needs of the child(ren).  What the child(ren) wants is love and attention, to matter, and for a positive presence to be in their life.  If someone doesn't get this, they won't be a good parent. 

This is exactly how it goes in a school.  When there is a deficiency, you cannot simply throw a lot of money at the problem.  If you do, the problem will not change and you'll simply have less money to fix that problem.  Rather, you must look at the cause of the problem, dissect the cause, and make a change from there.  

Ironically, a consultant often has almost the opposite incentives from the school district.  It's better for the consultant, the more problems they find.  The more negative they are, the better for them, financially.  The more suggestions they have, the more money they make. 

This sucks.  

True change needs to come from competent people that care and can do something about it.  In almost any school, you'll find a group of people willing to do this for free.  They'll look into how to help, how to train, and how take an active role in doing so.  Why not use that?  

There is obviously a time to ask questions and seek advice, but if this comes through taxpayer's dollars, and goes to someone that has an incentive to extend a problem rather than fix it, you've only got more problems.  Using this person as a crutch is not the answer.  At best it's a bandaid.