Bernie Sanders is Not a Radical, He Has Mass Support for Healthcare & Tax Positions
During an event Tuesday night, Noam Chomsky was asked about Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and said he considered him more of a “New Deal Democrat” than a radical extremist, as some have portrayed him.
Chomsky said Sanders’ positions on taxes and healthcare are supported by a majority of the American public, and have been for a long time.
He added that Sanders has “mobilized a large number of young people who are saying, ‘Look, we’re not going to consent anymore.’
If that turns into a continuing, organized, mobilized force, that could change the country—maybe not for this election, but in the longer term.”
Chomsky is a world-renowned political dissident, linguist, author and institute professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he’s taught for more than half a century.
He spoke at the Brooklyn Public Library at an event hosted by Live from the NYPL.
The event also featured Greece’s former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis. He discusses his role in the country’s financial crisis in his new book, “And the Weak Suffer What They Must?: Europe’s Crisis and America’s Economic Future.”
Varoufakis will be a guest Thursday on Democracy Now!
NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, Bernie Sanders is an extremely interesting phenomenon. He’s a decent, honest person. That’s pretty unusual in the political system.
Maybe there are two of them in the world, you know. But he’s considered radical and extremist, which is a pretty interesting characterization, because he’s basically a mainstream New Deal Democrat. His positions would not have surprised President Eisenhower, who said, in fact, that anyone who does not accept New Deal programs doesn’t belong in the American political system. That’s now considered very radical.
The other interesting aspect of Sanders’s positions is that they’re quite strongly supported by the general public, and have been for a long time.
That’s true on taxes. It’s true on healthcare.
So, take, say, healthcare. His proposal for a national healthcare system, meaning the kind of system that just about every other developed country has, at half the per capita cost of the United States and comparable or better outcomes, that’s considered very radical.
But it’s been the position of the majority of the American population for a long time. So, you go back, say, to the Reagan—right now, for example, latest polls, about 60 percent of the population favor it. When Obama put through the Affordable Care Act, there was, you recall, a public option. But that was dropped.
It was dropped even though it was supported by about almost two-thirds of the population.
You go back earlier to the Reagan years, about 70 percent of the population thought that national healthcare should be in the Constitution, because it’s such an obvious right.
And, in fact, about 40 percent of the population thought it was in the Constitution, again, because it’s such an obvious right. The same is true on tax policy and others.
So we have this phenomenon where someone is taking positions that would have been considered pretty mainstream during the Eisenhower years, that are supported by a large part, often a considerable majority, of the population, but he’s dismissed as radical and extremist.
That’s an indication of how the spectrum has shifted to the right during the neoliberal period, so far to the right that the contemporary Democrats are pretty much what used to be called moderate Republicans. And the Republicans are just off the spectrum.
They’re not a legitimate parliamentary party anymore. And Sanders has—the significant part of—he has pressed the mainstream Democrats a little bit towards the progressive side.
You see that in Clinton’s statements. But he has mobilized a large number of young people, these young people who are saying, “Look, we’re not going to consent anymore.” And if that turns into a continuing, organized, mobilized—mobilized force, that could change the country—maybe not for this election, but in the longer term.
“Around the rest of the world, Mr. Sanders represents a point on the political spectrum that is mildly left of centre.
His “wacky” ideas of free education, free healthcare, regulating banks and corporations and so on are all actually staple ideas of many of the happiest and most prosperous countries in the world.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at the happiest countries in the world index for 2016.”
How to read an academic paper?
It is beyond me why juries on thesis, Masters or Ph.D, insist on producing voluminous books.
Probably, to initiate the candidate to learn Job’s patience for writing?
Or to give the illusion that what is produced is worth years of wasting time and energy on a book that barely anybody will ever read to refers to it?
Any one who went through this headache knows that half the time spent on a PhD program was reserved for writing the thesis. No wonder, most of these graduates gave up on writing anything afterward and refused to teach or pursue an academic life.
I suggest that professional writers who pressured their publishers to edit short books be included in such juries in order to lighten the book from redundant paragraphs.
What kills me is when you are forbidden to use the first personal in order to give an objective tone to the research. As if personal experiences are Not valid or our world views are not mainly generated from the few personal experiences we faced and tackled.
Not a grain of faith in me darling; (Mar. 28, 2010)
You lined your eyelids dark blue;
You have so little faith in me baby:
If you had a grain of faith in the power of my love
You would know I melted the night to paint your eyelids.
You used to tell me:
“Ease off your kisses. If my lips melted what would you do?
If your brutal suckling wilt the flowers of my pomegranates
What would you do next?”
Baby, hold your horses on lengthy conversations.
I need the silence loving your hands doing the talking.
Stop harassing me and insisting to repeat “I love you”:
Wine loses its potency as the bottle of emotions is frequently opened.
Young Palestinians enjoying an indoor party, Jerusalem, early 1940’s
Looking at these 2 pictures, I realized how homogeneous were the styles in cloths and hairdos in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.
The borders were opened, even as France had mandated power over Syria and Lebanon, and the British over Palestine and Jordan.
Lebanese spent more time in Haifa than in Tripoli, Saida or Tyr.
Palestinians and Lebanese knew Damascus better than their urban cities.
We actually were One people until the colonial powers decided that we belong to created “Independent” States
And they facilitated the creation of Israel by splitting and dividing this One people.
What’s in the dawn? (Apr. 7, 2010)
What’s in the dawn?
Birds must be chirping.
Cool breeze must be biting.
Wet thyme must be tingling.
And I am smiling.
What’s in the dawn?
Is it raining?
Is it thundering?
Is it freezing?
I am sending a prayer
To the sick, the ill, the suffering from cold and hunger;
To the many at the end of their rope
What’s in the dawn?
I am breathing fresh life.
In a couple of hours nature dies:
The drama of the day begins
I can’t get used to that drama.
I want my dawn
Any day of the year.
Minority rule: it takes a few very intolerant and tenacious people to make the system more honest
No troll should be able to abuse the media and academic system!
Background: After being called a BS vendor by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in the past, Smith in a vendetta, has written 4 articles with similar attempts at discrediting and distorting without the slightest familiarity with the subject. More on these, later, as this is not the end.
This is a public service for others who might fall prey to the overactive BS operator passing for expert Noah Smith (who was thrown out of academia for not meeting standards), with the misfortune of having been given a voice on Bloomberg, thus risking to turn Bloomberg (otherwise with tight standards) into a BS vending operation.
John Peter shared this link of Nassim Nicholas Taleb. April 18 at 4:38pm ·
Added a page as public service (he will now leave me alone, this is to protect others, preserve the integrity of the system)
This is the minority rule: it takes only a few very very intolerant and tenacious people to make the system more honest.
Summary of Breaches of Journalistic Ethics & Logic in Noah Smith’s Bloomberg View Article on The Black Swan of April 16, 2016
Taleb in The Black Swan:
There are two varieties of rare events:
a) the narrated Black Swans, those that are present in the current discourse and that you are likely to hear about on television, and
b) those nobody talks about, since they escape models—those that you would feel ashamed discussing in public because they do not seem plausible. I can safely say that it is entirely compatible with human nature that the incidences of Black Swans would be overestimated in the first case, but severely underestimated in the second one.
This miscalculation problem is a little more subtle.
In truth, outliers are not as sensitive to underestimation since they are fragile to estimation errors, which can go in both directions.
As we saw in Chapter 6, there are conditions under which people overestimate the unusual or some specific unusual event (say when sensational images come to their minds)—which is how insurance companies thrive.
So my general point is that these events are very fragile to miscalculation, with a general severe underestimation mixed with an occasional severe overestimation.
Noah Smith in Bloomberg View: [goes on and on presenting the Black Swan as only overestimating market crashes]… In other words, Taleb might be wrong — people might be overestimating, rather than underestimating, the risk of market crashes.
So visibly Noah Smith is not familiar with the book that he is discussing.
This led to an incoherent response: Noah Smith said he “agrees with points above” (not explaining then his Taleb is “wrong” other than to create hype), and his editor, James Grieff saying “He read the book but disagrees with it”. His editor claims that “he read the book”is like someone claiming he read War and Peace, it takes place in Venezuela.
Background: Noah Smith has a long documented track record of writing critiques of books he hasn’t seen, and discussing papers he hasn’t read.
Here you have authors spending 10 years writing a book, and some troll with a megaphone critiquing it on things that have nothing to do with the content.
I first became aware of it when he previously commented on my skin-in-the-game without realizing there was the expression of a mathematical theorem, when it was on page 2.
The editor has to have a problem to miss the severe asynchrony. Noah Smith takes a book published in 2007 (before the last crisis), discussing events until 2006, then says “Taleb is wrong” from inference on market estimation of probability between 2007-2016 and what decision to take today based on prices today, 2016.
Perhaps the participants adjusted to events of 2007, the book, or something else. The claim by Noah Smith about the Black Swan concerns the market value of risk, not the structure of risk, which is something subsequent to the book. That his editor missed the asynchrony is very, very strange…
Other Violations of Professionalism
Noah Smith has no familiarity with finance.
In 2009 I made a statement in Moscow about 4 trades to do. I was not aware of being filmed and used trader language.
One of them was short T Bonds. After I communicated to Noah Smith that he was a BS vendor, he advertised in 2014 my claim of short bonds … in 2009 as a way to wreck my credibility in every way possible. Did he report on the other trades in the ensemble? No.
Did it hit him that trades are something that don’t last 4 years? No.
Did it hit him that bonds collapsed after the talk? (markets happen to go up and down). No.
Did he realize that I have several hundred thousand trades in my career and no self respecting scientist would play the media megaphone to select one, particularly 5 years later without knowing the true outcome?
This is why he couldn’t write an academic paper: his mind has a defect in its logical wiring.
No finance academic would commit the lack of professionalism of cherry-picking a trade in a portfolio, and, worse, not realizing that a dynamic trader buys and sells and there is low correlation between the trade and the fate of the market.
How can someone that ignorant about finance write about finance?
Hotbeds of active extremist members of religious sects
The active extremist members of religious sects live in ghettos in the suburbs of urban surrounding.
They observe the surrounding and have a notion of the civil laws but prefer to abide by the ghetto laws.
If the religion has a set of laws, they take it and run with it.
They are the most secrtetive and isolate of clans, kind of living in ghettos within ghettos.
They are what used to be the conveyor belt of tribes living close to urban cities and towns with the desert and rural regions…
They understand the abstract notions of urban religious sects but adopt the remote rural sets of traditions
What is a Madrassat? It is a religious school funded by the Saudi Kingdom and teaches the most obscurantist Wahhabi brand of Islam.
Let’s face it: Until the thousands of Wahhabi Islamic Madrassat working around the world are transformed into secular public schools, Extremist Islamic sects will be around for hundreds of years.
The USA, China and Europe must find the necessary funds and training to all States ready to close down or reform these Saudi Kingdom funded Madrassat in the last 3 decades
Da3esh or ISIS is back in north Syria and are recapturing lost towns very quickly: If the US and Turkey still want to control this northern region, then Syria will let loose ISIS to deal with these so-called moderate military oppositions
In a speech to Egypt President Abdel Nasser in 1953: The Moslem Brotherhood leader wants women to wear the veil when stepping out from homes: Let him himself wear the veils first