One of the defenses of Bernie I must have heard a million times by now is that he says what he believes in. That was Glenn Beck’s point, right?It’s a sad state for American politics when what should be the minimum requirement for running for public office is seen as a candidate’s greatest trait.
I think what his supporters mean when they give this defense is Bernie can’t be bought by special interests. Compared to Hillary Clinton, Bernie does look like a saint in that regard.But does he really only say what he believes in? Well, let’s just let his actions speak. As the Daily Caller reports:
Just a couple months ago, Bernie Sanders lambasted Uber as an “unregulated” company with “serious problems,” but financial disclosures by the Democratic presidential candidate reveal that whenever his campaign requires a taxi, they literally always turn to Uber.
According to research done by National Journal, 100 percent of Sanders’ spending on taxi and ride-sharing services was spent on Uber. Among 2016 presidential contenders, that’s a distinction Sanders shares with only Bobby Jindal, Martin O’Malley, and the defunct Scott Walker and Rick Perry campaigns.It also puts him way ahead of Hillary Clinton, who only had 41 percent of her taxi costs go to Uber.
Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist and advocate for labor, so his skepticism of Uber is unsurprising. The company has been attacked on the left for evading taxi regulations in cities like New York, and the company is also criticized because its workers are classified as independent contractors rather than employees, meaning they don’t receive certain government benefits and protections. An ongoing class-action lawsuit by Uber drivers seeks to have them reclassified as employees.
But Uber’s innovations have also allowed it to offer cheaper service than most of its competitors, and that combined with its convenience apparently made it too compelling to the Sanders campaign to choose any other service.Bernie attacks the free market while reaping the benefits it’s created. If we really want to see how devoted Bernie is to his ideas, maybe we should apply a 90 percent tax to the president’s salary if he’s elected and see how well that flies.
[Note: This post was authored by the Analytical Economist]