Bernie Sanders Seeks Presidency

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Braden Higby, Reporter

Bernie Sanders declared his intention to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for president on April 30, 2015.  Sanders is a self-described Democratic Socialist and the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. Since the 1970s, Sanders has had a voice on issues like income inequality, universal health care, parental leave, climate change and LGBTQ rights. Sanders has also long been critical of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, U.S foreign policy and the Iraq War.

One of Sanders’ largest focuses is raising the minimum wage and equaling out America’s wealth. According to www.sanders.senate.gov, if the minimum wage had kept up with productivity and inflation since 1968, it would be more than $26 an hour today.

“I don’t think the minimum wage is high enough for modern expenses,” said Sr. Emily Eshelman.

A problem with raising the minimum wage that is often overlooked is that all wages need to be increased to keep the skill-pay balance intact. It wouldn’t make very much sense for long-term employees or employees in executive positions to be making the same as brand new hirees.

bernies“My main worry is how raising the minimum wage so drastically could negatively affect national economic growth or that the push back from employers could worsen the divide between the workers and employers, resulting in a more overt form class warfare in our country,” said DHS alum Christopher Petty.

A common apprehension people have is the obscurity surrounding Sander’s ways of executing his financial plans.

“I would like more information from him about what his plans really look like, how he would implement those, and how he would help corporations and the average American through that time of change as he implements different policies and change,” said college prep teacher, Deb Medenwaldt.

Sanders’ plans to lower interest rates on federal student loans and make university free has been met with less controversy. Tuition costs have increased more than 500 percent since 1985 which has created a situation where people who are unable to pay tuition are left behind in our economy.

“Making all public universities free would dramatically benefit the lower classes by providing them a feasible way out of the cycle of poverty, and moreover having a higher education come at no cost would help, not only stimulate our economy by bringing more white collar jobs back home, but it would also allow us to get back on par with the European nations that have been rivaling if not surpassing the US in education and innovation in recent years,” said Petty.

Despite Sander’s vagueness, his ideals have earned him rising popularity, especially among the youth and elderly.

“I know there are other candidates who older generations tend to like more, but Bernie really appeals to youth, I think. So for him to have a chance, young people have to vote for him,” said Sr. Savannah Johnson.