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Why Bernie Sanders’ Proposals Would Spur Economic Growth

Robert Reich
Contributor
Robert B. Reich is the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten…
Robert Reich

    Bernie Sanders at a rally in Tucson, Ariz. (Rick Scuteri / AP)

This post originally ran on Robert Reich’s website.

A few days ago, Neel Kashkari – now
president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, who was the senior
Treasury Department official in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations
helping to save the big Wall Street banks – said “I believe the biggest banks
are still too big to fail and continue to pose a significant, ongoing risk to
our economy,” and called for them to be broken up. “The question is whether we
as a country have the courage to actually take action now.”

That seems to me to be the question
on a lot of fronts. Our health costs continue to rise and are about to soar as
boomers need more health care. A single-payer system is necessary to restrain
those costs and provide the care people need. Anyone who still harbors doubts should take a look at these
studies: http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single-payer-system-cost
.

It’s
the same with widening inequality and structural discrimination.

Failure to take action on the biggest banks, a single-payer plan, widening inequality, and discrimination will almost certainly harm the economy. We can’t afford another near-meltdown of Wall Street. Health care costs continue to be a huge drain on the economy. Widening inequality is robbing the vast middle class of the purchasing power it needs to keep the economy growing. And structural discrimination is making it hard for many Americans to be successful and productive members of our society. 

As
Bernie Sanders has said, taking action on all these fronts would therefore spur growth, employment, and median incomes. (In this respect, I
disagree with the views of four former chairs of the Council of Economic
Advisors from the Clinton and Obama administrations.) 

The question is whether we as a country have the courage to actually take action now.

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