Patterico's Pontifications

4/7/2016

The Frighteningly Ignorant Candidate (part 1)

Filed under: General — JVW @ 5:59 pm



[guest post by JVW]

There has been a great deal of discussion the past few days regarding the interview Senator Bernard Sanders (Dem Socialist-VT) had with the editorial board of the New York Daily News that was published earlier this week. Sanders and the Daily News’s editorial board, which like the candidate leans (or better yet lurches) heavily to the left, cover a variety of topics from economics to trade to regulation to foreign policy to campaign strategy, giving Sanders a mostly unimpeded opportunity to demonstrate that he is absolutely ignorant about each and every one of them.

Let’s start with business and the economy. Here is a key part of that exchange:

Daily News: You’ve said that the greed of Wall Street and corporate America is destroying the fabric of our nation. So if we can get particular: For example, in corporate America, Apple happens to be celebrating, today, its 40th birthday. It’s a company that grew from nothing to 115,000 permanent employees. And I’m wondering, is Apple destroying the fabric of America?

Bernie Sanders: No, Apple is not destroying the fabric of America. But I do wish they’d be manufacturing some of their devices, here, in the United States rather than in China. And I do wish that they would not be trying to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Daily News: Okay. Well, would you name, say, three American corporate giants that are destroying the national fabric?

Bernie Sanders: JPMorgan Chase, and virtually every other major bank in this country. [. . .]

Shrewd move by the editorial board asking specifically about Apple, a wildly successful company whose products are still coveted by the left-wing activists who comprise Sanders’ fan base. Sanders is shrewd enough to avoid taking the bait, though he does express a desire that Apple would manufacture here in the U.S., because things would be so much better for the average American if a MacBook Pro was $5,000 and an iPhone cost $1,500. But Sanders knows how to stay on message, and he steers the conversation over to Wall Street’s perfidy. Sanders may wish that Apple would move product assembly jobs back to the U.S., but I’m sure that Apple wishes that a left-wing paladin like Sanders would have had the courage to side against a Democrat Administration and advocate against the government forcing the company to hack the phone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook.

The interview moves on to trade, where Sanders makes common cause with Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan in asserting that trade is a horrible thing for us:

Daily News: Okay. Do you weigh in the balance at all, the fact that a company that’s moving jobs overseas, that the competitive climate may be such that they feel that they must, to compete in the United States?

Sanders: No. I think, firstly, we have to appreciate these guys wrote the rules in the first place. So they wrote the trade agreements. And then, yes, I do understand you can make more profits by paying people in Mexico, or China, or Vietnam pennies an hour, I do understand that. But I believe that people have…and, by the way, I’m not anti-trade. We live in a global economy, we need trade. But the trade policies that we have allowed to occur, that were written by corporate America have been disastrous for American workers.

So I think we need trade. But I think it should be based on fair trade policies. No, I don’t think it is appropriate for trade policies to say that you can move to a country where wages are abysmal, where there are no environmental regulations, where workers can’t form unions. That’s not the kind of trade agreement that I will support.

So in Sanders’ world we ought to be paying U.S. wages to workers in Mexico, Vietnam, and China, and we should insist that these developing countries shackle their economies to the whims of the global climate change cartel. I’m sure that will accelerate the process of lifting citizens of those country out of poverty. Not only that, but the rest of us can start paying $20 for a pair of drug store flip-flops or $40 for a three-pack of Gold Toe dress socks.

The topic shifts to the regulatory and legal mechanics of breaking up the banks, and Sanders demonstrates conclusively that he has given the matter zero thought and even less investigation, beyond his usual applause lines. I don’t want to quote it here because it is a pretty long and involved exchange, but I encourage you to go to the transcript of the interview and read it. Sanders declares that the banks need to be broken up, but when asked by the Daily News under what authority he would order the break up, he lapses back into a lamentation of the too big to fail philosophy (a concern he shares with many conservatives, as he acknowledges). Yet when pressed for specifics on how a break-up would work, Sanders sheepishly admits that the has no clue and will leave the actual task up to “the experts” (remind me: which other candidate has a penchant for spouting off with uninformed applause lines unmoored to legal reality?). When the topic shifts to why the Wall Street bigwigs who were around for the 2008 collapse avoided jail, Sanders again demonstrates that his angry rhetoric has no grounding in legal theory:

Daily News: Okay. Staying with Wall Street, you’ve pointed out, that “not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for causing the near collapse of our entire economy.” Why was that? Why did that happen? Why was there no prosecution?

Sanders: I would suspect that the answer that some would give you is that while what they did was horrific, and greedy and had a huge impact on our economy, that some suggest that…that those activities were not illegal. I disagree. And I think an aggressive attorney general would have found illegal activity.

Daily News: So do you think that President Obama’s Justice Department essentially was either in the tank or not as…

Sanders: No, I wouldn’t say they were in the tank. I’m saying, a Sanders administration would have a much more aggressive attorney general looking at all of the legal implications. [. . . ]

Daily News: Okay. But do you have a sense that there is a particular statute or statutes that a prosecutor could have or should have invoked to bring indictments?

Sanders: I suspect that there are. Yes.

Daily News: You believe that? But do you know?

Sanders: I believe that that is the case. Do I have them in front of me, now, legal statutes? No, I don’t. [. . . ]

So Sanders doesn’t think that Obama/Holder Justice Department is “in the tank” for Wall Street; they are just either lazy or incompetent. A ringing endorsement. And for an issue that is so central to the meaning of his candidacy, how come Sanders has never bothered to find out if there are existing statues that have been broken? Is it perhaps because he is little more than a preening blowhard who never thought he would come this far and has been faking it all along?

This post is getting long, and we haven’t even come yet to his delusions and misinformation with respect to foreign policy and his own popularity. I’ll wrap up here for now, and we’ll focus on the rest of Sanders’ further flights of fancy in a later post. I’ll also write about the reaction to his interview from both conservatives and liberals, which is almost uniformly negative.

– JVW

68 Responses to “The Frighteningly Ignorant Candidate (part 1)”

  1. I appreciate that Sanders is spoiling the coronation, but ye gods is he a cranky nutcase (or maybe a nutty crankcase)!

    JVW (9e3c77)

  2. i’ve never once even for a minute taken this sleazy pervert seriously

    he’s creepy and old

    happyfeet (831175)

  3. Whenever I hear the name Sanders I think of the ‘frighteningly ignorant’ but charming and lovable Winnie-the-Pooh.

    Johnny Mustard (7537d3)

  4. As is the case with many on the left, Sanders has studied too much philosophy, and not enough economics.

    norcal (7b0690)

  5. wisconsin democrats exit polling bernie sanders is to moderate and hillary is a dino! democrats are much more to the left then democratic candidates. wisconsin democrats anyone who voted for voter id’s should be given capital punishment

    berni bro (268953)

  6. doc brown, without the flux capacitor,

    narciso (732bc0)

  7. Anyone who opposes voter ID requirements is supporting election fraud.

    ropelight (57715e)

  8. wisconsin democrats anyone who voted for voter id’s should be given capital punishment

    Except that the left doesn’t believe in capital punishment; their opponents just have a weird tendency to suddenly disappear. Permanently.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  9. Second most successful welfare recipient in history, next to Obama. (If you leave out the British royal family.)

    nk (dbc370)

  10. Perry is delusional.

    JD (03558b)

  11. berni bro is Perry. When I take over the Tri-State Area, I am going to move four Mexican families into his house with him.

    nk (dbc370)

  12. nk, hopefully at least one member among those 4 Mexican families will be a proofreader so they can help him with his spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure. And a psychiatrist would be helpful, too.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  13. If you’re gonna argue that it’s good that Apple produces their products overseas and not in the US, then aren’t you saying that everything should be produced overseas and manufacturers who still produce products in the US are suckers?

    Jcurtis (76e163)

  14. Bernie is trying to cash in for himself before he retires.
    As it sits now he will be able to earn a few million over the next years getting money for giving speeches.
    He has already sold out, but soon he will show his capitalistic side to everyone

    steveg (fed1c9)

  15. Second most successful welfare recipient in history, next to Obama. (If you leave out the British royal family.)

    Hey now, most of the current royals have served the crown in the armed forces, including the current queen. That is far better than any Kennedy born since 1950, for instance.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  16. Royalist!

    nk (dbc370)

  17. If you’re gonna argue that it’s good that Apple produces their products overseas and not in the US, then aren’t you saying that everything should be produced overseas and manufacturers who still produce products in the US are suckers?

    What I’m saying is that if you want your Apple products to be affordable, then it makes sense to assemble them overseas (I think Apple claims that much of its manufacturing is still done here, though some is done in China). If you need precision work done by highly-skilled artisans, then you might want to stick to the U.S. But if you are really just placing circuit boards, wires, and memory chips inside a phone case and then slapping on a screen, then why pay U.S. prevailing wages for something so rote? Moving these sorts of jobs overseas is also the last piece of ammunition that businesses have to fight government’s attempts to force them into higher wages and more lavish benefits.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  18. Patterico–

    With respect to Apple, there isn’t really much reason why they don’t manufacture here. Nearly all their assembly and component manufacture is automated. No one in their right minds solders anything but prototypes by hand, and even sub-assemblies are put together by robots (with computers there is some of that hand assembly of big components (keyboards, disk drive, etc), but still not much on a value added basis).

    The people who watch over the robots are highly trained and their cost with respect to the automation is negligible, and would be not matter where it is done. Putting the final product in the little boxes with the little nanuals and cables maybe be done by hand. And maybe not.

    The added cost for an iPhone made in the US from labor costs would be perhaps $25. Less I think.

    Now there are other costs, such as the rights to be environmental hooligans, that one can purchase in China for very little and these may add up. The same executives would have a fit if someone did that near their homes in Palo Alto or Marin County.

    And of course, there are US taxes, which cannot be avoided by small bribes in the right places.

    But the real reason is that China demands that the phones be made there, as a matter of industrial policy, if Apple wants to sell them there, and Apple’s devotion to free trade only goes so far.

    Don’t believe for a minute it’s about the costs. There is almost no labor involved.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  19. and would be not matter

    and it would not matter

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  20. The point being that a $700 (HA!) iPhone does not become a $1500 iPhone because of US labor costs. That’s ludicrous. It remains a $700 iPhone with a slightly lower but still silly markup.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  21. 13.If you’re gonna argue that it’s good that Apple produces their products overseas and not in the US, then aren’t you saying that everything should be produced overseas and manufacturers who still produce products in the US are suckers?
    Jcurtis (76e163) — 4/7/2016 @ 6:30 pm

    No, they’re not saying that. Businesses, like individuals need to be free to operate to what they perceive is their best interests. If going overseas is then it is, if not stay.

    Imam Hoagie ™ (e4fcd6)

  22. past is prologue,

    http://babalublog.com/2016/04/07/obama-praises-apartheid-cubas-medical-workers-slave-trade/

    of course, someone who’s pastor was a guest of the regime, and another associate was trained by them, would act in no other way,

    narciso (732bc0)

  23. I dunno, Kevin M. Did you check the link in my comment from Forbes suggesting that it would cost Apple $4.2 billion more per year to manufacture and assemble here? And again, according to the Forbes piece the cost of assembly for an iPhone 5 being about $200+, so the markup, while big, isn’t totally outrageous. Plus, of course, if they manufactured here they would have to pay U.S. tax rates on the models that they ship and sell overseas.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  24. 20.The point being that a $700 (HA!) iPhone does not become a $1500 iPhone because of US labor costs. That’s ludicrous. It remains a $700 iPhone with a slightly lower but still silly markup.

    That could be true, Kevin M, if no other company anywhere made a phone. But since IPhone has competitors it is not so. And even if they didn’t have competitors (like Henry Ford for example) perhaps they’d rather sell 20 million phones at $400 than 20,000 at $2,000. That competition is also part of what may drive a company to relocate. It’s not just one thing. It’s a disadvantageous combination of wages, taxes, regulations, environmental demands, access to logistics, quality of the labor force and I’m sure others I haven’t listed.

    Imam Hoagie ™ (e4fcd6)

  25. Companies move jobs overseas largely because US taxes and regulation are high and stupid, in any order you choose. There are costs to do business in other places and very little high tech is labor intensive (and most of what is is done here, such as engineering, and is incredibly costly).

    There are several ways to get companies to bring jobs back.

    1. You can pass a law imposing high tariffs. This causes trade wars and/or a lack of quality products. This is Trump’s plan.

    2. You can attempt to tax companies on their foreign operations. This tends to get companies to move all the rest of their operations out of the country. This appears to be Sander’s plan.

    3. You can cut regulation and taxes to the point that many companies find it better to begin returning manufacturing to the US, because the overall climate is no longer worth fleeing. THis appears to be the Cruz plan.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  26. Hoagie,

    Apple sells their phones for about $200 more than competitors when you consider carrier subsidies. This is declining a bit, but the point being that there is VERY little cost difference due to labor, and if you look at Apple’s gross profit number, they have a LOT of room between what the market will bear and what their costs are right now.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  27. they would have to pay U.S. tax rates on the models that they ship and sell overseas.

    Yes. This is the problem. As I said. Also, China would find that there needed to be a tariff on imported phones all of a sudden.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  28. Where are the Trump Fan Boys to tell us that we need to put a tariff on Ted Cruz, since he was imported from Canada?

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  29. “JPMorgan Chase, and virtually every other major bank in this country.”

    Comrade Sanders somehow forgot Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the grand scheme of the financial crisis. I’m sure it was a simple oversight on his part.

    Rick Ballard (312c7c)

  30. JVW, reading that Forbes link, it seems that they are saying that it would cost $4 to manufacture a phone in the US than in China. I estimated “less than $25” knowing I could not possibly be wrong. Even if you added in the added costs of making the $200 in components here, it would still be under $25.

    The problem, as I suggested, and as Forbes mentions is US taxes and accounting rules, not to mention any costs due to not being able to dump their spent solder wash in the nearest stream.

    The way to bring this home is to bring down the US tax rates, and perhaps tie discounted repatriation of stranded profits to the repatriation of manufacturing. Apple stockholders cannot be happy that all these giant profits are forever outside their reach.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  31. But again, it ain’t no effing $1,500 iPhone. That barely aspires to being a strawman.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  32. Comrade Sanders somehow forgot Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the grand scheme of the financial crisis. I’m sure it was a simple oversight on his part.

    Or even Standard & Poors and the other rating agencies, who rated all those collections of junk mortgages AAA.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  33. I do hereby levy a fee upon the Cruz canuck maple syrup boy who lies. He lies about lying and lies about how much he lies.

    (Actually I think Rush was right on today when he sorta said that Cruz was going to need money, and the GOP establishment donors were going to want Cruz to walk back the social issues, the immigration rhetoric etc. Rush noted that this is one of those inflection points where need for money starts to erode the “staunch” values down to “once upon a time there was…”)

    steveg (fed1c9)

  34. The idea of actively trying to find something to indict someone on is fascistic. We’ve already seen that with the creator of the Islam video that Obama and Hillary blamed Benghazi on, and Dinesh D’Souza and likely others.

    Gerald A (7c7ffb)

  35. Oh,

    Cruz is smart, but he should never mistake these donor people for friends. Many if not most by far, only want him in the race to spoil Trump… and after that they will wait, and wait for the right time to toss Cruz under the bus

    steveg (fed1c9)

  36. Actually I think Rush was right on today when he sorta said that Cruz was going to need money, and the GOP establishment donors were going to want Cruz to walk back the social issues, the immigration rhetoric etc.

    Cruz has spent little time on social issues in the campaign, so I’m not sure what there is to walk back.

    Gerald A (7c7ffb)

  37. Now, as for things that ARE labor-intensive, like garments, companies are going to go overseas. Just gotta happen. It’s ironic that there are tasks that are particularly difficult for machines (things involving irregular pieces like shirts) but relatively unskilled humans can do, while there are jobs that machines can do easily that require superhuman skill (modern electronic assembly).

    On these I am pro sweat shop. Someone in Honduras working at $5/day to feed their family beats the heck of of not doing that and having the only jobs being sex toys for El Padrone.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  38. In Soviet Russia, Comrade Bernie would have been purged for parasitism and sent to gulag.

    nk (dbc370)

  39. Yeah, yeah, Cruz has been waiting all this time for Limbaugh to tell him what establishment donors want.

    nk (dbc370)

  40. he has the soul of a Zdanov, perhaps a Zinoviev,

    narciso (732bc0)

  41. Things are so bad in the Democrat Party that I have less disdain for people of the left favoring Communist-Lite Sanders over ultra-liberal but also deranged, sociopathically dishonest Hillary.

    The top public figures of the left in 21st century America are so reprehensible, that it’s not even their ideology per se that I now find so objectionable. It’s their gut-wrenching lack of basic ethics and integrity. That and their insanity.

    That’s somewhat illustrated by the way so many liberals can somehow square (or encourage) a leftist social agenda, where things like the GLBT and pro-abortion are more bombastic than ever before, with Islamofasciscm, where the GLBT are flung off rooftops and women have to wear head scarves.

    All this while so many liberals decry greed and capitalism (or global warming), while living large in their fine homes (in non-diverse communities), traveling in their fancy cars and Lear jets, and playing with their fancy toys.

    Mark (0f444a)

  42. Kevin M is providing a lesson. Folks should listen. He is correct in his assertions.

    With respect to Forbes analysis, don’t buy it cuz that was planted by Apple to curry favor.

    Rodney King's Spirit (db6706)

  43. Donald Trump’s loss to Hillary is going to be YUGE.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  44. JVW, reading that Forbes link, it seems that they are saying that it would cost $4 to manufacture a phone in the US than in China.

    That figure is based upon estimates of the assembly price of one model of phone assembled in the U.S., the Moto X, which is a hand-assembled customized boutique phone. Apple sold 231 million phones worldwide in 2015. It’s kind of hard to get the figures for Motorola, but they lost marketshare and probably didn’t sell more than 40 million, with the Moto X representing a minority share of Motorola sales since I don’t believe it is available overseas. So I don’t think the economies of scale here are comparable, and I doubt that either the $4 or $8 figures quoted are all that applicable. As I think the author pointed out, Apple may not be able to find the space or the labor force to build all those phones in this country, let alone the regulatory rigamarole they would have to go through.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  45. @33, 36- I heard a portion on Rush on Thursday (1100-112hr, PDT) where he was speaking to a NYT article regarding donors “holding their noses” while supporting Cruz due to some of his views on things. The example spoken of was the owner of a metals business who was trying to get Cruz to back off of his global warming position, Cruz not buying into it at all. Rush gave the opinion that this potential donor’s business most likely benefited from the global warming hysteria and wanted some indication from Cruz that he might soften his position before the donor ponied up some bucks. His complaint to the NYT reporter was that Cruz would not do that. I did not hear any similar scenario relating to “social issues”. Rush was putting forth the idea that as we moved closer to the convention and then into the actual campaign we would see more of efforts to get candidates to back off what some donors might call extreme positions. I did not hear the whole segment as I arrived at my destination went about my business.

    Gramps (39f97a)

  46. JVW, Carpe Diem had a study some years back that showed that the iPhone 4, “Made in China”, and retailing for US$600, netted China all of SIX BUCKS.

    That’s not going to translate to a “high wage manufacturing job” if you brought it home.

    That’s going to translate to a heavily roboticized factory with 10 whole employees if you bring it back home.

    Idiots like Bernie and his fans Just Don’t Get This.

    IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses (545189)

  47. Kevin M:

    It is a standard rule of manufacturing that an increase in costs translates to a 10x increase in retail price. Don’t ask me why but it has long been a standard. Verify for yourself.

    So your $25 increase in cost takes the phone from a retail of US$600 to $850.

    And that is only IF you are correct that it will be that small.

    And the factory in question will only employ a few dozen overseers at most, not hundreds of workers.

    PLUS… And far more importantly…. it won’t help 3rd world countries bootstrap themselves into the industrial age, leaving them further and further behind.

    Amazing how every liberal prescription for dealing with “wealth inequity” is virtually certain to increase it worldwide…

    IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses (545189)

  48. It is a standard rule of manufacturing that an increase in costs translates to a 10x increase in retail price.

    Only when your retail price is coupled to cost. Such as with bathroom tissue. When it is simply “what the market will bear” and your profits exceed your operating expenses, not so much.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  49. But even so, 850 isn’t 1,500

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  50. it won’t help 3rd world countries bootstrap themselves into the industrial age, leaving them further and further behind.

    There are plenty of jobs that you will still export, like textiles and clothing. You cannot bootstrap all at once, and you cannot help the 3rd world while you hollow out the first.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  51. Getting to Sander’s third point — there were plenty of criminal acts committed in the 2005-2008 period.

    * Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac knowingly guaranteed worse and worse mortgages due to political pressure and large bonuses.

    * Banks and financial service firms knowingly debased mortgage-backed securities with increasing amounts of subprime mortgages in order to unload them.

    * Standard & Poor’s and the other rating agencies criminally misrepresented mortgage-backed securities as A-rated when they were composed of fetid junk.

    * Appraisers routinely inflated appraisals when they found that not doing so meant their business dried up.

    * Borrowers lied on loan applications

    * Mortgage brokers coached borrowers on how to lie on loan applications.

    Very few of these crimes were ever prosecuted. The top 10 or so people in each large financial firm in 2007 could have gone to prison had anyone wanted to go after them.

    ============

    I am NOT a fan of Sander’s solutions, just as I am not a fan of Trump’s solutions. But the problems they both bring up, especially the corruption that both parties have engaged in, is often well stated.

    Sanders wants to put a bunch of bankers in jail. I suspect they would be the wrong bankers (e.g. ones that refused to issue subprime loans), but that’s not really the point.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  52. Sander’s second point is stupid, of course.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  53. yes, but he leaves out how the cra and justice and hud, create the environment for a subprime bubble,

    http://www.steynonline.com/7508/the-new-man-and-his-gender-gap

    narciso (732bc0)

  54. Sanders had to be good at something…

    http://youtu.be/QzmVSGFW5HY

    Colonel Haiku (58355d)

  55. Cue Muttley laugh https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=hw3CE04LGiA&nohtml5=False

    nk (dbc370)

  56. this potential donor’s business most likely benefited from the global warming hysteria

    Reminiscent of the folks back in the late 1800s who wanted to keep the so-called “peculiar institution” (ie, slavery) active and intact because their livelihoods were dependent on that.

    Today it’s the desire of various Americans to have easy, comfy access to unfettered cheap labor (no matter whether it’s here or there, or legal or “undocumented”), or their love of pushy big government making the public do the watusi in order to satisfy federal or state-based mandates, restrictions and fees, and, in turn, such well-heeled Americans using crony capitalism to make out like bandits.

    Mark (0f444a)

  57. Why do so many of Trump’s male surrogates and subordinates — including this new Manafort guy — dress like would-be “Wiseguys” extras? SarahH? DRJ? Anyone?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  58. I’m sure Stone hangs around gymnasiums with a lot of other semi-naked sweaty guys.

    nk (dbc370)

  59. He would be the kind of guy who enjoys looking at bodybuilding magazines.

    nk (dbc370)

  60. Does anybody know if he’s ever been in a Turkish prison?

    nk (dbc370)

  61. well manafort is the senior partner in this arrangement, charlie black is in the middle of the deck,

    narciso (732bc0)

  62. Beldar (fa637a) — 4/8/2016 @ 7:05 pm

    A Seersucker suit makes all the difference.

    NK, no, but I’m sure he like gladiator movies.

    felipe (56556d)

  63. manafort is only three year older, and his ties to yanukovich, are legitimate reasons for concern,

    narciso (732bc0)

  64. We had a guy in Chicago who used his wife as bait to entice young men for sex with him. John Gacy. We executed him.

    nk (dbc370)


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