Joe Biden And Normal People

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That huge sigh of relief you heard, followed by cheering for Joe Biden, that came from the establishment. Whew! We’ve been saved from Bernie Sanders and socialism. That was a close call! Thank goodness the danger has passed. We can get back to business as usual.

Well, good for Joe Biden, I like him. But this Democratic primary is not over until it’s over. The contest has narrowed, and it’s about even. I have some questions.

I’m looking at Andrew Yang’s book, “The War On Normal People.” Remember Normal People? The folks Yang was speaking about, the ones Elizabeth Warren was speaking for? The ones Bernie Sanders is still speaking to?

A blurb at the top front cover of Yang’s book:

“Andrew Yang highlights the urgent need to rewrite America’s social contract.” — Alec Ross

Social contract

Like Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been thinking about the social contract, and talking about it.

But I wonder about Joe Biden, with whom the establishment feels so comfortable. What does Joe think about the social contract? Does he think about it at all?

Subtitle at the bottom of Yang’s front cover:

“The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future”

Disappearing jobs

We know Andrew Yang proposes a $1,000-a-month payment to every American.

We know Bernie and Elizabeth propose Medicare for all. And taxing the rich. Fighting powerful corporate interests and corruption. And lots of free education, preschool to college.

What exactly is Joe Biden’s concept of universal healthcare? Is it high-deductible private insurance for everyone who wants to buy it? Or low-coverage insurance and high co-pays for everyone lucky enough to have a job with benefits? I guess that would be close to universal. How much would you pay to get tested for coronavirus?

What about taxation? Education? I’m a little fuzzy about the details of what Joe would do for Yang’s Normal People.

Young and left out

Those younger people, so enthusiastic about Bernie Sanders. So far, they’ve failed to vote in record numbers. Just what you’d expect from young voters. Maybe Joe Biden can win without them.

The disillusioned young people, seemingly left out of the American Dream. Living with their parents, working gigs, not careers, weighed down with debt they may never be able to pay off. They can’t buy a house, or maybe even a car.

Those young folks, voters or nonvoters, are they included in the social contract? Does Joe Biden have something to say to them?

Middle-aged and desperate

What about middle-aged voters in fly-over country? More than a few of them are out-sourced, unnecessary, and all too often, desperate. Maybe Joe Biden can win without them.

For desperate middle-aged Americans, their life expectancy is shrinking. They often struggle with unemployment, poverty, divorce, alcoholism, opioids, smoking, and sometimes suicide. Are they included in the social contract? Does Joe Biden have anything to say to them?

Choices to make before we sleep

I’m torn between fear that a Bernie Sanders-Donald Trump election might tear our country asunder. And on the other hand, fear that a Joe Biden-Donald Trump election might take our county completely away from Normal People, and turn it over to the rich and powerful, forever.

I wonder about Bernie Sanders. Why does Bernie comfort the afflicted in our society, and afflict the comfortable? Why are the comfortable, the wealthy and the powerful scared to death of a Bernie Sanders presidency? What are they afraid of, paying higher taxes?

And I wonder about Joe Biden. Why does Joe give such relief and comfort to the already comfortable, the wealthy and the powerful? And what about the young, the poor, the left-out, the sick? Will they receive any comfort or relief in a Joe Biden presidency?

Is Joe Biden on the side of Mike Bloomberg and the billionaires? Or is he on the side of Andrew Yang and Normal People? Would it be possible to be on both sides at the same time?

Far as I know, Andrew Yang has not endorsed either Joe or Bernie. If he would side with one or the other, it might ease my mind. What do you think?

— John Hayden

13 thoughts on “Joe Biden And Normal People

  1. My concerns about Sanders — and you know I was a considerable Sanders stan in the last election — are that he’s had four years to explain how his socialist government would work, and I don’t see him doing it; that he’s comfortable with Russian trolls stumping for him and “Bernie bros” behaving like a goon squad on social media; that the people he surrounds himself with do nothing to reassure me about an eventual Sanders cabinet. I want to see him talking about who’ll be serving there, and it can’t just be people who share his ideology but lack expertise.

    This doesn’t mean I’m thrilled about Biden, far from it. I’m sick that Warrn dropped out, though she clearly had no path; she’s the President we need — younger than either of the men, quick-minded, methodical, good-humored, able to connect with people. If she were a man she’d probably have the nomination sewed up, though I know how Americans hate smart people so I could be wrong.

    We just have to make people see that four more years of Trump is not acceptable under any conditions.

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    • Thank you Ms. Sled, it’s good to be in touch with you again. I hope you are nearly recovered from the physical problems that kept you away from the gym.

      Like you, I was enthusiastic about Bernie in 2016, and have continued to be hopeful this year. But as you say, reality intrudes and we develop reservations. Bernie is a lifelong ideas man, not a technician. You may have identified the single most important missing factor. He’s going to need a team of able and experienced executives and advisers to operate the complex and sprawling federal government, and make a start on implementing his bold ideas, like Medicare for all.

      I don’t use Twitter, so I don’t understand the Bernie Bros issue. On the surface, it sounds sexist. I think Bernie has as much support among young women as among young men. But I admit I’m uninformed, so I shouldn’t even mention it.

      I’ve often said that Elizabeth Warren is the smartest person in the room. It’s a shame that she failed to get traction, but she’s exactly the kind of can-do person Bernie would need to run a government.

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      • If there’s a Sanders presidency, I hope she’s part of it. I wish he’d reached out to her, said something commendatory when she bowed out. I’m very afraid he’s an egotist who won’t be able to work with anyone who ever challenged him; compare and contrast Obama putting Hillary so high in his administration.

        I’m fixed almost completely from the hips, but now I need both eyes mauled – four surgeries total. I’ve known ny eyes were FUBAR for decades, compared to the way the hips snuck up on me, so I should be phlegmatic, but god I am just so done.

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        • I’m happy to hear that you’re ambulatory and able to resume almost normal workouts. I read about your progress on your blog. (I know that you, like me, are not posting as frequently as in the good old days.)

          So sorry that you face the eye surgery. It’s unfair for a person who is an avid reader like yourself to suffer eye trouble. I hope it will turn out well. (Few readers besides you and me will understand a WWII era expression like FUBAR. And I’m not going to tell them.)

          I don’t know what the situation is between Sanders and Warren. And soon we’ll have to find a way to reconcile Sanders and Biden. I hope all parties will be able to put their egos aside and work for the common good. Right now it’s SNAFU.

          And regarding the Trump administration handling of the coronavirus challenge, let’s just say it’s FUBAR.

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  2. I voted for Sanders as the lesser evil. The Establishment has failed the common man. Sanders promises a revolution. If it doesn’t work, then change in four years. There is already news reports slamming Bernie. Saying he is a communist. Trump and Biden will both say that, although it isn’t true. I am sickened by what I’m seeing. The only clear words I’m seeing is from Sanders, saying he will support whoever is elected.

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    • Thank you for joining the conversation. I agree that the establishment, controlled by the wealthy few, is indeed failing the common man and woman.

      Bernie is not perfect, no one is. But I think he is being attacked ruthlessly from all sides. I have a strong suspicion that there are people posing as Bernie supporters who are trying to disrupt and discredit his candidacy both online and at his rallies now.

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  3. I’ll start with the $1000 per month for everyone. Every time minimum wage is raised, the cost of fast food goes up, or food quality goes down.

    Taxes go sky-high and that has to be recouped. Bread that was $5 a loaf might become $10. Housing that used to be $700 might be obtainable at $1400. The poverty level would have to be raised and people who were once able to afford middle-class housing might find themselves in ghettos.

    What would a socialist government do? Keep raising the base amount everyone receives? Make all businesses state-run only? Eventually the “kings and queens” of socialism live well, while the peon class they’ve created are searching for food.

    Venezuela, Cuba, the former USSR; these are classic examples of where socialism leads.

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    • Thank you for raising valid questions and concerns. I think all of us have good reason to question the minimum universal income concept as proposed by Yang and others. Nothing like it will be implemented without long and thorough debate, that’s for sure.

      I’m certainly not qualified to answer your concerns about wages and prices, which are affected by supply and demand, and sometimes by government regulation. It’s a complex subject.

      And of course all of us wonder exactly what socialism would look like in the U.S. I’m personally confident it would not in any way resemble the failed Communist USSR, Cuba, or Venezuela. And heaven help us, certainly nothing like Putin’s modern-day Russia, which Donald Trump seems to admire and envy.

      My own view is that our brand of socialism would be uniquely American, and it would look a lot like Canada, Great Britain, Denmark.

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    • Hello Sue, it’s good to see you. I am very hopeful that Brexit will turn out to be a positive thing for everyone in the British Isles. And with a little luck, it will lead to a new era of prosperous cooperation between our country and yours.

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      • I am certain if it John. Our leaving of the EU was a fierce battle which we won. And it is equivalent I’m told of 16 other European countries leaving all at once, that’s how much we contribute into its pot.
        The EU export more goods to us than we export, their traders will also be putting pressure on their governments.
        And we will walk away I’m sure with no satisfactory deal if they continue trying to rule us.
        And we have many other countries such as yourselves who want closer trade deals.
        I’m very hopeful for our future, dispite, what’s happening around in the world right now. With a virus which seems more fatal to an aging population.
        I jokingly said to hubby, we are costing our countries too much in pensions.😆 And ponder deeper into its origins.
        Have a great weekend John, it was good reconnecting and happy I saw your post in reader.
        Take care of yourself.💚🙏

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        • I think the trend to bigger is better, whether in business or government, is often misguided. There’s obviously a lot to be said for cooperation, but over-large federations with lots of internal differences present many problems. I think we human beings are better off dealing with organizations of reasonable size, with leadership close enough for communication.

          I heard a news report a few days ago that some industries in Great Britain are already experiencing a revival as a result of Brexit. I wish you all the best.

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