Bernie Sanders has been rising in popularity among millennials. Walk through any apartment complex or student parking lot on campus and you’ll see dozens of “Feel the Bern” or “Bernie 2016” stickers. As I’m writing this, a Bernie sticker is glaring at me from a laptop across the library. Of course, Bernie pulling the majority of the millennial vote wasn’t really a surprise. For someone who strives to be minimalistic, Bernie really does run a campaign full of flash. While he may not accept corporate donations or go on the offensive against his opponents, Bernie is still desperately vying for attention in a different way – empty promises.
Ever since he announced his candidacy for president, Bernie hit the ground running on his “free college for everyone” plan, ultimately scoring the infatuation of a majority of poor, struggling college students. It’s easy to get starry eyed when you believe that one man can take away thousands of dollars of debt with the snap of his fingers – Bernie’s campaign relies on just that. He has gained popularity by promising so many free things – medicaid and college for all, and simply waves away the cost with the notion that the rich will pay for it. Young college students flock to this idea, loving the thought that the rich will just foot their bills. What they don’t realize is that it just isn’t possible. While free college sounds good on paper, assuming that the rich will just pay for it all and the world will revolve in a peaceful, educated bubble is far from rational.
One of the main arguments for free college is that other countries such as Sweden successfully use this system so, why can’t the United States? The logic behind that is flawed in that, Sweden has a population of 9.5 million (as of 2013) whereas the population of the United States was around 316 million. It’s comparing apples and oranges. Because America is so much larger, it would be exponentially more difficult for the US to support a system similar to the one utilized in Sweden. So many more people would take advantage of a system like that in the US that it would be virtually impossible to financially support.
Bernie’s main plan for funding aligns with basically every democrat – raising taxes. Specifically, Bernie is calling for a 90% tax on the most wealthy citizens of the country. College students are quick to celebrate this idea, not considering the future. Many of the college students who advocate for this tax are attending college in hopes of getting a really good job. They want to be successful, to climb to the top. What they don’t realize is, with their vote for Bernie – if they are successful in their field, they could someday fall victim to his ridiculously high taxes. Not to mention, at this rate, they will still have paid their dues and taken on their loans before Bernie makes it into office. The average college student today most likely won’t benefit from Bernie’s free college plan, but they will end up funding it through the ridiculously high taxes at their new job.
The logic (or lack thereof) behind Bernie’s many plans that have captured the hearts of millennials is excessively flawed at best. College students are quick to hop on board with all of Bernie’s flashy promises without considering the facts behind them. If free college and high taxes for the rich sound like a dream to you, that’s because they are. “Free” is such a misleading term – maybe you don’t have to pay for it but someone does. Personal responsibility is fading and overriding logic and basic economics. Before hopping on the “Feel the Bern” bandwagon, take an econ class and consider the facts – socialism isn’t logical and will likely ruin the economy of our great nation.