10 Hard Questions for Progressives

The Democratic has finally whittled down to two main candidates. In the vein of the 2016 Democratic primary, it is a race between liberal democrats and progressive democrats. I have less of an issue with liberal democrats. While I have extensive disagreements with them, I think we are both within a broad liberal tradition which advocates generally free markets, the rule of law, and limited democracy. Progressives, on the other hand, prefer a government run economy, arbitrary rules, and unlimited democracy.

With Senator Bernie Sanders and his progressive movement on the cusp of securing the Democratic nomination, I thought it would be a good moment to present a handful of interesting questions I have never heard progressives address. 

1. From Robert George. Let’s assume a woman takes an abortion pill. It fails to kill the baby and causes labor instead. The child is born alive at 28 weeks. The woman seeks no medical care for the child and it dies. The police later find the child dead in a shoe box. Should the women be prosecuted for manslaughter? 

Related: Calvin Coolidge and Conservatism

2. President Donald Trump has been described as sexist, racist, authoritarian, and even compared him to Hitler and other dictators. Given he is in control of the federal government, why would you want to give the federal government more power? 

3. If each person on earth gave one single dollar to one single person, should that person have his 7.8 billion taxed away by the government? 

4. What country funds an extensive safety net comparable to the scale you advocate without significant regressive taxation? 

5. How much democracy is too much? What limits should be placed on it? What country is your model or closest to it? Do you think there would be any issues scaling that model up to the US?

6. Climate change has been described as an existential crisis. If tomorrow you were able to pass your climate agenda what concessions would you be willing to make in economic and social policy?

Related: More Evidence Against Bernie Sanders Favorite Obsession

7. What action or object do you find to be personally immoral, but should not be banned? 

8. The median hourly wage in Mississippi is $14.40. How would raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Mississippi impact the labor market?

9. 73% of Americans do not use their college degree in their careers. Why do we need more college graduates? 

10. How can you both justify Sanders Medicare for All plan by saying every other industrialized democracy has universal coverage while not recognizing that same plan is far outside what every other industrialized democracy does?

Related: Debunking the Case for Bernie Sanders

One thought on “10 Hard Questions for Progressives

  1. I can’t tell if it posted the first time

    1. This scenario would not happen because the pill is not used that late in pregnancy.
    2. As far as I’m concerned (and I’m not an expert, I don’t actually live in America) there is a difference between what the government does and what the government is able to do.
    3. Yes?
    4. As far as I’m aware European and in particular Scandinavian countries have a progressive income tax. The exact details and subtleties of other taxes I’m not particularly familiar with but their system appears to be working. In regards to your scale comment, it’s very difficult to compare America to any other country certainly in size. So I doubt there is a similar scale example of the system being proposed anywhere, yet. Because that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
    5. In an ideal world we could have representatives who are objective informed and have the countries best interest at heart. Everyone knows that’s impossible very vulnerable to cheating so is completely off the table. I think direct democracy is impractical therefore representative democracy is the most practical and impartial solution. The specific system I would like is most closely exemplified by the Scottish parliament. They have proportional representation which I think is the best way to actually get the opinion of the people without the necessary dismissal of the losing side but they also have local representatives so there is always representation for each constituency. I’m not especially bothered by the type of PR and the exact ratio of MMPs and MSPs can also be debated but this is my favourite system I’m aware of.
    6. I’m not really sure what you mean by this question?
    7. Recreational drug use (including alcohol), also religion if you want more examples.
    8. Now I haven’t been able to find where for example Sanders has specifically planned a flat $15 min wage. Maybe he has I don’t know, I know it’s certainly the headline that’s being touted so I will approach this from 2 directions. If that is what Sanders I advocating for, I cannot imagine that hasn’t been thought and there is quite possibly an explanation that I don’t know. My personal opinion is that minimum wage should Be set at whatever the living wage happens to be where you live. If that is $15 in Mississippi then there is a very big problem.
    9. I’ll be the first to admit college isn’t for everyone. However, I would have to see the exact study that determined that because I suspect our defenitions of using the degree may be different. (On a side note could you please make your sources more available, maybe it’s because I’m on mobile but I can’t find them). Regardless, college is about more than the specific content of the course. The techniques and mindset that you learn are important even if you don’t directly go into that field. Also the social opertunities it grants are few and far between elsewhere. If you don’t learn anything useful from college I don’t think anyone can help you. That said that doesn’t mean there aren’t better options available. The way I see it, that’s only a bad statistic if it’s accompanied by the enormous debt you rack up during the degree.
    10. It is pretty much the only one that doesn’t have some nationalised health system. I (and the American progressives) believe universal healthcare is better than a public option.

    Obviously I don’t speak for all progressives but I just thought I’d weigh in.


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