To Adults Who Ask Why I Support Bernie Sanders

To Adults Who Ask Why I Support Bernie Sanders

"It's Not Just About Social Issues"

As an avid supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders and the political revolution, I'm often met with questions by adults as to why I support him. I've noticed that adults particularly from the baby boomer generation (50-70 years old) often prejudge my political stance when they find out I support Sanders. Many of them assume that I only support him because he is very liberal in terms of social issues. They assume I have no knowledge of Sanders' economic plan.

Some comments that I've received from adults include “social issues aren’t the most important issue in our country," and “gay rights won’t matter if our country is in debt."

To you, I say, yes. I am an incredibly homosexual raging feminist who cares deeply about social issues, because people and human rights are the foundation of this country. However, I support Bernie Sanders for many more reasons than that. To assume that millennials have no economic knowledge and that their political passions don't expand beyond social issues is ignorant.

I support Bernie Sanders because I believe that economic inequality has become so problematic that it threatens our country's democracy.

The United States known as the greatest country in the world. We are a melting pot of freedoms, diversity, and opportunity. Yet, the United States is ranked 64th in the world for income equality. This means that there are 63 countries with less income inequality than the United States. Moreover, of all developed nations, the United States has the most income inequality. Granted, based on our capitalist system, some inequality is inevitable. However, this inequality has grown beyond the inevitable and reached an extremely problematic and shameful level.

The problem lies in those who obtain the top 1% of the 1% of America's wealth. The richest four hundred Americans have more wealth than half of the population of the US. The rich earn such an incredible amount of money that it is impossible to spend it all. They spend too little of what they earn, which results in not generating enough economic activity. This leads to underutilized capacity. Essentially, the money becomes stagnate.

The middle class is the center of the universe. It is the sun, with everything orbiting around it. A stable economy is the result of a strong middle class. Likewise, the economy cannot be sustained without the ability for the middle class to grow and develop over time.

Unfortunately, the middle class is dwindling, which is the major cause for our economic downfall and growing inequality.

Globalization and technology are a huge reason for the struggling middle class. Little to nothing is made in America anymore. Parts of products come from locations all around the world and are sold to American companies for high prices. Globalization takes away middle class jobs because it relocates them to countries where workers are paid less to do the same work.

Technology also has a hand in taking away jobs by replacing workers with machines and eliminating the "assembly line" process. For instance, as grocery stores put in more automated check out lines, more middle class workers serving as cashiers lose their jobs.

Middle class workers get caught in a cycle. As their income goes down due to loss of jobs, the prices of housing, childcare, college, and healthcare rise. It is impossible to obtain enough money to maintain a decent standard of living. Sanders wants to change the structure of the economy to end this cycle.

The United States was not always in this downward spiral. In fact, we once used to be as great as we wish we were today. Between 1947-1977 the US was in a period of prosperity. Higher education was a huge priority. We had the best educated work force. Education lifted people out of poverty during this time. Now, the prices of higher education are skyrocketing. Forty-one states have cut spending for public higher education, causing tuition and fees to rise. It is proven that education helps to build a skilled workforce. South Korea, Germany, Japan, and France value higher education and have made schooling affordable for students. This has resulted in these countries maintaining a skilled workforce. Having a skilled workforce in the United States would stop globalization because products would no longer have to be produced in other countries. We must invest in education so we can compete in the global economy.

I believe that Bernie Sanders is looking out for the American worker. Sanders wants to lower the price of higher education, and make state schools tuition free. Lowering the price of education will allow more people to take part and eventually go into the work force as skilled workers. It is impossible for those who are not extremely wealthy to pay for higher education when it is rising so quickly. For instance, in the 1960s, tuition at The University of California, Berkeley was free. By 2016, it has increased to $28,000 a year. The 1960s was a period of great prosperity for the United States. This shows that when education was cheaper, the economy was more prosperous.

Another incredibly important aspect of Sanders’ economic campaign is his fight to break down big banks and get money out of politics.

Lobbyists spent over $3.5 billion in 2010 to support various campaigns. Essentially, companies agree to economically support campaigns if, in turn, the campaign cooperates with the company. This leads to dishonesty and political corruption. The rich abuse this process by lobbying for bailouts, subsidies, and taxes that will intrench their wealth. The middle class is politically underrepresented.

Billionaires contributing huge amounts of money to candidates via Super PACS influence the politics that their candidates support. A billionaire could essentially buy an election or a candidate if they were willing to contribute enough money. This concept is utilized by both democrats and republicans. Both Clinton and Trump's campaigns are predominately backed by Super PACs and wealthy corporations. Sanders, however, has raised 99% of his funds from campaign donations.

Big banks and corporations supporting candidates are stacking the race against those who are not owned by money-induced politics. Goldman Saaks, for instance, has become the voice of Hillary Clinton, rather than the voice of the people. This is a threat to our democracy.

The “Warren Buffet” rule states that if you make at least $1,000,000 a year you should pay at least the same in taxes as middle class families. Instead, the rich are paying LESS in taxes. Most of the wealthy don’t pay the top marginal tax rate because their wealth is often in the form of capital gains, which is taxed at 15 percent. Most middle class workers pay over 30% in taxes while rich businessmen get tax breaks. Mitt Romney, for example, admitted to only paying 14.9 percent in income taxes.

The middle class becoming stagnant due to lack of income along with the wealthy not paying their fair share. This leads to crisis, less revenue, and not enough funding for higher education. This is a vicious cycle.

People are frustrated by the economic downfall and are looking for others to blame. They flock to Trump because he blames immigrants. Instead, we must blame the problem inside our country. The price of higher education leading to globalization and technology replacing workers; big banks and large corporations influencing politics and threatening democracy.

Politics starts with people. Sanders believes in the people. Pairing his liberal social justice policies with his important plans to break up big banks and lower the price of higher education would make this country more economically and fundamentally sound.

Adults, please. When I tell you I support Senator Sanders, do not assume I know nothing about the economy. Talk to me. Listen to the information I know. Let's start a conversation.

Cover Image Credit: Salon

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Women In The Film Industry Deserve Your Recognition

Working in film and television can be difficult, especially for women.

Think of the three most famous directors in Hollywood you know off the top of your head. Who’d you think of?

Names like Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch?

Okay now name three women directors. Can you even think of one?

It’s no new information that women tend to be less represented in positions of power. But we are living in a new age of Hollywood. Women are sick of not being treated fairly in the workplace. According to a survey done by Cosmo of over 2,000 women in full time and part time jobs, one in three from ages 18 to 34 have been sexually harassed at work. 71% of these women did not report it. Research has shown that women in male-dominated occupations are sexually harassed more than women in balanced or in female-dominated ones. This is most obviously evident from the recent Hollywood sexual misconduct scandals. And film and television are a heavily male-dominated field.

The Golden Globes, the start of the award's season, was on January 7. And it was a lot of things. It was intense, it was exciting, it was incredible. The main talking point of the night was the Times’ Up campaign, led by hundreds of leading women in Hollywood. Almost every person on the red carpet that night was dressed in black, showing solidarity for the movement. The Time’s Up campaign is a call for change from the women in the entertainment industry to women everywhere.

With all that has happened in the last few months regarding sexual assault and harassment in the workplace, this campaign is geared towards changing this imbalance of power. Their legal defense fund has made up to 15 MILLION dollars from over 60 countries. Thanks to the countless brave women who stood up and said #MeToo, this industry is changing.

According to Center For the Study of Women in Television and Film, in 2015, women accounted for 27% of producers, 21% of executive producers, 18% of editors, 13% of writers, 13% of directors, and 9% of cinematographers. Those are statistics for the number of women in all of film and television. But according to Women and Hollywood, out of the 100 top grossing films in 2016, women represented 4% of directors, 11% of writers, 3% of cinematographers, 19% of producers, and 14% of editors. We are seriously lacking in women directors and cinematographers on the big screen.

This is also evident from looking at the history of the Oscars. Only four female directors have ever been nominated for Best Director, Lina Wertmuller(Seven Beauties), Jane Campion(The Piano), Sofia Coppola(Lost in Translation), and Kathryn Bigelow(Hurt Locker). Out of those four, Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to ever win. A woman has never been nominated in the best cinematographer category at the Academy Awards.

Someplace where women can be accounted for is starring in film and television. According to the Center For the Study of Women in Television and Film, 42% of speaking characters in television are women. Not only that but this year the three top-grossing films featured women in the lead roles for the first time in decades. Star Wars finished 2017 at $533 million, Beauty and The Beast with $504 million, and Wonder Woman with $412.6 million. According to The Wrap, the last time the three top-grossing films were all women-led was in 1958, with South Pacific, Auntie Mame, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

There are a number of resources becoming available for aspiring female filmmakers. The organization Women in Film offers almost 150 different resources for women to learn and grow as filmmakers in this male-dominated world. They provide resources such as workshops, internships, fellowships, pitching forums, fiscal sponsorship, and more.

So how long will it take until women and men are equally represented and respected in the film and television industry? It won’t happen overnight, but it can be done. With the efforts of so many men and women right now striving to make the industry equal, I have no doubt one day we can find a balance of power in the industry.

Cover Image Credit: Via Pixabay

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10 Binge-Worthy Netflix Shows Every Girl Needs To Watch

These 10 shows will keep you glued to your screen not wanting to quit.

A new semester means more opportunities to procrastinate the things we probably should be doing. And what better way to procrastinate than by binge-watching Netflix? We all have experienced Netflix asking, “Are you still watching?” Maybe this is their way of politely telling us that we have watched too much for the day. however, these 10 shows will keep you glued to your screen not wanting to quit.

1. 90210

"90210" details the dramatic lives of teenagers living in Beverly Hills. Most of the characters are rich and spoiled, but it’s so entertaining to see the ways they spend their money and their time. Life is very different on the west coast, especially for teenagers. The drama can be pretty cheesy at times, but there are always crazy things happening that will leave you wanting more.

2. The Carrie Diaries

A prequel to the TV series, “Sex and the City”, “The Carrie Diaries” follows the life of Carrie Bradshaw played by AnnaSophia Robb. Carrie is a style icon always looking glamorous. After getting an internship in New York City and making friends with the “right” people, Carrie’s life changes. Austin Butler also acts in the show; shouldn’t that be a valid reason to watch?

3. New Girl

"New Girl" will always keep you laughing. I love this show so much that I’m watching it for a second time, and I even got my boyfriend to watch it! The show centers around the main character, Jess, who is a quirky school teacher, and her adventures around Los Angeles after she moves into a loft with three men. "New Girl" is hilarious, relatable, and has great characters that I guarantee you will love.

4. Grey’s Anatomy

Have you really watched Netflix if you haven’t seen "Grey’s Anatomy"? It is the medical drama of our generation. This show will give you all the feels, and you’ll become so attached to the characters that it will feel like you’re a doctor at Mercy Grace, too.

5. The Vampire Diaries

I never thought I’d get into the whole supernatural thing, but after watching "The Vampire Diaries" that completely changed. The main character, Elena, struggles to make a decision between two vampire brothers and their supernatural lives. This show is full of romance, suspense, and drama that you won’t want to miss.

6. Gossip Girl

"Gossip Girl" is similar to "90210" because they both follow the lives of wealthy teenagers and their drama-filled lives. In contrast, "Gossip Girl" takes place in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. These privileged teens find themselves tied up in constant secrets that they’re unable to hide from the ruthless blogger who is always watching.

7. Shameless

"Shameless", released in 2011 and still airing today, will keep you entertained with its humor and drama. The show depicts the life of a dysfunctional family living in Chicago. Frank Gallagher, father of six children, is a drunk always getting himself and his family into trouble.

8. Gilmore Girls

"Gilmore Girls" centers around the relationship between a young single mother and her teen daughter living in Connecticut. The story has memorable moments and unique characters that come together to create a wonderful show.

9. Riverdale

"Riverdale" is one of the latest Netflix crazes. Following a group of high schoolers, this show will bring back memories from your own experience. Each teenage character experiences their fair share of high school struggles that we can all relate to. You will love some characters and loathe others, but that’s the fun of TV, right?

10. Revenge

The last show to add to your list is "Revenge". Focusing on the life of a troubled young women out for revenge on those around her, this show will keep you on your toes.

There are so many great shows on Netflix that you won’t want to miss, so get watching!

Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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