Bernie Sanders

Senator from Vermont

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Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist, and has praised Scandinavian-style social democracy; He is the first person elected to Congress to identify as a socialist in six decades. Sanders caucuses with the Democratic Party and is counted as a Democrat for the purposes of committee assignments, but because he does not belong to a formal political party, he appears as an independent on the ballot. He was also the only independent member of the House during most of his service and is the longest-serving independent in U.S. Congressional history.

After graduating, Sanders spent time on an Israeli kibbutz, an experience that shaped his political views. A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism.

Minimum Wage

"There are many many Republicans in Congress right now, who not only are opposed to raising the minimum wage. They want to abolish the minimum wage. In a city like Detroit, remember, 40% of the black kids in this country are facing unemployment. 20% of the young people in this country facing unemployment. 14% of the American people unemployed...It’s just that if we’re going to grow the middle class, we have to create decent paying jobs. One way to do that is to raise the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour which is what the American people want."-Bernie Sanders

With Bernie Sanders as Senator, Vermont had the 3rd highest min. wage in the US, at $8.60/hr. Also, Vermont had the 4th lowest unemployment rate.

  • Raising the wage to $10.10 an hour, as Democrats have proposed, would actually bring the wage in line with its historical purchasing power. Had it been indexed to inflation in 1968, it would be $10.40 today.
  • Nearly 90 percent of minimum wage workers are 20 years old or older.
  • More than a quarter of minimum wage workers are parents.
  • There is evidence that making a lower minimum wage can harm workers' children.

  • The National Employment Law Project looked at Census data from 2009–11 and found that 66 percent of low-wage workers are employed by large businesses with over 100 employees.

  • The fifty largest employers of low-wage workers have all recovered from the recession and are in strong financial positions.