Column: The Nuns of Washington

Ciel Torres May 22, 2016 Comments Off on Column: The Nuns of Washington
Column: The Nuns of Washington
An image of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as nuns. Photo of nuns from Ann Hatch and photo illustration by Sarah Walston '17.

As the Presidential primaries begin to discern who is most likely to win the nomination in November, the time has come to denounce the N.U.N.S of Washington: those whose Nominality Undercuts {their} Nomination.

Nominality grapples with the idea that the perception of things or facts is governed by the words used to describe them; thus, when politicians rely on rhetoric to prove their substantiality, their campaign becomes illegitimate.

In April 2016, the New York Daily News published the transcript of an interview with Bernie Sanders, questioning him about how he would address certain issues in office.

Following the campaign, I’ve found Sanders’s stance on “breaking up big banks” to be one of his most invigorating points. Although, does he really know how to break up the big banks?

Sanders can only explicate the immorality of Washington which is what, if elected, will make his administration incompetent. His rhetoric may increase his popularity, but when it comes to the general election in November, it will cost him the nomination.

When asked how he would “break up JPMorgan Chase,” Sanders  replied that “legislation” would need to be passed, or he would find the authority under the Dodd-Frank Act to do so.

The Act, put in place by the Obama Administration in 2010, intends to monitor the behavior of companies deemed “too big to fail” in order to prevent an economic collapse.

He is incapable of describing the “legislation” he would pass in order to do so. Anyone could claim that it has to be passed, but if that is all he has to propose, then I, whose only “political” experience includes being a prosecutor during mock trial in the fifth grade, could run for President, too.

The interviewer assumed Sanders had followed the recent case prosecuting Metropolitan Life, who fought to relieve itself of its “too big to fail” label and won.

It was the job of the Financial Security Oversight Council (created under Dodd-Frank) to prosecute the company for their steep lack of risk exposure — but they did not. According to BloombergView, the judge agreed that the FSOC failed to do the following:

  1. Properly assess MetLife’s vulnerability to financial distress.
  2. Calculate whether such distress would harm the economy.
  3. Consider how the added cost of regulation could affect the company.

This matters because it is the same Act that Sanders intends on using to break up the banks; without Dodd-Frank, he has no plan. Because MetLife is highly connected to the global economy through billions of dollars, should they run into trouble, its failure would ensure a great economic calamity.

Sanders’ response was, “It’s something I have not studied, honestly, the legal implications of that.”

His lack of knowledge of the case, as well as there being no legal implications, are especially troubling.

However, he is not the only N.U.N. To his right towers Donald Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, whose campaign is about as ostensible as his fake tan.

Trump believes Americans are being robbed of their jobs by undocumented Mexican immigrants, and he plans to build a wall. Trump plans to have the Mexican government pay for it and if they refuse to oblige, Trump claims that he will cancel the visas of Mexican immigrants.

Bloomberg Markets implies that deporting illegal workers may actually cause some Americans to earn less.

In Georgia, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta explained how this would work in their state. They reported that documented workers earn less than if employed by a company that hires undocumented workers.

However, “in sectors where tasks are specialized and communication skills are advantageous, native workers can expect a raise.” Thus, opposite of Trump’s logic is true: undocumented immigrants complement the wages of native workers.

Additionally, in 2010, undocumented workers contributed $13 billion in payroll taxes ranging from old age to survivor and disability insurance; accessing about $1 billion in benefits. That nets to a $12 billion contribution towards social security that would not exist should they be deported.

Donald Trump, although he may be easy to mock, is a large and orange threat to the legitimacy of this country. Likewise, Bernie Sanders’ rhetoric functions both as his Excalibur and Achilles’ Heel. Consequently, we, as Americans, have a duty to discern the truth.

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