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Bernie Sanders Turns To Reddit For Help In Crafting Youth Unemployment Legislation
Bernie Sanders (I-VT) doesn’t insulate himself in DC, instead he goes right to the source when he wants input. On Friday, the Senator denounced Congress for cutting $1 billion from youth jobs programs over the past decade. Sanders pointed out that “Americans under the age of 40 have accumulated less wealth than their parents did at that age more than 25 years ago.” Following up on his efforts Friday to address youth unemployment, the Senator sought Redditors’ input Monday in r/Politics:
If you are unemployed and looking for work, Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to hear from you. Tell Sen. Sanders your story by recording a one minute video clip and sending it as a link or attachment to email@example.com.
Please specify in your email if you approve of your video being shared with the public.
Senator Sanders will watch submitted videos. The more videos that are submitted, the more reddit will be involved in creating applicable legislation!
Sen. Bernie Sanders left a message for Redditors, “Thank you to the moderation team for assisting with this effort. Read David Leonhardt’s recent article in The New York Times for more information on youth unemployment. If you cannot submit a video, consider writing your message here.”
There’s a strong anti-corprate vibe at Reddit, which aligns well with what Senator Sanders represents. Redditors had interesting suggestions. Tarkaan suggested that youth unemployment can be solved by:
“Higher tariffs on foreign goods so they can’t use slave labor to compete with American workers.
A law requiring American corporations to pay compensation when they buy from suppliers who use slave labor, knowingly and unknowingly.
50% tax on all corporate profits moved offshore to avoid taxes.”
kommie suggested that the elusive concept of American vacation time might help out, “Mandated Vacation time would create jobs. In the EU each worker has 20 days after one year of labor. With technological advances and pressure(i.e salaried workers forced to work 50 hours)a employer can squeeze more out of a small labor force. If you let workers use vacation time a employer would have to compensate for the lost time and hire more.”
imautoparts suggested we model ourselves on the French system of a shorter workweek, “What we need to do is model after the French system – ban overtime, and reduce the legal work week until employment percentages improve. Imagine the number of jobs it would make available if they reduced the workweek to four 8 hour days and mandated 8 weeks of vacation a year.”
billalphonso pointed out, “The current immigration bill is a bonanza for Big Business. Several industries, from meat packing, ski resorts, agricorporations have lobbied to get their slice of the pie. It will be a disaster for American workers. It is a race to the bottom for America.”
Senator Sanders does caucus with the Democrats, but he is an Independent, and a lonely anti-corporate voice in D.C. As such, he is the perfect Senator to have on Reddit. Both sides should embrace Sanders efforts to address unemployment in youth as well as his anti-corporate stance, even if they disagree with him on social issues.
Sanders wrote on Friday, “(T)he unemployment rate for workers 16- to 24-years-old was 16.2 percent in April. That’s more than double the conservative official national unemployment rate that the Labor Department announced last Friday. For teenagers, the overall unemployment rate is 25.1 percent. For black teens the number is a distressing 43.1 percent. The United States has surpassed much of Europe in the percentage of young adults without jobs, according to The New York Times. What has Congress done? It cut $1 billion from youth jobs programs over the past decade. Bernie is working on legislation to change that.”
Sanders is not doing an AMA chat, but rather using Reddit to reach the target demo of youth in order to encourage them to submit their thoughts to him. This means that comments left in the thread will not necessarily be read by the Senator. You can reach out to Senator Sanders on the issue of youth unemployment here.