Bernie Sanders Has a Brilliant Idea: Instead of Giving Police Tanks, Let’s Create Jobs


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has a brilliant idea. Instead of militarizing local police departments with tanks and heavy equipment, the country should take the billions of dollars and use it to create jobs.


Sen. Sanders said,

When you see the kind of force that’s being used in Ferguson it really does make it appear that the police department there is an occupying army in a hostile territory, and that is absolutely not what we want to see in the United States. I think we gotta rethink a lot this heavy equipment that police departments around the country are utilizing.

The second point is that I hope what Ferguson teaches us is that not only the violence being perpetrated against young black men, but also the economic crisis facing black youth in this country. Ed, youth unemployment in America is tragically high. It is twenty percent. African American youth unemployment is thirty-five percent. In the St. Louis area it is significantly higher than that, and if we are going to address the issue of crime in low income areas and in African-American areas, it might be a good idea that instead of putting heavy equipment into police departments in those areas, we start creating jobs for the kids there who desperately need them.

What a great idea. Instead of making defense contractors rich by spending billions of dollars on equipment that the Pentagon doesn’t even want, the money could be used for job creation programs so that young people who feel like they have no economic opportunities can work.

This formula is tried and true. It has worked for decades. Job creation is one of the keys to building safe and peaceful communities. Democrats have proven since the New Deal that government can encourage and spur job creation. The Republican fantasy that tax cuts for the rich leads to economic advancement for all has failed for the last thirty years. The way forward is to create jobs.

Sen. Sanders was correct. The country doesn’t need militarized local police forces, but young people are yearning for jobs. The militarized police response in Ferguson is strong reminder that how politicians spend taxpayer money matters, and when it is spent on weapons that trickle down into our communities, no one should be surprised at the violent outcome.

21 Replies to “Bernie Sanders Has a Brilliant Idea: Instead of Giving Police Tanks, Let’s Create Jobs”

  1. Can anyone possibly be surprised by this???

    I can’t believe this hasn’t happened earlier and in more places.

    The blatant class warfare by the 1% has effectively reduced the united states to a feudal state.


    how long are these people supposed to live in a hopeless ghetto with no job prospects in a media environment that glorifies the wealthy on every tv channel?

    Let the revolution begin… the politicians won’t lead … it has to be the people, white and black

    it has to be the “workers” against the 1%

  2. Imagine if we took all the money we give to police militarization, the money we spend on “the war on drugs”, the money we throw away in the Middle East, and spent it on getting people’s act together instead? Then we could have new roads and new schools and well paid teachers. We’d be sitting in Nirvana.


    Internet billionaire Nick Hanauer says that he made his money off “a good intuition about what will happen in the future.” But his crystal ball increasingly scares him: “So what do I see in our future today? I see pitchforks. Angry mobs with pitchforks.”

    “I am not making a moral argument that economic inequality is wrong,” he continues in a Ted talk. “I’m making an argument that rising inequality is stupid.”

    Watch him try and convince his “fellow plutocrats and zillionaires” that “if we do not do something to fix the glaring economic inequities in our society, the pitchforks will come for us.”

  4. It is the anonymous right-wingers (aka gutless wonders) who are to afraid to post here because when they do, they are quickly shown to be the fools that they are.

  5. “Want to end this protest? Start handing out Job Applications and Watch Ferguson Smile Again”

    Saw this comment today!

  6. Sheesh. I feel ten years old again. Seems like Kent State and 4 dead peaceful protesters should have sparked a pitchfork revolution by now, but somehow some are appeased by shiny new gadgets and can’t imagine it affecting them, yet. I’m depressed these days. It’s all gone to hell.

  7. I fully agree with Sen. Sanders, as I almost always do. But there is one aspect of this issue that I have yet to see mentioned anywhere.

    Are you aware that the big push toward the militarization of public safety came about in the closing years of the Vietnam War? When I was a military supply officer in the 1960’s, there was a very welcome program across all services to offer excess, warehoused military equipment and supplies to National Guard, Reserve Units, and local Police & Fire Departments for the asking. It was a way for police to add off-budget free equipment when their municipalities did not provide adequate funding of expensive hardware, as that took budget away from adding officers on the street. The GSA did not have to scrap expensive, often unused, equipment and face the public as wasteful spenders. And the city governments were overjoyed for the help.

  8. the quick, easy, cheap way to get 8 million of those jobs is to enforce the law on illegal immigration. go after the criminals who employ illegals and the jobs open up very quickly.

  9. Bill, there’s not a single “American” who would willingly take or endure any one of those 8 million jobs. Get a clue!

  10. Shock and Awe! More firepower! Wait a minute, are they cops or soldiers? When everything is a war on this and a war on that, you need war gear. So now all the police departments, big and small, have thousands of tons of real war combat gear. They can’t wait for the chance to put on all the gear, gas up the APC and go chase after their citizens. That’s not always the answer to every situation.

  11. The only way I’d vote for one of the two corporate-funded parties (instead of the Green Party) is if Bernie decided to run for president as a Democrat.

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