When the Rules Don’t Apply to Progressives

August 8, 2019

by Rob Roper

So, Google hosted a three day summit on climate change in Sicily. Attendees, including the likes of Barak Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Katy Perry, utilized no less than 114 private jets to get there. Makes you wonder if they really think spewing carbon into the atmosphere is all that catastrophic an activity.

More likely, what they believe is, yes, releasing carbon may be a huge problem, but my need (in this case to virtue signal at a swanky Mediterranean boondoggle) is justified because I’m, well, me and what I’m doing is important. It’s all you other common folk abusing fossil fuel for unjustified, unimportant purposes (like driving to work or getting your kids to school or staying warm in winter) who need a serious beat down.

A similar argument popped up Tuesday on the Dave Gram show as the host interviewed State Senator Anthony Pollina on, among other things, the topic of a $15 minimum wage. Gram noted that even our own Senator Sanders, supposed champion of the working stiff, is having trouble paying his campaign staff at that level. (Thanks, Dave, for the plug of my most recent column on the subject!)

Pollina shot back that if you want to work a 40 hour a week job and earn more than $15 an hour, then joining a political campaign “is not signing up for the right kind of job.”

And he speculated that most of Bernie’s staff are happy to be putting in the long hours for low pay “because it’s the right thing to do.” I guess the “Bernie Rule” is if the job is emotionally fulfilling (and, I guess, advances a progressive agenda) then the wage earned and the time put in shouldn’t be an issue.

Well, Pollina is right. Working on a presidential campaign, particularly if you want it to be successful, mostly means accepting long hours at low pay. What you get in return is a chance to do something you feel is important, and a tremendous experience to help build your network and your resume, and, if your candidate wins, there’s the potential payoff of a much more lucrative job in the future. It’s up to you to decide if risk/reward is worth it or not.

And here’s where Pollina’s myopic arrogance kicks in. Why doesn’t his Bernie Rule apply to a convenience store clerk, or a childcare worker? If you want to earn more money and work fewer hours you’re simply “not signing up for the right kind of job.” Do something else. Don’t blame or expect more from the employer.

Similarly, who is Pollina to decide what is “the right thing” for you, me or anyone other than himself? Maybe the opportunity to work with kids is what’s important to you, or maybe the chance to be in on the ground floor of a new business is what’s meaningful, or what’s emotionally fulfilling is to earn something rather than nothing.

Why is that this socialist politician believes only those who choose to work for a socialist political campaign should be allowed to decide it’s okay to work long hours for less money for the experience and/or the potential springboard to a better job down the road? It is a tremendously elitist not to mention hypocritical point of view.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

JeffSilber August 8, 2019 at 6:42 pm

On the subject of 15$ minimum wage, in Rutland Vermont the Mac Donald restaurant was recently bulldozed and replaced by a new Mac Donald. This new “improved ” facility has 6 machines to order your meal and one girl to take your money. Obvious hedge against the democrats push for 15$ ( or more) minimum wage.


William Hays August 10, 2019 at 1:16 am

Economics 101, except in the Progressive textbook.


Irene Stewart August 8, 2019 at 9:20 pm

Rob, who listens to what Pollina ever says? He and Sanders are socialists, off the wall with crazy progressive ideas. The two of them must sit around at Sanders summer estate in North Hero, and think of utopian ideas that they would like to have as the law of the land, but no one else wants them and will not see the light of day.
I have enjoyed that Bernie has had to cut staff because he cannot afford the $15.00 per hour wage for the field workers. But of course, he wants every business in VT to keep all their employees and pay them $15.00 per hour. Pollina and Sanders know absolutely nothing about budgets, finances, wages etc. I just pray for the day the two are no longer involved in legislative matters for Vermont and the country.


William Hays August 10, 2019 at 1:20 am

When the day comes, will thee be a “Three Stooges” statue for Sanders, Leahy, and Welch? Where would it be sited?


H. Brooke Paige August 8, 2019 at 11:29 pm

Did Anthony Pollina discuss that the Sanders Campaign Workers had organized to protect themselves from being abused and within months had to file a complaints with the National Labor Relations Board over unfair and prejudicial treatment ?

Enquiring Minds Want to Know !


charlie blish August 9, 2019 at 10:53 am

if he pays his Campaign works 15 he would not have any left to buy a new house also he must not be getting as much Campaign support money to pay them from some one other then him self Campaign is going down hill.


Jim August 9, 2019 at 9:25 pm

Couple of observations: it’s the same old, same old. Do as I say not as I do. Also, wonder how august the attendance list would be if for example this lofty conference were held in say, Baltimore,?


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