The Irony of Bernie and Seattle


I find great irony, contrasts, contradictions and not a little troubling concern when I see that Bernie Sanders was victorious in the state of Washington (read Seattle).

Seattle can rightly be viewed as the apex of Free Market Capitalism, with the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Costco, Starbucks and others creating much employment, economic opportunity and great wealth for many, not only in Seattle but around the nation – indeed the world. How many years was Bill Gates the richest man in the world? How many millionaires did he create?   The last ten years or so of my working career was centered around developing software using Microsoft Windows and Microsoft software development tools.

Then we have Bernie Sanders, the self professed Socialist, which puts him in the camp of the central planners of history – the central planners of those glorious reaches for utopia via those many failed 5 year plans. Those central planners who seek to level the playing field and eliminate that dastardly “income inequality” and make us all economically equal (except for those exempt central planners with the mansions and lavish dachas in the countryside).

Swinging back to Seattle, we see that grand golden goose that has laid so many golden eggs for so many.


And we see that very rich man along with his wife who are in the process of giving their wealth away. Giving it away in ways that benefit many of the sick and poor around the world. And they are doing this in the grand tradition of the free market enterprise system – they give this wealth away voluntarily and without the coercion of those Bernie style central planners.

So we have the irony of a Bernie Sanders seeking to confiscate the wealth of a Bill Gates – wealth created from that golden goose called Seattle and redistribute according to needs as determined by those central planners in their dachas.

Is the Golden Goose an endangered species?  


Don Johnson – March 2016


11 responses to “The Irony of Bernie and Seattle

  1. “Is the Golden Goose an endangered species?”

    If Bernie Sanders has his way, you betcha!

  2. As a Seattleite of 40 years, I have personally witnessed the economic boom created by those enterprises you mentioned, as well as the materialistic life style resulting from it. At the same time, secularists are proud of the fact that the Puget Sound area is the least-churched region in the U.S. Therefore, a “perfect storm” seems to be forming around here (and many other places where Bernie is winning big). For example, the combination of slogans like income inequality and the reality of moral relativism is propelling young voters to put socialist activist such as Kshama Sawant on the Seattle City Council.

    • Hi Scott … good to hear from you again, and thanks for the comment. Between me and my wife, we have much family in Seattle and surrounding area and get out there almost yearly — perhaps this summer we could have coffee again?

      Yea, it seems to me that the very prosperity of places like Seattle potentially sow the seeds of their own destruction when they vote to tax away that very prosperity. Very little comes free, and as Victor Davis-Hansen often writes about his (and my previous) home state of California, once the rot sets in it soon spreads and infects many.

      Bill Gates has long been a hero of mine, not only because of his technology and business brilliance, but mostly due to the wide spread prosperity his vision has produced over the years. But I remember driving through Seattle in the 70’s during that time of severe economic trouble for the area — it can happen again, and a continued and accelerated Progressive governance there portends trouble ahead.

    • Hi Scott … I just reviewed the bio of Kshama Sawant — amazing and sad. Two of my favorite speakers and writers are immigrants from India – Ravi Zaharias and Dinesh D’Souza. Both have quite different perspectives on America from that of the Seattle council member. It would seem Sawant and a sizable number of Seattle liberals have placed themselves way out on a socialist limb and are actively in the process of sawing it off behind them.
      Nationalizing Boeing? Nationalizing Microsoft? Nationalizing Amazon? It seems that nationalization has worked quite well in the past in other countries, most of which, as I recall, turned out to be catastrophic totalitarian and warring nations.

      I’ve talked with “occupy” people and have been to NYC at Zuccotti Park. What I found was primarily Communists and Anarchists. You can read my reports on this site by searching “occupy”.

      The picture at the end of this article now seems even more appropriate — the goose has been thoroughly plucked and is quite dead.

      Sorry about the gloom and doom about your home town Scott, but yours is not the only city and state facing similar outlooks. But I do wish you well and hope and pray for some sanity to enter the scene.


    • I’ve done a little follow up on “moral relativism.” The site at does a good job of unpacking the specific example of moral relativism and abortion.

  3. Bernie Sanders isn’t trying to “confiscate” the wealth of anybody. He is just trying to make sure that big business and their wealthy high-level company officers, pay their fair share of taxes. There are way too many loopholes and deductions that allow many to not pay any taxes. I understand why it is good to have some business deductions, but to allow companies to not pay anything is ridiculous. Also, I worked for a man who basically raped our company, layers off thousands, raked in his bonuses and sucked the life out of the company. Those of us left working were totally demoralized, had to replace those laid-off employees, with no increase in our wages. It wasn’t until after I left, he ended up in prison. Of course, he kept the money.

    • Thanks for your comment.
      Top 10 Percent of Earners Paid 68 Percent of Federal Income Taxes.
      The bottom 50 percent paid 3 percent of income taxes, but earned 12 percent of income.

      In 2002, the top 5 percent of taxpayers paid more than one-half (53.8 percent) of all individual income taxes, but reported roughly one-third (30.6 percent) of income.
      •The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid 33.7 percent of all individual income taxes in 2002. This group of taxpayers has paid more than 30 percent of individual income taxes since 1995. Moreover, since 1990 this group’s tax share has grown faster than their income share.
      •Taxpayers who rank in the top 50 percent of taxpayers by income pay virtually all individual income taxes. In all years since 1990, taxpayers in this group have paid over 94 percent of all individual income taxes. In 2000, 2001, and 2002, this group paid over 96 percent of the total.
      The share of taxes paid by the bottom 50 percent of taxpayers will fall from 4.1 percent to 3.6 percent.
      •The share of taxes paid by the top 1 percent of taxpayers will rise from 32.3 percent to 33.7 percent


  4. Pingback: Is what we’re witnessing in the US a slow-motion downhill slide into a coup? | A Yearning for Publius

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