“Never trust a socialist with a summer house.” — Colin Quinn
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermontistan) has got the greatest gig on earth. It’s a job anyone can do, as long as you’re missing a conscience and a sense of irony.
Next week, Sanders will hold court at a hip music venue in Washington, D.C., during an event titled “It’s Okay to Be Angry About Capitalism.” There, he’ll hype his new book “It’s Okay to Be Angry About Capitalism.”
So here’s what’s great. The top-tier tickets — sold through Ticketmaster, the scourge of the universe — will cost you $95. But no they won’t. Ticketmaster tacks on a $16.45 “service fee” even when you order a ticket online.
The venue, called The Anthem, holds about 2,500 people when it’s configured for such an event. The prices range from $35 to $95, but most are $75 and above. Let’s say he sells half the tickets at an average of $75, that’d haul in $93,750. Nearly $100,000 to hear a millionaire bash capitalism.
Here’s another great thing: Buy a ticket priced $55 and above, and you get a free copy of his new book, “It’s Okay to Be Angry About Capitalism.”
So perfect. Sanders will give the more monied Americans a free book. Can’t afford the top-tier tickets? Well, no book for you.
The irony is totally lost on Bernie. As a Democratic socialist, it oughta’ be exactly the opposite — pay $35, get a free book; pay $95, well, you can afford that so you can clearly afford to buy the book (“It’s Okay to Be Angry About Capitalism,” now available from Penguin for $28).
The publishing company says in a blurb that the book is “a progressive takedown of the uber-capitalist status quo that has enriched millionaires and billionaires at the expense of the working class, and a blueprint for what transformational change would actually look like.”
But Sanders has sucked off the government teat for most of his life, starting as mayor of Burlington in 1981 and then serving in Congress for decades. He’s had an even better scam of late: Run for president. That way, you collect hundreds of millions of dollars — mostly from the people Sanders rails against — and you write off nearly everything as a “campaign expense.”
Along the way, Sanders got super rich — even though a senator makes only $174,000 a year (which, incidentally, puts him in the top 4% of U.S. earners). But bashing capitalism pays: He pulled down a $900,000 advance for some recently published books and, in 2016, hauled in more than $1 million (not bad for a socialist!).
On the campaign trail, Sanders talks about taxing the rich as he pushes for free everything for everybody — free health care, free college tuition, even free money in the form of universal basic income, in which the government collects taxpayer money and redistributes it.
But he hasn’t redistributed his money. Vermont magazine Seven Days reported in 2016 that Sanders and his wife bought a four-bedroom house on the shore of Lake Champlain in Vermont — with 500 feet of lake frontage — for about $600,000. The Sanders own at least three houses, with another in Burlington, Vermont, and one on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
And then it’s just too perfect that Sanders’ event is being fronted by Ticketmaster, one of the few truly terrible things about capitalism. The ticket behemoth controls virtually the entire market for entertainment and sporting events.
Another Democratic socialist, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), has railed about Ticketmaster, and in one rare occurrence, she’s exactly correct.
“One of the things we’ve been increasingly seeing,” AOC said in November, “is that these price increases because of inflation and abuse of market power are due to market consolidation. It’s gotten so bad that we’re really seeing it affect our everyday lives, from how much we’re paying at grocery stores, to not being able to see our favorite artists without paying an arm and a leg.”
But Sanders has got that covered: “Tickets are non-transferable until 24 hours prior to the show time,” Ticketmaster says. “Any tickets suspected of being purchased for the sole purpose of reselling can be cancelled at the discretion of The Anthem/Ticketmaster, and buyers may be denied future ticket purchases for I.M.P. shows.”
Take that, capitalists!
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.