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I was out driving and made a wrong turn and wound up in Bernieville. A very strange place indeed. Here are some of the things I discovered while spending the day there: 


All of the baristas at Starbucks and the burger flippers at McDonald's have a college degree and make a minimum wage of $15.00/hour. Of course, there were a lot fewer of them since many were replaced by computer tablets at the counter and robots preparing the food in the back. And despite that, a latte cost $9.00, and a Big Mac cost $12.00. 


Part of these high prices was also attributable to the high cost of electricity in the village. The townspeople had voted to only allow electricity generated by wind farms and solar panels to be sold in the town, and this more than doubled everybody's cost of electricity, adding to the cost of everything prepared or sold in the town. 


These high prices were particularly tough on the residents since they saw their income tax rates go up to more than 60% of their incomes to pay for college tuitions that all of the village children were entitled to attend "for free". It wasn't that bad initially, but after all, the "rich people" who hadn't been paying their very high (but undefined) "fair share" of the total tax burden left town (along with most of the manufacturing businesses who left town in search of lower tax rates and a more affordable labor pool), the burden fell on those citizens who remained (and still had a job). 


Because there were no manufacturing jobs left in the village and the welfare & unemployment benefits were so high, the unemployment rate was above 30%, and most of those still motivated to work had to find work in neighboring villages. Because everyone in Bernieville had a college degree, if you needed an electrician, plumber, or mechanic, they had to be brought in from neighboring towns. 


None of the residents owned a gun, and you would think that would make it a very safe place, but criminals had gotten very bold, knowing that they could rob and assault people with very little risk of bodily injury to themselves and a small risk of arrest with a police response time in excess of 15 minutes. 


Politicians continually lied to the people and made promises they couldn't possibly keep, but despite this, the citizens of Bernieville continued to re-elect them because they apparently believed that all of the town's problems were the fault of the previous mayor, who passed away in 1976. The town's streets, sewer, and water systems were all in a sad state of disrepair since the town had been spending more than it took in annually in tax revenues and had already borrowed more than 2 times its annual tax revenues and the bond market refused to lend the town any more money by refusing to buy any more of their tax-free municipal bonds, fearing an imminent default, so nothing was getting fixed or maintained. 


However, if you needed medical care, you were lucky because it was also free. The only downside was that there was a seven-month wait to see the town's only remaining doctor. If you needed immediate emergency care, you had to drive to the neighboring town and pay for it out of pocket, even if you could have gotten it for free back in Bernieville. 


If anyone wants directions to the paradise known as Bernieville, just ask Bernie or vote for any of the other Democrats running for President this fall instead.

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