Bernie Sanders talks income equality and poverty in Knoxville, IA

By: Madeline Rathle

Senator Bernie Sanders, of the Democratic party, focused heavily on wealth and income inequality on Dec. 31 at his rally at Northstar Elementary in Knoxville, Iowa.

Since Sanders has been in Iowa he has spoken to around 34,000 people, and the crowd in Knoxville did not show a weakening in that number.

The crowd included the press, supporters and observers who were able to listen to the Senator speak about his campaign, his frustrations and his plans for the future.

Sanders’ skepticism of the elite in our nation brought many supporters to verbally show support, and his coverage of the income inequality the United States faces was very popular among the audience.

“It is not a radical idea to suggest if somebody works 40 hours per week that person should not be living in poverty,” said Sanders. “Fifty-eight percent of all new income goes to the top one percent. We are living in an economy which is rigged.”

Sanders also believes our five percent unemployment rate is not an accurate depiction of our nation. He wants to bring to light underemployment and discouraged employees to help correct poverty.

Another popular topic that circles around to our income equality issues is childhood education.

Sanders does not believe we are treating our children right, which then leads to the inability to succeed and get jobs in the future.

“A Nation that does not invest in its children is a nation that will not go very far,” Sanders stated amid a chorus of cheers. He does not believe education should be based on a family’s income, and he hopes to increase access to education to all Americans in the future.

Although many of Sanders’ ideas are extremely liberal, he did have some moderate statements, especially about gun control. He feels that we should have a stricter background checking process when purchasing a gun so that guns do not fall into the wrong hands.

Foreign policy and the recent terrorism around the world were not discussed at this rally, and no questions were asked concerning that topic, which may concern voters.

Overall, the Sanders campaign was very positive about the future and showed optimism about this caucus in particular.

“I think we stand an excellent chance to win here in Iowa,” announced Sanders.

This optimism will follow the Sanders campaign to his New Year’s Eve party in downtown Des Moines, which over 1,500 guests are expected to attend.