Economist Gerald Friedman, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, took the first comprehensive look at the economic policies of the Sanders campaign, his findings were positive, if not impressive.
He found that if Mr. Sanders were elected, and his ambitious policies were able to make it through congress, it could spur an unprecedented level of economic growth. His plan is to invest $14.5 trillion into infrastructure spending and youth employment, as well as expanding social security benefits, make college tuition free, and increase healthcare and family leave.
The net result of the increased spending would be a more employed and less burdened population which would then have more money to spend. More money in public hands would create more demand on businesses, who would then have to hire more people to meet the demand.
Friedman estimates that the stimulation would increase the median wage by $22,000, to $82,200, by the year 2026, as opposed to the current projection of $59,300 and reduce unemployment to 3.8%. He also projects that poverty would fall to a record low of 6% and annual economic growth would increase to 5.3% instead of 2.3%.
Critics of the report believe he would not be able raise the amount of money required for his programs to be put into place, it would also be difficult to maintain a growth rate of 5.3%.
It’s important to note that Gerald Friedman was not commissioned by the Sanders campaign to perform the study, though he does share the same Democratic Socialist views as Mr. Sanders.