By 2008, Alan Greenspan was forced to admit Sanders had it right...
By Ernest A. Canning on 6/24/2015, 7:05am PT  

In a blistering confrontation with then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan during a 2003 Congressional Hearing (see video below) --- five years before the 2008 meltdown of Wall Street --- then-Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) revealed why he may be better positioned now to square off against right-wing economics than Hillary Clinton who, twenty years ago, served as a member of the Wal-Mart Board of Directors.

(The Arkansas-based company was a principal beneficiary of President Bill Clinton's decision to ram NAFTA through on the fast track. And, even now, though Hillary has been critical of a number of the company's practices, influential members of the Walton family, the mega-billionaire owners of the retail giant, have been very supportive of the Clintons.)

During that 2003 hearing, as revealed by this must-see video compiled by Sanders supporters, the Congressman arguably demolished not only Greenspan, but the fundamentalist market-based economics that remain the centerpiece of today's Republican Party and at the center of the dispute over new international trade agreements, such as the TPP.

After chastising the Fed Chairman for being out of touch with the needs of ordinary Americans --- "You don't know what's going on in the real world!" --- Sanders unleashed this...

You talk about an improving economy while we have lost 3 million private sector jobs in the last two years. Long-term unemployment has more than tripled. Unemployment is higher than it has been since 1994. We have a $4 trillion national debt. 1.4 million Americans have lost their health insurance. Millions of seniors can't afford prescription drugs. Middle-class families can't send their kids to college. … Bankruptcy cases have increased by a record breaking 23%. Business investment is at its lowest level in more than 50 years. CEOs make more than 500 times of what their workers make. The middle class is shrinking. We have the greatest gap between the rich and the poor of any industrialized nation, and this is an economy that is improving? I'd hate to see what would happen if our economy was sinking.

While Sanders neither mentioned Hillary Clinton then, and no doubt would refrain from anything resembling a personal attack now, his remarks help illustrate why the Wal-Mart-connected Hillary may be ill-positioned to serve as the Democratic Party's instrument for meaningful economic reform...

Today you [Greenspan] have a new low by suggesting that manufacturing in America doesn’t matter. "It doesn’t matter where the product is produced!" We lost 2 million manufacturing jobs in the last two years alone --- 10% of our workforce. Wal-Mart has replaced General Motors as the major employer in America, paying people starvation wages rather than living wages. And all of that does not matter to you? It doesn't matter if its produced in China where workers are making 30 cents an hour or produced in Vermont where workers can make $20 an hour, it doesn't matter!

You have told the American people that you support a trade policy, which is selling them out --- only working for the CEOs who can take our plants to China, Mexico and India.

When Greenspan responded to Sanders by claiming "we have the highest standard of living in the world," the Congressman rejoined before he could even finish: "No we do not! You go to Scandinavia and you will find that people have a much higher standard of living in terms of education, healthcare and decent paying jobs!"

As the video below, created by supporters of Sanders' run for the 2016 Democratic nomination for President, also illustrates, while the economy was imploding several years later following years of economic policies endorsed by Greenspan and defended during that 2003 confrontation with the Vermont Congressman, the former Fed Chair would finally offer a mea culpa of sorts, admitting he'd erred.

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Video of then-Rep. Bernie Sanders' 2003 confrontation with then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and then the former Fed Chair's later admission that his fundamentalist market-based ideology was "flawed"...

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Ernest A. Canning has been an active member of the California state bar since 1977. Mr. Canning has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science as well as a juris doctor. He is also a Vietnam Vet (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968). Follow him on Twitter: @cann4ing.

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