Zero-sum thinking persists because it is superficially appealing. Mr. Trump’s policies would in theory benefit Americans and increase jobs. Mr. Sanders’s policies would make the poor better off. In the actual, positive-sum world we live in, their policies—building a fence along the Mexican border, disrupting labor markets by deporting millions of productive workers, huge tariffs on imported goods, much higher income taxes and minimum wages—would, if adopted, lead to an economic depression that would make the 1930s look prosperous.
Trump and Sanders aren’t the only candidates for the U.S. presidency who are guilty this same zero-sum thinking. So, too – as K. William Watson explains – is Ted Cruz. And so, too – as Richard Rahn explains – is Her American Majesty. (For the record, I’m quite certain that John Kasich is also guilty of such thinking; I just don’t have the time or interest now to hunt down a link.)
Jonah Goldberg correctly explains that it is pure fantasy to imagine that, given the role that “Progressives” demand be played today by the U.S. Supreme Court, that that court will not be politicized. As Russ says, if you order a ham sandwich, you most certainly will not be served a kosher meal.