Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vulture Capitalism à la Bain Capital

This Republican primary season has been full of surprises, everything from the number of debates to the rise and fall of numerous frontrunners.  But the single most surprising development is the recent debate over the issue of wealth and income equality in America, along with the related issue of 'vulture capitalism'.  Who would ever have thought that Bain Capital's corporate morality or the income tax returns of Mitt Romney would be at issue in this most laissez-faire political party?

I'll let veteran left-wing journalist and activist Katrina vanden Heuvel describe it in the WaPo:
If you had asked me at the beginning of the Republican nomination fight what candidates like Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry would say to win, I would have said just about anything. What I couldn’t possibly imagine was that one of the things they might start saying would actually be the unvarnished, unblinking, stand-up-and-clap-for-it truth.

With their eyes set on Bain’s bane and Mitt Romney’s career, Perry and Gingrich have been astonishingly and appropriately brutal. “There’s a real difference between venture capitalism and vulture capitalism,” Perry told Fox and Friends last week. “I don’t believe that capitalism is making a buck under any circumstances.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Gingrich sharpened that point further on Bloomberg.“The question is whether or not these companies were being manipulated by the guys who invest to drain them of their money, leaving behind people who were unemployed,” he said. “Show me somebody who has consistently made money while losing money for workers and I’ll show you someone who has undermined capitalism.” Sing it, Brother Gingrich.

Though it might be odd that such attacks on Romney have originated with Republicans themselves, that they have sparked a national conversation matters a great deal. It allows those who’ve been making the case for years to drive home the critical point that the work of people like Romney is not the stuff of natural free markets; it is the product of a well-funded construct of laws and rules and institutions and values that undermine shared prosperity in a country that once took pride in supporting upward mobility.
Sounds like 'class warfare' has come to the Republican Party itself as a civil war.

1 comment:

  1. I have been uneasy about the state of our politics and the unbridled access by lobbyists/money to it ever since Ronald Reagan's first administration. (And I actually voted for Reagan thinking that Carter was too naive to keep us safe. My bad.) Anyway, I wanted to present to you the return of Bill Moyers and this interview about a book, "Winner-Take-All Politics" with authors Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. This helps explain why we have been moving closer and closer to a Corporatocracy. Vulture capitalism has been nurtured by our own politicians. Here is the link -