Bain Capital & the Supply-Side Faith

The Republicans don’t really realize how much of a problem they have on their hands with Mitt Romney, income inequality, the rise of the superwealthy at the expense of the middle class, and other consequences of its Reaganite trickle-down, supply-side voodoo economic religion.

This article detailing Bain Capital’s business dealings under Mitt Romney makes for interesting reading, and goes to the heart of how Bain gamed the system for its own gain in an arguably unethical manner.

One of the most fascinating things about the Bush v. Gore decision was that the conservatives on the Supreme Court aren’t known to be big fans of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, but in that particular case, they were. Similarly, this New York Times editorial explains that the Republicans are most interested in citing “One nation, under God” when the socio-economic cleave being exploited is one of income inequality and class. When it comes to race, religion, and when the poor are the class being demonized, they are massively in favor of division and disharmony.

And yet if Democrats dare to point out that the income gains of the top 1 percent have dwarfed everyone else’s in the last few decades, they are accused of whipping up class envy. Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, noted in a speech on Thursday that the median income in the United States had actually declined since 1999, shrinking the middle class while the income of the top 1 percent soared. Such inequality is corrosive. And pointing it out has nothing to do with envy and everything to do with pressing for policies to help America’s struggling middle class.

Anyone who criticizes Mr. Romney’s business practices now faces the absurd charge of putting free-market capitalism on trial.

Yet capitalism isn’t supposed to just further enrich the wealthy. It’s also supposed to lift everyone up – the middle class and also the poor. But that’s not what the Republican supply-side faith has done.

What they don’t realize is that Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital was not just a corporate raider that cost many people their jobs, but it is the very embodiment of the Republican ideal, where money and profit are more important than a strong economy and society. It’s why they can’t say “middle class”, it’s why they continue to demonize the poor, it’s why they throw out “socialist” and “class warfare” when they’re the biggest class warriors of them all.

11 comments

  • Let’s see, guy who hates right wing rich white guys writes blog post trying to beat on right wing rich white guys. Color me amazed.

    “Such inequality is corrosive.”

    Really? Just “inequality”, huh? So if rich white guys had their incomes confiscated everything would be better? Is that enough question marks?

  • Nice strawman argument, Jesse. Please cite the paragraph where Bendenko suggested “confiscating” the money of rich white guys.

    How about we just discontinue the policies that tend to further enrich rich guys at the expense of everyone else?

  • Allow me to make this analogy agian for Jesse’s sake.
    Remember the old wagon trains (or a sailing ship at sea if you will)? The going gets tough. Indians, bad weather, breakdowns, unforseen illness. As this occurs the wagon train is delayed and finally the food supply begins to get short. Everyone is put on a reduced ration to help the train get through.

    Of those 200 people on the wagon train it is noticed that two of them are not only seemingly less lean, they are postively gaining weight. Suspicision starts and things are watched. Shorty two of the members are caught raiding the chuck wagon, not only eating a normal ration but actually eating more than usual.

    Those two reason that because it’s just the two of them their overly generous rations will only shorten the food supply for maybe half a day. So what difference does it make?

    When caught they are summarily lynched. But in today’s economy those two have apologists, like Jesse.

  • Excellent post, Alan. I would go further and say there is a direct line between the way Mitt made his fortune and how capitalism has broken down for too many people. Before corporate raiders like Bain started swooping in on companies they deemed ripe for plunder (oops – “investment”), management used to be able to make decisions while taking into account lots of factors: impacts on customers, impacts on workers, a host of things that ultimately had impacts on the long-term fortunes of the company. Once the corporate raiders started raiding, though, the only thing that mattered was the quarterly earnings figure and how that was reflected in the stock price. They called this “the shareholder theory of value” and said it made business more efficient. And management incentives then got tied to the stock price, too, which exacerbated the trend. But did it make things more efficient? Only for a small slice at the top. The costs to workers are obvious, but what about the overall economy? Would all companies have raced to offshore jobs if the stock price weren’t the only metric that mattered? Would a company like Kodak have been able to make the sorts of transitions it desperately needed to make to go from film to digital if it hadn’t needed to hit those earning targets every quarter and could have made some changes that cost it in the short term but set it up for the long term? Mitt Romney and his ilk helped make the price of stock the only thing that mattered, and we are all paying a very steep price.

  • I read no further than the words, “This New York Times editorial explains …”

    Apparently, the only thing the New York Times is unable to explain is why its readership and net income are a shadow of their former selves. Shilling for their side just doesn’t pay like it used to.

  • Longer Ward: “I would rather waste Alan and readers’ time with an off-topic comment than prepare an effective rebuttal.”

  • Shorter Ward: Fox News decides, I report.

  • Bbill, where did Ward mention Fox News? Only in your fevered imagination.

    Ethan, the comment was certainly on topic, the Time article is linked in the body of the story, how is that not on topic?. And the page states ‘Leave a comment’ not ‘Leave a rebuttal’. So……buzz off.

  • Althea told me, now, cool down boy. Settle down, easy Jim.

    Aren’t you the one who accused Obama of racist statements but refused to provide any examples?

    And your comment appears to be a double rebuttal.

    Be well.

  • Does Jesse always have a browser displaying the Artvoice Daily blog, on which he constantly hits “refresh” that he might be the first one on each post to comment with some standard right-wing talking point?

    And Ward didn’t mention FOX News…but he doesn’t have to. Anyone who has read Alan’s work for any period of time has encountered Ward and his talking points, too. Also, when someone is dismissive of the NYT on an a priori basis, it’s not a reach at all to assume what their preferred source of news happens to be.

  • Also too, it’s a common Fox-acolyte rhetorical technique to dismiss the veracity of a piece by pointing to the ratings of its source. As though one has anything to do with the other.

    Their gurus do this regularly: whenever it’s pointed out that a Fox piece is full of lies and half-truths (which is pretty much every one) or another study comes out showing Fox believers to be consistently poorly informed, Ailes or Hannity or Beck or O’Reilly or anyone else who tells the Wards of the world what to think has a stock answer “we have better ratings than CNN.” Each and every time.

    Pretty lazy, wingers. But it’s easy to see why you do it: it’s simpler than dealing with substance and facts when they contradict your false narrative.

    If you want to criticize the NYT you should do it like a grownup and use more substantial criteria, like this grownup for instance:

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/new-york-times-public-editor-on-truth-6638107

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