Bird that Sings

May 24, 2012

Mitt, Bain and the Banality of Evil

Filed under: Politics,Uncategorized — admin @ 11:12 am

Many people probably have trouble thinking of Mitt Romney as evil.


Banal? Yes. Maladroit? Sure: a two-faced politician with greasy hair and a bad dye job who will say anything to anybody to get elected, but evil?


Nonetheless, and the bubble headed advocacy of Cory Booker and David Brooks notwithstanding, if there is a single politician in the world who embodies the predations of the neo-liberal era; from the death of American manufacturing to the rise of finance Capital, from the hollowing out of the American middle class to the rise of the One percent, from the death of Main Street to the rise of Wall Street, it’s Mitt.


Now Obama and the Democrats are being attacked for their web ads against the right, honorable former Mormon Bishop of Boston.


The Democratic ads say that Bain Capital Management was a pioneering Private Equity Firm adept at picking up large and mid sized businesses, stripping them of Capital and employees and then selling them off piecemeal if not burying them with debt and killing them off all together.


Meanwhile Mitt apologists, or “Mitt-o-lytes” like David Brooks, tell us that yes, while that happens sometimes, Private Equity is in the business of building giant companies, not tearing them down. Brooks tells us that “Private equity firms are not lovable, but they forced a renaissance that revived American capitalism.”


However Brooks misses the truly damning thing about Bain Capital Management, Blackstone, KKR, and the other monster holding companies.


Whether Mitt and his Private Equity friends strip their newly purchased companies or build them into viable entities, the businesses themselves are of little or no interest to them. And while Mitt likes to brag about the success of some his ventures, like Sports Authority or Staples, Bain Capital Management is not in the business of Sporting goods or Office supplies.


Bain is in the business of leveraging debt and when Bain acquisitions are successful, they create leviathan economies of scale that squeeze out the small businesses; the sporting goods and stationary stores, that used to serve our cities and towns.


Mitt and his friends got rich doing this business but in the end, even their success stories will go under, be sold, and eventually stripped down again.


In theory, this is the creative destruction that is the engine of Capitalism. In practice, it’s an insane race to the bottom, turning once prosperous business districts into ghost towns of decaying, half empty mini malls.


Yes, in Capitalism there are winners and losers and Mitt’s success means creating waves of disposable, minimum wage, retail jobs where there were once small businesses and careers.


This is Mitt-o-nomics, where even our factories are turned into commodities to be bought and sold and our jobs shipped overseas; where stuff that used to be made here and would last fifteen years is made in China cheaper but only lasts three years; where small business is the enemy, an impediment to growth; where the true business of Capitalism is Finance, the business of money itself.


This is Mitt-o-nomics, where mild mannered, incense bearing Mitt-o-lytes like Paul Ryan and David Brooks, politely tell us that we are “economic illiterates,” that the ways of Capitalism are outside our purview: That the function of our elected representatives is to cut government spending so as not to crowd out private Capital. That to survive, Capital has to grow, we are born to serve it and that’s the way it is.


For the Mitt-o-lytes, Willard Mitt Romney is their bumbling Prince, a privately moral, if clueless fellow, who nevertheless understands the Dark Arts of Capital growth and accumulation.


For the rest of us, Mitt Romney is Satan in Mom jeans.




No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress