Willard Mitt Romney is virtually assured the candidacy of the Republican Party. He is already campaigning as if he were. And he has grabbed on to the Republican message, the Ultra Right Wing new message of the Republican Party with a vengeance.
His message is clear. His message is that he will handle the American economy as he handled the affairs of the corporations who were his clients at Bain Capital. That seems to be a mixed message.
His record at Bain is one of investing in some companies who eventually succeeded, but not major manufacturing or high tech companies that create well-paying jobs. His successes were at Staples, whose jobs were primarily minimum-wage, retailing jobs. Then there was The Sports Authority, a similar situation, and Domino’s Pizza, definitely fast-food minimum wage jobs.
But Romney was also instrumental in closing down some companies that had high paying jobs, such as steel companies. In those cases, Bain seemed to come in with assurances to workers about their jobs, wages, pensions and health care and then walked away leaving the workers with basically nothing.
The problem with the “vulture capital” segment of the Bain consulting firm is that the easy way to solve the problem is always…for the consultant…to merely shut down the company. The reason is that companies like Bain only take on the project when there are considerable assets. The liabilities are always the employee wages, the employeed benefits and the employee retirement programs.
There are two ways to look at this. The first is from the perspective of the stockholders. They own a buggy whip business and the auto comes in. What do you do? If you haven’t converted to making head gaskets or wheel rims in time, you are looking at a business that cannot compete. So you need to get back as much as possible from your investment.
From the standpoint of the workers and the communities surrounding the area where the work was being done, you want protection. Otherwise you are just fired, laid off, out of work…with no way, no easily recognizable way to make a living and support yourself. Stockholders most often do not see themselves as having responsibilities when they start a company. What is the end game and what is the end game for the workers and the community? Not our responsibility, say the investors. Really? Then whose responsibility is it when you subtract $50,000 a year from someone or $5,000,000 from a community that was supporting a plant and its workers?
Society, not economic theory, but real politics, real civic need and civic activity is involved–in real time…not theoretical time. One could make the case that when you open a plant, or any business, at some point it stops being a “new” business. It matures. And the case could be made that part of the maturing is looking out at the end game to say…right now…whatever happens…our guarantee is this…whatever it is. That way, the other stakeholders in addition to the stockholders who do participate and do make a contribution, have some realistic expectations. They may not be good ones But they are at least some that can be counted on.
That kind of thing can be done. We simply don’t do it now because we have returned to the idiotic theories of Milton Friedman and his Chicago School followers who have been taught that business is one thing and humanity is another, which is, let’s be honest, quite frankly–foolishly stupid. They have merely ignored it because industry does not want to deal with it.
Enter Willard “Mitt” Romney. A privileged son of a self-made man, the baby of the family of 4, educated at exclusive private schools and at Brigham Young University and earned a joint law and graduate business degree at Harvard. He was a Baker Scholar, which means that he graduated somewhere in the top 5% of his class at Harvard Business School.
Simply from his resume…if you did not know more about him, given today’s attitudes among very wealthy, well-educated financial industry executives, you would think that he would be somewhat more concerned for the stockholders and less for the workers and other stakeholders. And from all available evidence, you would be right. So what does this mean?
If Mitt Romney is elected President of the United States, one would expect more consolidation of business. One would expect that those who have a grievance against a corporation, for damage to water systems or air or encroachment of industrial facilities into private residential areas, or damage causing products would have much less chance of gaining any kind of satisfaction, or redress, in the courts. He is the type of modern day executive who sees damage to individual citizens as part of his mandate. He sees jobs as being created for the majority of the people and those on whom there is fallout to have no rights.
Of course Mitt Romney will not say that because it is not politically correct to say it. But the point is that this is why he will not say it. He believes that, just as in war, there are victims. None of his friends or acquaintances have been victims. He does not go out among the people and live with them as the former mayor of Chicago, Jane Byrne did…taking an apartment in one of the worst public housing buildings.
Mitt Romney will say he cares. He will say that his religion dictates that he care. But he has no context with which to measure pain and suffering. He is not a bad person. He is merely someone who has lived so long in a cocoon that he has never developed feelings for those outside his personal area of experience. And the rich…for the most part…do not suffer homelessness, hunger, or lack for a job, an income or health care.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt and more especially his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt…were both empathetic even though neither had lacked any of the trappings of old, established wealth. They lived the first part of their lives in the lap of the Eastern Establishment, a virtual American nobility. They lived the second half of their lives in total dedication to their fellow men. Could we expect such a transformation from Romney?
It is certainly fair to say that it is quite likely not the case. And it is probably much more accurate to say…not a chance. His campaign plays to the rich, the bigoted, the foolish, the uneducated and the devoted NeoFascist. And who might they be? Maybe it is best to describe them partly and partly to identify them.
They are the people who would attack Barack Obama with rude and vicious verbal insults. A good example of that is Senator Jim DeMint or Representative Virginia Foxx, both ultimate Right Wingers. Their approach is simple. Cut the government to the bone. (Presumably leaving them in office, with a job, huge benefits and enormous financial support from the Right Wing corporations.)
Their insults are carefully crafted to let their constituents know that their comments on the President (who is really just a symbol of Northern [Yankee] workers) are always just on the edge of a tawdry racist comment. Their views that he is ignorant, is somehow a pretender, not really President, not a true American, an “uppity” black man who does not deserve and does not get, from them, the respect that Northerners think that he deserves.
These are educated but very unsophisticated people. Representative Steve King of Iowa, a man who wanted to and voted to spend the taxpayers money on war and on tax cuts and on big spending agricultural bills and on free gifts to the pharmaceutical industries…now wants to put that money back by taking it from Social Security and Medicare. Of course he doesn’t care. And apparently his constituents don’t mind losing Social Security and Medicare either, because they continue to send him back to Congress.
Steve King is worse than just a turncoat Republican congressman. He’s a little weasel who finds areas where no one can hurt him or get at him. Then he sits in his chair at Congressional hearings and fires off one irrelevant–but highly political, meaning an outright lie comment after another.
Steve King is the kind of sick little twirp, the kind of cowardly little vermin who uses his position on committees to damage the victim being questioned without giving him or her a chance to respond. He is the kind who has voted to cut regulatory departments to the bone, then hammers away at the officials from those same departments about why the job is not getting done. He, along with Virginia Foxx and Jim DeMint and others of their reprehensible kind, are typical Romney supporters.
What kind of President would Romney be? Here only one example and probably not the worst of what he would do. Romney did one good thing as governor of Massachusetts. He did not try to veto the Democratic state health initiative. Now the people of Massachusetts all have health care, about 97% or so, and over 80% say that they would not trade it for anything.
The Obamacare legislation that was passed in 2009, but forced by Republicans to be enacted only in 2013, was based to a great degree on the successful experience of the Massachusetts plan. Romney wants to repeal Obamacare. Forget all the damage that would do. Cost more to seniors for drugs; throw unemployed college graduates off their parents’ health care plans. Let insurance companies throw children with pre-existing conditions off their insurance rolls. And more. But this is what he wants to do.
This is what Steve King and Virginia Foxx and Steve DeMint want Romney to do. They don’t care because their jobs come from a combination of very wealthy industrialists who know that in the areas these people serve, their constituents are either lazy, or foolishly Right Wing religious or bigoted, or are simply able to be manipulated by a well-financed television campaign.
Mitt Romney is not a bad guy, you say? Maybe not to his family. There is the old saying, of course, that Hitler loved his dogs. But even if he is not a particularly evil person, his positions and his Party allow very evil people, people only different from the Fascists of the 1930s who killed millions and caused the deaths of tens of millions by the more sophisticated times we live in.
In 2012, these people, these Neo-Fascist Republicans do not kill people. Only savages in Africa do that, they will tell you. They will not even allow a doctor to help an individual suffering in excruciating pain, or in a brain-dead coma to die. No, they merely withhold jobs, unemployment, health care and the ability have shelter. They don’t kill people. They run a government, a Congress that creates conditions in which people have no alternatives but death. That is the group that Mitt Romney favors.
So you tell me if he will be a good President.