The Weiner Component #22-Vulture Capitalism

Mitt Romney surrounded by supporters during th...

While Mitt Romney was running for the presidency in 2012 his former company, Bain Capital, bought a steel company by gaining control of its stock.  Romney, from what I understand, had several million dollars invested in the acquisition.  In its last operating year in the United States the company made a profit of three hundred and something million dollars.  This meant that after paying all the compensation expenses from the executives to the janitors, that included 6.2 percent for social security, 1.4 percent for Medicare, medical insurance, retirement, plus any other costs associated with each employee, the company still made that profit.  There were about 169 employees involved in operating the company.

The executives at Bain Capital decided that it was more profitable to move the entire operation to China.  They would move the factory machinery there, reset up the plant, and use local labor to operate it, replacing all the American employees.  They brought Chinese workers to the United States to be trained by their American counterparts who they would be replacing when the factory was moved overseas.

Apparently the cost of a Chinese worker would be a fraction of what it cost to employ an American.  Even with the greater shipping distance the cost of the finished product would be one tenth or less of the cost of producing the item in America.  The yearly profit would be over three billion dollars a year, allowing for a massive return to the stockholders.  Mitt Romney’s few million dollars investment would be worth about ten times the amount he spent.

The people at the plant had appealed to Romney for help.  He had ignored them.  Obviously business is profit; the more profit the better the business.  The people employed are just a disposable tool when it comes to profit.

Bain Capital acted in a modern capitalistic manner, searching to maximize its profit.  They could earn much more using Chinese workers in China, where there is no social security, Medicare, or retirement, than by using American employees in the United States.

I’m not sure what happened to the steel company’s retirement fund.  Bain Capital could have looted it to pay for the transfer of the company to China and left the Federal Government with the responsibility to make good on it for their former employees.  They had done that type of thing before, more than once.

Bain Capital calls itself a Venture Capitalist Company, but they are actually Vulture Capitalists; like the bird they pick and devour the flesh and sinews off a living or dying creature, leaving only the lifeless bones behind.  They will take a successfully functioning company, sell off the parts, making millions in the process and leave unemployed workers and an empty structure behind or move a successfully functioning factory outside of the United States where there are far cheaper labor markets.

Is this all legal?  I would suspect it, more or less, is.  There may be some gray or very grey areas where the legality is highly questionable.  For example, some of these companies have looted long existing retirement funds leaving the Federal Government to pick up and fund the mess.  Bain Capital has, over the years, bought a number of companies and then added what it spent for the purchase to the company’s debt, turning a successfully operating business into a bankrupt concern.  There are probably a number of other ways to turn a quick profit employed by Bain and similar companies.

I would suspect there needs to be a thorough examination of the existing business laws leading to a thorough revision of the these statutes   Their purpose should not be to allow for many of the practices that now exist.

In the 1930s then Senator Harry S. Truman called these people “the wrecking crew.”  They existed then and pulled these practices during the Great Depression and they certainly exist today.

Mitt Romney during his presidential campaign called those people, part of whose employment he had done away with, part of “the 47% who expect a free economic ride.”  I see Romney and his like as the true economic leaches in this country.  They are the ones who have taken a free economic ride by exploiting a large percentage of the public and, in many cases, left the taxpayer, by way of the Federal Government, to pay to pay the bill.

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The Weiner Component #9 – Romney & History

Louis XIV, King of France, in 1661.

Louis XIV, King of France, in 1661. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the Middle Ages in Europe ended an Age of Kings began. The rational for the efficiency or inefficiency of these kings was a philosophy called the “Divine Rights of Kings.” This justification for monarchy was, essentially, developed during the reign of Louis XIV of France (1638 – 1715). He ruled for a period of seventy-three years and was called, “The Sun King.” Louis XIV was famous for his extravagances and his wars, both of which almost bankrupted France.

The philosophy argued that God choose who would be king. If the people had followed the teachings of the Lord they were rewarded with a “good” king; but they had sinned then they got a bad or even cruel king. In either case for anyone to question the king’s behavior was to question the wisdom of God.

We, in the United States, are facing a similar situation in the Election of 2012. If Romney is elected the nation will be direly punished. If Romney and Ryan are elected the nation will be following a similar course; it would be government of, by, and for the rich.

In addition Romney, Ryan, and the Republicans are advocating policies to limit the rights of all women in the United States. They feel or believe that women are not capable of making decisions that pertain to themselves and their own health. Both Clod Akin and Paul Ryan feel and have previously tried to pass legislation to the effect that all women should not have abortions in all cases. This includes situations where the women could die giving birth, or rape, or incest, which is another form of rape. The financial cost of having and rearing the child would fall on the woman. In addition if she were to have an abortion Akin and Ryan want it legally defined as murder and the lady prosecuted for the crime. To them the legal rights of the fetus supercede all rights of the woman.

It strikes me that if women can’t be trusted with basic decisions concerning their lives then can they be trusted with the vote? Should there be an amendment to the Constitution taking the vote away from them and placing it safely in the hands of white males?

In fact seeing all the attempts of Republican state legislatures to limit the vote of all minorities except that of white republicans would it make further sense to limit the right to vote to property owners who have a stake in the welfare of the society? Perhaps a property or wealth limit should be set for people to have the right to vote, say property and possessions equaling one million dollars would be reasonable. This would definitely limit the vote to the white minority in the country and keep them in power for a good part of the future. This would also put us in the same position as France was in shortly before the French Revolution; and also historically where we were during the early days of our nation when the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution.

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The Weiner Component #6 – Government of the Rich, By the Rich, & For the Rich

NORFOLK, VA - AUGUST 11:  Republican president...

The United States is facing an interesting prospect in the National Election of November 2012. We could conceivably be entering a situation not unlike where France was in the late 18th Century, just prior to the French Revolution. France, at the time, was one of the richest countries in Europe but her economic system was totally askew. The nobility and clergy lived well and paid no taxes; they were called the first two estates. Everyone else made up the third estate; and among this group the wealthy middle-class (the upper one percent) could buy their way out of paying future taxes by making one large payment. The burden of financing the country, paying taxes, was borne by the small farmers and city dwellers. The privileged classes and upper middle class lived a privileged life; the common man barely survived. Through a nefarious system of taxation not enough money could be raised to meet the needs of the king and the government. This led to the king calling for a meeting of the Estates General, which had not met in over a hundred years, and represented all of the General Public. The first two estates refused to be taxed. After all what was the sense of being a member of the privileged classes if you had to give up some of your privileges. The king’s financial woes continued to grow. He had trouble raising money. The situation ended with the outbreak of the French Revolution. Here the king and queen were eventually beheaded and Napoleon eventually became Emperor of France.

Today, the Republicans, under Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, if elected to the presidency and vice-presidency would, by what they have stated in their political campaign, recreate those conditions which existed in France during the 1870s. They would lower taxes for the plutocrats, themselves and the economic upper class and slyly increase the costs of living for the majority of the population, particularly the elderly, those that have Medicare, by putting them on a voucher system. It would become, with Romney as president and a Republican Congress, truly a government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. The Middle-Class would be pushed down into the ranks of the lower-class; and they would be taxed to pay the costs of government. The financial base of the country would shrink as more and more money was taken out by the upper echelon. More people would become homeless; more people would see their children go hungry with inadequate nutrition. This, within just a couple of years, would lead to riots against the food filled supermarkets. The riots could grow to revolution and the United States could become another modern-day Syria.

Will this happen? The probability is based upon how the people vote in the 2012 Election. Do they send to Washington a Republican President and Congress in both Houses. If they can be tricked into voting accordingly then there is a possibility of the above happening. But, on the other hand, if the majority of voters analyze their interests and vote accordingly, then there is no chance of the above occurring.

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