Thursday, January 12, 2012

Capitalism

The Republican guys running for the nomination and trying to point out how what Romney did hurt working class Americans, are being pummeled by the wealthy. The last thing corporate heads want is for people to analyze what capitalism is or what it does, whether our version of it currently works for average Americans; and most especially whether there are areas within it where it's good and areas where government needs to step in with regulations. Those at the top of the food chain do not want these questions even explored by Republican voters. Hence a backlash that supports Mitt Romney and what he did with his Boston Consulting Firm and Bain Capital.


Basically capitalism is a word many don't understand its full meaning, but they want it because it sounds good. It fits right in with Christianity and patriotism as a word that evokes visceral responses from some people.

Capitalism is what came after feudalism and seemed to offer ordinary people a chance to gain money and power. The fact that there are different types of capitalism or that it could be misused under that name, well it's something righties, who want simple answers, simply won't delve into. One thing about the right wing is that most of them simply don't want gray areas or to understand something can be good one place and bad another (and yes I know, not all but enough of a faction in that party to impact their political choices).

At one time in this country there were laws to break up monopolies. Monopolies were seen as bad because they eliminated competition, pushed out the small guy, and eventually led to higher prices. But the rich never have enough money and they have done what they can to consolidate their power by blocking any attempt to stop monopolies-- and there are many ways to get a monopoly. Any attack on monopolies is hence an attack on capitalism, Christianity, and country-- the three Cs.

So we have Romney who used a form of capitalism to take over companies, consolidate then and then fire workers, he's now acting as though this is the free enterprise system. Free for who?

He brags much about his putting together Staples which allows people to buy all their office supplies and computers, etc. in one place. He says that the jobs  Staples has means that he created that many jobs. Okay how about all the small stores and suppliers that went out of business as a result of Staples? What about the employees they had? Romney won't be talking about those.

Even on the level of big stores, I remember where there was Office Depot and Office Max. Office Depot is gone in the city nearest me. Office Max is still around but looking iffy for the future. So if Staples outsells them, can have more products (often with sweetheart contracts), and it wins the marketing game, the jobs that were lost don't count?

I understand free enterprise and competition, but what Romney was able to do with taking over companies without the money to actually buy them, basically on credit. Often these were hostile take-overs. Then gutting them, ending jobs, so he could create new companies maybe with less employees, and often at lower wages. These takeovers aren't about free enterprise. They are about the big fish swallowing the small one by manipulation and trickery. It's often crony capitalism which Romney was in a prime position to exploit with a powerful father both from the political and the corporate world.

Romney didn't get his positions as CEOs like even Herman Cain got his. Romney was on the inside as a crony from the start and frankly it doesn't hurt to also be a Mormon as that religions knows about business.

It's amazing to hear him say he worried about a pink slip. The guy doesn't have a clue what that is about. The closest he has come to it has to be from those he knew who got one (assuming he ever knew anybody who did). I've heard Sununu supporting him claiming the last guy hired always worries about being fired. Frankly one of the worst things Romney did is bring us back hacks like Sununu, who is doubtless hoping for a government position if Romney wins. All I can say to that is ugh!

Capitalism means private ownership of the means of product, creation of goods or services for profit, the accumulation of capital, competitive markets, voluntary exchange, and wage labor.  Those who say Obama has tried to end it haven't paid attention to anything. GM and Chrysler are still US corporations, making cars, privately owned, and would not be if Romney had been president according to Romney's own words. How would that profit us as a people exactly?

4 comments:

Ingineer66 said...

We were the opposite. We had Office Depot and Office Max. The Max store started out as a better store with better service but it got dirty and the service got really bad. They ended up closing. Now a Staples just opened in town in the old Linen's and Things spot. It is just how things work. Companies close either because they are managed poorly or they over expand or whatever. Then new ones come along and take their place. Kind of like when Mervyns closed and Kohl's opened.

Rain said...

So when Walmart comes to town and all the little stores cannot compete, it's okay with you that they fold. Someday though when the only store is walmart, you might find the price benefit changes. You cannot though credit yourself with adding jobs if in reality your competition also ended jobs... unless you are a republican maybe?

Ingineer66 said...

So what would you do? Ban Walmart so that the poor people in your community continue to have to pay higher prices for the things they need to survive? I look at it as a circle of life kind of thing. Yes it is frustrating when I go into Home Depot and the kid working there can't even tell what aisle something is on let alone how to use it. But the option before Home Depot was go to the lumber yard where they treat you like dirt unless you are buying $1,000 worth of materials from them. It is just how things are.

Walmart seems to be the favorite target of the left for some reason when they serve the lower economic group that the left supposedly cares about. Here the City Council denied Walmart's expansion request. And before they denied it they tried to get them to do a bunch of crazy things that have never been required of any other business. One of the things was buy efficient wood stoves for 5,000 houses. It was just crazy stuff.
But Costco and Winco both were able to expand no problem.

Rain said...

Did it occur to you that because of those big box stores, people are poorer, more barely make a living, those who could have owned a business someday now work for minimum wage with few benefits? If there is reincarnation, I hope those who have so little compassion for the little guy get a chance to find out what it's like? You did such a great job giving us Bush who got us into all of this. Now you'll try again with Romney who loves war and rich people. Republicans never cease to amaze me but it is pointless trying to argue with someone who thinks Sean Hannity or Michael Savage has the answer. If you have the majority of the voters, you'll get another failure. My interest is getting back the House and Senate otherwise our democratic system is doomed with the takeover by the far right of the courts, and government. Rich will fare well. If you are in that class, you can praise it. If you are not, you'll regret what you are doing but it'll be too late.


And in my opinion, given what he had to work with Obama has been a good president. I have no regret about my vote and will be supporting him again this year. Can you say the same thing about Bush?