Friday, January 13, 2012

Scrooge MittRomney vs. The Gingrinch!

Newt Gingrich is going back to his roots with a cannibalistic attack on the Great and Powerful Capitalism! Not clear to me who did this thirty minute video, but the production values are substantial — a very professional job. But what astonishes me is the lusty assault on the Profit-├╝ber-alles article of faith. Time and again I've been impressed by the recent willingness of diehard conservatives to lay into their precious darlings of money-making.


If you watch the video, note the repeated of clip of Romney asserting that corporations are people and his sardonic assertion that the profits go to "people." Once again, average Americans reveal far greater insight and awareness of the truth than the oligarchs — someone in the audience hurls back Romney's insult: "In your pocket . . . your pocket!"

The Romney willingness to be combative with people is very reminiscent of Michael Bloomberg's style. It is the style of someone who is unaccustomed to being challenged — a business boss surround by sycophantic yes-men hopeful that sufficient groveling will win them promotion. It is the style of wealthy oligarchs who do not believe in democratic practice. Yet it is these extraordinarily wealthy oligarchs whom Republicans and Democrats alike repeatedly champion for high political office on the grounds that public organizations "should be run like businesses."

Romney champions his role as a "job-creator" at Bain. And how did Romney run things? How did Bain create those jobs (if indeed it did)? What business style did Bain exemplify? What did it produce? It produced not-particularly innovative or inventive financial techniques for squeezing dollars out of firms until there was nothing left, juggling around dollars to enable extraordinary profiteering for managers at the expense of everyone else.

This is the knowledge economy that so many have been bleating about for twenty-some years now. The knowledge found in education, the knowledge found, for example, in American universities (increasingly funded) is indeed a product the US exports, with many thousands of students coming from around the world to attend US schools. But this is not the knowledge economy trumpeted by conservatives. The knowledge they have in mind is financial, the knowledge of a very elaborate shell game or ponzi scheme, the kind that blew apart in 2008 and was promptly restored by our elected officials entirely at our expense — the greatest transfer of wealth from labor to capital. Ever. That is the knowledge economy of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, except for rhetorical purposes when the game of power is afoot.

The game is power. Power comes first. If the dogmas of capitalism conflict with the lust for power, then the dogmas must go. The attacks on Romney are superficial. Ultimately, there is no real conflict. It is a game of which oligarchs will be best represented after November, 2012.

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