Wednesday, August 5, 2015


We have a political party that operates as a venture capitalist, which is not new; it is just that I did not appreciate what they were doing. I had read Naomi Klein’s book, Shock Doctrine (2007), and John Perkins book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (2004). The focus of these books was more on the economics and not so much on the domestic politics involved. The books the were about economic disasters created by such great organizations as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and included economic interests taking advantage of natural disasters such as extended drought or massive floods. For me, the first lesson in this form of political debauchery came while thinking about Mitt Romany’s candidacy for President in the last election cycle. He and others raked in millions of dollars as a venture capitalist operating Bain Capital. The way it works is they evaluate a company for its assets including earning potential. The evaluation includes a judgment concerning the management of the company. Also, among the assets they include such things as the unions pensions held by the company in the name of the workers, which are by contract not available to the current management. They are cognizant of the bankruptcy laws, which allow the owners to forfeit all contracts upon filing of papers with the court. Of course, those laws are there because of lobbying by venture capitalist. The laws greatly favor management at the expense of the workers. The second lesson came from reading Amity Shlaes book, Coolidge (2013). Although Shlaes did a poor job in the book, it does carry a message about extreme austerity in government. Calvin Coolidge was president from 1923 to 1929. What was remarkable was the author’s insistence that he was a most successful president and we, as a nation, should laud him for his economic achievements such as balancing the Federal budget, paying down the Second World War debt, etc. He did accomplish what she says he did. The author cites statistics to support her claim. There not only appeared to be a flood of money accumulating in the government coffers, but there was. The parallel with our current economic situation and our presidential election was astonishing. Instead of the Second World War debt, it is the Iraqi War debt but the proposed political solution is the same. The Republicans are proposing the same old witchcraft; they will create jobs and increase government income by lowering taxes and selectively raising tariffs on goods services and product of successful business in the U.S. control corporations. Also, they will cut government spending to the bone. It became the objective of government o to get government out of the lives of people; the same thing we hear today. Every cabinet appointment the President made, he made with that objective in mind. Besides, Coolidge met once a week to cut the budget. He and the administration he fashioned were obsessed with these two ideas; cut taxes and cut government spending. The analogy that comes to my mind is that a venture capitalist buys a business, or a person inherits a big beautiful house setting on a huge lot in an expensive part of the city. The previous owners have worked hard for many years paying little by little to build these things. A people of a nation worked hard for many years paying taxes to build public schools, government building, safe highways, and bridges. Besides, elected official worked hard by trial and error for many years writing laws, and structuring and supporting regulatory agencies to ensure honest and security in business. They have been successful in eliminating old age poverty and put us on the road to having health care for everyone. These are our assets; we own them. When Coolidge came into power, there appeared to be a flood of money into the government because of the austerity and budget cutting measures. It made the Republican look smart. The government was spending less and less, which made it appear that government income had increased because of cutting taxes. We all like to hear that. The Republicans build their mantras on this theme; the ones we hear every day. What we earn is our money, why should we give it to the government in the form of taxes. We are individuals and do not want or need the big bad government in our lives. Look how smart Bain Capital was. Judge the money Mitt Romney put in his personal bank account. Who is there who realizes what he did was sell off a company’s assets, which was the result of the service of many hard working people. How many people stop and look at want remains of those companies other than a large number of unemployed people. How many people stop and look at collapsing bridges, potholed highways, and the number of private schools using public school building rent-free. Need I remind you that the great depression of 1929 followed, and the 2006 economic collapse followed periods of Republican prosperity? URL: Comments Invited and not moderated

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