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Blog of Mass Destruction

The F Word

By The Reverend Published: January 13, 2012

No, not that f-word.

I'm talking about the dreaded word..."fairness." For example...

“I think you have to look at the specific companies we are talking about and you have to ask yourself a very tough-minded question: Is it fair to have a system, is it right, is it the kind of country you want to live in, to have a system where somebody comes in [to] take over your company, take out all the cash and leave behind a wreck, and they go off to a country club having a great time and you go off to the unemployment line,” Gingrich said Tuesday in an interview with Fox News.

“Now this is not anti-capitalism, I am not for socialism, I am not for government stopping risk-taking, but I am for some sense of fairness that the entrepreneur and the worker have a joint investment in something succeeding.”

Who said those words?

Newt Gingrich said those words this week.

It also appears as if Texas Governor Rick Perry is thinking the same way about Mitt Romney's former job as a corporate raider....

“I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out because his company Bain Capital with all the jobs that they killed, I’m sure he was worried that he’d run out of pink slips,” Perry said while campaigning in South Carolina.

Rarely do Republicans break St Ronnie's 11th commandment: 'thou shalt not talk smack about fellow Republicans.' But it looks like smack-talk has been breaking out all over as the GOP primary-palooza swings down into South Carolina where Mitt Romney is looking to finish off his less-than-stellar competitors and then prepare to battle the Dark Knight for the next 9 months.

But it's interesting...don't you think? That both Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, allegedly rock-ribbed conservatives, would sound like progressives in their criticism of Mitt Romney's former profession as a corporate raider.

Yes, indeed, part of free market capitalism is plagued with "vulture capitalists." The Gordon Gekkos of real life. That would be Mitt Romney....a real-to-life, "greed is good", "greed works" Gordon Gekko. Romney headed Bain Capital in the 90's, made a fortune thanks to the hard, and often life's work, of others. Investment capitalists, they called themselves. Often, though, it was hard to differentiate Bain Capital from a flock of carcass stripping vultures.

How did Mitt Romney and his Bain Buddies see themselves in the 90's?

That's how.

Here's what the "progressives", Gingrich and Perry, were alluding to...

In 1992, Bain Capital acquired American Pad & Paper, or Ampad, from Mead Corp….

Through Ampad, Bain bought several other office supply makers, borrowing heavily each time. By 1999, Ampad's debt reached nearly $400 million, up from $11 million in 1993, according to government filings.

The result: Ampad couldn't pay its debts and plunged into bankruptcy. Workers lost jobs and stockholders were left with worthless shares.

….while as many as 185 workers near Buffalo lost jobs in a 1999 plant closing, Bain Capital and its investors ultimately made more than $100 million on the deal.

That is vulture capitalism. Corporate raiding. Purchasing an existing company, running up debt by 3000-4000%.....then selling off assets while issuing pink slips to all the employees while pocketing a cool $100 million for yourself and your oh-so-sophomoric Bain buddies.

The most popular form of what Romney did at Bain in the 90's....winds up offshoring the middle class jobs which helped in building up the original enterprise, leaving a skeletal crew of lackeys in the U.S. to shuffle papers, and then pocketing the difference between $30 per hour wages and $1 per hour Chinese wages or similar.

That's what corporate raiding looks like today. Oh no, they don't call it corporate raiding anymore, because the actual corporate entity doesn't suffer any harm, in fact, the corporation and it's stock holders benefit. It's only the people who used to do the actual work who suffer....because their jobs have been sent to Communist China by patriotic U.S. venture capitalists.

And so we get back to the f-word. Fairness. Is it fair for vulture capitalists, like Romney's former Bain Capital, to root around in the assets of a troubled company, enrich themselves by looting any asset not nailed down, run up ginormous debt if they can, put hundreds of average American workers in unemployment lines, and then pay the Chinese 1/30th of what they paid American workers? I'm not asking whether it's legal....I'm asking whether it's fair to average American workers, is it fair to America?

Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry.....two of the most right leaning Republicans still running in the 2012 GOP primaries.....don't think it is.

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