Tag Archives: vulture capitalism

Reality Trumps Theory – Austerity Is Not Working

Paul Krugman knows his economics. You may know that he is a Nobel Prize winning economist and author, he can also think fast on his feet in a language most of us can understand. This video from the BBC showcases his handle on the subject, even when double teamed. He makes a point about the conflation of the small state idea vs. dealing with the economy. The finance experts on the right first begin talking about economic measures, then seamlessly segue into how the state should be shrunken; Krugman calls that out for the ideology that it is. Ideologies and actual tactics may both be relevant to this debate, but they are not the same conversation. The whole nine minute clip is worth watching, but check out 3:53- 5:50 for the bit about ideology vs. pragmatism.

Paul Krugman on the BBC

Hat tip to Tom Sullivan at Scrutiny Hooligans.

Every business book I’ve read says that you are living in a dream world if you expect to turn a profit from your business in the first year or even  two. Ms. Leadsome, believes young college graduates should be starting businesses, not looking for jobs, so my question is what are those college graduates supposed to eat and shelter themselves with while if their business gets off the ground? Are we now asking those parents of young adults to continue the “upkeep” of their capable and energetic – but very green – offspring, who may be losing money rapidly in a deteriorating economy and undoubtedly thin experience with the dog eat dog market. If the corporations are also growing ever larger via subsidies, why would they not prey on the vulnerability and fumbles of a brand new entrepreneur? In this country it is morally and legally wrong for a corporation to fixate on anything but the bottom line; we are reminded of this regularly with an it-can’t-be-helped kind of shrug. A new business is a fresh new critter, naked to the world, ignorant and vulnerable; it’s kill or be killed. The fact is that most new businesses are killed.

In the capitalist philosophy, the bottom-line-is-all-that-matters philosophy, young businesses are supposed to die. People that can’t make it in the harsh economic environment are supposed to fail – they are drags on society according to that way of thinking. If a person can’t be made to profit someone financially, they are ballast keeping the rest of us down.

Dog eat dog is for the dogs. We are humans. Should we differentiate ourselves from the rest of the animal kingdom? By using our skills, talents and compassion to build society, we can make room for the financially ambitious as well as those nurturers that support, care for, and enliven our communities with those tasks that are not rewarded very well financially…like teachers, environmentalists, artists, caregivers, janitors, gardeners, farmers, counselors, spiritual guides, writers, the elderly – the list is long and could go on.

Once again those in favor of venture or “vulture” capitalism assume that, like them, the rest of the world is focusing on hoarding money; the rest of the world is not. The rest of the world may have lives to live where money is only necessary to stay fed and dry, and our attentions are focused on more important matters (like caring for for humans, planting food, expressing creativity, etc.). There are enough resources to do this, but only if we recognize, relate, and remain human – not dogs, not machines, not widgets, but humans, flesh and blood, fallible, and fantastic.


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Vulture Capitalism described by Capitalists

Think Progress put this out a couple of days ago. I agree that the election should be about what companies like Bain Capital and CEOs like Romney are doing to the American Dream. It is not pretty.

Here are the top 10 comments about Bain from Romney’s Republican rivals:

1. “The idea that you’ve got private equity companies that come in and take companies apart so they can make profits and have people lose their jobs, that’s not what the Republican Party’s about.” — Rick Perry [New York Times, 1/12/12]

2. “The Bain model is to go in at a very low price, borrow an immense amount of money, pay Bain an immense amount of money and leave. I’ll let you decide if that’s really good capitalism. I think that’s exploitation.” — Newt Gingrich [New York Times, 1/17/12]

3. “Instead of trying to work with them to try to find a way to keep the jobs and to get them back on their feet, it’s all about how much money can we make, how quick can we make it, and then get out of town and find the next carcass to feed upon” — Rick Perry [National Journal, 1/10/12]

4. “We find it pretty hard to justify rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company, leaving behind 1,700 families without a job.” — Newt Gingrich [Globe and Mail, 1/9/12]

5. “Now, I have no doubt Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out because his company, Bain Capital, of all the jobs that they killed” — Rick Perry [New York Times, 1/9/12]

6) “He claims he created 100,000 jobs. The Washington Post, two days ago, reported in their fact check column that he gets three Pinocchios. Now, a Pinocchio is what you get from The Post if you’re not telling the truth.” — Newt Gingrich [1/13/12, NBC News]

7. “There is something inherently wrong when getting rich off failure and sticking it to someone else is how you do your business, and I happen to think that’s indefensible” — Rick Perry [National Journal, 1/10/12]

8. “If Governor Romney would like to give back all the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years, then I would be glad to then listen to him” — Newt Gingrich [Mediaite, 12/14/11]

9. “If you’re a victim of Bain Capital’s downsizing, it’s the ultimate insult for Mitt Romney to come to South Carolina and tell you he feels your pain, because he caused it.” — Rick Perry [New York Times, 1/8/12]

10. “They’re vultures that sitting out there on the tree limb waiting for the company to get sick and then they swoop in, they eat the carcass. They leave with that and they leave the skeleton” — Rick Perry [National Journal, 1/10/12]

Thanks for doing the research Think Progress.


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