Mythology of the Businessman-Politician

Read Greg Sargent's Plum Line blog today, which links to what he calls a brutal dissection from David Stockman on The Daily Beast of Romney's reason for running -- his business experience at Bain Capital. Stockman says:

Romney was not a businessman; he was a master financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped, and stripped businesses. He did not build enterprises the old-fashioned way — out of inspiration, perspiration, and a long slog in the free market fostering a new product, service, or process of production. Instead, he spent his 15 years raising debt in prodigious amounts on Wall Street so that Bain could purchase the pots and pans and castoffs of corporate America, leverage them to the hilt, gussy them up as reborn “roll-ups,” and then deliver them back to Wall Street for resale — the faster the better.

Romney did was aleveraged-buyout specialist, and in an "honest free-market economy,"

there wouldn’t be much scope for it because it creates little of economic value. But we have a rigged system—a regime of crony capitalism—where the tax code heavily favors debt and capital gains, and the central bank purposefully enables rampant speculation by propping up the price of financial assets and battering down the cost of leveraged finance. So the vast outpouring of LBOs in recent decades has been the consequence of bad policy, not the product of capitalist enterprise.

So, Romney's vast experience is in the kind of work that got us into the current economic mess -- which raises questions about why he should be the guy to get us out of it.

Suburban Pastoral, a chapbook by Hank Kalet, available here.

 

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