News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Bain in the ass, the Bain of our existence, etc.

Let us first dispense with the stupid puns.  Then: 

In the  early years of our nation,  a company like Mitt Romney's Bain Capital would not have been permitted to operate.  The founders and early proponents of the republic firmly believed in government's role in watching over the "enterprise system to insure the usefulness of all economic activity."  The role of government was to protect the citizens from both political and economic tyranny and "to aid and foster certain activities or kinds of business that strengthen a nation." (Johnson, E.A.J. (1973). The Foundations of American Economic Freedom: Government and Enterprise in the Age of Washington. )

Colonial and Federalist Americans were a litigious lot.  Early diaries and news accounts are filled with instances of people taking other people to court for accused acts of negligence or taking advantage that affected their livelihood and families.  Any act, including the charging of interest for loans, that put  one person in a position of power and control over another person was regarded as anti-social and damaging to the community.  Business success was a matter of supplying a value in terms of goods and services which contributed to the function and integrity of the community.  Business which operated on any basis other than diligence and integrity was considered predatory or parasitic and was forbidden and subject to legal action.

The history of America is largely a history of how the industrial revolution and the era of robber barons changed the American ethic through bribery, force, and intimidation and took over the American government.  Safeguards and measures were taken in the early 20th century by Theodore Roosevelt and the like to restrain monopolies and the extension of their power have eroded away.  In the name of economic growth, politicians--including Democrats like Bill Clinton--have allowed a consolidation of industry that has resulted in global companies that have no interest in the communities in which they operate or the economic strength of the nation.  Their only interest is in the profits they can derive by hook or crook.  

The ultimate rule of American life is the business decision, which displaces the will of god as the imperative of American life.  No matter how many people  or how much of the environment is damaged by some business enterprise,  the damage is justified if it results from a business decision.  When individuals do some of the things that businesses do routinely, they are considered criminal acts and individuals get prosecuted and jailed for them.  

The consolidation of the economy into the hands of a very few creates the one percent that the Occupy Movement talks about and protests.  That one percent decides how and what the nation does.  The 99 percent have no effective voice.  America has long since given up being a democracy in every way except pretense.  It is a corporate plutocracy run on tyrannical principles.

  • The top 1 percent of Americans hold 23.5 percent of the wealth.
  • The top 10 percent of Americans hold 83 percent of the wealth.
  • The top 1 percent of Americans gather 10 percent of the income.
  • The 10 percent of Americans gather 49 percent of the income.
  •  The bottom 90 percent of Americans share 27 percent of the nation's wealth.
  • The bottom 90 percent of Americans divide 51 percent of the nation's income.  
That distribution of wealth and income is the result of the way business has been done in America for the last 4 years through consolidation and the unrestrained power given corporations and business interests.  
 
Bain Capital is an illustration of what business has become and what is regarded as shrewd business today.  As a private equity company it dabbles in the entire range of manipulations:  forced buyouts, consolidations, mergers, pillaging, and junking out.  It feeds on companies and devises ways to make money out of them, often destroying them in the process.  It's motives are not to contribute to and refine enterprises to strengthen the country, but to satisfy the greed for power and wealth that is its purpose in being.  

When Bain Capital claims it has created jobs, it doesn't mention the companies it has raided and the jobs it has eliminated, or the effects its job elimination has had on people.  Bain does not represent that extremely small segment of the business community which tries to grow its companies by competing with better products and better services at competitive prices.  It depends upon the ruthless and cruel manipulation of those businesses it acquires and sees the sacrifice of people who the wealth and power of its company members as its mission and purpose.  It is not the least interested in what strengthens communities and the nation.  It merely serves those who aspire to be in that one percent.  

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