This article is a fantastic takedown of Mittens and the whole greed culture. Matt’s writing is so great (obviously incendiary) he may now be the greatest of the muckrakers. I don’t know where the guy gets all these phrases. His insights are more powerful than most of the media because he’s really ready to call it as it sees it, no punches pulled. Polemic no doubt, but fully deserved by those he skewers.
I can’t do justice the piece by just a few quotes here (please read it yourself, at the very minimum you’ll enjoy it even if you don’t agree with it). But I have to copy a few of the zingers, just too good to pass up. [Note: This piece, as Matt has often done, really does a good job of explaining what private equity is, with real examples, and cutting insights.]
He’s closer to being a revolutionary, a backward-world version of Che or Trotsky, with tweezed nostrils instead of a beard, a half-Windsor instead of a leather jerkin.
Romney’s run has been a shimmering pearl of perfect political hypocrisy
chose his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – like himself, a self-righteously anal, thin-lipped, Whitest Kids U Know penny pincher who’d be honored to tell Oliver Twist there’s no more soup left
where McCain bet on a combustive mix of clueless novelty and suburban sexual tension named Sarah Palin
Mitt Romney is one of the greatest and most irresponsible debt creators of all time. In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth
Mitt Romney, it turns out, is the perfect frontman for Wall Street’s greed revolution. He’s not a two-bit, shifty-eyed huckster like Lloyd Blankfein. He’s not a sighing, eye-rolling, arrogant jerkwad like Jamie Dimon
The new borrow-and-conquer economy was morally sanctified by an almost religious faith in the grossly euphemistic concept of “creative destruction,” and amounted to a total abdication of collective responsibility by America’s rich, whose new thing was making assloads of money in ever-shorter campaigns of economic conquest, sending the proceeds offshore, and shrugging as the great towns and factories their parents and grandparents built were shuttered and boarded up, crushed by a true prairie fire of debt
The seemingly religious flavor of Bain’s culture smacks of the generally cultish ethos on Wall Street, in which all sorts of ethically questionable behaviors are justified as being necessary in service of the church of making money. Romney belongs to a true-believer subset within that cult, with a revolutionary’s faith in the wisdom of the pure free market, in which destroying companies and sucking the value out of them for personal gain is part of the greater good
Yet unlike other politicians, who at least recognize that saying completely contradictory things presents a political problem, Romney seems genuinely puzzled by the public’s insistence that he be consistent.
The taxpayer-funded subsidies that Romney has received go well beyond the humdrum, backdoor, welfare-sucking that all supposedly self-made free marketeers inevitably indulge in. Not that Romney hasn’t done just fine at milking the government when it suits his purposes
The next conflict defining us all is much more unnerving. … That conflict will be between people who live somewhere, and people who live nowhere. It will be between people who consider themselves citizens of actual countries, to which they have patriotic allegiance, and people to whom nations are meaningless, who live in a stateless global archipelago of privilege – a collection of private schools, tax havens and gated residential communities with little or no connection to the outside world.
Romney is the frontman and apostle of an economic revolution, in which transactions are manufactured instead of products, wealth is generated without accompanying prosperity, and Cayman Islands partnerships are lovingly erected and nurtured while American communities fall apart. The entire purpose of the business model that Romney helped pioneer is to move money into the archipelago from the places outside it, using massive amounts of taxpayer-subsidized debt to enrich a handful of billionaires. It’s a vision of society that’s crazy, vicious and almost unbelievably selfish,
Remarkable piece, both the content and the writing!