Corporate Raider Not a Good Model for Public Service

romney firingYou can’t run government like a business anymore than you can run business like a government. GOP presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney, burned corporations to the ground then made millions selling off the charcoal. This private sector experience is being touted as his qualification to be president. This expertise of bankaneering—corporate raiding—is so sexy to Republicans they now parrot the line, “President Obama doesn’t understand the economy,” implying Romney does because he’s been in the trenches breathing the fumes of leveraged buyouts.

It’s like a fox claiming he has the insider knowledge to properly guard the hen house. “The farmer just doesn’t understand poultry.”

As billionaire Julian Robertson who after giving $1.25 million Restore Our Future—a pro-Romney superPAC—told NPR last week, “I think Barack Obama is a smart man that the electorate put into power without any qualifications to run the biggest business in the world, which is the United States of America.”

tina dupuyThe thing is the U.S. isn’t a business. Government isn’t a business just as an apple isn’t an orange. Running government like a business would be like running Yosemite National Park like a 7-Eleven—every inch is monetized to maximize profit–half off all 5-Hour Energy Shots on Half Dome! “A mountain of savings!”

It’s a stunningly bad idea. It sounds clever in sound bites. They hope it sounds like Republicans are business friendly and quick with the flippant solutions: Government bad, business good—treat one like the other and both will be good! To me it sounds like the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) with a profit motive: another stunningly bad idea.

Vulture capitalism (to borrow a phrase from the leftist pinko Texas Governor Rick Perry) is hardly a good model for public service. Capitalizing on demolishing jobs doesn’t give you any insight into the common good, unless you take “common good” to mean just your wealthy friends.

This whole selling point of Romney having business experience therefore he’s the best to run the country implies that the economy collapsed because there wasn’t enough of a cozy relationship between government and business.

Yes, the world melted because Washington was too adversarial with Wall Street. It was Godzilla battling Mothra that trampled Main Street … instead of deregulated greed greased by conspiring politicians.

But Republicans, as you recall, came out firmly against empathy (when it comes to President Obama’s judicial appointments). But they feel empathy for corporations is what’s lacking in the Executive Office. They want a president who feels the pain of Big Business. Who understands that just like you and me corporations are people, my friends. And only the former CEO Romney can see eye-to-eye with a contrived paper-based legal entity.

It’s very telling that Republicans say government is a business and should be run like one. For them there’s no conflict—only interest. Government is just an extension of business. Like in 2007 when a reporter asked how many of Romney’s five sons were serving in the military. Romney’s answer: “One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.” It’s just really all the same thing to Romney.

tina dupuyWe don’t want our government to be run like a corporation. With any follow-up questions the analogy fails. Corporations don’t ensure rights. Especially rights which annoy yield like free speech and due process. Slavery was profitable. As was child labor. Pollution is profitable.

If making rich people richer was the sole purpose of government (like it is of corporations) we’d no longer have a country: We’d have Lehman Brothers.

Tina Dupuy
Taking Eternal Vigilance Too Far

Posted: Tuesday, 29 May 2012


  1. says

    Excellent article Tina. The problem is that Obama panders to the superrich almost as much as Romney will. Obama got our votes in 2008 by pretending he was on our side, then turned around and paid off his corporate sponsors with bankster bailouts and the “Insurance Industry Profit Protection and Enhancement Act” that solidifies wealth redistribution from the middle class to the rich. He increased defense spending to war profiteers, ensured that those who recklessly destroyed our economy won’t EVER be punished, reaffirmed and renewed the Bush tax cuts for the super rich, and destroyed of one of our most important constitutional protections (habeas corpus) just in case the 99% decide to do something about his bipartisan/Republican policies.
    It’s pretty clear from his first term that Obama is willing to pay back his corporate donors, so why would we think he’d do anything differently if we reelected him?  We HOPED he’d be a hero for the common American, and instead he turned out to be another cog in the ongoing destruction of the middle and working classes. He’s not going to ever prioritize us over the super rich, unless we stop cheerleading him for not being quite as bad as the other guys. We’re in the middle of a plutocratic takeover of our government, and we need to elect a truly ethical leader to stop it. If we go much farther along this economic path, it’ll be too late to reverse the damage. In spite of Obama’s recent election year claims, neither the Dem or Republican candidate has the interests of the middle class at heart. Of course, Romney’s social agenda would be devastating, especially his intent to deny gay and lesbian citizens equal rights. But bigots tend to be more inspired voters than those who believe in equality but are can’t be bothered to demand change. The Left is plagued by an Enthusiasm Gap.
    What we need to do to fix this dilemma is communicate with middle class independents and Republicans to help them understand that of the two plutocrats, Obama is more likely to push for policies that help the middle class. Especially if we push him. Unfortunately, Romney’s vulture capitalism is viewed by many small business owners as something they wish they could accomplish themselves. They need to be educated. The don’t have a chance to get rich the way Romney did, and are only important to greedy venture capitalists because they rely on the middle class tax base to ensure their invested wealth brings huge returns.
    We also need to convince Obama that we’re not going to vote for him unless he does more than offer elegant rhetoric about his support of the middle class. He has not supported us so far, and there’s no reason to assume he will do so with a second term. The fact is, Mitt “Obama-lookalike” Romney pushing Republican economic policies instead of our current stealth-Republican president Obama might inspire the common people to take to the streets protesting the plutocratic policies both sides of the political aisle are shoving down our throats.
    If we can’t get Obama to take action that prioritizes the middle class, and that means actual policy change, not just empty rhetoric, then the Dems won’t win the election this fall. Because Obama has already lost the votes of those who stupidly think he’s a socialist. And he’ll lose our votes as well if he continues to be a yes man for the plutocrats.

  2. Hwood007 says

    The curent crew in charge has not been able to reorganize the country anywhere near as good as it was able to reorgainize a neiborhood.  The current POTUS has the capasity of a tea pot where as the new guy has the capasity of a Water Tower.

  3. Clarabu77 says

    Can enough of the fan base, i e, disgruntled voters see this article?  It is well written and hits the issue squarely. We have already seen what business has done to, err, for America, during both Bush administrations!

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