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The “Bain” of American Wage Earners: Romney’s Way (A Homework Assignment for Listeners)

Romney's Bain Capital Maximizing Liquidity

COMMENT: The 2012 Presidential race will likely be decided by the economy, or the electorate’s perception of same. Observing the media’s treatment of the candidates is reminiscent of the grotesque media bias to which Al Gore was subjected in 2000. (Robert Parry, among others, has noted the overt bias of the mainstream media toward Dubya during that election.)

A recent article in The Village Voice highlighted the manner in which Romney’s Bain Capital operated. It is the supposed “success” of Bain Capital that has been touted by Romney and the flacks in the media running interference for him as proof that this “businessman” has the necessary expertise to run the U.S. economy.

The fact of the matter is that Bain Capital and Romney epitomize the very worst aspects of predatory private equity business. If a President Romney runs the American economy the way that he operated at Bain, it bodes very poorly for American workers.

It is to be noted that, after cannibalizing businesses and screwing working folks for fun and a great deal of profit, Romney parked a great deal of money in offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, one of the most notorious tax havens.

I am charging the listeners (and readers) to do a little homework. I want them to distribute this article, and the information about Romney’s offshore bank accounts. In the Internet age, it should be possible for a relatively small number of listeners to generate a great deal of buzz in this regard. If Romney gets in, you are going to be very, very sorry.

“Drivers, start your engines!”

“Mitt Romney, American Parasite” by Peter Kotz; The Village Voice; 4/18/2012.

EXCERPT: It was the early 1990s, and the 750 men and women at Georgetown Steel were pumping out wire rods at peak performance. They had an abiding trust in management’s ability to run a smart company. That allegiance was rewarded with fat profit-sharing checks. In the basement-wage economy of Georgetown, South Carolina, Sanderson and his co-workers were blue-collar aristocracy.

“We were doing very good,” says Sanderson, president of Steelworkers Local 7898. “The plant was making money, and we had good profit-sharing checks, and everything was going well.”

What he didn’t know was that it was about to end. Hundreds of miles to the north, in Boston, a future presidential candidate was sizing up Georgetown’s books.

At the time, Mitt Romney had been running Bain Capital since 1984, minting a reputation as a prince of private investment. A future prospectus by Deutsche Bank would reveal that by the time he left in 1999, Bain had averaged a shimmering 88 percent annual return on investment. Romney would use that success to launch his political career.

His specialty was flipping companies—or what he often calls “creative destruction.” It’s the age-old theory that the new must constantly attack the old to bring efficiency to the economy, even if some companies are destroyed along the way. In other words, people like Romney are the wolves, culling the herd of the weak and infirm. . . .

. . . . Bain would slash costs, jettison workers, reposition product lines, and merge its new companies with other firms. With luck, they’d be able to dump the firm in a few years for millions more than they’d paid for it.

But the beauty of Romney’s thesis was that it really didn’t matter if the company succeeded. Because he was yanking out cash early and often, he would profit even if his targets collapsed.

Which was precisely the fate awaiting Georgetown Steel.

When Bain purchased the mill, Sanderson says, change was immediate. Equipment upgrades stopped. Maintenance became an afterthought. Managers were replaced by people who knew nothing about steel. The union’s profit-sharing plan was sliced twice in the first year—then whacked altogether.

“When Bain Capital took over, it seemed like everything was being neglected in our plant,” Sanderson says. “Nothing was being invested in our plant. We didn’t have the necessary time to maintain our equipment. They had people here that didn’t know what they were doing. It was like they were taking money from us and putting it somewhere else.”

History would prove him correct. While Georgetown was beginning its descent to bankruptcy, Romney was helping himself to the company’s treasury. . . .

. . . . In the midst of that 1994 campaign [against Ted Kennedy], one of Romney’s companies, American Pad & Paper, bought a plant in Marion, Indiana. At the time, it was prosperous enough to be running three shifts.

Bain’s first move was to fire all 258 workers, then invite them to reapply for their jobs at lower wages and a 50 percent cut in health care benefits.

“They came in and said, ‘You’re all fired,'” employee Randy Johnson told the Los Angeles Times. “‘If you want to work for us, here’s an application.’ We had insurance until the end of the week. That was it. It was brutal.”

But instead of reapplying, the workers went on strike. They also decided the good people of Massachusetts should know what kind of man wanted to be their senator. Suddenly, Indiana accents were showing up in Kennedy TV ads, offering tales of Romney’s villainy. He was sketched as a corporate Lucifer, one who wouldn’t blink at crushing little people if it meant prettying his portfolio.

Needless to say, this wasn’t a proper leading man’s role for a labor state like Massachusetts. Taking just 41 percent of the vote, Romney was pounded in the election. Meanwhile, the Marion plant closed just six months after Bain’s purchase. The jobs were shipped to Mexico. . . .

. . . . An example of Romney’s cold-blooded approach is his 1994 purchase of Dade International, an Illinois medical-equipment company. He soon merged it with two similar firms, a move that tripled sales.

Once again, he couldn’t help but raid the vault, peeling away $100 million for himself and investors at the same time Dade was laying off 1,700 American workers.

After Bain closed a Dade plant in Puerto Rico, human-resources manager Cindy Hewitt was asked to lure a dozen of those employees to work in the company’s Miami factory.

But that plant soon closed as well. Although Romney was gobbling up millions, Bain still wanted those laid-off employees to repay their moving costs.

“They were treated horribly,” Hewitt told The New York Times. “There was absolutely no concern for the employees. It was truly and completely profit-focused.”

Yet Bain’s molestation wasn’t complete. It was trying to sell Dade but didn’t like the offers it received on the open market. So it created an artificial market of its own.

In 1999, it forced Dade to borrow $242 million, which was used to buy back company stock from Bain, Dade executives, and their banker, Goldman Sachs.

Bain was again extracting profits with borrowed money. It had pushed Dade’s debt to a bracing $2 billion. To help pay for the deal, the company laid off another 367 workers.

But that debt proved too much for Dade’s shoulders to carry. Three years later, the company was bankrupt.

Kosman calls it standard Romney operating procedure. To pump short-term earnings, he would essentially “starve a company,” whacking not just employees, but also customer-service and research-and-development funding—the ingredients of long-term prosperity. . . .

COMMENT: And where did this “businessman” put his money? He stashed it in the Cayman Islands, where he won’t have to pay U.S. taxes. What a guy!

“Romney Parks Millions in Cayman Islands” by Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Megan Chuchmach [ABC News]; yahoo.com; 1/19/2012.

EXCERPT: Although it is not apparent on his financial disclosure form, Mitt Romney has millions of dollars of his personal wealth in investment funds set up in the Cayman Islands, a notorious Caribbean tax haven.

A spokesperson for the Romney campaign says Romney follows all tax laws and he would pay the same in taxes regardless of where the funds are based.

As the race for the Republican nomination heats up, Mitt Romney is finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a shroud of secrecy around the details about his vast personal wealth, including, as ABC News has discovered, his investment in funds located offshore and his ability to pay a lower tax rate.

“His personal finances are a poster child of what’s wrong with the American tax system,” said Jack Blum, a Washington lawyer who is an authority on tax enforcement and offshore banking. . . .

Discussion

16 comments for “The “Bain” of American Wage Earners: Romney’s Way (A Homework Assignment for Listeners)”

  1. Here is the great work of Lucy Komisar on some of Romney’s other shenanigans, involving this time the Marriott hotels chain.

    http://www.thekomisarscoop.com/2012/01/romney-on-board/

    Posted by Claude | April 21, 2012, 10:19 am
  2. I work for a corporation half owned by Bain Capital Partners. I understand Mitt left in 1999 but I believe he still takes dividend checks. And even though Mitt has moved on (not really), the crummy business and labor practices continue in his wake. It employs over 45,000 people, 75% of which are part time with no benefits. Most can barely get the hours they need to live. If sales are down, even on a weekly basis, then you can expect your hours to be cut. Even in a business subject to the fluctuations of consumer spending (what a way to make a living) this is degrading treatment and unnecessary unless you’re looking to nickel-and-dime every possible labor cost—which is the cost of people, nuisances that they are. Sometimes it feels more like a wage lottery than a job.

    Posted by GrumpusRex | April 21, 2012, 1:47 pm
  3. @GrumpusRex: Sorry about that. Last job I had didn’t pay all that well either and the hours were kinda crappy but I was 17 and desperate for cash……and then they dropped me after only a few months. Been outta luck ever since……hopefully my next job will be a decent one.

    Posted by Steven L. | April 22, 2012, 9:11 am
  4. […] The “Bain” of American Wage Earners: Romney’s Way […]

    Posted by Mitt Romney: The art and science of corporatism at its finest | Lys-d'Or | April 22, 2012, 1:00 pm
  5. Romney and Bain typify the financial parasitism which dominates the US economy and its political representatives who populate the 2-Party-System(tm).

    Be it Obama (more than likely…) or Romnoia post-Nov election the strategy is to continue decimating the general working population through destroying social benefits won during the last century.

    Look at La Pen in France, she just won almost 20% of the vote, roughly what Ron Paul would get here if he were allowed on the ballot.

    This is the case since no truly progressive alternative is allowed to manifest. This is fertile ground for lumpen fascist movements to flourish.

    Posted by stu | April 25, 2012, 11:07 am
  6. @Stu: I’d be pretty concerned about Le Pen but here in the U.S. I still seriously doubt RP would get close to 10% of the popular vote, let alone 20%, not this late in the game(mainly because of his failure in 2008, when his popularity was at its peak with progressives). I still maintain that at least a slight(60%?) majority of RP voters are likely going to be conservatives and right-leaning centrists who think that Romney is too mainstream and Obama is too liberal……if anything at all, RP may actually end up hurting Romney, so he may not be able to run……

    that said, though, I can’t disagree with Dave’s assertion that some disaffected progressives may indeed be sucked into the RP vortex, though I feel more optimistic than he does in that regard. There were a LOT of them who were turned off when they found out about his past shenanigans, from what I’ve seen, and right now, it seems to be the fringe conservatives who are mainly ignoring the evidence, and even trying to counter it with B.S.

    Posted by Steve L. | April 26, 2012, 4:45 am
  7. Beyond Romney’s pillage and burn business models, the guy is personally chilling. He is entirely a surface personality and there is an absence of real humanity there. I get a bad feeling that there is no one in there. His practiced folksy manner is too smooth and he is always ‘on’. Every hair in place, always smiling, he could be a programmed video figure with all the neuro-linguistic canned responses he produces. He has obviously had intensive training in demagogy techniques. I listen carefully but there is no actual content in what he says. Obama tends this way also but Romney is the master. Perhaps there is no real Romney and we are about to elect a computer program as chief executive.

    Posted by Dwight | April 26, 2012, 3:22 pm
  8. @Dwight: At least Obama’s been pretty good at messing with the Repubs this last year or so. I do believe, though, that his greatest accomplishments are likely to occur during his second term, because then, he’d have far less to lose by pissing them off.

    Posted by Steve L. | April 27, 2012, 3:14 am
  9. Mitt Romney and his foreign policy team are hyping the Russian threat (think Soviet) as the biggest and baddest thing out there. It may be mere opportunistic and reflexive right-wing politicking, but I can’t be the first to realize it aligns Romney with geo-strategic goals of Underground Reich vis-a-vis US/Russian relations.

    I agree that there is something fundamentally disturbing and false about the man, and absolutely ghoulish in his well practiced sophistry. It is really chilling.

    Posted by GrumpusRex | April 27, 2012, 2:55 pm
  10. @GrumpusRex: I have to agree 100%.
    Putin, as incompetent as he may be, is no wannabe Stalin. The Russians aren’t looking for new worlds to conquer(if I may quote the 1990 WWIII classic, “By Dawn’s Early Light”).
    Romney’s foreign policy would be absolutely disastrous if implemented and could set back US/Russian relations by perhaps as much as 25 years or so, maybe further!
    I don’t believe it would result in WWIII or anything(I don’t buy into that kind of fearmongering like some others on the ‘Net might), but certainly something would give.

    Posted by Steven L. | April 28, 2012, 6:53 am
  11. Mitt Romney is related to George H. Bush, George W. Bush, Prescott Bush, the whole Bush group, along with others, to many to mention.
    They all are descendants of Anne Hutchinson, and the Chart showing the tie-ins along with photographs can be found in the Utah Ancestry Library located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
    So will we be under the Bushy Dynasty or what? George W. Bush authored the executive order that created the “Homeland Security Agency”. That EO merged the military and the civilian law enforcement systems.

    Posted by Pat Owens | April 28, 2012, 7:34 am
  12. @Pat Owens: Very interesting stuff, indeed. I’m assuming that Anne Hutchinson may have been the 17th century Puritan who got booted out of the Mass. Bay colony for opposing the ‘orthodoxy’, as it were? If so, that is one hell of an ironic revelation(since Romney was once governor of Mass. and George Bush, Sr. was born there, originally.).

    Posted by Steven L. | April 29, 2012, 4:39 am
  13. Anne Hutchinson was Anne Marbury & her husband William Hutchinson are listed from 1586 to 1642. The statements coming from that Romneys father and children that were born in Mexico, well is subterfuge for the public. Let people learn they’ll be voting indirectly for the Bush’s.

    Posted by Pat Owens | April 30, 2012, 9:13 am
  14. There’s a new book out by a former Romney colleague at Bain capital that has the Romney campaign a little uncomfortable, not because the book is saying things the Romney campaign doesn’t necessarily agree with but, in politics, words tend to speak louder than actions. So if you’re plans are to complete a class coup on behalf of the top 0.1%, you probably don’t want want one of your obnoxious old Bain buddies out there trying to peddle a book about how the poor should be more grateful for all the rich do for them and how we need to make things even better for the rich and worse for the poor in order to provide proper ‘risk taking’ incentives. Art History majors in particular, and their lack of go-getter motivations, appear to be one of the primary sources of this need for a more billionaire-friendly culture. The whole thing is worth a read but I think the very end of the article really captures the essense of the message in book and why its publication might result in a few unintended electoral consequences:

    NYTimes
    The Purpose of Spectacular Wealth, According to a Spectacularly Wealthy Guy
    By ADAM DAVIDSON

    Ever since the financial crisis started, we’ve heard plenty from the 1 percent. We’ve heard them giving defensive testimony in Congressional hearings or issuing anodyne statements flanked by lawyers and image consultants. They typically repeat platitudes about investment, risk-taking and job creation with the veiled contempt that the nation doesn’t understand their contribution. You get the sense that they’re afraid to say what they really believe. What do the superrich say when the cameras aren’t there?

    With that in mind, I recently met Edward Conard on 57th Street and Madison Avenue, just outside his office at Bain Capital, the private-equity firm he helped build into a multibillion-dollar business by buying, fixing up and selling off companies at a profit. Conard, who retired a few years ago at 51, is not merely a member of the 1 percent. He’s a member of the 0.1 percent. His wealth is most likely in the hundreds of millions; he lives in an Upper East Side town house just off Fifth Avenue; and he is one of the largest donors to his old boss and friend, Mitt Romney.

    Unlike his former colleagues, Conard wants to have an open conversation about wealth. He has spent the last four years writing a book that he hopes will forever change the way we view the superrich’s role in our society. “Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong,” to be published in hardcover next month by Portfolio, aggressively argues that the enormous and growing income inequality in the United States is not a sign that the system is rigged. On the contrary, Conard writes, it is a sign that our economy is working. And if we had a little more of it, then everyone, particularly the 99 percent, would be better off. This could be the most hated book of the year.

    Conard understands that many believe that the U.S. economy currently serves the rich at the expense of everyone else. He contends that this is largely because most Americans don’t know how the economy really works – that the superrich spend only a small portion of their wealth on personal comforts; most of their money is invested in productive businesses that make life better for everyone. “Most citizens are consumers, not investors,” he told me during one of our long, occasionally contentious conversations. “They don’t recognize the benefits to consumers that come from investment.”

    This is the usual defense of the 1 percent. Conard, however, has laid out a tightly argued case for just how much consumers actually benefit from the wealthy. Take computers, for example. A small number of innovators and investors may have earned disproportionate billions as the I.T. industry grew, but they got that money by competing to constantly improve their products and simultaneously lower prices. Their work has helped everyone get a lot more value. Cheap, improved computing helps us do our jobs more effectively and, often, earn more money. Countless other industries (travel, telecom, entertainment) use that computing power to lower their prices and enhance their products. This generally makes life more efficient and helps the economy grow.

    The idea that society benefits when investors compete successfully is pretty widely accepted. Dean Baker, a prominent progressive economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, says that most economists believe society often benefits from investments by the wealthy. Baker estimates the ratio is 5 to 1, meaning that for every dollar an investor earns, the public receives the equivalent of $5 of value. The Google founder Sergey Brin might be very rich, but the world is far richer than he is because of Google. Conard said Baker was undercounting the social benefits of investment. He looks, in particular, at agriculture, where, since the 1940s, the cost of food has steadily fallen because of a constant stream of innovations. While the businesses that profit from that innovation – like seed companies and fast-food restaurants – have made their owners rich, the average U.S. consumer has benefited far more. Conard concludes that for every dollar an investor gets, the public reaps up to $20 in value. This is crucial to his argument: he thinks it proves that we should all appreciate the vast wealth of others more, because we’re benefiting, proportionally, from it.

    Google’s contribution is obvious. What about investment banks, with their complicated financial derivatives and overleveraged balance sheets? Conard argues that they make the economy more efficient, too. The financial crisis, he writes, was not the result of corrupt bankers selling dodgy financial products. It was a simple, old-fashioned run on the banks, which, he says, were just doing their job. There are a huge number of people in our economy who want ready access to their savings – pension-fund managers, insurance companies and you and me with our bank accounts. And because economic growth comes from long-term investments in things like housing, factories and research, the central role of banks, Conard says, is to turn the short-term assets of nervous savers into risky long-term loans that help the economy grow.

    Every once in a while, this system breaks down. For one reason or another, the savers panic and demand all their money back. This causes a massive problem because the money isn’t sitting at the bank; it’s out in the world in the form of long-term loans. “A lot of people don’t realize that what happened in 2008 was nearly identical to what happened in 1929,” he says. “Depositors ran to the bank to withdraw their money only to discover, like the citizens of Bedford Falls” – referring to the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” – “that there was no money in the vault. All that money had been lent.”

    In 2008 it was large pension funds, insurance companies and other huge institutional investors that withdrew in panic. Conard argues in retrospect that it was these withdrawals that led to the crisis – not, as so many others have argued, an orgy of irresponsible lending. He points to the fact that, according to the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, banks lost $320 billion through mortgage-backed securities, but withdrawals disproportionately amounted to five times that. This stance, which largely absolves the banks, is not shared by many analysts. Regardless, Conard told me: “The banks did what we wanted them to do. They put short-term money back into the economy. What they didn’t expect is that depositors would withdraw their money, because they hadn’t withdrawn their money en masse since 1929.”

    Conard concedes that the banks made some mistakes, but the important thing now, he says, is to provide them even stronger government support. He advocates creating a new government program that guarantees to bail out the banks if they ever face another run. As for exotic derivatives, Conard doesn’t see a problem. He argues that collateralized-debt obligations, credit-default swaps, mortgage-backed securities and other (now deemed toxic) financial products were fundamentally sound. They were new tools that served a market need for the world’s most sophisticated investors, who bought them in droves. And they didn’t cause the panic anyway, he says; the withdrawals did.

    Even though these big conclusions are at odds with most other accounts, several economists said that they see Conard’s description of the crisis as more than just an apologia for the banking class (though it certainly is that, too). Andrei Shleifer, an influential Harvard economist, told me that he thought Conard was “genuinely fantastic on finance.”

    “Unintended Consequences” only mentions Romney by name once (and in the acknowledgments, at that), but Conard hopes that the arguments detailed in his book will help readers understand why it’s so crucial that his former boss – who believes the government should help the investor class – win this November. As I read “Unintended Consequences,” though, I wondered if the book would have the opposite effect. Even staunch Republicans and many members of the Tea Party might bristle at a worldview that celebrates the coastal elite and says many talented people in the middle class aren’t pulling their weight. Was Conard saddling his old boss with another example of how out of touch those with car elevators and multiple Cadillacs can be? In this time of overheated arguments between opponents who rarely listen to one another, here was a rare member of the 1 percent openly trying to make his case. How convincing is it?

    Conard and I eventually sat down at a cafe off Madison. His book is filled with a lot of abstraction, so I asked him to show me how his ideas play out in the real world.

    Conard picked up a soda can and pointed to the way the can’s side bent inward at the top. “I worked with the company that makes the machine that tapers that can,” he told me. That little taper allows manufacturers to make the same size can with a tiny bit less aluminum. “It saves a fraction of a penny on every can,” he said. “There are a lot of soda cans in the world. That means the economy can produce more cans with the same amount of resources. It makes every American who buys a soda can a little bit richer because their paycheck buys more.”

    It might be hard to get excited about milligrams of aluminum, but Conard says that we live longer, healthier and richer lives because of countless microimprovements like that one. The people looking for them, Conard likes to point out, are not only computer programmers, engineers and scientists. They are also wealthy investors like him, who are willing to risk their own money to finance improvements that may or may not work. There is a huge mechanism constantly trying to seek out and support these new ideas – entrepreneurs, multinationals and, crucially for Conard, investment firms and hedge funds and everyone down to individual bond traders. As Conard told me, one of the crucial lessons he learned at Bain is that it makes no sense to look for easy solutions. In a competitive market, all that’s left are the truly hard puzzles. And they require extraordinary resources. While we often hear about the greatest successes – penicillin, the iPhone – we rarely hear about the countless failures and the people and companies who financed them.

    A central problem with the U.S. economy, he told me, is finding a way to get more people to look for solutions despite these terrible odds of success. Conard’s solution is simple. Society benefits if the successful risk takers get a lot of money. For proof, he looks to the market. At a nearby table we saw three young people with plaid shirts and floppy hair. For all we know, they may have been plotting the next generation’s Twitter, but Conard felt sure they were merely lounging on the sidelines. “What are they doing, sitting here, having a coffee at 2:30?” he asked. “I’m sure those guys are college-educated.” Conard, who occasionally flashed a mean streak during our talks, started calling the group “art-history majors,” his derisive term for pretty much anyone who was lucky enough to be born with the talent and opportunity to join the risk-taking, innovation-hunting mechanism but who chose instead a less competitive life. In Conard’s mind, this includes, surprisingly, people like lawyers, who opt for stable professions that don’t maximize their wealth-creating potential. He said the only way to persuade these “art-history majors” to join the fiercely competitive economic mechanism is to tempt them with extraordinary payoffs.

    It’s not like the current payoff is motivating everybody to take risks,” he said. “We need twice as many people. When I look around, I see a world of unrealized opportunities for improvements, an abundance of talented people able to take the risks necessary to make improvements but a shortage of people and investors willing to take those risks. That doesn’t indicate to me that risk takers, as a whole, are overpaid. Quite the opposite.” The wealth concentrated at the top should be twice as large, he said. That way, the art-history majors would feel compelled to try to join them.

    Are Conard’s views the uncensored, impolitic version of the man he hopes will be president? The Romney campaign said they wouldn’t comment in any way on “Unintended Consequences,” and Conard wouldn’t share with me anything about his private conversations with his old friend. Glenn Hubbard said only that at a broad level, Romney and Conard share “beliefs about innovation and growth and responsible risk-taking.”

    Conard and Romney certainly share views on numerous policy matters. Like many Republicans, they promote lower taxes and less regulation for those who achieve financial success. Romney has also said that rising inequality is not a problem and that the attention paid to the issue is “about envy. I think it’s about class warfare.” The differences between these two men are also striking. Romney’s economic platform and his record as the governor of Massachusetts suggest that he is more of a centrist than Conard. Romney wants to eliminate capital-gains taxes for people earning less than $200,000 a year but keep them in place for the 1 percent, which Conard says is a good start but doesn’t go far enough.

    The biggest difference is that Romney is running for president and needs more people to like him. Conard doesn’t have to worry about that. “People get very angry before they change their mind,” he said. “Economics is counterintuitive. It just is.” I told him that surely is true, but his ideas are counterintuitive even to people well versed in economics. After we spoke for one of the last times, he sent me an e-mail summing up his argument: At base, having a small elite with vast wealth is good for the poor and middle class. “From my perspective,” he wrote, “it’s not a close call.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 3, 2012, 11:44 am
  15. I much enjoyed this dress down of Adam Davidson, courtesy of Yves Smith. His ‘benefit of the doubt’ reporting of the (rapacious) moneyed elite, and all of ‘Planet Money’ at NPR, is to be loathed.

    http://exiledonline.com/yves-smith-nprs-adam-davidson-parrots-disinformation-as-he-extols-rule-by-the-top-0-1/

    Posted by GrumpusRex | May 4, 2012, 1:25 pm
  16. This Village Voice article could become important again with Romney being mulled for Trump’s Secretary of State. The hits just keep comin’.

    Americans are blissfully ignorant of the turd stew we’ve just thrown ourselves into.

    Posted by Sampson | November 18, 2016, 6:17 am

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