Sunday, October 28, 2012

Latter Day Robber Baron Mitt Romney Is Still Grubbing Money By Shipping American Jobs To China


I think the outrage of the Senasta factory shut down in Illinois-- where Jesse Jackson was arrested yesterday-- isn't having any impact in most of the country. But it is in a few random states in the Midwest, like Ohio, Wisconsin and Iowa... maybe North Carolina and Pennsylvania too, where there's some sensitivity about jobs being shipping to low wage hellholes overseas. The short version, if you haven't been following, is that Bain Capital is outsourcing jobs at Sensata Tech in Northern Illinois to China. Romney is profiting gigantically from the utter devastation of another small Midwestern city's manufacturing base. The Republican Party job creator strikes again. (Sensata, by the way, has been fantastically profitable and the workers are so good that Romney flew in their Chinese replacements and had the American workers retrain them. When executives from the new plant in China came in to visit the factory, Bain Capital made Sensata staff take down the American flag until they left.) Romney's so nervous about how this is impacting his campaign in the Midwest that yesterday he flat out lied to a rally in northern Ohio and told them Jeep is sending jobs to China, trying to shift attention away from Sensata. 

I just finished lunch. While I was eating, I was reading a few pages in Chris Hayes' book, Twilight of the Elites, my regular lunchtime read. The book isn't especially topical or meant to be a current events read. But basically everything in it is easily applied to current events. He refers to a 2011 poll commissioned by Fidelity which found that 42% of the thousand millionaires surveyed said they didn't "feel" rich even though to qualify for the survey one had to have at least a million dollars in investable assets not counting retirement funds or real estate. So every one of them is part of the top 1%. We're not just beyond the valley of the dolls, we're beyond keeping up with the Joneses.
To be successful, one must never be satisfied, and so no one ever is. Our elites are conditioned to fight for every last inch of beach, to parry and thrust their way forward no matter how much they have already achieved, all of which produces two rather nasty psychological side effects.

One is that it tends to make people believe they have absolutely earned what they have achieved. A legacy student at an Ivy League university certainly doesn't feel as if she has coasted in on her father's coattails. She feels instead that she's killed herself for four years at her prestigious high school to earn her grades, her internships, and her postgraduate job opportunities. As was said of George W. Bush, it is tempting for those born on third base to believe they've hit a triple.

This means we are cursed with an overclass convinced it is composed of scrappy underdogs, individuals who are obsessed with the relative disadvantages they may have faced rather than the privilege they have enjoyed. It is remarkable how under siege and victimized even the most powerful members of society feel, how much they tout their own up-by-their-bootstraps story. In fact, a basic ritual associated with entrance into the circle of winners is constructing a personal story about how it was through grit, talent, and determination that you fought your way into it.

Mitt Romney, the multimillionaire son of a car company CEO and governor of Michigan, told an audience at a 2012 Republican debate that if you squinted hard enough, he looked like a figure right out of a Horatio Alger tale. "And I-- I mean-- you know, my dad, as you know-- born in Mexico, poor, didn't get a college degree-- became head of a car company. I could have stayed in Detroit, like him, and gotten pulled up in the car company. I went off on my own. I didn't inherit money from my parents What I have, I earned. I worked hard, the American way."
Odd, how people like Romney never mention luck-- let alone teamwork-- in these humble self-congratulatory tales of their greatness and grandeur, which is in this particular case an utter lie.

And, of course Romney feels perfectly entitled to threaten workers-- illegally threaten workers-- for protesting his scurrilous outsourcing move and his wanton, self-satisfied destruction of their livelihoods. You want to vote for Romney and Ryan? Why not just slit your throat and your kids' throats right now and save yourself the trouble?

Although every one of the untrustworthy fabulists in this video below (except Colin Powell, who endorsed Obama yesterday) is furiously campaigning for Mitt Romney now, they certainly make very valid points about Romney's character and his economic agenda as a looter. I wonder if Romney's sleazebag business partner in China, Wen Jiabao, would take exception to the characterization of one of the crooked greed-driven capitalists who has made him and his family fabulously wealthy.

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