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There are two major differences between government and private enterprise that I have not seen discussed anywhere. Romney certainly will not discuss them - assuming he knows what they are which is seriously in doubt.

The first and most important difference is that private enterprise firms can select their customers and ignore everyone else. Since economic demand is defined as someone who desires a given product and service and who has the necessary money to pay for it that really limits who private enterprise firms deal with. The expenses required to deal with those who either do not want the firm's products or services OR those who cannot afford to pay for the products or services are eliminated. Any cost savings that a business executive can achieve over what government executives can achieve come from this advantage.

Government cannot select its customers. It has to serve and deal with everyone inside the geographic boundaries of the government and with a lot of additional people who have desires or needs involving those inside the national boundaries. Justice, law enforcement, public health, economic infrastructure, public education, national and local defense - all of these require government attention and add to the expenses of government. This paragraph is worth a book, but I will leave it to your imagination. Just remember, many nations have portions of the country within the putative boundaries which they cannot control. The modern example is the Waziristan provinces of Pakistan where the Taliban leaders are known to reside.

The funding differences between government and private enterprise is discussed below the fold.

The second important difference is the difference is the sources of funding for private enterprise and for government. Since private enterprise can restrict its dealings to its self-selected customer base, it can rely entirely on the profits from the sales of its goods and services. Private firms can also fail to pay for externalized costs such as environmental degradation, tearing up the roads and bridges, educating the work force, and so on. These are costs the economists claim firms externalize. A major cost is the instability created in the economy when a really large bank has major losses it cannot cover, but this is just one of many costs firms can externalize. The term that applies is privatizing profits while passing the losses off to the public.

Mitt Romney ran Bain Capital successfully by playing off this private/public difference. Bain capital always money no matter what happened to the firm they were raiding. The expenses of the money paid to Bain either were externalized to the employees or to the government. Whatever profit Bain took was the result of earlier investments by the previous owners, and those profits were given to Bain and to Romney. Romney might have provided a service by reorganizing an inefficient company so that it made money, but the price of such reorganization was always too high and the results were always externalized to Bain. The only question remaining was whether the people left with the wreckage Bain created could turn it into a new profitable enterprise.

If you look at the distinction between government and private enterprise it will quickly become obvious that nothing the Bain Vulture Capital Firm did can make government function better. The costs of not providing services to the sick will be borne by the sick and the costs of the uneducated will be born both by the uneducated and by the overall economy.

Mitt Romney is entirely unsuited to become President of the United States based on his major selling point - what he did as CEO of Bain Capital. He has neither the needed skills nor the required instincts. It is extremely doubtful that he could learn enough on the job in a mere four years to adequately deal with being President. Bain was all about the simple process of padding a Balance Sheet. The government is much more complicated than that.

Consider the difference between economics and accounting. If you are familiar with accounting you will know that the balance sheet and the income statement - the two key documents - you will be aware that those documents describe the summary of all the transactions conducted by the firm during the period they cover. That's all they describe. Nothing else.

Economics collects statistics on many firms and on government activities as well as collecting estimates on other activities that might effect the economy. An accountant and the business managers he serves are focused entirely on a single firm. The economists are focused on the overall economy - including health, education, and long-term effects. Business executives are famous for focusing on the bottom line. That's the profit and loss of the individual firm and the basis of their paycheck. It totally ignores the overall economy as well as long-term economic planning for families, firms as well as educational and public health activities. Forget Defense and law enforcement. Someone else does those things, and those are not people of importance.

Do you think the Republicans generally and Romney in particular even aware of the world outside the financial statements of whatever firm the business-turkey involved has been working in?

I don't.

There's a reason why the Wall Street Bankers resent the interference of government. They are balance-sheet accounting oriented, not economy-oriented . Their paychecks and promotions are based on the financial statements of their individual firms, not on the economic statistics. Everyone outside their firm exist either to be exploited or to be oppressed. They don't bother with any information that does not conform to those assumptions and beliefs.

Originally posted to Rick B on Mon May 21, 2012 at 04:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They exist only to exploit and oppress? (6+ / 0-)

    Then that is Truly why they are called 'Vulture Capitalists'...
    "Let them feast on each others entrails like the vile beasts they are" - Joe Wobblie

    ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

    by joe wobblie on Mon May 21, 2012 at 04:41:51 PM PDT

    •  Actually, "Vampire Capitalists" is more accurate. (3+ / 0-)

      Romney, via Bain Capital and similar firms, suck the lifeblood out of living entities - other corporations (companies).  

      Bain did not buy and profit from companies that were already "dead", which is what "Vulture Capitalism" implies.

      "Parasite Capitalism" would be an even more logical term.  One organism, for entirely selfish reasons,  invades another one that is vulnerable, and eventually leaves that "host" injured or dead, although some hosts may survive, and if luck is with them, thrive.

      Then again, logic does not play a big role in the political thinking of U.S. citizens.

      The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that created them - Albert Einstein

      by DaveVH on Tue May 22, 2012 at 07:28:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is the Conservative mindset. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie, Rick B, laserhaas, Creosote, Smoh

    Those that have their hands on the levers of power do well, and everyone else is on their own.
    Works ok for vulture capitalism. For a governing philosophy? Not so much.

    Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

    by Icicle68 on Mon May 21, 2012 at 04:47:45 PM PDT

  •  a successful bazillionaire running a government -- (10+ / 0-)

    what could go wrong???

    it worked in italy w/berlussconi, & here in the us w/cheney & bush, & in florida w/rick scott, & -- oh, wait . . .


    •  Exactly! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh, jfromga, bluezen

      Bush proudly announced that he was America's first MBA president - - Yale no less. Meh.  Look at what happened. That track record should haunt Romney like white on rice.

      "Conservatives care from conception to crowning." VetGrl " It's just a matter of time before the Republicans realize the Ten Commandments are "regulations."" TriassicSands

      by sailmaker on Tue May 22, 2012 at 06:54:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sailmaker, Rick B

        I think it should haunt Yale.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Tue May 22, 2012 at 08:39:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well the Unabomber came out of Harvard (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rick B

          so I am not sure that the school is necessarily to blame for later crimes.  My point was that MBA training is for business, not for public service.

          "Conservatives care from conception to crowning." VetGrl " It's just a matter of time before the Republicans realize the Ten Commandments are "regulations."" TriassicSands

          by sailmaker on Tue May 22, 2012 at 01:43:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  missing the point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rick B

            the unibomber's crimes are not the responsibility of the school he attended, especially since they weren't connected to the education he received, Bush's MBA and his beliefs about what it said about his credentials (and his approach to governance) can and should be directly tied to the school that produced and credentialed the guy.

            Lord protect us from MBA Presidents.

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Tue May 22, 2012 at 02:27:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Amen @ (0+ / 0-)

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Tue May 22, 2012 at 08:40:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rick B

      Bush and Cheney had SOME experience in governing before they tanked the US.

      The last president who came into power as a pure businessman/technocrat was Herbert Hoover.

      We've avoided an out-and-out depression so far, but Mitt can fix that.

      •  i lived in texas when bush was governor. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rick B

        trust me.  he didn't govern anymore in austin than he did in dc, in fact it was a well-known fact that he played video games all day & took naps when he was gov -- a fact karl rove successfully hid from our vaunted 4th estate's "inquiring minds" (ahem).

        as for cheney, his main experience was serving in nixon's watergate wh w/blob halderman & g gordon liddy & the rest of the criminals -- & karl rove.

  •  'The Dark Crystal' (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick B, laserhaas, blueoasis, Smoh, jfromga

    was a 1982 fantasy movie that depicted a long table where nothing but
    a 'meal' of hideous vultures fought, squabbled and ruled over "another world"...
    Is that what our government is to degenerate into?
    See "Vulture Capitalism" at it's worst!

    ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

    by joe wobblie on Mon May 21, 2012 at 05:19:46 PM PDT

  •  OK. (9+ / 0-)

    What do I have to do to get anyone to discuss the inherent differences between private enterprise firms and the government that licenses them? They are two very different institutions! They have different characteristics and they are each intended for different purposes.

    There is a reason why corporations require a government charter. Corporations are for limited purposes, but by licensing them government lets people focus on more limited goals than governments exist to deal with. Corporations are not inherently evil. They are just inherently very, very limited and focused on limited goals.

    Government has to make sure that the externalaties outside the narrow corporate focus are dealt with. At the same time, the government managers do not have the time to bother with such narrow concerns as providing toothbrushes and toothpaste for each individual.

    The US Supreme Court has by it's actions and rhetoric ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

    by Rick B on Mon May 21, 2012 at 05:39:27 PM PDT

    •  Rick. You are talking 2 different things. Romney (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sean X, joe wobblie, Smoh

      and Bain

      then Government and license of Psuedo entities.

      I'm all in for discussing Bain & Romney issues.
      You are way over my head with the debate on other tangents.

      We had more than 550,000 web hits today on DailyKos;
      Meteor Blades only got 1230 web views on his 3 D's and that includes only 200 sumthin on Republican's deliberately destroying the economy.

      KOS himself, only got around 1000 web views on his 2 D's today.

      We all have short attention spans and particular groups or issues we are loyal to.

      Thanks for this Diary though.
      Appreciate your efforts - Much!

      PLEASE Stop Mitt (the Pitts) Romney from stealing the Presidential Election!

      by laserhaas on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:17:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Romney runs as a businessman (6+ / 0-)

        But he thinks that experience will help him run government more efficiently. It's so obvious to me that the only way a business manager can apply business principles to government and save money it to stop providing government services to citizens who need them. It's the business principle of selecting your market and ignoring everyone else.

        Needless to say that is a load of crap. If the fire department in a city selects only some buildings to put the fires out, the result will be that the fires they leave to burn will destroy the city. If there are cases of cholera in a city and only those who can pay for decent water get it, then the epidemic will destroy the city.

        The military and police cannot defend only those who pay a fee to get the defense. The free riders get defense also. Taxes are the price of civilization.

        The Republican program is to establish a class of free riders who get all the services of government but don't have to pay for any of it.  The fact is that without government there are no wealthy people! The stability and protection provided by government are what let someone actually own anything they cannot carry at a dead run ahead of the mob who wants to take it.

        I apologize it I stated my case too abstractly. The situation seems so very obvious to me. Is this a little more clear?

        The US Supreme Court has by it's actions and rhetoric ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

        by Rick B on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:58:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No - I can see you are frustrated on multiple (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          levels and understand your angst.

          I totally concur with this remark;

          The Republican program is to establish a class of free riders who get all the services of government but don't have to pay for any of it.
          The rest of your remarks appear to come from your angst and need much more discussion.

          Keep on rockin....

          PLEASE Stop Mitt (the Pitts) Romney from stealing the Presidential Election!

          by laserhaas on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:19:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  In other words (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rick B

          If Romney ran the Federal Government as he did Bain, all his efforts would be to reward his billionaire "investors".  The unemployed, seniors, women and children, the poor, all would be immaterial -- unless they also gave at least a million bucks to his campaign.

          For example, I see tax breaks for NASCAR and the NFL.  After all, these industries are essential to the well being of the country.

          And of course, since Exxon is the most profitable company in the world, and the Koch brothers were so generous, we must squash anything to do with climate change.  Protecting Exxon's and the Koch Brothers' profits is priority #1.

          I'm a fucking retard.

          by Helpless on Tue May 22, 2012 at 09:02:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are exactly right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joe wobblie

            Romney would try to run America as a traditional patrimonial organization. Those organizations work because the subordinates are treated as household members. The key to getting those jobs is whether the leader trusts you to support him - personally - rather than your ability to get the job done.

            It's the same form of management as the Viking war chiefs used. Get thanes you trust, reward them well to keep their loyalty and the rest of the world is a group of enemies to all of you.

            This is still a form of management widely used in business, especially such boutique businesses as vulture capitalism. The process of rewarding the Thanes is what the rest of us with more modern views of management call "corruption."

            The alternative to this is modern organization which Max Weber defined as "bureaucracy." Bureaucracy is widely disliked by a lot of people who dislike the fact that bureaucracy does not allow you to take the property of the company home as your own. Bureaucracy also defines the job functions, then demands that potential employees demonstrate training and competence to perform those functions. Nepotism is strongly frowned upon.

            Nothing I have seen indicates that Romney understands modern organizations. He would not be making all the gaffs he makes if he had a professional staff he trusted to advise him rather than a set of trusted thanes carrying his sword and shield.

            The US Supreme Court has by it's actions and rhetoric ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

            by Rick B on Tue May 22, 2012 at 09:49:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  So what's not to like about Willard? (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        laserhaas, ybruti, blueoasis, Rick B, Smoh, GDbot

        Willard is running on his record?   Really?
        His record as a vulture capitalist destroying companies, firing thousands
        of employees and stealing their pensions?  That record?  It STINKS!
        Willard's record in public office?
        During Willard's tenure (2003-7) as Governor, Massachusetts went from 37th
        to 47th in job creation.  Willard also slashed higher education, cut revenue
        to local governments , and raised fees on everything from college students to mortgages.
        Butt how is he on political science and world affairs?
        One sentence:  Willard believes Russia is "our number one geopolitical foe".
        Sorry Willard, but didn't one of your heroes end the Cold War years ago?
          (no, the Soviet Union imploded)
        So, what's not to like about Willard's record?   -   EVERYTHING!
        Not to mention his serious afflictions of being a pathologial liar
        and an obsessive-compulsive disorder flip flopper...

        ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

        by joe wobblie on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:17:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He is a ruthless fat cat and that is why we tend (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie, Creosote, blueoasis, Rick B, Smoh

          not to elect them into public office.

          He boasts that he likes to fire people too.

          What's not to like - when a man worth $250 million says he wants to debate minimum wage issues and giving women the dignity of work. Even if it cost him more to do so.

          A crock of Pitts, is the bull [c]hit's of Mitt's

          PLEASE Stop Mitt (the Pitts) Romney from stealing the Presidential Election!

          by laserhaas on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:22:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He is a ruthless self-centered fat cat (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            laserhaas, Smoh, joe wobblie, blueoasis

            Thank you for that line. It clarifies a lot for me.

            Romney is also very class-oriented. He is from a family of Mormon wealth and royalty and thinks we peons owe him the Presidency. In exchange he offers nothing except complaints that Obama is occupying the throne he deserves so he whines lies about how badly Obama is performing the job.

            It's interesting to me that in 2008 the Republicans offered the son of U.S. Navy royalty (McCain) who had spent his life in privilege with the exception of his period in the Hanoi Hilton.

            Prior to that it was G. W. Bush, the son of Texas oil royalty. All three were born to the purple. Both Bush and Romney have had to create a fictional backstory to justify getting elected as President.

            The US Supreme Court has by it's actions and rhetoric ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

            by Rick B on Tue May 22, 2012 at 07:04:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Mornin' dude! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

        by Smoh on Tue May 22, 2012 at 07:29:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Your presentation is already very clear (6+ / 0-)

      and I think you won't find many to discuss what you're saying from a private enterprise firm standpoint. As you essentially point out, they aren't interested in that. They are "all business."

      It is astonishing that there's no public attempt to educate the general public about the actualities of what really happens when government intersects with power, money, and the lives of actual persons.

      We are in a period where mere nations seem to have become pawns in the corporate globalization of wealth, and these predatory "business" entities are like viruses that believe they are immortal.

      •  The Kennedy's are an intersection of money, power (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh, Creosote

        that combined with Government.

        But they were not in Government to increase their wealth.

        JFK actually signed into Law, some days before he was assassinated - the end of the Fed.

        It is our fault. We, the U.S. citizenry, have permitted things to get out of hand; because life was great.

        Now, due to our laxity, life is not so great. But we, the U.S. of America; will not do anything about it - unless it gets much worse.

        We are all too self involved.

        PLEASE Stop Mitt (the Pitts) Romney from stealing the Presidential Election!

        by laserhaas on Tue May 22, 2012 at 07:20:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Someone on NPR yesterday was saying that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jfromga, joe wobblie, Creosote

        They pointed out that with the end of the Cold War the multinational oil companies were set free from national controls. Exxon has more revenue than most nations in the world, and can easily dominate many smaller nations.

        Exxon and BP are profit-seeking entities whose goal is to provide a return to their shareholders. One anecdote that sticks with me is that when the President suggested that Exxon moved some refineries from overseas to the U.S. to increase American oil security, the Exxon CEO replied "We're a profit-making entity with a responsibility to our shareholders, not an American firm. We will place the refineries wherever in the world the greater profit is to be found. We're not in the business of increasing American security."

        Milton Friedman would have been proud.

        I'd guess that the Wall Street and London City banks are similar greater-than-nations institutions and are reacting harshly against national attempts to regulate their behavior.

        Similarly the Roman Catholic Bishops/Cardinals appear to be attempting to stake out their independence from national regulation with their anti-birth control demands. That's obviously in response to the national demands that their hierarchy submit to national sexual predator laws, and they are using the battle for the election of the President to leverage their demands for institutional independence. So it's not just business. But business organizations that are separate from government were initially modeled on the structure of the Roman Catholic Church back in the 15th century anyway. The key part was the religious corporate bureaucracy in which the employees did not have personal ownership of the corporate assets. That was pioneered by the Catholic Church and was the reason for requiring a celibate clergy. No assets the individual employees could claim ownership of and will to their children. Modern private business would not exist without that rather unique social contribution by the Catholic Church.

        The conservative movement seems to me to consist of a lot of these social institutions who are battling for independence from central government control. The problem is that a modern industrial cannot exist without a powerful central government.

        Francis Fukuyama wrote a description of the political organization of France before and after the French Revolution in his book "The Origins of Political Order." In the 1700's the French aristocrats were mostly independent of the king (Louis XIV at first) and were free from taxes. The result was a nation with triple the population of England which continually lost to England in the repeated wars of the 18th century. Then the French Revolution occurred (in part because of the resentment of the peasants who were being taxed to pay for the wars while the aristocrats were not) followed by the reorganization of France as a modern nation under Napoleon. The tax-free aristocracy was simply wiped out and the power to control the nation was passed to Napoleon.

        Fukuyama does not say this, but it becomes obvious to me that France within two decades of the French Revolution became powerful enough to conquer Europe. The Napoleonic Code and system of national organization was spread to the rest of Europe, Germany and Italy unified under central governments, and  the industrial revolution occurred. So did modern nationalism, the ideology of industrialism.

        America has spent the twentieth century becoming an industrialized nation with a powerful central government, but a lot of it was determined by the needs of the two world wars and the Cold War. With the end of the Cold War we are seeing the traditional lesser powers (wealthy aristocratic-type families, corporations, and regions like the South) strike back against the centralizing of power in the U.S. federal government and the standardizing of national U.S. markets.

        The entire conservative movement is the backlash of the traditional powers against the demands of modern industrial urban society and its economy in America, and this year Romney is their leader.

        The US Supreme Court has by it's actions and rhetoric ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

        by Rick B on Tue May 22, 2012 at 08:05:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Brilliant post. (0+ / 0-)

          That Exxon CEO's statement could not state the situation more clearly, and your analysis of the conflicts in France and in the US and elsewhere following the Cold War is telling.

          Suspect you have some excellent journal articles in your resume and hope you continue to add your perspective to the diaries -- and archives -- here.

  •  Government as business? (9+ / 0-)

    Whenever I hear somebody say that the government should be run more like a business, I want to ask:
    1. You think the government should be run for profit? Businesses attempt to succeed by offering a superior product at a lower price. Is that what government should do?
    2. Government gets revenues in the form of fines, fees, tariffs, etc. and mostly from a thing called taxes. Can you name a successful business that is committed to cutting its own revenues?
    3. With the possible exception of the marketing model known as the "cash cow," all businesses seek to grow. Do you think government should be continuously trying to get bigger?

    •  Point by point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie

      1. Sort of. But the government as an enitity wouold not profit, only the individuals who have access to said profit.

      2. They don't have a problem with limiting the revenues collected from the richest. Everyone else can pay or not, it doesn't matter so much because the government's borrowing power will be utilized to fill the pockets of those who are part of the racket.

      3. Only bigger for long enough to extract more profit. Once maximum profit potential is reached, the parasites move on like locusts.

      Bush/Cheney was operating on this same model. Build a crushing debt, enrich yourself and friends, then use that crushing debt as an excuse to dismantle government entirely.

      Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

      by Icicle68 on Mon May 21, 2012 at 11:30:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But they don't SAY those things (0+ / 0-)

        I was trying to point out the contradiction between the concept of "running the government like a business" and some other talking-point themes the same people use.
        For example, whenever they say they're for cutting taxes, they're careful to at least imply that the tax cuts go to everybody. Even if we agree that the real agenda is otherwise, they cannot openly admit the kinds of secret plans you attribute to them.

        •  No, they don't! (0+ / 0-)

          If they came out and said "We want to get our hands on the government so we can suck all the life out and leave you holding the bag!" they'd never win an election.
          This is why they are nervous about having to run on Romney's business instead of his failed governorship. The stuff Romney did in the private sector is EXACTLY what they want to do to the government. It's what I personally witnessed in MA as jobs fled the state while he was governor. A few people got really rich and everyone else got put on hold or flushed down the crapper.

          Everybody got to elevate from the norm....

          by Icicle68 on Tue May 22, 2012 at 10:47:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  consumer vs citizen (4+ / 0-)

    It's really annoying when people mix those up, whether through ignorance or that special insincerity peculiar to greedheads everywhere.

    Thanks for the diary. It is disappointing that the "CEO President" baloney is tolerated without much thought given to how inappropriate that would be.

    And it's utterly ridiculous that Romney's running on the same thing junior did. Look how well that turned out.

    All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

    by subtropolis on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:07:00 PM PDT

  •  It's Going To Take More Than A Business Man..... (4+ / 0-)

    Mitt doesn't have a clue about what this will take.   He's not empathetic, or caring or even interested in people.  Not really.

    He's devoid of humor or warmth.  No charisma.  He doesn't inspire.  He has no international finesse or background in foreign affairs.  

    He doesn't understand a person's struggles if they are poor or disabled or elderly.  And he doesn't care to learn.

    •  You are so correct. He Does NOT Care. He's only (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snapples, Creosote, joe wobblie

      goal is to seize the numero uno spot and plunder as much as he can.

      He wants to be a billionaire and we have stopped Bain from getting him there.

      Mitten's does NOT produce a damn thing - like most Billionaires do.

      Even Vandersloot and the others who support him do Something on their own...

      Mitt is a Pirate and Plunder

      nothing more and most certainly

      Nothing Less

      PLEASE Stop Mitt (the Pitts) Romney from stealing the Presidential Election!

      by laserhaas on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:58:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where are your tax returns, Mitt? nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe wobblie, laserhaas, Rick B

    by chloris creator on Tue May 22, 2012 at 02:50:56 AM PDT

  •  Ethics of Getting the Country Back (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GDbot, jfromga, Rick B

    Over the last 40 years, I've worked pretty closely with roughly a 1000 companies of over 100 employees during those years and seen a fair amount in a variety of capacities - on the shop floor and being a VP of a union to being a GM or for the most part, an outside consultant.

    To oversimplify, there are two extremes of owners. On one side, there are owners interested in building a good company, care about their employees, vendors and customers and will 'do the right thing'. And there are those who see the company as a means to their personal financial goals, don't really care about their employees, customers or vendors and are largely focused on making a quick buck for themselves. Over the last 20 years or so, on average, I feel that there has been a shift towards the latter extreme. Business isn't done on a handshake and 'my word is my bond' nearly as much anymore. My heart is with the former philosophy and I have left positions when the company went too far in the other direction - so my objectivity on this might be questioned.

    Businesses are often bought and sold via a formula - a multiple of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) which on average is around 7. More simply: Profits = Revenues - Expenses times 7 = sale value. The better that bottom line, the more money one gets for the company with a seven fold return on the improvement.

    Over the last 20 years or so, some investment companies like Bain would plop the financials of companies in their spreadsheets and play with the numbers. If they could chop 'expenses' like the sales force, marketing, quality assurance, customer service, engineering, R&D, salaried, staff, etc and opt for cheaper components and labor within the cost of making the product that often lessened it's quality without the customer fining out & still ship the product to existing customers, they could significantly improve the bottom line quickly. And many, many times, they did just that. I saw it first hand.

    In the short term, they would look like brilliant managers because the bottom line numbers would miraculously improve. Things like reduction in quality, service, reduction in R&D, etc, usually take time to do corporate damage. In the longer term, the company is gradually reduced to a shell of what it was and begins a spiral downwards towards a devastating result. So these investment companies would typically want to flip this asset fairly quickly and they usually did.

    A good analogy is the used car dealer who slaps a coat of paint on a flawed automobile and flips it to an unsuspecting buyer. A big difference in the analogy is all the lives associated with that company that are affected when it dies because of this swashbuckling spreadsheet management that defies many of the principles in the textbooks at their MBA school. It was a get rich quick scheme at the expense of others. Not much real value got added in terms of building new products and services that would benefit not just the company but the country.

    Largely what they do is legal. But I question the unconscionable ethics of the behavior. All you have to see are the horrified and helpless faces of those largely innocent loyal workers being laid off for this to hit home.

    Cory Booker doesn't think this is worth talking about. I think it's one of the most important issues in this election. As I've said a few times, countries create wealth by digging it out of the ground or adding value to a product or service and selling more of it to other countries than they buy for themselves. That is how the United States got wealthy. And when the United States  reduced doing that is when the United States started to get into trouble financially.

    In my opinion, investment companies like Bain (not all investment companies), without conscience, gutted companies with a slight of hand that helped to create quick wealth for their own self gain at the expense of their employees and their country.

    And so part of this election is about character. I've read Obama's books, listened to his speeches and assessed his policies and actions. He is not the sort of person who would behave in this manner and he has not. Mitt Romney, faced with this choice at Bain, made his decisions that favored the almighty buck over the employees and his country.

    It's ironic that the Tea Party howls that they want their country back and yet support a man who was party to selling them out. If the Tea Party, like everyone else, wants their country back, the country they want back should be a country that allows everyone to benefit from the creation of the country's wealth - not just the investment companies. Contrary to the GOP's spin, that is true capitalism.

    I think the United States needs to take a good hard look at what went on with Bain - in terms of assessing the character of the candidates and in terms of "getting their country back."

    •  In my opinion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      laserhaas, Rick B

      the corporation charter is inadequate if it permits the officers to destroy the long-term viability of the corporation in favor of short term gain. I think they should be held accountable when this happens, and Citizens United should also be about this. If the corporation is in some way a "person", then destroying a corporation deliberately is in some way "premeditated murder".

      •  Although I agree that it's an issue worthy of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        debate (leaving out the outrageous Citizen's United decision), I'm not sure I'd get into it in this election cycle because it will rally the business community even further against Obama.

        I'd focus on how the behavior defines Romney's character and business philosophy and distinguishes him from Obama. I think the vast majority of voters would ultimately side with Obama in that debate because they do not belong to the 1% who benefit from taking such a route to financial gain.

  •  A couple of points (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfromga, Rick B

    Note that costs of underpaying employees are not merely passed on to the government in the form of food and health care assistance. Those who are underpaid for a lifetime of grunt work at less-than-living wage end up without any support in their retirement years.

    So what happens? Right wingers demand the privilege of paying even lower wages and less taxes, then blame the people they exploited for failing to negotiate a better deal with their employer. They are trying to cut off all support, because it's their "fault" they didn't save a nice nest egg for retirement when they were working multiple part time minimum wage jobs their entire working years, just as it is also the "fault" of those whose life savings were stolen by the banks. If they deserved to retire, they wouldn't have let that happen, now would they?

    They were glad to pass the short term costs onto taxpayers, and now they would like to see these people die as punishment for being exploitable.

    Another reason Romney and other CEO types are uniquely unqualified to be President is their attitude toward the work force. Romney likes to fire people. He is not unique. CEOs not only take credit for "making the hard decisions" to lay off workers (yeah, right, as though making money by laying off workers is some sort of "shared pain"), they take pride in laying off people who were doing their jobs. They then turn around and try to cut off all benefits that are supposed to help these people get back on their feet.

    Notice that despite lip service toward creating jobs, no Republicans anywhere have done anything constructive toward that end. All their policies have ground government and state growth to a halt and bled jobs.

    The conclusion I have drawn is that they believe that if someone can be laid off, it is a sign that they didn't deserve the job in the first place, so why coddle them and try to help them get another one? They think there are still far too many people who have jobs but don't deserve to survive.

    The fact that no US government has attempted to openly institute quite such a Dickensian scheme has permitted those at the top to pretend this is not their goal. But of course they want to increase unemployment and blame Democrats.

  •  Micro vs. macro (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    laserhaas, jfromga

    Willard looks at everything like a stand alone company, which is why little of his business experience would matter as the leader of a nation.

    •  Companies are measured by accountants (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie

      using financial statements which depend on summaries of internal data.

      Economies are measured by data largely outside of individual companies. Economic data largely did not exist before the SEC was created and the Department of Commerce began collecting the macro-economic data as part of the New Deal.

      Bankers for the most part still use financial report data almost entirely. Romney has not indicated in his statements that he has any real concept of economic data.

      The US Supreme Court has by it's actions and rhetoric ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

      by Rick B on Tue May 22, 2012 at 02:35:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent points! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    laserhaas, jfromga

      This has always been the crux of government responsibilities vs. business strategy.  You can change a business' mission statement all you want to suit new circumstances.  Government has always centered on a few unchanging needs, and ours has an unchanging mission statement known as the Preamble to the United States' Constitution.  That has become quite murky and lost lo these last few decades, it's time we remember it.
       As a corollary, a great question to Mitt would be "How does military spending figure into a balanced budget?"

  •  Can we finally put a stake in the heart of this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfromga, Rick B

    canard? If you run government like a business, There is no government. Government and business have very different missions.

    In a Democracy a governments job is to get a return for everybody...the general welfare, as the American founders put it.

    And the 'run government like a business crowd hates surpluses, so how do they show a profit? How do you decide  a citizen share holders return on the nations profits?

    The 'run government like a business' idea is and was one of the stupidest grunts the right wing ever talking pointed.


  •  The way I see it is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick B

    A president is not the Chairman of the Board
    We the people are not stockholders
    Advisors are not the board of directors
    And there is a helluva lot more to a president's role than
    trying to deal with the economy.  One fraction of the presidency.   and Mitt could not even get the business end right.  What does he know about the multitasking of about 20 million other things a president has to do.
    Obama has the Clintons.  Who does he have other than the Bush's and Christy?

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue May 22, 2012 at 08:48:38 AM PDT

  •  exactly, it is a fallacy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick B

    that a businessman is the perfect person to run a government.   They do not function in the same way, they have different goals,   and trying to make government run at a profit is a lie so that the rich and/or crooked can steal public assets and resources.

  •  To boil it all down, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rick B

    business is about making a profit.

    Government is not.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

    by SaraBeth on Tue May 22, 2012 at 09:30:48 AM PDT

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