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Back in 1997 I was doing business with CNN.  I was talking to the Managing Editor in his office and his secretary came in to tell him he had to take a phone call, it was George Soros.  He called to complain about a misquote. He was quoted as saying that capital was "immoral" when he had actually said that capital was "amoral". It was important enough for Soros to straighten out this.

Capital is amoral.  This stayed with me.

Actually what George Soros says in his book on page 6 is;

Political processes generally speaking are less efficient than the market mechanism, but we cannot do without them. Markets are amoral: They allow people to act in accordance with their interests, and they impose some rules on how those interests are expressed, but they pass no moral judgment on the interests themselves. That is one of the reasons why they are so efficient. It is difficult to decide what is right and wrong; by leaving it out of account, markets allow people to pursue their interests without let or hindrance.
So let's take a look an example of this amorality as it relates to Mitt Romney and Bain Capital.

What got me going was Romney's explanation, in the historic videos of his fund rsasing dinner, of a Bain investment in China explained in this outstanding diary by LeftOfYou;

The Real Romney: The Most Horrifying 2:08 in the Clandestine Video

LeftOfYou eloquently said;

Mitt Romney looked around the World for something to buy to make his investors more wealthy. What caught his eye was a chance to make money off of gadgets manufactured by young women living in a barbed wire compound, in cramped barracks with one bathroom for 120 women. The way Romney tells the story, it's obvious that he perceived and understood the terrible exploitation of these women with perfect accuracy. He just didn't really care. He had no impulse to protect, but rather considered how he might profit from the exploitation of these women. Why does Romney tell this well practiced old story? So he can pat himself on the back for being American.
Some commented in the diary that the barbed wire may have been there to keep the women inside, perhaps you could tell by the way it was installed.  The Chinese operators may have been lying to Romney.  So he got a bit of an excuse.

I did some research about other examples of Chinese factories with horrible working conditions and I found about Jabil;

The National Labor Committee (NLC) has released a 30-page report documenting the illegal and harsh sweatshop conditions at the Jabil Circuit factory in Guangzhou, China. The report, entitled 'U.S.-Owned High Tech Jabil Factory in China Runs Like Minimum Security Prison Producing for Whirlpool, GE, HP', describes conditions at the Jabil factory where over 6,000 workers - many of them illegal temporary workers - reportedly produce hi-tech products for among others Cannon, Cisco, HP, IBM, Intel, Lucent, Nokia, Philips, Samsung, Siemens and Xerox - among whom a number of Board members of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition. The new report includes worker interviews, photographs and company documents smuggled out of the factory.
Fellow Kossack Bri pointed out that;
In March 1999, shortly after Romney left Bain to take over the troubled Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Brookside Capital Investors Inc., a Bain-related entity wholly owned by Romney, filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission that listed dozens of companies in which Brookside held a stake the previous quarter. The roster included investments in Singapore-based Flextronics International ($13 million) and Florida-headquartered Jabil Circuit Inc. ($41 million), two companies that were leaders in the fast-growing field of outsourcing electronics manufacturing and offshoring production to low-wage countries.
And he suggested this deserved a separate diary.

So I did some more research.

This is what I found out;

1. Jabil is big. More than 60,000 employess worldwide.

2. Brookside Capital Investors Inc., a Bain-related entity wholly owned by Romney did invest $41M in Jabil.

3. Jabil manufactures components for Apple iPhones (ouch! I own one)

4. The conditions at Jabiil factories in China are worse than I had imagined. To find out read the NLC report.  

I did call the NLC, now called the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights and they told me nothing had changed since they wrote the report.

Here are some highlights;

Six thousand workers, operating around the clock, with two 12-hour shifts, seven days a week.

Workers are at the factory 84 hours a week.

Workers are prohibited from sitting down and must stand for their entire 12-hour shift.
Their necks, shoulders, arms and legs become stiff and sore, and their feet swell.

Workers are allowed to use the bathroom just once in the regular eight-hour shift. As
there are just three “toilet passes” per line, women say they have to wait over an hour
to relieve themselves.

Workers paid a base wage of 76 cents an hour through April, when they received a 17
cent increase to 93 cents an hour. No one can survive on the base wage and all are
forced to work overtime.

Security guards and managers patrol the shop floor as if they are police overseeing
their prisoners. Workers who make a mistake are forced to write a “letter of repentance” begging forgiveness—which they must read aloud in front of all their coworkers.

Offending workers can also be made to stay after work, unpaid, to clean

Six workers share each crowded dorm room, sleeping on double-level bunk beds.

Seventy-five percent of the workers say the factory food is “awful.”

Management’s Philosophy Is to Break the Workers

Workers say the following incident is common. A young woman on the Whirlpool assembly line was recently singled out and cursed by the line manager: “Damn it. You’re always so slow. When are you going to work harder? You want money, but you’re
not willing to work. What are you even doing here?"

The workers know exactly what is going on, but they are powerless to oppose it. Management consciously abuses and berates those workers—especially young
women—who are shy and would never think of arguing back. By publicly abusing these women in front of their co-workers, management is able to assert their authority before all the workers.

“The goal,” one employee explained, “is to belittle the workers, keep them afraid, and make sure they jump to their work.”

Everyone learns that to stay working, they have no choice but to lower their heads and take these abuses from the managers. They must swallow their anger. No one dares argue with the managers, knowing that if they did, the managers will make their lives
even more miserable.

Right now, none of the assembly lines in the plant have fixed days off each week, and some lines have gone for months without a single day off. Only occasionally will production line workers receive a day off.
This means the workers put in 11 hours of work each day –eight regular and three overtime hours—with just two 30-minute meal breaks. As the regular workweek is 40 hours, these workers are toiling 37 hours of overtime each week, which is in blatant violation of China’s overtime restrictions, which limit overtime to no more than 36 hours a month. Jabil’s day shift workers are exceeding China’s legal overtime limit by a staggering 344 percent!
So Jabil even violates Chinese laws.

The conditions in factories in America during the Gilded Age of the Robber Barons may have been as bad.  I guess this makes Mitt Romney a Robber Baron in present day China.

No, Mitt Romney is not a Robber Baron, these guys were immoral, they were very conscious of the pain they inflicted on their workers to make a profit.  There are immoral  Robber Barons in China today no doubt.

Mitt Romney is an "amoral capitalist".

There is a difference between "amoral" and "immoral";

An amoral person has no sense of care or conscience whether the act he is doing is morally wrong ‘“ good thing if it is the other way around. This person escapes from the moral world as he is outside the confines of morality itself. It is different from immoral in the sense that showing disapproval isn’t always the case. A good example is in the sentence, ‘According to the historian, the protagonist has an amoral stance with regard to slavery.’ In this example, the protagonist did not clearly specify that he is anti or pro slavery because he just doesn’t care about the entire issue.
Romney just doesn't care.

Romney the bully

And this has become clear to all now.  He does not care about the 47%, he does not care about the consequences of his decisions, he does not care about his dog on the roof of his car, he does not care about the suffering he caused the classmate he bullied, he does not care what we think of his secret tax returns or his stashing money in the Caymans or Switzerland.

Is this the kind of person that white working class Americans prefer?  An amoral sociopath? Something very wrong here.

I hope Obama wins in a landslide.  Let's GOTV.

Originally posted to Shockwave on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Headwaters, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (164+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, nyceve, George3, Horace Boothroyd III, vahana, Meteor Blades, Cedwyn, navajo, sparkysgal, Glen The Plumber, antirove, maggiejean, madhaus, rmonroe, Candide08, eyesoars, remembrance, ItsaMathJoke, smileycreek, nomandates, JayRaye, chmood, dharmasyd, Lefty Coaster, paradise50, Throw The Bums Out, Land of Enchantment, homo neurotic, jnhobbs, SaraBeth, Lilyvt, barkworsethanbite, Egalitare, Marcus Junius Brutus, Buckeye54, hubcap, pioneer111, politik, cordgrass, DRo, coppercelt, jexter, Todd Hancock, ichibon, triplepoint, Oye Sancho, Jim R, emidesu, Dumbo, kaye, OWTH, missquested, MizKit, lostinamerica, 2thanks, xaxnar, DamselleFly, Essephreak, golem, a2nite, eru, Getreal1246, glitterscale, cybersaur, Doug Goodenough, arizonablue, One Pissed Off Liberal, tampaedski, AntKat, CA ridebalanced, Pescadero Bill, LynChi, yaque, freelunch, fallina7, DuzT, Preston S, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Cronesense, slowbutsure, reddbierd, AreDeutz, GeorgeXVIII, deha, drewfromct, leeleedee, howabout, Wee Mama, BB10, Mentatmark, srkp23, scooter in brooklyn, Its a New Day, scarvegas, Glinda, paul2port, most peculiar mama, kerflooey, congenitalefty, annrose, Only Needs a Beat, arlene, CyberLady1, magicsister, zerelda, NYmom, mkfarkus, pensivelady, Curt Matlock, Kimbeaux, Gowrie Gal, RubDMC, eyeswideopen, rantsposition, VTCC73, citizen dan, bunsk, Simplify, Robynhood too, DBunn, Hayate Yagami, DeminNewJ, livingthedream, pat bunny, Born in NOLA, bnasley, tofumagoo, ardyess, chimene, ceciliaanneck, divineorder, Habitat Vic, kestrel9000, Gorette, dksbook, newpioneer, psnyder, mrsgoo, retLT, Eikyu Saha, jessical, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, MNsmartgirl, NoMoreLies, petulans, democracy inaction, molecularlevel, AuroraDawn, bfbenn, CamillesDad1, kurt, monkeybrainpolitics, SherwoodB, palantir, mofembot, parsonsbeach, lineatus, splashy, Carol in San Antonio, eztempo, mollyd, joynow, enufisenuf, Creosote

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:32:20 PM PDT

  •  I'll bet (23+ / 0-)
    He does not care about the 47%, he does not care about the consequences of his decisions, he does not care about his dog on the roof of his car, he does not care about the suffering he caused the classmate he bullied, he does not care what we think of his secret tax returns or his stashing money in the Caymans or Switzerland.
    he doesn't care for green eggs and ham either.
    •  Green eggs and ham? (19+ / 0-)

      From Wikepedia;

      In a Mormon journal, clearly parodying arguments for the Book of Mormon,[13] it has been jokingly suggested that, within Green Eggs and Ham, "the rich presence of complex chiasmi, multiple Hebraicisms, Israelite cultural references, and Old Testament themes supports the theory that Green Eggs and Ham is, in fact, an ancient text of Semitic origin.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:49:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I dont think he even cares if he wins. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He's acting like it doesn't really matter.  "I'm not releasing any tax returns" even though it would help him win.

    •  Entire GOP upper echelons are amoral (23+ / 0-)

      Romney isn't the real issue here--as Krugman noted, Romney's a fitting exemplar of his party.  A few weeks from now, he will quickly return to (well-deserved) obscurity.  His philosophy, however, will live in in a party that will may still hold the House and will hold a near majority of the Senate.

      Let's look at what Krugman said about the current House ML:

      But here’s the question: Should we imagine that Mr. Romney and his party would think better of the 47 percent on learning that the great majority of them actually are or were hard workers, who very much have taken personal responsibility for their lives? And the answer is no.
      For the fact is that the modern Republican Party just doesn’t have much respect for people who work for other people, no matter how faithfully and well they do their jobs. All the party’s affection is reserved for “job creators,” a k a employers and investors. Leading figures in the party find it hard even to pretend to have any regard for ordinary working families — who, it goes without saying, make up the vast majority of Americans.

      Am I exaggerating? Consider the Twitter message sent out by Eric Cantor, the Republican House majority leader, on Labor Day — a holiday that specifically celebrates America’s workers. Here’s what it said, in its entirety: “Today, we celebrate those who have taken a risk, worked hard, built a business and earned their own success.” Yes, on a day set aside to honor workers, all Mr. Cantor could bring himself to do was praise their bosses.

      Even assuming Obama prevails, he will immediately have to deal w/ a fiscal crisis in which the party of Romneyism will hold considerable influence.   Romney's running mate will be House Budget Chairman in the lame duck session, and he may still hold that post next year.  We need to defeat the underlying Romney/Ryan/GOP philosophy, not merely defeat one of the most highly flawed major parties in memory.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 06:48:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And also, they're not going away. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DeminNewJ, jessical, bfbenn, kurt, Thestral

            The next election will be here before too long.  This is the mindset of the people that are willing and financially able to run on the right, and they'll be back in four years to run.  They'll be in the House and Senate for that entire time as well - seething, plotting, taking and 'amoralizing.'  The disgust level needs to be raised so high for this kind of behavior that the social contract forces changes at the legal level - that's the only way to truly win this fight.

      •  Yes. I'd been thinking at first it was ignorance (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        indres, starduster, jessical, kurt, Thestral

        on Romney's part. But that was ridiculous of me!

        Krugman's column called it. They just don't care about people, they care about the wealthy. As he said (and I've said for years):

        It's government of the wealthy, by the wealthy and for the wealthy.

        Because it's not democracy, it's plutocracy.

        "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

        by Gorette on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:57:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  money not the Morman church is the (0+ / 0-)

      god that Romney worships

  •  That he does not care (38+ / 0-)

    makes him a sociopath.

    Perhaps you remember the film The Corporation and its argument that the values by which corporations operate coincide with the diagnostic criteria by which psychologists diagnose sociopathy (sometimes also called psychopathy) in people.  After all, "Corporations are people, too, my friend!"

    Our society limits the rights and privileges of the mentally ill because it recognizes that attaining those rights and privileges increases the likelihood that the patient would become a danger to himself or to others.  For example, we do not allow the mentally ill to purchase guns.

    There ought to be a law that disqualifies sociopaths from running for president.

    No one elected Grover Norquist anything. If everyone ignored him, he would dry up and blow away.

    by vahana on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 05:54:46 PM PDT

  •  Bad link (6+ / 0-)

    I think your first link is off, might want to check it.

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

    by a gilas girl on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 06:19:01 PM PDT

  •  I was listening to KPFA Berkeley (23+ / 0-)

    radio on my way to work today and the guest was pulitzer prize winner David Cay Johnston, author of The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use Plain English to Rob You Blind. It was jaw dropping. At least it was for me. Mitt Romney is the guardian angel of these companies.

    The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    by maggiejean on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 06:33:07 PM PDT

  •  That's why we have government! (17+ / 0-)

    This is the core reason why you can't turn out functions that critical to human life to business.  They want to make a profit from them and that is at odds with making sure that everyone gets an opportunity.  You can't have opportunity when your health is poor, you don't have food, you don't have shelter.   What don't conservatives get about this?  Do they really want to live in an country with people crammed into slums, with people starving to death and outbreaks of plagues?

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 04:23:13 AM PDT

  •  I gotta ask (5+ / 0-)

    What do YOUNG MEN do in China?

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 05:16:02 AM PDT

    •  Military and other positions of authority in equal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      numbers would be my guess.

      Vote Tea Party Taliban! Bring the Burqa to America.

      by Pescadero Bill on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:04:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a logical guess, but... (0+ / 0-)

        ...from what I can gather, they have a signficantly smaller military than we do relative to total population and not much bigger than ours in absolute numbers. They are making concerted effort to "close the technological gap" with us by building their own version of the Military Industrial Complex, but they seem to be building as much to capture a greater portion of the world arms market as for "homeland security."

        I don't know what they are doing with their young men, but they don't seem to have many millions of them "in uniform."

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:31:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  good diary. i hope we win in a landslide too, (7+ / 0-)

    because if it's close the Romney apparatchik will keep it tied up in courts until they can figure out a way to steal it from us.  they're doing everything they can to set up that fall-back scenario now: voter ID laws, purging voter rolls, voter harassment at the polls...

    we need to GOTV!

    we need a landslide to make it harder for romney to challenge the results.  we need to be at the polls in vulnerable parts of our cities, to protect and encourage the voters who have to wait in those lines.

    we must not be complacent.  

    thank you for this well researched diary.

    "It's about what they've done, and when what they say is some distance from what they've done, that distance is the story. This is what the press is for. " Rachel Maddow

    by politik on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 05:37:59 AM PDT

  •  This is the argument against Citizens United!! (7+ / 0-)

    This is the argument that should, and will, resonate with Christians and others of faith who have a shred of logical ability left.  Look at what (and not a what, but a "who" in the decision of the Supreme  Court) you have juist let into the tent of society with you!!  (And make no mistake, it is much more powerful and influential than you will ever be...) You have just affirmed an AMORAL and very powerful being/entity that is completely devoted to self serving and profit.  Where is their "Good Book" that lists a code of moral conduct for themselves?  There isn't one.  As Soros so elegantly points out, the only restraint on them is that applied by governmental regulation.  

  •  Why go this far? It happens here too (12+ / 0-)

    E.g. people forced to work 2-3 jobs at minimum wage w/o benefits, often off the clock, just to survive. Such horrible working conditions are entirely the result of the "wonder of the free market" left alone to work its "magic".

    And if people like Romney had their way and programs like Social Security and Medicare were entirely privatized, millions of people would end up homeless and sick, many of them dying needlessly, because they wouldn't be able to afford housing, food and health care, and no one would want to give it to them for free or at drastically lowered costs because it would be "inefficient".

    The unregulated "free market" only benefits some. Government (and also private charitable action) is needed to take care of the rest, to equalize the playing field and make sure that no one suffers needlessly.

    And btw, left to its own devices, the "free market" would eventually collapse--assuming it ever got off the ground in the first place--because government intervention isn't just necessary for moral reasons. It's also absolutely necessary for economic reasons. Anyone who thinks our modern economy developed on its own is absolutely ignorant about economic history. Governments create economies.

    So yes, "you" didn't build that. WE helped you build that, Mittens.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 05:43:44 AM PDT

  •  Insisting on being first in line at family buffet (11+ / 0-)

    dinners - ahead of the grandchildren - is in some ways the most egregious example.  His narcissism is obvious.  The fact that he puts himself ahead of his own flesh and blood is just mind boggling.  No wonder women can't stand him.  

    "I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it." Terry Pratchett

    by kiwiheart on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 05:54:33 AM PDT

  •  Tipped and recced (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because of the details you obviously went into about that terrible story from the released video of Romney talking about the barbed wire work camp.

    I think he said he ultimately passed on the deal, but I didn't quite understand what he meant that most of the deal you get in the US is just by being born here.  Did he mean that in a disparaging way, like, American workers have it too easy, don't have that Robber Baron Age attitude of being grateful for any horrible work they can get?  Or did he mean it like, "Wow, we're so much better off because we don't have camps like that in the US."  It was ambiguous.  It gives him weasel room on this, because he can say that he didn't approve of it at all, and that that's why he passed on it.  It would be good to force him to explain.

    As for amoral versus immoral... I think that's reaching a bit.  Capitalism is mechanical and it has to be that way.  People aren't mechanical in their decisions, obviously.  But an example I gave before is a normal town bank that you put your money in to eke out a small but safe interest.  It might be nice if the bank would loan your money to worthy causes that have less chance of being paid back.  But if your bank does things like that, your expectations what you are getting when you deposit your money, in terms of safety of your deposits and a small, low-risk interest, are compromised, and that makes it harder for you to just dump your money there and forget about it.  A charity-loan bank might be an excellent idea for other reasons, but as business, it's a bad idea.  Consumer banks need to be mechanical and predictable in terms of just doing what they're supposed to do -- and amoral in that limited sense.  However, a bank that loans the money for immoral purposes -- like financing a Chinese barbed wire workcamp -- brings disgrace on the investors.  That's bad business, and from a purely amoral point of view, a bank like that is risking losing its customers.  

    •  I switched to a community bank and I am happy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, Dumbo

      Wells Fargo, BofA and others were awful.

      Yes Romney, we are lucky not to be as bad as China, what about some other places though?

      Romney has a black belt in weaselitude.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:34:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped & rec'ed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, Only Needs a Beat, Shockwave

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 06:22:14 AM PDT

  •  Digby and Atkins say look at the LDS connection (11+ / 0-)

    Over at Digby's place, there are two posts that put Romney and his campaign in a very different light. They potentially explain quite a lot - and the regular media has largely been steering clear of this.

    Digby connects some dots with the help of Reuters.

    Relying heavily on church records in countries that require far more disclosure than the United States, Cragun and Reuters estimate that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brings in some $7 billion annually in tithes and other donations.

    It owns about $35 billion worth of temples and meeting houses around the world, and controls farms, ranches, shopping malls and other commercial ventures worth many billions more.

    So Romney is giving huge sums of money to a church which runs commercial ventures and has no obligation to pay taxes on them. Sounds perfect.
    David Atkins picks up on why Romney may have trouble with truth-telling; it's an article of his faith that the truth is whatever it needs to be at any given time...
    It's critically important to remember that Romney's lies aren't just a feature of his personality. They're a feature of his cultural and religious training.

    The only difference is that he's switched from serving a religious Lord to serving Mammon and our modern-day plutocratic House of Lords.

    But the same ethic rules regardless.

    Read both posts - Rmoney's behavior looks quite different from the perspective they offer. It's seriously troubling. It's important to remember that this election isn't just about the candidates. As Jen Sorensen's brilliant cartoon pointed out the other day, we're also voting for the whole social network around them. What may look like amorality to the rest of us may simply be a very different system of values at work in the world Romney lives in. His callous attitudes aren't a bug there - they're a feature.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 06:33:11 AM PDT

    •  Great comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, newpioneer
      we're also voting for the whole social network around them.
      In Wall Street it is S.O.P not amoral at all.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:38:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Top Comment --- From the Reuters article ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the most chilling facts are represented in the worldwide spread of the Mormon Church's :


      Several countries around the world require religious groups and charities to file financial reports, including Canada. The country has only 185,000 Mormon members but a wealth of statistics on them. Taking total reported Canadian donations and dividing by the estimated number of active Mormons and family financial data from the World Bank indicates that active Canadian Mormons give slightly less than 8 percent of their income to the church.

      Assuming that active U.S. Mormons give at a similar rate and adjusting for higher U.S. income, total U.S. tithing would amount to more than $6 billion, or about $6.5 billion annually between the United States and Canada.

      Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, which also require financial disclosures, all have sharply lower donation rates than Canada. Based on data from those countries, tithing outside the United States and Canada totals several hundred million dollars, taking global total donations to about $7 billion.

      Canada also requires the church to disclose the value of its assets and spending. Using those figures as a basis suggests the total value of church buildings, including temples and meeting houses, would be about $35 billion globally.


      Concerned or disgruntled current and former Mormons complain that the church spends too much on real estate and for-profit ventures, neglecting charity work.

      The Mormon church has no hospitals and only a handful of primary schools. Its university system is limited to widely respected Brigham Young, which has campuses in Utah, Idaho and Hawaii, and LDS Business College. Seminaries and institutes for high school students and single adults offer religious studies for hundreds of thousands.

      It counts more than 55,000 in its missionary forces, primarily youths focused on converting new members but also seniors who volunteer for its non-profits, such as the Polynesian Cultural Center, which bills itself as Hawaii's No. 1 tourist attraction, and for-profit businesses owned by the church.

      The church has plowed resources into a multi-billion-dollar global network of for-profit enterprises: it is the largest rancher in the United States, a church official told Nebraska's Lincoln Journal Star in 2004, with other ranches and farms in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Great Britain, according to financial documents reviewed by Reuters.

      Ranching and farm industry sources say they are well-run operations.

      It also has a small media empire, an investment fund, and is developing a mall across from its Salt Lake City headquarters, which it calls an attempt to help revitalize the city rather than to make money. These enterprises are also part of a vast nest egg for tough times. The church expects wars and natural disasters before Christ returns to earth in the Second Coming, and members are encouraged to prepare by laying in stores of food. Farms and ranches are part of the church's own preparation.

      "The church teaches its members to live within their means and put a little money aside for life's unexpected events. As a church, we live by the same principle," Purdy said. The rainy-day fund and operating budget rarely mix, officials say.

      "I have been to beautiful church buildings in Hungary and Ukraine, and Latvia and other places, and there are these huge buildings and 35 people there, and you say, how can this work financially? The math - it just doesn't work."

      I wonder how far they are involved in land grabs all over the world for their "farming enterprises".
  •  This is a sickness within our country (4+ / 0-)

    not just China. We crave products produced in such a frighteningly heartless way. At one point there was a push to try to change things but I guess that got drowned out.

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 06:35:38 AM PDT

  •  The story of these inhuman condidtions... (5+ / 0-)

    should be all over Mainstream Media. If they did their jobs, it would be, and would change some minds. But MSM has such a corporate bias that they'll never devote time to this exploitation of workers. What's sad is this isn't news, it's been happening for decades.

    My mom called me a few weeks ago and was pretty angry about a story she read somewhere about the working conditions in China. She said she was tired of buying Chinese products, and since she couldn't find clothes that were'nt made overseas, that she wanted to break out the sewing machine again sand start making her own clothes like she did in the 80's when we were growing up. She said, "Clothes at Wal-mart are all made in China, but the fabrics I buy are made in North Carolina."

    I guess my point is that if more people knew about this maybe there would be more pressure on companies to make things in the USA again.

    "I read this- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I read every last word of this garbage, and because of this piece of $#!^ I'm never reading again!"-Officer Barbrady

    by Broke And Unemployed on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 06:50:50 AM PDT

  •  The GOP has made Amorality INTO Morality! (5+ / 0-)

    From a diary I posted a few days back, Working Hard and Playing By The Rules is So Over, some of the comments show how the horrors Romney seemed so pleased by are 'rationalized' to justify this. At the risk of quoting somewhat out of context, these are examples of the kind of moral logic you'll hear from Rush, Hannity, etc. all the time.

    There's always more work and more opportunity

    Problem for Americans is that it is distributed much more fairly than it used to be.

    40 years ago an American with a high school education could work a forty hour week in a unionized manufacturing job and send his kids to college while a Chinese with a similar background was lucky to eat meat once a month.

    Today, there are far more manufacturing and similar jobs than there used to be, but there are about 500 million Chinese people with that level of education who want them too and stand a fair chance of getting them.  The average wages for those jobs has moved to somewhere between what the Chinese guy used to make and what the American used to make.  The total compensation is far higher than it used to be, but there is no question that the American has lost out.

    Unless you think that the American deserves to live better than the Chinese just because he is American it is pretty obvious that the current situation is fairer than what we had in the 1970s.

    Of course, the losers in this great reshuffling - yes, a flattening - obviously don't feel that way and since Americans are far more likely to be among the losers than the winners this is a political issue in the US.

    But you can't put the cat back in the barrel and you can't reverse this trend.  Even if we stopped outsourcing all that would happen is that American manufacturers would go out of business and we would end up buying our goods from factories in places like China that are owned by non-American companies.

    emphasis added

    A person who believes the Invisible Hand of the Free Markets will insure an equitable outcome is someone who has outsourced any claim to morality to the belief system that is destroying the world.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 06:53:33 AM PDT

  •  Disagree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, Eikyu Saha

    He knows it's wrong, that's why he is so into religion.  Those workers are enslaved per gods plan, he makes money off of them per gods plan, he will be forgiven for his inhumanity per gods plan.

    •  Or if there is any post-life justice: sent to hell (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      per god's plan.

      After all, just look at this shining example of morality:

      And so my job is not to worry about those people—I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives -Jesus

      "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

      by Hayate Yagami on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:45:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not amorality. It's immorality. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The right-wing corporatists do everything they can to depress wages, destroy the social fabric, and destroy the earth.  The motive is for profit, but they know they can get away with it only by subverting the "moral" arguments that give value to human well-being.  

      So they make a project of shitting up moral discourse by injecting kooky religious extremism and absurdly self-contradictory arguments ("greed is good," "the poor people took all the money," "money is God's grace," etc.).  

      That's not "amorality" by any means.  It's immorality.  Anti-morality.  Moral turpitude.  

      Romney and Ryan are the poster boys for that depravity.

  •  If left unchecked, (4+ / 0-)

    capitalism as it is currently known and practiced will doom us to extinction.

    Capitalism is based on and depends on growth. Permanent, infinite growth.

    How do you have infinite growth within a finite biosphere with seemingly vast but ultimately finite natural resources?

    The growth model of capitalism is essentially no different than that of a virus, inevitably doomed to kill off its host.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:18:10 AM PDT

  •  Great diary! ... but poses serious moral (5+ / 0-)

    questions for us all.

    Capitalism is amoral, yes, absolutely. So can we really just tweak it and make it "moral"--is green capitalism or ethical capitalism really possible? Are such efforts to improve capitalism in the end just ways to make us forget/feel comfortable with the essence of capitalism, its core injustice--that some profit off the labor of others. This essential inequity can be minimized or maximized--but does the minimization truly make capitalism more just or just more palatable? The core truth of capitalism is that capitalists own and earn more without direct effort because workers have to sell their absolutely irreplaceable time and freedom for mere wages.

    There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

    by srkp23 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:43:49 AM PDT

    •  Great comment. Food for thought. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think there is a balanced blend between profit and social service which we need to get to somehow.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:44:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  More just (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      srkp23, dksbook, Shockwave, jessical
      This essential inequity can be minimized or maximized--but does the minimization truly make capitalism more just or just more palatable?
      IMHO, the straight & simple answer works pretty well here: less unjust is better. Not perfect, of course, but better.

      Realistically, we are seldom offered the choice between "perfect" and "something else". Our actual choices tend to be among imperfect solutions. That being the case, "less imperfect" is usually a good way to go.

      •  True enough ... and I agree to a certain point (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave, jessical, DBunn

        but when inequity is the feature of a system and not a bug, there is only so far you can go. And if you think about capitalism globally and not only nationally, there is no way to make it just in a way that includes all beings everywhere--including the non-human ones who also share the globe. So we can make it as good as we can make it, but then we have to confront the fact that it is of essence an unequal system that in fact functions because of that core inequality.

        There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

        by srkp23 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:50:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Theoretically the good of society could be one of (0+ / 0-)

      its goals but that doesn't pay as well in the short run.

      My son is a financial advisor that works with only "socially responsible" companies. They are rated on all sorts of issues like how they treat employees, the environment and the community etc. They work with the companies  and blah, blah
      It's a growing trend with growing investment interest
      which I guess is a key too
      Sure if we all refused to invest in corporations that don't live up to such standards
      but hell, we can't all get together to save the post office or whatever good cause
      and we saw the lines for the new iphone

  •  Do Mormons even care about non-Mormons? (4+ / 0-)

    That was my question when I saw all those people testifying about Mitt’s big, caring heart at the Republican National Convention. Every single one of the testifiers was Mormon.

    When I was a Protestant child in a Catholic school (my parents were in a “mixed marriage”) back in the pre-Vatican II days, all the students were constantly reminded by Sister that events were important if they applied to Catholics. There were two atom bombs dropped over Japan, but one of them hit a city with a large Catholic population—a real tragedy. A sports figure or a movie star was important if he/she was Catholic. Anything that happened to non-Catholics happened to “pagans” and was therefore unimportant.

    If Mitt Romney has confined his charitable contributions and his good deeds only to the Church of Latter Day Saints, as it seemed at the RNC, I’d bet he doesn’t care a bit about the rest of us. So he can be a good man in one context and an absolutely amoral man in another context. And I think that uncaring amorality is why he’s so wooden in his public appearances.

  •  I have a 6 month old Samsung refrigerator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, DBunn

    whose electronic circuit board fried during an electrical storm.  Strangely none of our computer equipment was damaged.

    I'm getting a new circuit board shipped to me prior to the repair.  I'll be interested to see if it is a Jabil product. If it is, I'll be a bit depressed.

    "A pride of lions" "A murder of crows" "A wunch of bankers"

    by Glinda on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:51:03 AM PDT

  •  Life in a banana republic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, DBunn, jessical

    The definition of banana republic is a bit disconcerting:

    "A banana republic is a country operated as a commercial enterprise for private profit, effected by the collusion between the State and favoured monopolies, whereby the profits derived from private exploitation of public lands is private property, and the debts incurred are public responsibility. Such an imbalanced economy reduces the national currency to devalued paper-money, hence, the country is ineligible for international development-credit, and remains limited by the uneven economic development of town and country.
    Kleptocracy, government by thieves, features influential government employees exploiting their posts for personal gain (embezzlement, fraud, bribery, etc.), with the resultant government budget deficit repaid by the native working people who earn money, rather than make money. Because of foreign (corporate) manipulation, the kleptocratic government is unaccountable to its nation, the country's private sector–public sector corruption operates the banana republic, thus, the national legislature usually are for sale, and function mostly as ceremonial government.
     We seem to be spiraling into that abyss.  Sadly.
  •  Why we need unions (6+ / 0-)

    Conditions at the Jabil plant are a perfect example of why we need unions.

  •  Perhaps you buried the lede? Thank you for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    answering the question I had after watching the whole Romney fundraiser video at Mother Jones:

    After touring that Chinese factory, DID HIS COMPANY STILL INVEST IN IT?

    The story about that factory, the management's treatment of the workers, and Romney's support for that is the story that has not broken through yet.

    Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

    by Catskill Julie on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:22:45 AM PDT

  •  capitalism is immoral, not amoral (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Shorter capitalism: the most profitable course of action is always and everywhere the most intelligent and praiseworthy course of action.  Sounds like an ethos to me.

    If anything, capitalism is up there with religion in terms of the moral weight given to it.  In the holy name of profit all things are justified: from sweatshops to vulture funds, from melamine in pet food to the date rape drug in kids toys, from fraud to corruption.  It only gets worse when they try to argue that capitalism is the pinnacle of compassion as well.

    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

    by Visceral on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 11:01:35 AM PDT

  •  The Good Old Days (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newpioneer, Shockwave

    My grandmother told me stories about working for the Chalmers Motor Company in Detroit during the 1910s. Much of what she described is similar to the description of the Chinese factory. Standing for up to 12 hours six days a week. One bathroom break. Fifteen unpaid minutes for lunch. Firing at will. Verbal abuse.

    It is sad that so many Americans are willing to let the hard-won labor improvements of last century be undone. If we keep going down the Republicans path, there will not be much difference between US factories of the 2010s and US factories of the 1910s.

    Congress shall make no law abridging the right of the people peaceably to assemble.

    by edg on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 11:57:48 AM PDT

  •  It's all well and good (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But to win in today's American political quiet rooms...

    Hit him in his clueless peroxide blonde wifey.

    Politics ain't T-ball. There's no time for niceties.

    Arm yourselves! God's stepchildren are running amuck.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 12:54:09 PM PDT

  •  I haven't even finished reading (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the diary and I had to comment; I used to work for a local US Jabil facility.  It was the only job I'd even quit outright without having another job waiting and it only took me about a week before I'd had enough.  It was, needless to say, the very worst job I've ever had.  This was more than 10 years ago and none of the information in this diary is at all surprising, in fact it connects a lot of dots.

    As an employee, you were treated like a criminal and you were made to feel like a criminal.  The facility felt like a prison, though I can only imagine that's true as I've never been to prison.  For just one example, everyone had to pass through metal detectors when going on and off the work floor.  You were required to work at management's whim if that meant staying late or working weekends or holidays without advance notice and people there typically got yelled at, a lot.  It was Theory X on steroids, PCP and whiskey:

    In this theory, which has been proven counter effective in most modern practice, management assumes employees are inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can and that they inherently dislike work. As a result of this, management believes that workers need to be closely supervised and comprehensive systems of controls developed. A hierarchical structure is needed with narrow span of control at each and every level. According to this theory, employees will show little ambition without an enticing incentive program and will avoid responsibility whenever they can. According to Michael J. Papa, if the organizational goals are to be met, theory X managers rely heavily on threat and coercion to gain their employees' compliance. Beliefs of this theory lead to mistrust, highly restrictive supervision, and a punitive atmosphere. The Theory X manager tends to believe that everything must end in blaming someone. He or she thinks all prospective employees are only out for themselves. Usually these managers feel the sole purpose of the employee's interest in the job is money. They will blame the person first in most situations, without questioning whether it may be the system, policy, or lack of training that deserves the blame. A Theory X manager believes that his or her employees do not really want to work, that they would rather avoid responsibility and that it is the manager's job to structure the work and energize the employee. One major flaw of this management style is it is much more likely to cause diseconomies of scale in large businesses.
    I'm currently unemployed and looking desperately for a new job.  I have applied for every job that comes close to matching my skill set, with one notable exception.  Recently there was a listing for a job at the same Jabil facility for a job I was (probably over-) qualified for but I passed.  It is a job I probably could have gotten but there is no way that I will voluntarily put myself through that kind of repugnant hell again.  I would literally rather starve.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 02:05:18 PM PDT

    •  I haven't talked about Theory X and Y in 30 years (0+ / 0-)

      Or longer.  I studied business administration way back when.

      You are right.  Jabil is Theory X to the max.

      Send me a message with your skill set and I'll give you my job hunting opinion.

      Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

      by Shockwave on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 02:45:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Capitalism does have a morality. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It isn't hidden, and it is very simple:  "If it makes money, do it".  In a society such as ours with regulations, that can be ammended to "If it makes money and does not land you in jail, do it".

    Most capitalists will not 'fess up to this, so they beat around the bush or claim capitalism is amoral.  But, if capitalism were amoral it would judge and reward action that made no money as equal to action that makes money.  Capitalism is not amoral (except maybe towards action that can neither make nor lose money...).

    Of course, you could get all mehta on this and observe that 'money' is simply a placeholder for goods or services owed.  So then you are left with "If it binds people into your service, it is good.  If it binds you to the service of others, it is bad."

    and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

    by ban48 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 02:38:25 PM PDT

  •  I've known... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    since the first word that he put the dog on the room of his car for a 1200 mile family vacation, that he was a cruel person.

    Who would do this?

    A second item: when he rounded up a bunch of bullies and cut off the hair of the young man he went to school with.

    The third now is worse than the 47% remarks: it relates to the telling of the Chinese factory story as though it were just a story, not something he was doing to make huge profits off the very impoverished women.

    Lastly, but in the same monster category, is the indecent amount of money he has made in his IRA account.  I know that even a well-managed IRA account could never make that amount of money by any really legitimate standards.  He has a tin man quality: no heart.  Oh, he does, for those who bear the Romney name, Romney DNA.  The Mormon church's elders.  No one else would be safe under him.  And possibly not even his supporters.

  •  The Primary School Reader of the Romney Campaign (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A comment by cuculleno:

    This is for the Fox "news" viewers.

    See Mitt run. Run, Mitt, run.

    Mitt needs help.

    This is Paul. He says he can help Mitt.

    Paul says he can run very fast.

    Uh-oh. Paul can not run very fast.

    Even Sarah can run faster than Paul.

    See Paul lie. Lie, Paul, lie.

    Maybe that will help Mitt.

    Maybe not. Poor Mitt.

    Poor, poor Mitt.

    Have more fun at

  •  Rmoney & Ryan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The sociopathic narcissist and the narcissistic sociopath.
    What a splendid couple.

  •  Bain Capital or Bane Capital? (0+ / 0-)

    Romney is running on the strength of his business acumen while running away from the actual practices that made him rich. The more that we learn (or cannot learn) about  about Bain Capital and its nefarious corporate practices/ financial shenanigans, the more Mittens seems a criminal genius rather than a job creator. Perhaps his company should have been "Bane Capital" instead...

  •  "Markets .... are so efficient" at what? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What is it that markets are supposed to do that is so efficient?

    Are they supposed to provide us with products that improve our quality of life in the most efficient way possible? This sounds good and would be if it was true but it isn't nor do they focus on it in this manner. As you indicate that people that do the type of work that improves the quality of life don't get the rewards they should. But the people that do advertising to distort views and deceive the consumers often do even though this actually makes life worse since it means that consumer decisions are based on lies.

    Markets may be amoral not immoral but people who run them are often both including Mitt Romney.

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