Here’s the kind of ‘job creation’ your average social issues, gun-toting, Bible-thumping, tea partying conservative voter has been supporting all these years (and continues to support):
Before Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital bought the rambling SCM factory in Marion, Ind., it was running three shifts a day, making hanging file folders and other office supplies. But on July 5, 1994, everything changed.
The new owner, American Pad & Paper, owned in turn by Bain Capital, told all 258 union workers they were fired, in a cost-cutting move. Security guards hustled them out of the building. They would be able to reapply for their jobs, at lesser wages and benefits, but not all would be rehired.
“We were told they bought the assets, not the union or the [labor] contract,” recalls Randy Johnson, who at the time worked as a machine operator and was a union shop steward. The workers – some the third generation in their families to have jobs there – eventually went on strike, and Bain closed the factory 5-1/2 months after acquiring it.
[...] “I was on the negotiating committee for the union, and we had to give up and give up until we could give no more,” Ms. Huffman recalls. “They tried to make the working conditions not very good.” AmPad began moving automated machinery out of the factory soon after acquiring it. “I think they were planning on shutting the plant down,” she says. “We were union, and they did not want that.”
Bain Capital bought AmPad in 1992 for $5.1 million. It borrowed heavily, boosting AmPad’s debt from $19.8 million in 1994 to $443.7 million in 1995, and Bain charged it tens of millions in fees. Bain took the firm public in 1996, making tens of millions more. AmPad, still saddled with debt, filed for bankruptcy in 2000. It has since reemerged as a private firm, based in Dallas.
Romney attempts to counter the Obama campaign’s “GST Steel” ad:
Seeking to combat charges from the Obama campaign that Bain Capital extracted value from companies it purchased by firing employees and cutting benefits, Mitt Romney’s released a web video profiling Steel Dynamics, one of the companies that Bain invested in.
But as Think Progress reports, there are two problems with Romney’s portrayal of Bain’s assistance in Steel Dynamics:
1) Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported at the time (via Nexis), that Bain was just one of eight financiers for the project — hardly the lone white knight; and
2) the video touts Romney’s “private-sector” team, the company was successful thanks, in part, to big government subsidies and grants — $37 million from the state of Indiana and DeKalb County. And as the Los Angeles Times reported in January of this year, the county even raised taxes on residents to help fund the mill.
Was there a happy ending? For Bain Capital there was. Bain walked away with a $85 million profit, financed in large part by corporate welfare.
…“The story of Bain and Steel Dynamics illustrates how Romney, during his business career, made avid use of public-private partnerships, something that many conservatives consider to be ‘corporate welfare.’”
Bain invested $18.2 million in Steel Dynamics in 1994. Five years later, it sold its stake for $104 million, walking away with $85 million profit.
So did Romney create jobs while he was at Bain Capital? If you count the jobs previously held by high-seniority workers who were laid off when their unions were busted, and whose jobs were replaced with minimum-wage-no-benefits workers, then you could probably say: sure – those were “jobs” that were “created.”
This has been a decades-long process, created and brutally enforced by the GOP, using social wedge-issues for the necessary political support, combined with an Orwellian concept called trickle-down to soothe the masses during all the union busting and off-shoring. And we hardly missed receiving decent wages with all the easy credit being shoved our way. When the new normal became lower wages here (unions are Satan’s work!) and manufacturing in other countries, then profit for profit’s sake became both the morality and the patriotic spirit of the USA. Workers were disposable and CEOs were free to pocket all the profit. And here we are today. Complain, and it’s called being jealous of other people’s success – class warfare!
This is how the middle class died. Mitt Romney and Bain Capital are just two familiar faces of that death. Fundamentalist Christians are the third.
KEEP VOTING REPUBLICAN – we’re going great!
- Average Income of Top 1% Rose 275% since 1979
- 50% of All Workers Made Less than $26,000 in 2010
- How did the rising tide capsize 99 percent of the boats in America?
via: Think Progress
Thirty years ago, the U.S. underwent a shift — from an economy that grew in a way that lifted all segments of society, to an economy that gives heavy preference to the wealthy. That’s the broad story of the last three decades, but as Krueger pointed out, policy has a role to play. The trend abated temporarily in the 1990s, when the country returned to an era of fairly uniform income growth distribution. That all changed for most people, and their lost income has instead trickled up the ladder. Read more…