Right to work laws give you the “right to work” for less money

Why are Michigan Democrats opposed to right to work laws being contemplated by Gov. Rick Synder? “Workers are currently not required to join a union — …they simply wanted to preserve the right of unions to collect fees from non-members to pay for wage and benefit negotiations that actually benefit them.”

Michigan prepares for mass protests today against right-to-work legislation: Union leaders in Michigan have been training members in “peaceful civil disobedience” methods in preparation for a protest on Tuesday against controversial right-to-work legislation. Supporters of the law, which among other measures would prohibit unions from collecting fees from non-union workers, are also expected to demonstrate at the state capitol in Lansing. The Republican-dominated Michigan Senate voted the right-to-work bill on Thursday by 22 votes to 16. Governor Rick Synder has said he will sign the bill into law and could do so on Tuesday.

Laura Clawson reports on Obama’s appearance in Detroit yesterday:

Speaking in Detroit Monday afternoon, President Barack Obama strongly criticized the push by Michigan Republicans to pass an anti-union law during the lame duck session. In a speech largely focused on his proposal to tax income over $250,000 and making the case that “our economic success has never come from the top down, it comes from the middle out and the bottom up,” Obama characterized the bill being rushed through the Michigan legislature as political and part of a race to the bottom:

And by the way, what we shouldn’t do. I’ve just got to say this, what we shouldn’t be doing is trying to take away your rights to bargain for better wages and working conditions. These so-called right to work laws, they don’t have to do with economics, they have everything to do with politics. What they’re really talking about is giving you the right to work for less money.

You only have to look to Michigan, where workers were instrumental in reviving the auto industry, to see how unions have helped build not just a stronger middle class but a stronger America. [...]

We don’t want a race to the bottom. We want a race to the top. America’s not going to compete based on low skill, low wage, no workers rights. That’s not our competitive advantage. There’s always going to be some other country that can treat its workers worse.

That appears to be just what Michigan Republicans do want, however. After hearing from his state’s congressional Democrats, Gov. Rick Snyder once again insisted that the bill “is all about creating more and better jobs in Michigan.” In fact, we know that freeloader laws lower wages by about $1,500 a year for the average worker—the “right to work for less money” that President Obama referred to. 

The Waltons have created lots of jobs — but are they jobs YOU’d want to try to support your family with? How many of us want an American economy based almost exclusively on minimum-wage, no benefits “Mcjobs” — or a future for our children where, if you’re not born into wealth, those kinds of jobs are the only aspiration?

How Wall Street’s plutocrats consumed American industry and its blue-collar heart

Steve Fraser discusses the “archaeology of decline,” or “another Great Migration — instead of people, though, trillions of dollars were being sucked out of industrial America and turned into “financial instruments” and new, exotic forms of wealth.  If blue-collar Americans were the particular victims here, then high finance is what consumed them.  Now, it promises to consume the rest of us.”

Camden, New Jersey, for example, had long been a robust, diversified small industrial city.  By the early 1970s, however, its reform mayor Angelo Errichetti was describing it this way: “It looked like the Vietcong had bombed us to get even.  The pride of Camden… was now a rat-infested skeleton of yesterday, a visible obscenity of urban decay.  The years of neglect, slumlord exploitation, tenant abuse, government bungling, indecisive and short-sighted policy had transformed the city’s housing, business, and industrial stock into a ravaged, rat-infested cancer on a sick, old industrial city.”

That was 40 years ago and yet, today, news stories are still being written about Camden’s never-ending decline into some bottomless abyss.  Consider that a measure of how long it takes to shut down a way of life.

Once upon a time, Youngstown, Ohio, was a typical smokestack city, part of the steel belt running through Pennsylvania and Ohio.  As with Camden, things there started turning south in the 1970s.  From 1977 to 1987, the city lost 50,000 jobs in steel and related industries.  By the late 1980s, the years of Ronald Reagan’s presidency when it was “morning again in America,” it was midnight in Youngstown: foreclosures, an epidemic of business bankruptcies, and everywhere collapsing community institutions including churches, unions, families, and the municipal government itself.

Burglaries, robberies, and assaults doubled after the steel plants closed.  In two years, child abuse rose by 21%, suicides by 70%. One-eighth of Mahoning County went on welfare.  Streets were filled with dead storefronts and the detritus of abandoned homes: scrap metal and wood shingles, shattered glass, stripped-away home siding, canning jars, and rusted swing sets.  Each week, 1,500 people visited the Salvation Army’s soup line.

The Wall Street Journal called Youngstown “a necropolis,” noting miles of “silent, empty steel mills” and a pervasive sense of fear and loss.  Bruce Springsteen would soon memorialize that loss in “The Ghost of Tom Joad.”

And no one can forget Detroit. Once, it had been a world-class city, the country’s fourth largest, full of architectural gems.  In the 1950s, Detroit had a population with the highest median income and highest rate of home ownership in urban America.  Now, the “motor city” haunts the national imagination as a ghost town. Home to two million a quarter-century ago, its decrepit hulk is now “home” to 900,000.  Between 2000 and 2010 alone, the population hemorrhaged by 25%, nearly a quarter of a million people, almost as many as live in post-Katrina New Orleans.  There and in other core industrial centers like Baltimore, “death zones” have emerged where whole neighborhoods verge on medical collapse.

One-third of Detroit, an area the size of San Francisco, is now little more than empty houses, empty factories, and fields gone feral.  A whole industry of demolition, waste-disposal, and scrap-metal companies arose to tear down what once had been. With a jobless rate of 29%, some of its citizens are so poor they can’t pay for funerals, so bodies pile up at mortuaries.  Plans are even afoot to let the grasslands and forests take over, or to give the city to private enterprise.

Unprecedented for the United States, these numbers come close to the catastrophic decline Russian men experienced in the desperate years following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Similarly, between 1985 and 2010, American women fell from 14th to 41st place in the United Nation’s ranking of international life expectancy. (Among developed countries, American women now rank last.)  Whatever combination of factors produced this social statistic, it may be the rawest measure of a society in the throes of economic anorexia.

One other marker of this eerie story of a developed nation undergoing underdevelopment and a striking reproach to a cherished national faith: for the first time since the Great Depression, the social mobility of Americans is moving in reverse.  In every decade from the 1970s on, fewer people have been able to move up the income ladder than in the previous 10 years.  Now Americans in their thirties earn 12% less on average than their parents’ generation at the same age.  Danes, Norwegians, Finns, Canadians, Swedes, Germans, and the French now all enjoy higher rates of upward mobility than Americans.  Remarkably, 42% of American men raised in the bottom one-fifth income cohort remain there for life, as compared to 25% in Denmark and 30% in notoriously class-stratified Great Britain.

Meanwhile, for more than a quarter of a century the fastest growing part of the economy has been the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector.  Between 1980 and 2005, profits in the financial sector increased by 800%, more than three times the growth in non-financial sectors.  …In the early 1990s, for example, there were a couple of hundred hedge funds; by 2007, 10,000 of them.  A whole new species of mortgage broker roamed the land, supplanting old-style savings and loan or regional banks.  Fifty thousand mortgage brokerages employed 400,000 brokers, more than the whole U.S. textile industry.  A hedge fund manager put it bluntly, “The money that’s made from manufacturing stuff is a pittance in comparison to the amount of money made from shuffling money around.”

For too long, these two phenomena — the eviscerating of industry and the supersizing of high finance — have been treated as if they had nothing much to do with each other, but were simply occurring coincidentally.

Here, instead, is the fable we’ve been offered: Sad as it might be for some workers, towns, cities, and regions, the end of industry is the unfortunate, yet necessary, prelude to a happier future pioneered by “financial engineers.” Equipped with the mathematical and technological know-how that can turn money into more money (while bypassing the messiness of producing anything), they are our new wizards of prosperity!

Unfortunately, this uplifting tale rests on a categorical misapprehension.  The ascendancy of high finance didn’t just replace an industrial heartland in the process of being gutted; it initiated that gutting and then lived off it, particularly during its formative decades.  The FIRE sector, that is, not only supplanted industry, but grew at its expense — and at the expense of the high wages it used to pay and the capital that used to flow into it.

Think back to the days of junk bonds, leveraged buy-outs, megamergers and acquisitions, and asset stripping in the 1980s and 1990s.  (Think, in fact, of Bain Capital.)  What was getting bought and stripped and closed up supported windfall profits in high-interest-paying junk bonds.  The stupendous fees and commissions that went to those “engineering” such transactions were being picked from the carcass of a century and a half of American productive capacity. The hollowing out of the United States was well under way long before anyone dreamed up the “fiscal cliff.”

Continue reading: Steve Fraser, The National Museum of Industrial Homicide | TomDispatch

And the GOP is calling for MORE austerity cuts for the rest of us while supporting an extension of Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy. How on earth do middle / working class Republican base voters justify this in their minds?

Fix the Debt: plutocrats are turning up the volume on the class war

“Listening to these people talk about the national economy is like listening to a burglar tell you that you should really polish the silver more often.” Charles P. Pierce

The important thing to understand now is that while the election is over, the class war isn’t.

The same people who bet big on Mr. Romney, and lost, are now trying to win by stealth — in the name of fiscal responsibility — the ground they failed to gain in an open election. […]

Consider, as a prime example, the push to raise the retirement age, the age of eligibility for Medicare, or both. This is only reasonable, we’re told — after all, life expectancy has risen, so shouldn’t we all retire later? In reality, however, it would be a hugely regressive policy change, imposing severe burdens on lower- and middle-income Americans while barely affecting the wealthy. Why? First of all, the increase in life expectancy is concentrated among the affluent; why should janitors have to retire later because lawyers are living longer? Second, both Social Security and Medicare are much more important, relative to income, to less-affluent Americans, so delaying their availability would be a far more severe hit to ordinary families than to the top 1 percent.

Or take a subtler example, the insistence that any revenue increases should come from limiting deductions rather than from higher tax rates. The key thing to realize here is that the math just doesn’t work; there is, in fact, no way limits on deductions can raise as much revenue from the wealthy as you can get simply by letting the relevant parts of the Bush-era tax cuts expire. So any proposal to avoid a rate increase is, whatever its proponents may say, a proposal that we let the 1 percent off the hook and shift the burden, one way or another, to the middle class or the poor. […]

So keep your eyes open as the fiscal game of chicken continues. It’s an uncomfortable but real truth that we are not all in this together; America’s top-down class warriors lost big in the election, but now they’re trying to use the pretense of concern about the deficit to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Let’s not let them pull it off.”

— Paul Krugman: Class Wars of 2012

While finance executives urge Congress and the President to rein in spending, finance companies are raking in profits. [...] Meanwhile, workers are struggling. Average hourly pay, when adjusted for inflation, has fallen 0.7 percent over the past year, according to the Labor Department. And the unemployment rate in October was 7.9 percent — it was at a low of 4.4 percent in May 2007 before the recession. It’s a “zero-sum game,” Moody’s Analytics economist Aaron Smith told The Huffington Post in February. Companies are earning record profits largely because they are squeezing more productivity out of their workers without paying them more. — Corporate Profits Reach Record High, While Workers Struggle

Several CEOs — under the guise of a campaign known as “Fix the Debt” — have recently called for cuts to Social Security and other entitlements. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, for instance, said that “there will be things that, you know, the retirement age has to be changed, maybe some of the benefits have to be affected, maybe some of the inflation adjustments have to be revised.” “The solutions [to the fiscal cliff] are – it’s the retirement age; means testing Social Security and Medicare,” said Aetna CEO Mark Berolino. [...] Blankfein has nearly $12 million in retirement assets, while Bertolini has $1.5 million. Adding insult to injury, many of the CEOs calling for cuts to the social safety net are underfunding their workers’ retirement accounts — CEOs Looking To ‘Fix The Debt’ By Cutting Social Security Sit On Huge Retirement Accounts

The CEO Campaign to ‘Fix’ the Debt: A Trojan Horse for Massive Corporate Tax Breaks – IPS: The Fix the Debt campaign has raised $60 million and recruited more than 80 CEOs of America’s most powerful corporations to lobby for a debt deal that would reduce corporate taxes and shift costs onto the poor and elderly.

Key findings:

  • The 63 Fix the Debt companies that are publicly held stand to gain as much as $134 billion in windfalls if Congress approves one of their main proposals — a “territorial tax system.” Under this system, companies would not have to pay U.S. federal income taxes on foreign earnings when they bring the profits back to the United States.
  • The CEOs backing Fix the Debt personally received a combined total of $41 million in savings last year thanks to the Bush-era tax cuts. The top CEO beneficiary of the Bush tax cuts in 2011, Leon Black of Apollo Global Management, saved $9.9 million on the Bush tax cuts. The private equity fund leader reaped $215 million in taxable income last year just from vested stock.
  • Of the 63 Fix the Debt CEOs at publicly held firms, 24 received more in compensation last year than their corporations paid in federal corporate income taxes. All but six of these firms reported U.S. profits last year.

Sign this petition to tell Congress that it’s time to let the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% expire and that they must reject any Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefit cuts.

HAPPENING NOW: George W. Bush at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit

Bush and Romney (and the richest Americans) built that! Romney plans to give even more tax cuts to the super rich — maybe he’ll keynote the Summit one day.

Buzzfeed: Former President George W. Bush is set to deliver the keynote address at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit on Grand Cayman just a few days before the election. The conference will feature Bush as the keynote speaker on the first night, and British billionaire Sir Richard Branson on the second night. “Institutional investors, private investors, asset allocators, fund managers, service providers, academics and regulators will benefit from this discussion on the future of the industry,” reads to the FAQ section of the website.


Romney’s latest, shameless lie: Jeep shipping jobs to China

Isn’t it great that people are actually voting for a candidate who is always getting his facts straight?

No, Mitt Romney, Jeep is not shipping our jobs to ChinaIn his latest attempt to distort President Obama’s consistent record of successfully betting on the American worker, Mitt Romney shamelessly tried to scare voters into thinking that Jeep is moving production to China and taking American jobs with it. The claim is blatantly false: As Chrysler made clear, “Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China.

This is especially galling when you consider what’s happening right now with Romney’s Bain Capital shipping American jobs to China via Sensata Tech in Illinois.

Steve Benen: All of this, incidentally, is rather ironic given the successful efforts of the Obama administration when it comes to China and Jeeps, specifically.

Greg Sargent: “Romney may very well be the next president. That’s a position of some responsibility. Yet he and his campaign rushed to tell voters a story designed to stoke their fears for their livelihoods without bothering to vet it for basic accuracy. This is not a small thing. It reveals the depth of Romney’s blithe lack of concern for the truth — and the subservience of it to his own political ambitions.”

image: silas216


This is not your grandfather’s Republican Party

arcaneimages: 1956

“I don’t want to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut by raising taxes on the middle class.”

demnewswire: “I don’t want to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut by raising taxes on the middle class. I don’t want to pay for that by cutting financial aid for tens of millions of students. Our economic strength does not come from the top down. It comes from students and workers and small business owners and a growing, thriving middle class.”

— President Barack Obama

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Who wasn’t happy to see Mitt Romney in Poland?

Polish Labor Isn’t Happy To See Romney: “So what do the heirs to the Polish labor activism of the 1980s say? What do the hundreds of thousands of activists who maintain the Solidarnosc (Solidarity) union as a major force in today’s Poland say?

Solidarnosc is in no way involved in the organization of this meeting nor had the initiative to invite Mitt Romney to Poland,” the 700,000-member union announced Monday.

““Regretfully,” added Solidarnosc international department head Andrzej Adamczyk, “we have learned from our friends in the American trade union central AFL-CIO representing over 12 million workers about Mitt Romney’s support for the attacks against trade unions and labor rights. In this respect, I wish to express…our solidarity with American workers and trade unions. [Solidarity] will always support the AFL-CIO in their struggle for the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively.”

“”Solidarity has been outspoken in its support of recent labor struggles in the United States, signaling clear opposition to the anti-collective bargaining position adopted by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other Romney allies.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said of Romney’s trip to Poland: “The story of the Polish resistance is one of a country gaining strength from bottom-up organizing on behalf of the whole country. I wish Romney would pause and learn the lessons of the Polish labor movement’s courageous resistance to communism rather than just treat Poland as yet another photo op. Romney needs to step back and reject the George W. Bush/Bain Capital model of top down economics and recognize that we are all stronger when we stand together.” 

Just another photo-op? Of course: “On his way out of town, Romney, his wife, Ann, and son Josh visited two prominent memorials in Gdansk. They laid a wreath at Westerplatte, where the first shots of World War II were fired. Before heading to the airport, they stopped at the Solidarity Monument, one of the most revered spots in Poland, which marks where the Solidarity movement began.”

Mitt Romney is against everything the Solidarity Monument represents. Plus, his aide told reporters to “kiss my ass” at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Awesome diplomacy skillz.

Good American jobs: Immigration vs. corporate offshoring / outsourcing

via: reagan-was-a-horrible-president

And then there’s Bain Capital under Romney’s leadership…

Time to end the GOP myth about job creation: the American worker is the job creator

This post is so good, I’m reblogging most of it (h/t: liberalsarecool):

Evasporque: “The American economy is not driven by suits in walnut clad offices alone. The worker has just [as] big of [a] stake in “job creation” as the CEO who collects 500% more in pay. Without the worker on the floor, at the machines, in the line, at the computer, the American economy would come to a halt. Every worker, every employee in this nation contributes to our prosperity, and we have sat back and let the Republicans twist reality yet again and convince the public that jobs come from the wealthy… The media and even the rank and file working class conservatives signed on to the meme that only the wealthy who receive generous tax cuts have the ability to create jobs. That is a lie…The American worker should be ashamed that they allowed the Republicans to remove them from the economic continuum. I think it is time to put an end to the “job creator” myth once and for all. Take back our place in the economy. Without the worker there is no economy and no job creation.”

I’d add only one thing: not only does the American worker contribute to the productivity and prosperity of our nation’s goods and services, but without millions of American workers spending  their paychecks on goods and services, there would be no economy.

No living wage, no disposable income, no consumption, no demand… no business. Without customers, there is no business.

In 30 years CEO pay grew 127 times faster than worker pay: do Americans want more inequality?

ThinkProgress: According to an analysis by the pay research group Equilar, compensation for top bank CEOs grew by nearly 12 percent last year. The Financial Times noted that    these increases occurred “despite widespread falls in profits and share prices“ [...] According to a different estimate by Bloomberg News, Wall Street CEO pay grew by 20 percent last year. At the same time, worker wages grew by only 2.1 percent. And inflation adjusted wages actually declined by 0.6 percent between March 2011 and March 2012. [...] Over the last 30 years, CEO pay has increased 127 times faster than worker pay. 

That time frame for unequal growth in CEO / worker pay coincides with the time period that Mitt Romney and Bain Capital (and companies like theirs) began their siege on outsourcing (offshoring!) American jobs. That’s quite a coincidence, isn’t it?

What’s sad about these facts is that low-information voters are completely missing the point: according to a Pew poll, Americans currently give Romney an 8-point lead over Obama on who they trust to handle the economy better. Seriously.

Profit for a few at the expense of many — do these people understand they’re saying that’s exactly the kind of economy they approve of with Mitt Romney?

The average American worker isn’t underpaid because of union wages…

The average American worker is underpaid because your company won’t share its profits with you — even if you helped increase the productivity / profits.

via: wisconsinforward

Our current system is creating a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs

Henry Blodget at Business Insider reports that corporate profits are at an all time high, while wages are now at an all time low:

1) Corporate profit margins just hit an all-time high. Companies are making more per dollar of sales than they ever have before. (And some people are still saying that companies are suffering from “too much regulation” and “too many taxes.” Maybe little companies are, but big ones certainly aren’t)

2) Fewer Americans are working than at any time in the past three decades. One reason corporations are so profitable is that they don’t employ as many Americans as they used to.

3) Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low. This is both cause and effect. One reason companies are so profitable is that they’re paying employees less than they ever have as a share of GDP. And that, in turn, is one reason the economy is so weak: Those “wages” are other companies’ revenue.

Blodget bottomlines it for us in a series of related charts: “Companies need to start sharing more of their revenue with their employees. Wages as a percent of the economy simply have to go up. Yes, this means corporate profit margins will drop. But they can drop a long, long way and still be “above average.” And this is our country we’re talking about. If corporations really are people, it’s time for them to start acting like people–and sharing their wealth.” 

Not to mention all the unions that have been busted up by Republicans for the past 30-40 years. What Blodget says makes sense, of course, yet Tea Street, USA has been conditioned to think sharing downward isn’t fair, it’s Socialism (or one of those -isms), and Rush Limbaugh and Jesus wouldn’t approve. Psychologically it has something to do with supposedly “punishing” the successful (the wealthy will say) plus gay marriage and race wars… it’s all way too murky and complex to get into here.

It is safe to say that the only “sharing” that the GOP and the one percent are interested in is bottom-up sharing: legislating more tax cuts to profitable corporations and the wealthiest citizens and paying for those tax cuts (and decreased government revenue) with austerity — by cutting programs and services that the rest of us use. Just look at the Ryan plan or the Romney budget.

You really don’t think that the Koch Brothers, Foster Friess, Sheldon Adelson and all the other rich guys who were in Park City, Utah with Mitt last weekend are donating hundreds of millions of dollars to Romney Super PACs, just so they can turn around and ‘share’ profits with their workers, do you? Their political donations are a business investment which they hope to recoup, with interest. They want even more, not less.

questionall: Tom Toles on Mitt Romney

America before Bain Capital: Ampad in Marion, Indiana

A powerful ad featuring Mike Earnest, a former employee of Ampad in Marion, Indiana, where he describes a cruel trick that was played on the employees shortly before all three shifts at the Marion plant were laid off en masse one day.

Transcript via DailyKos:

On Screen: Marion, Indiana

Mike Earnest: Out of the blue one day, we were told to build a 30 foot stage. Gathered the guys, and we built that 30 foot stage, not knowing what it was for.

On Screen: Mitt Romney and Bain Capital purchased the paper plant.

Mike Earnest: Just days later, all three shifts were told to assemble in the warehouse.

On Screen: The company was profitable, with three shifts working.

Mike Earnest: A group of people walked out on that stage and told us the plant is now closed and all of you are fired. I looked both ways. I looked at the crowd and ah, we all just lost our jobs. We don’t have an income.

On Screen: “there’s little question he made a forture from businesses he helped destroy.” — New York Post 2/19/11

Mike Earnest: Mitt Romney made over a 100 million dollars by shutting down our plant and devestated our lives. Turns out that when we built that stage it was like building my own coffin, and it just made me sick.

On Screen: If Mitt Romney wins, the middle class loses.

It takes a special kind of cruelty to get people to build you a stage so you can use it to tell them that their life, as they’ve known it, is over. It’s like saying “Fuck you!” with a extra big flourish, like kicking them in the head, don’t you think?

It’s almost like a not very funny prank. Oh, right…

In May, the Obama campaign put out a 5-minute web video on Ampad. Shortly after, ABC News commented on what information Bain Capital left out of its many, subsequent Ampad defenses:

[I]n 1999, Bain was actually the largest single shareholder of Ampad. In addition, as of 1999, three Bain executives were sat on Ampad’s board of directors. [...] one of the big box retailers putting pressure on Ampad was a company Romney often holds up as a Bain success story — the office supply giant, Staples.

In a 2008 Boston Globe article headlined, “As Bain slashed jobs, Romney stayed to side,” reporter Robert Gavn writes that Ampad “became squeezed between onerous debt that had financed acquisitions and falling prices for its office-supply products. Its biggest customers — including Staples — used their buying power and access to Asian suppliers to demand lower prices from Ampad.” The article also notes that Romney sat on the Staples board of directors during the period of Ampad’s slide into bankruptcy, which occurred in 2000.

Take a profitable American company, take out numerous loans against it and pocket the money; now make it compete against low-wage Asian companies (that you may have an interest in) to supply other businesses you own — and fire the employees when it can’t compete; finally close down the company in bankruptcy (can’t compete, heavily in debt) and walk away with an overall profit for yourself.

Romney knows “why jobs come and why they go,” and now, according to Mitt Romney’s and Bain Capital’s formula for success, so do we.

When Romney’s Bain Capital created jobs outside the U.S. that could have been done here

Caroline Bankoff at Daily Intel discusses the recent Washington Post article about how Romney’s Bain Capital invested in companies that moved American jobs overseas: [The Romney] campaign has responded with a statement criticizing the article as “fundamentally flawed”:

[The] story that does not differentiate between domestic outsourcing versus offshoring nor versus work done overseas to support U.S. exports.  Mitt Romney spent 25 years in the real world economy so he understands why jobs come and they go.

However, as Politico notes, the statement does not address one of the article’s main points, which is that Bain was directly involved with companies that created jobs outside the United States that could have been done here. Meanwhile, the New York Times has a piece (also based on Securities and Exchange Commission filings) detailing a number of instances in which Bain made a profit off of taking over companies that eventually went bankrupt. While some of the companies profiled may have simply been “too troubled to rescue” (or brought down by larger economic or industry trends), there are examples like steel manufacturer GS Industries… Continue reading »

Steel – YouTube — Kansas City’s GST Steel had been making steel rods for 105 years when Romney and his partners took control in 1993. They cut corners and extracted profit from the business at every turn, placing it deeply in debt. When the company eventually declared bankruptcy, workers not only lost their jobs but were denied their full pensions and health insurance, and the government was forced to step in and provide a bailout.

Romney economics (why jobs come and why they go): creating wealth for a few at the expense of many.