Vulture Capitalism

Everyone can agree that Romney’s support base must be diminished if any candidate hopes to remain viable in the coming weeks.  Unfortunately, three of the GOP hopefuls have gravely underestimated the changing political climate in their bid to diminish the current frontrunner. 

First up is Governor Rick Perry, whose “vulture capitalism” phrase seems ripped from the DNC’s playbook:  

“I know the difference between venture capital[ism] and vulture capitalism.  Venture capitalism is a good thing, comes in, gives that gap funding to help these companies get off and get started creating jobs, and work. But Mitt Romney and Bain Capital were involved with what I call vulture capitalism. And they walked into Gaffney and took over that photo album company for no other reason than to basically pick the bones clean. And those people lost their jobs.” [1]

…And I thought our incumbent president was the socialist? 

Gingrich’s anti-Romney rhetoric is little better, doing a marvelous job of shredding what conservative bona fides he held.[2]  Not content with these simple sound bites, Newt has allocated more than $3.4 million in South Carolina advertising, with an intent to attack Romney’s “predatory capitalism.” [3]  The kicker? This money was donated by Sheldon Adelson, a capitalist with his own share of controversies.[4]

John Huntsman, eager to gain some relevance, made a point to differentiate his version of capitalism from Romney’s: 

“Gov. Romney enjoys firing people; I enjoy creating jobs.” [5]

To his credit, Santorum did not rise to the bait, though he did suggest Romney mis-spoke (left-handily?).  While the ex-senator failed to surpass Huntsman and Gingrich in New Hampshire (though ending the night virtually tied with Newt), we may see his goal come true in South Carolina; I don’t foresee Huntsman, Gingrich, and Perry recovering from this incredible strategic error.  

Simply put: when your voting base is united by a common disgust with the current administration’s populist, socialist-tinged rhetoric, using attacks that amount to the very same dialogue is a crass mistake.   

Unfortunately, even Romney underestimates the comprehension of the voting public:

“In the work that I had, we started a number of businesses, invested in many others and that overall created tens of thousands of jobs.  So, I’m pretty proud of that record. And, by the way, in the general election, I’ll be pointing out that the president took the reins of General Motors and Chrysler, closed factories, closed dealerships, laid off thousands and thousands of workers. He (Obama) did it to try to save the business. We also had, on occasion, to do things that are tough to try and save a business. I can tell you one thing, though, I’m going to go to Washington and cut it down to size. Washington is simply too big.” [6]

Comparing the activities of a private firm with the government’s anti-market intervention in the automotive industry explodes any principled high ground Romney held.  This is like comparing apples and oranges: Bain doesn’t own a printing press, an army, or monopolized legal system.  Bain is certainly not funded through extortion on the part of it’s claimed citizenry.  

While Gingrich, Huntsman, and Perry are despicable for resorting to blatant Marxian demagoguery, Romney reveals a deeply-flawed understanding of the market he claims to champion.

Capitalism is what it is: resources voluntarily offered by investors (capitalists) in hopes of making profit.  Romney’s duty was to take the wealth of Bain’s investors and make more of it; if that had to be accomplished through firing idle and misallocated labor, then so be it.  Contrary to what some venture capitalists may think,[7]  labor is simply a factor of production, a neccessary component in the creation of a good or service.  Capitalists and entrepreneurs in their actions are no more “good” or “evil” than the consumers who demand and purchase the end product.[8]  

A growing number of Americans are beginning to accept this fact.  The past century has been attempt after attempt by government and their intellectual advocates to deny reality; what we have to show for it is a debt magnitudes beyond any civilization in recorded history.  That these candidates continue to promote this economic shell game shows a deep disdain for the citizenry.

As I mentioned in a previous article, [9] the ideological inconsistencies within the GOP’s platforms and stances have been one of the greatest contributors to the growth of the Paul campaign and the libertarian movement in general.  This mudslinging and blatant distortion of capitalism among the republican contenders will only help Ron Paul’s consistent message shine all the brighter.


[1]: Politico: Rick Perry Dismisses Mitt Romney and New Hampshire primary”
[2]: Rush Limbaugh: “Gingrich Goes Perot on Romney”
[3]: The New York Times: “Pac Ads to Attack Romney as Predatory Capitalist”
[4]: Wikipedia article on Sheldon Adelson: Controversies
[5]: “Huntsman Criticizes Romney for ‘Firing’ Comment”
[6]: Real Clear Politics: “Romney Compares Bain Work to Auto Industry Bailout”
[7]: Bloomberg: “Raise Taxes on Rich to Reward True Job Creators (Nick Hanauer)”
[8]: Ludwig von Mises, “Human Action”  Pg. 271
[9]: Nolan Chart: “Neoconservative Rising” 

Latest posts by Van Bryant, II (see all)

Leave a Reply