Category: Business (Page 2 of 3)
Massachusetts political roots aside, you might think that the comparison of Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former governor and failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is absurd.
Warren, the progressive populist who in both rhetoric and regulation has sought to shackle “predatory” financial institutions as a means of supposedly protecting “the little guy,” and Romney, the patrician and wealthy denizen of the financial establishment of 47 percent infamy, would appear to be polar opposites.
But alas, as so often is the case in politics, Warren’s public face is contradicted by her private actions – actions that we will soon see are similar in nature to those that made Romney a millionaire.
Warren, like Romney, profited by buying assets at low prices and through either improving said assets or waiting for the market to strengthen, selling them at higher prices.
As Jillian Kay Melchior and Eliana Johnson lay out in a recent National Review exposé, Warren “bought and sold at least five [residential] properties for profit,” generating at least $240,500 before accounting for remodeling costs.
Several of the homes Warren purchased and then flipped had been foreclosed upon.
The focus of the piece is the rank hypocrisy that Warren would execute such profit-seeking transactions, given that she has called the idea of buying and selling properties quickly for profit a “myth” that contributed to our economic woes, and decried the banks that foreclosed on the homes of working class Americans.
Rightfully, the column closes with the following flourish:
In her 2014 autobiography, Warren wrote of the events that precipitated the financial crisis that “everyone seemed to have a story about someone they knew who was getting rich by flipping houses.”
She omitted a crucial one.
But it ought to be pointed out that not only were Warren’s actions counter to her stated principles – they mimicked those of the private equity companies and other financial institutions that she has spent her entire public life railing against.
Read my profile of Jeff Bell here.
The Left has done an excellent job over the years of portraying Republicans as the “party of business.”
There is an unfavorable implication to this title in a society in which many – unknowingly viewing life through a Marxian prism – aided by propaganda in academia and the arts, have a negative view of private enterprise as consisting of miserly Scrooges and evil Montgomery Burns’s accumulating vast wealth on the backs of the poor.
To be for business in their zero-sum worldview is to be for those who have achieved wealth and status, the devils to the poor, meek and downtrodden angels, angels stuck in their position thanks to evil businessmen and an inherently unfair society.
As with most all disinformation campaigns, this portrayal was based on a kernel, and perhaps even more than a kernel of truth. Republicans historically promoted economic policies such as tariffs that “protected” certain favored businesses, at the expense of consumers who thereby were forced to pay higher prices for goods.
From a cultural perspective, Leftist radicals were against “the man,” from Madison Avenue mad men to the dutiful suburban Ward Cleaver types who upheld the traditional order, and who were decidedly not Leftist radicals.
In more recent times, such lines have blurred to a degree, as politicians have conferred benefits upon shifting industries and constituencies, and in turn received funding and votes from varying blocs as the political winds have shifted (see the financial services industry in 2008 and 2012). Remember, despite there being “fat cat” Republicans like Mitt Romney, the chief venture capitalist in all the land, and overseer of many many Solyndras, is Barack Obama.
“I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” – Walter Sobchak in “The Big Lebowski“
When news broke that the Congressional Budget Office Report indicated that the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs would be lost by 2024 under Obamacare, to a chorus of laughable cheerleading that the “job-locked” would be “liberated” and America could now restore its national “work-life balance,” one man came to mind: Jeffrey Lebowski, properly known as the Dude, or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.
For I would submit that the explicit purpose of the progressive agenda is to create a nation of Lebowskis (Dudes) and Julias (Dudettes), or at least a two-class system in which big business and big labor are protected by government in the way that the Mafia protects your friendly local butcher, while Lebowskis and Julias are showered with benefits in exchange for votes.
If I sound cynical it’s because I’ve been watching a lot of “House of Cards” lately (culture matters).