Sunday, August 12, 2012

The casual sadism of the Leisure Classes

Because tools and skills are the two most important assets a Producer has, the process of removing a functioning factory—that has usually taken many years to get running smoothly—is a direct assault on the wealth created by the hard work and ingenuity of the folks who built it.  But the Predators have discovered that most of things that Producers do are actually a lot harder to get right than they would appear.  So in an especially ugly twist of the knife, the strategy is now to get the Producers being robbed to give up their hard-won skills and knowhow too.  Not since the Romans forced crucifixion victims to carry their own crosses has there been anything so relentlessly sadistic.

'I'm sick to my stomach': anger grows in Illinois at Bain's latest outsourcing plan

The Sensata plant in Freeport is profitable and competitive, but its majority owner, Bain Capital, has decided to ship jobs to China – and forced workers to train their overseas replacements

Paul Harris in Freeport, Friday 10 August 2012

The shock of losing a precious job in a town afflicted by high unemployment is always hard. A foundation for a stable family life and secure home instantly disappears, replaced with a future filled with fears over health insurance, missed mortgage payments and the potential for a slip below the breadline.

But for Bonnie Borman – and 170 other men and women in Freeport, Illinois – there is a brutal twist to the torture. Borman, 52, and the other workers of a soon-to-be-shuttered car parts plant are personally training the Chinese workers who will replace them.

It's a surreal experience, they say. For months they have watched their plant being dismantled and shipped to China, piece by piece, as they show teams of Chinese workers how to do the jobs they have dedicated their lives to.

"It's not easy to get up in the morning, training them to do your job so that you can be made unemployed," said Borman, pictured, a mother of three who has worked for 23 years at the Sensata auto sensors plant.Borman knows her eventual fate in the stricken economy that surrounds Freeport. "I am going to be competing for minimum wage jobs with my own daughter," she said.

Such scenes have been common in America as manufacturing has fled abroad in search of cheaper wages.

But, in the midst of the 2012 presidential election, Freeport is different. For Sensata is majority-owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm once led by Mitt Romney, that has become a hugely controversial symbol of how the modern globalised American economy works. Indeed, Romney still owns millions of dollars of shares in the Bain funds that own Sensata. more
Of course, considering the sort of evil behind the formation of Bain, maybe forcing people to train the folks who get their jobs is not so surprising.

Romney’s Death Squad Ties: Bain Launched With Millions From Oligarchs Behind Salvadoran Atrocities

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is facing new scrutiny over revelations he founded the private equity firm Bain Capital with investments from Central American elites linked to death squads in El Salvador. After initially struggling to find investors, Romney traveled to Miami in 1983 to win pledges of $9 million, 40 percent of Bain’s start-up money. Some investors had extensive ties to the death squads responsible for the vast majority of the tens of thousands of deaths in El Salvador during the 1980s. We’re joined by Huffington Post reporter Ryan Grim, who connects the dots in his latest story, "Mitt Romney Started Bain Capital With Money From Families Tied To Death Squads." "There’s no possible way that anybody in 1984 could check out these families — which was the term that [Romney’s campaign] used — and come away convinced that this money was clean," Grim says. [Includes rush transcript] more
Of course, if one aspires to rise in the ranks of the Leisure Classes, it is probably not a good idea to get excessively squeamish about the ethical illiteracy at Bain.

Bain Capital investors included current White House budget chief


Granted, it’s been a long time since Mitt Romney ran Bain Capital, the private equity firm that has taken a central role in the presidential election campaign. But considering the intensity of President Obama’s attacks on the presumptive Republican nominee’s record at Bain, it’s perhaps worth mentioning that a senior Obama administration appointee had money invested with the firm—at least until a few months ago.

Last year, acting Office of Management and Budget Director Jeff Zients held roughly between $116,000 and $315,000 in what his annual financial disclosure report describes as “Bain Capital Fund VII.” OMB released the report, which requires federal officials to list their assets only in dollar ranges, this week in response to FedLine’s public records request.

By last year, Zients’ remaining primary holdings in the fund were Bombardier Recreational Products, a Canadian snowmobile manufacturer, and Unisource Worldwide, an Atlanta-based paper and packaging distributor. If you’re in the mood for a little more irony, Unisource’s ownership–according to its web site—is split between Bain and Georgia-Pacific, the paper manufacturer controlled by Charles and David Koch, brothers who are prominent backers of Romney and a host of Republican causes.

Zients, who was not available for an interview, acquired his Bain stake more than a decade ago as part of a “broadly diversified portfolio,” OMB spokeswoman Moira Mack said in an email. He sold that stake, along with other assets, early this year, she said. While Bain by that point was already looming as an issue in the November presidential nomination, the sale was “part of a normal portfolio review,” she said. The holdings, Mack added, were also unrelated to Zients’ work from 1988 to 1990 at Bain & Co., a consulting firm distinct from Bain Capital. more
By the way, the folks who wind up with the runaway jobs in places like India soon discover that they have entered a whole new kind of hell-hole.  The new workers are pretty damn angry.
August 06, 2012

Suzuki plant in India erupts over wages, job insecurity

MANESAR, India (Reuters) - Hiding in his office near the Indian capital as workers armed with iron bars and car parts rampaged through the factory, Maruti Suzuki supervisor Raj Kumar spent two terrified hours trying to comprehend the warzone his workplace had become.

By the end of the day, one of his colleagues had been burnt to death and dozens wounded, many with broken bones, as a long-running struggle between the shop floor and management exploded at a factory racked by mistrust.

While police investigate and the carmaker counts its mounting losses, the July 18 clash has rattled corporate India and shone a light on outdated and rigid labor laws in a country where cheap labor drives manufacturing and draws foreign investment. High inflation, a shortage of skilled labor and rising aspirations have emboldened workers' demands.

"There was always a strong sense of unease," Kumar, 43, told Reuters as he stood outside the locked factory gates more than a week after the riot in the industrial town of Manesar.

"We are living in fear... The kind of violence these guys showed was unbelievable."

Other foreign carmakers, such as Hyundai and Honda, have seen labor unrest at their Indian plants in recent years, and industry groups have renewed calls for the government to overhaul laws they say tie their hands.

"This is definitely sending a wrong message. Investors will be reluctant," P. Balendran, vice-president at General Motors' Indian unit, said of the Manesar violence. "The need of the hour is flexible labor reforms. In 2012 you cannot afford to have a rule which is applicable ... from 1956."

India's labor laws, some dating to the 1920s, make it difficult for large companies to fire permanent workers, forcing companies to hire large numbers of contractors - a bone of contention with many unions. more

Even in USA, there are beginning to be signs of just how angry folks have become with the Predators.  These may be only symbolic acts but it's a start.

Hanging dummies shock Las Vegas motorists

AUGUST 9, 2012

A dummy hanging from a rope on a billboard sign along I-15 in Las Vegas causes worry to morning commuters

Photo from Occupy Las Vegas website

Police are still looking for the culprit or culprits in at least two incidents of mannequins hanging from highway billboards, looking like real people, and prompting calls from worried motorists.

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremie Elliott told the Associated Press, 911 calls started coming in early Wednesday, with drivers worried the stiff, black-suited dummies swaying at the end of a rope along Interstate 15 were real people.

Elliot said the two billboards were located at the intersection of I-15 and I-95 – what he referred to as the Spaghetti Bowl — the largest and busiest intersection in Las Vegas. The signs were about five miles apart.

In one case, a mannequin was dangling on a hangman’s noose below a black sign with the words: “Dying for Work.”

Another found on Highland Avenue and Desert Inn Road was white with black lettering that read, “Hope You’re Happy Wall St.,” and a similar mannequin hanging off the edge.

“It’s a publicity stunt, obviously done in bad taste,” Elliott told the AP, adding that officials were getting it down quickly to avoid distracting drivers during the morning commute.

While nobody has publicly claimed responsibility for the signs, the Occupy Las Vegas group, which is affiliated with the larger Occupy Wall Street movement, posted photos of the displays on its website.

It says the Nevada governor’s budget has slashed social programs and aid to suicidal adults.

Sebring Frehner, an Occupy supporter who posted the photos, told the AP he didn’t know who put the dummies up, but applauded the message behind it.

“People saying it’s in bad taste are living sheltered lives and don’t pay attention to what affects the working class,” he said.

The display, called street art and credited to Anonymous on the Occupy Las Vegas website, came with this statement:
“Clark County has the second highest rate of adult suicide in the country right now. It has the fifth highest rate of child suicide. And, thanks to the governor’s draconian education budget, the Social Work programs that used to supply volunteers and interns to help such people have been de-funded.

“The Clark County suicide hotline number is “not in service at this time.” Nevada has the highest sustained unemployment of any state in the U.S. with almost no real hope in sight and politicians more concerned with corporate campaign donations than they are helping the middle class & poor.” more
Mitt Gekko (aka Romney Hood) is discovering that even though he doesn't understand the difference between Producer and Predator Capitalism, lots of folks do.  Enough so he cannot get elected as a practicing Predator.  So now he is asking that in the name of good Leisure Class manners, discussing his destructive ways of enriching himself be placed off limits in the upcoming campaign.

Romney To Obama: Please Stop Attacking My Business Record, Taxes
Mitt Romney

BENJY SARLIN AUGUST 10, 2012, 3:58 PM 53275

Mitt Romney, battered by Democratic attacks over his Bain Capital record and taxes, is calling on President Obama to agree to a truce over his business career.

“Our campaign would be — helped immensely if we had an agreement between both campaigns that we were only going to talk about issues and that attacks based upon — business or family or taxes or things of that nature,” Romney said, according to excerpts of an upcoming interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd released Friday.

Romney said he would prefer the campaigns “only talk about issues,” and claimed that “our ads haven’t gone after the president personally. … We haven’t dredged up the old stuff that people talked about last time around. We haven’t gone after the personal things.”

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul offered up a broader take on whether Romney was really suggesting that his career at Bain Capital — the crux of his argument that he is better equipped to handle the economy — should be considered off-limits.

“The governor was expressing his view that he hopes we can have a campaign focused on the issues rather than one of desperation and lies as we’ve seen from the Obama campaign,” Saul said in an e-mail.

While Romney has bristled at attacks on his time at Bain, especially a recent Democratic super PAC ad implying he bears responsibility for a woman’s death, he’s also made his business record a critical component of his campaign, arguably the critical component. From his campaign’s earliest days, Romney argued repeatedly that voters should elect him because of his private-sector experience, crediting his investments in Bain with creating 100,00 jobs (a claim that fact-checkers have heavily disputed). more

No comments:

Post a Comment