How close is Mitt Romney to locking up the Republican party’s nomination for president? Close enough that his remaining viable GOP rival is now accusing him of committing capitalism.
Newt Gingrich wants voters to know that, under Mr Romney’s leadership, Bain Capital, the private equity firm, bought up poorly performing companies, fired workers to revitalise them and sold the newly-streamlined firm for enormous profits. Mr Gingrich’s charge may be smart politics during a period of high unemployment, but it seems a bizarre one from a man who uses the word socialism almost as an expletive.
The problem with this is that it obscures a much more important debate: what is the proper role of corporate money in American politics?
Following a Supreme Court decision in January 2010, super-political action committees that support a particular candidate without formal ties to his/her campaign, can now spend unlimited sums without having to disclose where the money came from. This gives corporate America extraordinary power within the US political process. But Americans won’t hear their public officials debating the wisdom of this system because elected officials in both parties know that it provides incumbents with crucial electoral advantages.
It is corporate influence in US politics, not “predatory capitalism”, that is the primary force now widening the gap between America’s haves and have-nots. Continue reading »