A letter I published in our local newspaper:
No one cares that Mitt Romney is rich. Got that? No one cares! What people do care about is (1) how he got rich, (2) what that reveals about his values and character, and (3) what it suggests about his vision for America.How did FDR get rich? He inherited his money. How did Bernie Madoff get rich? He was a con-artist, running a Ponzi scheme. In other words, that one is wealthy says much about luck and/or cleverness, but absolutely nothing about character, ethics, or morality. What does say something about character is the way one got rich.Romney got rich by persuading a group of investors to buy a company that was struggling and thus available at a bargain price. Having done so, they would reduce wages, cancel pension plans and medical insurance, and fire people. Often they would break up a company and sell off its least profitable assets. In a number of cases they would close a plant altogether and have their products made in China.Result? The company they bought would become more profitable and consequently worth more. Using the additional collateral, Romney’s firm would borrow money, pay themselves a huge dividend, hand over the rest to the investors. Everyone who had been rich to start with, would get much much richer. Everyone else would be smashed: workers, former workers on pension, workers’ families, small businesspersons who counted on the workers as customers…During the process, this so-called private equity firm enriched itself by forcing the public — i.e., taxpayers — to provide a safety net to catch the workers the firm had pushed off a cliff: unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, etc. It’s a part of what businesses call “externalizing.” In a very real sense, anyone who paid taxes during those years helped Mitt Romney get rich.So what does this say about Romney? That he’s smart and unscrupulous. That he values money over humanity. That he is incapable of experiencing empathy or identifying with others. That he doesn’t know what it means to feel compassion. And that, in saying he accomplished everything on his own, without help from his father or his government (see the preceding paragraph), he is very hypocritical.Is what Bain Capital did to the companies they bought out, and to the local communities and their citizens, what we want Mitt Romney and the “one-percenters” to do to America as a whole? Not I, thank you!