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Monday, September 26, 2016

'When Mitt Romney Came To Town' By The Numbers

“When Mitt Romney Came To Town,” the brutal anti-Romney attack film funded by the pro-Newt Gingrich Super PAC Winning Our Future, has been released online. It can be a challenge to watch nearly half an hour of non-stop attacks on Romney’s record as a Bain Capital corporate raider, so The National Memo has spared you the time by compiling a list of recurring themes and significant figures from the ad:

Images and clips of Mitt Romney: 64
Images and clips of desolation (foreclosed buildings, abandoned streets, etc.:) 36
Images and clips of Wall Street: 16
Images and clips of Main Street: 6
American flags: 7
Mentions of the word “greed:” 10
Images and clips of ominous clouds: 5
People of color: 5
People of color with speaking roles: 1
Mentions of foreign countries: 6
Clips of Mitt Romney speaking French: 2
Clips of Mitt Romney saying “corporations are people:” 5
Cigars smoked by shady-looking Wall Street execs: 2
Images of Romney and private jets: 6
Jobs lost because of Bain Capital: 20,105
Mentions of Newt Gingrich: 0

  • pmk

    Gingrich is a quasi intellectual and a time bomb to boot. Watch as he self destructs sooner then later. He could also have the added distinction of taking down single handily the Republican party and handing Obama a second term.

    The whole system is corrupt and needs to be reworked with tough limits on financial contributions that keep unelectable candidates in the race because they can continue to receive funds.

  • Common Sense Patriot

    I spent a great deal of the past 40 years as a management consultant, fixing problems of companies losing money or going bankrupt. The fact is, when they are spending more money than they have coming in, they are going to go bust. In almsot every case, I found that staffing costs were one of the major reasons for the company’s problems. Instead of facing problems squarely and making the hard decisions, management will time and time again no fire poor performers and will not change processes that are inefficient and ineffective. In some cases, unions add to the problem by focusing solely on how much money they can get and how many benefits they can get from the company, rather than on the real benefit to their employeee – helping the company make money, expand, and create more jobs. In the case of Bain Capital, most fo the companies they bought would have gone broke anyway and everyone would have been out of a job. I’m not a big fan of Romney, nor of the 1% of Americans that control 50% of the wealth, including control of most companies and therefore most jobs. I think they are selfish, greedy, and ruthless. I think they ignore their public responsibilities they owe because they are given special status as a corporation, which brings with it a host of benefits granted by law, without which they would not be able to make the money they do. So, they owe something to the public, i.e., their employees and their country, to pay emplyees well and look after their economic interest. They should share the wealth. But that doesn’t mean they have to put up with lazy or incompetent employees, or even good ones who are not needed. And here’s a secret – most executives don’t have a clue as to what the real problems are or how to solve them. That’s why they hired me. But allI usually did was talk to the employees, who almsot always knew what the problems were and how to fix them, including who was productive and who was not – not just among non-management workers but among management and executives, too. I’d just take their ideas, add some of my expertise, and write up recommendations that management was prone to praise as being brilliant. In fact, they could have had most of those solution for free if they had just listened to their employees. But back to Bain and Romney. To make a company profitable, you have to keep employee costs under control, because it’s usually one of the largest costs a company has. If they are working efficiently and effectively, then fine – they deserve the money they are making. But if there are too many of them or they are doing things poorly, or management has them organzied wrong, then there is no choice but to cut staff and reorganzie both staff and processes. I did it and turned around many companies. I don’t like seeing employees lose their jobs, and I tried always to find a way to keep as many as possible by showing them how to measure productivity and increase it, how to eliminate inefficiencies and unneeded processes. That was in the long term interest of the employees, who got to keep good paying jobs. Romney took the usual executive look and outsourced jobs or just cut staff, when the way I worked was much better. Still, in the end, had he and Bain Capitol not done what they did, it would have made no difference – the company would have failed anyway and everyone would have lost their jobs. Capitalism works and free enterprise works – but part of that is the most efficient and effective companies survive and the others do not. There are better answers – hiring a knowledgeable management consultant that can help improve things and lay off only a portion of employees. Working with the union to improve how the company is run instead of just trying to pad employee salaries and benefits. (In the ususal case, unions work against their own member’s interests.) They don’t have to be that way. They can be an effective force for good and give the employees a say so in how the company is run. But those type of unions are few and far between. In the end, what Romney and Bain Capital did was not evil like some comic book or movie character. They just did what was necessary to save the companies or to dismantle them and salvage something from the mess. Oh, yes, and one of the big things that usually needs to be done is cut drastically the incomes of top executives, hwo are vastly overpaid. I worked with top executives, including CEOs and Chairmen of the Board. What I found is that they are not all that smart. They are often out of touch with how the company really works and don’t have a clue about how to fix the problems, so the resort to the easy way out by slashing employees and outsourcing jobs. One problem is their huge incentives to increase the value of their stock options, sell off and take the money and run. Executive compensation needs to be drastically changed. Stock options, while they sounded like a good idea, are just one way to make it easy for them to enrich themselves while ignoring what’s best for the company. But in the end, failing companies are going to go belly up and someone coming in and scooping them up and making drastic changes, including laying off employees or outsourcing jobs, is neither immoral nor evil. There is a better way, but let’s not blame Romney and men like him for the failures of others who put the companies in the positions they were in long before they came on the scene

  • kurt.lorentzen

    Your post was much better than the article! I’d bet one of the things you eluded to, but didn’t highlight in your findings is that modern executive credentials that encompass finance often fail in business where production is key to success. Your statement about CEOs not being “all that smart” is probably true, but a lot of “smarts” comes from experience, and your analysis that many managers have no idea what’s wrong also adds the the liklihood that credentials that work on Wall Street come up severly lacking when applied to a business that actually has to produce something. Romney, not to condemn him for his capitalistic strategies at Bain, is guilty of the same “sin” as those CEOs and managers – not knowing what really makes the company work. In that sense I’m not convinced that his private sector experience is as valuable as he and many economists would like us all to believe. I still see the major problem facing the US economy as being the trade deficit – not so much in and of itself, but the cascading and self-perpetuating fallout in the form of fewer American products being puchased, more “American” products being manufactured offshore, and the resultant loss of American jobs – taking us in a circle of ever increasing circumference. At this juncture American companies can’t survive with pressure from taxes, regulations and unions that are unwilling to compromise and who have the upper hand in government policy. The key to solving the whole mess is to bring US business back home. We’ll have to suck it up to do that, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.

  • Big LT

    Great comments! I would add that we don’t need to reinvent the wheel. In Germany, for example, every corporation with more than 500 employees, must – by law – have half of it’s board of directors be WORKERS! They remain profitable, even in the current downturn. As stated, the workers have an excellent idea as to who is deadwood, be it management or workers.

    Additionally, the German govt provides funds to the companies to pay the workers when they need to scale back their hours due to slow sales, etc. Their profitability and quality remain high – Think Porsche, BMW, Mercedes Benz, etc. Their govt provided health benefits give them a competitive advantage over us. (Remember, we are the ONLY country where it is legal to sell for-profit primary health care insurance. Our motto is: “Profits over people.”)

  • Jerry Stephen

    Excellent comments on how to make companies more profitable, survivable, stronger, etc.

    Problem is, though, that Mitt Romney and Bain wasn’t all that interested in saving companies. Instead, the main interest was in making money for their investors, which generally meant stripping off the good stuff, loading them up on debt, and then making off with the liquidity and leaving the company to flounder and seek government aid to pay their workers. There is a reason it is named “preditory”…

  • It’s not at Winning our Future anymore, but you can google for it and turn it up on youtube,