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Robert Reich
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Sunday 4 November 2012
“Despite its contradictions and ellipses, Romneyism has an internal coherence.”

Romneyism

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By now, in these last remaining days before the election of 2012, we have learned enough about the beliefs of the Republican presidential candidate to see them as a worldview all its own – a kind of creed that explains Mitt Romney. Those who say he has no principles are selling him short.

Despite its contradictions and ellipses, Romneyism has an internal coherence. It is different from conservatism, because it does not intend to conserve or protect any particular institutions or values. It is also distinct from  Republicanism, in that it is not rooted in traditional small-town American values, nationalism, or states’ rights.

The ten guiding principles of Romneyism are:

1. Corporations are the basic units of society. Corporations are people, and the overriding purpose of an economy is to maximize corporate profits. When profits are maximized, the economy grows fastest. This growth benefits everyone in the form greater output, better products and services, and higher share prices.

2. Workers are a means to the goal of maximizing corporate profits. If workers do not contribute to that goal, they should be fired. If they cannot then find other work that helps maximize profits in another company, their wages must be too high, and they must therefore accept steadily lower wages until they find a job.

3. All factors of production – capital, physical plant and equipment, workers – are fungible and should be treated the same. Any that fail to deliver high competitive returns should be replaced or discarded. This keeps an economy efficient. Fairness is and should be irrelevant.

4. Pollution, unsafe products, unsafe working conditions, financial fraud, and other negative side effects of the pursuit of profits are the price society pays for profit-driven growth. They should not be used as excuses to constrain the pursuit of profits through regulation.

5. Individual worth depends on net worth — how much money one has made, and the value of the assets that money has been invested in. Any person with enough intelligence and ambition can make a fortune. Failure to do so is sign of moral and intellectual inferiority.

6. People who fail in the economy should not be coddled. They should not receive food stamps, Medicaid, or any other form of social subsidy. Coddling leads to a weaker society and a weaker economy.

7. Taxes are inherently bad because they constrain profit-making. It is the right and responsibility of individuals and corporations to exploit every tax loophole they (and their tax attorneys) can find in order to pay the lowest taxes possible.

8. Politics is a game whose only purpose is to win. Any means used to win the game is legitimate even if it involves lying and cheating, as long as it gains more supporters than it loses.

9. Democracy is dangerous because it is forever vulnerable to the votes of a majority intent on capturing the wealth of the successful minority, on whom the economy depends. The rich must therefore do whatever is necessary to prevent the majority from exercising its will, including spending large sums of money on lobbyists and political campaigns. The most virtuous among the rich will go a step further and  run for president.

10. The three most important aspects of life are family, religion, and money. Patriotism is a matter of guarding our economy from unfair traders and undocumented immigrants, rather than joining together for the common good. We owe nothing to one another as citizens of the same society.

On Tuesday we’ll decide whether these should be the guiding principles of America.

This article was originally posted on Robert Reich's blog.



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ABOUT Robert Reich

 

ROBERT B. REICH, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future;” “The Work of Nations,” which has been translated into 22 languages; and his newest, an e-book, “Beyond Outrage.” His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at www.robertreich.org. Robert Reich's new film, "Inequality for All" is available on DVD
and blu-ray, and on Netflix in February.

Romneyism by Robert B.

Romneyism by Robert B. Reich
By now, in these last remaining days before the election of 2012, we have learned enough about the beliefs of the Republican presidential candidate to see them as a worldview all its own – a kind of creed that explains Mitt Romney. Those who say he has no principles are selling him short. Who, may I ask is “who”? Another characteristic of progressives is to start a conversation with a false premise. This is one.
Despite its contradictions and ellipses, Romneyism has an internal coherence. It is different from conservatism, because it does not intend to conserve or protect any particular institutions or values. It is also distinct from Republicanism, in that it is not rooted in traditional small-town American values, nationalism, or states’ rights. Here is another false premise.
The ten guiding principles of Romneyism are:
1. Corporations [governments] are the basic units of society. Corporations are people, and the overriding purpose of an economy is to maximize corporate profits. When profits are maximized, the economy grows fastest. This growth benefits everyone in the form greater output, better products and services, and higher share prices.
Most news sources are funded by corporations and investors. Their goal is to drive people to advertisers while pushing the corporate agenda. NationofChange is a 501(c)3 organization funded almost 100% from its readers–you! Our only accountability is to the public. Click here to make a generous donation.
2. [Indoctrinated] Workers are a means to the goal of maximizing corporate profits [government power]. If workers do not contribute to that goal, they should be fired. If they cannot then find other work that helps maximize profits in another company, their wages must be too high, and they must therefore accept steadily lower wages until they find a job.
3. All factors of production – capital, physical plant and equipment, workers – are fungible and should be treated the same. Any that fail to deliver high competitive returns should be replaced or discarded. This keeps an economy efficient. Fairness is and should be irrelevant. [Here’s more projection. “Fairness”, to the progressive is the taking of the fruits of hard labor and success, and equal distribution of it to all, some of whom do not wish to work for it. Furthermore, you should be well-aware that Mitt Romney is of the mind and heart to support those in our society who are in true need of support. I daresay that he lives this principle as evidenced in the giving by him and Ann to charity. Do you have any idea of the comparative amount of personal giving to charity that conservative Americans versus progressive ones do? Look it up.]

4. Pollution, unsafe products, unsafe working conditions, financial fraud, and other negative side effects of the pursuit of profits are the price society pays for profit-driven growth. They should not be used as excuses to constrain the pursuit of profits through regulation. [Progressives, in their duplicitous, premature and destructive pushing of renewable energy initiatives before we have adequately and smoothly without deleterious effect on the current world ensure that those people living in poverty will surely suffer, and more so than wealthier citizens. You should know how much greater percentage of their income that the poor pay for their energy than do the wealthy. Look it up! Progressives push renewable energy in order to keep the poor in poverty and as a way to put blame on the “uncaring rich” to intimidate their woebegone constituents to vote them into continued and, if possible perpetual power.]
5. Individual worth depends on net worth — how much money one has made, and the value of the assets that money has been invested in. Any person with enough intelligence and ambition can make a fortune. Failure to do so is sign of moral and intellectual inferiority. [Can any thinking person believe this of his fellow man, even the “rich”?! Again, this seems to be projection to me. Progressives believe, I think that the collective community, the government has primacy over the individual. Progressives in power, those in government believe that they have the moral high-ground. They are more equal than the rest of us. How awful! What a state of mind to live in. This not charitable! What does our loving God think of such feeble, such evil, misguided thinking?]
6. People who fail in the economy should not be coddled. They should not receive food stamps, Medicaid, or any other form of social subsidy. Coddling leads to a weaker society and a weaker economy. [Progressive people believe that the government that they run will equitably collect (take) from those it deems have [have earned] too much and in its [what we know is fallible human] judgement who deserves its largesse [benevolent tyranny], and who will, in gratitude and fear vote them back into office.
7. Taxes are inherently bad because they constrain profit-making. [False premise! Taxes imposed too heavily will stifle economic growth, and induce the loss of jobs for everyone, rich & poor. This is what Mitt Romney said. This is what he said.] It is the right and responsibility of individuals and corporations to exploit every tax loophole they (and their tax attorneys) can find in order to pay the lowest taxes possible. [This is what the bull ate yesterday!]
8. Politics is a game whose only purpose is to win. [Don’t defame Vince Lombardi with this one! Life is not a football game. Please, in all honesty don’t put the mantle of evil selfishness on others, conservatives, that Progressives may feel much more comfortable under and don’t even notice that they are wearing themselves.] Any means used to win the game is legitimate even if it involves lying and cheating, as long as it gains more supporters than it loses. [Speaking of lying and cheating, comes to mind President Clinton’s finger pointing at us, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman!” President Obama, on September 29th before the General Assembly of the UN, “…that crude and disgusting video.” Examples by our trusted Progressive leaders are myriad.]
9. Democracy is dangerous because it is forever vulnerable to the votes of a majority intent on capturing the wealth of the successful minority, on whom the economy depends. [Let’s see, was this first said by Karl, or Vladimir or Mao? I’m struggling to recall where and when Mitt Romney promoted this “principle”. May I hear of one example?] The rich must therefore do whatever is necessary to prevent the majority from exercising its will, including spending large sums of money on lobbyists and political campaigns. The most virtuous among the rich will go a step further and run for president. [Pardon me, but I think we have here another example of projection. That is, I think that it is the objective of the Progressive collective to do whatever is necessary to capture a majority of voters into the servitude of government dependence, a voting majority toward the goal of security of its elite in positions of long-lasting, even perpetual Progressive power.]
10. The three most important aspects of life are family, religion, and money. [Please, Mr. Reich, if you would be honest, you know that Mitt Romney stands for America’s founding principles. The most important of what you distort as “aspects of life” are indeed the most important inalienable RIGHTS of LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS! Let’s get this straight! Your composing of ten guiding principles of Romneyism are factually dishonest and intellectually insulting to any thinking person.] Patriotism is a matter of guarding our economy from unfair traders and undocumented immigrants, rather than joining together for the common good. We owe nothing to one another as citizens of the same society. [Mr. Reich, you are so wrong, so devious, so sad. I would not love life if I had to endure it in your skin. Maybe you don’t either. Maybe that’s why you say the awful things that you do. Maybe you really believe them.]
On Tuesday we’ll decide whether these should be the guiding principles of America. [On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, I pray that our American citizens will decide to fire Mr. Obama. As Mr. Clint Eastwood, a rare and wonderful a man living and working in the midst of a place of superficiality, moral and intellectual decay has said, “…and when somebody does not do the job, we got to let them go.”]

With my heartfelt intentions, I am
Bob Lynch
An Architect in Northern Virginia

Robert Lynch you sound like a

Robert Lynch you sound like a borderline personality. IOW you live in an alternative reality

Right on the mark. Ironic

Right on the mark. Ironic that the same people that believe in this social Darwinism also think of themselves as patriots.
A patriot makes personal sacrifices for the common good, not sacrifices the common man for his benefit.

Exactly. The hypocrisy of

Exactly. The hypocrisy of what was once called the "moral majority," is stunning. The religions they follow and protect instruct them to care for those less fortunate than themselves, but they criticize and vilify those who support a government that attempts do the same. Stunning.

DAMN ,IT IS A SHAME WHAT MY

DAMN ,IT IS A SHAME WHAT MY MASTER HAS GIVEN ME THIS TIME TO CHOOSE FROM....

There's another name for

There's another name for this, it's called "Social Darwinism".

Our government was corrupt

Our government was corrupt for 8 years because Bush and Cheney distorted our federal tax code to favor the corporations that outsourced American jobs and granted the richest American citizens tax breaks that they did not ask for. In addition, they caused the Iraq war based on contrived information that Weapons of Mass Destruction existed in that country. In addition there was the Afghanistan debacle. Both of these wars were conducted on money borrowed from China and the real purpose of them was to continue uninterrupted importation to the US of crude oil from the Mideast countries so that Exxon and the other four big US oil companies could continue to enjoy their massive profits and exorbitant tax breaks. Cheney’s Halliburton made enormous profits from their participation in these wars. All of this was not enough for their greed. So they refused to enforce financial regulations and that resulted in the billions of dollars of fraudulent Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS’s) assembled by Goldman Sachs that were sold to unsuspecting investors and banks all over the world. Of course as we all know as soon as it was discovered that these MBS’s were made up mostly of mortgages that were destined to be foreclosed on our big banks had to be bailed out with tax payer money. (To throw salt in our wounds, Goldman Sachs shorted the MBS investment packages as soon as they were sold and made a really big bundle of dough on their failure.) So the debts incurred from two unnecessary wars plus the financial crash resulting from fraudulent investment packages plus the horrendous tax breaks given to the very rich plus the outsourcing of American jobs that destroyed our middle class all adds up and the sum total resulted in the near depression and still existing recession we have been experiencing since 2008.
So in addition to the foregoing, where are we now? Let me put it this way: I am 78 years old and from when I was only four years old I remember my father saying "Money talks"! Of course that was only a colloquialism of the time that meant exclusively “You can get what you want if you paid enough money for it!” However, now that I am a mature, well educated and experienced adult, I know the difference between speech and money. However, our current Supreme Court Justice Scalia (who naively took the old colloquial expression literally) has ruled that "money is speech". This gross distortion coupled with another of his gross distortions; i.e., "Corporations are people" has encouraged and made legal an infinite amount of money (that could total billions of dollars or more) that U.S. Corporations can contribute to U.S. elected members of our U.S. Congress to assure adoption of their preferred policies and legislation. Our Supreme Court voted that their action is protected by our Constitution’s freedom of speech proviso. As a result, the Corporations' massive amounts of money funneled through an inordinately large number of lobbyists to our members of Congress "speaks" so loudly that the voices of ordinary U.S. citizens are not heard or ignored by our elected Representatives and Senators. This is not Democracy (government by the people). It is a form of Plutocracy (government by the wealthy). This is the insidious compelling and all powerful force that is the real problem causing the gridlock we have been experiencing in our U.S. Congress. I respectfully submit that nothing is going to improve in Washington D.C. until this crippling situation is changed. And, the ONLY way it can be changed is to take the money out of American politics. To make this change, because our Supreme Court approved what Justice Scalia maintains, we must amend our U.S. Constitution. The basic Amendment is set forth in http://signon.org/sign/take-money-out-of-politics - so click on this link or paste it into your browser and see if you would like to sign the petition. Enough signatures are needed to get a two thirds vote in both our House of Representatives and Senate. Again - http://signon.org/sign/take-money-out-of-politics.

Robert asks, if this "should

Robert asks, if this "should be the guiding principles of America."

It's been the guiding principle of "America" since the days of conquistadors. Why should it change? When resources get thinner, why shouldn't it kick into a higher gear? Why should people become nicer when their lives are getting closer and closer to extinction?

The only thing that keeps the majority of people "civil" is the hope that tomorrow they will have food, shelter, and clothing. You take that away, and you've just entered what Hobbes called The State of Nature:

"Which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

It's going to be interesting, if not abjectly depressing, when 200+ million people are left to their own devices.

And history forever repeats itself because it is what we are. Welcome to humanity. Welcome to the jungle.

I, however, will not be participating in such deficiency of evolution.

Romneyism is a look backward

Romneyism is a look backward instead of forward. It seems that Mitt must look with nostalgia on such social institutions as Child Labor and Debtors Prison. In short, he probably thinks the London depicted by the works of Charles Dickens is some kind of Utopia for plutocrats like himself.

I find there are exaggerations and misrepresentations in the campaigns of both parties, but from the beginning I pegged Willard as someone who was not a conventional Republican, even in this time of Tea Party extremism. I believe he really does think he's superior because of the money he has, so he tends to dismiss the troubles of those not born in his privileged class. So, what's new about that?

It's the first time in my life that I've seen a major candidate for the presidency being so far removed, in lifestyle and attitude, from the masses he seeks to govern. In America, that is. We've had rich presidents before, FDR and JFK, for example, but I think they were grateful for the privileges they were born into, and looked for ways to "give back" to a society that had made their wealth possible.

Romney, on the other hand, famously said "I inherited nothing," and boasts of being a business success, despite the money and network he started out with. He's "proud" of his success, and seems to attribute it all to his inborn drive and intelligence.

Lately, of course, I'm seeing all kinds of ads portraying the "caring and compassionate" candidate who was not to be found in his primary campaign. From the darling of Rush Limbaugh to the Buddha of Compassion in a few flip-flop months!

I think we need not only a constitutional amendment to reverse the activist rulings of the Supreme Court in "Citizens United," but some re-regulating of the broadcast media. No American should have to see and hear electioneering B/S from either party for up to a year before Election Day.Of course, now it's in its most extreme stage, and without a working remote I would've wrecked the TV because of my frustration about advertising - political or commercial - I see every day, in prime time especially. Take the damned drug commercials off TV, give free airtime to all viable candidates for two months before the election, and ban ALL paid political advertising from television. I understand most of the disastrous deregulation of the media took place during the Reagan administration, so that's another reason I don't want his face on Mt. Rushmore.

Because of my annoyance with the redundant inanities I see on so much of TV these days, I've given up on Cable and the Dish, and now just watch what passes for World News on the local digital CBS affiliate, which I realize is mostly gutless and meant as entertainment. I get most of my passive entertainment from movies on DVD and the internet. It just elevates my BP to have to listen to all the advertisements, repeated ad nauseam, and though I have my trusty remote, I'll probably get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from pushing the Mute button so much.

Amend the constitution and re-regulate the broadcast media, and try to come to terms with phasing out coal-fired electricity and slow the ridiculous profusion of Light Trucks and SUVs that largely exist so people can have big and noisy vehicles to tool around in. The country's been headed in the wrong direction for decades, and it's time we realized that, and identified the reasons, so we can take the required actions.

Romney won't show the way, and the jury's still out on Obama, but maybe, with nothing to lose, as far as political ambitions, he'll be the "leftist radical" the Tea Party accuses him of being. Medicare for all, and no privatization of Social Security! And fight Global Warming, while learning to adapt to the extreme changes in climate!

Thank you professor Reich for

Thank you professor Reich for being right on target again.
Romneyism will be a disaster, forget about workers rights, women rights, campaign reform or FEMA and Planned Parenthood. It will be the end of the American Empire, and just like all the other fallen empires, we will scratching our heads and saying WHAT HAPPENED! History will repeat itself and American Innocence will move on.

I belive its a first in my

I belive its a first in my life to watch a man that wants to lead that will lie to a crowd of people to get their fires lite at no cost wether its about jobs Iran or whatever.I rember the election between JFK and Nixon and it was at no cost to win the election and at times it was extreme the lies that Nixon told but nothing compared to the mormon.And the sad story here is the numbers that belive the shit this guy throws up against the wall.If Romney wins it will be a travesty

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.,

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., stated that, “It is true, as indicated in the last cited case, that every exaction of money for an act is a discouragement to the extent of the payment required, but that which in its immediacy is a discouragement may be part of an encouragement when seen in its organic connection with the whole. Taxes are what we pay for civilized society, including the chance to insure.”

Will the veneer of civilization come off if Romney is elected President?

Will cutting taxes and services to the needy result in greater or lesser civilized behavior?

In short, Romneyism can be

In short, Romneyism can be summed up: have money, will do anything to increase it; if means to kill the planet, so be it.

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