A Lesson In Morality – Nathan Cardozo’s 1889 Commencement Address: “The Altruist In Politics”

While we wait for new information on the main subject of this blog, consider the wisdom of this brilliant essay by one of America’s most famous Supreme Court justices.  The Columbia College Class Book of 1889 states that this was delivered as Cardozo’s commencement oration on June 12, 1889.  It has laid buried and largely forgotten for 100 years, but now, in the age of the internet, it must not be allowed to die.  Please spread this around.  If you read nothing else, read the final paragraph!

There comes not seldom a crisis in the life of men, of nations, and of worlds, when the old forms seem ready to decay, and the old rules of action have lost their binding force. The evils of existing systems obscure the blessings that attend them; and, where reform is needed, the cry is raised for subversion. The cause of such phenomena is not far to seek. “It used to appear to me,” writes Count Tolstoi, in a significant passage, “it used to appear to me that the small number of cultivated, rich, and idle men, of whom I was one, composed the whole of humanity, and that the millions and millions of other men who had lived and are still living were not in reality men at all.” It is this spirit — the spirit that sees the whole of humanity in the few, and throws into the background the millions and millions of other men — it is this spirit that has aroused the antagonism of reformers, and made the decay of the old forms, the rupture of the old restrictions, the ideal of them and of their followers. When wealth and poverty meet each other face to face, the one master and the other dependent, the one exalted and the other debased, it is perhaps hardly matter for surprise that the dependent and debased and powerless faction, in envy of their opponents’ supremacy, should demand, not simple reform, but absolute community and equality of wealth. That cry for communism is no new one in the history of mankind. Thousands of years ago it was heard and acted on: and, in the lapse of centuries, its reverberations have but swelled in volume. Again and again, the altruist has arisen in politics, has bidden us share with others the product of our toil, and has proclaimed the communistic dogma as the panacea for our social ills. So today, amid the buried hopes and buried projects of the past, the doctrine of communism still lives in the minds of men. Under stress of misfortune, or in dread of tyranny, it still is preached in modern times as Plato preached it in the world of the Greeks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Check Your Premises on Capitalism and “Private Equity”

Some people argue that questioning the details of Mitt Romney’s actions at Bain Capital, or any actions by “Private Equity” firms, amounts to questioning capitalism itself.  Such people argue that Mitt and others engaged in Private Equity are essentially entrepreneurs engaged in the “turnaround” game, buying weak companies and reorganizing them back to profitability. The argument goes that that some turnarounds succeed, some fail, and it’s an essential part of Capitalism to rejuvenate older companies or move them in new directions, even if some workers have to be laid off in the process.

But is defending every action of Private Equity really the same as defending Capitalism? As Ayn Rand was famous for saying, “Check your premises.” Read the rest of this entry »

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“Romney Economics – Bankruptcy And Bailouts At GST Steel”

The Obama campaign has released a six minute video that is probably the first of many more to come.

In addition to the points raised in the video, I have another question:  What were the moral obligations of the owners who sold GST to a company like Bain, or allowed Bain to take control?

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Crony Capitalism = Phony Capitalism

 

 

Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/CronyCapitalism?sk=wall

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More on Romney, Crony Capitalism, and Subsidies – from The Nation and the LA Times

From Ari Berman at the Nation:

But a closer look at Bain’s record under Romney reveals that the company relied on the very government subsidies that Romney and Tea Party conservatives routinely denounce as “crony capitalism.” The Los Angeles Times ran a big story yesterday about Bain’s investment in Steel Dynamics, which received $37 million in subsidies and grants to build a new plant in DeKalb County, Indiana. An analyst at the Cato Institute called it “corporate welfare.”

And the LA Times article to which he refers.

 Mitt Romney no stranger to tax breaks, subsidies
Bain Capital profited from a steel company that got them, and he used them to attract business when he governed Massachusetts

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The Daily Show Digs In on Bain Capital

http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/tue-january-31-2012-jonathan-macey — starts at 9:00 minute mark!

 

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A Revealing Interview With Jonathan Macey

BUT, this interview does gain many revealing admissions from a writer whose Wall Street Journal article tried to argue the opposite.
Be sure to watch the third segment,where the arguments finally come together to some degree.
Jonathan Stewart is completely correct on this point:  “If you lose the will to cleanse the system then you have absolutely given up!”

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Palm Beach Post Article – 1/27/12

Palm Beach Post:

Unable to support the debt it had taken on under Bain, Dade Behring filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in 2002. That led critics to call the deal a win for Romney and Bain Capital’s investors but a loss for everyone else. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Dominos Pizza Model

Read it here:  http://legalinsurrection.com/2012/01/bains-dominos-pizza-model-looks-a-lot-like-the-obama-model/

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