Monday, April 15, 2024

#106 / Private Equity And Making Politics Primary


Blackstone, Apollo, and a handful of other firms are demolishing the US economy for short-term gain, and leaving workers and communities in the wreckage.
- Chris Hedges 

If you click on the YouTube link you will find at the top of the page, you can listen to Chris Hedges talk with Gretchen Morgenson, author of These Are the Plunderers: How Private Equity Runs—and Wrecks—America

If you'd rather read than listen, which I, personally, find is quicker, you can click right here for a full transcript of Hedges' exploration, with Morgenson, of how "private equity" works. Hedges' title is, "How Private Equity Conquered America."

The main point, I think, is pretty much this one: When ongoing businesses are purchased by the "private equity" funds set up by wealthy individuals, the individuals whose "private equity" is what is used to buy up those businesses are not, at all, intersted in the businesses themselves. They don't, particularly, want to run a local newspaper, or an airline, or any other business.

All they are interested in is money. 

"Private equity," therefore, to put it another way, is not focused on maintaining the businesses it buys. Private equity is focused on making the most money possible. If fucking the business is what helps private equity do that, then that is exactly what private equity will do ("fucking" is being used as a technical term, here, by the way). Check out the condition of your local newspaper for an example!

But what about the "public good"?

Well, here is who is generally interested in the "public good": the public. 

The "public" means you and me, and we do not, of course, have the billions that "private equity" has. 

What do we have? Well, "we, the people" - and that's who "the public" is - have "politics."

Read all about it in Chris Hedges' transcript! Or, listen, if you'd rather do that than read. 

If you do follow along with Chris Hedges, reading or listening, either one, I think you will conclude that it's time for us to reassert the primacy of the public good. If you end up sharing my thoughts about that, and if you're "serious" about what it takes to have the public good prevail over private equity, you will realize that a whole lot of us are going to have to reorient our lives and make "politics" primary.

If significant numbers of us are not willing to do that, then we know what will happen to the public good. It will be (and we will be) ...... [insert the applicable technical term here, using the past tense].*

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*Today, being "tax day," is probably a particularly appropriate day to make this point.

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