1. mastmaker says

    After 23 years in this country, it is still mind-boggling to me that someone can (LEGALLY) buy a company and saddle that company with the debt they used to buy that company. That’s stealing and it should be as illegal as perpetual motion machine!

  2. Nemo says

    Of course, this would only work if Mr. Pencil had already incorporated, and sold off at least 51% of the company’s shares. As a sole proprietor, he’d have to actually give his permission for someone to buy in. Apart from that… yeah, this is private equity.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Private equity like that is not permitted within EU.
    Which may be one of the reasons the tories hate it.

    Toys’R Us and a lot of other businesses have been looted and bankrupted by private equity firms. They do not invest in the future they just drain the company like a vampire.
    They are statistically not better than other companies. They are only good at sending the loot upwards to the bosses.

  4. wzrd1 says

    @1, perpetual motion machines are perfectly legal. If one could find one that actually worked. ;)

    @PZ, if you don’t like the democracy that we have, you’re perfectly welcome to go out and buy your own.
    I’ll just get my hat…

  5. raven says

    The War on Poverty Is Over. Rich People Won.
    The sociologist Matthew Desmond believes that being poor is different in the U.S. than in other rich countries.

    By Annie Lowrey the Atlantic
    MAY 14, 2023, 7:30 AM ET
    Why do so many Americans live in poverty? Because so many rich people benefit from it.

    This is the thesis of the lauded sociologist Matthew Desmond’s new book, Poverty, by America.

    The headline today is relevant.

    The output of our society is pre-allocated by our tax laws, corporate rules and regulations, and other government programs to siphon money and resources upward to the ultra-rich oligarchies.

    This is because they were written by our governments, largely controlled by…the ultra-rich oligarchies.

    To take one obvious example, tuition at public universities was once heavily subsidized by the states. This was so long ago that I was one of those who benefited, up into the 1970s and gradually the state support for higher education was cut back.
    Today, instead of low cost tuition, students graduate with huge student loans and spend much of their life trying to pay them back.**

    I graduated debt free and this was common at the time.
    Today, my old university says to expect a 4 year degree to cost over $100,000.
    And, this is low cost compared to others in the USA.

    **Then the USA wonders why the birth rate is below replacement and still falling.

    Who wants to have children when you are not only broke but owe huge quantities of money in student loans that you can’t even get rid of in bankruptcy.

  6. says

    Wasn’t Mitt Romney part of one of those outfits? Bain, something like that?
    I remember thinking what a charming origin legend it would have made had he been elected president.
    “I cannot tell a lie. I sold that cherry tree, along with the rest of the farm’s assets.”

  7. billseymour says

    I totally agree with the main point of this thread, but I refuse to call our current oligarchy “capitalism”.  As near as I can tell, we”re moving away from what Adam Smith had in mind in The Wealth of Nations.

    Our current batch of feudal lord wannabees are most definitely not capitalists as I understand the term.

  8. Dennis K says

    Reminds me of my quiet walk around the neighborhood early this morning being interrupted by a Learjet booming overhead from the south. I’m not a violent guy by nature but my first thought was “stinger missile bait” and “I wonder where the debris would land?” This. Is. Capitalism.

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    billseymour @ # 7: …we”re moving away from what Adam Smith had in mind…

    But right in the center of what Karl Marx predicted.

    Except for the worldwide revolution/happily ever after part he parroted from christianism.

  10. Dunc says

    billseymour, @ #7:

    I refuse to call our current oligarchy “capitalism”. As near as I can tell, we”re moving away from what Adam Smith had in mind in The Wealth of Nations.

    Smith never used the term, so that’s not really an issue. While it doesn’t come solely from Marx (there are a handful of earlier uses), his critique of what we now call capitalism is certainly what popularised it, so I’d say it’s fairly apt.

    The attempt to associate modern industrial or post-industrial capitalism with Smith’s ideas seems to me to be largely a PR effort, as actually-existing capitalism has never had much to do with his ideals. (Except perhaps arguably by being inimically hostile to them…)

  11. says

    Seems to me that capitalism is very much like a perpetual motion machine, in that it pretends to be an ingenious system for never-ending wealth, but it’s really just a scam where the energy is being leached off from somewhere else and by the time you realize what’s happening the other guy has run off with all the money.

  12. StevoR says

    @6. feralboy12 : “Wasn’t Mitt Romney part of one of those outfits? Bain, something like that?”

    Yeah, the good ole daze of Mittens Rmoney the dog on the hot car roof abuser who is now .. way to the relative “left” of the Repugliklans.

    He became a management consultant and in 1977 joined Bain & Company in Boston. As Bain’s chief executive officer (CEO), he helped lead the company out of a financial crisis. In 1984, he co-founded and led the spin-off company Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm that became one of the largest of its kind in the nation.

    After stepping down from Bain Capital and his local leadership role in the LDS Church, Romney was the Republican nominee in the 1994 United States Senate election in Massachusetts. After losing to five-term incumbent Ted Kennedy, he resumed his position at Bain Capital. Years later, a successful stint as president and CEO of the then-struggling Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics led to a relaunch of his political career. Elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney helped develop and later signed a health care reform law (commonly called “Romneycare”) that provided near-universal health insurance access through state-level subsidies and individual mandates to purchase insurance. He also presided over the elimination of a projected $1.2–1.5 billion deficit through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and closing corporate tax loopholes. He did not seek reelection in 2006, focusing instead on his campaign for the Republican nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Though he won several primaries and caucuses, Romney ultimately lost the nomination to Senator John McCain. He ran and won the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, becoming the first Mormon to be a major party’s nominee. He lost the election to President Obama.

    Source :

    Back before the bat guano flinging extremest reichwing weren’t in charge of one side of politics over in the US of A..

  13. says

    As we say in our publications: ‘we live in a world controlled by “vulture crapitallists” where their only goal is to increase the wealth of the already obscenely wealthy at the expense of the populace.’ I can’t even begin to count/name all the businesses they have looted and destroyed. Welcome to the apocalypse.

  14. wzrd1 says

    Can they be vulture capitalists? Vultures are scavengers, the venture capitalists are parasites.

  15. Ada Christine says

    i know the term vampire capital, but maybe it’s a different idea?

  16. says

    @14 wzrd1 and @15 Ada Christine using the terms ‘venture capitalists are parasites’ and ‘vampire capital’.
    I reply: you are both correct. The way these predator/scavengers work is often in any of the three modes: vulture (finding and gobbling up sick/dying companies) venture (an adventure in looting and pillaging) and vampire (sucking the life blood out of companies and leaving them dying) The results are so similar that we can see the devastation to our social fabric, destroying businesses, reducing the options we have, putting massive numbers of people out of work, destroying competition so they can drive up prices, etc. “CRAPITALLISM” at its worst.

  17. wzrd1 says

    shermanj, the shame of it is, venture capitalists used to be investors only, largely funding those in need, some specializing in startups, others in helping either expand or adjust to new market conditions in existing companies.
    Then, the flipping fad began, starting in business investment, now well into real estate and branching into health care systems as a whole.