August 30, 2012 : Citizen Romney, RNC, and the Staplesization of America

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock


I love you women! I hear your voices! Ann Romney RNC 2012


Isaac rolls through Louisiana, do the levees hold? Partial flooding through-out New Orleans. Concerns abound as the region – and nation - waits for the storm to pass – and assess the damage. Washington Post


It's hurricane and convention season. The storm coincides with an equally dire economic situation, according to RNC. RNC wants the wind of political change to blow its way. The problem for the 99 percent - is they flip the pyramid suggested by first officer Spock completely upside down.


Occupy's presence at RNC seems diminished, with minimal rallies. Protesters are neatly confined to the Clear Zone, under constant surveillance, ostensibly requiring a permit to demonstrate. Some, like Codepink, disgusted by RNC's choice of speakers, try to make a citizen's arrest.

Facing its one year anniversary S17, the primary challenge for Occupy is to extend beyond its inner circle of activists and focus on solutions that appeal and assist the beleaguered 99 percent.


Social Movement sage Todd Gitlin calls the stakes for the movement high, and neatly outlines Occupy's fork in the road :


If they’re promoting ideals that don’t ring sensible to large numbers of people, what they want doesn’t go anywhere,” says ,“it doesn’t become a social reality. It becomes the expression of a subculture.”Bloomberg



Kit O'Connell reports via live blog from outside the convention and somehow, occasionally gets inside. She provides updates on the Women are Watching March and Shut Down Bain Capital (see below) - following the hashtag at dissenter.firedoglake.com


RNC's goal is to “humanize” Citizen Romney. The task falls to the eternally game Ann Romney. We expected Ann to hit the bulls-eye and she largely does, offering glimpses of humanity present in her automaton spouse.


Meanwhile, Ann speaks in dressed up generalities : motherhood, children, and the ever-mentioned “small business.” It's an appeal to the so-called margin voters to allow policies favorable to the one percent to be imposed upon them. Policy and tactics are reserved for the backroom, where RNC plans for the country are designed.

When in doubt, stake a political claim to universal human experiences. Raising children, taking care of elderly parents, going to work, putting food on the table, can all become neat selling points unique to a party and candidate.


RNC frets over the forecast originally called for strong winds from the South. For 30 minutes however, they arrive from the Northeast as Human Wall of Noise and NJ Gov. Chris Christie talks about “tough choices” and “respect.” The rhetoric may sound meaningful when piped through television sets to tired and overworked Americans. The speeches are there to make the policies of the one percent sound good.


In his exuberance before a national audience though, Gov. You Tube can't help himself and gives the game away when he gets to the meat of his speech. Lo and behold, he trots out a 21st century redux on Ronald Reagan's lazy, do nothing, government mooching Welfare Queen – in the form of public school teachers.


Teaching thus completes its full evolution from respectable profession to epitomizing the lazy, overpaid public worker.


Ann gave a shout out to all her women, but her speech neatly avoids matters of fact. Professional teaching is largely a female profession. And since it could easily be interpreted as bullying, Christie clarifies : “they” believe in teachers unions, RNC believes in teachers. Translation : we believe in denying teachers the right to bargain collectively. Which, as everyone knows, will lower their wages.


Christie speaks from experience, balancing his budget on the backs of New Jersey's teachers - rather than making “hard choices.” Hard choices involve staring down the powerful and doing what's right for the community, often at personal sacrifice. Not f—king over teachers who earn roughly extra buck an hour for each year of service.


Inside the hall, Romney displays a satisfied, almost humble grin, preparing to be rewarded for decades of richly rewarded service to the one percent. His acceptance speech will be cloaked in reassuring rhetoric designed to appeal to “margin voters” - while absolutely reassuring to his base - understood and articulated exceptionally well by a previous RNC Nominee. (video, above)


Occupy Tampa and its Regional General Assembly attempt to divert attention from Citizen Romney's acceptance speech by launching Shut Down Bain Capital night. The tactic urges “autonomous action” to take place at the following listed Bain Capital companies, courtesy of the group's Facebook page. Prepare to be mic-checked while ordering cocktails at Outback or Bonefish tonight.


The list of Bain companies potentially impacted :


Outback Steakhouse

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Bonefish Grill

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine

Burlington Coat Factory

Clear Channel Communications

Dunkin’ Donuts

Baskin Robbins

Gymboree

Hospital Corporation of America

Michael’s Craft Store

Toys’R’Us

Staples

The Princeton Review

Work ‘N Gear


A quick perusal of the list hints at what Citizen Romney and Veep Pick, have in mind for the women Ann alluded to in her speech - underpaid, single mothers. More of same. As it turns out, they're better off becoming entrepreneurs than sticking to teaching and nursing. Ann, you left this part out. More below.


It's the grand unfurling of the new plan, from the new boss, same as the old. Call it the “Staplesization” of the public work force. Let's walk into a Staples or Dunkin' Donuts, or Michael's or Work 'N' Gear. Now, look around. What do we see? For the most part, under-staffed stores with overworked retail workers, earning on average, according to the DOL's Bureau of Labor Statistics $9.94/hour.


The Staplesization of the work force, coming to a profession near you... just relax and enjoy the benefits of working for near minimum wage to create wealth that accrues to investors in offshore tax havens, through methods largely inaccessible to the rest of us. Crossborderalliance.com


Don't be surprised when Citizen Romney starts talking about jobs, jobs, jobs. Easy translation : blah blah blah.


Ok, actual translation : return massive amounts of profit to investors while limiting costs – in the form of wages.


It's the real meaning of the “talk tough” rhetoric : the inverted wealth pyramid.


Citizen Romney – and RNC – will point to his successful companies as models for job creation. Count on it. WSJ But he won't – under any circumstance – address or answer the question on most workers' minds : what kind of jobs?


In a Romney/Bain company, the pyramid is upright, like this /_\ probably narrower. That's yearly salary earned vs. number of employees. The higher up you go, the more you earn. And most workers are on the bottom. In terms of how the vast profits generated by these companies are shared, just turn the pyramid upside down, like this \-/ The vast majority of revenues flow upward. Investors like Bain sit at the very tip-top.


According to Jia Lynn Yang's excellent article, Staples won't make available the actual break-out of where on the pyramid most of its 89,000 employees are. (The Staples jobs are a large part of the figure that Citizen Romney will tout on stage in Tampa tonight.)


Organized labor, by virtue of its ability – shrinking – to legally bargain for wages collectively, attempts to flow more revenues in a successful company downward and to a larger number of workers. Which is not to say that you won't still have a few at the top making more. The question of how much is distributed can also be asked like this : how much of these companies' vast profitability is shared by American workers, compared to their financiers?


The relative share could be debated. But there are distinctions between Henry Ford - who, though resolutely anti-union, devoted his life to building a single company and wanted his workers themselves to enjoy heightened purchase power - and an investment concern that roams the economic landscape, scenting opportunities to maximize profit for its founders.


RNC wants to apply the Staples model to the public sector, especially education. The market potential is endless. Just think of it : imagine the flexibility of grading/hiring and firing public school teachers without being hindered by contracts. Ultimately, the Staples model means the vast majority of workers are replaceable - always the case for “employees at will.”


School districts could quickly become their own inverted pyramids. It's a hell of a market. The buildings and maintenance – the capital costs - are paid for by the public, off the balance sheet. Granted, via a diminishing and eroded tax base, but not by the companies themselves, who can incorporate the public- provided infrastructure and set about to managing a more flexible labor force of temporary teachers.


The Staplesization of traditionally public sectors, like Education, offers excellent financial prospects for investors. Not so good for those who will work and attend in the Staples School.


Not to say in some cases the shift to privatization won't work. Existing public schools, ravaged by cutbacks may occasionally thrive under new, devoted and low-paid but nonetheless hard-working millennial teachers. As Citizen Romney and his supporters say “some will succeed, some won't.” But, with the proper mix of investment opportunities, investors should win either way. Just like Bain.



It's All About the Accrued Offshore Investment Interest, Stupid!





Teachers, nurses, state and federal workers and anyone else caught up in Staplesization will be able to join the milennials - in their quest to leave their parent's houses – the most cheered moment of Veep Pick's speech – by “doing whatever it takes” to eat and get by , and “letting out that long sigh at the end of the day.” The RNC warning shot : be in the on percent or be/get screwed.


I’ve got a lot of admiration for Bain Capital, but jobs [are] the byproduct of the mission, not the product,” says Howard Anderson, a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. “The product was to increase wealth, and in some cases it meant expanding the company. In some cases it meant contracting the company.” Washington Post



Staplesization - this promising investor trend has already overtaken broad swaths of the American workforce. For all the talk about “small business” even when loosely defined as “fewer than 500 employees,” the majority of Americans work for larger employers. Many of the employers they work for show up on the list of Bain-backed companies.


You see its “large profitable companies that employ most minimum wage earners.” And, follow-us here, the latest study indicates that millenials, if they can find a job, are more likely to work in this sector than any other. And lo and behold, holding a retail job, puts them on the lowest rung of the work force. truthout


For those of whom working retail at Staples, or serving joe at Dunks, or delivering pizzas for Domino’s doesn't sound appealing, RNC offers another option, tailor-made for challenging economic times chronic entrepreneurship.


Though it maybe more of a personal solution than the typically described engine of growth. For many of these businesses, the owners are effectively self-employed wage earners. Leftbusinessobserver.com


At root it all goes back to the favorite and frequent insult lobbed at Occupiers – just get a job.


If you can do that, problem solved. Then, pay your educational debt down working at Staples and Dunkin Donuts. Better yet, pay your way through school so that you may obtain the necessary degree to advance to management within the companies listed above. Surely they offer tuition reimbursement. Just talk to the folks that work there – those that aren't looking for a way out can relay the options


Or talk to Occupy Wall Street People's Librarian James Straus, who had several jobs at one time, including one at Seattle's Best Coffee, subsisting on dollar boxes of Ramen Noodles and caring for an elderly parent. It's how (and why) Straus, and many like him, found Occupy in the first place.


We hope this guide to RNC rhetoric has been helpful, as the flags and the sentiment make us confused too. Just invert the pyramid, or reverse First Officer Spock's formulation (above). The needs of the few, or the one, outweigh the needs of the many. For our readers among the one percent, take our word for it, the sky's the limit.


Submitted by M-Bed
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