Warren Buffet, “Oracle of Omaha,” has a gift for recognizing promising businesses, plus a “buy and hold” policy that made him one of the world’s richest men. He also devised “the Buffet rule,” that the rich should not have a lower tax rate than the poor. At the other end of the scale are vipers like Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken, and off the scale below, swindlers like Bernard Madoff. In the great middle is a host of sharks doing abracadabra with money while skimming as much as possible in fees, commissions, margins, and profits. These play “the money game,” money as a way to keep score, separate from what it can build or buy. Lloyd Blankfein, head of Goldman Sachs, hauled before Congress after the U.S.A had gone bust back in 2008, called the money game “God’s work.” Maybe he believes it, like those with guns who believe it is God’s work to murder doctors at Planned Parenthood clinics.
Mitt Romney boasts about having started with nothing. One can argue that, but there is no doubt he ended with plenty. His Bain Capital plays the money game too, all perfectly legal, like Goldman Sachs, which terms its clients “muppets.”
In the photo [above], Romney, far right, still in school, is “demonstrating” in support of the draft. It’s before he’d thought up his stump costume of unpressed jeans. Looks like he’d dropped over from a yacht club luncheon for a photo op. The war in Vietnam was taking lives but he got first a two-year draft exemption to be a missionary in France, then three more to study at Harvard, then married as a student and had kids. He looks snappy in that photo holding up a sign favoring a draft that can’t touch him. After graduating, he jumped into the money game.
As a potential presidential candidate, he says, “I’m a business man so I understand how the economy works,” One wonders what money game players learn about the economy. How to create a real business from scratch, like Bill Gates? What makes a business thrive, like Warren Buffet? Or, like the sharks at Goldman Sachs, that the U.S.A. is the biggest juiciest muppet of them all.