A Key Reason to Vote Against Romney

A Key Reason to Vote Against Romney July 24, 2012

We are trying to rebuild our global economy after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. As we all know so well, this crisis was no economic accident, but rather was the fruit of an immoral financial sector, which put its own narrow greed ahead of the common good, and in doing so toppled the global economy and caused incalculable pain and misery. It was the fruit of a decades-long push to strip away all oversight of economic behavior, especially the financial sector – in opposition to the tenets of Catholic social teaching, in the supposed name of economic efficiency. It was  the fruit of the financialization of the economy, where short-term gain mattered more than long-term sustainability, where success was severed from virtue, and where gambling and speculation took the place of true productivity. It was a decades-long false path, as we learned the hard way.

And now, as we seek to rebuild, as we seek to learn the lessons of the past, the Republicans have put forward a man who embodies the old model like nobody else – a man who rose to the top of his industry by aggressively  seeking financial return at the expense of everything else, especially the priority of labor. A man whose policies would return whatever little power has been taken away from the financial sector, yield nothing to labor, and continue the upward redistribution of income started three decades ago through fiscal policy.

And with that upward redistribution of income comes the upward redistribution of political power. Look at the chart below and look at the facts. The finance industry is the biggest political donor this cycle – $318 million so far – and they give twice as much to Republicans as Democrats (a big shift from before Dodd-Frank). On top of that, they spent $600 million lobbying Congress and federal agencies to water down the Dodd-Frank Act. And Romney is their man. He is one of them. He supports what they support. Nearly a quarter of Romney’s “bundlers” are from the sector.

It’s quite amazing really. This is a sector that took down the global economy through nefarious behavior and was bailed out by taxpayers on the most favorable possible terms. Nobody was removed and nobody went to jail. And to express their gratitude for this largesse, the sector is now putting all its might behind overthrowing the president who bailed them out and getting rid of the minimal oversight and restrictions underlying the Dodd-Frank Act. And they are getting away with it – such is the depravity of the current American political system, where everything can be bought and sold, and values have no meaning beyond rhetoric.


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  • Jordan

    Amen, Morning’s Minion. What you say about Romney in large part applies to Obama as well: both have their fingers in the cronyism pot. Both parties of the American federal republican system have completely failed Americans and America. Two centuries and a few decades more was a good run for the federalist system, but this system no longer serves our nation well. The choice now is either to continue on this gridlocked path until the nation disintegrates economically, ethically, and morally, or to reform towards a more accountable, democratic, and politically diverse form of federal government.

    The United States desperately needs the presence of a social democratic party based on consistent life ethical principles. This party need not be explicitly Christian, but it would be committed to the comprehensive pro-life message: anti-abortion, anti-military-industrial-complex, anti-state sanctioned torture, anti-death penalty, pro-living wage and just working conditions, and pro-sufficient health care for all citizens.

    Offer your second tunic, walk the extra mile, reconcile with your brother or sister before going to offer sacrifice in the temple. Which savior instructed us thus? John Galt or Howard Roark? No, Yeshua bin Yosef, Jesus the Christ. Only he has demonstrated that plutocracy never conquers.

    • Julia Smucker

      Jordan, I totally agree that the same critique applies largely to both, and I say a resounding AMEN to the need for a comprehensive pro-life message! In this you have capsulized Catholic Social Teaching quite nicely. I’m glad someone gets it.

  • Kurt

    I say a resounding AMEN to the need for a comprehensive pro-life message!

    We do need this. We once had it (not perfectly, nor universally embrached, but it existed). The bishops and too many Catholics abandoned it and destroyed it. Recreating it will be a difficult task and will not happen anytime soon.

    • What stands in the way of it, however, is a cruel, out-dated sexual moralism and a power-hungry, deceitful hierarchy that has turned religion into a business and treats the laity like children. If the Catholic Church could only reform itself from the GROUND UP and begin to understand its theology as a divinely inspired PURSUIT of the “Truth” (a la Newman) rather than a POSSESSION of it, it might become one of the greatest forces for peace-making on earth.

  • I guess in 2008 you must have been for McCain, given that Obama and the Democrats got the majority of Wall Street contributions during that election?

    • John Henry

      I’m a little worried about your memory, BA. As I recall, MM went through the trouble of writing a formal endorsement of then-Senator Obama in 2008. When that happened and the sun rose in the east, it made for a day that few of us will soon forget. I do love the argument advanced in the post, though:

      1. Obama shielded and assisted amoral Wall Street monsters during the financial crisis.
      2. Ergo, we should vote for him again.

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