Monday, May 21, 2012

Politics about Capitalism

It is quite early in the game, but there is a feeling in the air that we have got a crucial moment in hardening of America's political opinions about coming November elections. First it is about the Presidential ticket, then rest of the ballot follows.

Jennifer Rubin is right to say that Obama's campaign built around 'shiny objects' is falling through. But I am not sharing her opinion that Obama's Private Equity argument is crumbling nor I share David Brook's evaluation that it is not creative for Obama to re-run the same campaign against Romney as like past elections - that Romney is beholden to Capitalism and does not care much about common people and their jobs. If at all, there is even more acute need 'now' to argue for the case against Capitalism as it has been practiced in last two decades.

Obama is right in this case to 'double down'. People can argue lot how much good has come out of Private Equity. But sitting in Silicon Valley, we know the difference between good 'private equity' of Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia, NEA, Lighspeed and may other Technology Venture Capitalists and 'ravenous scavenger type' equity of Bain Capital. All these Conservatives are on different planet to sing paeans about Bain Capital style private equity just after a blowout at JP Morgon and failure of Market Capitalism in 'pricing Facebook properly'. I would say Obama's instincts to fight this battle are right. My fear is two fold:
- he will quit this battle in between and
- will ignore to articulate effectively the other side of the coin: a) respectful plan / principles to contain deficits and b) a plan to grow American Economy with higher employment.

Obama is short on credibility when it comes to specifying concrete solutions. He is enduring insults from Senate Minority Leader in this regard. And generally loosing precious time in coming clean with Americans about how he would contain the 'entitlement costs'. Clearly none of that Romey is doing and he will for sure sink further our Economy by doubling down on tax cuts for rich. But Conservatives will all overlook these shortcomings of Romney, especially when it comes to slamming Obama; as that is such a fulfilling sport!

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