Oh, no, Guadalajara won’t do now

The story mistermix flagged this morning about Bain outsourcing jobs is a big one. Partly because of the hypocrisy:

“They’ve been able to put American businesses out of business and kill American jobs,” he told workers at a Toledo fence factory in February. “If I’m president of the United States, that’s going to end.”

[…]

Two years after Bain invested in the firm, CSI merged with another enterprise to form a new company called Stream International Inc. Stream immediately became active in the growing field of overseas calls centers. Bain was initially a minority shareholder in Stream and was active in running the company, providing “general executive and management services,” according to SEC filings.

[…]

According to a news release issued by Modus Media in 1997, its expansion of outsourcing services took place in close consultation with Bain. Terry Leahy, Modus’s chairman and chief executive, was quoted in the release as saying he would be “working closely with Bain on strategic expansion.” At the time, three Bain directors sat on the corporate board of Modus.

The global expansion that began while Romney was at Bain continued after he left. In 2000, the firm announced it was opening a new facility in Guadalajara, Mexico, and expanding in China, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea.

But also because the public deserve an honest discussion of issues around globalization and what it means to make a company more efficient. I’m not protectionist personally, but a lot of the public is. And a lot of voters who like the idea of a competent money-making CEO in theory don’t like the idea so much when the money is made by outsourcing jobs.

If Romney’s time at Bain Capital isn’t “fair game”, then I don’t know what is.






53 replies
  1. 1
    dr. bloor says:

    But Corey Booker told me that Michelle once bought something made in China, so it’s off the table because Both Sidez Doit.

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    No, don’t look at my record! I’m running for President, for Christ’s sake!

    (Kickin’ Steely Dan reference in title, Doug!)

  3. 3
    Napoleon says:

    If Romney’s time at Bain Capital isn’t “fair game”, then I don’t know what is.

    Particularly since Romney is using that time as the primary qualification for why he should be president.

  4. 4
    General Stuck says:

    Protectionism, is way too complicated for the average voter. Sending their jobs to Mexico is not.

  5. 5
    Raven says:

    California tumbles into the sea
    That’ll be the day I go back to Annandale

  6. 6
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Mr Romney asked nicely that the bad parts of his time at Bain not be discussed. To bring them up now would be rude and shrill.

  7. 7
    Valdivia says:

    Steely Dan for the win. More on the substantive bit of the post once I have had my second dosage of caffeine.

  8. 8
    japa21 says:

    Anything that may make Romney look bad is automatically off limits because it then becomes personal attacks.
    Therefore there can be no discussion of any of the following:
    Bain
    Governorship
    Olympics
    Dressage
    Seamus
    Bullying
    Ann
    Lack of truthfulness
    Cowardice
    Car elevators
    Allegiance to the Tea Party

    However, fair game is
    The black guy’s socialized medicine
    the black guy’s economic failures (with lying approved)
    The black guy’s foreign vacations (of which there have been none)
    The black guy’s blackness (in coded terms)

    BTW in terms of the Tea Party, I really hope that in the debates Obama tries to tie Romney to the Tea Party. It will be interesting to see Romney squirm trying to disassociate himself from them without alienating them.

  9. 9
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I don’t expect this to get any traction. That would upset ‘the narrative’. The ‘narrative’ being Mittens as the ultra-successful corporate giant who will save Amercia with tax cuts, deregulation and large piles of dead Muslims Vs. the Kenyan Usurper, who could have saved America if he had just spent every day in office apologizing for his Unforgivable Blackness, having a hot wife and for having a bigger dick than the entire House GOP caucus put together.

    You see, the Press would really like to cover things like policy, but that can’t ever happen, because Obama won’t let Chuck Todd fuck his wife.

  10. 10
    Cacti says:

    The fact that you want to discuss the previous 64 years of Romney’s life just shows your librul bias.

  11. 11
    smintheus says:

    Remember back in 2008 when Romney jumped all over McCain for saying that many of Michigan’s outsourced jobs were gone for good and would never come back? What Romney never admitted was that he’d helped to outsource those jobs.

  12. 12
    terraformer says:

    Is Romney Daddy Gee?

  13. 13
    Scott S. says:

    @japa21:

    BTW in terms of the Tea Party, I really hope that in the debates Obama tries to tie Romney to the Tea Party. It will be interesting to see Romney squirm trying to disassociate himself from them without alienating them.

    This, so hard.

  14. 14
    shortstop says:

    Got my Friday earworm and I liiiike it.

    Imagine a world in which the media isn’t in the tank for Romney and voters actually pay attention. With his record at Bain and his record as guv, he’d be running about 73 points behind right now.

  15. 15
    Valdivia says:

    I think the main issue here is that our media in general are loath to actually hold Romney accountable for anything. His lies, prevarication, cowardice.

    But aside from calling him out: they are incapable of explaining policy in real terms. Everything is about who is up or down. And this is the main reason most people don’t even know what is in the ACA–the people responsible for telling them totally fell on the job and simply repeated talking points. It’s the same with any other policy: taxes, immigration, you name it. So that real conversation is bound to not happen with the media we have. I don’t know that this is fixable anymore.

  16. 16
    Steeplejack says:

    Steely Dan should be a gold mine of title-worthy lyrics.

  17. 17
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    I don’t expect this to get any traction. That would upset ‘the narrative’

    You’ll change the triple point of water, or acceleration due to gravity, before you’ll change The Narrative.

    How long has it been since a Republican balanced the federal budget? And who’s the party of fiscal responsibility?

    Politics isn’t the only place where it’s better to be wrong in the same way everyone else is being wrong, and at the same time, than being right in some novel way, or being right ahead of time.

    It’s even more important in covering politics.

  18. 18
    handsmile says:

    Raven (#5) already beat me to the line I see, but at a very deep level that is why the first thing I do upon waking each and every morning is to turn on the news: to learn if overnight it has become the day to “go back to Annandale” (or its metaphoric equivalent).

    Darkly, it is a cataclysm I expect to occur in my lifetime.

    ETA: That’s about as substantive and on-topic as I can be in this morning’s heat.

  19. 19
    Steeplejack says:

    __

    “They’ve been able to put American businesses out of business and kill American jobs,” he told workers at a Toledo fence factory in February. “If I’m president of the United States, that’s going to end.”

    Putting aside the historical hypocrisy and just looking at present-day reality, just how would President Romney stop outsourcing? How would he even be able to? Because big corporations are “his people” and they would stop it just because they like him?

  20. 20
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Steeplejack: Why, he’d just call the all into the room and yell at them. It worked with Bush, the Saudis and gas prices, didn’t it?

  21. 21
    Mudge says:

    @Steeplejack: He can’t do it. What he said was a lie. We are talking about Mitt Romney here.

  22. 22
    elisabeth says:

    @Valdivia:

    Hell, yesterday WaPo gave Obama campaign 4 Pinocchio’s for saying Romney outsourced jobs. Yesterday. Of course, they’ll defend themselves by trying to separate Romney from Bain.

  23. 23
    handsmile says:

    Alsotoo, in keeping with the Steely Dan theme here, Rmoney’s true campaign motto: The Royal Scam.

  24. 24
    Violet says:

    Romney is a coward. He won’t stand by his record and instead runs away from it. Coward.

  25. 25
    2liberal says:

    i actually worked for Stream for a couple of years in their Canton, MA location, ending in Y2K. They were shutting down that location, not due to outsourcing, but rather because Microsoft (the largest customer for that location by far) was taking their tech support inhouse.

  26. 26
    Keith says:

    Should hit home for anyone who has had to deal with a “Jonathan” from India who communicates (poorly) with them via script.

  27. 27
    RSA says:

    And a lot of voters who like the idea of a competent money-making CEO in theory don’t like the idea so much when the money is made by outsourcing jobs.

    I don’t really understand those voters. CEOs make money (for their companies) by taking risks. Studies have been carried out showing that CEOs tend toward risk-taking behavior in their personal lives as well as at their jobs. And of course in a “free market”, bigger payoffs mean taking bigger risks. In my opinion a CEO, especially from the financial sector, isn’t temperamentally well-suited for the job of being President.

  28. 28
    Lee Hartmann says:

    Unfortunately, RMoney wasn’t found with the working girls in the county jail.

  29. 29
    burnspbesq says:

    This isn’t exactly rocket surgery, boys and girls.

    The existing set of legal norms that govern the behavior of managers pretty much requires them to make maximizing investor value Job One, all day, every day.

    If we don’t like the outcomes that flow more or less inevitably from the existing set of legal norms, we need a new set of legal norms.

  30. 30
    MikeJake says:

    We’ve decided that promoting the prosperity of Americans, as one of the benefits of being a citizen of the United States, must take a back seat to promoting the prosperity of corporations and elites. We’ve taken a country that represented certain national ideals that held us out as distinct in the world, and turned it into a mere geographic landmass that we happen to reside in, with little connection between one another. So long as someone, anywhere in the world, is available to do a job, then the well-being of the American people themselves become less of a national interest.

    If that makes me a protectionist, then so be it.

  31. 31
    Yutsano says:

    @2liberal: Stream was the outsourcer my old job used when they couldn’t expand the call centre in Illinois anymore. They didn’t move them far really but it was internationally outsources to Canada. Last I heard they were doing okay but we were still having to take some pressure off them. Expanding businesses sometimes make rough choices.

  32. 32
    burnspbesq says:

    @MikeJake:

    If you want to be protectionist, fine. I don’t want to hear you whine when the price of most of what you consume goes up.

  33. 33
    ruemara says:

    @burnspbesq: Dear Esq. It ALREADY HAS. Yours, ruemara.

    p.s. Everything but the wages.

  34. 34
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Who cares if some idiots (including weak Dems) say that Romneybot’s time at Bain are not fair game? President Obama is doing the right thing and going after the Bot via Bain.

    Wasn’t there a time when Romneybot claimed that while he worked at Bain, 100,000 jobs were created? Why isn’t determining the veracity of that claim (and his other Bain-related claims) fair game?

  35. 35
    MikeJake says:

    @burnspbesq: Fine by me. A broadly prosperous America provides benefits of its own.

    If that means iPads and truck tires have to cost a little more, then I’ll make do.

  36. 36
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Pat, why do you hate Economic FREEDOM(r)?

    Mitt is a Big Picture type of guy, he doesn’t have time for details like “those jobs were created in India” (like that’s any different than creating a job in a non real-American state like California)

  37. 37
    Mudge says:

    @MikeJake: But let’s be realistic. The plutocrats will allow protectionism only if it benefits their bottom line. They do not care about consumer prices or domestic jobs as long as their profits increase. Keep in mind they are sociopaths. They will fight pay increases to the workers tooth and nail. They will also find ways, via legislation or loophole, to once again send jobs offshore while maintaining the higher prices dictated by the fiction of protectionism.

  38. 38
    Wiesman says:

    I’m always interested when a fellow liberal/progressive makes a statement like “I’m not protectionist but…”

    ALL government action is protectionist. We judge it by WHAT it is protecting.

  39. 39
    Nellcote says:

    If Romney’s time at Bain Capital isn’t “fair game”, then I don’t know what is.

    Go tell Glenn Kessler.

  40. 40
    DougJ says:

    @burnspbesq:

    If we don’t like the outcomes that flow more or less inevitably from the existing set of legal norms, we need a new set of legal norms.

    Sounds like a pretty strong argument in favor of voting against Romney.

  41. 41
    gene108 says:

    Outsourcing, per se, makes sense because things, if an activity is not part of your core job function it doesn’t make sense to do it in house.

    Office cleaning has been outsourced by most firms and we don’t think twice about it.

    There are other cost centers that it makes sense to outsource to a third party.

    This doesn’t mean the work has to be done in another country.

  42. 42
    Rob in CT says:

    @ruemara:

    Depends on what you mean. Gas prices have gone up, but that has nothing to do with protectionism/free trade. Same with healthcare costs and higher education.

    The price of many other things (various widgets, basically, but food too IIRC) has fallen over time. Globalization is a double-edged sword. Job losses, but cheaper products.

    I, for one, and fine with questioning the tradeoff and deciding that you’d rather pay more for (certain) things in exchange for lower unemployment/higher wages (if that’s actually likely to be the result… I dunno. Remember the robots). But I think a blanket assertion that the price of things has gone up is just… factually incorrect.

  43. 43
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Steeplejack: Romney needs to start getting knocked around for leaving out the “how?” from every fucking thing he says. I think the idea is that lower taxes and less regulation on American businesses would make it less appealing to cut costs by outsourcing. Of course, all that really means is that if they outsource on top of all those already-cut costs, they keep EVEN MORE money. But let’s make _him_ do some of the explaining. He hasn’t yet, and I don’t expect him to until he’s forced.

  44. 44
    gene108 says:

    @MikeJake:

    If that means iPads and truck tires have to cost a little more, then I’ll make do.

    It’s not a cost issue based purely on the cost of labor. The U.S. government hasn’t put the investment into manufacturing that is needed to keep us competitive with other countries in the long term.

    In the short term we are still the largest manufacturing economy on the planet, but that’s because we mostly sell some very expensive stuff like satellites.

    There’s no inherent reason that Wal-Mart, for example, can’t pay what manufacturing jobs did in the “good old days”.

  45. 45
    Interrobang says:

    @Yutsano: Some friends of mine here in Whitebreadville (Ontario) used to work at a Stream facility that had jobs that were “nearshored” from the US. It was good for them, because at the time that work was really booming here, the US companies got an automatic 30% discount on expenditures on their Canadian facilities due to the exchange rate, plus they had a cheap(er) pool of North American English-speakers. It was good for us, in a sense (if you define shitty call-centre jobs as “good,” I guess), because a lot of people got work out of it. Canadians gotta eat, too, you know.

    As far as I know, those jobs have mostly gone to India now.

    Since a lot of our economy (probably a disproportionate amount) is stuff that has to be done here, such as resource extraction, the 1% has been screwing us by making sure that hardly any of those companies involved are actually Canadian-owned anymore (thanks, Paul Fucking Martin and Stephen Fucking Harper), and sometimes even selling the actual land to foreign concerns…so while we remain hewers of wood and drawers of water to the world, it ain’t even our wood and water anymore.

    Those bastards have thought of ways to screw average people in every situation.

  46. 46
    tomvox1 says:

    @Nellcote:

    Yes, Glenn Kessler–arbiter of douchiness.

    WaPo Fact Checker Defends ‘Four Pinocchios’ For Outsourcing Ad Against Romney

    What a slimy little prick.

  47. 47
    Keith says:

    @FlipYrWhig: What, “opposite of Obama” isn’t a detailed enough “how” for ya? Geez, you ask so much of Mitt!

  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    @Interrobang:
    Those bastards have thought of ways to screw average people in every situation.

    I thought that is what they do for a living. The stuff they sell steal is only the means to that end.

  49. 49
    burnspbesq says:

    @DougJ:

    Sounds like a pretty strong argument in favor of voting against Romney

    It does, doesn’t it.

  50. 50
    Chris T. says:

    If people were logical (they’re not) and Romney were honest (he isn’t) and on the side of “the people”, he’d tell us all something like this: “As a Bain Capital partner, I made a shitload of money by getting lots of American workers fired. I know all the tricks. That puts me in a great position to change the rules so that the tricks no longer work. I’ll set up rules so that hyenas like me-at-Bain can no longer profit by hollowing out and destroying US companies and jobs.”

    (And, as the saying goes, “if my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a trolley.”)

  51. 51
    Drive-by Nomad says:

    Now, I did not think the Mitt could be so cruel.

  52. 52
    shep says:

    Glenn Kessler: call your paper.

    Then shove your Pinocchios up your ass.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/....._blog.html

  53. 53
    Mike S. says:

    Obama, Immelt, hypocrisy, ‘nough said.

Comments are closed.