Steven Perlstein's wonderful analysis in Friday's Washington Post of Herman Cain's business ideals and how they play into the larger economic landscape is not to be missed. Being from California, I'm unfamiliar with Godfather Pizza, but evidently I should learn more about his business model.
'Don’t blame Wall Street. Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.'
— Herman Cain, from an Oct. 5 video interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Alan Murray
What you have in this statement from the leading Republican candidate to be president of the United States is the purest distillation of the attitude of the New Republican Party toward rising poverty and inequality in the United States.
Normally, Republican politicians are politic enough to dance around questions about poverty and inequality, accusing anyone who brings them up as engaging in “class warfare” or blaming President Obama, conveniently forgetting that these were big problems when Republicans controlled the White House and Congress.
But not the Hermanator. Indeed, one of the things we love about Cain is that there is no filter between the brain and the mouth. He just tells you what he thinks, even if he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Yeah, there's what we need. A dispassionate, selfish CEO who doesn't know what he's talking about. Yay, us.
Here's one more snippet, but really, just go read the whole thing.
Through it all, his views on economic justice have been perfectly consistent: The only thing anyone deserves from society is the opportunity to work hard and succeed, just as he did, the African American son of a chauffeur growing up in the segregated South.
If Cain is the perfect Republican candidate for 2012, then Godfather’s Pizza is the perfect metaphor for the winner-take-all economy envisioned by today’s uncompassionate conservatives: a highly-leveraged management buyout that made fortunes for top executives and big franchise owners by closing stores, hiring mostly minimum-wage employees with no health or retirement benefits, and relying on slick TV ads to peddle an unhealthy and mediocre product.
This truly is what they believe, by the way. That's why you're seeing all the efforts to repeal child labor laws and drop the minimum wage while consolidating the heck out of essential industries that people actually need to survive.
This is Herman Cain's vision for this country. The only difference between now and a century ago in his mind is that he gets a seat at the rich man's table. He can thank a liberal for that.