Here is a great catch phrase- Locust Capitalism. The article by David Waldman, describing the past business practices of one of our corporate persons, Bain Capital, uses this catchy phrase to characterize said corporate person. Of course, the irony of it all is plastered on the face of biological person Willard “Mitt” Romney who makes a show of being a job creator.

There is something that locusts do create- it is called frass.

I do not doubt Romney’s sincerity when he speaks. Like other candidates, he seems to live in the “eternal now” much like a dog. He wags his tail at the public hoping to curry favor for the treat of being president. If wagging his tail doesn’t work, he rolls over and puts up a paw hoping to win over the public. It is in the nature of these creatures to do this and while we cannot hold them blameless for their transgressions, we can at least understand them.

People who are able to think about business in an abstract way, that is, unencumbered by sloppy sentimentality for the fate of individuals, are well suited to become the captains and oligarchs of business. Romney seems to have been a captain. If the practices described by Waldman did in fact happen, then the locust analogy is very suitable and it says a lot about the character of the persons involved.

Waldman writes that Romney and cohorts bought companies holding ample commercial credit, charged them substantial management fees, and tapped out the credit lines while pocketing operating cash, driving the company into bankruptcy. They walk away from the remaining husk of what was a functioning organization with their neatly stacked pile of lucre.

If a real person did this, he/she might be described as a kind of sociopath. But somehow in the context of business there is no descriptor for such antisocial behavior.

Since we are now in the habit of referring to corporate personhood, perhaps we need to be a bit more analytical about it and characterize pathological behavior such as this.

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