I’d like to talk about Bain Capital. Not about numbers. Not about Rmoney and his history with Bain Capital specifically. Not about Bain’s connections to other companies, specifically. What I want to talk about is more important than that. I want to make the point of why organizations like Bain Capital matter.
Private equity firms are not, inherently, bad. Much like spiders and snakes, some people just don’t like them, their good points are misunderstood and private equity firms, and like spiders and snakes, can hurt people or they can just plain creep them out.
Spiders and snakes can keep harmful pests out of your house and garden. Private equity firms, like Bain Capital, can flush a company with much needed funds, saving a company and its employees. So there is a positive point to them. There is a negative side too. A snake or spider can bite you on the hand while doing some morning gardening and leave you fighting for your life before the sun goes down that night. Private equity firms, like Bain Capital, can buy out your company, leverage every penny out of it for its investors and leave the dry husk to blow away in the wind. A bad day for everyone but the snake and the private equity firm but the investors got a good return on their investment so what is the harm? At the end of day, someone might have got hurt but no big deal. Not so fast.
Here is where the similarities my analogy start to diverge. It all lies in the reasoning of why they do what they do. When a snake or spider bites you and hurts you, they did it out of their sense of self-defense. They were animals being animals. They didn’t seek that person out or act out in maliciousness. Why is that distinction important? The “why” matters. The choice matters.
Because when a private equity firm, like Bain Capital, seeks out a vulnerable company and leverages its assets and sucks all the value out of an organization, it has far reaching implications that can do un-told harm. That company's doors close, forever, employees are out of work, homes are lost, marriages become rocky or broken, families become fractured, drug abuse and alcohol abuse skyrocket, local communities can fail, towns can fall and state economies can suffer. All of these bad things came about because of a choice. A choice drove the decision to use a bat on the wounded company, to beat it to death and pick its pockets, not the choice of the helping hand of investment and revitalization.
That is why Rmoney’s association with Bain Capital matters in this election. That is why the President of the United States said running a private equity firm, no matter how successful you were at running it, is not the same as being President of the United States. The President’s job is to be there for everyone, not the few. Rmoney's choices matter in this election.