Excerpt: Sidney, Nebraska. Headquarters of Cabela’s. Cabela was quite profitable, but Paul Singer’s hedge fund saw a potential for profit. Singer bought a stake in Cabela’s, and forced it to merge with Bass Pro Shops. Singer doubled his money in one week, making about $100 million. Cabela’s closed its Sidney headquarters. It was the town’s main employer, and lost nearly 2,000 jobs. Property values collapsed. People who could leave, did. Those who couldn’t are now living in the ruins of what was once a good town.
Cabela’s was profitable. It was not a distressed business. But Paul Singer, a billionaire three times over, saw money to be made there, and swooped in for his fortune. To hell with the people of Sidney, Nebraska.
At the end of the segment, Carlson says he reached out to Ben Sasse, one of Nebraska’s Republican senators, asking for a comment about what happened to Sidney. Sasse said nothing. Carlson said in researching the story, he found not one public word from Sasse about the fate of Sidney. But he did find that Sasse got the maximum contribution possible from Singer for his 2014 Senate run.
Tucker Vs. Vulture Capitalists
There were many, many comments on the Rod Dreher article. Here are just a few:
PW: There isn’t a single candidate for major office in the US that opposes free market capitalism. Literally no-one is calling for the abolition of private property or the nationalization of major industries. In fact, the last time an industry was nationalized, it was under a Republican administration (airline security). You’re letting your mind get clouded by category errors if you’re seeing scary socialists everywhere but don’t want “crony capitalism”. That’s literally the focus of the economic left.
Ed Man responds to PW: Even if you were right, it wouldn’t matter and that’s exactly the problem. The policies of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren guarantee an ever-escalating “creeping” of state intervention into the economy. As their policies fail or their benefits become diluted or offset by the trade-offs, the easy solution will be to double down and create even more policies that involve government control of the economy.
Also, the Republicans never “nationalized” the airline industry. Regulating something on the basis of safety and security isn’t the same as nationalization. That’s like saying the automobile industry is nationalized just because there are safety standards in place governing the construction of cars. That said, between 1938 and 1978, the airline industry was subsidized by the federal government, giving it power to regulate fares (this is why airfare was so much more expensive back then). Guess who was president in 1938 when this policy was implemented? FDR.
Coyote the Clever: Globalism is the inevitable result of free market capitalism. If you’ve managed to stop globalism, then congratulations, you’ve put together restrictions that by definition have made your markets not free. And in creating those restrictions by allying with big business rather than the working class, you’ve just made another kind of crony capitalist system, via authoritarian capitalism. You can have free markets and globalism, or you can have closed markets and cronyism. That is the trade off you make under capitalism. Either way, the working class is harmed immeasurably.
The only way to really stop globalism without harming the American worker is to center companies around the American worker in a syndicalist system where they have the power to vote out executives and control their pay, making things like outsourcing an impossibility and controlling wages.
Russell: If “socialism” means “the nationalization of the industrial marketplace and the abolition of all personal private property,” then there is not only not a single socialist running for president, there are barely any socialists anywhere in the U.S., and I speak as a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who hang with these folks all the time. The invariably corrupt and corrupting nature of markets under the rule of finance capital–which is, thanks to globalization, what “capitalism” usually cannot help but point towards on the planet Earth, circa 2019–is the target of socialists, not the elimination of markets themselves. Yes, of course, I know socialists who want to impose state-run collectivism on every industry; you probably also know conservatives who want to stone homosexuals to death. To define everyone who uses a label solely in terms of the most fringey use of a label (as I will sometimes say to Rod in other contexts) does not serve discourse well.
MPC: It’s far better that the country decide that Singer and his sort are the problem, than that white people, black people, Latino people, Christian people, gay people, men, women, etc etc ie 100% of the country think that their next door neighbor is the problem. Identity politics keeps the plebs shooting each other while the elites accumulate ever more power. White, black, Christian, LGBT, whatever shade, identity politics is cancer and is paralyzing us to the inherent danger of concentrated power in a republic.
For those that don’t want socialism, nothing would be more tempting to an actual socialist movement than a massive centralization of power in a culturally distant group of Paris or Petersburg or Caracas-equivalent elites. Their pockets may be deep and their fortresses well built, but the fury of a dispossessed populace is not easily turned aside. The greed of the elites swallows up all power in to themselves, making absolute and unchecked control by the revolutionaries inevitable once they have seized it. There are Robespierres and Napoleons and Stalins and Maduros and generations of long recovery before the heirs of the revolution finally wise up to the problem of too much power in too few hands not turning out any better when it’s their hands that hold it.
Temp Anon: You’re fond of saying – on religious liberty grounds – that you don’t necessarily like voting for Republicans, but at least they don’t hate you like the Democrats do. What this highlights is that the Republicans (and Trump) do hate you, just for different reasons.Trump and the Republicans will do Sydney, Nebraska’s over and over again if it means that a couple of hedge funds get another 1% annual return on their funds. The Democrats might put a local baker out of business if he won’t sell a cake to a gay couple. The Republicans will wipe out the entire town if it makes one of their rich donors a little bit richer.
JLS: Oh please, Singer gives more to Republicans than to Democrats, which makes him an outlier on Wall Street which overwhelmingly gives more money to Democrats. Singer made his investment in Cabela’s during the Obama administration, so how is Trump to blame?
Coyote the Clever (second comment): How long are they going to be church people Rod, when their town is turned to dust, and the only jobs available to them only offer them a living wage if they work 80 hours a week? Economic issues are social issues. If you want to know why the family is breaking down, look at how the unions that supported them broke down. If you want to see why people aren’t going to church, see what decision fatigue capitalism is overloading their brains with.
Gauis: Mr Singer is not a conservative. His economic position is neoliberalism. His foreign policy position is neoconservative. His social/ cultural position is liberal. His not a Christian and does not support Christian values. He does not support traditionalism in any form. He is part of the Uniparty and would likely love a Bloomberg or Hillary as president. He is a predator on American society. His sociopathic policies are killing the host for short term gain. And he is typical of the oligarchs who are allegedly conservative. And he is the type of “Republican” who owns Conservative Inc. And why many Consevatives refuse to give credit to “conservative” pundits anymore. No open borders. No endless wars. Yes to antitrust enforcement. Yes to taxing the rich. Yes to national health care. Yes to tariffs. Yes to free speech and religious freedom. Yes to American nationalism and America First.
Lee in WV: I think you are right that the best way for the GOP to expand their tent is to do so with populist economic policies. The thing is that our partisanship is so complete that a party is defined as much by being against what the other party is for as for being for their own policies. Healthcare is a perfect example. Obamacare was based on Romneycare and yet the GOP ran *Romney himself* with a top plank of “repeal and replace”. It was seriously incoherent but that didn’t matter. As it stands now, it appears that one of the top points on the GOP 2020 strategy is to yell “SOCIALIST!!!” at and about Democrats whenever they mention any sort of economics.
Amadeus: Singer is basically the kind “Republican” that Trump was a “Democrat”. An opportunist that would do and say about anything to make a buck.
Sean: The only people who will take power whether economic or political, away from the Paul Singers of the world are not the Right. The Right will salute and say ‘yes sir!’ every time their economic betters tell them what is Right and Proper. Because the Right ALWAYS defends hierarchical power, no matter how destructive that power is to the cultural/social things the Right claims to defend in it’s attacks on it’s enemies.
Laclan: So the high rollers are screwing the holy rollers. Hasn’t this always been the plan? But if you give lip service to the latter, throw them a few crumbs now and then; they will always come running. Pitiful. So don’t wait for this to change. God save us.