Why Private Equity Is Public Enemy #1-Episode 997

We remember President George Herbert Walker Bush and try to forget President Donald J. Trump. Somebody needs to break it to Dan Quayle this doesn’t mean he gets to be president.


Professor Rosemary Batt gives us a crash course on private equity, and how it destroys perfectly good companies by using debt to buy them up, and then pays off that debt by sucking these companies dry.

Michael Rebell is suing the state of Rhode Island for failing to teach Civics. Mark is a champion for equal funding of public schools and has filed lawsuits around the country demanding that poor kids get the same quality education as rich kids. He believes the failure to teach Civics in our public schools is one of the primary threats to democracy.

Toys R Us, malls, retail chains and groceries stores are going bankrupt. Jobs are lost, communities destroyed and it’s all because private equity firms like Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital gobble them up, sell off their assets and then spits out what’s left into a river of debt. If Americans understood what private equity was doing to their lives it would be outlawed. Retail, grocery stores and malls are not going out of business because people no longer shop. They are going out of business because private equity firms are destroying them. It’s time to learn about your enemy, private equity. Private equity is coming for your company, it’s coming for your union, it’s coming for your job. Know your enemy. We talk with Professor Rosemary Batt who teaches us exactly how private equity sucks corporations dry.

Washington Post Columnist Helaine Olen, American Prospect Columnist Professor Rosemary Batt, Down With Tyranny’s Howie Klein, Civics Activist and Attorney Michael Rebell, Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling and The Reverend Barry Lynn who served as executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Time Code:

8:30: Professor Rosemary Batt on why the retail apocalypse should be blamed on private equity and not Amazon. Malls, grocery store chains and Toys R Us go broke, and it’s all because of the debt racked up by private equity firms.

43:30 Attorney Michael Rebell on his lawsuit against Rhode Island for failing to teach Civics. Why democracies die when citizens don’t know how their government works.

1:09:30 Washington Post Columnist Helaine Olen on George Herbert Walker Bush warts and all. And then she discusses all of Donald Trump’s warts.

1:45:30 Down With Tyranny’s Howie Klein on why the new Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer should be arrested.

2:18:30 Reverend Barry Lynn defeats David in an angry debate on bringing back the draft.

3:24:30 Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling with several sweet jokes about people of various backgrounds.

Deep Background:

Michael A. Rebell is the executive director of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University. He is an experienced litigator in the field of education law, and he is also professor of law and educational practice at Teachers College and Columbia Law School.Rebell was co-counsel for the plaintiffs in Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc. (CFE) v. State of New York, a school funding “adequacy” lawsuit that claimed that the State of New York was not adequately funding public schools in New York City. Rebell argued the case three times before the New York Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court.Prior to becoming involved in the CFE litigation, Rebell litigated other class action lawsuits in the area of education, including Jose P. v. Mills, a case involving funding for education for students with disabilities. He also served as a court-appointed special master in Allen v. Park, a special education case in Boston.

Rosemary Batt is the Alice Hanson Cook Professor of Women and Work at the ILR School, Cornell University. She is a Professor in Human Resource Studies and International and Comparative Labor. She received her BA from Cornell University and her Ph.D. from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on comparative international studies of management and employment relations, with particular attention to the impact of financialization on management and employment and the globalization and restructuring of service industries and its impact on low wage workers. She previously coordinated the Global Call Center Project/. She has written extensively on human resource practices and their effect on firm performance, the quality of jobs, and wage and employment outcomes.

Her work has appeared in such journals as the Academy of Management Journal, British Journal of Industrial Relations, the European Journal of Industrial Relations, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Industrial Relations, International Journal of Human Resource Management, and Personnel Psychology. She is co-author of Private Equity at Work (2014) with Eileen Appelbaum; co-editor of the Oxford Handbook on Work and Organization and co-author of The New American Workplace: Transforming Work Systems in the United States, Cornell University Press.

Helaine Olen is a contributor to Post Opinions and the author of “Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry” and co-author of “The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated.” Her work has appeared in Slate, the Nation, the New York Times, the Atlantic and many other publications. She serves on the advisory board of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and lives in New York City with her husband, sons and poodle daughter.