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For Immediate Release

Press Release

Attention Democrats: Make Corporations Your Enemies


Jeff Hauser, Revolving Door Project Executive Director, issued this statement in advance of the 2021 and midterm elections:

"Real world problems don't just happen. The political economy is never inevitable. Yet as their poll numbers slump, Joe Biden and his administration have mostly whimpered that they are the victims of circumstance. We can expect a similar refusal to accept the buck from Terry McAuliffe should he lose to failed private equity mogul-turned-Trump dog whistler Glenn Youngkin in Virginia tonight.”

“These immensely powerful men are both pretending to be helpless, primarily because they are afraid of making powerful enemies — most especially, corporations and the ultra-wealthy. But if they and other Democrats refuse to fight for the people, the people will seek fighters elsewhere.” 

“Look at McAuliffe. Why is a hysterical, imagined version of ‘critical race theory’ the main villain being discussed in Virginia and elsewhere? Glenn Youngkin’s firm, the Carlyle Group, fired thousands of unionized workers for profit. A non-compromised nominee would have been able to hammer Youngkin on the ways his greed devastated real people.”

“Likewise, if the Biden Administration is so worried about supply chain disruptions, why isn’t it tackling the ultimate cause of the problem — corporate greed? Profiteering companies embraced just-in-time logistics and swallowed any redundancies into bloated monopolies. Why isn’t the Biden Administration attacking firms which cared more about their dividends than their actual operations? Why isn’t the Administration dusting off little-used statutory powers to mitigate and resolve these disruptions? Why is there no 'Supply Chain Profiteering Task Force' identifying the obstacles to normalcy in American transportation?” 

“And why is the Transportation Secretary claiming that the most important effort to tackle supply chain issues is ‘to put the pandemic behind us' rather than using federal law to fight for consumers and against profiteers? How can we ‘put the pandemic behind us’ in a world that remains largely unvaccinated thanks to Big Pharma greed? Why hasn’t the Administration fought tooth and nail to actually end the intellectual property restrictions which strangle our global vaccine supply for the sake of blood-stained profits?”

“That extends to domestic fights against Pharma too. Forget Manchin, Sinema, and narrow Congressional majorities — the executive branch has extraordinary powers to rein in that industry. Why hasn’t Biden used them? It's great that Big Ag consolidation is an Administration rhetorical target — but has Trump's holdover in charge of the Antitrust Division actually brought any high-profile criminal cases against anti-competitive behavior? Perhaps more importantly, has the Administration publicly named names of the firms and individuals which broke the law?”

“Actual politics requires taking action against actual villains to solve problems, not the shrugging and cowering which elites persuade themselves is ‘savvy.’ America is in a populist moment. If Democrats won’t harness that then the right wing will, substituting their bigoted fantasies for the actual forces which make life worse for Americans.”

“There is no direct public policy response to the fantasies that the right-wing media ecosystem pushes, but an active executive branch can generate an interesting counter-narrative surrounding a president's war on corporate corruption. The story of the midterm elections will be whether Biden does it.”


The Revolving Door Project (RDP), a project of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), scrutinizes executive branch appointees to ensure they use their office to serve the broad public interest, rather than to entrench corporate power or seek personal advancement.

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