Venture Capitalism, Gov. Snyder and the celebration of wealth
MiBiz has just published a new magazine entitled, The New Michigan Deal, which focuses on the rise of venture capitalism in this state.
The first issue does stories on numerous stories on venture capitalists across the state, including Rick DeVos’ project known as Start Garden.
Included in the publication is an interview with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, who at one point himself was a venture capitalist, but now oversees the state’s push adopt neoliberal austerity policies that primarily benefit the business community and devastate working class people and the public sector.
The interview with Snyder begins by stating:
These days, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is synonymous with cutting the state’s budget, evaluating Detroit’s need for an emergency manager and shepherding the new right-to-work legislation.
This is an interesting way to begin the article, before they start asking Snyder questions. However, in many ways it is telling. It’s as if, MIBiz editorial staff recognize that the Governor is associated with numerous anti-worker and anti-democratic policies, but what we really want to talk with him about is his enthusiasm for venture capitalism in the state.
MiBiz could have said a great deal more about Snyder’s policy, but since they are writing for the corporate community and the wealthier sectors of society, there is no need to be too forth coming with how the policies of Snyder have impacted working class people and communities.
We wrote back in September, when MLive was taking the position that Snyder did not support a Right to Work policy, what the business press doesn’t want to fully acknowledge:
In addition to Synder having never said he would veto Right to Work legislation, his commitment to anti-union policies and positions has been pretty clear. In fact, one could argue that Snyder has been following the game plan of the West MI Policy Forum and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy ever since he took office nearly two years ago.
Snyder signed onto the elimination of the Michigan Business Tax, implemented the Emergency Financial Manager Law, has tied revenue sharing for municipalities by their ability to downsize their workforce and privatize public services and has supported greater movement to privatize public education by attacking public education.
Snyder, Michigan and Venture Capitalism
The interview with Snyder revealed his enthusiasm for venture capitalism and how far the state has come in terms of the growing numbers of venture capitalists in recent years. Snyder talked about the need to change the “culture” of how business is done. This reference was to him being at a meeting with all suits and saying we needed a change, so he took his tie off.
Listen, changing ones clothing does not signify a change in culture. The same people who are the current venture capitalists might look like hipsters, but they are the same class of elites who come from the dominant class in this society. One indication that this is so, is looking at who else is featured in the issue of The New Michigan Deal. Of the 14 people who were interview or profiled, all 14 of them are White and 13 of the 14 are men. Doesn’t seem to be a change in the culture, at least not the dominant culture, to this writer.
This new publication from MiBiz, while it has a new title, is the same as their other publications in that it celebrates the achievements of the business class, while ignoring the impact on the working class.
The value of reading the publication and particularly the interview with Gov. Snyder, is that it makes clear what this class of people values…….wealth and the ability to make more of it.