The 1 Percent Speaks

A former Bain Capital man and Romney supporter says income inequality shows our economy is working.



My guest today Ed Conard was a partner with Mitt Romney at Bain Capital -a partner and managing director at the private equity firm Romney helped start.  Made – ballpark – hundreds of millions of dollars.  Retired at 51, rich. 

Now Ed Conard is a major Romney supporter, and he’s thinking and talking about the US economy.  About growth and incentives and inequality.  Inequality is not the problem, he says.  Inequality is the answer.  A sign of the riches – the incentives – that drive the economy forward. 

Up next On Point:  the “point-one” percent speaks.  Ed Conard, American incentives, and inequality.

-Tom Ashbrook


Edward Conard, former managing director and partner at Bain Capital. He worked there from 1993-2007, and worked side-by-side with Mitt Romney. He’s the author of Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong. You can find an excerpt here.

Timothy Noah, senior editor at The New Republic and author of The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do about It.

C-Segment: Romney at Liberty University

You can find a full transcript of Mitt Romney’s commencement address at Liberty University from May 12, 2012 here.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Ever since the financial crisis started, we’ve heard plenty from the 1 percent. We’ve heard them giving defensive testimony in Congressional hearings or issuing anodyne statements flanked by lawyers and image consultants. They typically repeat platitudes about investment, risk-taking and job creation with the veiled contempt that the nation doesn’t understand their contribution. You get the sense that they’re afraid to say what they really believe. What do the superrich say when the cameras aren’t there? ”

The New Republic “Conard says that the more investment you have, the cheaper the stuff that the 99 percent buy will become. This argument (which I think of as the “Who Needs Good Jobs?” argument) presumes that Americans will consume even when they can’t actually afford to, and data on the current recovery provide some evidence that may be true.”

Slate “Conard’s more interesting claim is that inequality isn’t just the consequence of socially beneficial activities, it’s the cause of socially beneficial activities because inequality leads to investment”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Oct 6, 2015
Eric Baker, co-owner of the Mo Money Pawn Shop, poses for a photo at the shop Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Phoenix.  (AP)

American gun policy front and center in the 2016 campaigns after the shootings in Oregon. We’ll look at who stands where on guns.

Oct 6, 2015
In this Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, photo, Dorothy McIntosh Shuemake, mother of Alison Shuemake, browses a picture collage of her daughter at her home, in Middletown, Ohio. Alison Shuemake, 18, died Aug. 26, after a suspected heroin overdose. (AP)

American addiction. From prescription painkillers to heroin. The numbers are staggering. Why?

Oct 5, 2015
Singer-songwriter Sara Barielles on the cover of her new memoir, "Sounds Like Me." (Courtesy Simon & Schuster)

Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles goes fully confessional in her new memoir, “Sounds Like Me.” She joins us.

Oct 5, 2015
The newest version of the Apple mobile iOS system allows ad-blocking software on mobile browsing for the first time. (Abdullah Syahbal / Flickr)

Are ad–blocking, bots, and mobile gutting economic viability of the internet? We’ll take a close look.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: October 2, 2015
Friday, Oct 2, 2015

We say hello again to our email address (since so many of you did this week) and goodbye to the Log Lady.

More »
Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘Count Me As A Radical’
Thursday, Oct 1, 2015

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is making waves in the 2016 Presidential race, and he joined us today from the US Capitol to explain how his campaign message is connecting with voters around the country.

More »
Our Week In The Web: September 25, 2015
Friday, Sep 25, 2015

But seriously — where ARE our podcasts running off to? Plus, more Jewel.

More »