Ed Milliband, left, pioneered Gingrich’s distinction between “predators” and “producers.”
Newt Gingrich has justified his attacks on Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital by saying Romney’s version of capitalism makes him a “predator.” Romney is a “predatory corporate mugger,” said Rick Tyler, who is running Gingrich’s Super PAC.
The notion that there are two varieties of capitalism, predatory and productive, is much in the air right now — but it’s not coming from the right. It’s the theme of the British left and of Labour Party leader Ed Milliband, who made the distinction the center piece of his address to the annual party conference last September:
Let me tell you what the 21st century choice is:
Are you on the side of the wealth creators or the asset strippers?
The producers or the predators?
Producers train, invest, invent, sell.
Things Britain does brilliantly.
Predators are just interested in the fast buck, taking what they can out of the business.
This isn’t about one industry that’s good and another that isn’t.
Or one firm always destined to be a predator and another to be a producer.
It’s about different ways of doing business, ways that the rules of our economy can favour or discourage.