The Odd Kinship Between Venture Capitalists and Leftist Politicians

Took a longish road trip the other day and had an unrestrained chat with someone who had terminated our friendship back in late 2015 when I offhandedly said, “I think Donald Trump could actually win the Republican nomination and, ultimately, the presidency.”

He called me out of the blue and I laughed when I realized who it was. He did not apologize for his boorishness and I did not press him. I was staring down more than 1,000 miles, so we chatted.

Believe me, it was very early to say that when I did in 2015. Trump only announced for President on 15 November 2022. I was way early. In complete disclosure, I did not say he “would” win for about 6 months thereafter, but I did say he “could.”

I did not say I supported this Donald Trump character — he was far more boorish in those days than he is today — but I did say he “could” win and that was, apparently, more than enough to cancel our friendship. I did not miss him though he was always good for a stimulating chat.

We did not speak about the past, but we did speak about how the injection of this Vivek (rhymes with “cake”) Ramaswamy seems to bridge the gap among the finance/private equity/venture capital worlds.

He contends Vivek (rhymes with loser) Ramaswamy will be the eventual President, whilst I say he won’t.

He blurts out, “There are a great number of similarities between venture capitalists and Democrat/leftist politicians.”

I say, “How so?”

He responds thusly:

 1. Both politicians and venture capitalists are working with OPM — other people’s money. It is all make believe money.

 2. Both rackets require gobs of money and are, essentially, money businesses.

The venture capitalist must make financial investments and then protect them until they are clearly no longer viable, whereafter he has to put them down which entails cutting off the money spigot.

The politician has to raise heaps of money to run and then has to spend limitless taxpayer money in a targeted manner to benefit his supporters.

 3. Both deal with a massive amount of failure.

 A venture capitalist invests in a portfolio of companies and the success rate is in the 20% range. About 80% of a VC’s investments go in the shitter.

 A politician deals with a similar success rate on his/her campaign promises. [I think this Donald Trump character gets a high mark for the percentage of his promises kept. Yes, no?]

 4. Both enterprises deal with “change” as a core value.

The politician is constantly going to “fix” Washington or their state.

The VC is going to support a company that will fundamentally change life. Sometimes, they hit a strong lick — I give you Twitter which is now essentially the way in which countries conduct their affairs and elect their leaders.

 5. They are both industries controlled — or sought to be controlled — by elitists with more than a little Ivy League influence and a clubby feel.

There is a pecking order, a hierarchy, a set of “right” schools to have attended, both quite elitist.

 6. Both industries are rigged and more than a little bit misogynic.

I was hauling a car from Texas to Savannah and, therefore, was in the right lane travelling at no more than 58 MPH which was incredibly relaxing and liberating. I did not have to pass anybody, did not have to accelerate, didn’t worry about the cops, and could have dozed off so calm was the ride.

The weather cooperated with only the lightest bit of sprinkles the entire trip.

I did run into an obnoxious beaver at a gigantic gas station whereat I fueled up and bought a flagon of coffee. The beaver challenged me to a boxing match and though I hadn’t boxed since college, I hopped into the ring and gave him a lesson stopping him in the second round with a right upper cup that came from somewhere in my youth.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.