HomeGrab BagCPAC Presents CEO Whose Business Was Built With Federal Loans to ‘Prove’ Free-Market Capitalism Works

CPAC Presents CEO Whose Business Was Built With Federal Loans to ‘Prove’ Free-Market Capitalism Works

Gary Heavin was just a man. But he was a man with a big dream. He dreamed, like so many Americans, of running his own business. In his 20s, he opened up a chain of gyms, but they didn’t stay afloat. Things were so bad that he didn’t have any money, and just when he was down on his luck and out of cash, he was thrown in jail for failing to pay child support. While in jail, he became a born-again Christian, and, when he was freed, he founded a second line of gyms. He was able to make this chain work with his own blood, sweat, and tears. You may recognize the name: Curves. Even if you’ve never heard of it, you’ve probably seen the signs or ads. This gym chain was amazingly successful, and Mr. Heavin, having heaved himself up by his bootstraps, become a paragon of capitalism success stories.

Well…CPAC desperately wanted the crowd to believe that, anyway, when they brought him on board for a Friday afternoon panel called, “And Entrepreneurship Shall Set You Free: How to Celebrate Free Market Capitalism in the Popular Culture.” Donald Trump and Donald Trump’s hair piece were there, as well as a few unknown state legislators like Mike Hill, and a think tank fellow named Frank Smith – who founded and is the chairman for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (If the name of that think tank sounds familiar,  you’ve read this piece about the CPAC 2014 Global Warming Denialism panel.)

Like any born-again Real True Christian™, he decided to donate large sums of money to an anti-Life, anti-Choice, pro-Forced Birth group. Now, Curves was founded as a gym for overweight women, and thus, intended as an expression of “grrl-power.” These two things – women’s liberation and anti-choice – they’re potassium and water, not peanut butter and jelly. As a result of this revelation, some of the franchises cut ties and he quickly found himself in financial trouble. His business tanking, Heavin, in the vein of true Wall Street Capitalists, turned to the government and floated a number of loans. These loans didn’t help, and the default rate for the franchises was 16%, the fourth highest in the country. The lawsuit floodgate was opened, and even though Heavin tried to market the brand, he failed, and was personally hit with a $20 million dollar lawsuit from former business associates who say that Heavin cheated them out of profits.

Finally, in 2012, he sold his failing business for an undisclosed sum of money. After that, he made the leap to the rubber chicken circuit, where he became a Paragon of Capitalism, standing with Libertarian Global Warming denialists, modern renditions of Green Eggs and Ham, and lunatics who believe that abortion is worse than slavery. Whether or not his status has improved is left to you, dear reader, to decide.

h/t Mother Jones

 

 

About Josh Kilburn

Josh Kilburn
Josh is a writer, author, blogger, and freelancer with a Bachelor's degree who lives in the buckle of the Rust Belt.
  • https://www.facebook.com/hank.gagnon.75 Hank Gagnon

    Typical Republican!, They all used the government at some point, some more than others to get where they are. They soon forget where they came from. Just Selfish greedy people. Then you have the other S0-CALLED CONSERVATIVE’S who were born with the silver spoon who think they actually earned their wealth or they are smarter than everyone else who do not have as much money as them. Sarah Palin is the poster child for this. Without government she would be living in a trailer park in Alaska. The oil companies are the most government tax payer subsidized industry in the world, Reagan selected oil as the energy winner in the early 80′s and we the taxpayer have been supporting them for 33 years now. Are the oil industry thankful? NOOO…. The dynamic duel of Wall Street/Big Oil have been scamming every penny they can from us the consumer, and us the Tax payer in America the can. Big Oil’s continued USE OF GOVERNMENT TO prop up the oil industry and hammer the competing renewable energy industry at every chance they get is is a perfect example of the S0-CALLED CONSERVATIVE’S Hypocrisy!

  • majiir

    I’d like to see them explain now they built all of the roads, post offices, water and electric systems they use to run their business all by themselves. It is primarily due to Americans paying taxes and government that they can avail themselves of these things which help them operate their businesses. Many corporatists seem to have gotten too big for their britches and are pushing the idea that they built their businesses all by themselves, that they received no help/assistance from anyone, and they’re totally independent, stand alone success stories. They’re not. Without the rest of us operating as taxpayers and consumers combined with the goods and services government provides, all of these tools would have no businesses.

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