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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

'Romney Offers Nothing'

Should we be impressed with Romney's business credentials? Nope:

Off And Out With Mitt Romney, by Paul Krugman: It appears that the Obama campaign has decided to ignore the queasiness of Democrats with Wall Street ties, and go after Mitt Romney’s record at Bain. And rightly so!
After all, what is Romney’s case – that is, why does he want us to think he should be president? It’s not about ideology: Romney offers nothing but warmed-over right-wing platitudes, with an extra helping of fraudulent arithmetic, and it’s fairly obvious that even he himself doesn’t believe anything he’s saying.
Instead, his thing is competence: supposedly, his record as a successful businessman should tell us that he knows how to create jobs. And this in turn means that we have every right to ask exactly what kind of a businessman he was. ...
Romney ... didn’t build businesses, he bought and sold them – sometimes restructuring them in ways that added jobs, often in ways that preserved profits but destroyed jobs, and fairly often in ways that extracted money for Bain but killed the business in the process.
And recently the Washington Post added a further piece of information: Bain invested in companies that specialized in helping other companies get rid of employees ... by outsourcing ... and offshoring...
The Romney camp went ballistic, accusing the Post of confusing outsourcing and offshoring, but this is a pretty pathetic defense. For one thing, there weren’t any actual errors in the article. For another, it’s simply not true, as the Romney people would have you believe, that domestic outsourcing is entirely innocuous. On the contrary, it’s often a way to replace well-paid employees who receive decent health and retirement benefits with low-wage, low-benefit employees at subcontracting firms. That is, it’s still about redistribution from middle-class Americans to a small minority at the top.
Arguably, that’s just business – but it’s not the kind of business that makes you especially want to see Romney as president.
Or put it a different way: Romney wasn’t so much a captain of industry as a captain of deindustrialization, making big profits for his firm (and himself) by helping to dismantle the implicit social contract that used to make America a middle-class society.
So now he proposes bringing the skills and techniques he used in business to the White House. Somehow, I’m not enthusiastic about the prospect.

    Posted by on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 02:34 PM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  Comments (235)


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