David Stockman, budget director under Ronald Reagan, has an outstanding article in Newsweek. He takes an ax to the Republican’s idea that Mitt Romney is some sort of ideal example of a capitalist. The article is well worth taking time to read in its entirety.
Ironically, right now, most ‘conservative’ media outlets won’t print anything Stockman is saying, when up until about 4 years ago, he was their darling. Stockman is someone who understands that economics is NOT politics. So, he is equal parts hated by those currently in power, and loved by those who are trying to get into power and vice-versa. This is how those in government attempt to manipulate economics to suit their policies. This is why SO MANY people get it all wrong when it comes to understanding economics and more importantly, how they get it wrong when it comes to solutions to our economic problems. Unfortunately, our economic problems are ENORMOUS, therefore, failing to grasp basic economic principles due to the obfuscation wrought by partisan politics is nothing short of devastating. The Republican enthusiasm about Mitt Romney is but one glaring example of politicization of economics.
A HUGE TRUTH in David Stockman’s article is this: One who takes advantage of government intervention (think of Solyndra, GM, carbon trading, i.e. government-lobbied largesse), is NOT a capitalist.
“Bain’s billions of profits were not rewards for capitalist creation; they were mainly windfalls collected from gambling in markets that were rigged to rise.”
Besides the erroneous label of Mitt Romney as some bastion of free market Capitalism, another misconception is that ANY politicians can ‘create jobs.’ The PRIVATE SECTOR creates jobs. The only hand government has in this process is whether or not they intervene and pick and choose winners and losers. Just this week, yet another recipient of government (taxpayer) money went bankrupt.
Electric-car battery maker A123 Systems files for Chapter 11 after years of losses.
The Michigan plants, in the Detroit suburbs of Livonia and Romulus, were paid for with the help of a $249 million government grant from stimulus funds in 2009. The company also got a $6 million research grant in 2007 under the Bush administration.
We keep hearing this over and over and over again (with little to no help from the government-controlled media). Republicans blame it on Democrats and Democrats blame it on Republicans. The truth is that BOTH Parties have their preferred ‘special pet industries.’ It’s not that one Party doesn’t do it and the other does, in truth, nothing changes about government handouts except the names of the recipients. Regardless, the recipients have absolutely no incentive to use sound business practice, which would include prudent risk assessment and viable technology, because they have an embedded profit and a taxpayer safety net. The business owners get paid no matter what the outcome because YOU are forced to pay them because the government makes you. This is not job creation, it’s money wasting and catering to special groups of people for self-enrichment!
The examples of Bain and A123 are more specifically illustrations of CRONYISM. Cronyism enriches those in power at the expense of those who are not. This is why we see the same old politicians again and again, over and over. They have the ability to make money in ways the rest of us do not. They have taxpayer funded enterprises, and inside information, not to mention enrichment from the lobbyists bent on continuation of their respective ‘special statuses.’ We as citizens continue to believe we have a choice – but that choice comes from a finite pool of the same damn people. We continually attempt to vote for the lesser of two evils even if we have to overlook some glaring facts in order to conclude exactly which candidate IS the lesser of those two evils. Let’s examine the ‘conservative’ perspective on Mitt Romney.
I do understand the Republican argument that ANYTHING is better than Obama, really I do. But one has to consider that very carefully. IS Romney REALLY better than Obama, or is he just going to be better at making people believe his lies about upholding your ideas because he wears a red shirt instead of a blue one? Let’s consider the widely-accepted Republican and conservative principles:
Romney is NOT pro-life – he’s fine with government-mandated funding of abortion as required by Obamacare. But wait. I thought conservatives thought this issue was of the utmost importance? I guess when weighing the lesser of two evils, less consideration is given to this issue.
Romney is NOT pro-2nd Amendment – his record on this is long and abysmal in Massachusetts. But wait. I thought conservatives held gun rights near and dear. I guess when weighing the lesser of two evils, less consideration is given to this issue too.
Romney will NOT appeal Obamacare. He’s even publicly stated that he acknowledges Obamacare was built on the foundation of Romneycare – and he has unequivocally stated that he is ‘proud’ of Romneycare (this despite its terrible reputation and citizen dissatisfaction in Mass.). But wait. I thought that conservatives believed that this issue was so important, they literally took a movement (the Tea Party), which was originally about economics and bailouts, and turned it into an anti-Obamacare movement? I guess when weighing the lesser of two evils, all this effort can be entirely overlooked.
Romney has stated publicly that he supports The Patriot Act, NDAA and CISPA. Granted, conservatives were slow to wake up to these issues in the first place; so this isn’t ‘traditionally’ something that self-styled Republicans have cared about in the past. These are traditionally issues of civil rights infringements, long a focus of liberals and the Democrats. However, since Obama has been in office, conservatives and some Republicans have taken up this fight. In reality, this should be a fight for ALL of us. These are issues of basic human freedoms. The fact that Republicans have ignored the creeping Big Brother statism is just as egregious as the Democrats forgetting about it just because ‘their man’ is in office.
Romney has no intention to disentagle us from foreign wars. He’s stated that he would actually be more aggressive in this regard. I won’t rehash this because we just featured two articles yesterday about our folly in the Middle East and how the policies of government are getting our own troops killed. Suffice it to say, Romney states that it will be business as usual in this department. Obama on the other hand, ran on ‘hope and change’ and part of that change was supposed to be, as many liberals and Democrats were demanding, getting the hell out of the Middle East. What he’s done instead has been the complete opposite, and in fact, he’s made at least one unilateral, Executive act of aggression on a foreign power, which entirely bypassed congress. Weren’t liberals foaming at the mouth about George W. Bush doing just this same thing? The Democrats have been deafeningly silent. Democrats are apparently only anti-war when their guy isn’t in office.
So, let’s summarize: What we have in Romney is a white Obama, who has built a false belief around himself that he is a pro-business capitalist, despite the fact that he made the majority of his wealth based upon government picking his sector as a ‘winner,’ resulting in it being the recipient of extreme preferential treatment. So, what he IS, is an adept cronyist, not a capitalist. With help from the Republican Party and a desperate ‘conservative’ American public, despite the above-listed facts, Republicans and conservatives have now convinced themselves that Mitt Romney is somehow going to represent conservative principles and is somehow going to be better than Obama. Uh, okay.
Consider the consequences: IMAGINE how much more legislation Romney can pass than Obama has been able to accomplish. Think of the success a person could have without the baggage of the intentional racial divide, the lack of documented history and shady past, and without blatant ties to socialists/communists, and without having to speak with a teleprompter…..yet this person HAS the SAME agenda: More preference for the elite through the ‘some are more special than others’ ideology (cronyism).
By his actions, Romney has already proved that he has no problems eroding the same protected freedoms to accomplish his goals at which Obama has been chipping away. The ONLY reason Obama has been opposed so vehemently by those who have conservative ideals is because he was too overt and blatant. If Romney wins, you’ve then got covert and all the legislation that Obama didn’t get to pass, WILL, unless the Democrats stand up and oppose it because conservative/Republicans have already been willing to overlook everything on the list above in order to vote for Romney. So who will oppose all of these acts of tyranny now if not conservatives? Suddenly the Dems will be anti-war again. Bet on it. They will scream about NDAA when they were silent. They’ll rail against restriction of Internet freedom, when they were nearly all silent on CISPA. Yet, it will be useless because the GOP will (potentially) have a majority. Of course, there will be no one to oppose government-funded abortions or defend the 2nd Amendment because those people will have been the ones to put Romney in office. They wouldn’t dare be hypocritical by then opposing the man they elected, would they?
IMO, a majority-controlled Republican government is far more dangerous than our current makeup. A wholly Democrat controlled government is equally dangerous. Gridlock is much preferable to what they’re going to be able to do if Romney wins and the GOP retains the House or even *shudder* gains control of the Senate too.
Think long and hard about what the ‘lesser of two evils’ REALLY means.