“Liberals don’t like business.”
Mitt Romney, April 2, 2012
Mitt Romney is wrong…in so many ways,…but this week Mr. I-wear-jeans-so-I’m-just-like-you got it wrong at a political event in Wisconsin. Romney claimed to know what liberals think, and he thinks liberals don’t like business. That fodder is being served up to Conservatives who have spent years characterizing liberals as the spawn of Satan, but per normal, the truth is far from the five cent analysis offered by the Republican Presidential nominee (stick a fork in the GOP selection process, the wanna-bes are done.)
Liberals don’t trust business, but liberals do respect the importance of business in a healthy society. Not trusting business does not equate to not liking business.
Liberals are justified in their skepticism. Business is driven by profit. It is the alpha and omega of all enterprise. Business typically doesn’t believe in fair play, sympathy, or what is right for America. In fact, business has little interest in doing what is right even for its own customer. In publicly owned companies, the investor and next quarter’s profitability usually trumps the wants and expectations of the customer. Consider banks, airlines, and oil companies. Those are three major industries that have proved over and over that the individual customer is a piece of meat to be used and abused. Airlines fight even basic human rights for their passengers.
The fact is that business can’t be trusted. Business fails…. a lot, and they fail, not because government drove them to failure, but because the leaders of those companies were greedy, stupid, or both. Most companies last a few decades before they do something stupid, or fail to be smart about the future. A recent example is Kodak. For decades it was the dominant players in the camera film industry, then it had competition, and then it failed to adapt to a digital world. Where is Kodak now?
On Monday, Romney singled our the United States steel industry as an example of how government regulation has killed business. Again, Romney was wrong; however, he gave a classic example of how greed and stupidity by business executives destroyed their own companies. During the 20th century America’s steel industry failed to reinvest and upgrade their steel plants, believing that they were too big to fail. They were wrong.
There is no doubt that labor unions also played a role in escalating costs of United States steel; however, even an executive of US Steel admitted it was the shortsightedness of management that opened the door for competition to challenge and overtake the domination of the United States in steel production in the 1970’s and 80’s.
There is no doubt that private business is important to America’s economy. Yet, business needs oversight to keep them honest and to save America from the greedy and the stupid.
Mitt Romney might think that pandering to the myths of the right will make him a good President, but he would be wrong.