The Republican debates in New Hampshire and South Carolina have been a source of amusement. Here we have had the spectacle of Republicans attacking — gasp — a capitalist, namely Mitt Romney, for practicing — whoa — capitalism.
Romney for almost two decades ran Bain Capital (there’s that nasty word), which was a company that invested in other companies and ran them as though they were capitalist subsidiaries that were expected to make money.
Now, let’s see. Does that sound like socialism? No. Socialism is when the government invests in companies and runs them like government bureaus. Hardly anybody gets fired.
Romney did not do that. When he bought and ran a company, it either made money or he sold it off or closed it.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been a government employee most of his life, and when he wasn’t working for the government directly, he became a consultant on government affairs.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, when he hasn’t been a government employee, has been a lobbyist to the government. Rep. Ron Paul, who says he believes in small government, is a longtime government employee, as is his son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Both the Pauls are physicians, but both also are taking home their government checks. Romney also was a government employee, for four years, when he was governor of Massachusetts. But he didn’t accept a salary. And he didn’t run for re-election (gasp).
All of Romney’s opponents will tell you how wonderful capitalism is, but they stay as far from it as they can. Only Romney is the capitalist. Having stock in a 401K or a mutual fund or an IRA doesn’t count.
If you think the next president should be a capitalist, it looks like Romney will have to be your guy, by his opponents’ own admission.