Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The 'Bain' of Romney's existence

More than one Republican voter in New Hampshire told reporters that he or she voted for Mitt Romney because of his "business experience." Willard himself touts his private sector credentials ad nauseum as his key qualification for the presidency. As Newt would say, it's all “pious baloney.”

Dan Drezner, a professor of international politics at Tufts, explains why:
The thing is -- and this is kind of important -- governments are not corporations. I cannot stress this enough. There's the obvious point that in democracies, legislatures tend to impose a more powerful constraint than shareholders, making it that much harder for leaders to execute the policies they think will be the most efficient.

There's also the deeper point that it's a lot harder for governments to be "unsentimental" when it comes to the provision of public services. It's a lot harder for states to eliminate the functions that are less efficient. Frequently, demand for government services emerges because of the perception that the private sector has fallen down on the job in that area. This means that the government has been tasked with doing the things that are difficult and unprofitable to do.


There's been a lot of bragging in the 2012 primary about candidates that have "real world" business experience, and how that translates into an effective ability to govern. That logic is horses**t. Being president is a fundamentally different job than being a CEO -- because countries are not corporations.
Romney was a top exec at Bain Capital, a venture capital firm with $66 billion in assets. Not sure what that means? Think Gordon Gecko, corporate raider. Keep that in mind the next time Romney says that only he can save the American economy and create jobs. "Blue horseshoe loves Anacott Steel," indeed.

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