Long Live the Artificial: Newt Gingrich’s Anti-Bain Blather

Of all the warts Mitt Romney boasts on his big smelly toe, Newt Gingrich and others have decided to attack the one thing Romney has going for him: his business-leader experience in the private sector. (go here for the full scoop)

This week at Values & Capitalism, I offer my critique of the Gingrich(/Obama) view:

Note to Newt: I know we’d all like a 100% success rate, but high-risk investment doesn’t always pay off, and when it doesn’t, bad things happen. Businesses close, people lose their jobs and human suffering abounds. Oh yeah, and another thing: it’s not great for investment firms either.

When these companies failed under Romney’s watch, I doubt that Jolly Fat-Cat Mitt was grinning in his Doctor Claw Chair while stroking a snickering kitty. Anyone who understands anything about investment firms should understand that bad investments are, well, bad.

There’s plenty of basic economic idiocy here, not to mention nostrils-full of that all-too-familiar “pre-conversion” Gingrich stench (does “moldy baloney” capture it?). But throughout all the confused prattle—e.g. Newt’s forthcoming wanna-be Michael Moore project—I find myself haunted by a single, disturbing reality. Some people actually swallow this stuff.

The deeper issue in Gingrich’s thinking — other than his basic goal of political revenge, of course — is his apparent disdain for creative destruction and his implicit worship of the artificial.

More from my piece:

Most of [this] seems to involve an embrace of the artificial—a belief that prosperity can and should be manufactured from the top down and that successful entrepreneurship, innovation, and jobs(!!!!!!!—those are for you, Joe Biden) demand nothing more than Sugar Daddy U.S.A.’s material blessing.

Implicit in such an orientation is a belief that risk can somehow be avoided or subverted—that turning companies around is always possible, that the solution (if there is one) is always accessible/know-able, and that investments will always produce a profit (when all else fails, there’s subsidies…duh!). All you need is a warm and toasty heart and a propensity to use other people’s stuff to keep other people happy. And vice versa. And then vice versa again. Or something like that.

…If you are not propping up failing enterprises, you are the enemy. If you are not holding on to bad investments, you are “looting” people. If you are not hiring for the sake of hiring, you are firing for the sake of firing. If you are not allowing failing industries to keep failing, you are “greedy” and “exploitative.”

Romney has plenty of failings and political baggage, but at a time in our nation’s history where the main thing we need is a reality check, Romney’s experience in pursuing real value firsthand should be seen as an asset, not a liability.

To read the full article, click here.

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  • Remnant Culture

    "Romney has loads of political baggage, and we should focus our attention precisely there. But the fact that he… http://t.co/Xn2SPiwL

  • Remnant Culture

    "Romney has loads of political baggage, and we should focus our attention precisely there. But the fact that he… http://t.co/Xn2SPiwL

  • http://twitter.com/josephsunde/status/157497786672222208 Joseph Sunde

    The fear of Romney's record of "creative destruction" is to be expected from a society that is bloated & overextended. http://t.co/r68jSnoc