Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Any Lemonade for Mitt?

Is there any way for Mitt Romney to make lemonade out of the Obama "Mitt killed my Wife" ads?

The ad template is as old as the hills.  The bosses close the plant to preserve their profits and the working man goes to the wall.

But is there a way to turn this around and say that, well, at least we tried?  Bain took a sick company, injected new money into it, but in the end the company couldn't compete against the Korean imports.  so we closed down the plants and gave all the laid-off workers two years of severance pay, or whatever it was.

Probably not.  Probably not because the mainstream media doesn't want to give an evil Republican that kind of space.  They prefer to stay on the peasant culture meme.  Here was a loyal peasant that always bowed to the lord as he passed by in his fancy carriage, and always paid his rent and did his bit weeding the cabbages on the lord's estate.  But when the lord had no more use for him, he threw him away.  And there wasn't even any common land left on which to feed a goose.

There is another meme that politicians often use: "tough choices."  Something like this:

"For over twenty years, I am proud to have led Bain Capital, creating new businesses and trying to save businesses that had come on hard times.  There were many great successes, like Staples.  But there were also failures, failing companies that couldn't be saved, even after investing hundreds of millions of dollars.  President Obama has made sure you know all about them.  But you know what?  When you are in business, it's different from politics.  There is no place to hide.  Either you are creating jobs and profits, or you end up going down the tubes.  It is a horrible experience to realize that you can't save a company, even though you know that, as much as it costs you in economic losses, it costs the laid-off workers much more.  In politics, on the other hand, there is always someone else to blame."

Of course, I'd really like to know a bit more of the back story to the laid-off worker.  How come he didn't do anything about his wife getting sick?  Did she really not tell him?  What about their children?  Daughters usually know what is going on.  Did they really do nothing to help mom?

Of course, there is the other side of this.  In highly unionized industries like basic steel, semi-skilled workers once got to enjoy incredibly high wages and benefits from a job that might just involve pressing a button.  If the job goes away they are screwed, because they do not have skills worth anything near what they were getting paid.  But that, of course, is the fault of the politicians that gave unions huge coercive powers, powers big enough to drive healthy companies into the ditch and pitch out all their workers onto a wild and barren heath without the means to survive and thrive.

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