Friday, January 13, 2012

Capitalism on Trial in GOP Presidential Fight

You can credit Occupy Wall Street for this whole debate. Proof: No one brought it up during 2007/8 primary debates:

The merits of capitalism are normally reserved for debate in classrooms, or for economists to ponder at think tanks and the Federal Reserve. But for the past week, the hallmark American system of free enterprise has been thrust into the court of public opinion by the most unlikely group – Republicans running for president and scrutinizing Mitt Romney’s tenure at the private-equity firm Bain Capital.

Republicans, by their very nature, are supposed to like capitalism.

Yet these candidates — namely Newt Gingrich but also the back-runner Rick Perry — charge that on Romney’s watch, Bain profited while some companies in which he invested went bankrupt and workers lost jobs. The problem with their criticism is, for the most part, that’s one of the ways capitalism is designed to work.

The prosecution has lobbed plenty of insults at Romney — “crony capitalism,” “backdoor socialism,” “vultures” — in an effort to drag him down from his front-runner status. They portray him as a ruthless tycoon who casually dishes out pink slips before speeding away in a Maserati.

But go too far, and they run the risk of abandoning the capitalist roots that conservatives (and plenty of liberals) say make America great. That’s caused the accusers to back off a bit from their charge.
Full article

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