Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Bane of Bain

It was a job - get over it.
The recent overreaction, hysteria and general misunderstanding regarding Bain Capital, Mitt Romney's former company, and what they actually "do", appears to be a one-week tempest in a teapot.  But the manner in which so-called Republicans and conservatives bashed the all-but-confirmed Republican nominee for 10 straight days is unconscionable.  First of all, the guy has been running for President for about 12 years - you don't think this hasn't been grist for the mill before?  Did Mike Wallace and the 60 minutes crew all of a sudden discover a smoking gun somewhere?  Guess what - they didn't.  But  a few confused candidates who apparenlty don't understand how the free enterprise system works (and/or arithmetic) found that there was something else to throw at Mitt instead of Romneycare - that, and they're desperate.

Between Gingrich and Perry's utterly pathetic attacks against Romney (which make them both a bit to the left of Obama) and the overeaction of a few faux-right pundits who think this will be used as an iron cudgel during the general election, the discourse has been seriously dissappointing.  Even FOX News seems to have difficulty describing what venture capital/private equity companies actually do.  Bill O'Reilly exclaims it's "real complicated".  It's not!  Struggling companies look for private equity investors to invest in their businesses and essentially "bail them out".  In committing funds they retain ownership rights in the company, and in turn make tough business decisions as how to save the business.  This can entail layoffs, cancelling product lines, shutting down factories or finding another buyer, partner or investors.  Over time the equity investor works to rebuild the company and sell it to a going concern to reap return on what is frankly a risky investment.

Please note how this is incredibly different from the government (or Obama) using your taxpayer dollars to do the same thing.  The government doesn't innately look for a return on its investment (ROI), but private entities do - thus they usually take more expedient and direct action.  Nevertheless, we still have purported conservative websites crying that this raft of bad news will hurt Romney and the Republican chances of overtaking Obama.  If giving up on the free enterprise system is the way some "conservatives" think we should retake the White House, then the terrorists really have won.  Fortunately, it looks like Gingrich's sucker punch is having the opposite effect as Romney's lead is now widening in South Carolina.

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