I hear a bit of a positive consensus surrounding the idea that one of Gov. Romney’s assets is his business experience and it’s a good idea to finally have a businessman in the White House to handle the economy. I understand this line of thinking, I subscribed to it myself for a while. The truth demonstrates the opposite however: Gov. Romney’s business experience is really a huge liability for the United States.
Electing a man with more business experience, especially the kind of experience Mitt Romney has, will finalize once and for all the financialization revolution. Many of you may not have heard of this term (many economists will argue that the revolution is already over), but basically it’s the reason why our economic system is way different now than it was a few decades ago.
A few decades ago (fifties and sixties) the private sector was booming, wages increased as production increased and combined with a decent social services structure, America was the model country. Then something happened in the seventies at the beginnings of the revolution, producing all those goods meant a surplus of money. As fate would have it, and as the invisible hand of human greed would direct, a new way of making money was devised as a means of putting the surplus to work. By inventing funky, shaky endeavors such as derivatives, futures, options, hedge funds, and credit default swaps (hell, i’m not even sure what all those are), the financial sector managed to create a way to bilk billions out of the economy and into its own coffers and personal bank accounts. This new direction also meant a change in who had greater control over policy making. If you look back over the last three decades, it’s easy to see that increasingly our financial institutions, markets, and elite have gained a greater influence over larger aspects of our lives, including policy making and politics. The effects of this revolution are obvious: stagnate wages, greater disparity between the wealthy and the poor, and the real sector diminishing to financial sector control.
That control by the financial sector is exactly what the revolution is all about. Sure it has some control now. Logic tells me that there would be a very rough road ahead of us if we complete the revolution by electing a business man to the oval office and giving the financial sector political control for the first time ever in our history.
The United States of America is a Nation, first and foremost – not a business. It is made up of citizens – not board members. We are voters – not anonymous workers. The President is accountable for the welfare of an entire nation – not for shareholder revenue. We are a republic, not a plutocracy. International relationships must be handled with a delicate balance of carefully chosen words, and on occasion silence – not with the narrow view of which bottom line is most profitable.
Do we really want a man in office whose entire career has trained him to have only ONE focus?
So yeah, Mitt’s business experience turns out to be a very real liability for him, and for U.S..
Working Paper 525, Levy Institute
Greed and Debt: the True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital