Friendly Fire at Bain Capital?
Much of the conservative media and establishment are wringing their hands and wailing about the "unfair" attacks against Mitt Romney and his time with Bain Capital. It is as if the Obama Army and their cavalry, the mainstream media, would never consider pursuing this same line of attack.
Bain Capital is the epitome of unleashed capitalism but also a company that contains within it negative aspects that can adversely impact the lives of ordinary citizens. Having been in not only the corporate world but the financial markets both domestic and international for over 44 years, I have seen and worked with the Bain Capitals of the world.
The mindset of these firms in focused on one thing: maximizing a return on the investment made in acquiring a business that maybe on the verge of bankruptcy or grossly under-capitalized. That was and still is the primary and only focal point of the partners and investors in these investment firms. Rarely was there ever much conversation regarding the employees, except to ascertain what the cost of severance, benefits or overall labor costs would be as part of an overall strategy to either expand, sell or cannibalize a company.
There is nothing wrong with this approach, and it has resulted in the dramatic expansion of many businesses and attendant job creation. It has also made many extraordinarily wealthy who were willing to risk their capital. However, to portray this overall approach as purely benevolent is to stretch reality. Job creation was never at the forefront of the strategic plan; it was a by-product of it -- which is why capitalism works.
However, there is one element that was often missing and that is where the Achilles heel of unbridled capitalism. Oftentimes there is a lack of empathy with average workers and their circumstances, as many partners in these firms in their single-minded pursuit of enormous returns and income cannot relate to -- or choose not to understand -- their responsibility to those who make the companies they take over successful.
In today's economy, when real unemployment hovers in the 11 per cent range and there is no prospect of any significant job growth thanks to the Obama Regime and their policies, it is far too easy for the Left to point their finger of accusation at "capitalism" as the sole cause of an individual family's plight. And the image of a "corporate raider" is right out of the Hollywood playbook.
Those that defend the role of the investment firms such as Bain Capital and decry the arrows being slung at Mitt Romney need to understand the circumstances of today's political world and not just say "what Newt or Rick or Ron is doing is terrible," but they, and particularly Mitt Romney, need to explain in clear, concise and easily understood language why there is a natural cycle in the life on any company and the role of investors and firms such as Bain Capital. And to admit that in the past there may have been too much greed and not enough focus on the worker. It will then be up to the voters to decide if Mitt Romney is sincere or if one of the other candidates that have not been involved as an owner of an investment firm is a better choice.
If this line of attack by other Republican candidates is ignored, then the Obama Machine will have a bludgeon that could sway many voters if Mitt Romney wins the nomination. It is far better that this matter be discussed now and not after August.