Mitt Romney and the Hypocrisy of Bain Capital

Many have suggested that attacks on Mitt Romney's service at Bain Capital are attacks on capitalism itself. That is hyperbole at its finest from those who do not understand the business Bain Capital was involved in.

Mitt Romney was NOT primarily a venture capitalist. A venture capitalist invests in early-stage businesses with the hope that they grow and prosper. These early-stage businesses are often risky investments. Though most ultimately fail, some succeed spectacularly making the risks worthwhile. Apple Computer and Google are two such examples. This is what Mitt Romney means when he says some investments succeed and some fail.

By contrast, Mitt Romney was primarily what is affectionately known as a vulture investor. Bain Capital invested in failing companies with the intention of either restructuring their business or stripping the business and selling its assets. This business model often adversely affects a company's employees. To be fair, if the company had gone bankrupt on its own, that would have adversely affected the company's employees too. The question Republican primary voters need to ask themselves is not whether Mitt Romney did anything illegal or immoral. In a climate of near 10% unemployment, do Republicans want a vulture investor to be the face of their party?

The two core arguments for Mitt Romney's candidacy are (1) that he knows how to create jobs and (2) that he stands a better chance of defeating Barack Obama than his competitors. Is it true that a slash and burn vulture investor is the best advocate for job creation? If you were a factory worker in Ohio or Pennsylvania or the upper Midwest and Mitt Romney killed your job because there was a more efficient use of the capital employed in your factory, are you really going to listen to what Mitt Romney has to say even if you believe in hard work and free market capitalism?

No one is suggesting that Mitt Romney was evil or immoral or corrupt or criminal. If Mitt Romney had founded a business that did not rely on firing thousands of people as part of its business model, this issue would never have come up. Given that the focus of this election needs to be squarely on Barack Obama and his Marxist rhetoric and policies, it is paramount that Republicans not nominate a candidate that detracts from that.

Aaron Goldenberg