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“Having been in the private sector for 25 years gives me a perspective on how jobs are created that someone who’s never spent a day in the private sector, like President Obama, simply doesn’t understand,” Mitt Romney told Time.

But then how does Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has spent his entire career in politics, understand job creation so well? Ryan and Romney, after all, have proposed essentially the exact same economic policies. And Ryan proposed most of them first. If Romney’s ideas are informed by knowledge you can only collect in the private sector, how come they don’t differ more from the ideas of career Republican politicians?
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Kind of cynical of Romney to insist he is a businessman when for over a decade he's been a professional politician.
 
EXACTLY - only 25yrs n the private sector? How old is he? What's his qualification in Massachusetts? How was the state ranked in his tenure there?
 
Authentic vs Amateur where is George Washington when we need him!
 
Why do we assume that Romney's "ideas" (and I am using the term loosely) come from business? Most of the proposals that Romney offered for the country would ruin a business. And the majority of the policies are not new because they are simply rehashing of traditional GOP positions. Ryan takes many of the same positions to the extreme, based on his self-proclaimed libertarian ideology. Neither plan has much to do with "ideas from business".
 
What business has Romney started, from an initial idea, vs being a financier? To +Christopher Phan's request, I would like to see the assertion that Romney is a businessman vs a financier get some scrutiny. If the only company that paid his salary was Bain Capital, I'm not sure his argument that he is a businessman holds up.
 
+paul beard This is not entirely fair, as there were several instances where Ronmey was on the "ground floor" of a newly proposed organization, such as Staples. It is true that he covered the financial angle, but that does not preclude his involvement in overall architecture. Similarly, some of the reorganized companies were essentially built from the ground up. But what in the world does this have to do with running a government? When the investment and restructuring did not work out for Bain Capital, Romney could just walk away from the business and sell the dregs to recoup most of the costs (and often make a tidy profit). One simply cannot do that with a government. If the fiscal plan fails, the whole thing comes crashing down, as it did for Bush. And no business acumen will save him after the fact, if the plan is no good. When Romney realized that his vision (if he had any) for Massachusetts was not in the cards--if you listen to Mitt, it's because of Democrats' intransigence, but it's more likely that he simply lost interest once the stepping stone was surmounted--he simply abandoned the state to its own devices (much like he claims he had done with those Bain Capital investments that did not pan out). The first three years of his administration, the state lost jobs--it was either 49th or 50th in US for that period. Once Mitt left the state to badmouth it in the run-up to the presidential campaign, the jobs did recover in the last year and the state slipped up to #47. Of course, Mitt would have us blame the people he hired for the first three years and praise him for the last one.
 
+victor steinbok I agree, business acumen has jack squat to do with running a responsive government of any size, let alone the world's largest. But I get tired of hearing about Romney's awesomeness at capitalism without any evidence beyond his personal fortune. Capitalism at its best enriches more then just the proprietors and management, by making products or providing services that are cheaper, better, completely new and original or any combination. Staples was the first of the big three office supply chains but in looking over the history at Wiki, Romney isn't even mentioned.

So his contributions were probably limited to financing and a seat on the board, as his own bio mentions. He lists a lot of other businesses to which he contributed expertise but I don't see anything that looks imaginative or visionary. He didn't start a car company to reinvent Detroit, for example, as a hat tip to his father's legacy.


And there's the LBO angle, that old notion from the 80s:
_ Romney soon switched Bain Capital's focus from startups to the relatively new business of leveraged buyouts: buying existing firms with money mostly borrowed against their assets, partnering with existing management to apply the "Bain way" to their operations (rather than the hostile takeovers practiced in other leverage buyout scenarios), and selling them off in a few years._
So he's not really a capitalist/entrepreneur but a consultant/financier. Nothing wrong with that but it doesn't fit the narrative he wants us to buy, of the shrewd businessman. He's not a team member so much as team owner who hasn't faced the risks that true capitalists face on a regular basis.

So I'm not buying the idea of the resolute capitalist so much as an opportunist with a bankroll. I'm sure he's plenty smart (hey, he went to Harvard, just like our President and many others besides). But is the right guy for the job?
 
I spent a career in the private sector. I was a VP at a public company and had the opportunity to sit in the top level staff meetings where we worked to meet the street expectations every month. I saw huge investments made just to pump up the company and sell it even though the underlying technology was totally flawed. I had the opportunity to work for a big blue company that bought up a bunch of these small companies for their (flawed) technology then wrote off $2 billion when the truth came out. I am convinced that government is more efficient than private industry.
 
And none of this has anything to do with running a country.
 
Every business has three natural constituencies: the shareholders, the customers, and the employees. It has to balance the concerns of all three. However, Bain Capital, like all private equity firms, only work for a single constituency --- the shareholders. You haven't really run a business if you haven't worked for all three.
 
+Brian Loe Can't like that enough. 
 
+Brian Loe I'd change "constituencies" to "stakeholders" and "customers" to "clients". I would also add "management" as the fourth group that sometimes exhibits the behavior of shareholders (which many of them are) and sometimes of employees (the less of the latter, the higher up the chain of command the manager is). I guess, the implication of your post is that as a manager you have to work for the other three groups or you have not really done your job. And there is a very simple problem with a firm like Bain Capital -- it's shareholders are also their clients and their only employees are managers. The clients and the employees of the businesses they acquired along the way are really none of their concern. So, in that sense, Romney can claim that he has worked for all the stakeholders, but, in reality, he has not.
 
You're making my brain cells burn with this question.
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