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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press NYT Uncovers Shocking Truth: Mitt Romney is a Capitalist!

NYT Uncovers Shocking Truth: Mitt Romney is a Capitalist!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012 07:28

The NYT has a major article today that begins by telling readers about Asimco Technologies, which it describes as: "an auto parts manufacturer whose plants dot eastern China, would seem to underscore Mitt Romney’s campaign-trail complaint that China’s manufacturing juggernaut is costing America jobs."

The piece then tells the story of two Michigan factors that Asimco bought and then shut down. Then we get the big punchline, Asimco is owned by Bain Capital. There you have it, Mitt Romney who complains about policies that lead to job loss to China, profited from job loss to China.

This gottcha doesn't pass the laugh test. Romney's point is that we have policies in place, the most important of which is an over-valued dollar, that make it profitable to ship jobs to China. The issue is the policies that make it more profitable to manufacture in China than in the United States.

We generally expect businesses to try to make it money, so it really should not be surprising that businesses move manufacturing to China if it is more profitable to produce goods there. In that context it is not especially surprising or in any obvious way contradictory for Romney to be associated with a company that has shipped jobs to China.

If we have policies that make manufacturing in China more profitable than manufacturing in the United States it would be foolish to think that jobs will stay in the United States because businesses are committed to their U.S. workforce. If this sort of ethic ever existed, it has long since passed. The key to keeping manufacturing or any other type of job in this country is to have policies that make it more profitable to produce in the United States.

Comments (11)Add Comment
written by skeptonomist, October 10, 2012 9:04
There would be nothing remarkable about Bain's activities if Romney did not make China bashing a major part of his campaign. He is not just advocating reducing the value of the dollar (if he advocates this at all), he claims he will take punitive measures against China. Thus he claims he will be taking anti-capitalist measures as President against some of the things he did while head of Bain, while at the same time claiming to be a champion of "free trade" and free enterprise. I don't see that Romney has any sort of rational China or international-trade policy at all, although the same may be said of Obama.
written by bobs, October 10, 2012 9:44
The idea that bad policies, not bad companies, cause the shipping of jobs overseas misses the point that companies lobby extensively to keep these policies in place. So it's not just that companies are following bad policies but that they are following bad policies that they championed.
Romney Passes the Big Bird Test of Capitalism
written by Last Mover, October 10, 2012 9:57
This gottcha doesn't pass the laugh test.

It doesn't have to. It only has to pass the Big Bird test of Super Pac ads. Financing Big Bird with tax dollars is obviously what crippled America and sent jobs to China.

Baker chides the NYT for claiming to catch Romney and Bain Capital in a contradiction, noting that Romney is merely a profit maximizing capitalist like any other whose success depends on predatory monopoly dominance granted by the government to the upper class by design free market competition and a level playing field.

You have a choice America. Make it. It's either Big Bird with Obama or a job with Romney.
Companies lobby for Bad Polcies
written by Dean, October 10, 2012 10:33
Bobs is absolutely right on this point. The Bain Capitals of the world lobby for the policies that allow them to get cheap labor in China.
written by sherparick, October 10, 2012 12:52
Dean, as you noted at the end of August, Romney/Ryan want a "strong dollar" policy which will lead of course to shipping more jobs over to China. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...34980.html

Of course, you are right that the Times article misses this rather obvious point. But that is just part for the course for the MSM which obsesses over the Government's Fiscal deficit, but who do not even seem to be aware of the existence of the current account deficit.
Is the dollar too strong?
written by urban legend, October 10, 2012 1:55
I would be happy to buy into the argument that the dollar is too strong and we need devaluation to improve our trade balance. However, I still find it hard to understand when the dollar has been declining rapidly since about 2002, and seems to be at its lowest point in decades. The trade balance was nevertheless getting worse even as its value was declining.


Is this information simply wrong? I would love to see an explanation that cracks this nut.
Even capitalists can be hypocrites
written by DrJim, October 10, 2012 2:41
The story is not that Romney is a capitalist but that he is a hypocrite. In case you hadn't noticed, we are in the home stretch of a Presidential campaign and Romney is one of the candidates.
written by skeptonomist, October 10, 2012 4:16
I have been pointing out for some time that the dollar declined rapidly between 2002 and 2006, while the trade deficit increased just as fast as in the preceding period when the dollar was rising (and Dean has not provided any explanation). This fact in itself tells us that eliminating the trade deficit is more complicated than just devaluing the dollar. If Romney really were to take some other constructive measures it would be a good thing, but this is extremely unlikely, since all his experience and all his really substantive actions - such as while he was at Bain - are in the direction of favoring capital over labor, maximizing corporate profits rather than employment, and US corporations maximize profits - at least in the short run - with cheap foreign labor. There is no reason to think his tough China talk is anything more than insincere pandering.
written by JSeydl, October 10, 2012 4:35
Warning: Pathetic CEO alert: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/...40914.html

What a bunch of garbage. Apparently, these are the capitalists Romney is fighting for.
tough guy romney
written by mel in oregon, October 10, 2012 8:20
oh yes, romney will get tough with china. hahaha! he's made a fortune there. this fella will say absolutely anything, & of course obama just meekly ducks his head & let's all the lies pass. what is funny, were it not so tragic for america, is obama had the race won & then blew it. talk about stupid....
Not Capitalists
written by FoonTheElder, October 15, 2012 12:12
Romney and his ilk are not capitalists, they are greedy financial opportunists who have no care what type of system they make their money from.

They hold no loyalty to any country or any system. They are glad to make big money by partnering with any dictatorial government whether it be far right or far left.

After all, the Koch family made their fortune through oil drilling in the Soviet Union after being blocked out of the US market by the same oligopolies who control the market today.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.