The daggers are out for Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina. Because he took four of his countless ventures bankrupt. And because she sacked 30,000 workers. When she ran Hewlett Packard.
A few years ago they savaged Mitt Romney. For his role in Bain Capital. Because Bain closed some factories. And took some companies bankrupt. And sold off parts of others. And laid off workers.
I am not here to defend these players. I am here to defend capitalism and free enterprise.
Only a few of us can define and describe capitalism. The guys with the daggers take advantage of many who cannot. They portray these capitalists as villains. In order to win votes. This is known as demagoguery.
To someone who understands our business systems, their portrayals are silly. But many do not understand. To them they are convincing.
Bankruptcies are normal. Many of them rescue companies headed for the scrap heap. Cutting jobs is normal. It is how many a failing company survives. To grow again.
The Trumps, Fiorinas and Romneys of business use these tools. Much as your plumber wields his wrenches. Do they use perfect judgment? Do they succeed with every move? Does your plumber? Hardly. Nobody does in business or plumbing.
The demagogues cry that Trump and Romney just wanted tax losses. They got into these ventures for nefarious purposes. What rot. They raised millions and added millions of their own. They invested the money in high-risk situations. Took the high dives into murky waters. They tried to resuscitate near corpses. Their results varied. Some they raised like Lazarus. Some flat-lined on them. They made millions on some. Lost millions on others.
I wish more Americans understood more about our system. I wish more understood that companies do not exist to hire us. So many feel that is their prime purpose. The Soviets and Chinese Communists believed it. Until the Soviet economy landed face first in the muck. And until China grew weary of its masses starving.
Sorry, but the first goal of a company is to survive. By hook, crook, bankruptcy and layoffs. The second is to provide decent returns on the capital invested in it.
I know many on the far left feel the opposite. They believe companies are here only to serve workers. They also figure government is here to serve up ever more jobs. Puerto Rico is famous for doing this. Puerto Rico is bankrupt.
Do you wonder whether a president from the business sector might cut a few government jobs? Might examine the twenty zillion tasks government takes on. And might reckon that fifteen zillion are enough?
We all know our government is bloated. Either with workers or with those it hires as contractors. We know no government department shrinks or dies. Somewhere in the labyrinth of Washington there is probably still a department that regulates the health of cavalry horses. Another that checks the purity of whale oil.
Every politician promises to trim and cut and finish off. And none of them ever do. Because they are politicians. Beholden to special interests. Beholden to building empires. Outflanked by clever bureaucrats. Even Reagan failed to cut.
Our current president promised to sharpen his pencil and attack the federal budget line by line. He left the pencil in his golf jacket. Actually he made a few cuts. But so few nobody noticed.
Who knows, maybe a president who worked in business might try a different approach. Might get better results. Any one who had a shot at cutting 30,000 jobs from our federal monstrosity would get my vote.
From Tom...as in Morgan.