January 14, 2012

"the American economy runs from the bottom up"

Spengler — Private Equity and Creative Destruction:

...There are plenty of things about which I disagree with Mitt Romney; I entirely agree with Governor Huntsman's warning that Romney's rhetorical blasts against China would lead to a trade war, and I also agree with Newt Gingrich's sensible views on immigration against Romney's hard line. In both cases, it seems to me that Romney is pandering to prejudice. But there is no question that his record at Bain Capital qualifies him to make better economic policy. Obama's economic advisers, by contrast, think in terms of such abstractions as "aggregate demand," and blundered into a stimulus program that failed to stimulate. Romney understands that the American economy runs from the bottom up — that risk-taking and innovation and the stubborn desire to win are what make companies succeed.

One wonders at the pettiness of Romney's opponents. One of the problems that Republicans have in the primary is that the Reagan consensus — cut taxes and roll back regulation — holds sway over all the contenders, except, of course, for Ron Paul, who is a throwback to an ugly era of American isolationism — Charles Lindbergh without the airplane. In 1980, the differences between Reagan and the establishment candidates were enormous — "voodoo economics" against conservative Keynesianism. Now that supply-side has become the mainstream Republican doctrine, the practical differences between Romney and a Gingrich or Perry are small in economic policy. Perhaps the reliance on personal attacks stems from lack of substantive differences. If that is true, there is hope that once Gingrich and Perry come to understand that they are not going to be the Republican candidate, then the party will unite behind its candidate and this whole miserable discussion will be forgotten....

Good stuff. But why do we have to get this from Spengler, and not from Romney himself? This just mystifies me. He's been running for President for six or eight years, maybe more. And the OBVIOUS criticism to make of him is that he's a heartless capitalist who fires the little people (preferably on Christmas Eve) and then returns to the 42nd Floor to mingle with light his cigars with hundred-dollar bills. So why is he not ready with a good answer? I could write better answers than he's giving. With one hand tied behind my back.

And why can't our people understand and express it, that jobs too come from the bottom up? From a million decisions, like... "Should we hire another person? Or invest in a better machine? Or just muddle along the way we are?"

Posted by John Weidner at January 14, 2012 9:50 AM

Because there is no good conservative answer?

Posted by: Gian at January 19, 2012 2:59 AM

That IS the good conservative answer. (As should had been obvious from the context.)

The wonder to me is that our candidates can't express it clearly.

Posted by: John Weidner at January 19, 2012 8:09 AM
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