“Some writers have so confounded society with government.” – Thomas Paine
Mitt Romney gave another powerful warning yesterday that Republicans would be in danger of losing the 2012 presidential election – with a lack of the Founders’ vision as applied to current circumstances – should he become the party’s nominee.
In a debate in Iowa with fellow Republican celebrities, Romney appeared aloof. “I understand how the economy works,” the multi-millionaire said, comparing his role as a venture capitalist to the partial owner of a pizza chain. “Herman Cain and I are the two on the stage here who’ve actually worked in the real economy.”
But Romney’s constant claim of a similarity between work in society and government shows that he is not only aloof from the Republican field, but also out of touch with the American middle-class.
In Common Sense, the 1776 pamphlet that inspired the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine said security is “the true design and end of government.” This vision of government by the Founders bears no similarity to the work of a business, which exists in society mainly for one reason: profit.
Put simply, profit is firm’s total revenue minus total cost.
Although some in society and government may at times share a somewhat similar desire to cut cost, survival in the private sector for any business depends on growth through increasing revenue, a mindset that translates into bigger government and higher taxes – the same reason Romney couldn’t stand for reelection as governor.
Wage Labor and Capital
And putting him further out of touch with the needs of middle-class Americans in the economy is the fact that Romney has never been a real worker, or wage-laborer, which along with land and capital comprises a firm’s factors of production.
This critical distinction in the economy between wage laborer and capitalist, identical to the respective difference between middle-class American and Romney, was made by Karl Marx more than a century and a half ago and points to the likelihood of Romney continuing to favor Wall Street over Main Street like Barack Obama.
Divided We Fall
More Americans are already saying the country — due to harmful change in the economy — is heading in the wrong direction. And a majority believes the nation’s best days are in the past. Furthermore, a growing number also believes Barack Obama’s leadership style is divisive by being too confrontational, according to Rasmussen.
None of these current circumstances will improve with Romney’s trickle-down economics to favor of profits over wage labor, or with the addition of a political celebrity with neo-confederate sentiments in the Republican field to challenge Obama’s failure.
Common Sense to Create Jobs
The Republican Party needs to return to its roots of emancipation. Celebrity politicians like Obama and Romney — willing to say or do anything to get elected and thus increase their personal fortunes — are subjecting middle-class workers to a modern type of slavery that aims to keep them subservient as wage laborers at the mercy of (venture) capitalists.
The solution to our confounding problem in the economy lies in a return to America’s ability to effect greater safety & happiness through our proven tradition of common sense.
The president elected in 2012 needs to guarantee job security through government helping Americans develop skills needed not to fill jobs as workers in agrarian or manufacturing economies of the past, but to create jobs as capitalists in the emerging knowledge economy. Join me.
Matthew Bishop, The Economist Essential Economics (London: Profile, 2004).
Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor, The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2003).
Pauline Maier, introduction to The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States (New York: Bantam, 1998).
Thomas Paine, “Common Sense,” in Thomas Paine: Collected Writings, ed. Eric Foner (New York: Library of America, 1995).