Friday, July 27, 2012

Bending Context - OR - The truth flatters neither side

My conservative and liberal friends (who understand the importance of free trade) and I agree that the President's (on the stump and in the ads) attack of Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital (i.e., "Outsourcer in Chief") is an utterly fallacious and voter-manipulating low blow. Any self-respecting economist (I would add self-respecting politician, but that would be oxymoronic) knows that outsourcing, whether we're talking robots or the Republic of China, is not only good for the outsourcer and the outsourcee, but for the outsourcer's home economy as well.

My conservative and liberal friends (who are bottom-line-truth oriented) and I agree that Mitt Romney's commercial which replays the President's infamous "you didn't build that" statement (leaving out "roads and bridges"), suggesting that he meant to say 'you didn't build your business', is an utterly fallacious and voter-manipulating low blow.

Now while there's no disputing the former, the latter is worthy of a little deeper scrutiny. Not that the President meant 'you didn't build your business', he indisputably didn't. But when we consider the extent to which government has infiltrated the private sector, perhaps those who would bend context to their political benefit may be (entirely by accident) onto something. Perhaps there are businesses in our midst that in fact wouldn't exist were it not for government favor. Perhaps, in essence, there are executives who indeed deserve the charge 'they didn't build that'. Think GM, Chrysler, AIG, and God knows how many other financial institutions and green energy firms that'd be gone were it not for American-style cronyism. Perhaps the liberals are every bit as culpable as the conservatives when it comes to cozying up to big business. Perhaps they're just better at concealing it.

Anthony Gregory, while he was "charitable" in not hammering the conservatives for taking the President's (less-so Ms. Warren's) words out of context, makes the point marvelously in his post Then, Who did Build it, Mr. President?

1 comment:

  1. […] I was about to close there, but I feel compelled to comment on seedy side of government supporting business. Here’s a snippet from my July 2012 essay Bending Context – or – The Truth Flatters Neither Side: […]