Most of the debate about whether Romney created jobs at Bain Capital misses the point. Of course, businesses succeed and fail. Some jobs will be created, some eliminated. The questions is whether Romney cared about jobs, or just about maximizing profits. For example, if it cost Bain $1,000 to keep a job that paid $25,000 to some long-term employee, would Romney do it? That question has not been asked, but I think the answer is no. That is a legitimate position, a purely Darwinian capitalist view. But do you want the government to approach the jobs issue the same way? I don’t think so. The government should take a more humanitarian approach to jobs. And businesses could, too.
In some cases, businesses fail because the men who started them don’t have the heart to fire people who have been with them for years, although the company’s hard times require it. The Mitt Romneys of the world can come in and do it because they are heartless. And they end up preserving some jobs, just not all of them.
But what is Romneys view of the importance of jobs versus profits? We don’t know, and probably never will, because Romney seems to have no permanent views on anything.
I think Romney’s income taxes may be revealing, if he releases them. He probably benefitted from all the tax breaks for rich people, particularly those in investment activities, that the lobbyists have gotten passed over the years, thanks to huge donations from rich people. They can afford huge payments to lobbyists and campaign contributions to politicians, because the resulting tax breaks save them obscene amounts of money. I’m guessing Mitt benefited enormously. It will be even worse if it turns out that he is hiding income by putting assets in the Cayman Islands, or some other tax haven.