Venture or Vulture?

We must be very, very careful how we finish out this primary season. We must be careful that we are not simply stocking the war chest of attack-ad ideas of the Obama Campaign strategy brain trust. In other words, let’s not make David Axelrod’s job easier.

The problem? Mitt Romney and Bain Capital.

I’m gonna give it to you short and sweet.

Capitalism involves risk. In fact, quite a bit. It is, in essence, sticking your neck out, with the hope that if you don’t tank, you’ll achieve great success. Therein lies the given that there is the fairly good chance that you will indeed tank. Again, capitalism is all about the freedom to take that risk with the hope of doing well!

Enter Bain Capital.

That’s just exactly what they did and presumably still do, folks.  Very briefly defined, as a venture capital firm, they came in with the company-in-question’s consent, to invest in the company. Bain could wield certain levels of control over the company as part of that investment (depending on the situation), and in return would seek to see profit from their investment. (For a more in-depth definition of what Bain does specifically, click here) Furthermore, it was in Bain’s best interest to help the company do WELL, as this would in the end make their financial risk worth-while as well. There were times, however, that there was just no fixing the company. Sometimes, Bain would buy the company and it would be dismantled and sold off.  Remember, Bain or any other venture capital firm is not in the business of charity. It is in the business of Bain. And that’s fine! That is capitalism. If the risk was was too great, they pull out of the whole deal, and according to Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, this makes Bain a heartless job-killing machine. Or “vulture,” as Perry has commented.

Using that same logic, couldn’t the same be said of every single individual investor  who chooses to risk his or her own money in the stock market, and when it becomes apparent that their investment no longer benefits them, they pull out, without care or concern for the individual that their pull-out affects? Mmhmm.

May it be made perfectly clear that these musings are not intended to support Mitt Romney nor Bain Capital, rather to simply point out that by criticizing Romney’s time at Bain Capital, Gingrich and Perry and everyone else who jumps on that bandwagon is setting capitalism (and for that matter, the eventual GOP nominee’s campaign, whoever that may be) up, whether they realize it or not. Think about it. One of two things can happen. Either the Left goes “See??? SEE??? That’s what WE’VE been saying for years! Big, filthy capitalist pigs are the reason why our country stinks.” In other words, the whole concept of free enterprise is dragged through the mud, and we’ve handed the Left the rope with which to do it. OR, because of Romney’s attempts to defend himself, in which he recently said (in sum) that it’s no different than what the Obama administration did with GM & Chrysler, an entire swathe of the Obama administration’s follies is rendered untouchable since it is apparently “on par” with what Romney did. In other words, if Romney is in fact the nominee, he can’t very well go after Big Government intervention (which is STARKLY different from Bain’s activity) after equating it to his own actions, now can he? Nope.

Not only does this argument ruin any effort to point out that the administration’s meddling in GM & Chrysler among others was wrong, but it sets up the premise that it was RIGHT! It must be made very clear here that private intervention in business as Bain did is done at the REQUEST of the company. What the government did, however, was decide that certain companies needed intervention and they just DID it. No questions asked- they just DID it. And in the process,  people lost jobs, privately owned dealerships were closed, and the government’s hand will likely never leave that industry. No wonder people jokingly refer to GM as Government Motors.

My point is simple. Bain may or may not be a stand-up business.  Mitt Romney may or may not be the right guy for the presidency. I’ve got my own opinions on that. That’s not really my point, however. My point is that the whole concept of venture capitalism is being equated to something that it is not, and in doing so, the certain GOP candidates are effectively shooting themselves and capitalism itself in the foot. After all, are we not supposed to be the party of the Free Market?

And besides. . . with a record of enough flip-flops to fill a beach-side surf shop, there are plenty of things that would better merit one’s investigative time when it comes to Mitt Romney.

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