The War Over Class War: The Economist



“For those who see such comments as tantamount to storming the Bastille, Barack Obama’s recent behaviour might bring to mind St Petersburg in 1917. According to Mr Romney, he is attacking nothing less than capitalism and the free-enterprise system. An article in Forbes magazine calls Mr Obama a “socialist in the European reform-Marxism tradition” although not, to be fair, “a communist of the cold war tradition”.”

” The main evidence of Mr Obama’s proletarian sympathies is a couple of advertisements recently released by his campaign depicting Bain Capital…In one, downtrodden former employees of a steel mill in which Bain Capital invested describe the firm as a “vampire” which “sucked the life” out of the business,…These ads are unfair, of course, ignoring as they do Bain Capital’s many successful investments, fudging Mr Romney’s role and leaving out many mitigating details.”

” Mr Romney is fond of saying that Mr Obama has no idea how the economy works and how jobs are created. The way the Obama campaign talks about Bain Capital suggests that his criticism is correct. Mr Obama, as noted above, likes to insinuate that there is a conflict between pursuing profits and creating jobs. In the long run, however, in a competitive economy, that is nonsense. Only profitable firms can sustain any jobs, and the more profitable they are, the more money they have to invest in new ventures with new workers. Mr Obama is guilty not of rhetorical excess but of economic muddle. That is far more worrying.”

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