Written By: Hans Benes
As this Presidential campaign nears its finish line, Mitt Romney is becoming more aggressive with his rhetoric. At the top of his list of issues is China. According to Romney, China is a cheater in the business world, costing this country millions of jobs. By following his plan, which has still to be defined, Romney promises to create twelve million new jobs.
Presumably these jobs will be in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing jobs have often been sent abroad to take advantage of China’s cheap labor pool. But, like many of the Romney initiatives presented, details are sorely missing. It’s one thing to proclaim new jobs and support for the middle class, it’s quite another in establishing real objectives to do so.
What is really hurting Romney, however, is his past business affiliation with China. Bain Capital, under the leadership of the Republican nominee was a leader in outsourcing jobs to China. And now his recently released tax return identifies investments in Iran, China and stem cell research. His investment in China’s state run oil company, CNOOC, was liquidated last year, shortly before the Republican debate in Iowa.
Mitt, you can’t have it both ways! You can’t call China cheaters while investing in their companies to help them cheat! As we have well established over the years, those who fund terrorists are terrorists in their own right. Therefore, by funding the cheaters, Romney is a cheater as well. And that is nothing to say of the ethical issues such investments raise. One can argue that these are investments in larger, diversified portfolios headed by managers not under his control. But any savvy investor researches funds he might invest in to make sure the fund’s portfolio matches his strategic objectives.
So why invest in cheaters? Clearly the goal is to make money. The problem is: once your aim is to make money at whatever cost, you lose all semblance of self-respect. Providing capital to Chinese companies gives them the ability to steal American jobs. Calling them cheaters in retrospect is too little too late. Apparently, Mitt Romney’s personal financial vision is vastly different than the one he has for this country.
The success of his latest plea for support to the American middle class worker will determine his Presidential fate. For them, China is a big issue. And a potential President, who has shown that he is more interested in personal financial gain than the fate of struggling American workers, faces a very difficult task.