In an interview with Fortune Magazine, Mitt Romney gave President-elect Obama some advice on the economic crisis we are now in. Perhaps the most profound advice he gave was that Obama “should forget about re-election and focus on helping the nation at a critical time. He should dismiss the people who helped him win the election and bring in people who are above politics and above party. He should surround himself with statesmen and economists, businesspeople and leaders.” How true that is. Besides if Obama took this advice and worked the economy issue, re-election would work itself out.
In further addressing the economy Mitt gave some great points:
- Regarding unions:
The unions have helped Barack Obama. They will hope to be paid back. I’m particularly concerned that organized labor would call on Barack Obama to pass the card check program. This removes from American workers the right to the secret ballot in deciding whether or not to accept a union. This legislation would do more to harm America’s long-term competitiveness than almost anything I can imagine. It would be a partisan payback for organized labor but it would come with devastating consequences for the nation.
- On the Auto Industry
Right now, the auto industry is on life support, and its prospects look extremely dim. But they don’t need to be. The industry could be turned around. There is no inherent reason why America can’t build and sell cars to Americans at least as well as the transplants are doing. Any effort to help the auto industry has to be made as part of a comprehensive strategy. Before the government issues loans to the auto industry, as has been authorized by Congress, it should insist on seeing credible and independent strategies that will return the companies to long-term sustainability. Government should not finance ongoing losses and declining market shares.
- On the Global Economy
Far too little attention was paid to America’s long-term competitive position during the campaign. I see four major economic strategies at play in the world today: the first is ours. It combines freedom and free enterprise.
The second is China’s. It combines free enterprise with authoritarianism.
The third is Russia’s. No longer is Russia’s plan for dominance based upon industrial capacity but rather upon controlling energy throughout the world. Hence Russia’s cozy relationship with Iran and Venezuela as well as its belligerent entry into Georgia. Russia’s strategy is based on energy and authoritarianism.
The fourth strategy is represented by radical violent jihad. The intent of the jihadists is to cause the collapse of the other three, such that the “hidden Imam” or the Caliphate remains the last man standing.
The real challenge for America is how to strengthen our competitive position so that our economy outperforms those of the other three. If we’re successful, freedom will be preserved for the world. If we’re unsuccessful, the results are unthinkable.
- On the apparent populist shift in American ideology
I can only hope the President abandons the populist current, which seems to be growing in our country. An effort to block foreign trade will only hurt America. Ultimately products in this country would become uncompetitive. Look what happened to the Soviet Union. Its cars, its watches, its goods became a joke.
The only way to remain the leading economy in the world is to be successful on a level playing field around the world. Some individuals, at the behest of special interests, seek to prevent trade with other nations by imposing America’s labor requirements and other peculiarities. That is a disguised form of protectionism.
And the GOP chose McCain! What a bunch of idiots. Mitt Romney is smarter than any of the candidates that ran in 2008. And America lost when he did. Anyway, enough of looking backwards, we need to get him in the White House in 2012, but I digress.
The fact is, on the economy he is right. Capitalism and ‘free’ trade are what made America great and strong. Our military might is a result of our economic might. Our freedoms are because of economic freedom. Protectionism and isolationism will fail every time. The thing with capitalism is that it is not an easy pill swallow all the time. Sometimes the market is booming and other times it is crashing, sometimes people succeed other times people fail. But all of that is what makes capitalism great, everyone has an opportunity and everyone can pull themselves out of the “social class” they were born into. While socialist and other economic models may succeed in bringing equality (though they never have yet), but if they do, they undoubtedly make everyone equally poor and miserable. Capitalism is not perfect, but it is the best system in the world none the less and America’s movement away from it would be a danger to us and to the world at large. Russia and China aren’t going to be as benevolent and nice as America and ultimately, those are the three countries that will determine the world’s future. I would certainly rather live in a world guided by America.