Mitt Romney

Don't We All Agree with Mitt Romney That We Like to Fire People Who Are Not Doing What We Pay Them to Do?

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I cannot imagine a scenario in which I pull a lever, punch a hole, or have my proxy in the New Black Panther Party cast a ballot for former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) in any election anywhere.

But I've got to say that the flap over Romney's line about "liking" to fire people who are not doing what they're paid to do is about the most idiotic thing I've witnessed in a while.

What Romney said – "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. If someone doesn't give me the good service I need, I'm going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me"—is not only common sense, it is the essence of a world in which monopolies do not dictate every thing we buy or consume. It's the difference between conventional public schools and public or private schools of choice (which have significantly higher levels of satisfaction among parents); it's the difference between the U.S. Postal Service and UPS and Fedex; it's the difference between the old phone and cable monopolies and a better world in which we have more and cheaper channels, coverage areas, you name it. (More on the incident here.)

Everyone knows this and yet various Dems and Reps have pounced on this statement as if it's the equivalent of Romney saying that he like to put kittens in a sack and beat them with baseball bats. 

Romney's equally uninspiring rival, former Gov. Jon Huntsman (R-Utah)—whose primary selling point is that he would fill the White House with three uncontrollable, tone-deaf daughters—jumped on the statement with the sort of palaver that should automatically disqualify anyone from ever being taken seriously again: "I will always put my country first. It seems Gov. Romney believes in putting politics first. Gov. Romney enjoys firing people, I enjoy creating jobs."

Sadly, Romney himself is among the people piling on his statement:

"Sorry, you know the context of what I was saying, which is we all like to be able to chose our own insurance company and if they don't do the job for us being able to get rid of them and that's what I was referring to," he said. "I understand that in politics people are going to try and grasp at anything, take it out of context and make it something it's not, and by the way, that's the nature of the process."

Your presumptive GOP candidate, ladies and germs. A guy who can't just flatly stand up for a rare instance when he said something that approaches a universal truth. And then goes into a disquisition about how, despite being the son of a governor and big-time business exec, he really started out in the business world jes' like all of us, naked and afraid, but you know who really is a bum, why that Barack Obama guy…

No wonder more voters are calling themselves independent than ever before. And no wonder that everyone should buy the only book of the past year that explains why that is, The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, by Matt Welch and me.

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226 responses to “Don't We All Agree with Mitt Romney That We Like to Fire People Who Are Not Doing What We Pay Them to Do?

  1. Of course Washingtonians would hate what Romney said. They are some of the biggest monopolists on the planet, and the very thought of competition scares them to the core of their beings.

  2. i’ll buy it when it’s available in paperback.

    1. Like many libertarian books, you can get used copies on Amazon for around $4.

      1. Just for shits and grins, I bought a copy of Pelosi’s book… for a dollar… at a retail outlet.

        Didn’t read it, of course…

  3. Everyone knows this and yet various Dems and Reps have pounced on this statement as if it’s the equivalent of Romney saying that he like to put kittens in a sack and beat them with baseball bats.

    I’d vote for him if he said that.

  4. And no wonder that everyone should buy the only book of the past year that explains why that is, The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong With America, by Matt Welch and me.

    Wait, you have a book out?

    1. Inorite! How come we’ve not been told of this event sooner???

    2. Does anyone know where one could procure a copy of this “book”? I haven’t seen it anywhere.

    3. Tell me more about this book rumoured to exist. I haven’t heard of it yet.

  5. Typical Republican idea, when people are hurting the most, you fire them.

    How about a sensible policy, like when unemployment reaches a certain percentage you can’t fire anyone?

    I mean, just look at what these corporations did. First they crashed the entire economy just to steal more profits and then with people hurting and being thrown out of homes they were lied into the corporations started firing them left and right instead of making sure they could feed their children. It’s disgraceful and what’s even worse is that the government has never done anything to throw these CEOs in jail permanently for stealing the standard of living from the American worker.

    And here’s Mitt Romney and the rest of the libertarian cranks of the Republican Party cheering on laying off more and more American workers.

    1. Ah yes, Directive 10-289 will surely work! We’re going to save the country!

      1. Yes. We’ve got to stand still in these trying economic times! We can’t move forward so we’ve got to stand still!

    2. Hmmm… can’t tell if this is a reasonably subtle spoof, or just very stupid. Seriously, I need a better spoof-detector.

      1. I can’t figure it out, either. How about a sensible policy, like when unemployment reaches a certain percentage you can’t fire anyone? is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. I’d like to think no one is actually that stupid, but according to Gallup no less than 31% of the country is exactly that stupid.

        1. Come on, guys, “How about a sensible policy, like when unemployment reaches a certain percentage you can’t fire anyone?” is so incandescently stupid it is an obvious spoof giveaway.

        2. Quick, let’s fire Paul before the government says we have to retain him.

        3. Dude, most people can’t even admit that minimum wages either 1) do nothing or 2) create harm if they are enforced.

          Don’t underestimate the economic ignorance of the general public.

          1. How would raising the wages of people create harm? It means they can put more food on the table, send their kids to better schools and best of all contribute more to the economy growing the entire pie for all of us!

            1. When a price floor is set higher than the market clearing price, a surplus is created. In labor terms, this means more people are willing to work for minimum wage X than employers are willing to hire, and thus unemployment is created.

              There’s also the niggling problem of deadweight loss – people who were willing to hire at or work at a price below the minimum wage are no longer legally allowed to do so. With that range of transactions outlawed, a good majority of them will not occur, and thus a slice of productive economic activity is prevented from ever occurring.

            2. [shakes head in quiet admiration]

            3. Let’s say I have a budget of $20 dollars for my business. My business cost before payroll is $10. So the rest of my budget goes to payroll. I have 9 employees, and I give each $1 to work for me. I have $1 extra, so my business is doing well. I can invest that $1 to either give myself or to expand my business.

              Some politicians decide that the $1 I give is not enough, so they raise the minimum wage. Now, suddenly, instead of giving them $1, I have to give them $1.25. That’s quite a boost. Now I instead of having to pay out $9, I have to pay out $11.25. Uh oh. I only had $10 to spend. I had $1 extra, but now I’m $1.25 in the hole. Well, I have two options. I can lay off 1 employee and break even, or I can lay off 2 to still make a little extra. However, there is more work to do, and I have to make it up somewhere. My other option is to raise my prices. But if my competitors DON’T raise their prices as well, my business would suffer and more employees would have to be laid off. I would probably go out of business.

              So, there are 1-2 employees now out of work. Since most other businesses have the same problem as I do, they lay off employees as well, and it is harder to hire more help. They stay unemployed. Now, if we all raise our prices, our employees find their expenses now higher. Therefore, that extra money did not really help them out any because now they are paying more for everything to offset the price.

              Oh, wait, I DO have a third option. But it is not exactly legal. I can fire the 2 or more employees (likely more), and hire illegal immigrants to work for me. But instead of $1.25 or even the $1 I used to pay, I’ll pay them $.50 I can hire more for less. Americans are still out of work.

              Minimum wage does NOT help the poor.

      2. I’m still sleepy, but I’m going with spoof.

    3. Easy there, Paul. He was talking about insurance companies. I thought demonizing insurance companies was a Good Thing?? Or is it only good when Dear Leader does it?

      1. To be fair, I was giving them a handjob under the table while talkin’ that smack!

    4. A JOB IS A RIGHT!!111!!!1!

      1. What kind of job are you talking about?

        1. Yes, be specific.

    5. Re: Paul,

      Typical Republican idea, when people are hurting the most, you fire them.

      No, when people are being paid more than their productive output, you fire them. This happens in happy times as well.

      How about a sensible policy, like when unemployment reaches a certain percentage you can’t fire anyone?

      How is that sensible? It’s like proposing that when the number of homeless people get to a certain level you can’t evict squatters.

      First they crashed the entire economy just to steal more profits

      You don’t get more profits by crashing the economy. The economy crashed because the Fed printed too much money. PERIOD.

      1. How is that sensible? It’s like proposing that when the number of homeless people get to a certain level you can’t evict squatters.

        Don’t give them ideas.

        1. you make me lol. Unfortunately, you’re also right.

          1. Yeah, to be able to see that as a refutation would mean operating at two or three levels of comprehension higher than what these guys can manage.

    6. How about a sensible policy, like when unemployment reaches a certain percentage you can’t fire anyone?

      Thankfully, math has solved that for us. It’s 100%. Everyone can rest easy now.

      1. See, if you had claimed unemployment was 99%, then you could say that Paul was on the side of the 1%.

    7. Amazing that this troll got as many replies as he did. 5/10 for effectiveness; you dropped the employment mandate too early in the post though, which makes the reader quit reading.

    8. Oh, Slapdick McGee! Will you ever learn?

    9. I like how Paul berates Republicans and then suggests a policy that was a steroidal version of the stuff that came from Herbert Hoover at the beginning of the great depression.

    10. What Romney means is if somebody is giving you crap service, you should have the right to not use that person/company anymore, and go to another one. Which is common sense. “How about a sensible policy, like when unemployment reaches a certain percentage you can’t fire anyone?” How is that in anyway sensible? Smaller companies and family owned businesses might not be able to afford so many employees during slow months, and then they’ll go out of business. If everyone knows that they aren’t going to be fired, what reason is there for them to actually, you know, WORK?! Not all companies are evil you know. You want me to let you into a little secret, why the American companies outsource, and are fighting bankruptcy? It’s because all of the red-tape the government has on them, making it harder and harder for them to work, while companies from other countries, (example, China) have their respective country’s support. Try throwing the people in D.C. in jail first, they’re the ones responsible.

      1. Oh, so it’s alright that people are not just enslaved by their employers but constantly in fear of losing their jobs (and likely to justify any abuse so they can keep their barely subsistence level job) as long as the companies are “family owned”?

        1. If employers enslave their employees, wouldn’t you want the employees to be fired? And thus no longer be slaves?

          Why do you support slavery??

    11. How about a sensible policy, like when unemployment reaches a certain percentage you can’t fire anyone?

      what are you 12?

    12. Really? So, you would force employers to pay people to stand around eight hours a day?

  6. Yes, I’d like to fire people when they fuck things up. How does one hand Congress a severance notice?

    1. They’re being distributed in voting booths everywhere this November.

      1. And I’ll try to fire Kevin Brady. It didn’t take last time, but I’ll try again.

    2. Remember mate, when all else fails, use fire.

      1. Every election season, the same thought occurrs to me: who gives a damn about special interest politics when there’s an entire cosmos to be swept clean with fire?

        It’s better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness, yo.

  7. We are up to something like 2 million federal civilian employees – not counting the Post Office and Amtrak.

    I want a President who likes to fire people by the hundreds of thousands and plans to do so.

    1. And destroy our economy? Not only would millions be on the streets, but we wouldn’t have the vital services they were providing. Nuclear plants? Melting down all over without regulators to watch them. Food supply? Poisoned by for-profit corporations.

      And Social Security, welfare, unemployment? None of the checks getting to people because you outlawed mail delivery.

      Scratch a libertarian, they bleed fascist.

      1. Because if the government doesn’t do it, nobody will!!!111!111!!1!!

      2. Re: Paul,

        And destroy our economy?

        After WWII, millions of soldiers were discharged from service and the ecomomy was not destroyed. You have a very limited view of how the economy works. Don’t opine on things you do not grasp.

        1. Yeah they were sent to college with government money.

          1. *government* money?

            1. To Tony, all money is government money.

              He and Paul should get a room.

          2. Re: Tony,

            Yeah they were sent to college with government money.

            And? The point is that they were released from public service, and the economy did not go down the tubes – quite the contrary, it rebounded from the slump of the Great Depression.

            1. Yeah after the massive stimulus program known as WWII had done its job to restore economic growth. And after which the government continued investing, including the non-insignificant matter of educating all those returning soldiers and creating the middle class as a result.

              Nowhere in this story, I’ll note, does a laissez-faire economy save the day.

              1. Economic growth of consumer goods took off only after WWII ended.

                Stopping production of cars entirely to build tanks does not help raise the standard of living of consumers.

                1. Or, it took off after the New Deal and FDR ended.

      3. OK, we have our answer.

        Spoof.

        A- spoof, I may add. Very good. VERY good!

        *applauds*

        1. Bravo.

        2. Aye. It’s the same as Markus, I’ll bet.

        3. One of the better ones we’ve seen.

      4. “Vital services.” Pretty funny dude.

        “And Social Security, welfare, unemployment? None of the checks getting to people because you outlawed mail delivery.”

        No the checks never getting cut, ever. Are you aware that this is a libertarian blog?

        1. For a site called “Reason.com”….

      5. 9/10 – Excellent work. You really know your stuff.

      6. Who the hell thinks the first people to be fired when the government gets cut are the people monitoring the nuclear places? We have massive postal and forest services with hundreds of thousands of employees who can be shown the door without doing anything to adversely impact anyone who uses those “services”.

        You’re like the morons who want to make firefighters the first city employees fired, instead of the assistant undersecretary for the mayor’s secretary.

        1. This guys is either trying to be sarcastic and failing, or too stupid to be allowed to procreate. I’ll go get the hedge trimmers.

        2. It must be true – the politician who wants to raise taxes told Paul that if the government budget is cut one cent it’s the firefighters and nuclear meltdown preventers who get fired first!

        3. Making the firemen unemployed is always a good start. There are a lot of them. They are over paid and under worked. Volunteer departments work quite well.

        4. Who the hell thinks the first people to be fired when the government gets cut are the people monitoring the nuclear places?

          Someone who wants to scare the populace away from supporting budget cuts.

      7. Paul = Brilliant Troll.
        Props my good man.

    2. Sounds like about 1.9 million too many.

  8. alt text – this is how to do an armpit fart

  9. I’ve got to say that the flap over Romney’s line about “liking” to fire people who are not doing what they’re paid to do is about the most idiotic thing I’ve witnessed in a while.

    Hear, hear!

    Here are two examples, off the top of my head, where we can’t fire the people who provide services for us:

    1) The DMV

    2) Public School Teachers

    Why the hell would I want my healthcare services administered by people like that?!

    Fire my insurance company? Hell yeah, I want to fire my health insurance company if I don’t like their service! That’s half the argument against ObamaCare right there.

    People need to start thinking of themselves as entrepreneurs. Why you would criticize somebody for saying they like firing people who aren’t delivering good service is beyond me.

  10. Pittman, firing people can give you a pretty good buzz, but it’s a poor substitute for killing. I realize that now.

  11. Having fired tons ‘o people over my career, I can tell you it’s overrated as a rush most of the time.

    But, every once in a while, it’s soooo delicious – when someone REALLY deserves to be fired…

    Fuck Romney anyway. And the rest of the R’s. I’m voting for myself for Pres.

    1. In the last ten years I’ve had to fire between 60 and 70 employees and I can honestly say that I didn’t “enjoy” firing any of them only a sociopath would have.

      Willard could have made the same point better by saying that he enjoyed businesses competing for his business and the ability to change who he did business with at any time.

      1. I’ve only fired a few. It is not pleasant, even for a a heartless, soulless attorney.

      2. Yes, it’s not the underlying argument itself, but how it’s couched. Saying you enjoy firing people just doesn’t come off so well when so many are employed and are having trouble making ends meet. It does sound really callous. Saying you like competition/capitalism as it offers the opportunity to get the best service, improve quality of services, lower prices, etc. isn’t so tone deaf.

        1. er, “unemployed.”

  12. Romney is right in this instance of course, but the ham-fisted way that he expressed the concept of competition demonstrates his flaws as a politician.

    1. The bugs are still being worked out of the communication software. It should be recoded to be a little more sympathetic sounding in the next rev.

  13. Here we see Romney’s desperation for the presidency, there is no principle he isn’t willing to repudiate in pursuit of the office.

    I want everyone to consider what would happen if he reacted to a serious issue within the government as he did to this little episode. In the past three decades the federal civil service has arrogated increasing levels of power to itself. To restore the U.S. on a path to prosperity, the civil service must be reined in. They will not go quietly into the good night but will rather fight. They will leak reports that a rollback in X will lead to Y catastrophe, and try to demagogue the president into backing down.

    And Romney, cravenly wanting to avoid any controversy that will threaten his reelection will back down.

    The man will be an unmitigated disaster which makes permanent Obama’s power grabs.

    1. Here we see Romney’s desperation for the presidency, there is no principle he isn’t willing to repudiate in pursuit of the office.

      Old news is old.

      1. Little known fact: most politicians run to lose.

  14. I think that in that picture, Mitt is re-enacting an act that Rick Santorum wants to outlaw.

    1. + number 2

    2. alt text – now that I’ve demonstrated the half nelson and full nelson, I will now demonstrate the uncle nelson

  15. PS I’m having tacos for breakfast – just cooking the carne. Anyone want some, come on over to Almanian’s Man Cave in the Cleveland area. We’ll some tacos, slam some Jager, sit around and fart and tell man jokes – it’ll be fun.

    1. I’ll be there in 90 minutes.

      1. You can’t get to Cleveland in 90 minutes!

    2. Then Mustang races in the street ?

      (’99 Cobra here)

  16. So with Romney regarded as apparent GOP candidate, we basically have to hope he beats Obama and somehow fumble in to greatness? *sigh* I would take Romney over Santorum, but which statist would you rather rule over you?

    1. Barack Obama.

      He has proven himself by saving the economy, granting quality health care to all Americans, defeating bin Laden, Mubarak, Gadhaffi, Kim Jong Il and hopefully many more to come, while sacrificing none of our safety.

      The amazing successes both domestically and in foreign policy of the President have put a lie to libertarianism. Compare the horrific eight years under George W. Bush’s extremist right-wing libertarian regime and the mere three years of rampant whirlwind success under just three years of President Obama.

      It’s no contest. Obama is one of the historic all-time Presidents.

      1. Oh, Slapdick McGee! Will you ever learn?

      2. I… I don’t… I don’t even know where to begin with this. This is too much kool-aid drinking stupid for me on a Tuesday morning. The fact that you just called GWB a libertarian… well… it just blows my mind to think how much weed I would need to smoke to even fathom what you just said.

        1. TBH I don’t know if you’re serious. If you are… wow…. just wow…

        2. Has to be a spoof. Nobody is that stupid. I hope.

        3. He slashes taxes for the rich, eliminated or ignored nearly every regulation on the books, let bankers loot the economy…

          Sounds like libertarian policy to me.

          1. Ah yes, the Nae tr00 scotsman defense for deregulation. Bush II hired some 90,000 additional regulators, signed SarbOx, doubled the size of the SEC – but none of it counts, you see, because he is the wrong color. Only Blue can enforce proper regulation.

          2. Bush II also increased federal outlays 60% in real terms over 8 years and got the US into two long term voluntary wars – definitely a libertarian!

          3. My Paul spoof got outed, so now I’ll troll as ‘Markus’.

          4. Again, I don’t think my body could physically handle the amount of drugs I would need to agree with you… you obviously have no idea what libertarianism is and thus challenging you would be the proverbial “arguing with a wall”. you enjoy you drone-ish life as a troll have fun.

      3. Obama sure did a good job defeating Kim Jong-Il with a heart attack. Using the arsenal of democracy to it’s full potential!

        1. The crazy part is that the CIA tried to give the Cancer to Dear Leader and the heart attack to Chavie but mixed up the vials of poison! That crazy CIA!

      4. It’s no contest. Obama is one of the historicALLY WORST all-time Presidents.

        FIFY.

      5. Haha, Kim Jong-Il is a nice touch.

  17. But I’ve got to say that the flap over Romney’s line about “liking” to fire people who are not doing what they’re paid to do is about the most idiotic thing I’ve witnessed in a while.

    And seeing that it comes mainly from economics illiterate rivals and journalists, it is no wonder it is so idiotic conceptually.

    Gingrich Hates Free Markets

    While there is much to dislike about Mitt Romney (and, no, if he is the Republican nominee, I won’t vote for him), the whole notion that Bain Capital actually destroyed wealth via its actions is laughable. Most Americans don’t understand how this process works and from the attacks on Romney involving Bain, it is obvious that the Republican candidates ? sans Ron Paul ? also are as anti-capitalist as the Democrats.

  18. Romney was taken out of context, but he should know all about that after his own ad claimed Obama said “If we talk about the economy we lose” when he was actually quoting a McCain guy.

    What’s interesting is that Romney was never actually a businessman in the sense of doing work to produce things. He dealt in the nasty underside of capitalism, the only goal being raking in money for himself. His work at Bain will make for a great conversation about just what capitalism is supposed to be good for. It would be nice if we could have that conversation instead of just assuming that whatever the status quo version of capitalism produces is by definition the best thing for the country. Romney’s form is a lot less creation than destruction.

    1. I don’t understand capitalism or anything else.

      1. I understand that to a libertarian “understanding” means distilling reality to as few slogans as possible, as if simplicity were by itself evidence of a thing’s trueness.

        I know that the outcomes of the market are not to be worshiped but studied to ensure that they are producing a better society overall. When they’re not, when they’re simply funneling money to nonproductive investors who are using the economy essentially as a giant casino in which the wealthy always win, then I know it’s not something to be worshiped but something to be changed. Human beings come first. Libertarianism is a cult that worships the market as deity.

        1. derp de derpity derp

        2. The economy is not a thing to be worshiped; government is.

        3. Shorter Tony is right.

        4. Poor Tony, the green monster is strong in him:

          You are actually missing Tony’s main point: We libertarians aren’t envious enough!

          Haven’t you noticed all the digs about people starving so that a billionaire can drive a Bugatti Veyron?

          We say “keep your mits to yourself!” But when one does that someone might amass alot of wealth! To an envious person this is a big problem. To a libertarian, it’s not a problem at all – so long as the wealth is amassed through production and/or voluntary trade.

          Now serious students of economic history recognize that in the presence of free markets, you get a large middle class, some rich people, and a shrinking pool of people in poverty. It wasn’t the existence of unions, for example, that ensured that a poor woman had access to stockings that 100 years previously were only available to the very wealthy. It was the expansion of production prompted by the opportunity to get rich off of one’s own labors.

          But to the envious, the very existence of the wealthy is the problem. To them it’s as much a crime as a mugger taking someone’s baby’s milk-money is to us.

          I think this is the cause of Tony’s frustration. A very envious person thinks it’s OK to take stuff that other people has because it’s intolerable that they don’t share their good fortune. Or, if they are opposed to taking, using force to prevent someone from getting more stuff.
          Consider Paris Hilton, for example. Now, I think we can all stipulate that Paris Hilton will consume far more than she produces. And her consumption is so frivolous as completely revolt my half Scotch-Yankee love of frugality.

          However, the wealth she consumes was amassed by people who loved her and gave it to her, and to a libertarian the fact that her dad and granddad wanted her to have that wealth they had worked so hard to produce is sufficient reason for her to have it.

          Someone filled with envy, though, looks at Paris Hilton and screams she doesn’t deserve that wealth, decent people do! They view her as being the beneficiary of a natal lottery, and rather than seeing her wealth as a gift of love, view it as a theft from their pockets.

          This is why I don’t think Tony will ever accept all the evidence thrown at him that he is wrong. Because to admit that forcible redistribution of wealth away from the halves would require him to confront the envy & greed that is the core of his being. Far more comfortable to repeatedly type out the same jingoistic slogans and to close his mind to reason.

          1. shorter Shorter Tony: It’s not fair!

          2. But you’re just wrong about the psychological motivation, as is to be expected because I doubt you are a psychologist.

            Your claim is, simply (simple means true!) that laissez-faire capitalism produces maximum prosperity. But this is demonstrably false. It tends to produce wealth disparity.

            Your refusal to entertain tax hikes even though you know we are not in a free market and thus the outcomes are not always fair means you’re just a partisan stooge and you don’t even know it.

            The middle class was not created or sustained by a laissez-faire economy, but a strong market economy combined with strong labor rights and a strong safety net.

            This bullshit about emotional motivations is just an excuse to turn off your brain and go back to your comforting slogans. Simplicity is truth, which is good for simple people.

            1. I don’t know where you’ve got this “simplicity is truth” thing from. I can’t think of any libertarian writer who has ever said that, and I can’t imagine it’s an attitude more associated with libertarianism than any other political philosophy. Why are you just making shit up?

              1. It’s a combination straw man / ad hominem fallacy.

                All Tony has, besides his phalluses, is fallacies.

              2. It never occurs to libertarians that a free market can produce inefficiencies that are best handled by government intervention. The entire enterprise seems an obsessive-compulsive-like need to reduce the world to as few simple truths as possible.

                1. It never occurs to libertarians that a free market can produce inefficiencies that are best handled by government intervention.

                  It never occurs? Or we happen to disagree with you on that point? Do you understand that arguments for the other point of view? Of course not. Because you can’t be bothered to pay attention.

                  The entire enterprise seems an obsessive-compulsive-like need to reduce the world to as few simple truths as possible.

                  What was that about psychobabble?

            2. Your claim is, simply (simple means true!) that laissez-faire capitalism produces maximum prosperity. But this is demonstrably false. It tends to produce wealth disparity.

              I fail to see how they are mutually exclusive.

              1. Free market worshipers have a hard time understanding the simple truth that money equals power. A laissez-faire economy concentrates wealth, and those few people with most of the wealth can use the power that comes with it to influence policy to generate even more wealth. It’s fundamental and can’t be gotten around by hoping. Capitalism property working is supposed to reward hard work and ingenuity, a laissez-faire capitalism tends to reward merely already having wealth. Libertarianism is the philosophical lipstick on the pig of oligarchy–how else do you explain how you can tolerate having the collective pay for your precious property rights and the government guns that defend keeping wealth where it is, but no other interest (say healthcare) is legitimately secured collectively?

                1. Capitalism property working is supposed to reward hard work and ingenuity, a laissez-faire capitalism tends to reward merely already having wealth.

                  I don’t know where you get the gall to accuse others of not understanding complexities.

                2. -how else do you explain how you can tolerate having the collective pay for your precious property rights and the government guns that defend keeping wealth where it is, but no other interest (say healthcare) is legitimately secured collectively?

                  Quite easily.

                  You can’t have a government that secures private property for everyone and also gives everyone a right to the property of everyone else.

                  You can’t have wealth creation/accumulation without private property rights, and you can’t fund these “interests” of yours without giving up private property rights.

                  You can’t have both.

                3. Chung Mee: Opium is my business. The bridge mean more traffic. More traffic mean more money. More money mean more power.
                  Lawrence Bourne III: Yeah, well, before I commit any of that to memory, would there be anything in this for me?
                  Chung Mee: Speed is important in business. Time is money.
                  Lawrence Bourne III: You said opium was money.
                  Chung Mee: Money is Money.
                  Lawrence Bourne III: Well then, what is time again?

                  1. Volunteers. The most underrated Tom Hanks movie of all time. Gloriosky!

            3. Please define ‘fair’…in simple, specific terms. Thanks in advance Tony!

              1. Whatever “fair” is, it’s not “whatever the status quo version of capitalism produces, especially for the wealthy” as libertarians would have us believe.

                1. But that’s not what libertarians believe!

                  1. So name an instance, even a hypothetical one, in which you’d entertain the idea of raising taxes.

                    1. So name an instance, even a hypothetical one, in which you’d entertain the idea of raising taxes.

                      If a war breaks out in the face of a balanced budget amendment.

                    2. First of all, that’s not what you said. “Whatever the status quo version of capitalism produces is fair” is not even kind-of the same thing as “Taxes should always be as low as possible”, not least because part of the reason the status quo is unfair is because taxes are currently too high. I mean, for fuck’s sake. Try harder.
                      Secondly, I’d take tax rises as part of a compromise that really did increase liberty overall – because it seems like that’s all libertarians are ever going to get. So, say, if a politician said “I’ll legalise all drugs, including prescription drugs, as long as you let me tax incomes above $1m at 50%”, I’d probably take that deal.

                    3. So name an instance, even a hypothetical one, in which you’d entertain the idea of raising taxes.

                      Hypothetical: There are no taxes currently, and the federal government needs to raise money to conduct a war waged in defense of the country. And it certainly wouldn’t be an income tax.

                2. D’oh!

        5. “”understanding” means distilling reality to as few slogans as possible”

          Um…

          “Hope and Change”
          “Yes We Can”
          “Pay your fair share”

          Check yourself.

          1. Forgot “Millionaires and Billionaires.”

    2. Obama’s form is all destruction, so I guess Romney still comes out ahead.

    3. He dealt in the nasty underside of capitalism, the only goal being raking in money for himself.

      And how did he make money Mr Tony? By giving money to people with good ideas who were trying to start businesses – businesses that used fewer resources than existing businesses to provide comparable goods or services, or even onees that provided goods and services that heretofore were unavailable.

      This is good.

      Or he bought up failing businesses, salvaged what could be profitable, and sold off the unused resources and released the unproductive ly used labor, making them available for other more productive uses.

      This is also good.

      It must be hell inside your brain – that all-consuming envy…

      1. You were doing well up until the unnecessary psychobabble. Once you start blathering about class envy then it becomes clear that you’re a loser GOP sheep. Otherwise why would you need to resort to Frank Luntz talking points? Class envy talk is a pathetic attempt to forbid ever raising taxes ever, as if raising taxes couldn’t ever possibly be a practical thing to do.

        One aspect of Romney’s tenure at Bain that was not pure capitalism was the vast sums of taxpayer money funneled to Bain companies through subsidies bought with lobbyists. Influence peddling is also how he turned the Olympics around. Is paying lobbyists to get government loot the same thing as heroic capitalism? I dunno, maybe.

        1. It’s not fair! Waaaaaaaaaaah!

        2. Translation: “I can’t address your argument so I’ll whine about you being mean.”

        3. Tony, I’m not accusing you of having class envy. I am accusing you of being a person who is primarily motivated by envy.

          I allege that it animates you as much as an opposition to aggression animates me if not more.

          1. I have no reason to be envious of anyone. One can have political beliefs without being motivated by raw emotion.

            1. Yet you frequently succumb to the appeals to emotion you’ve accumulated in your defunct brain. Go figure.

        4. You were doing well up until the unnecessary psychobabble.

          Libertarianism is a cult that worships the market as deity.

        5. Influence peddling is also how he turned the Olympics around. Is paying lobbyists to get government loot the same thing as heroic capitalism?

          Smearing is easy.

          Citing evidence is hard.

            1. Oh my God that’s a thin reed to hang your case on. The federal govt spent “millions” on security for the 2002 Olympics in the aftermath of 9/11? No way! That would never have happened under a responsible head of the Olympics!

              You realize the Olympic budget was well over a billion dollars, no?

              And the Bain Capital numbers are similarly paltry compared to the value they were dealing with.

        6. Tony. There. Are. People. Who. Hate. Wealth. In. This. Country.

          Shit. Are you really that… never mind.

        7. Class envy talk is a pathetic attempt to forbid ever raising taxes ever, as if raising taxes couldn’t ever possibly be a practical thing to do.

          How did a discussion of Bain Capital find its way into your brain of raising taxes to dole out to welfare queens?

    4. You need to read adam’s comment:
      https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_2743402

      The charge that turn-around PE firms cause people to lose jobs is generally pretty stupid. Turn-around PE firm buy firms that are heading toward bankruptcy or are in bankruptcy and then restructure them. They generally lay off a bunch of people in doing that, since having too many or the wrong people on the payroll is often part of the reason the company is having financial trouble. So some people lose their jobs, but a majority keep their jobs. But the alternative is to let the company go into liquidation where everyone loses their jobs. Some PE firms do buy up healthy companies and then bleed them dry, but from what I can tell that’s not Bain’s model.

      1. That’s pretty inaccurate.

        PE firms can also buy established, profitable firms, load them up with debt while taking out exorbitant management salaries and consultant fees leading to their enrichment and the bankruptcy of the previously profitable company.

        PE firms can also buy businesses in fragmented industries with the goal of consolidation, ie close some businesses down whether profitable or not in an attempt to restrict competition and increase prices to consumers and thereby their profits.

        PE firms can also buy profitable businesses and make them more profitable by offshoring production, often destroying the long term brand value in the process.

        All of those things are legal and arguably lead to greater economic efficiency, however it is also possible that the returns of the greater efficiency are entirely captured by the PE firm. So that it appears to be predatory behavior, from the pov of people previously employed by the acquired and the general public.

        The meme that Bain only made money by finding and funding guys with good ideas, as in the Staples case, is a flat out lie. And it’s idiotic for Romney and his supporters to think that they would be able to use that lie to gain the presidency.

    5. What’s interesting is that Romney was never actually a businessman in the sense of doing work to produce things. He dealt in the nasty underside of capitalism, the only goal being raking in money for himself.

      He made money by making the most of things given what the market would allow. Sometimes businesses aren’t sustainable–and when that happens, there needs to be someone there to make the most of what’s left.

      Sometimes the most that can be made of something is liquidation, which is another way of saying that it’s often in the best interest of society to break a company apart, lay people off and sell off the assets. Keeping an unsustainable company going longer than it should is often not in the best interest of society.

      A president who doesn’t understand that principle is even more likely to do horrible things to poor people–like squander their future paychecks on bailing out Wall Street like Barack Obama did.

      I’d much rather some capitalist like Romney used to be took those banks assets over, liquidated what needed to be liquidated, and made money for himself on the rest. That would have saved average working Americans–at least–$700 billion out of their future paychecks.

      1. I’ll concede that Bain’s business is defensible as part of capitalism, but I don’t see what relevance it has to governing.

        1. Cutting waste, improving product/services, getting rid of redundant employees, taking in more revenue than goes out… yeah, it’s hard to see how that could apply to government.

          1. Those are all very minor aspects of governing.

            1. If that is not a Tony spoof, it should be. And if it is not, it explains a whole lot towards why we are where we are.

            2. Fuck, I’m dumb.

        2. I’ll concede that Bain’s business is defensible as part of capitalism, but I don’t see what relevance it has to governing.

          I thought I addressed that specifically.

          What good is a president that can’t see that sometimes it’s better just to let a business go?

          Given that every industry on earth spends a lot of their effort and time trying to play for the government’s favor, any president that doesn’t understand that at least some businesses really aren’t worth saving? Isn’t really qualified to be president.

          If Romney has some experience letting businesses go–and liquidating them when necessary–then that counts in his favor. I’m not about to vote for him, but it sure as hell doesn’t count against him.

          1. What evidence do you have that Romney would apply those lessons to government?

            Cause, what I see in him is a douchebag that needs the love of the public. He’ll fold on cutting government the first time some bs sob story is used against him.

            1. What evidence do you have that Romney would apply those lessons to government?

              None whatsoever. That’s why I wrote, “I’m not about to vote for him, but it sure as hell doesn’t count against him.”

              He’ll fold on cutting government the first time some bs sob story is used against him.

              I think there’s something to the argument that at least his baseline knowledge of how economies really work and where economic growth comes from? That’s all better than what we got in Obama.

              Romney might fold like a house of cards, but when he goes against good sense, at least he’ll do it reluctantly.

              In Obama’s case? Obama doesn’t know good sense from a hole in the ground. The things that really do make the economy grow–like investment, finance, etc.? Are the things Obama thinks are the problem.

              Those are two very different animals. One may fold against good policy reluctantly and against his better judgement–but the other one thinks that the things that kill economic growth, like regulation and government takeovers, are actually the solution!

              I won’t vote for Romney, but I think he’d be better than another four years of Hopey McChange.

        3. I’ll concede that Bain’s business is defensible as part of capitalism, but I don’t see what relevance it has to governing.

          I don’t see

          All of Tony’s arguments in a nutshell.

    6. He dealt in the nasty underside of capitalism, the only goal being raking in money for himself.

      Unlike honorable people, who work for free for the benefit of humanity as they see it. (And please don’t claim capital management isn’t work.)

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you really believe this; you give off quite the trust fund baby vibe.

    7. Democrats despise the “Robber Baron” Rockefellers, Carnegies, and Fords. If Romney built factories and power plants, Tony would find a different reason to hate him.

  19. Look! I’m as idiotic as ‘Paul’!

  20. I don’t think that’s the point. With his tenure at Bain becoming a possible liability, it’s like Michael Jackson saying, “I feel like a kid in a candy store.”

    1. Both of which are unfair and nasty mischaracterizations. So…politics…

  21. I heard this yesterday and thought as much as I despise Mittens, this was an incredibly obvious and deliberate misstatement of what he said.

  22. That dude needs to totally hit it up one time. Wow, I like the sound of it.

    http://www.Plus-Privacy.tk

  23. This should be the final nail in the coffin of any perception that Huntsman is a decent human being. Whatever you might say about Romney’s slickness, Huntsman is either a total moron or a sniveling liar and deceiver. If Romney’s evading and possibly misleading about MassCare to make himself look better, that’s bad. But lying and misleading to make someone else look bad? That’s 10x worse.

    Especially when you add it to his overdramatic (and suspiciously fast) accusations against Ron Paul in the wake of the “Manchurian candidate” video put out by someone with “Paul” in their YouTube username, which is the only connection to the Paul campaign they likely have.

    1. What about Romney’s ad about “if we talk about the economy we lose”?

      1. mmmmmm…Obama cock…slurp

      2. Translation: “I have nothing to say so I’ll throw in a red herring.”

        1. That’s at least as bad as what Huntsman said. It was a downright lie.

          1. Obama has the worst economic record since Hoover. Yeah, he wants to talk about anything but his record.

            1. I certainly wish Obama could enact FDR-style policies but the Republicans won’t let him.

              1. I certainly wish Obama could enact FDR-style policies but the Republicans won’t let him.

                Especially in his first 2 years when the democrats had overwhelming control of the house and senate.

                1. So, if/when Republicans have all the power, Democrats should just roll over and let them do whatever the fuck they want?

                  Hell, no. When one Team has all the marbles, the other Team will obstruct. Your Team will do the same thing you accuse the other Team of. And we will laugh, just as we laugh now.

                2. And a robust platform was passed and the economy was turned around. It started stagnating when the stimulus money ran out, by which times the GOP took control of the House and started pretending that penny pinching the country would do it good.

              2. Re: Tony the obviator,

                I certainly wish Obama could enact FDR-style policies but the Republicans won’t let him.

                You mean they did not let him get Obamacare and Dodd-Frank?

      3. And I traced the source of Obama’s original quote of a quote: an anonymous “McCain aide” via the NY Daily News. Even assuming it’s not completely fabricated, that’s not the “McCain campaign”.

        1. It’s scumbags all the way down.

        2. The point is it wasn’t Obama.

          1. Because Obama does want to campaign on the economy!

        3. But by all means continue defending Mitt fucking Romney.

          1. I have santorum coming out my ass!

            1. Whoever you are, this is unacceptable behavior. Stop.

            2. And by all means, keep defending Barry Fucking Obama.

          2. You’ll notice that nobody actually did defend the Romney quote, but whatever.

  24. put kittens in a sack and beat them with baseball bats

    Well, if the kittens aren’t providing the service you pay/feed them for, why not.

    Though, I prefer to toss the sack in a river, then hurl the river into the sun.

    1. Man, that’s straight out of Katamari Damacy. Awesome.

  25. As long as Obama is still running, I don’t see how we can talk about qualifications. Obama is the least qualified person ever to be elected President. And even when you count his four years as President, he still has a lousy resume.

    1. And even when you count his four years as President, he still has a lousy resume.

      “Even”? I think you mean “especially”.

    2. The problem with Obama’s four years of experience is that we’ve experienced it too.

  26. The beauty of all this is that it shines a glaring light on the truth about all these PsOS. Republicans, Democrats, who gives a shit. It’s all about ME getting elected.

  27. Amen, Mitt. If you were president and spent all your time on golf, twisting in the wind, and lining up government goodies for your supporters, we’d like to fire you.

  28. Re: Tony the ignorant,

    I know that the outcomes of the market are not to be worshiped but studied to ensure that they are producing a better society overall.

    A better society according to whom? Compared to what?

    The last time people studied the outcomes to create a better society, 120 million people DIED. This probably dovetails perfectly with your own misanthropy, but it also underlines the basic flaw in your argument: assuming that what YOU think is a “better society” is what everybody else wants.

    1. That gets to the heart of it.

      The other half is that people just can’t bring themselves to believe that we’re all generally better off when we’re free to pursue our own interests–without anybody from the top telling us what to do.

      It’s not just that they can’t get that not everybody else wants what they want–they also can’t get that people can make their own choices successfully.

      People making their own choices successfully is unpossible–it’s almost like a self-esteem problem.

      1. I’d go a step further and say that those who wish to be free have no interest in pursuing a life which gives them the power to coerce anyone into doing anything. It’s quite literally against their nature.

        Hence why the statists will always win in the end.

        1. Well, that’s what we’re up against.

          I had human nature to contend with, too, and I broke out of it.

          So did you!

          So there’s hope. We just gotta get downright evangelical about it. Hearts and minds–one at a time.

          Don’t hate the sinner; hate the stupid anti-capitalist sin.

    2. Oh really, that was the last time anyone cared about creating a better society? So what exactly are you here for? You specifically don’t care about creating the best society, you are just frittering away life randomly typing symbols?

      Or do you not have a very specific program for society defended on the premise that it is the best possible world? I hate to break this to you, but FAR fewer people want what you’re selling than what I’m selling. You don’t get to weasel out of that fact by claiming you don’t want top-down management. Sure you do. You want a top-down imposed laissez-faire system and you probably could give a shit less if people express their desire for it democratically.

      1. Laissez-faire is imposed?

        Silly me, I thought it was a lack of imposition.

        Or is a lack of imposition an imposition because it imposes on those who would impose?

      2. The moron. It hurts my eyes.

      3. You want a top-down imposed laissez-faire system and you probably could give a shit less if people express their desire for it democratically.

        Your democratic farce isn’t an accurate description of what people want. If you want a closer gauge of what people really want, you should look at what people are buying at Wal*Mart everyday or what they’re watching on television.

        You hold an election for president every four-years–for one day–and you think that’s a gauge of what people want? Try looking at the markets sometime, and you’ll really see what people want–minute by minute, every day of the year. You’ll see what people do with their money and their time…and that’s what people want.

        They want to be free to do as they please with their money and their time–free from some democratically elected politician telling them what they want.

        This is one of the reasons so many progressives hate free markets–because it exposes their supposedly democratic politicians for being the phony gauges of public opinion they are.

        1. Markets are not democracies. Democracies means everyone has an equal say. In markets, he with more money gets more of a say. That’s kind of the opposite of democracy.

          We do have polls, and I’d suggest without even looking at one that the vast majority of Americans don’t want to give up Social Security and Medicare in order to attempt a radical laissez-faire experiment. You can slap all the bumper stickers on your program you want, it’s still something that would either have to be imposed or democratically voted on.

          1. I guess I’ll have to add that to my list of Tony Stupidisms.

            Not stealing is giving.
            Not giving is theft.
            Laissez-faire is an imposition.

            Doublethink much?

            1. Of course it would be an imposition. There are legitimate alternatives to laissez-faire that people are free to favor, you know.

          2. Markets are still more indicative of real public opinion than elections.

            Markets even take the people who don’t participate into account. In an election, the minority doesn’t matter at all. In a market, people who choose not to participate drive much of the action.

            Every time I walk down the aisle at the grocery, I veto a hundred different companies’ products. Some of them I veto because I don’t like the environmental damage they cause; some of them I buy because they didn’t use hormones. And all those companies hire really smart people to stay up late at night trying to think up new and better ways to serve my needs–so that I’ll enter the market for their products.

            Oh, if only our “democracy” were anywhere near as democratic! Who reflects my wants? Who uses their resources to solve my problems? I’ll tell you who…Home Depot, that’s who! When I need a problem solved, I go to capitalist Home Depot–not Barack Obama.

            You want more pay for the work you do? I suggest you talk to a capitalist or a company to solve that problem, too. All those companies have recruiters that would be happy to talk to you about who they’re hiring and what they’re looking for in a prospective employee.

            Why would I go to a politician with a problem like wanting more pay?

            You want a system that obsesses about the needs of its constituents and serving those needs to the best of its ability at a cost people can afford? Look to capitalism.

            Not an elected politician. No politician will ever approximate my needs better than my local gas station/convenience store. …because markets are so democratic, those businesses can’t even survive unless they meet the needs of their constituents.

            Representative democracy more democratic than free markets?! It isn’t even a contest.

      4. Or do you not have a very specific program for society defended on the premise that it is the best possible world?

        No, on the premise that “best possible world” is different from person to person. That’s what OM said in the grandparent to your post. Seriously, just read it.

        I hate to break this to you, but FAR fewer people want what you’re selling than what I’m selling.

        Sorry to knock your ego, but we already knew that.

        You don’t get to weasel out of that fact by claiming you don’t want top-down management. Sure you do.

        Nope. You’re a liar.

        You want a top-down imposed laissez-faire system

        Yes, we want to impose liberty. Have you considered the possibility that you’re using the word “impose” differently to the way we use it – i.e. our way isn’t batshit insane.

        and you probably could give a shit less if people express their desire for it democratically.

        Well, that’s true for some of us – and I don’t see why democracy isn’t up for debate. But even if it wasn’t, you can’t say “the best possible world is what most people think is the best possible world” – look up “Keynesian beauty contest”.

  29. If someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I’m going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me

    Huh- the nodders on Morning Joke did not mention that part.

    What a surprise.

  30. I’ve decided to fill you in on my strategy to convert all of you libertarian heathens into good upstanding democratic citizens.

    Step 1: Assume a false premise.
    Step 2: When false premise is exposed, move the goalpost to an appeal to emotion.
    Step 3: When appeal to emotion is exposed move to appeal to authority.
    Step 4: ????
    Step 5: PROFIT!

    1. Tony doesn’t know the difference between phallus and fallacy, so he gobbles the both.

      1. Libertarian brain:

        Playground homophobia will convert the liberals to our cause!

  31. I thought Tony’s stock argument, always and everywhere, was an appeal to emotion.

    1. It certainly isn’t an appeal to reason.

      drink!

    2. Well, kinda. I mean, he has to assume that people won’t get help if the government doesn’t do it first and foremost, which is the cause of his argument to start with.

  32. The media scrum over Mitt Romney’s statement that he likes “being able to fire people” misses the larger ? and more important ? points about his healthcare policy.

    Mr Romney is suggesting changes that have already been made.

    Is it really, “repeal and replace” ? or just “Rename and Claim”?

    http://thebottom99percent.com/…..ure-fired/

  33. Looks like Tony got the grownups to pay attention to him again.

  34. It’s tough to do on the spur of the moment, but a slightly better phrasing would have worked in Romney’s favor, e.g.:

    “While it is always hard, personally, to tell someone they have been let go, it is essential to any just system that business owners – not to mention government officials – have the authority and the courage to do so when someone is not doing their job.”

    There, I’m a hard-headed realist … who also understands there are real people that need to deal with life’s inevitable disappointments.

  35. What Romney said – “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. If someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I’m going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me” – is not only common sense

    His problem was that he phrased it so that repugnant politicians seeking to misrepresent his views could take clips of that statement out of context and pound him with hit pieces. Huntsman is basically clipping that statement down to “I like to fire people”.

    A better phrasing would have been, “If somebody is providing poor service, I want the right to fire them and replace them with someone who performs those services better.”

    Or just this statement he actually made, without the preceding sentence: “If someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I’m going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me”

    1. Personally, I don’t have a problem with someone who likes to fire people, since that implies they are competent and ambitious enough to be providing a lot of people with employment.

      But, a lot of empathy-huggers are more concerned about feelings than about whether the person in question is creating value and employment.

    2. Or he could have just said “companies” instead of “people”.

  36. So when will I be allowed to fire cops who declare war on the public instead of doing the job we hired them to do, the way the majority of us want them to do it?

  37. ” . . . as if it’s the equivalent of Romney saying that he like to put kittens in a sack and beat them with baseball bats.”

    I would simply be impressed by Mittster’s ability to dual-wield baseball bats. I doubt that even the manly Roosevelt would have been capable of such a feat.

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