The general news media, more concerned with selling advertising than asking intelligent questions, has become a skipping record, asking the same question again and again and again. Public opinion polls have told the press that "the economy and jobs" are voters' number one concerns. Lemming-like, they have all run towards the same cliff. Over and over, since he first became the presumptive GOP presidential candidate, the press--all of them it seems--have posed the same question to Mitt Romney; what are you going to do to create jobs?
In his milquetoast eloquence, Mitt has cautiously avoided providing a direct answer, steering around the questions with reference to untying the hands of business through deregulation, reducing government spending (thereby reducing competition for the available money supply and freeing up working capital for private business), etc., etc.
As the press is not going to change it's questions (until polls suggest that homeless Dalmatians have replaced "jobs" on the voters' short lists) just once I'd like to hear Mitt change his response. Since he's probably not going to do so, I've created my own fantasy interview in which I can put into Mitt's mouth the words I would love to hear:
ABC Diane: Governor Romney, you have claimed that the current economic tragedy under President Obama (inherited, if I may say so from his Republican predecessor George W. Bush) can be laid squarely on the doorstep of President Obama. What sir, if I may ask, would YOU do specifically in order to provide jobs and get our economy out of the doldrums?
Mitt: Not a goddam thing.
Diane: I beg your pardon?
Mitt: You don't have to beg. I'm sure you heard me right. The government--with very few exceptions--does not CREATE jobs (at least those that add wealth and growth to the economy). Only one thing creates jobs: commerce. More commerce, more jobs--it's as simple as that.
Diane: All right then. Governor, what would you do to create commerce?
Mitt: Same answer as before (forgive my French, by the way). It is not the government's responsibility to CREATE commerce. It is, however, their responsibility to ensure that commerce can be conducted freely, without undue restriction. Our founding fathers were very specific about limiting the role of government in commerce. Outside of enforcing legal contracts and ensuring that interstate commerce was not impeded or prevented by state boundaries, the economic model of our country at its founding was "hands off." Economic growth is much better accomplished by the individual creativity of 350 million Americans than by the myopic vision of a relative hand-full of career politicians.
Diane: uh...well...oh...OK then. So you're suggesting then that government have NO role whatsoever in the economy?
Mitt: Realistically, that's impossible. I am adamant, however, that it has far too MUCH of a role. And that role is strangling much of the economic growth we should be experiencing--economic growth that would--by its very nature--create jobs.
Diane: Well, I think you'll have to agree that over 200,000 General Motors employees are working today because of government intervention. Very likely they would disagree with your position.
Mitt: I can't even agree that over 200,000 GM employees are working AT General Motors because of the bail-out. Capitalism is a highly efficient economic system because it is also a very cruel system to under-performers. Companies that are inefficient have one of two choices: either become efficient or cease to exist. Had we not bailed out GM, it is highly likely that it would have emerged from bankruptcy as a much smaller, leaner, more efficient automobile producer.
Diane: Much smaller...in other words, it would have fewer employees leaving many of its current workers unemployed.
Mitt (laughing): Only those who are now employed working on the government-subsidized Chevy Volt.
Diane: I don't find that funny.
Mitt: Sorry; I couldn't help myself. Seriously though, if GM had gone belly up don't you think that most of their customers would have looked first to another domestic producer? Who knows how much MORE successful Ford would be and how many MORE auto workers it would employ if it wasn't for the government propping up its number one competitor? And how many more plants it would have to build or buy. And how much more capital equipment and tooling it would have to purchase to fill those plants. And how many capital equipment company workers would have to be hired. And how much more commerce would be created for Ford, for Ford's suppliers, for Ford's suppliers' employees, for the stores where these employees shop, and so on and so on. Instead we've gone way out on a limb to bail out and maintain an inefficient company so it can maintain its own and our economy's status-quo.
Diane: And now we take you to Ormond Beach Florida where Ginger is standing in knee-deep water as Hurricane Ronaldo, the seventh named storm in this still very young hurricane season comes ashore there. What do you think Ginger, is this another example of man-made climate change?
(cut to Ormond Beach)
Mitt: Diane, does this mean the interview is over?