The short answer is: No! People, particularly Republicans, understand the difference between capitalism and safety-net socialism. They are even savvy enough to have heard of Schumpeter’s doctrine of the “gales of creative destruction” that blow through our economy. They grasp that if we save everyone’s job and everyone’s pension and everyone’s company, we will become so ossified, so indebted, so burdened that we will never be able to create any new jobs or wealth.
They get it that to attract capital to turn around ailing companies, you need either to have a very good lobbyist who makes mega campaign contributions or a good enough return on capital to attract private investors. Obama is trying the first way. Romney did the second. Republicans get this.
They also understand that Romney was scarcely a “predator” as Rick Tyler, spokesman for the new anti-Romney movie, describes him. Critics zero in on GS Technologies, a steel company that, like more than forty others, went bankrupt in the late 90s or the early years of the new century. Was Romney a “predator?” Was Bain Capital? What predator would make an initial investment of $8 million and then up its investment to $16 million in an effort to turn the failing company around? What “predator” would merge the company with a stronger one in an effort to preserve it in a highly competitive global marketplace?
Was Romney a “predator” when GS went bankrupt in 2001? He had left Bain in 1999. The decision to deny the GS workers their pensions and health benefits was Bain’s, not Romney’s. He was out of the picture by then.
And what of the more than one hundred thousand people who have jobs and pensions and health insurance because of Romney’s work at Bain Capital? What of the winners and the survivors who far outnumbered the losers during Romney’s Bain Capital years?
For Republicans to be attacking a Republican for winning in the free market and for turning companies around so they make a profit (without public subsidy) is a sad sight. They will come to rue their criticisms. Bain will not become the bane of Romney’s existence!