The simplicity of some talking points make me ponder. I was staying at a relative’s house when he blurted out, “Romney’s money doesn’t matter.” So I started to ponder the “suggestion.”
“Yes, maybe and no.”
Just the fact he’s filthy rich? No, it doesn’t matter all that much.
Aside: why do we use “filthy?” Sometimes I think “drowning-ly rich” might apply better, as in “drowning in so much money common sense, common decency and respecting others no longer matters as much as they all should.” Money can blind one to the misfortunes, and daily problems, others less fortunate have. Yes, one can have a “stupid” amount of money, so much that you’re disconnected from reality, everyone else and the fact you’re going to die and your shisen stinks too.
Note: to be fair being very poor obviously skews one’s perspective as well.
Being rich alone is not only no crime, but can be (qualifier alert) a sign one is providing a necessary service, and maybe even doing it well. Repeat: “can be.” I find most who provide a good service, an ethical service, usually aren’t all that rich because it takes a dedication, and a certain amount of honesty, to one’s clients to qualify for the term “ethical.”
So the truth is often more mixed when it comes to most rich folks. Just providing a necessary service or product usually doesn’t lead to riches, other wise septic tank pumper-outers would be our economic elite.
Riches are more likely to accumulate when one feeds the dreams and fantasies of others. That why many big time entertainers are so rich, though far many more are like me: barely getting by because we love our audiences.
This is why scams can be so successful: they’re feeding unrealistic dreams, fantasies and the general stupidity of some of the public, though to be honest some scams are so good very intelligent and street-wise folks can get caught up in them.
Back to Mitt…
To me the question has never been how much Romney has, but what does he do with it (hide in in bank accounts all over the world?) and how he got it… honestly, or, at best, walking the line of legality while having others step over it and profiting from illegal acts performed by employees. I’ve seen that last one many times, though not sure if it applies to Romney all that much, except by claiming to be retroactively retired while still reaping rewards.
Then you have the biggest one and one most easily tacked to Romney like a “kick me” sign. Did he get his money in a way that displays how he might treat America as president: off-shoring, layoffs and dismembering corporations for the expressed purposes of getting richer no matter what it does to anyone, or the country? Were some of these corporations doing fine until Mitt and company realized that killing them was a way to riches: no matter how many got hurt? How much of this “getting rich” was achieved by getting rid of living wage employees, tossing many out on the street with little concern for their welfare? Was the main thrust to replace living wage employees with almost serf level employees, or Chinese slave/prison labor?
All this does matter, very, very much, depending on what each story reveals. If it’s mostly bad: a sociopath can make one hell of a terrible president. If Romney really is at heart the worst kind of vulture capitalist that does not bode well for a Romney presidency… or the country.
Complaints that that kind of focus is unfair is historical nonsense. In 04 I remember the many who claim this now were on board with the swift boating of John Kerry. They repeatedly said, “Well if he brought it up (his service record) then it’s fair game.”
Well, Mitt has brought up how successful he has been as a business person and a supposed “job creator.” All that brought in bucket loads of money. So if the other was supposedly “fair,” so are these questions. But maybe you don’t want that talked about that because, well, it looks really bad. That’s when one starts trying distract by saying “Mitt’s money doesn’t matter,” and the other guy’s record is all that matters.
Uh, oh. Not a good sign for Mr. Mitt.
So, yes, I would say, with qualifications, Mitt’s money matters. Unless, of course, you don’t want it to because the truth might really hurt his chances.
Which, for some who use the phrase, may be the whole point behind this talking point to begin with.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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