I did a post discussing that Mitt Romney should attack Obama the cultural symbol. Although some dismissed my post, Rush Limbaugh made the same exact points I made in yesterday’s post. This post is about another angle Romney should use against the pop icon.
Romney is running on the economy. One item he should bring up is that he will support Free Markets, not Crony Capitalism. Big Businesses and Free Markets are not always in synch. In many places of the world, big companies support Socialist governments. One reason for this is that the regulatory structure of a Progressive regime inhibit small businesses from forming. This reduces competition and leads to monopoly by one comp-any that can absorb the costs of Socialism. Obama has favored Big Businesses since many of them supported his rise. This has lead to a system of crony capitalism that hurts entrepreneurship. Romney should stress, he is for Free Markets and not favoring big businesses over small businesses.
A recent New York Times op-ed by Bill Scher, “How Liberals Win,” must be commended for its honesty. Scher presents a compelling historical narrative of how Democrats are happy to ally themselves with big business in a Faustian pact to foster anti-market policies. From Franklin Roosevelt’s National Recovery Act, which promoted the cartelization of industry, to President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which bought off big pharmaceutical companies by suppressing free trade in the drug market, Scher describes how Democrats have promoted crony capitalism to foster their liberal agenda. They are pro-business—at least certain businesses—but fundamentally anti-market.
This is exactly the opposite of what most Americans want. According to a survey conducted as part of the Financial Trust Index, which I codirect, only 19 percent of Americans reject the free-market system. But 51 percent are suspicious of the excessive power of big business. In other words, they are pro-market, but not necessarily pro-business, especially when business is large and politically powerful.
In fact, by inverting Scher’s argument, one can see that a pro-market, but not pro-big-business, platform would be a winner for Republicans. From Tea Party supporters to Republican-leaning independents, a vast majority of potential Republican voters already hold these positions. The party establishment lags behind, partly for ideological reasons and partly for financial ones.
For all of these reasons, Romney is eminently qualified to make the pro-market case. But his campaign, at least up to now, has lacked vision and followed in George W. Bush’s footsteps. Romney’s pragmatic, technocratic approach reassures people but fails to excite them. The Republican base is thus far uninspired, and independent voters fear a Bush repeat. Romney must differentiate himself from both Bush and Obama, rallying the Republican base while also attracting independents. Pledging a better future for America by defending the American free-market system against a Southern European–style crony capitalism is the perfect way to do it. It’s time for Romney to pick up this flag.
Crony Capitalism is just Socialism with the face of big business. Romney should make it clear he will not favor any type of business over another. His administration will support only the concept of a free market.