Are there any right-of-center commentators or pundits who think the attacks on Mitt Romney’s Bain career bolster the case for free-market capitalism driven by “creative destruction?” I haven’t found any yet. Instead, this is some of what I find:
“Romney Derangement Syndrome” – Avik Roy, National Review:
It’s been discouraging to read that many conservatives see Romney’s record at Bain Capital as a liability. For the truth is the opposite: Romney is a candidate uniquely suited to defending the role of free enterprise in the American economy.
“Mitt’s Profitable Past” - The Editors, National Review:
Wall Street has its share of miscreants, and they should be recognized as such when appropriate. But to abominate Mitt Romney for having been a success at the business of investing in struggling American companies, connecting entrepreneurs with capital and producers with markets, is foolish and destructive. Republicans ought to know better, and the fact that Gingrich et al. apparently do not is the most disturbing commentary on the state of the primary field so far.
“Romney’s got the upper hand on the Bain story” – Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post:
In sum, conservatives have plenty of reasons not to choose Romney as their nominee. Many voters consider RomneyCare a disqualifier. And others simply prefer other candidates. But the Gingrich-Obama line of attack is false, fundamentally false, as Gingrich likes to say. Romney’s account of his years at Bain is essentially accurate: He took risks, tried to build companies, and did extremely well compared with the competition. This is model of economic growth that conservative contrast with the government’s picking “winner and losers.” It is not “predatory” or morally objectionable.
And as I put it yesterday: “Of course, Romney and Bain weren’t in the game to create jobs. They were in it to make money for their investors and themselves. Then again, the same would go for Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Warren Buffett, and just about every other successful entrepreneur and investor you could name. But that is the miracle of free-market capitalism. The pursuit of profits by creating value benefits the rest of society through higher incomes, more jobs, and better products and services. This isn’t ‘destructive creation’—like, say, crippling U.S. fossil fuel production before ‘clean energy’ sources are viable—but ‘creative destruction’ where innovation and efficiency sweep away the old and replace it with a more productive and wealthier society.”
These attacks play on the Obama-Occupy theme that American-style capitalism isn’t working now and hasn’t been for decades. They are destructive creation rather than creative destruction. They help a) destroy support for Schumpeterian capitalism, and b) create a bit more momentum for the sort of social democratic, pro-equality capitalism the Left is pushing these days. Ugh.