$10,000 Bets and Capitalism


Kathleen Parker’s take in her column in the Washington Post yesterday on the $10,000 bet was a home run, providing a welcome respite from  reactions to the event found on the Web and on Twitter. Mitt’s name is impossible to miss in either place when using search terms as simple as romney and bet.

Here is one example of silly Tweets that pop up: “Gambling addiction expert says $10,000 bet shows that Romney lost his cool.” Silly? Sure, but interesting nonetheless, when taken alongside Parker’s comments in which she categorized “the wager” as an example of Mitt actually keeping his cool:

As to the wager itself, well, what would critics have had Romney do? Punch Perry in the nose? Doubtless Romney would have liked to, and doubtless the feeling is mutual. But Romney is not one to lose his cool — a trait one might hope for in a president. Because Perry had made this accusation before, Romney was prepared for it and probably figured a bet was a safe, well, bet. If you know you’re right, you bet high and call the challenger’s bluff.

Parker comes to the same conclusion that anyone who has looked at the situation objectively will: Perry would have lost the bet! She cites the two sources we have already mentioned here, “Fact Checker” of the Washington Post and “PolitiFact” of the Saint Petersburg Times. They all conclude that the bet was a simple device to point out the falsehood that too many people have bought into, and to read more into it is just plain silly.

Yet silliness seems to abound once again. Indeed, others seem to want to hold to the notion that this was some sort of grave error in judgment. The more irritating among them are writers who sing the same “99% versus the 1%” song of the “Occupiers.” Here is one writer’s words from Forbes:

As companies downsize, restructure and refocus, employees are asked to do more and work harder. And they have, on the whole. But their resentment is growing, and most frequently seen in their reaction to executive compensation. Big disparities in pay between executives and the work force, especially in times of layoffs and plant closures, can destroy employee engagement – just when it is most needed.

This message is not unlike Newt Gingrich’s attack on capitalism as cited in the Los Angeles Times:

I would just say that if Gov. Romney would like to give back all the money he’s earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain that I would be glad to then listen to him. I’ll bet you $10, not $10,000” – he said, referring to Romney’s $10,000 bet in Saturday night’s debate – “that he won’t take the offer.”

This was such an outrageous attack on capitalist system that drives this country’s prosperity that columnist George Will of the Washington Post, no admirer of Mitt’s by any estimation, felt compelled to take Gingrich to task:

Romney, while at Bain, performed the essential social function of connecting investment resources with opportunities. Firms such as Bain are indispensable for wealth creation, which often involves taking over badly run companies, shedding dead weight and thereby liberating remaining elements that add value. The process, like surgery, can be lifesaving. And like surgery, society would rather benefit from it than watch it.

May the voices that understand how capitalism works continue to be heard! Mitt has demonstrated time and again that he knows how the system works, and he has stated just as often that freedom and capitalism are the means by which this country has had the success that it has had. Jobs are “not created in government. They’re not created in Washington. They are created on Main Streets and streets all over America,” as he was recently quoted in the Daily Iowan. He recognizes that this great country has afforded more freedom, fed more people, provided a better standard of living to its people than any other political system in the history of the planet. Exceptional is the only way to describe this phenomenon!

This entry was posted in Election 2012, Mitt, The Leader, Mitt, the Person by Mike. Bookmark the permalink.

About Mike

Michael Bush first met Mitt in 1966 when they reported for a one-week training session in Salt Lake City before heading to France on the 4th of July to serve as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 2 1/2 years. They also served at the same time in Bordeaux for several months in 1968, where they worked together quite often. Mike is on the faculty of Brigham Young University and grew up in Alabama. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Political Science. He also has an MBA from the University of Missouri and a PhD from The Ohio State University in Foreign Language Education with an emphasis in Computer Science. He is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who spent most of his career at the US Air Force Academy teaching French and doing research in the area of computer-assisted language learning. He and his wife Annie have four children and 18 grandchildren. It goes without saying that the things written on this site reflect his views and opinions and are in no way intended to reflect those of Brigham Young University or its sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *