Mitt, I Like the Power to Fire People, Too

If you allow the media to tell the story about Mitt Romney’s comment, “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me” you can easily be mislead that Romney is a emotionless, suit and tie wearing, profit hoarding CEO. On second thought, that last part may be entirely true. Aside from that, what’s even truer, and totally acceptable, is Romney’s attitude.

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Yes, it is perfectly OK to fire someone if you are not satisfied with their performance or service, especially if you are the one forking over the dough. That is what makes a free market, capitalist system run in high gear. It feeds competition and pushes service providers to deliver the very best quality. Accountability is an important reason why free societies produce more than controlled societies. Moreover, it’s why many trust the private sector over government. This was precisely what Romney was referring to. Anyone who pays for a service ought to have the ability and right to terminate any agreement with a service provider if certain expectations are not met.

Answering a question about health care Monday morning, Mr. Romney said he would allow individuals to have their own insurance because it would provide the insurance company with an incentive to keep its clients healthy.”It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them,” Mr. Romney said. “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”


He added: “You know, if someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I want to say, ‘You know, I’m going to get someone else to provide that service to me.'”

Mr. Romney was making a point that many Republicans agree with — that individuals should be able to have their own insurance, and choose the plan they want.

But the comment was immediately seized on by one of Mr. Romney’s Republican opponents, Jon M. Huntsman Jr., as he spoke to supporters in Concord, N.H.

It one short statement, Mitt Romney defended capitalism better than any Republican in the field. In fact, a lot of these Republicans are taking pieces of the Obama script of class resentment and using it against Romney’s real and actual experience in the private sector.

Now Romney has said, “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I want to say, ‘You know, I’m going to get someone else to provide that service to me.'” Simple, elementary competition. Capitalism 101. And conservatives go, “Eek, a mouse!”

“Totally Irrelevant” John Huntsman: “It may be that he’s slightly out of touch with the economic reality playing out in America right now, and that’s a dangerous place to be.”

“All over the place” Newt Gingrich: “Read the New York Times to see how evil Romney is.”

“I’m a light weight” Rick Santorum: “Romney is just a manager, a CEO.” Really? Is that all?

“Where am I? Why am I here?” Rick Perry: “I created a ringtone that plays, ‘I like to fire people.’ Brilliant.

The rest of Romney’s comment puts the issue in a totally acceptable light.

“I think some people imagine, by the way, that I just went directly to the top position in industry, and in business, that I started off as vice chairman or chairman or C.E.O. of Bain,” he said. “You probably know I started off actually at the entry level, coming out of graduate school in business. First in the Boston Consulting Group. Worked there for a while and then was asked by some folks to go over and join Bain, which was a much smaller company at that point, maybe 25 or 35 professionals. And joined that firm again at the bottom level, and was able over the years to work my way up.”

Oh the humanity! Oh the arrogance! What are we to do with this kind of man running for president?


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