How Romney Can Win

10 Jul

I believe I found this column by Luigi Zingales on the City Journal site.  A thought provoking look at what could be Romney’s best bet for beating Obama.  Dr. Zingales is a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

 Excerpts from this column:  [Bolding is mine]

 How Romney Can Win

 [The GOP candidate should stand for free markets—and align himself with the vast majority of Americans.]

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.

Ideologically, the Republican establishment doesn’t appreciate the difference between being pro-market and being pro-business. .  .  .  

Romney might be precisely the right person to lead the effort.

First, only someone very confident of his pro-market credentials can take the risk involved in challenging the power of big business. .  .  .  Second, Romney’s experience at Bain Capital makes him potentially more attuned to the market’s needs than to the interests of large corporations. .  .  .  .  Third, his wealth puts him beyond the need to cater to big corporations for a future job or donations to his presidential library.

 For all of these reasons, Romney is eminently qualified to make the pro-market case. .  .  .   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.

[End of excerpt]

Any thoughts?

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