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On Joe Soptic’s Job-Loss

Here’s a letter to USA Today:

Bill Burton writes that “as the CEO, chairman and sole shareholder at his company, [Mitt Romney] is unquestionably responsible for the loss of the jobs at [now-widower Joe Soptic’s] plant” (“Health care threat is real,” Aug. 20).

Mr. Burton’s accusation is hypocritical.

Why didn’t he – Mr. Burton – organize a consortium of investors to buy out GST Steel (Joe Soptic’s employer) in order to preserve Mr. Soptic’s job?  Mr. Burton could have done so had he and like-minded “Progressives” been willing to spend their own money for the purpose of preventing the loss of jobs at GST Steel.  But obviously Mr. Burton didn’t do so.  Instead, he greedily used his money in other ways rather than devote it to the cause of preserving the jobs of Mr. Soptic and other GST employees.

Unless and until Mr. Burton can justify his refusal to incur a substantial personal cost to preserve jobs such as the one Mr. Soptic lost, he has no business criticizing anyone else’s refusal to incur a substantial personal cost of doing the very same.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

I am emphatically no fan of Mitt Romney.  Romney is, as I see him, a typical, slimy politician and (hence) utterly unworthy of respect.  So there are plenty of good reasons to criticize Romney – but his efforts, while at Bain Capital, to help the economy operate more efficiently are not among those reasons.


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