Re: Romney and Bain

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Yuval, you beat me to the punch in linking to that thoughtful Jonathan Last post. I’d be interested to hear what Avik Roy or Jim Manzi think of it. My own thought, reading Last’s closing line, was that it is indeed possible to distinguish between “the specific case of Bain Capital” and “the free market itself,” and a criticism of one need not be a criticism of the other. The trouble is that Newt Gingrich’s criticism isn’t the one that Last outlines, or at least isn’t just that one. If it constitutes “looting” whenever fat cats enrich themselves by firing people, then free markets get pretty hard to defend.