What Can Capitalism Do for Me?
It’s the voter question Romney must answer

(Win Mcnamee/Getty)


The presidential campaign has become, almost by accident, a debate about the future of capitalism. What it is not yet, and may not become, is an honest, intelligent, or productive debate.

Perhaps one should not expect more, given that the debate was set off by cheap shots and a gaffe. Both were President Obama’s, and they dominated the political conversation of mid-July. The president has been hammering Mitt Romney for enriching himself by immiserating other Americans: closing plants, laying people off, sending jobs overseas, all while putting his own money in a Swiss bank account. The Obama campaign is demanding that Romney release more tax returns, and suggesting that his refusal to do so means they would reveal something nefarious.

August 13, 2012    |     Volume LXIV, NO. 15

Books, Arts & Manners
  • Steven Hayward reviews How to Think Seriously about the Planet: The Case for an Environmental Conservatism, by Roger Scruton.
  • Samuel R. Staley reviews Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future, by Grover G. Norquist and John R. Lott Jr.
  • Scott Winship reviews The Great Divergence: America’s Growing Inequality Crisis and What We Can Do About It, by Timothy Noah.
  • Florence King reviews Winter King: Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England, by Thomas Penn.
  • Ross Douthat reviews The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Richard Brookhiser offers Kerouacian haikus.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .