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The benefits of hindsight

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

We’re hearing a lot about Governor Romney’s role in Bain Capital and, by today’s standards, the unthinkable concept of “outsourcing” labor offshore to increase profits. Whether outsourcing happened on his watch or not isn’t my point. Bain Capital’s mission at that time was rewarding its investors by creating high returns, not by creating jobs. Like every other American company, labor organization or private citizen, no one was worried about some far off time in the future. Immediate returns, good wages and lucrative benefits were seen as the goal and the immediate “win.” The future would have to take care of itself. Social conscience is a wonderful thing to have looking back from today’s perspective, but who among us today is truly worried about the future now? Through our consumption of products and investment choices we ultimately condone outsourcing as a method of keeping costs low, and how many citizens stormed government halls when labor contracts were awarded and benefits improved?

With more than half the country paying no federal taxes, it’s an easy position to insist the only fair thing is to make the top 2 percent income earners in the country pay more to cover the cost of government. Selfishly, we all see things from our own personal perspective, and how we will be affected is of primary concern. We all want good paying jobs, a great education system, improved government services, retirement accounts with abundant returns, a sound Social Security system when it’s our time to benefit, a robust business economy, no crime, environmentally and socially conscience citizens, affordable health care and a sound future for our children, don’t we? But we must realize for each victory we win, someone loses and someone pays. So long as it’s not you or I, we could go along with that, couldn’t we?

Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@denpubs.com

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