Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Romney Doesn't Know,
And Doesn't Know he Doesn't Know

I'm swamped with the miscellaneous blahs this week (coming up on exam time) but while I am otherwise occupied, can someone tell the talking heads to quit calling Mitt Romney a "businessman?"  He is an investor, a banker, a finance guy, a money man and from a survey of his record, there is no reason to think he knows anything about the actual operation of a business.  He does know how to take over somebody else's business and squeeze unsuspected money out of it for his cronies at the country club, but that's a different skill set altogether.  For the actual work of conceiving, developing and above all executing a business plan, there's not the slightest evidence that he knows any more about it than an old burnt stump.


Perhaps worst, I'd speculate that he doesn't grasp how limited his knowledge really is.  He seems like a man of limited imagination (aka "laser like focus"), trained in the kind of analysis they teach via the Harvard B School case method.  It's been more than a generation since Harvard taught anybody actually how to run anything (except incidentally and by accident).  Since Romney has lived almost his entire life in that particular cocoon, he's  almost  never been challenged to think outside it.  The likely consequence is that he is not only ignorant, but largely ignorant of his own ignorance.

6 comments:

marcel said...

He does know how to take over somebody else's business and squeeze unsuspected money out of it for his cronies at the country club, but that's a different skill set altogether. For the actual work of conceiving, developing and above all executing a business plan, there's not the slightest evidence that he knows any more about it than an old burnt stump.

Let's see.

1) Can he conceive a plan for taking "over somebody else's business and squeeze unsuspected money out of it for his cronies at the country club?" CHECK

2) Can he develop a plan for a plan for taking "over somebody else's business and squeeze unsuspected money out of it for his cronies at the country club?" CHECK

3) Can he execute a plan for taking "over somebody else's business and squeeze unsuspected money out of it for his cronies at the country club?" CHECK

Seems like he fits your criteria of a businessman. Yo ho-ho and a bottle of rum!

New York Crank said...

So uh, Marcel,

Please explain the difference between your definition of what a "businessman" does and, say, the Columbo, Genovese, Gambino and Lucchese Mafia crime families did.

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

dilbert dogbert said...

He certainly is not in the same league as Jobs, Ellison or Gates. These guys are as ruthless but they did and do know how to build a company on top of the dead bodies of their competitors. Wrongney is just a looter.

marcel said...

NYCrank: In a Venn Diagram with 1 circle representing the activities of a "businessman" and another those of a Mafia crime family, there would be substantial overlap.

Ebenezer Scrooge said...

I never thought I would ever defend Mitt Romney's qualifications as anything but a male model. But . . .

Let's stipulate that Romney's spell at Bain was buccaneering, not business. However, he did run the Salt Lake Olympics, and was pretty good at it. Or at least he somehow got good results.

So Mittens might be a good businessman after all. But he won't be able to get any credit for it. No Republican can claim business chops in the not-for-profit sector. Oh, no. Ayn Rand would never sit still for it. That's too close to community organizing.

Buce said...

Scrooge has me wrong-footed. I suspect my best defense is to move the goal posts, ie alter the definition of "finance" or "business." I don't think I can persuade myself that managing the Olympics is "finance," but I'm not sure it is "business" in the conventional sense either--more in the line of crisis management, making lemons out of lemonade. Of course that may not help my case, because skill at crisis management might be one thing you really did/do want in a President.