Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Mitt Romney: voters don’t want a president who enjoys firing people

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“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. If someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I’m going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me.” — Mitt Romney

Most of us don’t have the power to fire someone. We might know what it is like to be fired (downsized/let go/terminated/laid-off), but no, we haven’t had that luxury.

Mitt Romney knows what it’s like to fire people, and because of his mass earnings, made in part from firing people, hasn’t had the financial pressure that comes from being fired.

When regular people get fired, panic sets in. “How am I going to pay my bills?” “What is my identity without a job?” And of course, in the United States, “what am I going to do for health insurance?”

See when you fire someone, you may not be able to do much for their problems, but you should have a sense of what goes through the minds of the people you are firing. Empathy. Does Romney have empathy?

Did Romney have empathy for his family dog in 1983 as he strapped the dog carrier to the top of the car?

Did Romney and his Bain Capital buddies consider alternatives to firing as many people as they did?

Mitt Romney complains that his quote is taken out of context, a difficult task to imagine given that Romney already took a quote from Barack Obama and didn’t mention that Obama was quoting John McCain in 2008. So let’s put Romney’s quote in context.

We have all been the subject of bad service, whether that be in a restaurant, on a bus, at the grocery store. Even in the worst of days and the worst of moods, regular people rarely root for someone to get fired. Not because we are kind, but we have been there. Regular people know what being fired is like, and we wouldn’t wish that. And if somehow we did wish for that, we still wouldn’t do it with glee.

Romney sees bad service as a reason to fire someone. Not take their business elsewhere, but actually fire someone. In the context, Romney wants us to be able to fire our health insurance company. But we can’t fire our health insurance company, even if we want to do so.

If they mess up, we have to keep them. We can’t go anywhere. Obamacare will help somewhat with that, but keeping the 1800-pound elephant that is the insurance system means it won’t go away, even if we are dissatisfied.

We don’t want to “fire” our insurance company; we want them to do a better job. That is the difference between regular people and Mitt Romney; regular people want to work with what they have to be better. They lack the power that Romney has to fire them.

Single-payer would have allowed us to get rid of our insurance companies, but we know that even under single-payer, insurance companies would still exist and they would try to sell us supplemental policies. With the basics covered, people would have the freedom to shop around and be able to switch companies if their needs weren’t getting met. But we still wouldn’t be firing them.

People joke that they would like to fire their Congressman. Chances are they want to fire someone else’s Congressman, since incumbent retention is still rather high. In the voting booth, you still are voting for someone else, not firing your Congressman.

Mitt Romney would like to fire Barack Obama and be the next president of the United States. No matter if Obama wins or Romney or another Republican or Ron Paul becomes the next president, people are going to worry about being fired. Who do you want for a president when you think you might be fired? Someone who likes firing people?

Romney did say at one point he was worried about getting a pink slip himself. When pressed for details, Romney didn’t have any. The voters might not be happy with a candidate who has never had to struggle, but one who lies about struggling when they haven’t won’t survive for long.


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