Sorry, Mitt, America Isn't a Business

The goal isn't to boost profits: Paul Krugman
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2012 1:27 PM CST
Sorry, Mitt, America Isn't a Business
Mitt Romney waves after a campaign stop at the Palm Beach Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., Jan. 12, 2012.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Mitt Romney is running on the premise that America needs a successful businessman to become CEO and turn it around. There's a glaring flaw in that argument, writes Paul Krugman of the New York Times: "America is not, in fact, a corporation. Making good economic policy isn’t at all like maximizing corporate profits." The economy is more complex than even the largest multi-national corporation, and it functions differently. Corporations sell products to others; America sells products to itself.

Consider "ruthless cost-cutting." For company owners (if not workers), every dollar saved is a dollar earned. But in an economy, slashes in government spending hit domestic producers, and in turn eliminate jobs. Krugman isn't sure Romney understands that, and "we're not going to get better policies if the man sitting in the Oval Office next year sees his job as being that of engineering a leveraged buyout of America." (More Mitt Romney stories.)

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