Near the end of a transcript of a Mitt Romney speech to donors revealed by MoJo’s David Corn (who brought the famous Boca Moment to our attention), Romney makes this plenary comment about the United States and China that goes a little deeper than claims of currency manipulation:
"When I heard the head of Coca-Cola say that the business environment in America is less hospitable than the business environment in China, I knew we had a problem. I want to make sure that America has the most attractive business conditions in the world—that every entrepreneur once again says, “I want to be an American.” Whether it’s energy or regulation or tax policy or labor policy or legal policy or health care policy—I want America to be the best place for business."
This is interesting because Mitt is looking at a country with a wildly different history, political system, culture and economy and focuses strictly on what he clearly considers to be the cost advantages it offers to businesses . Yeah, China’s a semi-communist authoritarian gerontocracy with a horrendous human rights record, but man, look at those low wages and lack of regulation! I’m sure Mitt also admires China’s “labor policy,” which has no room for free unions, and its “legal policy,” which insulates companies from liability for their behavior.AlterNet
How Mitt Romney Wants to Make America Like China
Ed Kilgore | The Washington Monthly
Of course, this is not just Mitt Romney talking. Mitt is expressing the desire of "job creators," who are the big donors to political campaigns, for a playing field tilted against workers so that adopt America can adopt Sam Walton's business model: "I pay low wages. I can take advantage of that. We're going to be successful, but the basis is a very low-wage, low-benefit model of employment." — Attributed in Adam L. Penenberg, "Why Google Is Like Wal-Mart", Wired, 21 April 2005
How does Sam Walton's business model work when it doesn't pay a living wage? People get second or third jobs, and government welfare and Medicaid pick up the difference. See, for example, Taxpayers Should Stop Subsidizing Walmart by Tina Dupuy. Of course, this doesn't scratch the surface of corporate welfare at Walmart or other welfare in corporate America.
But we need to "broaden the tax base."
Oh, and then there's the bit about rolling back regulation (which led to the financial crisis). I have a professor friend who was telling me that he was travelling to Beijing to give courses on a periodic schedule. I said that it sounded great. He replied that it was the worst thing he had ever agreed to in his life, the pollution was so bad. What was that about abolishing the EPA to free up business?