No one should have to apologize for being wealthy, unless they stole the money. I don’t resent a soul who inherited his or her wealth, won the lottery or hit a jackpot in Las Vegas. And I applaud those who earned a fortune by working long and hard.
Bashing rich business people has become our new national pastime. Even TV commentators—many of whom earn a bloody fortune themselves—have the unmitigated gall to criticize someone like Mitt Romney because he made his money by “eliminating jobs.”
Anyone who has even a drop of business sense knows Mitt Romney did not make money by eliminating jobs. He had to take cost cutting measures to save companies from going under or getting them in better shape for future growth. Terminating employees was a means to an end. It happens in business all the time, even when times are good. I was terminated as a reporter for The Daily News in 1981 when the paper was on the verge of folding. The management was just doing its job. The paper survived and so did I.
Let’s say you employ a gardener to tend to your backyard, a yoga instructor to improve your balance and a dog walker to exercise your beloved Lab. One day you learn your house needs a new roof, which you’ll never be able to afford unless you cut expenses. So you terminate the gardener, yoga teacher and dog walker. They were great employees but your priority is having a roof over your head. You need to get your house in order. Mitt’s compensation was based on getting businesses in order.
Business people are no different than actors, ball players, comedians, doctors, lawyers, architects, you or I. Some of them are superb at what they do and some of them stink. A bunch of them even get paid way more than their talent would seem to merit. But if someone in a position to pay them big bucks wants to pay them big bucks, that’s their business.
Criticize Mitt because you don’t like his waffling about national health initiatives, his seeming lack of connection with the electorate, or his attitude about our military. Criticize him because you don’t think a businessman should be in the White House. But for heaven’s sake, let’s stop condemning, abusing and censuring him because someone thought he did a good enough job to pay him a lot of money.
By the way, please don’t think I’m endorsing Mitt for president just because I’m defending the way he accumulated his wealth. One has nothing to do with the other.
This is a non-partisan blog.