Harrop: Romney’s Etch A Sketch reference an unwelcome image
Nine years ago, the Ohio Art Co. closed its Etch A Sketch operation in Bryan, Ohio, and moved the jobs to Shenzhen, China. The 100 laid-off American workers weren’t surprised. They’d been training their Chinese replacements.
Months ago, a Mitt Romney aide famously declared an “Etch A Sketch” campaign – whereby the candidate would erase what he’d done before (like shaking an Etch A Sketch toy) and draw a more appealing portrait for a general electorate. That image is apt, in an unwelcome way, for a Romney now bashing China for taking American jobs. Romney’s private equity company, Bain Capital, did its bit to help China win the work, and with enthusiasm.
In the second presidential debate, Romney accused China of “cheating,” mainly by holding down the value of its currency. But that doesn’t shake clean the Bain prospectus promoting China’s “strong fundamentals” – among them, wages 85 percent lower than Americans. “Accordingly,” the prospectus reads, “Bain Capital expects to see an increasing array of high-growth companies available for investment.” Does that sound like anyone wanting to see the Chinese currency rise in value? The stronger the Chinese currency, the harder it is for Bain’s Chinese factories to sell their wares on world markets.
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