Romney, Bain and Sensata

John Liming takes a rational look at to what extent Mitt Romney deserves blame for Bain and Sensata’s outsourcing of American jobs.


I am having an awfully hard time trying to reconcile some things I have been hearing about this race for the Presidency.

Over in a blog by “The Huffington Post” I am reading where Republican Candidate Mitt Romney is talking about the need for The United States to “Stand up to China for their cheating” and telling an audience of people that “It’s got to stop.”

Later in the same speech, the candidate is reported to have complained that American Businesses are facing extremely negative consequences from cheaper products being manufactured in China – – – and then even later in the same address, the candidate is said to have asserted that America has to take steps to “Get those jobs back.”

I do not know for certain, but it sounds to me like the candidate might be saying that he favors bringing jobs that were outsourced to China back home to America.

If that is true then can I also assume that the candidate would probably not be in favor of seeing American jobs outsourced to foreign countries to begin with?  Would that be a fair assessment on my part?

So, if that is the case, then why am I also reading about a situation where an American Company by the name of “Sensata” located in Freeport, Illinois – – -reputed by some to be owned by Bain Capital – – -is planning to close down operations in Freeport and ship all the Sensata jobs from that location to – – – China?

Why am I reading that the workers at this plant  reportedly appealed to Candidate Romney who is said to be an an investor in Bain to intervene on their behalf but who are said to have met with disappointment as the result of their appeal?

My question is, “Is all this just some kind of crazy coincidence or what is going on here?”

Has somebody got the backs of America’s Workers or not?

Some of the right wing blogs are pointing out that it is only one of the Republican Candidate’s blind trusts that has holdings in Bain and that the candidate himself has not been responsible for any of what Bain might do  for the past 12 years.

Fair enough in my opinion.

Nevertheless, I wonder if it still might be alright for the candidate to at least make some statement referencing the proposed outsourcing to show how deep concern might be for these workers and other workers who may be experiencing similar challenges in their own lives?

Would such a move do anything to enhance the Republican campaign?  Would such a move be detrimental to the overall objectives of the campaign? Would such a move be ethical, legal?

I do not know the details about what is allowed and what is not allowed in political campaigns but I do know the workers at Sensata seem to me to have a real problem and I think one or both of the candidates for the Presidency probably ought to at least mention the situation – – – don’t you?

Or – – – would a statement about the plight of this American company at this time be looked at as the government trying to tell private industry what to do and what not to do?

I have another question:

“What is the fine line where government can do something to protect American Jobs or is there actually anything government can do about such things – – – or is there anything that government should be doing about these things?”

I think I hear what some of the politicians tell us about “Jobs” when they are running for election, but when it all comes down to the wire, is there actually anything a politician can do to influence protecting of American Jobs or in creating more of them?  Is it humanly possible in today’s world climate?

I understand that if government actually did do something to prevent American Jobs from being sent to foreign markets, a lot of people over on the right side of the aisle would probably consider it as “Too much government getting it’s nose into the affairs of the private sector.”

I think it is a question that only the progress of time is going to be able to sort out properly – – – if it can be sorted out at all.

There might be a bogeyman here and there might not – – – depending on where the observer stands – – – and if there is a bogeyman involved, the pragmatic question may well become, “Is there way to cage it – – -or is there any legitimate reason to try to cage it?”

I agree with some of the right wingers that no one should be jumping the gun here and trying to make it look like the Republican Candidate might be in some kind of position to have had anything to do with the decision by his former employer to move these jobs offshore – – – that, in my opinion would be very patently unfair to the candidate and to his campaign and there is probably every possibility that such an idea could be totally without basis.

We have to be fair!

As Democrats, Liberals and Progressives, we have a moral obligation to be as fair as we can possibly be when engaged in politics.

I think being fair is what sets us apart.

I am of the opinion as I sit here writing this story that it is time for cool heads to prevail and for rational decisions to be made.

I have little doubt in my own mind that either side of the political spectrum might find something in a story like this one they might think could be used to political advantage, but I am also wondering if it would be wise to even consider seeking such advantage?

Is a victory at any cost really worth the final cost?

If this kind of thing were to be fodder for the partys to try to use for political advantage, wouldn’t it be so transparent as to place it in the category of “Unwise Move?”

But I also think that such a story as this that has drawn the amount of attention that this one seems to have drawn ought to be looked at from every possible angle, campaign or no campaign, because real people are involved and real people are in position to be hurt and this is the kind of issue that modern presidential candidates ought to be addressing – – – in my opinion.

More on the Sensata story here.

I guess my final question has to be, “Is the Sensata story more appropriately to be viewed as (A) a strictly business decision, (B) a political challenge, (C) a moral issue, (D) all of the above, (E) none of the above?


John publishes Blue Heart Chronicles.

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4 thoughts on “Romney, Bain and Sensata

  1. If one thinks that Romney who is a majority shareholder of Bain has no say in the operations of either Bain or Sensata,I have a frigidaire to sell an eskimo. These legal manoeuvers are blinding governments and the common man because I for one would never relinquish the reins of my fortune

    Obama/Biden for 2012

  2. “Some of the right wing blogs are pointing out that it is only one of the Republican Candidate’s blind trusts that has holdings in Bain and that the candidate himself has not been responsible for any of what Bain might do for the past 12 years.

    Fair enough in my opinion.”

    First, Romney resigned “retroactively”. He was very much involved after the date he proclaimed.

    The blogs are spouting BS. There was reporting on Mitt’s “blind trust”…he’s in constant contact with his PERSONAL ATTORNEY who runs his trusts…making decisions, calculating investments…nothing BLIND about it. THE ONLY THING BLIND IS THE VOTERS WHO THINK THEY WANT THIS GUY SITTING IN THE OVAL OFFICE.

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