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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Excellent Interview With Mitt Romney, About Business, Budgets and Beliefs

By Susan Duclos

Managing Editor Rick Stengel and Senior Correspondent Michael Crowley spoke with the Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, on Tuesday for the latest issue of TIME.

Teaser below but the whole TIME piece should be read.

Mitt Romney answering the question "What are those attributes that you have that will help you as president in a way that’s different than the conventional view of the businessman?"

Well, consulting offered me an opportunity to see a lot of different businesses in different regions of the world, to see how textiles were being affected by foreign competition, how technology was changing. Telecommunications, I was involved with in the very early days of what we now call fiber optic. At that time, we called it optical wave guide which had been developed by Corning. I had the chance to work in heavy manufacturing with Outboard Marine Corporation that make Johnson and Evenrude engines. So I got a chance to work in a number of different industries and see how they were being affected by global affairs and how they made decisions. And I don’t know that that was particularly different than the experience my dad had. His was a very in-depth — he was working in manufacturing and also competing with international firms. I think regardless of one’s experience in the private sector, you gain an appreciation for how decisions are made by business people, how competition works, the impact of incentives on consumer behavior. And how you solve difficult challenges.

One thing I’d note also about the experience in the private sector and that is a recognition that if you stand still, if you keep doing what you’ve been doing in the past, you will be passed by others. In the private sector, there is always innovation. There’s always change. There’s always improving productivity and if you’re not leading that, you’ll be passed and ultimately go out of business. So there’s an urgency to constantly update and renew and to rethink your enterprise.

As I look at government in some respects, because people in government don’t recognize that they are in a competition with governments of other nations. They tend to think there isn’t a need to change the way things have been done. And there’s not a need to become more productive which means more output per person. Instead, we add more and more and more people. Businesses don’t add more and more people unless they’re growing, unless they’re selling more product, reaching more consumers. Government grows without bounds because it can and at some point it weighs down the entire nation.

Read the entire TIME's piece as they deal with budgets, religion, regulations and more.