Carroll County Times

Letter: Path to success important

Wealthy Republicans often complain about those who criticize their success. What many criticize is the means taken to be successful, not success itself.

Al Capone and John Gotti were successful businessmen who happened to use criminal means to achieve their success. Bernie Madoff was a successful Wall Street businessman who made his money ripping off clients. Many Wall Street bankers are successful businessmen betting depositor money on risky investments. They get millions in bonuses whether they make or lose money. They are against government regulation until it's time for a taxpayer bailout. Then they come begging the government for billions of our tax dollars. The successful politicians they own are more than eager to accommodate.

The issue is never success alone but the means by which you achieve success. Henry Ford created the Model T. He paid his workers a decent wage because he needed employees to make enough money to buy the cars he manufactured. Ford was a successful businessman who used ethical means to achieve financial success.

Milton Hershey provided his employees with a livable wage. He provided affordable housing and recreational facilities to his workers during the Great Depression. He achieved financial success by creating a product and jobs in an ethical and humane manner.

Along comes Mitt Romney complaining about those who criticize his financial success. It's not his financial success that people criticize, it's the way he made his money.

First, Romney came from a wealthy family that opened doors to success that most don't have. Second, Romney headed Bain Capital whose sole purpose was to make money for shareholders, not to create jobs. Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry called it vulture capitalism. Romney and Bain Capital destroyed companies and thousands of jobs, including those jobs shipped overseas, for the sole purpose of making Romney and friends wealthy.

When Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a possible running mate with Romney, was asked about Bain Capital's record on job loss, Portman responded "that's capitalism." I wonder if Ford or Hershey would have responded that way.

There is a serious rift between vulture capitalism and Christian values. I find Romney nothing more than an empty suit stuffed with corporate cash. He has about as much chance of getting through the gates of heaven as a camel through the eye of a needle.

If someone tells you to stop criticizing their success, ask them the means they used to become successful. Throwing people under the bus to turn a profit is not an ethical, moral or Christian way of attaining success.

David J. Iacono