Mitt Romney has positioned himself as a defender of the hardworking job creators who have been rightfully well-rewarded for their efforts -- wealthy people that lefties deride as undeserving nepotism cases who think they're better than you. "I started new businesses and turned around broken ones -- and I am not ashamed to say that I was very successful at it," Romney said at CPAC in February, to huge cheers. But two people close to Romney make the case so easy for those lefties and their "envy economics." One is Edward Conard, who worked for Romney at Bain Capital, set up a mysterious entity so he could donate $1 million to Romney's superPAC, and has written a book arguing that income inequality is a good thing, and should be wider, so more people are encouraged to take big risks. The other is Romney's son Tagg, whose Solamere Capital private equity firm is very successful in part because he was able to pull so many investors from the donor list of his dad's 2008 campaign.
Edward Conard has spent the last four years writing a book "he hopes will forever change the way we view the superrich’s role in our society," Adam Davidson writes for next Sunday's New York Times Magazine. In Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong, Conard argues that the gap between the superrich and the rest is a sign of a healthy economy, but if we had a healthier one, it would be bigger. That would provide more incentives for "art-history majors," as he derisively calls them, to stop fooling around with pointless pursuits and get to innovating. Conard told Davidson, "When I look around, I see a world of unrealized opportunities for improvements, an abundance of talented people able to take the risks necessary to make improvements but a shortage of people and investors willing to take those risks. That doesn’t indicate to me that risk takers, as a whole, are overpaid. Quite the opposite."