Kudos to Michael Kinsley for debunking Mitt Romney's jingoistic theory of business success. Still, I doubt Romney is about to concede Kinsley's point: that business success in America today is "the compounded result of previous prosperity."
Neither will he admit that antecedent prosperity often was achieved through shameful, shortsighted exploitation of precious natural resources and cheap labor. Forests were clear-cut, mountains strip-mined and rivers polluted. Laborers were enslaved from Africa and enticed from Latin America — but ultimately left adrift by outsourcing jobs to Asian sweatshops.
We should tune out Romney's "American exceptionalism" mantra. Simplistic pitches — like the bare numbers of businesses' bottom lines — never tell all that voters need to know.