teisipäev, märts 30, 2004

Outsource This

Things like this really reinforce my concern that John Kerry's getting on the wrong side of the outsourcing issue. Not politically, mind you. Clearly, jokes about outsourcing Bush's economic team and calling Bush out of touch are good for him. But ultimately Bush is right and Kerry is wrong.

Or, Bush's advisors are right, Bush shouldn't have forced them to apologize, I have no idea where he stands now, and Kerry's wrong.

Now, with regard to outsourcing, I can't say I particularly like it from a consumer's perspective. I'm in constant fear that my Dell is going to break down and I'm going to have to learn Hindi in order to get it fixed. That said, it's an unavoidable consequence of free trade, which is itself an unavoidable consequence of globalization. Free trade is, generally speaking, a good thing. Where I do agree with Kerry is that if we make free trade agreements, we need to enforce them. And I actually like his corporate tax plan quite a bit. There is no good reason to give companies that outsource jobs tax breaks for it. Then again, it's not a great idea to punish them either. But given the state of the US job market right now, it's understandable. I would actually support such a measure in the short-term.

My problem with Kerry's position is that he doesn't make that distinction. He's just coming out against outsourcing all together. That's a mistake. Because he's wrong and evidence is going to keep popping up showing that he's wrong. He should be saying that free trade is good and outsourcing is fine, but let's slow down and fix things up here first. But I imagine Bush would call that trying to take both sides on an issue because god forbid someone actually think an issue through and devise a complex policy.

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