Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Yes Virginia Outsourcing is BAD...

I find it impossible to discuss Harris Miller without reference to his beliefs and his previous actions. Claims to the contrary notwithstanding, this is the stuff of legitimate debate.

The rub is that Miller, his campaign staff and his supporters want to avoid all discussion of Miller's past support for offshore outsourcing of American jobs and use of imported low wage foreign workers. While these policies have been central elements of Miller's long tenure as a business lobbyist with the ITAA "trade organisation", they are issues that Miller is running away from today.

I'd like to focus some attention on the broader issue of offshore outsourcing and worker replacement programs. I think that many of us already understand how harmful these policies have been to American society, American families, American workers, and our comunities. While Harris Miller attempts to evade his support for offshore outsourcing and worker replacement programs, we need to remember how significant the stakes really are. We need to ask the hard questions about why this situation has been allowed to deteriorate as badly as it has. We need to hold people like Harris Miller and George Allen accountable for their support of offshore outsourcing and worker replacement programs. After all, these are politically-enabled programs and policies...

Over the past several years, I have become a regular reader of economist/commentator Paul Craig Roberts. Dr. Roberts distinguishes himself as one of the sharpest critics of offshore outsourcing and worker replacement programs. He crunches the numbers and puts the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports under careful review. He does this regularly, consistently. His findings are not encouraging and they underscore the tremendous damage that has been done to our economy and society by a government in the grip of a culture of corruption.

Here are some excerpts from Dr. Roberts' latest article in the April 25 edition of Counterpunch:
The US is heavily dependent on imports for manufactured
goods, including advanced technology products. In 2005 US dependency (in dollar amounts) on imported manufactured goods was twice as large as US dependency on imported oil. In the 21st century the US has experienced a rapid increase in dependency on imports of advanced technology products. A country dependent on foreigners for manufactures and advanced technology products is not a superpower.

...Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs reports document the
loss of manufacturing jobs and the inability of the US economy to create jobs in categories other than domestic “hands on” services...

A country that cannot create jobs for its native born population is not a superpower.

In an interview in the April 17 Manufacturing & Technology News, former TCI and Global Crossing CEO Leo Hindery said that the incentives of globalization have disconnected US corporations from US interests. “No economy,” Hindery said, “can survive the offshoring of both manufacturing and services concurrently. In fact, no society can even take excessive offshoring of manufacturing alone.” According to Hindery, offshoring serves the short-term interests of shareholders and executive pay at the long-term expense of US economic strength.

Hindery notes that in 1981 the Business Roundtable defined its constituency as “employees, shareholders, community, customers, and the nation.” Today the constituency is quarterly earnings. A country whose business class has no sense of the nation is not a superpower.


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