Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Oh Please, Oh Please...

All this week on the Wall Street Journal's web site there's been an article by Alan Murray. The title is what inspired the title of this post: "Bush Needs to Show Clear, Firm Support For Outsourcing" (subscription required).

Democrats - and anyone else hoping to rid ourselves of the worst president in history - can only hope that BushCo. takes Mr. Murray's advice. Please, oh please run with that idea; I hope Karl Rove gets Shrubby to dance to the outsourcing tune between now and November. Nothing could get him booted out of the White House faster than telling Americans that it's good that they are losing their jobs and being forced into low-wage service sector jobs.

Here's Murray:

That's cold comfort, of course, to the poor fellow in Cincinnati who suddenly finds himself out of work. But let's give Americans a choice. Would they prefer a European-style society, which puts roadblocks in the way of companies that wish to fire workers, and as a result, has fewer new companies wanting to hire? Some Americans might be willing to accept less prosperity and opportunity in return for more stability and security. The majority, I'd wager, wouldn't.
He really thinks that the majority of workers would rather be in perpetual fear of the next layoff cycle? Really? He'd be willing to bet his boy's next term in office on that?

Murray's right that this is a subject that's not going to disappear, but he's absolutely wrong to say that any president should come out in favor of allowing outsourcing to continue uncontrolled and unabated. There needn't be any drastic methods used that might get us in trouble with our trading partners, just some reasonable strings attached to the already embarrassing corporate welfare handed out so freely. All tax cuts, abatements, deferrals or other considerations given to companies should be contingent on their hiring of American workers. If you outsource, you lose the benefits.

That is a winning policy. It's also a policy that Bush, so entangled with business, could never condone.

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