‘A Boom in Jobs, and in Fear’

By November 13, 2006General

In light of our recent post on Professor Jim Smith’s comments on outsourcing comes a good piece in Sunday’s New York Times by Daniel Akst by the above title. His point is that the economy is actually doing well, but that the fearmongers have been spinning the outsourcing yarn a bit too much. Says Akst:

“Don’t let the recent election-season rhetoric fool you. The nature of American work is changing, but jobs are abundant, and the dynamic nature of the economy is one reason that they will remain so. Outsourcing isn’t likely to change this in the foreseeable future, and I suspect that it’s even helping to sustain domestic job growth by promoting efficiency and thereby freeing capital for better uses. We even gain jobs by insourcing — by receiving jobs from other countries. Toyota and Honda, for example, have thousands of employees in the United States….[The] Organization for International Investment…says that such domestic subsidiaries employ 5.4 million people in this country.”

Maybe he’s been reading the blog, too. Recall that Professor Smith compared the 5+ million jobs to the 42,000 that the Bureau of Labor Statistics says are outsourced each year. “Outsourcing” is a political buzz word, pure and simple. People like our friend Lou Dobbs use it to whip people into an uninformed frenzy. Heck, even smart people like Tom Friedman agree with us on that.

Says Akst in conclusion:

“The next big election is in 2008, and some presidential candidate may yet make a splash by promising to clamp down on free trade, curtail immigration and embrace isolationism, all in the name of protecting American workers. That would be a far more effective job-destruction strategy than the outsourcing that may yet become a campaign issue.”

Here’s a link to the full article.