Originally Posted by JuddL
yt, I am in no way supportive of a Romney presidency but the Washington Post article that was the source of all this is terribly misleading. "Outsourcing" means one thing colloquially today. In the 1990's it was a term of art used by businesses to describe the process of taking functions that were once internal, say packaging, and pushing those functions onto third-parties. Sometimes those functions found their way outside the U.S., other times they didn't. It's hard to tell from the article which were which.
Take this quote "Modus Media said it was already serving Microsoft from Asian locations in Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan and in Europe and the United States.
Two years later, Modus Media told the SEC it was performing outsource packaging and hardware assembly for IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Computer Corp. The filing disclosed that Modus had operations on four continents, including Asian facilities in Singapore, Taiwan, China and South Korea, and European facilities in Ireland and France, and a center in Australia."
There is nothing inherently wrong with the kind of "outsourcing" Modus Media was talking about. They took a role that was once internal, "packaging and hardware assembly", specialized in it, and were able to do it for other businesses in a way that was presumably cheaper and more efficient than those businesses doing it on their own. Now, maybe they were able to do it cheaper because they were using cheap labor. The article doesn't touch on that, it only indicates that Modus was an international operation (so what?) that "outsourced" in this completely different sense of the word than we've become accustomed to.
I need a lot more information before I jump on this bandwagon.
I do think there's something wrong with it. I think outsourcing and off-shoring both are practices designed to rob this country of wealth for a very small elite class of people. A company does not thrive in America on the strength of its own will. It thrives because we have created a system and given it to those same elites for free, and they have taken from us and used their position to enrich themselves. When they off-shore and outsource jobs both, they are abdicating the responsibility of paying us back for what we did for them. Therefore, stealing, in my opinion.
If you look at the beginning of the end for the middle class, it's when Reagan began relaxing trade barriers and not a single president after him gave two licks about trade policy, except to make it easier for the elite to use overseas slave labor. But if you look at the history of this country, we always had tariffs prior to this. We didn't even have income taxes for the first 150 or so years because tariffs covered the budget. Remove the tariffs and trade protections and Ross Perot's "giant sucking sound" became reality. The jobs went away. 50,000 factories closed up shop during the Bush administration alone.
Meanwhile, India has strict ownership policies about who can do business inside India.
China also has strict ownership policies and strong tariffs on top of that.
Many European countries, including Sweden and Germany, have strong tariffs to protect their manufacturing base.
South American countries like Brazil, as I mentioned, turned their attention to their own trade policy and have thrived as a result of the protections they put in place.
Yet, in the United States, no one in the media -- not on Rachel Maddow, not on NPR, and definitely not on Fox, CNN or the networks -- will anyone EVER even broach the subject of trade policy in relation to US jobs, much less even let the word tariffs be said. As I posted once or twice in this forum, I heard a caller ask about it on NPR and the caller was shut down IMMEDIATELY with "the jobs aren't coming back." No discussion of tariffs is allowed in this country, which is telling.
So, sorry to be long-winded, but I think we've been conditioned to think there's nothing wrong with outsourcing and off-shoring, but I think there's something seriously wrong about it. I think it should be discussed. I wish there was someone somewhere in the media (other than Thom Hartmann, who barely has a postage stamp-sized patch of market share) would talk about it.
And Mitt Romney truly is a poster boy for this kind of thinking. He and his colleagues at Bain Capital are opportunists who have looked at the law and figured out how to make massive (stolen) profits by creating and exploiting loopholes in the law virtually at the expense of this country's collective wealth.