Blogs > Liberty and Power > Outsourcing and Nationalism

Feb 7, 2004 4:36 pm

Outsourcing and Nationalism

I suppose I should talk about economics from time to time, so here's an excellent piece on outsourcing by Bruce Bartlett. The various debates over free trade and globalization continue to remind me how important a longer-run historical perspective is. So much of what's happening today in the poorer parts of the world parallels similar processes during the growth of the West 200 or more years ago. As well, the movement from manufacturing to information/services in the West, parallels the movement away from agrarianism in the West 100 or so years ago. Lastly, the nationalism that pervades this debate (and the immigration one!) also bothers me a great deal. The argument for the free movement of goods, services, and people is that it makes everyone better off, not that it makes Americans better off. If American workers suffer some short-term losses so that Indians can substantially improve their well being through outsourced jobs, or that Mexican immigrants can do the same by coming to the US, then let's go for it. The US will benefit over time, of course, but that shouldn't be the primary concern.

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