outsourcing rhetoric

the next time someone on either side of the political aisle talks about the scourge of outsourcing of american jobs, think twice. actually, think three times. this is carefully calculated rhetoric designed to provoke an emotional response in american voters (and in the powerful labor unions whose support politicians need).
the truth of the matter is a bit more complex.

the wall street journal published an article today with the headline "more work is outsourced to U.S. than away from it, data show". figures from the U.S. Commerce department released on friday show that the U.S. has a $53.64 billion surplus in trade in private services…other countries exported $131.01 billion in services to the U.S., whereas we outsourceed (imported) $77.38 billion.

outsourcing of services has increased more rapidly than have our exports, but not by much. certainly not enough to justify all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that’s been going on lately.

it’s an election year. politicians will manipulate and distort information in such a way as to bolster their campaigns. the average voter will often swallow their manipulations wholesale, without trying to get at the "real" information (if there even is such a thing).

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