July 18, 2012

Obama wants to be the "Pioneer of Insourcing."

And he calls Romney a "pioneer of outsourcing."

Meanwhile, Romney says "Liberal policies don't make good jobs."

In those 2 quotes, I see an implicit debate, with Romney holding the better position. They're running for President, not businessman. The question is: What can government do to improve employment in the United States? Romney is saying, essentially, Obama supports the kinds of government policies that create the conditions that cause a sensible businessperson to outsource. What is Obama proposing to do in his role as insourcing pioneer? Anything more than to express his caring and to point at Romney as someone who outsourced — i.e., Romney's real-world business experience dealing with conditions that Obama has no capacity or willingness to change?

36 comments:

Rusty said...

But, but, but regulations help business!
53% of the voting should get a genital rash.

rhhardin said...

This isn't a good debate because offshoring and outsourcing (they're not the same) are both good.

Specialize and trade.

Both sides are better off than otherwise.

It isn't good to ruin the US business environment, however; which as a symptom move perfectly good US jobs to China as the proper economic response.

Robert Cook said...

If Obama wants to the the "pioneer of insourcing" why hasn't he been doing that during his first term?

Rusty, regulations aren't intended to help business but to protect the public from the consequences of bad business practices.

Bob said...

He's been insourcing a lot of Mexicans to join the Democrat party, last I heard.

Robert Cook said...

But you knew that.

Curious George said...

Insourcing pioneer? Too late Barry. I started a call center and hired six reps for my company this year.

The company I built asshole.

Astro said...

Romney is not the first person to send jobs overseas, nor the last, but he's not the poster-child for outsourcing either, though the Democrat are trying to make that case. He's not going to win this point.

He needs to argue about the reasons (taxes, regulations) that companies go off-shore in order to survive.
And he needs to tell the story of the $ Billions of taxpayer's money that was spent in Obama's 'bailouts' that went overseas.

What a company does with its money is its business; what the government does with MY money is MY business.

Luke Lea said...

If you want to be the pioneer of insourcing, the way to do it is to place tariffs on low-wage imports. Then domestic manufacturers can compete with dollar an hour workers in places like China -- which subsidizes their exports btw, as if their low wages weren't enough already.

AF said...

"Obama supports the kinds of government policies that create the conditions that cause a sensible businessperson to outsource."

Which is why outsourcing stopped under Bush. Um, no, wait that didn't happen. And by the way, what policies are these exactly? Is there anyone who argues that laissez-faire economic policies of the sort favored by Romney would lead to *less* offshoring?

Seriously, Professor Althouse, your analysis of economic issues is embarrassing for a person of your professional position.

Palladian said...

You, a law professor!

Hagar said...

I think neither Democrats nor Republicans realize just how radical Obama is.

What I hear in the Liz Warren rant of his, "All your achievements are belong to us!" is not directed just at successful, i.e. wealthy, business leaders, but at all of us and whatever more modest accomplishments we may be proud of, or at least satisfied with.

This guy is not just another politician, he is something else.

phx said...

What I hear in the Liz Warren rant of his, "All your achievements are belong to us!" is not directed just at successful, i.e. wealthy, business leaders, but at all of us and whatever more modest accomplishments we may be proud of, or at least satisfied with.

Oh my God, you guys got your feelings hurt.

Robert Cook said...

"I think neither Democrats nor Republicans realize just how radical Obama is."

Radical...how?

A radical centrist?

A radical defender of the status quo?

Robert Cook said...

"Romney is not the first person to send jobs overseas, nor the last, but he's not the poster-child for outsourcing either...."

That's not the point; Romney is trying to claim his history as a successful businessman and "jobs creator" will serve him well as President in improving our domestic employment situation, (dismal, presently), when, in fact, his business had to do with buying up other companies, stripping them of their assets, and then selling them off, resulting, in many cases, in net jobs losses.

He does not have experience in being a "jobs creator."

Palladian said...

A radically bad President, I think.

Palladian said...

A radical moron.

Christopher in MA said...

. . .his business had to do with buying up other companies, stripping them of their assets and then selling them off. . .

Oh, honestly, Robert. You don't know the first thing about Bain, do you?

Old Dad said...

AF,

You obviously are expert at embarrassing economic analysis. The outsourcing/ offshoring decision is driven primarily by cost, although marketing is also key.

Government is a major cost driver through over regulation (Dodd-Frank), confiscatory tax rates, legislation driven uncertainty (ACA), and general incompetence (does anyone have a clue as to the actual cost of ACA to employers? I can assure you that neither the CBO nor employers have a clue.) This is only a partial list of government sponsored cost drivers. One might, for example, note idiotic energy policies designed to drive up energy costs.

Some offshoring is inevitable and good. For example, high volume low tech machining is gone for good, although high tech machining, both high volume and one-off, is growing in the States. We're good at it, and the market can support $100/ hr. expert tool and die makers, CDC programmers, materials engineers, etc.

The problem with Obama is that he thinks he can remedy the situation by meddling. Just the opposite is true.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Drill, baby, drill!

Hagar said...

Cookie and phx,

If Obama gets re-elected in November, I think you may find him going off in directions you will not at all appreciate.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

I am starting to think Democrats are trying to redefine the word outsourcing. They redefine words and concepts to make it easier to achieve a policy they want.

They've redefined abortion to the idiotic "reproductive rights". I prefer redefining abortion to be the violent dismemberment and decapitation of pre-born children. But reproductive rights sounds so much nicer.

They've redefined marriage to include a perverse attraction by members of the same gender to each other. How can anyone be against love?

Laws to strengthen the integrity of the vote are redefined as voter suppression.

Now they're trying to turn "outsourcing" into a term with negative connotations that we associate with net job losses. That's just wrong by any historical definition of the term.

Flagrant propagandists.

Robert Cook said...

"If Obama gets re-elected in November, I think you may find him going off in directions you will not at all appreciate."

I don't at all appreciate the direction his presidency has taken up to this point, but then, I didn't expect it would, which is why I didn't vote for him previously and will not vote for him this November.

Robert Cook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Cook said...

"Now (the Democrats are) trying to turn 'outsourcing' into a term with negative connotations that we associate with net job losses."

This is not something the Dems are "trying to do," but a natural consequence of the negative results on American employment statistics of widespread and still ongoing "outsourcing/offshoring" of jobs (to acknowledge the distinction without a difference the Republicans are trying without success to make much of).

edutcher said...

If he wants to be the Pioneer, he'll have to reverse 80 years of Democrat policy at all levels.

He's also going to have some 'splainin' to do thing about being heavily invested in outsourcing himself.

phx said...

"If Obama gets re-elected in November, I think you may find him going off in directions you will not at all appreciate."

That may or may not be true. I try to keep my illusions to a minimum. I'm not sure why you have any special insight into a future Obama administration though. But sure, let's say it's possible that I will have buyer's remorse - although I haven't yet.

What about the GOP buyer's remorse? If Romney doesn't eventually open up his tax returns, even Republicans are going to wonder what kind of a stink bomb is in there. And the longer he goes without revealing his tax record the more likely the response will be "Oh, that's why he was afraid" when he finally does cave. I'd say his window for turning this around is quickly closing.

How soon before the best conservatives start kicking themselves for nominating this guy?

AllenS said...

There's too much emphasis on who the president is. There are 535 other members of Congress, and it's them that cause the most damage. However, it doesn't help when the president and vice president are idiots.

Jason said...

edutcher,

That Washington Examiner story you linked to was garbage. We're going to criticize the Obamas, or anyone else, for holdings in an S&P 500 INDEX fund, for Chrissakes?

That's reaching. Heck, that's a Hail Mary!

Bruce Hayden said...

Some offshoring is inevitable and good. For example, high volume low tech machining is gone for good, although high tech machining, both high volume and one-off, is growing in the States. We're good at it, and the market can support $100/ hr. expert tool and die makers, CDC programmers, materials engineers, etc.

Part of this is something termed "comparative advantage". If countries do what they do best, and let other countries do what they do best, all benefit. Sure, the unionized semi-skilled steel worker earning more than many college graduates suffers when semi-skilled workers from China, or maybe now Vietnam, are making commodity steel for quite a bit less. But, the rest of us benefit with much lower costs for products built with steel. And, the Vietnamese benefit from our computer programming, financial products, etc.

Keep that fact in mind - that when manufacturing moves out of this country, the workers making the product may suffer a bit, but 310 million Americans benefit from being able to buy the product more cheaply.

edutcher said...

Jason said...

edutcher,

That Washington Examiner story you linked to was garbage. We're going to criticize the Obamas, or anyone else, for holdings in an S&P 500 INDEX fund, for Chrissakes?


If that fund was invested in South Africa back in the days of apartheid, he'd be expected to divest.

Sauce for the goose...

dbp said...

There are a couple of models for job creation. The Republican model is one which focuses on rewarding hard work and risk taking. The Democratic model resembles the Berlin Wall.

Peter said...

Americans want UAW-level wages but expect to pay Wal-Mart prices. Is a rational political dialogue even possible here??

IMHO the level of protectionism that would keep manufacturing jobs from being offshored would turn the USA into a technological and economic backwater.

In any case, part of the reason why there's so many people working in manufacturing in China is because their wages are so low that it's cheaper to have them do hand labor than to automate what they're doing. If the work were done here there would be far fewer people doing it.

To actually bring back mass employment in manufacturing here you'd really have to limit automation and other technologies. It took a lot of people to build a TV or a car in 1955- but who wants to watch/drive a 1955 TV/car?

Rusty said...

Robert Cook said...
If Obama wants to the the "pioneer of insourcing" why hasn't he been doing that during his first term?

Rusty, regulations aren't intended to help business but to protect the public from the consequences of bad business practices.


I'm going to out on a limb here and guess you wear loafers.

Rusty said...

Robert Cook said...
"Now (the Democrats are) trying to turn 'outsourcing' into a term with negative connotations that we associate with net job losses."

This is not something the Dems are "trying to do," but a natural consequence of the negative results on American employment statistics of widespread and still ongoing "outsourcing/offshoring" of jobs (to acknowledge the distinction without a difference the Republicans are trying without success to make much of).



Ferget it. It's just too damn funny.
carry on.

Michael said...

Robert Cook. For the same reason he didnt lift a finger to " fix" Medicare until the health care law was passed. The guys have the secret sauce for everything but wont use it until they are reelected.

Rusty. Outsourcing and off shoring are excellent ways, often, to increase profitability. This means higher returns for investors Investors who are often firemen and school teachers and first responders. All who need hi returns for their retirement plans to be viable.

Revenant said...

I'm not sure which illustrates the basic lack of business knowledge better -- the use of the word "insourcing", or the persistent inability to tell the difference between "offshoring" and "outsourcing".

Offshoring is hiring workers in other countries. Outsourcing is hiring people (either contractors or another company) to do work for you without making them part of your company.

You can offshore without outsourcing (e.g. if you open your new factory in Mexico). You can outsource without offshoring (e.g. if you hire a company up the street to handle your human resources tasks). You can do both (e.g. if you hire an Indian call center to handle customer support).

But the two words do not mean the same thing. Obama ends up sounding like Jesse Helms complaining about "hippity-hop music" or something.