Saturday, March 13, 2004


"The No. 1 U.S. enemy is ... Bermuda. At least that's what John Kerry seems to want American voters to believe. At almost every campaign stop, he attacks 'Benedict Arnold corporations' that move to Bermuda. One could almost conclude that Bermuda is a predatory regime that shelters scoundrels. .. It's difficult to decide which is most objectionable, Mr. Kerry's smear of a friendly regime or his disregard for accuracy. The denigration of Bermuda is certainly reprehensible, particularly since the territory's market-based tax policy and race relations are both much better than can be found in the United States. (It's worth noting, too, that Bermuda has much tougher anti-money laundering laws than the United States.)"

A reader draws on his studies of accountancy and business management for some insights about outsourcing: "There is much talk of outsourcing being either good or bad. Both views are quite ridiculous. Each firm must make its own "make or buy-in" decision. There is no absolute view as to whether it is appropriate. The simple question of whether it is cheaper to make or buy-in is relatively minor. Most of the weighting is for qualitative factors such as whether the quality and timeliness of supply could be assured, the effects on other parts of the firm, and so on. Like pre-emption, outsourcing is merely an option; circumstances determine its efficacy. I think the outsourcing trend may also be one reason why a decreasing number of men are entering universities. While the dysfunctional educational system in this country may play its part, isn't it also possible that many men have realised that the work of plumbers, electricians, mechanics and others cannot be performed overseas whereas much of the work performed by university graduates will soon enough be at hazard? Given this, and the likely shortage of such people in the future, it seems that the many men's decisions to forgo university could be quite rational." The Happy Carpenter would agree.

Thomas Friedman of the NYT is again arguing for the mutual benefits of outsourcing simple jobs to India. He says that conformist and inefficient India is no threat to innovative and efficient America.

"Last week, European nations slapped a 5% tariff on the prices of hundreds of American exports because Congress is stubbornly clinging to a tax break for U.S. companies. It violates world trade rules by letting firms sell products at artificially low prices. The penalty is expected to hurt European sales of U.S. goods ranging from fruit grown in California to sheet-metal cabinets made in Ohio to textiles woven in the Carolinas.... The tax-cut bidding war pits a few special interests against the larger good of the country. By making the right choice, Congress can ensure a robust U.S. export sector doesn't shrink - and help prevent the U.S. deficit from expanding."

There is now a blog devoted to the "Blame India" nonsense -- the claim that the loss of technical and other support jobs is India's fault for "undercutting" Western workers.


No comments: