I do not see the big problem with outsourcing. Our economy is not stagnant. It has always been in flux, from Day One. Not too many Americans still make their living hunting and gathering their food. Not a whole lot of buggy-whip makers in the Yellow pages. Sadly, most of the whalebone corset makers have closed their doors forever. (And we can all breathe easier for that—pun intended.)
Where is it written that the society in which we woke up this morning happens to be the last leaf on the final branch of the economic evolutionary tree? Change is good. Without change, our gross domestic product wouldn’t provide for one-tenth of our current population.
But change isn’t easy. Change means learning, evolving, adapting. But, as a society, we are certainly doing our best to make sure that we are unprepared to do any of those things. Our education system does its best to teach students that there is one right answer to every problem, and if you can’t regurgitate it, you fail. Don’t question authority runs the mantra. Innovation and critical thinking are frowned upon in the circles of power.
Hmmm, says the authority. That’s not the way my grandpappy did that. We’re going to have to study this new-fangled idea for ten years or so before we decide that it’s worth giving you a permit to set up shop.
We accept this situation. We accept that some bureaucrat, who has little knowledge of business and markets, and less knowledge of brand-new technology, gets to decide which new companies get the go-ahead. Which companies will benefit from regulations, and which will be strangled by them.
And like sheep, we accept that today is the norm. The past is the future. If we see any change on the horizon, we panic.
Stop! We protest. Make things the way they were. The way they’ve always been. By which we mean the last ten, twenty, or going really far back, fifty years. Why should any of those times be the benchmark by which we measure our society?
Change does not automatically mean growth, but it makes it a lot more likely than continuing tradition does. Change does not mean that you will always know where your next paycheck comes from, but it does make it a lot more likely that your children will fly into space, or fly in an airplane.
Outsourcing is just another term for our society is moving on, ready for the next big thing. Outsourcing allows other societies, who are not yet at our level, their chance for the brass ring. And why should we be so against giving other people on this planet an opportunity to grow their economies? It is only through economic growth that markets grow.
And when markets grow, there are more customers for the goods and services that we are ready to provide. Because we have changed. We have evolved. We have moved on to that new world that we have constructed. Because we were not hampered by restrictions that dictated that all jobs that were being done in America in 2010 must continue to be done in America forever and ever.
If everyone in America is employed doing what they’ve always been doing, who’s going to do the new jobs that will need to be done? Those will be the jobs that’ll be outsourced then, and most likely with them, the talent and visionaries who have dreamed up the new industries that need the new workers to fill the new jobs.
What are we so afraid of? Everywhere we hear death, doom, destruction, as though the planet will implode if something changes overnight, while we sleep. The budget will be cut. Death! Gays can marry. Doom! Some jobs have been moved overseas. Destruction!
We fight so hard to keep what we’ve got, we have no idea what we’re missing. Worst case, if the jobs go overseas, follow them. Lots of people live in Mexico, in China, in Indonesia. Some of them even like it. Some of them even used to live in the United States and voluntarily chose to move away.
Everybody talks about globalization, but we won’t have true globalization until people are interested in freely traveling from place to place. We were founded as a nation of immigrants, but now we are afraid to leave our own front doors. A patch of land is just a patch of land. If it isn’t productive for some reason, we ought to be strong enough to find another and make that one work.
People have been moving on for thousands of years. Why is this year the one when we decided No More? I have to think that this strange behavior is a result of government becoming too entrenched, because who else would have a reason to make sure that the population didn’t decrease?
I can’t help but picture a fat cat bureaucrat chasing after a fleeing citizen, yelling, “Come back! I am your only hope! It’s a terrible world out there! You’ll be back! You’ll be sorry!”
If conditions are not right in this society, then we should applaud those who move elsewhere to do well. Soon enough, the tide will turn, and the flood of immigration will tend this way again. Ebb and flow. It’s as natural as the tide. Why do we fight it so hard?
Let’s demand that the term “outsourced” be banished from every politician’s lips unless he can personally so something to entice the company that is considering moving its plant or its business away from the U.S. to want to stay here. The only solution I’ve heard so far is force: fine businesses that want to leave, make it illegal. That solution is no solution at all.
Making it illegal to move businesses away from the U.S. only entrenches stagnation, and ensures that the next big idea will not occur in the U.S. We will be here, making our version of the buggy whip, and wondering why no one else on the world stage is willing to buy one. And there is no way that our politicians can make them do so. But at least our jobs won’t have been outsourced.