TCU Daily Skiff Tuesday, March 09, 2004
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Sending jobs overseas is hurting the U.S.

In the 1990s, Americans saw some of the greatest economic prosperity in U.S. history. The influx of new computer and communications technology, combined with the pro-growth economic policies of former President Clinton, created more than 22 million domestic jobs. The nation experienced record job expansion, stable growth in the stock market and the first budget surplus in decades.

Unfortunately, those times of prosperity have changed, partly due to the enormous amount of outsourcing of domestic jobs overseas.

Nearly three million jobs have been lost since President George W. Bush took office. Many of the jobs that have disappeared are manufacturing jobs throughout the Midwest and in the heartland, where corporate fat cats seek to increase the size of their wallets by shipping good-paying industrial jobs to nations where they can hire cheap labor and avoid environmental regulations.

Many of these corporate executives are some of the largest contributors to both the Republican Party and Bush's re-election campaign. Thus, it is no surprise that N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of Bush's council of economic advisers, said in a recent economic report that outsourcing was good for the American economy.

Mankiw and Bush are out of touch with American workers, especially those who have lost their jobs due to outsourcing. Many of the types of jobs economists hoped would replace the disappearing domestic manufacturing jobs are being shipped overseas. This poses a serious threat to long-term economic growth in the United States.

The combination of manufacturing and service-related jobs being outsourced and sent overseas is having a devastating impact on the U.S. economy. For instance, citizens in Ohio have lost 192,000 jobs since Bush took office. Nearly one-fourth of those were due to outsourcing. When a person loses a job, their ability to purchase goods and services is diminished substantially, which reduces total demand in the economy.

Furthermore, without incomes, citizens pay less taxes, causing a reduction in the tax base needed to fund various government programs and services. The loss of more than three million jobs, combined with Bush's irresponsible tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy, has created a record budget deficit. It is no surprise that the loss of American jobs, many due to outsourcing, is wreaking havoc on our economy and way of life.

Without any real protections and laws preventing jobs from being outsourced overseas, corporate executives have no reason to keep jobs here in America. If they can make huge profits at the expense of dedicated employees and workers, they will more than likely take advantage of the cheap labor and educated workforces abroad.

The American worker can take steps necessary to preventing the rise of outsourcing. For starters, workers must not shy away from organizing unions to create substantial collective bargaining powers that will give them a voice with their employers. Workers must also vote for officials who will look out for them and their jobs and not protect the corporate executives who dig deep into their pockets to fund the campaigns of Bush and his friends. Having elected officials on the side of ordinary Americans who work hard and play by the rules is perhaps one of the best assets a factory worker or engineer can have in preventing his job from going overseas. Until Americans wake up and understand the threat that outsourcing has on their livelihood, and until they take action to prevent the hemorrhaging of domestic jobs overseas, this unfortunate trend will continue.

Jonathan Steed is a columnist for The Battalion at Texas A&M University.
This column was distributed by U-Wire.

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