Obama Does Not Know What ‘Outsourcing’ Means

Could somebody please get Barack Obama to shut up about “outsourcing” until some undergraduate aide has explained to him what the word means? As it stands, the president is showing himself an ignorant rube on the subject, and that is to nobody’s advantage.

The Obama campaign, as you probably know, has been running ads denouncing Mitt Romney’s role at Bain Capital, in which Romney made various business deals that had the effect of making a whole lot of money for Bain’s customers while also allowing a lot of dirty foreigners to eat, and God knows the world would be better off if a billion-some Chinese were hungry and desperate, that being an obvious recipe for global stability.

Because the Obama campaign knows that one of its most important constituencies is economically illiterate yokels — a demographic to which the president himself apparently belongs — it is on the airwaves claiming “Romney’s never stood up to China — all he’s ever done is send them our jobs.’’ (Whose?) The Obama campaign cites a Washington Post story on the subject, and the Romney campaign has noted that the folks over at WaPo did not distinguish between outsourcing and offshoring (and, indeed, the story is not a very smart one — do read it and see). Obama responded thus: “Yesterday, his advisers tried to clear this up by telling us that there was a difference between ‘outsourcing’ and ‘offshoring.’ Seriously. You can’t make that up.” And indeed you wouldn’t have to make it up, because it is a real thing: different words with different meanings. (Seriously, can we get this guy a library card?)


What’s interesting about this controversy to me is the naked xenophobia of the Left on display alongside the amusing ignorance. Liberals love a good talk about the value of learning from other cultures and other peoples, so long as those foreigners don’t mind staying poor. If they want to sell goods and services, they are the enemy. Asians are allowed to be airy gurus and quaint villagers, but the day one of them wants to set up a factory, Democrats have a fit. Mohandas Gandhi good, Ratan Tata evil. You want collective, coordinated global cooperation to solve the world’s most pressing problems? That doesn’t look like a working-group meeting at the United Nations; it looks like what Bain does. You want a display of backward, ignorant chauvinism? Put Obama in front of a union hall.

There’s a famous and probably apocryphal story about Milton Friedman being taken on a tour of a giant Chinese infrastructure project of some kind, in which the workers were using old-fashioned shovels and picks and wheelbarrows. Curious, Friedman asked his guide why they weren’t using bulldozers and other heavy machinery. The answer was: “We care about creating jobs for our people.” To which Friedman responded: “Then why not use spoons?” I wonder if Barack Obama could answer Milton Friedman’s question.

Here’s what I don’t get: If a business sends jobs to other countries that’s bad, but if people from other countries come here to work illegally that’s good? Progressives support immigration and oppose NAFTA. Shouldn’t it be one or the other?

Progressives are pro-union and pro-immigration. Historically, immigrants have been used to break strikes and used as a threat to keep wages low. Which begs the question – how will Obama’s quasi-amnesty policy fly with blue-collar voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania?

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43 Responses to Inconsistency

  1. HELENK says:

    I brought this up from downstairs. backtrack outsourcing campaign work

  2. Oswald says:

    Trying to have a rational discussion about immigration is racist.

  3. HELENK says:

    Nora Ephron, writer and director of movies such as “You’ve Got Mail,” has died – @washingtonpost

  4. DM says:

    Okay, here is my $.02 on the subject.
    When an immigrant comes to the U.S., even if he takes the job from another worker, the immigrant pays taxes. People who work offshore and send their finished product outside to the U.S., don’t pay taxes, but it’s worse than that because dollars go out to pay for imported goods. In the immigrant case it’s an economic activity that the U.S. benefits from as the immigrant uses its money to live here.

    Just saying.

    • DM says:

      Sorry. The immigrant is not an it. I meant to say “the immigrant uses his/her money to live here”.

      • Oswald says:

        Are they paying enough in taxes to offset the cost of unemployment/welfare benefits for the displaced workers here?

        • Lulu says:

          No especially since they receive lower wages, pay less taxes as a result while their service, product, activity maintains the same price thus maximizing profit on prfits that also pay lower tax rates. It is a race to the bottom.

        • insanelysane says:

          illegals working for small businesses and corporations pay into SS and of course it is matched by their employers. ( approx 16% of a payroll.) ( lots) That money is rarely collected by the illegal. Often, illegals will not even file for IRS tax refunds.
          I’d say that covers it.

        • Lulu says:

          SS taxes paid by illegals goes into the trust fund. If they ever become legal and obtain a SSN those wages are credited to the new record. Usually they are never claimed and the SS Trust fund benefits from those taxes. The employer owes the taxes to the trust fund whether they are legal or not. A very large percentage of employers who hire illegals do so because they do not want to pay the taxes (nor any other benefits), don’t pay the taxes, and are very happy that they have employees who will not report them for not paying taxes. Illegals who use other people’s SSN do not get wage credit in benefist, nor do the person whose number is used illegally. Those are scrambled earnings records or earnings discrepency cases which the Social Security Adm identifies by computer interface and must pay employees to investigate to correct. It is a big mess and employers who employ employees with fraudulent SSN can be fined and essentially audited by IRS to find any other wage reporting problems as well as those who do not pay taxes on employees. There is also enormous fraud in tax returns filed by illegals claiming excess dependents and Earned Income Tax Credit claiming illegal tax refunds.

        • DM says:

          First of all, an immigrant is not always an illegal. Immigrants can fall into four categories: legal resident, naturalized citizen, working immigrant (has permit to work and stay as long as he/she the permit is valid) and illegal resident. It’s always more advantageous to the economy when someone works in this country. Earnings is what keeps the economy healthy

        • I think most of us are aware that not all immigrants are illegal. Most illegal immigrants were legal residents who did not keep up on their paperwork for whatever reason; usually because it is too much extra work and time. Then they become illegal. Personally, I have a huge problem with the argument that they are good for the economy because it is based on the stereotype that they are border jumpers who are doing the jobs that ordinary American citizens do not want to do.

  5. insanelysane says:

    Most everyone in those 3 Rivers states have family stories of their immigrant grand parents working to immigrate legally.How long it took. How hard it was and how proud they were . Through Ellis Island, w/ name changes for ease to English,jobs in the coal mines and…
    they followed all the rules.

    This is a slap in the face to those who didn’t break laws.

    Lots of those folks not only are in low paying jobs , worse, their children are going to be the first that will be going backwards in earning and benefits.

    OTOH, I personally am pro open borders. Let’s all just move about completely freely and borders and titles be damned. I’d like to move to Mexico and buy land but not possible due to the damn border BS.

    • DM says:

      The U.S. had a fairly open immigration policy when your grandparents arrived here. Most immigrants from the last century packed their bags and settled in the U.S. without any hurdles. Your grandparents did, and the illegal immigrants of today are doing is the same thing. The only difference is that today the U.S. does not have an open immigration policy with almost insurmountable hurdles to take advantage of work opportunities. Your grandparents and the illegal immigrants are very similar in their approach and desire for a life with opportunities. It’s the government that changed.

      • That’s BS. There were huge amounts of immigrants who had to bypass standard US immigration rules through transit via Cuba, other Caribbean islands and Canada.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      Third Senator to announce not attending. I am not aware of every single event that has happened politically in my lifetime, but I pay close attention, and I’ve never seen anything like it.

  6. SophieCT says:

    Liberals love a good talk about the value of learning from other cultures and other peoples, so long as those foreigners don’t mind staying poor. If they want to sell goods and services, they are the enemy. Asians are allowed to be airy gurus and quaint villagers, but the day one of them wants to set up a factory, Democrats have a fit.


    If other countries want to build factories they should. They should invent stuff, build it, market it, and reap the reward.

    What I (a liberal) object to is American companies that benefited as much as they could from the American infrastructure and then moved offshore to squeeze out more profits* based on the other country’s lower standard of living, lower wages, and laissez-faire attitudes about health, safety, and the environment. Additionally, by off-shoring, companies circumvent those countries from starting competing enterprises. Cui bono?

    Is it really only liberals who want jobs in America?

    * Nothing wrong with being profitable but off-shoring to a third world nation to do so is a failure of imagination.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Besides the immigrants themselves, who benefits the most financially from illegal immigration?

      Big business.

      Who is harmed the most?

      American workers

      A consistent position is opposing illegal immigration AND off-shoring.

      • SophieCT says:

        Big business benefits mightily from illegal immigration. In fact, businesses advertise in Mexico for workers, keep them until they start to want raises, benefits, and promotions, then mysteriously their neighborhoods get raided.

        I agree with what the more consistent position is but there is a difference in the types of jobs that get off-shored and those performed by illegal immigrants (most, not all). So people would naturally feel more threatened by the off-shoring. They would also feel more threatened by people here on H-1B visas than illegal immigrants.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          Well, the thing being overlooked, and disingenuously twisted in this National Review article, is the decimating effect that lose of production has had for American workers. We’ve generally have agreed on this blog that we are in a dangerous place when we don’t produce, and we do not produce, not even close to what we used to.

          Those companies left, as you said, to exploit loose regulation in third world countries. Mostly for the benefit of Americans who have gone into massive debt to afford the trinkets manufactured overseas. It has had the effect of reversing several hundred years of the fruit of colonizations: the Indians are now selling us trinkets and trading us beads.

          Some might say that’s a good thing, considering the reputation of colonialism today, but the argument presented in the article is kinda like when you complain to your spouse that he/she isn’t holding up some part of the labor split and them responding, “Yeah, well, your lasagne tastes like shit.” It’s an argument used to exploit a weakness, one which does not address the real problem, and is just used to make the legitimate complaint look petty, when it’s not.

          I get it. Progressive thinking is so shallow, it’s hard not to make fun of it and twist it around, but this is not a good argument in my opinion. We have suffered a real loss by the sloughing off of our work, instead of their invention of new work. And the impetus behind this change is corporate greed, pure and simple, not feeding poor Chinese people.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          Also, whether or not Chinese workers who manufacture Apple products, for example, can actually feed themselves is itself a questionable assertion.

    • HELENK says:

      a good example of that is Levi Strauss. There are no longer any of their factories in the USA. That company made there money here for many years and then split.

    • r u reddy says:

      That article seems written to make liberals feel guilty about “taking food from the mouths of starving Asians” when liberals object to bussinesses outsourcing or offshoring to places of very low wages, regulatory costs, etc.; so as to work the cost-difference-arbitrage rackets between the American-price market and the foreign-cost workplace. (American jobholders whose jobs are targeted for mass jobicide by the Free Trade Agreements and by illegal immigration are
      sneered at as selfish special-interested protectionists).

      A consistent progressive would object to Free Trade Agreements and to illegal immigration with equal vigor. ( A consistent progressive might go further and object to H1B Visa abuse designed to keep avoid hiring American technology-specialty workers.) I believe a lot of working class thingmakers object to Free Trade Agreements and to illegal immigration with equal vigor at the same time. Pro-thingmaker progressives might well support that objection.

      The author of that article is just “talking the outsourcers-offshorers’

  7. votermom says:

    I’m an immigrant, so obviously I support immigration. LEGAL immigration. I don’t support illegal immigration. I do think that there is a LOT that can be reformed in the immigration policy.

    Outsourcing and offshoring are both a net drain on our economy. We* need policies that encourage manufacturing and production within the USA.

    *By “we” I mean everyone who lives in the USA, regardless of immigration status or economic position.

  8. HELENK says:

    Gee I wonder why. Do you think being on their knees to backtrack for over 4 years has anything to do with it?????

  9. michelina51 says:

    🙂 🙂

  10. michelina51 says:

    Hi Foxy, just agreeing with you 2x’s-it is good news

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