During a campaign stop in Florida today, President Obama used this Washington Post article to attack GOP challenger Mitt Romney. From the article:
Mitt Romney’s financial company, Bain Capital, invested in a series of firms that specialized in relocating jobs done by American workers to new facilities in low-wage countries like China and India.
During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, a private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
OMG, you guys. Romney is like soooo totally anti-American! ...or so Obama says today:
“Now, not only does Governor Romney disagree with this plan, today it was reported in The Washington Post that the companies his firm owned were ‘pioneers’ in the outsourcing of American jobs to places like China and India. Pioneers!"
“Tampa, we don’t need an outsourcing pioneer in the Oval Office. We need a President who will fight for American jobs and American manufacturing. And that’s what my plan will do."
Yeah, how's that plan been workin' out for ya, America?
President Obama's logic is fundamentally flawed in so many ways. First, there's a difference between "outsourcing" and "offshoring," as the Romney campaign noted today: "offshoring" is sending jobs overseas, while "outsourcing" involves finding another company willing to do an in-house function. "Mitt Romney spent 25 years in the real world economy so he understands why jobs come and they go," spokesperson Andrea Saul explained in a statement.
Additionally, let's look at the real reason why companies offshore and/or outsource jobs overseas -- it's not because they hate America and want the economy to suffer. Rather, it's because doing business in the United States has gotten ridiculously expensive. By shipping low-paying, low-skills jobs overseas, businesses can make their investments go further. The way to keep more jobs in the United States is not to punish businesses who seek out their best interests, but to lower the costs of doing business here.
Instead, it would seem that Obama's policies would be to keep business costs and unemployment high, wages low and our economy permanently stalled.
Update: Over at Hot Air, Erika Johnson adds another important point -- in free trade, everybody wins...
When businesses find ways to do business less expensively, consumers win. Whether the business can offer their product more cheaply and consumers can then stretch their dollars further, or if the business is able to then hire more workers and grow their operation — the economy is going to grow. Which, in turn, means that everybody wins. That’s the great thing about free trade: all transactions are voluntary and mutually beneficial. When businesses outsource, they cut costs, and people in other, poorer countries with fewer opportunities are able to find jobs and income.
Everything related to this whole “Buy America” fallacy is just awful — barring even greater costs such as threats to national security, why on earth would you do something more expensively than necessary? That’s not the way to help people — buying goods from where they are most cheaply and efficiently produced is the best way to make everyone wealthier. Prosperity is not a zero-sum game, and a busy, bustling global economic village is probably just about the only true route to world peace in existence.
This sort of populist rhetoric that perpetuates these types of economic myths sorely needs to end.