For the Weekend: July 20, 2012: Social Differentiation Department
Gary Silverman: "Let's Stay Together"

The Big Problem with Choosing a Bain CEO as President of the United States Isn't Outsourcing...

Bob Reich gets it exactly right:

Robert Reich: The Problem Isn't Outsourcing. It's that the Prosperity of Big Business Has Become Disconnected from the Well-Being of Most Americans: Forget the debate over outsourcing. The real question is how to make Americans so competitive that all global companies — whether or not headquartered in the United States — will create good jobs in America. Apple employs 43,000 people in the United States but contracts with over 700,000 workers overseas. It assembles iPhones in China both because wages are low there and because Apple’s Chinese contractors can quickly mobilize workers from company dorms at almost any hour of the day or night. But low wages aren’t the major force driving Apple or any other American-based corporate network abroad. The components Apple’s Chinese contractors assemble come from many places around the world with wages as high if not higher than in the United States.

More than a third of what you pay for an iPhone ends up in Japan, because that’s where some of its most advanced components are made. Seventeen percent goes to Germany, whose precision manufacturers pay wages higher than those paid to American manufacturing workers, on average, because German workers are more highly skilled. Thirteen percent comes from South Korea, whose median wage isn’t far from our own....

Put simply, America isn’t educating enough of our people well enough to get American-based companies to do more of their high-value added work here. Our K-12 school system isn’t nearly up to what it should be. American students continue to do poorly in math and science relative to students in other advanced countries. Japan, Germany, South Korea, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Sweden, and France all top us. American universities continue to rank high but many are being starved of government funds and are having trouble keeping up.... China, by contrast, is investing like mad in world-class universities and research centers. Transportation and communication systems abroad are also becoming better and more reliable. In case you hadn’t noticed, American roads are congested, our bridges are in disrepair, and our ports are becoming outmoded.

So forget the debate over outsourcing. The way we get good jobs back is with a national strategy to make Americans more competitive.... But big American-based companies aren’t pushing this agenda.... They want lower corporate taxes, lower taxes for their executives, fewer regulations, and less public spending....

Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital is no different from any other global corporation — which is exactly why Romney’s so-called “business experience” is irrelevant to the real problems facing most Americans...

I would not say "irrelevant". I would say actively harmful.

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