Thursday, July 3, 2008

Expanding Outsourcing

The range of jobs that can be outsourced continues to expand. The cumulative effect would be more global efficiency if trade wasn't so out of balance. The expanded outsourcing means that the absence of an effective trade policy by the U.S. (other than borrowing from tomorrow to pay for today's shipment) will hurt more workers in more industries. The New York Times' blog today discusses a move by the Orange County Register to outsource editing and page design to India. The post concludes:

What other choice is there, besides finding another line of work? White-collar knowledge workers” are beginning to understand what their factory brethren have known for years — that outsourcing is a spreading and inexorable phenomenon. Whether homegrown newspaper editing jobs are going to dry up for good is still hard to know. But for many workers in the rapidly changing American news business, the unthinkable now must be considered.

One of the comments on the blog puts an irony of the story rather nicely.

The author of the above piece may either have missed or simply been to PC to point it out, but the real irony here is that this is happening in ORANGE COUNTY - a conservative Republican constituency if ever there was one. I would guess that the conservative leaning paper has had more than one column in defense of outsourcing and further that they would be pro-free-traders. Ironic?

And indeed the editors of the paper had planned an article on the Role of Free Trade in Speading Freedom although it isn't clear they ever wrote it.

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