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Faced with what seems to be an increasing level of misleading rhetoric about conservative positions on public policy issues, The National Center for Public Policy Research has resolved to help bridge the gap between rhetoric and reality.
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Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research
Employment: Is Bush Trying
to Push Jobs Overseas?
Free-market conservatives, while cognizant of the short-term pain caused by job market adjustments, understand that economic flexibility -- which at times means that jobs once done in the U.S. are now done elsewhere, or nowhere at all -- increases economic prosperity for all.
Two hundred years ago, many people earned livings as hostlers, curriers, chandlers and lamp-boys. Today many people don't even know what those professions were. One hundred years ago, 33 percent of our workers were in agriculture. Today only 2 percent are. No doubt the loss of these professions embittered some. But would Americans today be better off without a modern economy? Would most of us prefer that the economic growth of the last several decades had not happened? No.
Alan Greenspan addressed the topic in a January 26, 2004 speech to a London conference:
The Progress Report complains that when Harvard professor Gregory Mankiw, who serves as President Bush's Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said that "deciding that certain jobs must remain in the United States would be the equivalent of the state economic planning that ultimately brought down the Soviet Union" he was "red baiting."
Quoting again from Alan Greenspan's January 26 speech:
Red baiting? Or simply a benign and accurate observation that planned economies sacrifice desired economic growth?
Overlooked by Progress Report editors, the same Washington Post story that quoted NGW cites Senator John Kerry calling executives who outsource "Benedict Arnold."(2) Benedict Arnold did sell out his country, apparently in part to keep up financially with his socially-prominent wife. But unlike business executives following the law of supply and demand, Arnold is not known for doing anything to lower domestic consumer prices, or to help bring unprecedented prosperity to the modern world.
Given its name, the Center for American Progress should be the first to realize that progress is change, and that with change comes an end to old ways of earning a living. The Center for American Progress disseminates its opinions on an e-mail list, using an electronics communications technology that has killed many jobs in the courier delivery service. Nonetheless, because of cost and efficiency advantages, the Center for American Progress chooses to use this technology -- as it should.
Economist Thomas Sowell sums it up: "You
cannot advance the standard of living by continuing to do the
same things in the same ways."(3)
(2) Jonathan Weisman, "Bush Report Offers Positive Outlook on Jobs," Washington Post, February 10, 2004.
(3) Dr. Thomas Sowell, "Manufacturing
Confusion," TownHall.com, January 15, 2004.
Issue Date: February 13, 2004