Romney’s Chance to Embrace Outsourcing

National Review

Here’s the latest from the VIPs (Valuable Intellectual Properties) over at National Review:

“There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, that Milton Friedman was touring the Chinese countryside when he came upon a government project where workers were digging a canal. Friedman was surprised that instead of bulldozers and modern earth-moving equipment, the workers were using shovels and wheelbarrows. Thinking this was remarkably inefficient, he asked the bureaucrat in charge of the project why this was so. “You don’t understand,” the bureaucrat responded. “This is a jobs program.” “Oh,” Friedman replied, “I thought you were trying to build a canal. If jobs are all you care about, take away their shovels and give them spoons.”

One wishes that Mitt Romney would display a bit of Friedman’s common sense in responding to the silly controversy over outsourcing at Bain Capital companies. Instead of defensive technical explanations about when he left the active management of Bain Capital, Romney should point out the central fallacy of Obama’s argument. Contrary to the president’s complaints, outsourcing is generally good for America.” . . .

There is a reason, after all, why LeBron James doesn’t mow his own lawn. Even if he were the world’s best lawn mower, his talents are much more valuable directed elsewhere. It is what David Ricardo referred to as “comparative advantage.”

About Hunter Wallace 10108 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

2 Comments

  1. Mosin, I’ll pass on a lot more elaboration on the issues of faith. Suffice it to say that Christianity will be a part of any American WN movement in the future and so long as freedom of and freedom from religion are part of that I am content.

    As for Europe, they did well for thousands of years without Christianity and if they do well will do as well without it. Europe may be post Christian but thats their choice and so long as they can deal with the newcomer in the Abrahamic traditions, Islam they’ll be fine.

  2. “avoiding foreign trade barriers” – Lets cut straight to the chase here, the Chinese have said if it isn’t made in China they ain’t buying it. what a wonderful argument for free trade.

    Here we see something relevant.

    The Chinese can not produce anything of their own volition and with any originality in design or function.

    The Japanese can not produce anything conceptually unique, which they admit, but they can make variations on existing basic ideas and improve them, extend them, and even make sometimes feasibly make things that the West could invent but not economically or practically produce. The oxygen torpedo and the peroxide Walter cycle torpedo are two examples from WWII. The Wankel engine is a good postwar commercial example, another were the early all solid state AC/DC Sony TVs that became popular in the early 60s. They also made Western items better by making amalgams of them, such as the Nikon rangefinder camera, which combined the simpler superior Leica shutter with the lens mount and better ergonomics of the Contax.

    By contrast, the Chinese were notorious for buying East Coast factories that had shut down for scrap and dismantling them laboriously, brick by brick, and rebuilding them in China perfectly down to the soap dispensers in the men’s rooms. They spent a lot of money and time carefully documenting and replicating the plant even though they knew that the reason it was shut down was its dated workflow and construction. They didn’t care.

    They want Western companies to provide the plans, the management, the developed products down to the logo-they can not design better products to suit their own conditions nor even adapt Western designs in ways any hobbyist could think up. They can not build their own power, water, sewage, or fossil fuels plants. They have infinite labor but no one who can do the big creative processes.

    The way to derail this train is to make it impossible for Western companies to decouple Western innovation from Western production. Tariff imported products in a way that means overseas made Nike basketball shoes pay tariff on the retail value, not cost of manufacture.

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