“Mitt Romney Outsourced American Jobs!!!11!!!!”

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on June 23, 2012

Or, you know, maybe not.

I am glad that James Pethokoukis is available to do the reporting that the Washington Post cannot, but what does it say about the Post that one lone guy at the American Enterprise Institute is able to do the fact checking that the Post is either unable or unwilling to do?

While we are on this subject, Roger Pilon is very much worth reading. Responding to David Axelrod’s efforts to tie Romney to outsourcing, Pilon says the following:

David Axelrod, like Obama himself, is playing to the economic ignorance that afflicts a good part of the American public. Firms don’t “specialize” in outsourcing jobs. They try, rather, to produce the best products at the lowest costs—for the benefit of their owners and their customers. If that means going abroad to find the best labor at the lowest cost, so be it. What would you have them do, seek inferior labor at higher costs? How would that benefit owners, customers, or the nation as a whole? Firms are not welfare agencies.

When firms are run efficiently, everyone benefits—including those higher-wage domestic workers who would otherwise have been employed but now must seek other opportunities that will arise only under conditions of efficiency. Or, of course, we could restrict firms from going abroad, force them (by law) to be less efficient, and thus lower the standard of living for everyone. That’s the prescription implicit in the Axelrod/Obama vision. Obama’s multiple “Solyndra” fiascos have cost several million dollars per job “created” (and eventually lost). I dare say those workers would have preferred having the (taxpayer’s) money to the jobs.

As for Axelrod’s charge about Romney’s “breathtaking hypocrisy”—his pledging on the campaign trail to protect American jobs from outsourcing—there’s a perfect explanation for that, but to understand it it takes a better grasp of economics than Axelrod or Obama, by his actions, seem to have. You remove so many of the irrational, rent-seeking regulations we have today, which Romney has promised to do, and you’ll create a climate in which firms won’t have to look abroad for labor. If there’s any “breathtaking hypocrisy” at play here, it’s with Axelrod and Obama, who purport to speak for the “middle class” but whose policies for three and one-half years have driven the middle class into ever greater depths of despair. Obama’s record, as we say, speaks for itself.

Of course, if Team Obama and its army of hacks spent more than 3o seconds a week thinking about business and economics, they might know all of this already. Oh, and incidentally, since when is Barack Obama in any position to lecture anyone about employment policy?

  • http://twitter.com/MichaelWFisk Michael Fisk

    From arguing with people on the political left, the “efficiency” argument is lost on them.  If anything, they want inefficiency, judging from their continued obsession with income equality (which improves typically as markets shrink) and employment (then again, this is something that many populists on the right are guilty of as well – they lionize small businesses as being champions of job creation, but the almost negligible share of GDP produced by small businesses would indicate inherent inefficiencies).

    And let’s not get into the hilarity that results in our friends on the left demonizing having American businesses with physical presences in other countries yet promoting the idea that Americans should dramatically increase exports…

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