Question of the day findings: The politics of outsourcing

July 08, 2012, 11:22 PM GMT+0

President Obama recently attacked Mitt Romney for allegedly advising companies about outsourcing jobs to places like India and China during his time at Bain Capitol. With that in mind, we thought it worth asking what you thought about the issue of outsourcing. Some economists argue that in a globalized world, outsourcing is no bad thing - allowing places like India and China to develop into stronger longer-term markets for Americans products, thus boosting American jobs. Others argue that US outsourcing simply takes away valuable jobs from people in America; jobs needed by Americans now.

The response was certainly largely against outsourcing. While a number of respondents had positive comments to make about the idea (notably related to pragmatism, and the global economy in which we live, but also to ethics and good business sense), most were opposed to the idea. Those arguing against outsourcing overwhelmingly pointed out that too many jobs were leaving America at the expense of the American economy; that jobs were needed, short-term, here and now, and that to outsource during the current economic climate was a mistake.

(Click on each argument, below, to see more quotes.)

Outsourcing: a long term economic strategy or a short term mistake? What's your view?

“ OPPOSED: Many Americans are out of work”

“I am not in favor of outsourcing simply because it has taken jobs away from our own people . I feel this has created a hardship on American families leading to a weaker economy.” Mary McGee West Branach, LA

“Perhaps at a time in our history it was a good public relations option, however, now with the current state of the economy, we should keep jobs here in America.” Lisa, Boston, MA

“I think that the U.S. should build a strong economy so that we can create jobs and keep those jobs here – and start to pay down this debt.” Anon

“We need jobs, and when people have jobs, they spend money, and that helps the economy. Sending jobs overseas is immoral.” Anon

“We already have an over -abundance of unemployed Americans. I can't see where outsourcing the few jobs we have to other countries will help Americans economically.” D. Brown, Camp Springs, MD

“Outsourcing has gone to the extreme. I am not totally opposed, but currently there is a need for employment in this country.” Pietrina, Scottsdale, AZ

“Jobs are needed here first.” Anon

“We have people here who need jobs. It also takes money out of our economy.” Sam, IL

“OPPOSED: We’re helping other economies at the expense of our own”

“Outsourcing manufacturing jobs redistributes wealth from the U.S. to foreign countries. The reasons big companies do it is so that they can pad their profits. In other words, rich people gain while middle class Americans lose their jobs.” Matt, San Francisco, CA

“Shipping jobs to countries with much lower worker salaries undermines our economy.” Anon

“Because we can’t fix everybody’s economies, we have to fix our own, feed our own, give healthcare to our own. We won’t be able to share if we don’t have enough for ourselves. Charity begins at home.”Linda, Tahlequah, OK

“IN FAVOUR: We live in a global economy; outsourcing is inevitable”

“We must work within the parameters of a global economy. Since Obama has done nothing to create long term jobs, outsourcing may be the solution to the issue.”Anon

“We need to work at globalization to raise the standard of living for all people. We will benefit.”Bryant, Norman, OK

“The economy is global. Those of us who believe in free markets must accept that competition is now a world phenomenon. So-called outsourcing is one component of global competition.” Henry, Oro Valley, AZ

“Outsourcing is a fact of a global market and the countries involved benefit directly and indirectly.” Maria, Bridgman, MI

“IN FAVOUR: It is ethical”

“Outsourcing gives people in indigent counties the opportunity to earn an income they might not have. Outsourcing in third-world countries is particularly beneficial for women to earn an income and not be dependent upon the family or husband's family for support.” Anon

“Spreading so called "American culture," and sharing improved quality of life through capitalism is good for both us and the repressed 3rd world in the long term.” Richard S, Orlando FL

“IN FAVOUR: It makes good business sense”

“Outsourcing jobs when a financial analysis says it is worthwhile is good business. It leads to profitability, which then leads to more job creation.” Garry, Cincinnati,OH

“Most of the jobs are for products that American people will not pay for if made in the U.S.A. We may complain about outsourced jobs but we are always looking for the cheapest price.” Jeffery, Torrance, CA

“Outsourcing is the result of constant demands of unions for increase of hourly rates and benefits, demands on raise if minimum wage. Such demands increase the cost of all products and result in inflation.” Akiru Mitsuyama, Houston, TX

“It provides the most economical way to produce wealth; that benefits all of us.” Anon