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Outsorcerers

Free-trade phobias. A flirty Diane Sawyer. Howie, one last time. Border watch. And more.

2.19.04

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HOMING IN
Re: William Tucker's Outsourcing Is Out of Sight:

I walk down the trench like Kirk Douglas in Paths of Glory, looking at the faces of the outsourced, waiting to blow the whistle that will take us over the top to fight the likes of William Tucker...

Mr. Tucker speaks of the mythical beast "the American consumer." By using his logic, a "consumer" is not one who "consumes" but one who pays less for medical insurance because some poor schlep's job has gone to Bangalore. That's an excellent display of "compassionate conservatism."

The Corn Law analogy is a good one -- the free traders have been reading their history! However, it's only so good. Yes, the cost of goods do reduce when they are manufactured abroad, witness the massive decline in the cost of computer technology. However, if Mr. Tucker thinks the cost of his insurance is going to go down because someone in India is reading his X-rays he has another thing coming. When you go into business providing a service, you can bet someone else is providing that service. When all the costs are pared so far down that all the X-rays are being read in India there are usually no more costs to pare other than either the CEO takes a pay cut (excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor from laughing) or else you cut the price of your policies. And if that ever happens, I will happily eat my words.

Yes, public education would be improved. However, these are some positive pointers that might persuade Mr. Tucker that it's better to keep jobs in America. Firstly, unlike China, America is not a Communist country whose wealth is held in the hands of a favored favorite sons of the Party. Unlike India, America does not sit next door to a country whose national hero is the guy who built their bomb which he subsequently sold to anyone willing to show him a dime. And America, unlike Russia, is not a kleptocracy where the Head Man is gathering more power to himself in a deliberate assault on a fragile democracy.

If Mr. Tucker requires more reasons for keeping jobs at home. I'll be happy to oblige.
-- Martin Kelly
Glasgow
SCOTLAND

Since when is trade free?

What chance has the American worker to export American goods and services to mercantilist governments like those of China and Japan, among many others?

Before an American company is allowed (!) to sell to China, it must transfer proprietary technology to Chinese subsidiaries, produce in China, and agree (tacitly) to lobby the U.S. government to open the U.S. further to Chinese exports. Before the U.S. company can say "intellectual property," Chinese companies have appropriated any commercially valuable technology, thereby reducing the American company's competitive advantage and exposing it to competition back home in the domestic U.S. market.

Cui bono?

The U.S. must use access to the American market to open foreign markets to U.S.-produced goods and services.

Otherwise, "free trade" will remain as nonsensical as "peace process."
-- David Govett
www.japanorama.com

Like Mr. Tucker I believe that free exchange of products and services is a good thing. But there are practical matters I would like to see you address. That is the structural disparity in the out sourcing game. Mr. Tucker are you aware:

(1) That a student arriving from India, taking a part time job, is not required to pay any federal income tax ever? See IRS Circular E, pg 14. That is a 17% advantage to the Indian against a native-born student. Or more succinctly, the employer can pay the Indian 17% less and still be at parity with paying the American as far as a net wage to the employee. (Think about that as you buy your cup of coffee at the 7-Eleven.)

(2) That an H-1B holder has two classifications of income? Wage earned and Living Expenses Abroad. The H-1B holder pays the usual tax and FICA on the wage. But they pay no tax or FICA on the Living Expenses. So, the game is, structure the entire employment package with a low wage level and a high Living Expense level. If I had that opportunity I would jump at it, as would most Americans. The net effect is that H-1B here is paying minimal tax, and depending on income level is getting a 17-30% subsidy from the U.S. taxpayer.

(3) That an L-1 visa holder pays no federal income tax? L1's are classed as contract labor and are intended to be paid at the rate from their home country. So far so good. He pays no tax here. But the L-1 holder is here, using our services, infrastructure, and support systems and yet contributes nothing to their upkeep. To that extent he is subsidized by the taxpayer again.

I could provide more examples but these are sufficient.

The problem is structural and needs to be changed. The rules should be simple -- Work Here, Pay Here. Americans will compete, we've done it throughout our history. But we expected that when the teams took the field you advanced the ball from the 20 yard line. The way it is right now, the visiting team is spotted at the 50.

My second observation is more theoretical and is a question. Are we globally gaining or losing in net income? That is, are we in a race to the bottom salary wise or are we bringing lower global economic groups up? I do not have the numeric answer but observation seems to confirm a race to the bottom. If that is the case then America as an economy is headed for trouble for it will do no one any good to have $2 shirts on the shelves if no one can afford them for lack of a job.

Henry Ford, a pioneer and a devout capitalist, ironically did the exact opposite of what the current crop of CEO's are doing. He raised wages (rather than lower them which is the effect of outsourcing). And why? It was not because Henry was being generous. He was a pious penny pincher. Mr. Ford knew that one way to increase sales of his product was to have more customers. And what a better way to have more customers than turn to his very own employees making the product? Shrewd, it and earned Ford Motor Co. 30% increase in sales the very first year.

That the American scholastic system is a shambles there is no doubt. Advances in technology require more education and less brawn in the marketplace. But please let us be honest with ourselves. The current visa system for foreign workers is broken and to the determent of the native born. The tax system needs reform to reflect the global marketplace. And CEO's have gotten lazy.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

Wow! Amen! Thanks for the fine defense of free trade. We don't hear it often enough in our political world of panderers, apologists, and union sycophants.
-- Mac Davis

Do Schumer, Kerry and PCR tolerate the fact that the Japanese Central Bank is outsourcing its Yen to buy a gazillion U.S. dollars to support the U.S. trade and budget deficits?
-- Dan Leo
Miami Beach, Florida

If I found out that my X-rays were diagnosed in India, I'd get a second opinion.
-- Pete Brittain
Sandpoint, Idaho

FLIRTING
Re: George Neumayr's Mel's Maligners:

Anyone who objects to Diane Sawyer's treatment of Mel Gibson in the recent interview must be determined to take offense no matter what. It was basically a love fest, the two were constantly flirting. What was on display was Gibson's legendary ability to charm the ladies and Sawyer responding to it. Sure a lot of the questions were stupid -- this was a major network interview, right? When was the last time anyone saw an intelligent one? Gibson's most severe critics were absent; I assume they were offered the chance to appear, but turned it down for fear of looking mean-spirited and bigoted, which is what they are. The ex-priest who talked about Martians was a hapless straight-man for Gibson's witty comeback. Sawyer ended the interview by promising more discussion the following day on the morning shows. In other words, she and her network are fully on board the Gibson publicity machine. For that, I'll offer a rare congratulations -- TV promoting something spiritually uplifting -- imagine that.

The only thing worse than a sore loser is an ungracious winner. Folks, we've won this one. Let's all go see The Passion and then reform our own lives and make use of this great opportunity to spread Christian belief.
-- Kirt Higdon
Corpus Christi, Texas

You are right on target with your description of the Sawyer interview with Mel Gibson. Even though she belittled him, he was so gentle with her -- even when he told her to lay off his father -- and as you know, gentleness comes with wisdom and that comes ONLY from God!

I wonder if SHE will read your "Mel's Maligners" article. I hope you send her a copy. Don't worry. I did!

Thank you for writing your article. You, too, are inspired. Please keep up the good work.

You will be in my prayers today,
-- Loretta S. Potts

I was having lunch at my favorite pizza place a year or so ago and reading an interview of Diane Sawyer in one of their magazines.

Her comments in the interview should have silenced any attempt by the left to deny media bias. She was telling about the cold reception she got from fellow reporters when she joined the network news team. Apparently, they thought she could not possibly be one of them because of her previous work with Richard Nixon.

Name of the magazine? Might have been Vanity Fair, but I can't remember. Date? I can't remember that either. I wish I had taken it with me when I finished my pizza.

I can't believe the hypocrisy of the media when they deny their liberal bias.
-- Joyce Sharp

We, Christians, should be used to open criticism. We have watched it become more blatant over the years in all aspects of society. Everyone from the Supreme Court to Diane Sawyer has tried to belittle and take our religion away from us. I was extremely proud of Mel Gibson's responses to her constipated questions. When he quoted "He was beaten for our iniquities. He was wounded for our transgressions. And by his wounds we are healed," I cheered! And I laughed out loud as I read your article and reference to the Martian thing just as I did when Mel responded to the priest. I am first of all proud to be Mel Gibson's "sister in Christ" as I have been a fanatic fan of his for years. I am thrilled that he would bring the truth to so many people, as he is revered all over the world. Thank you, Mel, for allowing God to use your power and influence to get the message out there. Maybe Diane Sawyer will go see it and get saved!
-- Yolande Gardner
Talladega, Alabama

Mel Gibson is a man of strength and courage. He and I believe in the Bible being the inspired word of God, what a concept. Thanks for the article.
-- Jim Winston

NERDISTAN
Re: Shawn Macomber's Letting Go:

Howard Dean actually won exactly what he entered the race to win - a huge media popularity contest that fed his ego and made him feel like, for once, he was one of the cool kids. A latent mid-life crises that his wife didn't want any part of until he begged.

But as Shawn Macomber pointed out, his millions of minions that were supposed to be riding the crest of the new wave of politics never showed. Either there was a two-for-one bong sale at the local head shop, they just plain forgot to vote, or they were nothing but a bunch of geeks, nerds, dweebs and good old losers. I suspect the latter.

Losers backing a loser while they watch him take a wondrous road trip with a car full of staff on a wild $40 million spending spree. All before any single vote was cast. They also seemed to forget Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina doesn't have too many of the same losers sitting in swank coffee shops on their wireless laptops blogging on the DeanforAmerica website and hooking up with other losers at tiny MeetUps in all the blue Gore states.

What's really sad is that this bunch of losers can't even go out in style like at the end of "Animal House" or, more appropriately, the end of "Revenge of the Nerds" where Gilbert Lowell (played by Anthony Edwards) gives a speech about how hard life has been for the poor nerds and geeks and spaz, etc.

The least the Howard Dean followers can do is have another MeetUp and launch into a roaring chant of "nerd...nerd...nerd...NERD!"
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

GUEST WORK
Re: Brandon Crocker's The Immigration Thing:

Re: the Bush guest worker program proponents: Do you think illegal actions should be punished or does it depend on what the meaning of the word "illegal" is?

One question: A guest worker program allows the immigrants to take minimum wage jobs that Americans supposedly won't take. I always thought the illegal immigrants were coming here to take sub-minimum wage jobs that it was illegal for Americans to take. Is our welfare state now paying out so much that Americans would have to take a pay-cut to take a minimum wage job?

Shouldn't we address the real problem then?
-- Mike Rizzo

Your logic is faulty in this one. Right is right and wrong is wrong. A former Bush supporter -- he will not have my vote this year because of this issue.
-- R. Napolitano
New Hampshire

THE LAKER MODEL
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski's Trading Places:

Perhaps the Yankees should look to the Lakers for what might be wrought with a team full of Hall of Famers. Maybe things will right themselves for the Lakers by May, but it's a cautionary tale. And if there is any unrest for the Pinstripers, George Steinbrenner is not one to sit quietly when panic is an alternative. All of us Yankee haters will just sit back and enjoy!
-- Warren Mowry

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