fresh voices from the front lines of change







I have an exercise for you. Don’t worry: You can do it at your computer.

Think about all the reasons why a multinational corporation would choose to move jobs to another country. Lower labor costs? More efficient and better educated workers? Potential to contribute to the positive net effect of globalization and free trade?

Or perhaps it has to do with lax labor regulations in other countries. Or a country’s currency manipulation that artificially keeps the costs of that country’s exported goods low.

Certainly, it wouldn’t be because corporations are receiving generous tax incentives from the U.S. government for moving their jobs (and their profits) overseas. And yet they do.

That’s why today Senate Democrats have resuscitated the Bring Jobs Home Act, sponsored by Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow. House Republicans killed similar legislation before it could even get to the floor.

Stabenow’s bill would give businesses a 20 percent tax credit for moving their operations back into the U.S. and remove tax incentives for offshoring.

“We need to be exporting our products, not our jobs,” said Sen. Stabenow in a statement released Wednesday.

Republicans, pro-business SuperPACs and other corporate mouthpieces have shamelessly attacked efforts to punish currency manipulation, which enables China to keep the costs of its exports into the United States artificially low, which when combined with low labor costs creates an incentive to outsource American jobs.

Even more telling is Mitt Romney’s reluctance to talk about the negative effects of offshoring during his tenure at Bain Capital. Romney is no fool—praising the effects of outsourcing may be logical for a private equity manager—but he’s learned that doing so is politically volatile.

Romney, on the other hand, doesn’t much want to defend creative destruction. He boasts about building Bain, but won’t discuss it in detail because it opens up a conversation about those same unattractive consequences: lost jobs, bankruptcies, private pensions dumped onto the federal government.

Offshoring and outsourcing are business practices that are part of a larger pattern of redistributing wealth to the top 1 percent of earners and slashing benefits for workers, says economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

On the contrary, it’s often a way to replace well-paid employees who receive decent health and retirement benefits with low-wage, low-benefit employees at subcontracting firms.

Offshoring, outsourcing—whatever you want to call it, Americans overwhelmingly think that moving jobs overseas hurts the economy and is bad for American workers. So let’s bring good-paying jobs with real benefits back to the U.S


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