Is outsourcing a bad thing? Ask any of the one thousand people in Fort Smith, Arkansas, whom I mentioned last week that are losing their jobs. I am quite certain that any one of them would tell you that they would prefer not to have their lives turned upside down. They would prefer not to be forced to compete with their former co-workers for the scant number of jobs available in their community. There are some, I am sure, that will move away rather than compete for the few jobs left for them to find. These folks will leave their hometown and often their extended families behind in a quest for greener pastures. How’s that for good old down home conservative family values?
The fact is that whether we like it or not, we are living in a society that values greed. The corporations that outsource these jobs are often making a profit, as most of them always have, right here at home. The problem is that they want more; always more. They dare to dream how much more money can be made if they keep prices low, encouraging consumption, while cutting labor costs associated with wages, benefits, and safety regulations found in the U.S. Shy of overturning our entire economic system, the only thing left for the American worker is to adapt and overcome but how when only a few of them can afford to send their kids to college?
If government actually works for the people rather than the corporation, then it is government’s job to realize that we are fast losing our footing in a time of global transition. We must pool our resources, as the wealthiest nation the world has ever known, and make our population more marketable. With the money we have spent bailing out banks, auto manufacturers, and supporting an unnecessary war in Iraq, we could have not only provided a quality college education to many of our citizens but also instituted a public healthcare system much like the rest of the modern industrialized world has already done.
You see, in order to foster an environment of ingenuity in a world where the American factory worker is becoming obsolete, we need to have a population that is healthy, happy, and educated. We need thinkers who can create the next big technological marvel. There is no reason why yesterday’s factory worker cannot be tomorrow’s doctor, nurse, or inventor other than that worker lacking the financial means and opportunity to adapt. Rather than granting tax cuts and giving subsidies to the corporate world it's wealthy executives, why not invest that money into our collective future by preparing the American worker, through education, for success in a post-industrial society.