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Obama and outsourcing

Obama and outsourcing
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First Published: Sun, Jun 29 2008. 11 52 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Jun 29 2008. 11 52 PM IST
Barack Obama’s tilting at windmills, again. In his appearance with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate said the choice was between giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas and those which invest in America.
As usual, this view overlooks the economics behind outsourcing. Issues such as wages, skills, labour supply and costs have gone to make outsourcing to countries such as India a necessity.
Perhaps it’s an indicator of the direction in which winds are blowing. Indian companies that gained the most from outsourcing ought to take note.
One can only hope that this view is a part of electoral twists and turns and does not represent serious debate. It also ignores the danger of protectionism that can be unleashed by such attempts. In the past, the US has been the “importer of last resort”, fuelling prosperity across the world. In a seamless world, this isn’t the case anymore. Best for all to ignore such temptations.
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First Published: Sun, Jun 29 2008. 11 52 PM IST