Thursday, March 04, 2010

Worried About Jobs Being Outsourced?

Well, here's one way to solve the problem of the depressing numbers of US jobs that are lost to overseas competitors.

Close down the office that tracks the statistics:

President Obama's budget would eliminate the International Labor Comparisons office and transfer its 16 economists to expand the bureau's work tracking inflation and occupational trends. The White House says the cut, estimated to save $2 million, is one of many difficult decisions the president was forced to make to control spending.

It sure is hard not to be cynical about this. In fact, it's impossible not to be. Obama has called for NAFTA style trade agreements expanding into Panama, Columbia, and South Korea. These sorts of trade agreements have proven deadly for US workers. But, hey, if they close down the office that tracks the data - we'll never know just how deadly.

In related news, a small group of legislators have filed a bill that would cause the US to withdraw from NAFTA.

The bill spearheaded by Rep. Gene Taylor, a Mississippi Democrat, would require President Barack Obama to give Mexico and Canada six months notice that the United States will no longer be part of the 16-year-old trade pact.

"At a time when 10 to 12 percent of the American people are unemployed, I think Congress has an obligation to put people back to work," Taylor said.

He argued NAFTA has cost the United States millions of manufacturing jobs and hurt national security by encouraging companies to move production to Mexico.

The high unemployment rate makes it the "perfect" time to push for repeal even though past efforts have failed, he said.

It will be interesting to see if this goes anywhere.

cross posted at

1 comment:

DissedBelief said...

You know, I've never understood the actual economic arguments and explanations regarding NAFTA. Back in the 90's I attended many political meetings on this including a few by the great little Ross Perot who still remains correct about the "great big sucking sound". Indeed the best of the best when it comes to "liberals" including Clinton just loved NAFTA and refused any discussion on trashing it. All strange, very strange.