— Missouri has lost 102,608 jobs due to trade policies that encourage outsourcing since 1994.
— So far, during this election cycle, the Chamber of Commerce, a leading proponent of outsourcing, has spent $259,375 on attack ads targeting Robin Carnahan.
A Connecticut Post blogger who summarized several GOP candidates’ records on outsourcing noted that Blunt “voted five times to protect loopholes that reward companies that ship American jobs overseas and voted against providing extra assistance to Missouri workers who lost jobs due to outsourcing.”
Do you see a pattern emerging? One that perhaps explains Blunt’s failure to even mention outsourcing in that “Jobs Plan” he is always ballyhooing. Instead, he promises to:
— Repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which will not go into effect until 2014 and which has had no appreciable effect on our current employment problems – although, since repealing the ACA will, according to the CBO, exacerbate the deficit problem, it might well make unemployment worse long-term.
— Fight against energy legislation that has the potential to create new clean-energy jobs.
— Cancel the stimulus funding that has not been paid out – although most of the remaining funds have been committed and projects have commenced; canceling these projects would do little but contribute to even more unemployment and misery.
— Cut taxes and cut them again – which has an arguable stimulative effect on the economy, but which would definitely zoom the deficit into the stratosphere.
— Cut spending to reduce the deficit – and given the effect on the deficit of his proposed tax-cutting spree, those cuts would have to be mighty indeed to have any effect, gutting essential programs like Social Security, Medicare and defense.
As you see, there’s lots of questionable verbiage about jobs, but not one mention of outsourcing. Does anyone need to be reminded that a similar formula didn’t perform that well during the Bush years? Nor is there any reason to think it will be more effective the second time around, when conditions are worse and the need greater.
There are many factors that make outsourcing jobs attractive. Labor is defenseless in many countries and can be exploited for next to nothing; some favored locations are more than willing to degrade their natural environment, offering a regulation-free environment; and currency issues can be exploited to make the already lowered costs even more appealing.
There’s also plenty that Congress could do to make outsourcing less attractive and keep good paying jobs here in America, where workers would spend their surplus wages on American-made goods, creating even more jobs. Of course, that probably wouldn’t work so well for Blunt’s Chamber constituency, nor for their foreign donors who might just stand to gain when American workers lose.