Columnist Walter Brasch, guest-blogging at The Moderate Voice, gives a pretty fair example of one shape that isolationism takes these days:
Work is available in dozens of other countries, where American companies seeking to “maximize the bottom line” have been outsourcing jobs for years. About 14 million American jobs are going to be outsourced in the next four years, according to a report issued by the University of California at Berkeley. Short-sighted and greedy, these CEOs and their boards believe child labor and wages that can dip below $1 an hour is just another acceptable business practice. The “Made in America” label is now becoming as extinct as corporate morality.
Notice the neat conjoining of jingoistic poppycock with anti-corporate sentiment. U. S. manufacturing output and revenues have not declined. They are at all time highs. And, while I have no doubt that there are plenty of amoral or even immoral corporate executives, they’re matched (at least) by immoral professionals, politicians, and bureaucrats. Why, there may even be an amoral or immoral blue collar worker or union official out there somewhere.
What has actually happened over the period of the last 30 years is that not only have American businesses created jobs in Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand, China, and India, to name just a few countries, but American workers are more productive than ever and are producing more stuff with fewer workers. Let’s not lose track of the fact that the new jobs created all over the world are a good thing. It’s a good thing that fewer Chinese are starving and, mirabile dictu, making China wealthier has made the U. S. wealthier, too.
I wouildn’t object to that wealth being spread around a little more than it has been but that’s a different subject.
I’ve written frequently here that I think that the tack that’s been taken by our government to bolster our domestic economy, subsidizing consumption, is poorly founded (but wildly popular). We’d have been much better served if we’d used a little ingenuity and found a way to encourage corporate investment here in the United States.
But you don’t need to look much farther than the ideas expressed in the linked post to see why we haven’t done that.