If you peel back the arguments in favor of offshoring, what you finally end up with is an article of faith -- faith that history will repeat itself and the US economy will quickly generate enough new jobs in higher-paying industries to compensate for the ones lost to trade. What I've yet to see, however, is even a educated guess as to what those jobs might be.
To me, the 'debate' on the issue of 'offshoring' seems beside the point. It is an inevitable reality. The way ahead is to develop coping mechanisms -- strategies that enable economies worldwide to thrive in this new environment. Those who cast the challenge as a zero-sum game are expressing a defeatist attitude. "Slow down" is not a convincing strategy, either.
If the supposed utopia of the critics is a world in which all Americans simply keep the jobs they have today, indefinitely, while Indians, Chinese, and others are locked out of the information age, then I'm not interested. How is that progress? Do you think the Indians and the Chinese will settle for that?
I'm puzzled to think that anyone would both oppose offshoring and also disagree with Bill Joy. Does anyone agree with Bill Joy but have no trouble with offshoring?
But as Princeton University economist William Baumol and Ralph Gomory, IBM's former research director, point out in an intriguing new book, there are now many industries in which competition is imperfect because entry by new firms is virtually impossible.
Does anyone know what book he's talking about? The only thing I can find is a book from 2000/2001 entitled, "Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests," from MIT Press, which has been cited elsewhere in this debate. People seem to call it a 'new book' repeatedly, despite the publication date. Who refers to a four year old book (especially one on global trade) as "new"? Would you refer to George Bush as our "newly" elected president?
Realities Make 'Offshoring' Hard to Swallow