Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

What IS Outsourcing?

Lou Dobbs ($subscription req'd) is as relentless as a dog with a bone, when it comes to his moral outrage about outsourcing. Here are some questions that cast a slightly different perspective on outsourcing:
  • Is Walmart outsourcing the manufacturing of things it sells?
    Or are foreign producers outsourcing the distribution and retailing of the things they manufacture?
  • Are auto manufacturers outsourcing the production of some auto parts to Canada?
    Or are Canadian auto parts manufactureres outsourcing the assembly of some of these parts to the U.S.?
  • Are North American firms outsourcing consumer help lines to the Philipines or India? Or are are these firms outsourcing administration and retailing to North American firms?

The point is that these are joint operations.

I know that half our students don't believe the theory of comparative advantage, no matter how or how well we might teach it. We don't need Lou Dobbs spreading misinformation about the gains from trade to make our jobs harder.

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