Bring jobs back to the USA

I’ve been bothered for the past eight years or so by US companies moving existing jobs to or creating new ones abroad. Places where people aren’t paid as much. I have mentioned to family and friends how I think the government should do something to make the practice more expensive, but I never got around to writing a good essay on the matter.

Andy Grove has written a very nice essay. He focuses on why such action should be taken, and I think he makes a very compelling case.

While he does consider the negative effects, he does not consider where those effects will leave us if we keep finding other countries to do our work. We’ve moved a lot of manufacturing jobs to China. We’ve been moving engineering jobs abroad. Pretty soon, all we’ll have left are upper management jobs, and it’ll eventually make sense to move those, too. Of course, we’ve already given away how to engineer and build all the cool stuff, so new companies in far away lands are competing with companies that started here. On this path, the US eventually won’t be very relevant when it comes to hi-tech, or the jobs that go with it.

The only reason it won’t get that bad is that the process will lower the standard of living in the US far enough that we’ll be the cheap ones to employ. I think John Oliver already welcomed the US to the ranks of the third world. Free trade is not worth letting that happen.

The solution will require the government to hurt corporation’s short-term profits in favor of brining jobs back to the US. It is a long-term win for the US and its corporations. A trade war might even help rebuild our economy, much unlike the other wars the US is involved in.

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