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Thursday, February 26, 2004

Even when they get it, they don't get it!

In this Thomas Friedman column he pays some homage to free trade and outsourcing. Don Luskin is not so easily fooled by this "seeing of the light." Here he points to the real implication of some of the views voiced by Friedman.

Oh, I suppose he gets to the right answer. But it's based on the moral premise that a business practice should be permitted or forbidden based on someone's judgment about whether it helps America -- rather than on the first principle that the owner of capital should be able to deploy that capital to hire anyone he wants anywhere he wants for whatever reason. So it rings hollow when Friedman congratulates himself in the column's first paragraphs:
I've been in India for only a few days and I am already thinking about reincarnation. In my next life, I want to be a demagogue.
Yes, I want to be able to huff and puff about complex issues like outsourcing of jobs to India without any reference to reality.

Unfortunately, in this life, I'm stuck in the body of a reporter/columnist.

Which is all just a tricky way of saying that business activity should be regulated by smart people in positions of authority, and that Tom Friedman thinks he's the smartest guy in the room. He should decide. And fortunately, this time, his decision happens to coincident with free market. Next time maybe it won't be.

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