TCS Daily

Should Massachusetts Be Allowed to Outsource Jobs?

By James D. Miller - March 26, 2004 12:00 AM

1. Since Sen. Kerry disapproves of outsourcing, propose an experiment in which firms in Massachusetts, but only Massachusetts, are forbidden to outsource.

Since such an outsourcing ban would place Senator Kerry's home state of Massachusetts at a brutal competitive disadvantage, Kerry would have to oppose this experiment, but would be challenged to explain why.

2. Issue 100,000 visas for immigrants willing and able to become U.S. teachers.

Given the shortage of qualified math and science instructors, the U.S. would greatly benefit from teacher importation. Of course, since teachers' unions would detest any plan increasing competition for their members, they, and therefore Senator Kerry, would fight the plan. But since Kerry would have to justify his opposition in terms of what is best for American children, he would find it difficult to formulate a politically acceptable reason for opposing teacher importation.

3. Eliminate the government's guarantee of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's debt.

The U.S. government implicitly guarantees these two mortgage-based firm's $1.5 trillion debt, a guarantee which does nothing to help U.S. home buyers. By pledging to eliminate the guarantee Bush could claim to have saved U.S. taxpayers from over a trillion dollars in potential new debt.

4. Explain why President Kerry means no new cancer drugs.

Senator Kerry supports drug re-importation and pharmaceutical price controls. Although this deadly combination will lower current drug prices, it will also decimate pharmaceutical research. Bush's reelection team should explain why a Kerry presidency would hinder the fight for cancer cures.

5. Let patients pay families for donating their deceased loved one's organs.

If the government decreed that bubble gum could never be sold, but only given away, then many gum chewers would have to go without. Sadly, while our government doesn't enforce zero prices for gum, it does forbid the sale of organs causing tens of thousands of Americans to needlessly go without hearts, kidneys and livers. Bush should strive to increase the supply of organs by legalizing payments to the relatives of recently deceased organ donors. If Kerry objects, Bush should run a commercial showing a sick child in desperate need of a transplant.

6. End agricultural subsidies to millionaires and redistribute some of the saved funds to struggling family farmers.

This proposal would not only reduce the budget deficit but could also prove a net vote winner by helping more farmers than it hurts.

7. Make union dues optional.

Closed shops force many workers to pay union dues just to keep their jobs. By making union dues optional Bush would give a tax cut to many, while depriving his political enemies of revenue. Since unions already hate President Bush, he loses little by further antagonizing them.

8. Argue that racism motivates opposition to outsourcing.

Since there's no sound economic reason for opposing outsourcing, Bush should claim that xenophobia and racism are the real reasons Democrats want to prevent poor countries like India from connecting to the global economy.

9. Repeatedly remind voters that both President Bush and Senator Kerry were members of the Skull and Bones Society at Yale.

Kerry's efforts to play populist man of the people might suffer if voters associate him with this club.

10. Suggest that John Kerry is really running for president to promote his future book entitled How To Marry Multimillionaires.

James D. Miller writes The Game Theorist column for TCS and is the author of Game Theory at Work.


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