Teamsters President James P. Hoffa writes in The Detroit News that the U.S. government should offer subsidies for companies to return outsourced jobs back to American soil. But buying back these jobs with tax money is unlikely to have any meaningful impact on the economy and be rife with special favors to Congressional cronies.
It won’t have a meaningful impact on the economy because — despite all the national attention given to the subject — outsourcing is rare in the United States. The entire country lost just 10,378 jobs to other countries from outsourcing in 2009. But jobs are being created and lost rapidly in this country as part of natural job churn. The nation lost 30.8 million jobs while gaining 25.3 million jobs during the same year. This means that outsourcing accounted for just 0.03 percent of job losses.
The economy moves more quickly than the demagoguery of labor unions.
The remarkably dynamic U.S. economy points to the problems faced by politicians when trying to subsidize winners at the expense of everyone else in the marketplace. Legislators should instead rescind special favors to unions, companies and all others in favor of policies that create a fair playing field.