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Are Too Many Jobs Going Abroad?

"Outsourcing jobs means the U.S. will not be able to compete with other countries until our standard of living is as low as theirs."
South Amboy, N.J.

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Jan. 17, 2004

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There is implicit racism in the populist argument that exporting jobs is bad for the U.S. economy and labor force [March 1]. Jobs sent to India are creating a growing middle class there, which in turn increases demand and new markets for American products. Outsourcing can lower costs for U.S. businesses. The American economy is not best served by protectionist schemes. Systems should be put in place to assist displaced workers for the interim. But the loss of jobs in one area should be seen as an opportunity to grow the U.S. economy in new ways. Flexibility and mobility will be more important than ever in a global economy.
New York City

How can anyone say outsourcing is positive? How can Americans compete with people in Third World countries who are paid pennies an hour? Frankly, I would rather pay a little more for an item if it means the U.S. middle class will still be around when my children grow up.
Castro Valley, Calif.

The outsourcing of jobs from one country to another is an unavoidable consequence of free trade. If we accept the concept that free trade is good for the world, then jobs will be moved to wherever they can be done most cheaply.
Manhasset, N.Y.

The U.S. auto industry has been losing jobs to low-cost offshore competitors for two decades. Before people complain too much about outsourcing, they should take a look inside their own garages to determine if they have already "outsourced" jobs with their choice of car.
Northville, Mich.

Outsourcing, while financially attractive to corporations, will hurt the U.S. in the long run. Americans will feel that technological careers are no longer available to them. That expertise will be developed in Third World countries. America's competitive edge will erode, as did the Roman Empire's before it fell.
New York City

How do Americans feel about confidential information being outsourced to companies overseas? What assurances do we have from U.S. firms that banking statements, phone-call records, credit-card numbers and other proprietary information will be seen only by the proper employees? Our personal details will now be available to even more people, far away from us.
Babylon, N.Y.

The sooner we Americans realize THAT the U.S. is part of a global economy, the better. What gives us the right to prosper when millions the world over are suffering? Can we truly go on believing that what happens "over there" doesn't affect us? Why do the values of education, hard work, equal opportunity and free markets apply only to us?
North Aurora, Ill.

Some readers thought the outsourcing of U.S. jobs overseas should begin at the top. "Corporate executives should ship their own jobs abroad," wrote a Vermonter. "The savings would be much greater than a mere computer programmer's salary." A Utah reader warned that "the big shots don't realize it, but their own jobs are in jeopardy and will be leaving soon." And a New Yorker saw a deficit-reduction bonanza: "Americans could save billions if we outsourced our Federal Government! Certainly there must be citizens of India who would be glad to act as our legislators for a fraction of what we are paying U.S. politicians."

Too Patrician to Be President?

In "Beware Of Flannel-Mouth Disease" [March 1], columnist Joe Klein argues that to be successful in the presidential race, John Kerry will have to overcome the fact that he probably drinks wine, doesn't eat Cheez Whiz, speaks French and has trouble uttering simple English sentences. Is the American voter supposed to be put off by those traits? Our leaders should not be homogenized versions of the guy next door but the best of the best, regardless of a preference for Bordeaux over beer.
San Diego

I share Klein's disappointment that the average voter seems more concerned with handicapping the presidential campaign than debating important issues. But the media have covered the Democratic primaries like a horse race. The public is merely following their lead. The focus on getting a candidate elected is a way for voters wary of broken promises to gain a sense of empowerment. If they can't manage to protect the environment, stop the Iraq war or save jobs in their cities, they can at least try to get their guy into the White House.
Los Angeles

The Gospel and the Gore

David Van Biema's Viewpoint "Why It's So Bloody," on Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ [March 1], stated that the movie's brutal imagery is attuned more to the religious spirit of the Middle Ages than to today's Christianity. But the point of the movie is to remind Christians — and proclaim to non-Christians — that Jesus, in his humanity, suffered terribly in order to be offered up as the perfect sacrifice. There is no way to portray this other than in graphic detail. Many of today's Christians want to worship Jesus' Resurrection without contemplating his suffering and death. They want the love Jesus preached without having to forgive others. They want the easy way out. But worship without sacrifice is worthless. The movie will get people to inquire more into the life, death and Resurrection of Christ.
Albuquerque, N.M.

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