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  1. #1 Obama Does Not Know What ‘Outsourcing’ Means 
    Senior Member Gina's Avatar
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    Could somebody please get Barack Obama to shut up about “outsourcing” until some undergraduate aide has explained to him what the word means? As it stands, the president is showing himself an ignorant rube on the subject, and that is to nobody’s advantage.

    The Obama campaign, as you probably know, has been running ads denouncing Mitt Romney’s role at Bain Capital, in which Romney made various business deals that had the effect of making a whole lot of money for Bain’s customers while also allowing a lot of dirty foreigners to eat, and God knows the world would be better off if a billion-some Chinese were hungry and desperate, that being an obvious recipe for global stability.

    Because the Obama campaign knows that one of its most important constituencies is economically illiterate yokels — a demographic to which the president himself apparently belongs — it is on the airwaves claiming “Romney’s never stood up to China — all he’s ever done is send them our jobs.’’ (Whose?) The Obama campaign cites a Washington Post story on the subject, and the Romney campaign has noted that the folks over at WaPo did not distinguish between outsourcing and offshoring (and, indeed, the story is not a very smart one — do read it and see). Obama responded thus: “Yesterday, his advisers tried to clear this up by telling us that there was a difference between ‘outsourcing’ and ‘offshoring.’ Seriously. You can’t make that up.” And indeed you wouldn’t have to make it up, because it is a real thing: different words with different meanings. (Seriously, can we get this guy a library card?)

    “Outsourcing” happens when a firm contracts out its non-core functions to other vendors, e.g., a hotel decides to hire a cleaning service rather than keep maids on the hotel payroll. To take an extreme but illustrative case, consider that the firms that provide car-driving services do not manufacture their own automobiles or stitch their drivers’ uniforms, even though doing so would “create jobs.” They outsource those tasks to GM or Ford and to whomever makes their uniforms. Likewise, their communication systems are outsourced to Apple or Motorola or RIM.

    But at least they should “buy American,” right? GM is an “American” company building “American” cars, but it too outsources many of its needs, sometimes to other U.S.-based companies, sometimes to companies overseas. Moving facilities overseas is what “offshoring” means; it is not synonymous with “outsourcing.” GM has decided that it can build cars without manufacturing brake pads or tires, much less manufacturing steel or rubber, and its production partners include facilities, workers, and investors from around the world. (This is, it should go without saying, a good thing. People who talk mistily about the virtues of “global cooperation” rarely recognize it when they see it.) But of course the idea of GM as an “American” company is itself a bit suspect. In his 2002 paper on outsourcing, Prof. Gene Grossman of Princeton cites a World Trade Organization study about “American” cars:

    Thirty percent of the car’s value goes to Korea for assembly, 17.5 percent to Japan for components and advanced technology, 7.5 percent to Germany for design, 4 percent to Taiwan and Singapore for minor parts, 2.5 percent to he United Kingdom for advertising and marketing services, and 1.5 percent to Ireland and Barbados for data processing. This means that only 37 percent of the production value . . . is generated in the United States.
    Notice that a lot of that value is going to relatively high-wage countries: Japan, Germany, Singapore, Ireland. As the Washington Post story notes, many of Bain’s investments during Romney’s tenure were in firms building facilities in Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, Ireland, France, and Australia — not exactly the desperate Chinese sweatshops of anxiety and lore. (France, for Pete’s sake.) And that’s an important corrective to the usual knuckleheaded narrative about offshoring: “Poor desperate Third World brown types subsisting on four grains of rice a day are stealin’ our jobs!” But you’ll notice that capital is not exactly rushing to Haiti or Rwanda in order to build shiny new factories, while Germany, where workers do not come cheap, remains a manufacturing powerhouse. That is because low wages are not the goal of offshoring. High productivity is the goal of offshoring. There is a reason that BMW does not move all of its manufacturing operations to India, and patriotism is not it.

    In fairness, Romney has said some dumb things about China, too, doing a lot of silly and pointless saber-rattling about Beijing’s monetary policy. (“Currency manipulators”? Have you heard of Ben Bernanke?) But he’s also said some smart things about China and promised action on more legitimate grounds, such as wholesale Chinese thievery of U.S. intellectual property, a problem about which something can and should be done.

    What’s interesting about this controversy to me is the naked xenophobia of the Left on display alongside the amusing ignorance. Liberals love a good talk about the value of learning from other cultures and other peoples, so long as those foreigners don’t mind staying poor. If they want to sell goods and services, they are the enemy. Asians are allowed to be airy gurus and quaint villagers, but the day one of them wants to set up a factory, Democrats have a fit. Mohandas Gandhi good, Ratan Tata evil. You want collective, coordinated global cooperation to solve the world’s most pressing problems? That doesn’t look like a working-group meeting at the United Nations; it looks like what Bain does. You want a display of backward, ignorant chauvinism? Put Obama in front of a union hall.

    There’s a famous and probably apocryphal story about Milton Friedman being taken on a tour of a giant Chinese infrastructure project of some kind, in which the workers were using old-fashioned shovels and picks and wheelbarrows. Curious, Friedman asked his guide why they weren’t using bulldozers and other heavy machinery. The answer was: “We care about creating jobs for our people.” To which Friedman responded: “Then why not use spoons?” I wonder if Barack Obama could answer Milton Friedman’s question.
    This is our 'clean and articulate' president.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Janice's Avatar
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    Todays democrat party would not and could not be a major party w/o ignorance.

    Take away ignorance and whats left? Just the fringe kooks (which run the party now).

    And this is who the current republican leadership coils in fear of lest they make a "grey" area appear "black and white" (among other reasons) because ... as all RINOs seem to know ... there is no black and white. Only grey. We either run off the cliff at full steam, or we run off at a reduced speed. No stopping. And definitely no reversing course.

    God willing, we will take back the republican party before the statists complete their mission.



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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
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    This is our 'clean and articulate' president.

    The hostile over-the-top push back from Romney and RW media on the 'outsourcing' attack ad tells you one thing... Obama hit gold.

    This is a moronic op-ed piece, Romney made billions shipping labor overseas where companies didn't have to pay descent wages or health care. Don't be stupid.

    Any middle class person who believes Romney is going to protect his/her job and family is too ignorant for words.

    Any Christian Conservative who thinks Mitt Romney cares a bit about abortion or gay marriage, same as above.


    If you're just voting Obama out, at least have the guts to admit it. But stop pretending you really understand who Romney is.
     

  4. #4  
    PORCUS MAXIMUS Rockntractor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThinkingBig View Post
    The hostile over-the-top push back from Romney and RW media on the 'outsourcing' attack ad tells you one thing... Obama hit gold.

    This is a moronic op-ed piece, Romney made billions shipping labor overseas where companies didn't have to pay descent wages or health care. Don't be stupid.

    Any middle class person who believes Romney is going to protect his/her job and family is too ignorant for words.

    Any Christian Conservative who thinks Mitt Romney cares a bit about abortion or gay marriage, same as above.


    If you're just voting Obama out, at least have the guts to admit it. But stop pretending you really understand who Romney is.
    The difference between pigs and people is that when they tell you you're cured it isn't a good thing.
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  5. #5  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThinkingBig View Post
    The hostile over-the-top push back from Romney and RW media on the 'outsourcing' attack ad tells you one thing... Obama hit gold.

    This is a moronic op-ed piece, Romney made billions shipping labor overseas where companies didn't have to pay descent wages or health care. Don't be stupid.

    Any middle class person who believes Romney is going to protect his/her job and family is too ignorant for words.

    Any Christian Conservative who thinks Mitt Romney cares a bit about abortion or gay marriage, same as above.


    If you're just voting Obama out, at least have the guts to admit it. But stop pretending you really understand who Romney is.
    Dayum! He can put more than two words together that at least sound sensible even when the conclusions are far from realistic.
    Last edited by Retread; 06-27-2012 at 04:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol
    When I judge someone's integrity one key thing I look at is - How does s/he treat people s/he doesn't agree with or does not like?
    I can respect someone who I do not agree with, but I have NO respect for someone who puts others down in a public forum. That is the hallmark of someone who has no integrity, and cannot be trusted.
     

  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockntractor View Post
    I just burst out laughing and spit all over my monitor! Thanks a lot!






    That photo should be the response to every one of this moron's posts.
     

  7. #7  
    Senior Member Gina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThinkingBig View Post
    The hostile over-the-top push back from Romney and RW media on the 'outsourcing' attack ad tells you one thing... Obama hit gold.

    This is a moronic op-ed piece, Romney made billions shipping labor overseas where companies didn't have to pay descent wages or health care. Don't be stupid.

    Any middle class person who believes Romney is going to protect his/her job and family is too ignorant for words.

    Any Christian Conservative who thinks Mitt Romney cares a bit about abortion or gay marriage, same as above.


    If you're just voting Obama out, at least have the guts to admit it. But stop pretending you really understand who Romney is.
    I don't know where you've been, but I told CU that I voted for Santorum in the primary. If you paid attention at all, and didn't just sneak a peak for something to glom onto and talk crap about, you would know that probably MOST of the conservatives here are doing just what you suggest. Voting Obama OUT.

    I have a suggestion. Why don't YOU stop pretending you know Romney, me or anyone else on this board?
    Good men sleep peaceably in their beds at night because
    rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.



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  8. #8  
    LTC Member Odysseus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gina View Post
    I don't know where you've been, but I told CU that I voted for Santorum in the primary. If you paid attention at all, and didn't just sneak a peak for something to glom onto and talk crap about, you would know that probably MOST of the conservatives here are doing just what you suggest. Voting Obama OUT.

    I have a suggestion. Why don't YOU stop pretending you know Romney, me or anyone else on this board?
    Spicoli can't respond to the actual arguments that we make, so he makes up his own and then has at them.

    BTW, even the Washington Post's own fact checker refuted the ad:





    4 Pinocchios for Obama’s newest anti-Romney ad

    By Glenn Kessler, Published: June 20 | Updated: Thursday, June 21, 6:00 AM

    “Running for governor, Mitt Romney campaigned as a job creator. But as a corporate raider, he shipped jobs to China and Mexico. As governor, he did the same thing: Outsourcing state jobs to India.”
    — Voiceover of new Barack Obama campaign ad


    The Obama campaign apparently loves to ding former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney with the charge of “outsourcing.” On several occasions, we have faulted the campaign for its claims, apparently to little avail.
    Now, all of the claims have been combined in one 30-second ad, with the added incendiary charge that Romney was a “corporate raider.” Let’s look anew at this material.


    The Facts
    The phrase “corporate raider” has a particular meaning in the world of finance. Here’s the definition on Investopedia:

    “An investor who buys a large number of shares in a corporation whose assets appear to be undervalued. The large share purchase would give the corporate raider significant voting rights, which could then be used to push changes in the company’s leadership and management. This would increase share value and thus generate a massive return for the raider.”

    In other words, this is generally an adversarial stance, in which an investor sees an undervalued asset and forces management to spin off assets, take the company private or break it up.

    In a previous life, The Fact Checker covered renowned corporate raiders such as Carl Icahn and his ilk. We also have closely studied Bain Capital and can find no examples that come close to this situation; its deals were done in close association with management. Indeed, Bain generally held onto its investments for four or five years, in contrast to the quick bust-em-ups of real corporate raiders. So calling Romney a “corporate raider” is a real stretch.

    So how does the Obama campaign justify this phrase? It cites a single Reuters story from last August, about a campaign stop in New Hampshire, written by a stringer, Jason McLure, who was previously based in Africa. Buried in the article is a reference to Romney as a “former corporate raider.”

    “Reuters typically refers to Romney as a ‘former private equity executive’ or something along those lines,” said Ros Krasny, the Boston bureau chief. “Of the hundreds of times we have referenced Romney over the past year or more, honestly, that example from Jason must have just slipped through the net — 10 months ago.”

    A better source for Romney’s behavior as an investor might be someone who actually worked on Wall Street, such as former Obama auto czar Steven Rattner. “Bain Capital is not now, nor has it ever been, some kind of Gordon Gekko-like, fire-breathing corporate raider that slashed and burned companies, immolating jobs wherever they appear in its path,” Rattner wrote in Politico this year.

    Regarding the outsourcing claims, we have frowned on these before. The Obama campaign rests its case on three examples of Bain-controlled companies sending jobs overseas. But only one of the examples — involving Holson Burns Group — took place when Romney was actively managing Bain Capital.

    Regarding the other claims, concerning Canadian electronics maker SMTC Manufacturing and customer service firm Modus Media, the Obama campaign tries to take advantage of a gray area in which Romney had stepped down from Bain — to manage the Salt Lake City Olympics — but had not sold his shares in the firm. We had previously given the Obama campaign Three Pinocchios for such tactics.

    The Modus Media case is also not an example of shipping jobs overseas. The company closed one plant in California and transferred the jobs to North Carolina, Washington and Utah. At the same time, it opened an unrelated plant in Mexico. The Obama campaign once trumpeted the fact that we had dinged a conservative Super PAC for making the same leap in logic.

    The claim that Romney outsourced jobs as governor is equally overblown.

    This concerns Romney’s veto of a bill that would have prohibited Massachusetts from contracting with companies that outsourced the state’s work to other countries. Lawmakers were especially concerned about a $160,000-a-month contract with Citigroup to operate a system of electronic food-stamp cards that included a customer phone service center in India.

    Both the liberal editorial page of the Boston Globe and conservative editorial page of the Boston Herald urged Romney to veto the amendment, saying it would cost the state money. Romney agreed, saying the measure did not protect state jobs — the call center might have moved from India to another state — but “had the potential of costing our citizens a lot more money.” The Democratic-dominated Massachusetts legislature did not override his veto, even though it overturned 117 others, suggesting that there was little real support for the measure.

    When the food-stamp contract expired, the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance insisted that those jobs be returned to the United States. But they ended up in a call center based in Utah — just as Romney had predicted.

    As we mentioned, we recounted this ancient Massachusetts history before, giving the campaign Two Pinocchios. So we were very surprised that the Obama campaign cited that critical Fact Checker column as a source for the ad in its back-up materials.

    The ad also cites as a source a Boston Globe article from last month that merely reports on an earlier ad making similar charges. That’s highly circular reasoning — and is not fair play.

    Upon hearing this ad was under consideration for a tough rating, the Obama campaign supplied reams of additional SEC documents regarding Romney’s ownership in Bain after he left for the Olympics, most of which we had examined previouslywhen we first looked at this question. The campaign also supplied SEC documents showing that two of these companies, Modus and SMTC, as well as one called Stream International (a predecessor of Modus), earned money in part by helping other companies subcontract work overseas. Some of this business predated Romney’s departure from Bain, but thus far it seems a slim case for this particular ad.

    “Romney can’t run from his record. At Bain and in Massachusetts, he had the chance to keep jobs in America and sent them overseas instead,” said Kara Carscaden, deputy press secretary for the Obama campaign. “Even while he was at the Olympics, Romney owned and profited from Bain, continues to profit from it today and cannot ignore what Bain did during that time. Whether it’s outsourcing public jobs to India or shipping private ones to Mexico and China, Romney’s record is clear.”

    The Pinocchio Test
    The Obama campaign fails to make its case. On just about every level, this ad is misleading, unfair and untrue, from the use of “corporate raider” to its examples of alleged outsourcing. Simply repeating the same debunked claims won’t make them any more correct.
    Four Pinocchios

    Any decent person would admit that the ad is false, which is why you will not.
    --Odysseus
    Sic Hacer Pace, Para Bellum.

    Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the people!
     

  9. #9  
    CU Royalty JB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThinkingBig View Post
    Romney made billions shipping labor overseas where companies didn't have to pay descent wages or health care.
    Link(s) please.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Gina's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ThinkingBig
    Obama hit gold.
    If he really did would he tax himself?
    Good men sleep peaceably in their beds at night because
    rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.



    Real superheroes don't wear capes. They wear dog tags.
     

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