POV: What Is Capitalism?
by Ayn Rand | November-December 1965
In Pursuit of Wealth: The Moral Case for Finance
by Yaron Brook | September 30, 2017
Inequality Doesn't Matter If We’re All Paid According to the Value We Create
by Don Watkins | October 18, 2016
Who Cares about Inequality?
by Don Watkins | April 28, 2016
Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality
by Don Watkins | April 19, 2016
Economic Inequality Complaints Are Just A Cover For Anti-Rich Prejudice
by Don Watkins | April 14, 2016
Equality of Opportunity Doesn’t Exist in America — and That’s a Good Thing
by Don Watkins | April 06, 2016
Inherit The Wind . . . And Not Much Else
by Don Watkins | April 05, 2016
Equal is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality
by Don Watkins | October 20, 2015
Religion in America
by The Editors | December 05, 2014
Religion vs. Freedom
by Onkar Ghate | December 03, 2014
Debate: “Inequality: Should We Care?”
by Yaron Brook | May 08, 2014
Economic Inequality: Who Cares?
by The Editors | March 25, 2014
Our Poverty Problem?
by Don Watkins | March 11, 2014
Is Inequality Fair?
by Yaron Brook | March 05, 2014
Government tries to do too much: Opposing view
by Don Watkins | January 26, 2014
“You didn’t build that,” conservative style
by Steve Simpson | December 09, 2013
Why Do 1.4 Million Americans Work At Walmart, With Many More Trying To?
by Doug Altner | November 27, 2013
Atlas Shrugged Is A Book About Pride In One’s Work, And The Success That Results
by Steve Simpson | November 08, 2013
Bernie Madoff, Steve Jobs, and Wall Street Greed
by Don Watkins | September 26, 2013
Justice Department should let US Airways & American Airlines merger proceed
by Tom Bowden | August 16, 2013
What Are The Search Results When You Google ‘Antitrust’?
by Tom Bowden | April 18, 2013
To Be Born Poor Doesn’t Mean You’ll Always Be Poor
by Yaron Brook | April 12, 2013
We Should Be Embarrassed by the Sequester Debate
by Yaron Brook | March 20, 2013
“Give Back” Is One of the World's Most Impoverishing Commands
by Yaron Brook | March 12, 2013
Capitalism in No Way Created Poverty, It Inherited It
by Yaron Brook | February 25, 2013
3 crucial lessons Ayn Rand can teach us today
by Yaron Brook | February 02, 2013
Capitalism without Guilt
by Yaron Brook | January 21, 2013
President Obama Duels With Ayn Rand Over What Makes America Great
by Don Watkins | October 29, 2012
Why Ayn Rand’s Absence From Last Thursday’s Debate Benefits Big Government
by Yaron Brook | October 15, 2012
The Virtue of Employee Layoffs
by Yaron Brook | September 06, 2012
Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: A Paean to American Liberty
by Don Watkins | August 17, 2012
President Obama vs. My Grandfather
by Don Watkins | July 30, 2012
The Dog-Eat-Dog Welfare State Is Lose-Lose
by Don Watkins | July 12, 2012
Changing the Debate: How to Move from an Entitlement State to a Free Market
by Don Watkins | July 02, 2012
Private Equity Firms Want Acquisitions To Profit, Not Fold
by Doug Altner | June 05, 2012
Opposing view: Celebrate private equity
by Don Watkins | May 29, 2012
The “On Your Own” Economy
by Don Watkins | March 09, 2012
What's Really Wrong with Entitlements
by Don Watkins | February 21, 2012
Happy Birthday, Ayn Rand — Why Are You Still So Misunderstood?
by Don Watkins | February 02, 2012
America Before The Entitlement State
by Don Watkins | November 18, 2011
How Did Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged Predict an America Spinning Out of Control?
by Onkar Ghate | October 31, 2011
What We Owe Steve Jobs
by Don Watkins | October 06, 2011
What’s Missing From The Budget Debate
by Don Watkins | July 12, 2011
Does America Need Ayn Rand or Jesus?
by Onkar Ghate | June 29, 2011
When It Comes to Wealth Creation, There Is No Pie
by Yaron Brook | June 14, 2011
It’s Time To Kill The “Robin Hood” Myth
by Yaron Brook | May 06, 2011
Using Ayn Rand's Values to Create Competitive Advantage in Business
by John Allison | April 04, 2011
In Defense of Finance
by Yaron Brook | February 15, 2011
The Tea Party Will Fail — Unless it Fully Embraces Individualism as a Moral Ideal
by Tom Bowden | January 21, 2011
How About Tax Reparations for the Rich?
by Don Watkins | January 18, 2011
The Guilt Pledge
by Don Watkins | September 22, 2010
How To Succeed In Business: Really Try
by Don Watkins | September 13, 2010
The U.S. Anti-Business Epidemic
by Don Watkins | August 17, 2010
Atlas Shrugged’s Timeless Moral: Profit-Making Is Virtue, Not Vice
by Yaron Brook | July 20, 2010
Capitalism: Who Needs It — Ayn Rand and the American System
by Yaron Brook | June 09, 2010
Apple vs. GM: Ayn Rand Knew the Difference. Do You?
by Don Watkins | March 02, 2010
Commercialism Only Adds to Joy of the Holidays
by Onkar Ghate | December 18, 2009
Why is Ayn Rand Still Relevant: Atlas Shrugged and Today’s World
by Yaron Brook | August 10, 2009
The Corrupt Critics of CEO Pay
by Yaron Brook | May 2009
America’s Unfree Market
by Yaron Brook | May 2009
Energy at the Speed of Thought: The Original Alternative Energy Market
by Alex Epstein | Summer 2009
Is Rand Relevant?
by Yaron Brook | March 14, 2009
Stop Blaming Capitalism for Government Failures
by Yaron Brook | November 13, 2008
From Flat World To Free World
by Yaron Brook | June 26, 2008
Vindicating Capitalism: The Real History of the Standard Oil Company
by Alex Epstein | Summer 2008
The Right Vision Of Health Care
by Yaron Brook | January 08, 2008
Deep-Six the Law of the Sea
by Tom Bowden | November 20, 2007
The Influence of Atlas Shrugged
by Yaron Brook | October 09, 2007
The Morality of Moneylending: A Short History
by Yaron Brook | Fall 2007
Say “No Way!” to “Say on Pay”
by Yaron Brook | May 22, 2007
Atlas Shrugged — America's Second Declaration of Independence
by Onkar Ghate | March 01, 2007
Pay Is Company’s Prerogative
by Yaron Brook | January 08, 2007
Religion and Morality
by Onkar Ghate | October 18, 2006
Net Neutrality vs. Internet Freedom
by Alex Epstein | August 16, 2006
Why Are CEOs Paid So Much?
by Elan Journo | May 11, 2006
To Outsource or to Stagnate?
by Onkar Ghate | August 01, 2004
Ayn Rand's Ideas — An Introduction
by Onkar Ghate | June 02, 2003
Capitalists vs. Crooks
by Elan Journo | July 22, 2002
Forgotten Heroes of 9/11
by Onkar Ghate | May 17, 2002
Religion vs. America
by Leonard Peikoff | 1986
The Sanction of the Victims
by Ayn Rand | November 21, 1981
Egalitarianism and Inflation
by Ayn Rand | 1974
The Moratorium on Brains
by Ayn Rand | November 14, 1971
What Is Capitalism?
by Ayn Rand | November 19, 1967
Is Atlas Shrugging?
by Ayn Rand | April 19, 1964
The Fascist New Frontier
by Ayn Rand | December 16, 1962
America’s Persecuted Minority: Big Business
by Ayn Rand | December 17, 1961
The “New Intellectual”
by Ayn Rand | May 15, 1961
Capitalism vs. Communism
by Ayn Rand | 1961


Government And Business in Voice for Reason
Government & BusinessCapitalism

To Outsource or to Stagnate?

by Onkar Ghate | August 01, 2004

A free society requires and rewards individuals who are active-minded, forward-looking, keen to better themselves. A society moving towards state control of the economy requires and rewards individuals who want tranquility, passivity, lethargy. In the debate about the legitimacy of “outsourcing” white-collar jobs to foreign countries, you must decide on which side you stand.

The opponents of “outsourcing” white-collar jobs eagerly present it as an unprecedented, catastrophic phenomenon. The facts belie this. Economists estimate that roughly 100,000 white-collar jobs “move” offshore annually. This figure excludes new jobs created in the United States because of the increased economic efficiency and is in the context of a U.S. economy of some 140 million jobs, in which 15 million unneeded jobs are eliminated annually, with even more created. Moreover, for decades U.S. companies (and the U.S. economy) have thrived by hiring manufacturing and agricultural workers abroad. We are witnessing but a normal evolution of specialization and trade, cornerstones of American prosperity. 

Why then the heated opposition?

Observe that whatever the particular forces that lead American businesses to hire foreign workers — be it a Coca Cola expanding into new markets in Asia, an HP manufacturing products more cheaply in Singapore, or an Intel hiring superior engineers in India — the fundamental reason they do so is to grow. They seek to increase sales and profits. 

This is the nature of a free society: economically, it does not stand still, it advances. It demands the same of its citizens.

When Henry Ford introduced mass production of the automobile in the early 1900s, he changed transportation. This inevitably caused disruptions. The days of the horse and buggy were numbered. But those in the dying industry who chose to face the reality of Ford’s advance, whether a business owner who learned to produce gasoline instead of buggies or a worker who learned to repair automobile engines, prospered. 

Later, when men like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Michael Dell ushered in the personal computer revolution, almost no industry was unaffected. The businesses and employees that embraced the new invention, a retailer that computerized its inventory or a worker who learned to program a computer, prospered.

Today, as businesses hire white-collar workers abroad, similar opportunities will abound for those ready to change and grow. As in earlier eras, the capital accumulation made possible by the increased efficiency and specialization at American companies will fuel demand for employees with new skills, such as managers able to integrate a company’s activities across countries and cultures. 

It should not be surprising, for instance, that from 1991 to 2001, 2,500 U.S. multinational corporations added 2.8 million foreign jobs and 5.5 million new U.S. jobs (the latter above the average U.S. employee growth rate for the period), or that 25 percent of Americans now work at jobs not even listed in the 1967 Census Bureau codes.

Those who prosper in a free society are individuals who choose, no matter how severe the change, to adapt, to expand their skills, to increase their knowledge, to grow. For this type of individual, trade and specialization — across one’s city, state, country or globe — are acknowledged as beneficial; the progress of a global economy, including “outsourcing,” is not feared but welcomed. 

There are, however, those who resent the growth that a free society demands. Typically, they pursue one of two courses of action. Either they simply cling to the old way of doing things, like a manufacturer who claims that if horse buggies were good enough for our forefathers, they should be good enough for us. Or they cry for governmental protection — and demand that the government restrict the cotton gin, steam engine, automobile, locomotive, Japanese imports, factory automation, etc.

This last is the opponent of “outsourcing.” He does not advance even a semi-cogent economic argument, as economists have pointed out repeatedly. But he does resent the fact that his life has been or may be disrupted by the freedom of other people advancing their interests — that others’ progress may require him to grow or be left behind. So in an attempt to freeze reality, the opponent of “outsourcing” demands that the government forcibly restrain the success of his fellow citizens — by restricting them from dealing abroad.

Unscrupulous politicians then pander to this backward mentality. Thirty-five state legislatures have introduced “anti-outsourcing” legislation. John Kerry denounces management as “Benedict Arnold CEOs” — even though the CEOs are being quintessentially American in pursuing their (and their shareholder’s) happiness.

The demands of the “anti-outsourcers” must be rejected; there is no right to stagnation. But there remains nevertheless one thing to ask of our government.

Some companies are moving offshore because they find greater economic freedom there. Don’t demand that they be prevented from relocating or hiring foreign workers; that would just further restrict freedom in America. Demand instead that the government rescind the plethora of regulations — from workers’ compensation to Social Security to governmental education to governmental healthcare — that is strangling us.

We need the American solution: to once again fully embrace freedom and the growth it both creates and requires.

About The Author

Onkar Ghate

Chief Philosophy Officer and Senior Fellow, Ayn Rand Institute