by Merlin Hernandez

With so much negative talk about American outsourcing of jobs to countries like India, China, and Mexico, perhaps we might look at what the benefits to Americans might be. Admittedly, a lot of jobs have shifted to these countries at the expense of domestic employment levels. But there is an upside. American goods cannot be sold to countries that do not have the level of income that allows individuals to purchase them. Providing work for those individuals, especially in countries with large populations and emerging economies offers guaranteed sustainable markets, and is in America’s broad economic and political interests.US dollars for these workers increase their spending power and also help their economic growth. America’s foreign relations bring influence to bear on its trading partners and export markets. This gives the US great leverage in its foreign policy and the alliances that are possible in the war on terrorism or the threat of nuclear proliferation. Let us not underestimate the impact of American jobs for workers in issues of nuclear proliferation in some countries, and the position of strength and partnership from which the US government could negotiate.

Moreover, the US unemployment crisis offers an incredible opportunity for the mass re-tooling of the workforce through education and re-training. The outsourcing of lower skilled routine jobs may turn out to have given the gift of transformation to the US workforce. The strategic importance of planning for long term efficiencies will necessitate restructuring both the workplace and workforce for the new environments, technological and otherwise, of the  21st  century.