Question: What has " Objectivism " got to opine on the outsourcing of American jobs to third world countries?

Answer: Objectivism advocates the separation of the state from the economy, for the same basic reason that there should be separation of the state from religion: Both the economic choices of individuals as they trade the goods and services they need, and their choice of groups or belief systems to associate with, are exercises of the individual conscience that only have meaning if undertaken freely.
The functions of government should be limited on this view to national defense, police work, and the provision and enforcement of an objective code of law, all constrained by the fundamental purpose of securing the citizens' rights to individual life, liberty, and property. So Objectivists favor laissez-faire capitalism and free trade, and do not support the restraint of trade except in cases that bear sharply on national defense. (It might be proper, for instance, to restrict the export of vital technology to objectively illegitimate enemy states, such as North Korea.)
Outsourcing is at root simply an exercise in international trade. Objectivists are individualists: We do not favor ethnic discrimination or discrimination on the basis of national origin; we favor discrimination on the basis of the rationality and competence of individuals, be they residents of our own country or residents of a foreign land. Indeed, that is the principle of justice. If a worker in India, for example, can do as good or better work than, say, a Canadian, for less money, and thanks to modern technology is now able to provide that service to Canadians, then what right does the Canadian have to demand the job? It is the business—and the right—of the owners of the firm that hires the workers to find individuals who best can serve its purposes and can generate the most value and profit—wherever those workers might be.
It is a great sign for the growing integration of the world economy and for the spread of free-market capitalism that international outsourcing is growing and expanding. It enriches hard-working people in third-world countries, enriches the first-world customers of outsourcing firms, and helps build ties that increase the chances for greater prosperity and international peace.


About The Author:

Author: William Thomas
William R Thomas writes about and teaches Objectivist ideas. He is the editor of The Literary Art of Ayn Rand and of Ethics at Work, both published by The Atlas Society. He is also an economist, teaching occasionally at a variety of universities.

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