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  • Ketchup Outsourcing

    The Default Democrat from another world

    By Mark Steyn

    (Filed: 02/17/2004)


    How do you feel about "outsourcing"? John Kerry, the Default Democrat that his party's poor voters are trying hard to pretend to be excited about, is very opposed to it. His stump speech includes fierce denunciations of American corporations that export jobs overseas. He has pledged his support for a "Call Center Consumer's Right To Know", which would require that the guy at the call center identify his location at the beginning of every call. Right now, you just get vague hints – for example, if I'm in New Hampshire and dial directory inquiries and ask for a number in Woodsville and the fellow says, "Certainly, sir. What hemisphere is that in?"

    Unfortunately, this "Right To Know" system wasn't in place when Kerry's campaign placed calls to potential voters in Wisconsin. So it was only a few observant Democrats with "Caller ID" displays who happened to notice that the calls were coming from an Ontario area code. Ontario is not in the United States. They don't even have call centers in Ontario, only kinky misspelt call centres. Yet all those calls explaining that "John Kerry's the candidate you can count on to stand up to selfish corporations exporting American jobs to foreign countries" were coming from Canada.

    So Kerry took immediate action and fired the company. A couple of days later, he found himself beset by rumours about him and a young intern, who's since left the country for Kenya. What a guy. Even his interns are outsourced to Third World jurisdictions. So all the doorstepping of the poor gal that would normally be done by big-time salaried National Enquirer correspondents with expense accounts has now been sub-contracted to minimum-wage East African stringers.

    What does Kerry's wife, ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz, make of this? Not the intern, but the outsourcing. Well, the missus's Pittsburgh-based family business has 22 factories in the United States and 57 on foreign soil. Even Heinz is out-sauce-ing its ketchup to foreigners.

    Thus, to date, the John Kerry presidential candidacy to keep jobs in America has exported its campaign calls to Ontario, its sex scandal to Kenya, and the spousal ketchup to Middlesex. What's wrong with this picture? Nothing. Except Kerry's hostility to the global economy. Part of this is just the necessary image re-positioning of a politician who suffers from the disadvantage that hardly anything about him appears to be American-made. His education, for example, was outsourced to a Swiss finishing school. But the rest of it betrays an ignorance about how the world works.

    For example, whenever I caught Kerry on the stump in New Hampshire, he railed against American companies who, for tax purposes, "rent a post office box in Bermuda". Good for Bermuda, I say. If you couldn't rent a post office box off-shore, you can imagine what rate of business taxes there'd be in America.

    At the Davos economic forum the other day, a live greeting was beamed down to the assembled grandees from a British astronaut, who read out some one-world guff about how, viewed from space, the Earth is not divided by borders. I'm sure that's true. It's also true that in space no one can hear you scream, which is just as well, because that's what I'd be doing in a world without borders. If we ever do achieve that blessed utopia, you can pretty much guess which end of the scale the one-world government will set the tax rates at. There'll be no post office boxes in Bermuda and John Kerry, Kofi Annan and Romano Prodi can regulate the economy to their hearts' content.

    Right now, they can't. Borders equal choice, and competition. The reason American jobs and companies jump the frontier is because, while the US is one of the more benign countries in the developed world when it comes to personal taxes, the conduct of business there gets more and more onerous, thanks to such factors as the excessive Federal regulation favoured by Kerry and his ilk and the exposure to massive lawsuits favoured by his principal rival for the Democratic nomination, the pretty-boy trial lawyer John Edwards.

    Whenever Kerry goes on about exporting jobs, you're sort of left with the impression that they're all going to some Third World backwater paying its nine-year-old workers six bucks a week. In fact, the senator's Canadian campaign calls are far more typical. Not because trying to explain Kerry's "nuanced" position on Iraq is the kind of highly-skilled job way beyond your average Hutu kindergartner – it seems, in any case, the Ontario calls were automated – but because of simple economic reality.

    I wouldn't outsource my campaign calls to Liberia because the phone line out of the country only works for two hours a week and it would be kind of embarrassing to have your Monrovia campaign caller macheted to death by a drug-fuelled gang before she's finished explaining your health-care plan to the guy in Wisconsin. When American companies create jobs abroad, they look for good infrastructure, an educated work force, and less exposure to John Kerry-type micro-regulation – so they go to Ontario, Ireland, England, but not the Sudan.

    More importantly, anything John Kerry is likely to do about this problem will make it worse. Because of the protectionist regime set up for the benefit of American sugar producers, Lifesaver candy is now made in Quebec, where sugar is cheaper. The government's artificial insourcing of sugar jobs in Florida does far more damage to the broader economy.

    Whatever Kerry thinks, companies are sovereign entities: they can't be geographically contained. The good news is that, in the future, more and more of the world's people will be "sovereign individuals", in William Rees-Mogg's phrase. I doubt very much that tomorrow's Franco-German-British summit will discuss the demographic death-spiral Europe's in, but that's really the only economic factor that will matter in 20 years' time: the shortage of people – on the Continent, in Japan, and elsewhere. If you're, say, an educated Singaporean, you can write your own ticket to anywhere on Earth: you'll be able to outsource yourself. John Kerry's lazy reflex protectionism is irrelevant to this future.
    And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

    -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

  • #2
    Originally posted by Damtoft@Feb 19 2004, 09:57 PM
    companies are sovereign entities:
    Despite the good work of our founding fathers.
    Damn these electric sex pants!

    26+31+34+42+44+46+64+67+82+06 = 10

    Bring back the death penalty for corporations!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Damtoft@Feb 19 2004, 09:57 PM
      Unfortunately, this "Right To Know" system wasn't in place when Kerry's campaign placed calls to potential voters in Wisconsin. So it was only a few observant Democrats with "Caller ID" displays who happened to notice that the calls were coming from an Ontario area code. Ontario is not in the United States. They don't even have call centers in Ontario, only kinky misspelt call centres.
      hilarious...both sides are such jokes...I'm voting write-in for Sharpton....
      . . . and to tell you this: I work with gays, have friends who are gay, go to church with gays. Most of them are aware that I believe that homosexual behavior is sin. Some of them actually agree. Most don't. It's OK . . . because they also know or at least have been made aware of my multitude of sins: adulterous heart, lustful and covetous behavior, wicked pride, angry spirit . . . do I need to go on?
      -mike
      mike smith, post-dispatch online sports editor

      Comment


      • #4
        Bill,

        And you wondered why Edwards charged in Wisconsin.

        I can imagine going to one of his rallies and hearing the "New England Patriot" prattle on about outsourcing and then have a friggin' computer call you from a call center in a foreign nation.

        What a sanctimonious hypocrite.

        Not to mention his wife.
        And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

        -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

        Comment


        • #5
          Who doesn't love Tuh-RAY-zuh....

          "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
          Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
          -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

          Comment


          • #6
            Not suprising
            Asked what he would do differently in Iraq, Kerry said, "Right now, what I would do differently is, I mean, look, I'm not the president, and I didn't create this mess so I don't want to acknowledge a mistake that I haven't made."

            Comment


            • #7
              The US has a jobs problem. It's been developing over a very long time, there is no quick or easy fix and it's apolitical.

              Our trade deficit is the core issue. In the end, a country has to produce sellable products and services to generate real wealth. Can't get there by shining each others shoes.

              The debt is a close second. It is literally impossible to get wealthy through borrowing. Saving and investment to fund production is the only way.

              Contrary to the nirvana some see in it, in the end, unfettered free market capitalism is BRUTAL. It is like the NFL - lightning fast, hard-hitting and all about results. There are winners and losers, and we, although fat and happy, are set up to lose going forward, given our inattention to our economic foundation.

              Steyn points out Kerry's hypocrisy, but the real issue is much larger...and I'm not optimistic either party is ready to address it.

              Moe
              The Dude abides.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Moe_Szyslak@Feb 20 2004, 09:58 AM
                The US has a jobs problem. It's been developing over a very long time, there is no quick or easy fix and it's apolitical.

                Our trade deficit is the core issue. In the end, a country has to produce sellable products and services to generate real wealth. Can't get there by shining each others shoes.

                The debt is a close second. It is literally impossible to get wealthy through borrowing. Saving and investment to fund production is the only way.

                Contrary to the nirvana some see in it, in the end, unfettered free market capitalism is BRUTAL. It is like the NFL - lightning fast, hard-hitting and all about results. There are winners and losers, and we, although fat and happy, are set up to lose going forward, given our inattention to our economic foundation.

                Steyn points out Kerry's hypocrisy, but the real issue is much larger...and I'm not optimistic either party is ready to address it.

                Moe
                Good points. I think we've basically been living too good for too long. There are a lot of other people in the world that are capable of doing the same work as Americans for a lot less. Technology is making it a lot easier to find lower cost producers as well.

                We have to adapt and find things we are better at doing than other countries. When states in the north lost manufacturing jobs to the south, they didn't go in a tailspin, they found things they were better at doing and replaced the manufactuing jobs with better jobs. Consequently, there is more money in the North today than there is in the south.
                Asked what he would do differently in Iraq, Kerry said, "Right now, what I would do differently is, I mean, look, I'm not the president, and I didn't create this mess so I don't want to acknowledge a mistake that I haven't made."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Does anyone have any articles that show Heinz actually moved jobs overseas, or do they simply own factories in other countries where they manufacture products sold in those countries? How much of the Heinz products that are sold in the US are imported from other countries?

                  I don't know the answers to either of those questions - just curious if you do.

                  Also - I like this quote from the BRITISH article JD posted :
                  For example, whenever I caught Kerry on the stump in New Hampshire, he railed against American companies who, for tax purposes, "rent a post office box in Bermuda". Good for Bermuda, I say. If you couldn't rent a post office box off-shore, you can imagine what rate of business taxes there'd be in America.
                  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jh...2/17/do1702.xml

                  Since Bermuda is a territory of the United Kingdom, I'm sure this Brit is glad they are getting money from "American" corporations. I'm not sure that's a very good endorsement of how that arrangement helps the USA though.
                  2005 Mandatory Loyalty Oath: I love America, our troops, baseball, Moms, and certain pies. I want no harm to come to any of those institutions, nor do I take any glee in their demise.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Damtoft:I can imagine going to one of his rallies and hearing the "New England Patriot" prattle on about outsourcing and then have a friggin' computer call you from a call center in a foreign nation.

                    What a sanctimonious hypocrite.

                    Not to mention his wife.
                    Yeah, and that "purple hearted" hypocrite John Kerry had the gall to fight for his Country in Vietnam, when he could, just as easily, have shown his true patriotism, like George W. Bush did-- with help from Daddy-- remain safe at home performing (sporatic) weekend-warrior duty in the National Guard!

                    Teresa Heinz is going to be difficult for even snakes like you to slander:

                    Born in Mozambique, fluent in five languages, she has combined compassion and common sense to become a force for innovation and social progress as leader of one of the nation's largest private foundations. After studying in South Africa and Switzerland, she moved to the United States to work for the United Nations. In 1966, she married Senator John Heinz, with whom she had three sons. Shortly after celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in 1991, she lost her husband in a plane crash.

                    Turning down offers to run for her husband's Senate seat, she became chair of The Howard Heinz Endowment and the Heinz Family Philanthropies. Under her leadership, the Heinz foundations are widely known for developing innovative strategies to protect the environment, improve education and the lives of young children, broaden economic opportunity, and promote the arts.

                    She started advocating for women early, attending the first meeting of the Women's Political Caucus in Pennsylvania in 1972. She established the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement in 1996 to educate women about pensions, savings, and retirement security.
                    Norman Chad, syndicated columnist: “Sports radio, reflecting our sinking culture, spends entire days advising managers and coaches, berating managers and coaches, firing managers and coaches and searching the countryside for better middle relievers. If they just redirected their energy toward, say, crosswalk-signal maintenance, America would be 2 percent more livable.”

                    "The best argument against democracy," someone (Churchill?) said, "is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nick2@Feb 21 2004, 09:02 AM
                      Teresa Heinz is going to be difficult for even snakes like you to slander:

                      Born in Mozambique, fluent in five languages, she has combined compassion and common sense to become a force for innovation and social progress as leader of one of the nation's largest private foundations. After studying in South Africa and Switzerland, she moved to the United States to work for the United Nations. In 1966, she married Senator John Heinz, with whom she had three sons. Shortly after celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary in 1991, she lost her husband in a plane crash.

                      Turning down offers to run for her husband's Senate seat, she became chair of The Howard Heinz Endowment and the Heinz Family Philanthropies. Under her leadership, the Heinz foundations are widely known for developing innovative strategies to protect the environment, improve education and the lives of young children, broaden economic opportunity, and promote the arts.

                      She started advocating for women early, attending the first meeting of the Women's Political Caucus in Pennsylvania in 1972. She established the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement in 1996 to educate women about pensions, savings, and retirement security.
                      This is the most I have ever read about Teresa Heinz.

                      "Under her leadership, the Heinz foundations are widely known for developing innovative strategies to protect the environment, improve education and the lives of young children, broaden economic opportunity and promote the arts."

                      My question is: So fucking what?

                      What is amazing is that anyone could be moved by these words.

                      Let's take a poll. Raise your hand if you are in favor of the following:

                      Protecting the environment?
                      Improving eduation and the lives of young children?
                      Broaden economic opportunity?
                      Promote the arts?

                      WOW nick. It looks like we are ALL WORHTY OF HERO WORSHIP.

                      Thank you, thank you. Please bow your head a little bit lower. Thank you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by King in KC+Feb 21 2004, 09:19 AM-->
                        QUOTE(King in KC @ Feb 21 2004, 09:19 AM)

                      • #13
                        >>she became chair of The Howard Heinz Endowment and the Heinz Family Philanthropies<<

                        So she can use the wealth generated by the Heinz family to spread big government paternalism across the globe.

                        We need to encourage Teresa and John to MOVE THOSE JOBS BACK TO THE US!

                        Stop producing ketchup in those 57 FOREIGN factories.
                        And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

                        -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Damtoft@Feb 21 2004, 09:38 AM
                          >>she became chair of The Howard Heinz Endowment and the Heinz Family Philanthropies<<

                          So she can use the wealth generated by John Heinz to spread big government paternalism across the globe.
                          But that's OK, John, because she is in favor of improving the lives of young children.

                          And THAT takes a lot of courage.

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Doesn't it though?

                            Such a treat when those that know better step in to "help".
                            And, frankly, it has never occured to me that "winning" a debate is important, or that I should be hurt when someone like Airshark or kah, among others (for whom winning a pseudo debate or declaring intellectual superiority over invisible others is obviously very important) ridicule me.

                            -The Artist formerly known as King in KC

                            Comment

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