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Aren’t these functions of a kind of greed? And doesn’t a special kind of greed—the greed for power and position and approval—motivate those who write and sign laws that create these programs? Isn’t it this same greed for power and approval that keeps politicians promising more programs, more spending, more services? Programs like “free” health care to ease the burdens on the middle class (and increase government dependency), “free” prescriptions to make life easier (and cheaper) for senior citizens, “free” college education, the list goes on.
But back to our conscience-in-chief. Outsourcing is another bogeyman of Obama’s crusade against “the breathtaking greed of a few.” He bemoans how “even higher-skilled jobs…can be outsourced to countries like China or India,” and how “if you’re somebody whose job can be done cheaper by a computer or someone in another country, you don’t have a lot of leverage with your employer when it comes to asking for better wages or better benefits, especially since fewer Americans today are part of a union.”
There it is again: some faceless, greedy employer outsourcing work to pocket more for himself.
In fact, outsourcing is what companies do when the cost of doing something off-site is cheaper and/or more efficient than the cost of doing it in-house. It’s no different than what those of us who live on Main Street do when we send out our dry-cleaning, go to the drive-through for dinner, take our cars to the car wash or hire an exterminator. The vast majority of us are capable of cleaning our own laundry, making our own meals, washing our cars and killing pests. But it’s either cheaper or easier (or both) to pay someone else to do it.
Does that make us greedy or smart? If it’s the latter, why is it wrong for an employer to make the same decision based on the same calculus?
In short, Wall Street and bankers and employers and management and CEOs and “They” don’t have a monopoly on greed. Virtually everyone wants more. Virtually no one would rather save for a house, sacrifice for an education, settle for a clunker or defer to tomorrow what we want today. Virtually everyone would rather get something for nothing—or at least pay less for that something. Virtually no one is ever satisfied. That’s human nature.
Given that President Obama believes government can do and solve everything, it’s no surprise that he believes government can fix this problem of the human condition. But the reality is that it’s not a president’s place or job to determine whose greed is OK and whose is unacceptable.
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