Out of Control Policy Blog

Friedman on himself, outsourcing

I know Thomas Friedman is self-referential, but this a bit much:

With the help of intrepid Gadflyer intern Zoe VanderWolk, I waded through every one of Friedman's columns for the last year, and found that Friedman managed to work in a reference to himself in the lead of 52 of the 97 columns he's written during that time for a self-referencing score of 53.6%, by any measure a remarkable achievement.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with a little self-referencing – now and then. But what sets Friedman apart is not only the frequency with which he appears as a character in his narratives, but the fact that so many mentions of himself come in the first sentence.

On the other hand, here he is on outsourcing, making a point that can't be made enough:

You know, there's an old law in trade theory that says that people who are harmed by free trade know exactly who they are. People who are benefited by free trade have no idea. And, so people who are harmed, know who they are, and now these are increasingly white-collar workers who vote and write op-ed pieces for the New York Times. And so they will be mobilized, they will have a political impact, and we can see that today.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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