Out of Control Policy Blog

John Stossel unloads on myths, lies, and nasty behavior

Check out the program tonight at 10pm on ABC or at least read his commentary.

One of the topics he addresses is outsourcing, and if you watch Lou Dobbs or listen to protectionist politicos you hear a lot of anecdotes like this:

    We asked the AFL-CIO labor federation for some of their best examples of outsourcing and the first people they referred us to were Shirley and Ronnie Barnard. They both lost their jobs when a Levi's plant in Powell, Tenn., closed down two years ago and moved production to Mexico.

That's as far as most reporters or candidates go, but if you follow the process a bit longer there's often a happy ending:

    While it's true that they had to dig into savings and still worry about their long-term security, last year Shirley Barnard eventually found a new job as a secretary. The new position pays more than her old job at Levi's, and the Levi's work was harder – hot, noisy and physically difficult. She says that her new job is much easier.

    Her husband and some other former co-workers are still looking for work, but she told us some of her former Levi's colleagues are now working in better jobs than they had before. "Some of them have got, really got excellent jobs that they would never have even left Levi's for if the plant hadn't closed," she said.

    And what happened to that Levi's plant? It's now being converted to a college. There will be new jobs for faculty and administrative staff, and right now there are construction jobs for workers building the new campus. This won't be talked about on the evening news, but these jobs are a product of outsourcing too.

For more outsourcing posts, go here.

Ted Balaker is Producer


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