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Bringing the Jobs Home: How the Left Created the Outsourcing Crisis--and How We CanFix It Hardcover – September 2, 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Todd G. Buchholz is an internationally known financial commentator. He has served as a director for economic policy at the White House, advised investment firms such as the Soros Fund and Goldman Sachs, and managed a world-famous investment fund. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and many other publications. His books include New Ideas from Dead Economics.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Sentinel HC; First Edition edition (September 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159523005X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595230058
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,941,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Sigler on January 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
When I picked up this book I thought it would offer me two things. I thought it would be about outsourcing and it would provide solutions to the problems. Sadly, Buchholz's book did neither. Instead, it provided many critiques from an American capitalist's point of view about society. In that regard it did a satisfactory job, although there are many popular books that did a far better job of doing it (Sowell's Basic Economics and even Stossel's Give me a Break).

The first 20 pages of the book offered hope that it'd stay on the topic of outsourcing; however even they were disappointing. There were few facts supporting free trade or details about why outsourcing can help an economy. After the first chapter Buchholz quickly veers off outsourcing and into taxes, education, tort reform and many other faults within our society. In doing this though he rarely talks about how they relate to outsourcing. This book is especially lacking in any quantitative analysis. Many of these facts are seen as given and therefore don't require support. Finally, his last chapter on our cultural exports seemed to be a socially conservative polemic that was out of place in an otherwise economically focused book. If you are looking for a book about outsourcing or an above introductory look at economic problems in the United States, I'd look elsewhere. Buchholz's book is strictly for those who haven't read alot about modern American politics and are looking for a partisan introduction to them.

The main positive about this book is it's an easy and quick read. At 179 pages you won't waste too much time on it. The author does a very good job at making the book flow. He adds many pop culture references, although they seem forced at times. Because of the very fluid writing style and his obvious intelligence, I might give his other books a chance. But hopefully they'll be a little better content wise than this one.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outsourcing is a hugely controversial (and inconveniently complex) issue these days, but with the aid of Buchholz's book you'll acquire sea legs enough to be able to hold your own in most non-specialized discussions on the subject.

Is outsourcing good or bad for America? It's quite obviously bad for America in the short run, but will it make us more efficient in the long run, as Schumpeter's theories of "creative destruction" suggest? It's nice to have a discussion of these matters by an accomplished and articulate economist.

Buchholz lays out the reasons he believes the outsourcing blight has hit us, and, honestly, it's hard to disagree with him. The major culprits? Our educational system does not produce competitive workers, our immigration laws "chase away talent," our tax laws encourage outsourcing, etc.

I do disagree with him on one point: I, like virtually everybody else, think our educational system sucks, but I don't see that as being a chief cause of outsourcing, so I wonder how clearly Buchholz has thought through the matter.

I mean, the reason all those companies are hiring subcontinentals to do their computer programming for them is simply because it's cheaper. The U.S. education system could be ten times better than it is, and this would still be happening. 100% of our high-school and college graduates could be masters of math, history, physics, programming, etc., and companies would still be hiring offshore workers because all they need is employees who can program C++ cheaper and broadband internet has now made it feasible to go halfway across the world to get them.

Not that overhauling the education system wouldn't be a step in the right direction: it definitely makes our workers less competitive.
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Format: Hardcover
Todd Buchholz argues that the reason jobs are going overseas has a lot more to do with systemic aspects of the American educational, regulatory, legal, and tax systems than with evil CEOs. I think he is right that CEOs are simply responding to competitive pressures and the business environment in which they have to compete. Right now, that means moving certain classes of jobs to other markets. I don't mean to say that there aren't incompetent CEOs or businesspeople that are simply bad people. What I am saying is that for the most part the people running businesses do not have the power to do as they wish. They have to respond to the business environment in which they find themselves. Just like a frog, turtle, bird, or trilobite they adapt or die.

Job dislocations always cause anxiety. When the railroads came they created a great many jobs, but when railroads gave way to cars, trucks, and airplanes, most of those jobs ceased to exist. There was a great deal of pressure on legislators to protect those jobs, and to the extent they did, they actually hurt the American economy. I don't mind help in transitioning workers, I just think it is counterproductive to try and hold on to the past. We used to have a tremendous industry in breeding and selling horses. Where is that today? This kind of dislocation is inevitable and actually healthy.

What is not healthy is not preparing folks with a competitive education. As Mr. Buchholz points out, feeling good about yourself when you are uncompetitive in mathematics is not helpful. Nor is having a legal and tax system that raises costs of workers and raises prices to consumers simply to make lawyers rich and provide jobs to bureaucrats who could be more productively employed in the private sector.
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