The genius of Walter Williams in digesting economic issues in the news, isolating the essential and fundimental elements, and and reasoning them into a clear position never ceases to astound me.
If we prevent US companies from "outsourcing" in order to "protect" a US job that earns the US worker, say $70k/year, how much do US consumers have to spend in higher product cost in order to preserve that job? Nothing? $50/yr per job "saved"? $1million/year per job saved? This question never gets asked in the popular media, or by protectionists like Pat Buchanon and Nadir. Williams here asks and answers this question.
He also describes a scenario that illustrates a crucial flaw with protectionist logic: rather than only consider preserving current US jobs that at risk for "out sourcing", let's consider jobs that for 100 years have always existed only outside the US. For example, the people who produce the coffee, chocolate, and spices that US consumers purchase. Why not ban those imports, and force USAers to purchase only USA-grown coffee, chocolate, and spices? Currently nobody in the US grows such food. Why? Because the costto artificially create in the US the conditions required for cultivating these foods is too high in comparassion to what nature provides for free in other nations. But with no alternative, evil US corporations could create those conditions here, and USAers who want these products would have to pay higher prices for them. Why don't Pat Buchannon and Nadir demand this? Why stop at "preserving" current US jobs. Why not also demand creating new US jobs?
And why does protectionist, anti-outsourcing Nadir oppose the US govt sugar subsidies that "protect" domestic sugar-growing and -processing jobs? Does Nadir favor "outsourcing" these jobs to poor nations where currently poor people could get extra money for growing, processing, and selling sugar?