Hey folks – I’ve been overseas for the past few weeks so I haven’t been totally on top of things on this side of the pond. Still, I can say for sure is that over there, they’re generally rooting for Obama to win the election.
Unfortunately, electioneering brings out some of the whackiest, most populist, and thus must economically-deranged policy proposals from otherwise intelligent candidates. Obama – for all his credits – shows that he’s not immune to the bug; this time taking on outsourcing –
Barack Obama on Monday made an aggressive pitch at Ohio’s blue-collar workers by proposing a “Patriot Employers” plan that would lower corporate taxes for companies that did not ship jobs overseas.
…Mr Obama’s plan would lower the corporate tax rate for companies that met criteria including maintaining their headquarters in the US, maintaining or increasing their US workforce relative to their overseas workforce, holding a neutral position in union drives among their employees and providing decent healthcare.
p> Democrat economists rightly ridicule the idea -
…”I would say that this plan is borderline unimplementable,” said a Democratic economist in Washington. “It is also puzzling. Normally presidential candidates only come up with plans that are unrealistic when they are losing. But Obama is now the favourite.”
There are a bunch of reasons lotsa Desis are gaga over Obama ranging from shared policy positions on Iraq and healthcare, to his JFK-esque charisma, and perhaps at the fringe, dare I say, a vague sort of non-white racial solidarity.
It’s worth noting, however, that in the last quarter century few things have impacted real lives back on the Desh more dramatically than the global embrace of free trade – contributing to an estimated 100M lifted from poverty in India alone. And for all the inconsistencies in execution, the US has been the driving force in this global revolution. Unfortunately, penalizing corporations and backtracking on NAFTA / WTO, while perhaps mere election rhetoric over here, create dangerous precedents in other countries that are far more sensitive to populist swings.