Monday, 2 March, 2009

Export manufacture, reserve service

Said Obama to Congress on 24 February, " We will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas." 

Congress applauded. Aside from some huffing and puffing that night, Indian commentators ignored the threat (promise). Afraid? Or dumb?

Because Obama didn't say anything about ending tax breaks to companies who buy foreign goods, which, in effect, ships manufacturing jobs overseas, that is, to China.  

Astoundingly, when we talked about this to a couple of people, the instant reaction was that Obama was doing what was 'good for his country'. Reservation is good for USA! Not competing for jobs with slum-dog Indians is good for USA! Since when? Since they burnt all the books by their 'free market' economics who have been untiringly taking Indians to task for not opening their economy?

OK, USA is an outlier. Rules that apply to others don't apply to it. And I don't say this cynically. I mean it. Perhaps the good of all lies in understanding and accepting this. (Bhim should get more food than his four brothers. There is nothing unfair or bad about it. He's just a very big boy.) 

However, shouldn't our free market economists take the trouble to explain this to us poor brownies, if for nothing else, then for the sake of a 'sense of fairness' (never mind if that is not the same as fairness itself)?  

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