According to the article, "A new study that will be presented today to the National Academies, the nation's leading advisory groups on science and technology, suggests that more and more research work at corporations will be sent to fast-growing economies with strong education systems, like China and India." The common perception will be that these jobs are leaving because of cheap labor and tax incentives. However, "the report found that multinational corporations were global shoppers for talent. The companies want to nurture close links with leading universities in emerging markets to work with professors and to hire promising graduates." The real reason then we are losing these jobs is because of education. Companies want to move to places where there is a link between their companies and leading research universities.
Marie Thursby, an author of the study and a professor at Georgia Tech's college of management, says "you have to have an environment that fosters the development of a high-quality work force and productive collaboration between corporations and universities if America wants to maintain a competitive advantage in research and development." If there was ever a clear sign that we need to get serious about education in this country, I think this is it. It is time that we stop letting Republicans say that lose jobs because of cheap labor and start to tell them we lose jobs because their policies make us uncompetitive. We need to make sure that our best and brightest can go to college, so not only can they get a quality education, but also so that companies will stay here and our graduates can get jobs.
In addition to education, a recent article in Dissent Magazine, which I cannot find to reference, brought to my attention the issue of health care in relation to economic competitiveness. The basic premise of the article was that companies do not want to pay for health care for their employees in the United States so they move their jobs to countries with universal health care. After reading this article, at a recent campaign event a person shared a related story with me.
Within the last few years, several companies have looked to move into the state of Ohio. One of these companies, I believe it was an auto manufacturer, decided against moving their operation to Ohio and instead located to Ontario, Canada. Obviously, they did not locate to Canada because of lower taxes, which is why Republicans want you to believe that we lose jobs. They moved to Canada because after a comparative analysis, and after all of the tax incentives offered to companies in the United States, it made more sense for them to go to Canada because it offered universal health care. While it helps their bottom line not to have to pay for health care, companies also like knowing that their employees will be healthy and able to get medical care if they are sick, reducing the amount of employee sick days. This makes sense to me and it is time we as Democrats start articulating these issues not only in moral terms, which also make sense to me, but also in economic terms, which appeal to people's common sense.
In short, Democrats need to stop taking the bait and talking about outsourcing in terms of tax incentives and cheap labor. We need to start talking about it in terms of health care and education. Democrats need to start going with the flow, because our companies and jobs are flowing with the marketplace of the 21st Century. Nicholas M. Donofrio, executive vice president for technology and innovation at I.B.M., said ""We go with the flow, to find the best minds we can anywhere in the world." It is time that Democrats become the party of the 21st Century and assert policies that guarantee the United States has the best minds in the world. If we are to become the 21st Century Party, as we were the party of the 20th Century, then we need to realize that the marketplace is no longer only about taxes and wages; it is also about education and quality of life. Only if we come to this realization will we once again lead this country, and to some degree the world. If we do not, then this century we will not be leaders, but followers of the marketplaces of Japan, Europe, and China.
Candidate for Congress
Ohio's 12th United States Congressional District