January 29, 2004

THE MARKET AND ITS ENEMIES: Virginia Postrel has some thoughts, and a question for Charles Schumer.

She also accuses me of “coyly feeding” the outsourcing frenzy. Um, is that what I’m doing? Virginia doesn’t link to any posts, so it’s hard to be sure what she objects to in particular, but I thought I was just pointing to a phenomenon with major political ramifications, one that — at least until recently – wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. Surely Virginia isn’t suggesting that I shouldn’t do that, simply because the issue might be misused by “demagogic politicians.” If I only wrote about subjects that were not subject to such misuse, I’d have nothing but posts about techno. (And even that might not be safe.) And I don’t think that my views on the subject differ much from Dan Pink’s, whose article she praises. But if a reader as generally careful as Virginia thinks otherwise, perhaps I should repeat what I’ve said before: I don’t think that a legislative or political response to outsourcing as such is a good idea.

However, I do think that it’s likely to be a political issue, and I thought that I was doing something useful by pointing that out, and talking a bit about the ramifications. I’m a bit surprised that Virginia thinks otherwise.