Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Kyoto's effect on outsourcing

Something to think about when you consider the Kyoto Protocol, scheduled to go into effect today for all 35 developed nations who ratified it (including most of Europe, some of the Far East, Canada, and Russia, but not including Australia and the U.S.): those two up-and-coming economic powerhouses China and India have, every chance they've gotten, told the world that there's no way they'd ratify something like the Kyoto Protocol, and it's easy to see why. They realize that agreeing to such an intrusion on their sovereignty would significantly harm their industrial development and economic growth (read: slow the increase of their citizen's standards of living) just at the time when they most need to be firing on all cylinders to power down the on-ramp to the 21st century global economy highway. What's that likely to mean once the countries who have ratified the Kyoto Protocol start cracking down on businesses that aren't keeping up their end (of an "agreement" they never agreed to)? Those companies will just outsource those parts of their business that have the highest emissions to countries that haven't ratified Kyoto. The same would have been true of American businesses if we had ratified Kyoto - thankfully it won't be. It might not be too extreme a view to actually anticipate some "insourcing" to the U.S. from those countries who have shackled themselves with the protocol.

Now, consider what groups of people you typically find crying foul over any kind of offshore outsourcing, and those you typically find extolling the many virtues of extra-national accords like Kyoto. In most cases, they're the same people - those who just can't shake the wrong-headed idea that more government control over business is a good thing.

Hat tip: Neal Boortz.

Update: Bruce Bethke, the Original Cyberpunk, agrees.


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