The Presidential Candidates on Globalization and Technology

On InformationWeek’s Outsourcing Weblog, there are two interesting posts that have sparked some lively debate on where the presidential candidates stand on globalization and how the United States manages the outsourcing of technology jobs.

The posts include links to the candidates’ web sites, and the comments on these posts are quite lively and run the gamut from enthusiastic support of candidates to vehement opposition.

I won’t be using this blog to support a US presidential candidate. However the presidential candidates are responding to the demands of the flat world on several fronts:

  • How do we balance the "talent crisis" that we keep hearing about with the desire Americans have to protect their own jobs from outsiders and from other countries? 
  • Most candidates support increasing the cap on H1B visas, which would allow more international workers to enter the US. Is this pro-globalization, or pro-corporate interests to the detriment of the technology worker?
  • How much can Americans’ concerns over outsourcing be addressed by better education? Will increased math and science education, public school reform, and other measures make the US more globally competitive? And can these measures make a difference soon enough?

There are many comments, blogs, and videos on the web covering these issues. Several good links are in these InformationWeek blog posts and the comments, representing much of the political spectrum. I hope these questions continue to get the attention they deserve as the US presidential race narrows, and the candidates bring their platforms into sharper focus.

As for my personal opinion, I am in the "fair" not "free" trade camp. If there is a level playing field, then North American workers are every bit as competitive, productive and capable–if not more so–than any other workforce on the planet. If trade agreements and globalization are progressively based on common labor standards, mutually open markets and fair competition, then Americans will thrive.

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