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Quotational Therapy: Part 78 -- Mark Sanford.
Creating textiles in a factory does not require much education or expertise. Textiles can be packed away and shipped safely and rapidly to nearly anywhere in the world, from nearly anywhere in the world. Thus, why would a textile company pay someone in South Carolina many times what someone in Taiwan would make?
Mark Sanford is the Governor of South Carolina, a textile state disproportionately hard-hit (in the short run) by globalization. He is also a libertarian-style Republican, a 1994 GOP Congressional takeover revolutionary (who practiced what he preached on term limits), and a fan of the free market.
It's good to see Mark Sanford not taking the easy way out on globalization, pointing at the foreign bogeyman for stealing all those factory jobs away from America.
But he still has to deal with the topic in a way that shows he is in tune with the concerns of the folks in his state. In his recent State of the State Address, Mark Sanford tackled the issue of globalization head on, not evading his principles, but proudly sticking to them:
The State of our State is that we are a state in transition. Thomas Friedman wrote the book, The World is Flat, and his premise is that the world has changed in ways unimaginable to my father, and even to me or you, over the last few years. In this new found “flat world,” for the first time in world history a kid in Hampton County is directly competing with a kid in Shanghai, New Delhi or Dublin.
The answer to his own question:
We have been hit hard as textile jobs have moved to China, India and other places around the world. We have been hit hard by Thomas Friedman’s flat world. The good news is that Commerce is now replacing those jobs at record numbers, and at a pay rate 30% above many of the old jobs....
Republicans running in manufacturing states should follow Mark Sanford's lead on this issue. If we live in a rapidly changing world (and we do), then it only makes sense to have an economy ready to change at an according level of rapidity. Government is notoriously bulky and lethargic and slow. Retreating behind the curtain of government nurturing (isolationism, protectionism) may seem nice for a little while, but that can't last forever.
Previous Quotational Therapy Session:
Posted by Will Franklin · 3 March 2006 01:41 PM
I am a resident of SC and think that Sanford is an excellent governor. He is forward thinking, so much so that he often times out paces the legislature that is controlled by Republicans in SC. During the last economic downturn, he got the State of SC out doing a lot things that are now managed by contractors and private agencies. He pushed hard for educational vouchers, barely lost when some in his own party went against him on that issue. The textile jobs are a big issue with some in this state. It was tough to lose them, but it was inevitable in this world economy.
Posted by: Eneils Bailey at March 3, 2006 02:52 PM
Mark Sanford was also brave enough to be in the recent John Stossel report "Stupid in America."
Here's the transcript:
He does seem like a good guy.
Posted by: Henry Cate at March 3, 2006 03:39 PM
Thanks, Henry, I read the 20/20 story. Missed it when it aired on ABC.
Posted by: Eneils Bailey at March 4, 2006 07:20 AM