PROFILES IN COURAGE....

PROFILES IN COURAGE. This is pretty disappointing stuff. A Senate bill, cosponsored by a variety of leading Democrats, to force call centers to identify their country of origin at the beginning of the call. Exactly why the United States Senate has to force the dude handling your tech support to mention that he's in New Delhi isn't really explained, but I assume it's just such a nice merging of protectionism and Clintonian incrementalism that opportunistic senators simply couldn't resist.

In the end, though, a bill like this doesn't penalize outsourcing, it doesn't help the unexpectedly unemployed, and it doesn't do anything about globalization -- it just whips up some resentment again foreigners. If Democrats want to seriously address the downsides of free trade, they should (it'd be damn well about time). Instead, they want to look like they're addressing the downsides of free trade, while not actually making any of the hard decisions or substantive trade offs a coherent policy response would require.

--Ezra Klein

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