Remember back in in 2004 when the Bush administration issued a report trumpeting the benefits of job outsourcing? And remember how Democrats correctly went apeshit? Well, let me pose a question: What's worse - issuing a report applauding job losses, or putting one of the biggest outsourcing advocates in America in a top government job?
Unfortunately, this isn't a hypothetical - it's very real. Check out this op-ed in the engineering trade journal EE Times. It's by Rochester Institute of Technology professor Ron Hira, one of the nation's leading progressive voices on the issue of jobs and trade:
On the very same day he was meeting with "CEOs [who] outsource American jobs"--a phrase he repeatedly and derisively used during his campaign, [Obama] named McKinsey's & Co.'s Diana Farrell to his National Economic Council, the inner circle of economic advisors in the White House. Farrell has done more to promote outsourcing than nearly anyone else in America.
Farrell was the lead author of the infamous "Offshoring: Is it a Win-Win Game?" Now she'll be operating at the highest levels of the Obama administration. Her phony "study" did more damage than any other in the debate over offshoring. And her propaganda was used to mislead the American public about the true impact of offshoring.
Moreover, Farrell's firm made millions of dollars consulting with companies, advising them to accelerate their offshoring. And she publicly made the rounds to convince policymakers and the public that offshoring was good for them and the country. It's also no coincidence that the IBM and Nasscom, the Indian IT outsourcing industry association, were major McKinsey clients. They benefited from McKinsey's lobbying as well as its consulting services.
As I said, Hira's a progressive, and one of the nation's most respected (and quoted) experts on the issue of job outsourcing. He's published terrific pieces on the issue in journals like the American Prospect that I highly recommend.
So considering the source - and the ample evidence he cites - I'd say this is a very problematic appointment, especially considering Farrell will be serving on a council headed by Larry Summers - not exactly a guy who has given a shit about reforming our trade/globalization laws.