-On a more practical note, where would you plan to draw a line with this tariff?
Simple, tariff any wages paid to offshore developers doing work for US companies. These are already documented by export compliance procedure. Make the corporations pay a 700% tax on foreign wages they pay out. Then all of a sudden US workers start to look attractive again. Prevent the companies from moving out by charging them a 700% tax on goods and services they sell to US citizens.
- If producing code cheaply outside the US is to be restricted (but please do remember that outsourcing is also done for reasons of expertise), how would you apply this tariff to work done for free?
Since no price is paid for FOSS software, it's not subject to tariff. A 700%(or whatever) tariff applied to free is still free.
- Would you *really* want to be the only economy in the world where you HAD to actually pay for using linux?
-An economy where using MS access becomes cheaper than using SQL?
Last i checked SQL server, PostGreSQL, Oracle, MySQL, Ingres and DB2 are open source or produced by US companies. If you up the cost of offshoring via tariff to match what US developers make, then the products are priced at what they are worth, and not artificially deflated. More developers are employed, leading to more money spent in economy and putting further downward pressure on foreign developer salaries.
You can pretty much apply this to all industries that have been decimated by offshoring (manufacturing, engineering, customer service, etc etc etc)
Of course we'll never need to worry about this because the people running the country are bought and paid for by corporations. Our government won't realize the shortsightedness of their policy until it's too late. On the flip side, ever try to import anything to, say, India, Asia or Europe? Vat tax for the win. I don't understand why Europeans and Asians think it's ok for them to tariff the shit out of US goods but it's not ok for the US to do the same. Oh that's right, there are no US goods because just about everything has been outsourced. I'll save you the trouble. China imports to the US duty free except LCD TVs. We tariff those 5%. China tariffs US goods at 40%. It's not hard to figure out why all the manufacturing jobs are in China. Combined with the terrible standard of living (and correspondingly terrible wages) there's no way the US can compete.
It's a simple fact that unchecked globalization eventually equalizes economies on the world stage. Standard of living in places like Europe and the US will drop to match our third world trading partners, whose SoL will rise to meet the drop. The current near-depression level unemployment in the US is the canary in the coal mine so to speak. By the time it's over, people in the US will be begging to make the salaries that people make in third world countries. Good bye cars.
Unchecked globalization, long term, for the US and other countries with a similar standard of living, is essentially putting a gun to the temple of middle class prosperity (everyone's long term) for the benefit of third world countries and big corporations (short term anyway, long term it will be a disaster). It's great for the wealthy, corporations and countries with cheap labor, for now, but it's decimating the middle class, whose jobs are rapidly evaporating. As well there's a dismal outlook for workers in these countries. The middle class consumer is what keeps everyone's economy afloat. Make them disappear, and your economy goes with it. This is largely responsible for the mortgage crisis. People's jobs get outsourced, unemployment rises, and people can no longer pay their mortgages.
You can use the tired old "well go back to school and retool your career to do something else" argument, but that takes time. In the mean time the poor bastard that got laid off is living in his car. It's hard to focus on retooling your career if you are fighting day to day to get something to eat and dodging repo men trying to take your car. That's the reality.
The US is .9% away from depression level unemployment. When it's > 10% the us companies paying your salary go out of business since all of their customers are either unemployed or can't afford their services (since they now work as security guards, walmart greeters or flipping burgers). Then everyone loses.
Globalization isn't good for everyone. The US is sinking into a depression because of it. It's time for the US to look out for the US for once.