Can I be a Zippie Too?

From a column in today's NY Times by Thomas Friedman:

"The Zippies Are Here," declared the Indian weekly magazine Outlook. Zippies are this huge cohort of Indian youth who are the first to come of age since India shifted away from socialism and dived headfirst into global trade, the information revolution and turning itself into the world's service center. Outlook calls India's zippies "Liberalization's Children," and defines one as "a young city or suburban resident, between 15 and 25 years of age, with a zip in the stride. Belongs to generation Z. Can be male or female, studying or working. Oozes attitude, ambition and aspiration. Cool, confident and creative. Seeks challenges, loves risks and shuns fears." Indian zippies carry no guilt about making money or spending it. They are, says one Indian analyst quoted by Outlook, destination driven, not destiny driven; outward, not inward, looking; upwardly mobile, not stuck-in-my-station-in-life.

Later in the column:

"The fundamental question we have to ask as a society is, what do we do about it?" notes Robert Reich, the former labor secretary and now Brandeis University professor. "For starters, we're going to have to get serious about some of the things we just gab about ? job training, life-long learning, wage insurance. And perhaps we need to welcome more unionization in the personal services area ? retail, hotel, restaurant and hospital jobs which cannot be moved overseas ? in order to stabilize their wages and health care benefits." Maybe, as a transition measure, adds Mr. Reich, companies shouldn't be allowed to deduct the full cost of outsourcing, creating a small tax that could be used to help people adjust.

First Friedman appears to recognize the benefits of trade, yet then he wants to 'take it slow' by creating a tax. Some people will look for any excuse they can find to raise taxes.

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How in the world would you

How in the world would you exclude "deducting the full costs of outsourcing," even assuming you wanted to? Suppose GE has a subsidiary in India. One of the things this sub does is (let's say) call center support, the costs of which are charged back to (let's say) the appliance group (which, in this made-up example, previously did its phone support in the US). Pretty simple..a clear case of oursourcing. But now, let's assume that GE Medical wants to use the same call center infrastructure for support of an *entirely new* medical product, which is not even manufactured in the's manufactured in (let's say) France. Is that "outsourcing?" Will those costs be party nondeductible? If so, GE is being put in a competitive position inferior to Philips, which is a non-US company.

All of this would, of course, lead itself to endless political gamesmanship.

In 1994 I was outsourced as

In 1994 I was outsourced as one of the 14 zippies touring AMERICA. I'm still broke. What gives?

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