Jonathan: You are right to be befuddled. I did not express myself
sufficiently clearly. Please let me try again.
The proposition I put up in order to pour scorn on it was: “that jobs in the
USA ought to be open to competitive bidding by all the people of the world.”
I was writing in the context of our immigration debate, and assumed my words
would be taken in that context.
Let me re-phrase for greater clarity. The key words are “in the USA.” At
any point in time, there are certain jobs in the USA. At some later point,
there is some other set of jobs. Some of the first set will have gone
abroad on free trade principles — like the outsourcing of service-sector
work we are reading so much about. Others will have vanished because of
technological change… and so on. The pros and cons of all that are
something we can discuss another time. Here we are discussing
Here, then, is my re-phrased proposition — my original meaning, more
clearly expressed (I hope): “that whatever jobs exist in the USA at any
point in time ought to be open to competitive bidding by all the people of
the world TO FREELY COME HERE AND DO THEM.”
In saying that American citizens collectively “own” whatever jobs exist in
this country at any point in time, I am saying that American citizens should
have a prior right to those jobs, over immigrants. Even the President
genuflected to this principle in his proposal last week (and it is enshrined
in current immigration rules).