Don’t trade Minnesota jobs

Gov. Tim Pawlenty and a group of delegates are selling Minnesota to India this week.

A trade delegation of financial and political leaders from Minnesota headed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty is in India this week exploring business opportunities for the state.

During a Wednesday conference in Bangalore, the technology center of India, the Minnesota delegates were warned that products sold to residents of the Twin Cities will not necessarily sell in India. For Minnesota to be a successful trading partner with India’s 1.1 billion people, the state needs to create products that accommodate the needs of Indians.

Yet as Minnesota companies begin to adjust production and operations to further expand trade overseas, one thing that should not be affected is the job security of the people of the state. Already, some Minnesota-based companies are outsourcing labor. Northwest Airlines, Best Buy and the state’s Department of Natural Resources send I.T. work offshore. According to Minnesota Public Radio, the Star Tribune has even sent 20 jobs related to advertisement production to India.

By the year 2015, Forester Research estimates 3.3 million U.S. jobs will be sent overseas. If these jobs are lost, unemployment will rise and jobs of substance will become scarcer. As of the second fiscal quarter in 2007, there is a 4.4 percent unemployment rate in Minnesota.

Two major outsourcing firms in India are currently partnered with Minnesota and employ nearly 1500 people. These jobs have been taken from working Minnesotans by state employers and given to Indians. While there is still significant unemployment in Minnesota, Pawlenty should not encourage outsourcing.

Many companies claim they would prefer to not send American jobs overseas, however the profit margins in other countries, such as India, are too great for them to ignore.

In 1934, Louisiana Sen. Huey Long asked, “Is that a right of life, when the young children of this country are being reared into a sphere which is more owned by 12 men than 120 million people?”

In America, the interests of the minority rich supersede those of the working majority. Minnesota, led by Pawlenty, is following suit.