Like many Americans, I’m disgusted and embarrassed that my country sends people to other nations to be tortured under so-called “extraordinary rendition” programs. And that the CIA operates secret prisons around the world. Here are but two more sorry examples of needless outsourcing of American jobs. Consider that every American elementary and high school has at least one stand-out bully. Most schools have several of these proto-sadists – often one or more in each class. The number of students enrolled in elementary and high school topped 49.5 million in 2003, the most recent date for which there are census numbers. By even conservative calculations of, say, one super bully per 1,000 students, that’s 49,500 Americans who, when they graduate or are expelled, are seeing their best potential careers go overseas. It is outrageous that the U.S. government outsources torture to foreign bullies (even if they are from countries that are “friends” of America), when these jobs could be performed by Americans, in America, and for about the same wages. Google your high school or elementary class’ worst tormentor and chances are you’ll discover him (or her) wasting his talents leading a prison gang or toiling as an airport luggage handler. Why let them pummel fellow inmates at taxpayers’ expense, or manhandle suitcases for seven bucks an hour, when they could be waterboarding or electrifying the privates of suspected terrorists for the same money? And, as studies show, people work best when they enjoy what they’re doing. What’s more, if we’re operating prisons that are, strictly speaking, secret, why do they have to be overseas? Anyone who’s ever rented a villa in Tuscany can tell you what that’ll do to your wallet (note to CIA accountants: keep an eye on those sneaky service charges you discover on your credit card bill only after you’re back home). Indeed, if a secret prison is so secret, why bother having it overseas? You can neither confirm nor deny its existence as easily if its undisclosed location is Baltimore or Bucharest. And as the American real estate bubble deflates, hellhole properties with thick walls and few neighbors can be had for a song in cities and hamlets from coast to coast. Rather than wasting American dollars on abducting and secretly flying (on fancy civilian jets, no less) hundreds of suspected terrorists (and people whose names sound like they could be terrorists) thousands of miles to be tormented by foreign sadists, on property whose landlords are non-Americans, let’s keep these jobs at home. It’s not enough just to buy American. Let’s bully American.
Copyright 2007 The Politico.