Where does the government get off telling a private company they should fire hardworking, qualified employees, solely because of where they're from?
That is exactly what Chuck Grassley, Republican from Iowa, did when he sent a letter last week to Microsoft , telling them they had a "moral obligation" to retain American workers and fire foreign workers first.
This is the nastiest form of pseudo-patriotism, and frightening government intervention to boot.
First, a publicly traded U.S. company has only one obligation — to its shareholders. For that reason they should retain their most-valued employees, and let go of their least-valued employees, regardless of where they are from. If I'm a Microsoft shareholder, do I want them to pay MORE for someone of LESS value? That is the implication of Representative Grassley's request. Understand this, companies serve America best, when they are at their most competitive.
If American companies start making decisions based on supposedly "patriotic" reasons, rather than for strategic reasons, investors will slowly but surely abandon them. They will become weaker, not stronger. The stronger a company is, the more employees it will have, or in this case, retain.
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Before you tell me I am cold-hearted, and don’t care about Americans, let me be clear, I am as patriotic as the next person. But the answer to keeping Americans employed is to keep them competitive. Fixing our failing education system, for one, would be a place to start, rather than telling Microsoft how to run its business.
What’s even more horrendous about this request from Grassley, is that he is a Republican. He is emblematic of a Republican party that has abandoned the very principles it supposedly stands on. Representative Grassley, do you or don't you believe in the free movement of labor, capital and goods?
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