Among the quirky and sexy Superbowl commercials yesterday, were two ads hawking an unusual commodity — American workers.
The ads didn’t get as much attention among my chili-gorging guests as the commercial with David Beckham in his underwear; but hey, can you blame them?
But we should all sit up and take notice that the idea of bringing jobs back to the United States is going mainstream.
Here’s one by Chrysler with Clint Eastwood: (Sorry folks, the NFL forced Chrysler to pull this YouTube video. I’ll post a link the second I find it.)
And here’s another from GE:
There’s been a lot of talk lately about “insourcing” jobs, as the Obama administration puts it, but bringing back jobs to the U.S. is going to be a hell of an uphill battle. Globalization has become a mainstay for U.S. companies, with many finding it profitable to pink-slip American workers in exchange for cheap labor abroad.
Will that ever change?
Jared Bernstein, the former chief economist and economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, and a member of President Obama’s economic team, told me recently we’re at the beginning stages of what could be a return to America. “I think that there is an embryonic trend here,” he said.
But others believe we shouldn’t be fighting globalization. “Politicians can try to legislate business but they can’t, the law of economics is what rules in the end,” maintained Michel Janssen, chief research officer for The Hackett Group.
Clearly, Chrysler and GE are trying to cash in on the anger many Americans feel today because of their shrinking employment opportunities thanks to outsourcing. But even with these companies, their pro-American worker stance isn’t a total picture. Both firms have moved many of their operations abroad; and they support the rank and file just so far. The moving Chrysler commercial actually edited out union signs in a protest photo that was part of the ad.
It’s enough to get your blood boiling, but none of us are perfect, right? I’m thinking H&M’s new David Beckham underwear aren’t made on our shores and despite that the line will probably sell well here. (OK, update, just got this from H&M’s PR person Rosita Cheng: “The David Beckham Bodywear is made in China.”)