Indiana, India, and globalization

In The World is Flat, Thomas L. Friedman discusses how in our flattening, globalized world, determining just who is getting exploited isn’t always that simple.

Consider this. The state of Indiana contracted with an outsourcing firm in India to create a better, more streamlined unemployment claims processing system for them. The firm in India bid $8.1 million less than anyone else. Of course, when the politicos learned about this, they huffed and puffed and blew the deal down, replacing it with a much more expensive and probably worse system.

Friedman asks, ok, who is the exploiter? Indiana for trying to use cheaper (but still highly qualified labor) or India for trying to grab work from the US? Did Indiana exploit their own citizens by deliberately paying too much for something? And who will the traditional Left support here, Indiana labor or the India Third World workers?

He sees a shift in alliances coming. Republican protectionists might align with US unions and anti-globalization activists against Democratic social liberals and the free trade business wing of the Republican Party. He calls this the Wall Party vs.the Web Party. It could happen.