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Chicken Soup for the Outsourced Soul

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PRINCE OF BANGALORE Friedman

Is Tom Friedman the Stuart Smalley of outsourcing? According to the Wall Street Journal [sub. req.], his most recent book, The World Is Flat, is thought of as a self-help bible by bosses looking to ship jobs to Bangalore.

In a passage buried in its recent front-page profile, the paper notes that a top Wall Street executive told Princeton economist Alan Blinder that in the book Friedman “found anecdotes about competition to U.S. workers in walks of life I didn’t know about.”

Friedman has all but admitted he doesn’t really care much about his work becoming the favorite weapon of today’s Gordon Gekkos. Quite the contrary, Friedman has seemed willing to shift his position for a paycheck or, say, a house in Aspen. Last year, he bragged to NBC’s Tim Russert that he wrote a column championing a job-killing trade pact even though “I didn’t even know what was in it.”

Then again, why should Friedman care about any of this? Especially when, as the Washingtonian reported, you live in “a palatial 11,400-square-foot house, now valued at $9.3 million, on a 7-and-a half-acre parcel just blocks from I-495 and Bethesda Country Club,” you “married into one of the 100 richest families in the country,” and life seems good enough, nice enough, and gosh darn it, people like you.

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