Politics and Spend Management

The other day, a Spend Matters reader accused me and this blog of being a member of the vast right wing conspiracy when I criticized but then praised the United States' public broadcasting service. To this reader, I would like to suggest that what you say is partially true and partially false. Spend Matters is indeed a political front. But I wish I knew who I was politicking for. You see, while I am an unapologetic free trader at heart -- and if that qualifies me as a member of any group in my reader's eyes, I will proudly wear a label -- I am most certainly not wed to one party or another in the coming elections on this blog. In fact, I do not believe that a single candidate has stepped forward with a free-trade plank at this point. Part of the irony of the candidates, in fact, is that the extreme elements of both the Republican and Democratic parties are those most likely to be against free trade -- not to mention the Libertarian-in-name-only running as a Republican who opposes free trade as well.

As you read Spend Matters in the next eleven months as the U.S. elections approach, I will most certainly dive into politics from time to time. But my writings and analyses will focus on the political and partisan issues that directly and indirectly impact the procurement and supply chain areas -- primarily from a trade and related public policy standpoint. After all, trade and tax policies will have a huge impact on where we do business, how we structure entities and where we ultimately source from (and which markets we sell into). You simply can't separate politics from Spend Management, and I won't try to convince you otherwise. And if I make you a free trader in the process, it will be all the better for the world and the rest of the readers of this blog. Perhaps another useful political discussion we might have as well is whether China is really capitalist or mercantilist in its approach to the global markets and its own domestic economy.

Jason Busch

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