from the calm-down,-people dept
It appears that the overseas outsourcing backlash is in full swing. Following on a similar article from last month, is a Salon.com story about tech workers worried about overseas outsourcing. The big difference from previous scares about migrating labor patterns is that, this time, it might impact higher level employees. The outsourcing is happening with skilled workers now. I think it's fair to be worried about how it might impact your own job and to prepare yourself for the eventuality - but the people actively protesting overseas outsourcing, and pushing for laws to stop it are taking too simplistic a view. If you could actually block American companies from using overseas workers, then you would be making the American firms less competitive overall, and foreign firms would come in and take away their market - meaning you'd be out of a job anyway (as would everyone else at your company instead of just those whose jobs were outsourced). The real issue isn't that "outsourcing" is bad, but that many companies pitching the outsourcing revolution are hiding some of the costs of having overseas workers. It clearly makes sense for some jobs, but many companies are discovering that it actually slows their product cycles down (communicating with an office halfway around the world takes time). There are economic arguments for and against outsourcing highly skilled labor. Those are the basis on which an argument should be made - and not the fact that some programmers lost their jobs and can't figure out ways to make themselves relevant to the labor market again. As the article suggests, this problem is likely to become less of an issue as the economy improves.