Stop Hating Foreigners, Start Hating AJAX

from the automation-moves-on dept

Whenever we talk about offshoring around here it seems to generate a lot of controversy, as a group of folks show up insisting that offshoring "costs" the US jobs -- despite tons of evidence that that's not true at all. It does change the nature of jobs and may emphasize different skills, but more efficient production tends to create more new jobs. In fact, we've tried to point out in the past that offshoring is really no different than automation, though it's less efficient. So we wonder if people who are against offshoring are also against automation (or, well, any kind of productivity enhancement). Perhaps they should be. Slashdot points us to a recent article saying that more modern "web 2.0" technologies are allowing firms to cut IT staff more significantly than offshoring. Yet, don't be fooled. This is unlikely to mean fewer jobs in the long run -- but it will change the types of skills that companies are looking for. But, in the meantime, pure unadulterated luddism is a lot more socially acceptable (if equally as pointless) than the garden-variety racism that comes out of people when talking about offshoring. It's just equally as pointless.


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  1.  
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    Bob Jones, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 6:06am

    Garden variety racism? Perhaps, but you can't deny there are times when offshoring/outsourcing just means a bloody useless product/service. Most Indian call centres are subpar, quite a few Chinese products are lethal ... it effects the quality of the end product, or support, and thats not good ... no matter how muchmoney it saves the fat cats.

    I don't mind that my motherboard was made in Taiwan, if it works as expected, the outsourcing didn't effect me in the slightest ... but as an end user, my interest is a good product and outsourcing generally isn't the way to achieve that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 6:31am

    Two words... "creative destruction"... cornerstone of modern Capitalism.

    The Republic will stand.

     

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    Danny, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 6:37am

    I think what scares people...

    about automation and outsourcing changing the job market is the possibility of a sudden, unavoidable shift in career options.

    Say you go to school for a degree in the IT field and land a career in IT. You have a good career for several decades (putting you in your late 50s) and then out of nowhere automation or outsourcing take your career from you and you are laid off.

    Now yes that career you had is gone and something else may have opened up but will that new opportunity be something that you are properly trained for (can you really start school all over again in your late 50s)? Will it be something that you acutally like (even though the need to work would override this)? I am all for being flexible but I'm willing to bet that the problem many people (and the older you are the worse it is) would have is not that foreigners are taking their jobs its the fact that their careers are gone and they are afraid that they are too late in life to start from scratch.

     

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    Overcast, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 6:47am

    I tend to agree, overall.

    I bet people said cars would destroy the economy, since it put horse and buggy tradesmen out of work! What will the horse trainers do??? What will the wagon wheel repairmen do???

    I'm just guessing.... but I suspect... the Automotive industry likely employs more people than the horse and buggy industry ever did. Probably more people just giving oil changes in one city than the horse and buggy industry did worldwide, lol.

    In theory, if it wasn't for greedy bankers who seek to control everything - a global economy would be a good thing.

     

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    MATT, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 6:48am

    its rare to find competent outsource folk

    I agree, the stereotype wouldn't be there if all the indian and chinese outsource folk are at the source of horrible quality, which they frequently are. I think half of that is language barrier and another is poor training. Seems when they cut budgets for lower quality outsourcing, companies don't think to maybe spend some of the money on training to make up for it, or maybe just the outsourcing is pure and complete garbage.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 6:51am

    Maybe you'll feel different when your journalist/blogger job is off-shored.

     

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    Lewis Salem, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 6:58am

    Our challenge.

    This is why developers command the big bucks. If we write good code, we effectively "code ourselves out of a job." However, each time we have to adjust it increases our ability to adapt. Our flexibility is part of our jobs. The time we spend outside of work to learn more puts us at an advantage to our "soft-skilled" management.

    I have always worked with H1B visa workers, and they are some of the hardest working, polite people. What I don't like is all of the middle men making money off of them, and us in the Contractor industry.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 6:59am

    Re: its rare to find competent outsource folk

    I think that may be part of it. For the most part companies outsource to save money. The trick is when they outsource for in order to pay lower wages they doing it by hiring less qualified workers (for the most part mind you. There may be some foriegn workers who are trained and are up to the task.). Less qualified = lower wages.

    If those companies used some of that saved money to train that foriegn work force said foreign work force would become more valuable (i.e. deserving of higher wages) which would lead to the same "problem" that caused them to outsource in the first place. Therefore according to the coporate creed ("Profit before anything else.") it is in the best interests of the company to go with the cheapest labor possible not matter how horribly trained it is.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 7:00am

    Why stop at outsourcing

    If outsourcing is good because it lets businesses lower costs, lets bring back indentured servitude and slavery. That will help the economy even more, right, by making businesses "more cost efficient"? H1B's are a legal form of indentured servitude used by big business to get employees at substandard wages. We have all seen the YouTube clip of the attorney telling businesses how to avoid hiring Americans so that they can get their H1B slaves^h^h^h^h^h^h employees from .

    Techdirt should stop being the H1B apologist lackey of big business and support American workers whose jobs are being "reassigned" to near slave labor.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 7:27am

    Too bad you're missing the point

    Companies outsource to save *themselves* money, which they turn into higher profits - they never pass this saving along to the consumer (ie: YOU).
    Companies like MS, Sun, Amazon, etc, whine that there are no good US-based employees and that they are FORCED to outsource and get H1B visas and the like, but the evidence is to the contrary that there are more and more US-grown and educated folks willing to do the work - just that MS, Sun, Amazon, etc will not pay the proper rate.
    I'm amazed that you, Mike, continually, over and over, miss this simple and saliant point and continually toe the party line.

     

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    Outsource this, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 7:32am

    Offshoring = disposable everything

    I guess I've been one of the lucky old farts. I've have more successful career changes than I care to remember, from manual labor to information technology. But still...

    Outsourcing offshore hasn't done anything but add to the unemployment of U.S. citizens (the proof can be found by researching unemployment rates in specific fields over the past 15 years), the profit margins of corporate america, and the extremely poor quality of consumer goods. It's forced real american companies to lower quality standards just to compete (not including the multi-national conglomerates that already have low standards). If you want proof go to your local department store and look at the overpriced items on the racks that were made by people who work 18 hrs per day for a dollar. Why produce quality when quantity will offset any loss?

    Perhaps Mr. Masnick should have done a lot more research on the effects of corporate offshore oursourcing before allowing his rectal sputum to pollute the internet.

     

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    Eliot, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 8:01am

    Re: Our challenge.

    @Lewis: Agree 100%.

    I agree with a lot of others too. Generally speaking, outsourcing isn't really a problem, its just not efficient since, too often, it makes things cheaper, but doesn't actually make things better.

     

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    Marcosll, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 8:12am

    Fear

    Fear of technology making us redundant and losing our jobs? I think we're getting old guys.

    As for the inferior products, well there's a market for quality goods as there is a market for "cheap" goods. Sometimes moving part of your business to a place where labour is cheaper issn't good for your customers (like the example the guy gave with call centres in India).



    Real Estate Blog and more!

     

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    Advice.., Oct 31st, 2007 @ 8:26am

    Never Stop Leaning.

    If you keep adding to your skills, you will be in demand. I'm 46, love what I do, and dont fear I'm going to be outsourced.

    Now, if you got into tech simply because it was lucrative, and think "I'm out of school, I can stop learning now", then get out! Be honest with yourself and go be a stockbroker or something that is all about the money.

    If you rest on your laurels, they'll get smashed and not do you much good ;)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 8:27am

    Re: Advice

    uh.. Learning, not Leaning :) Hopefully that was clear from the context :)

     

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    TheDock22, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 8:41am

    Dumb Americans...

    Hey Mike, I am right with you on this one. H1B visa holders and outsourcing are not "creating" this huge gap of unemployment.

    When all the jobs WERE in the US, companies had a hard time hiring for call centers because most of these "college educated workers who needed jobs" thought they were too skilled for Tier I tech support. Companies found a way to hire enthusiastic workers and at a lower wage, so they went with it. They would not have LOOKED for alternatives in the first place if willing Americans took those jobs at the pay they offered!

    It is kind of like illegal immigrants (except not illegal). They come into our country, take jobs Americans don't want to do anyway, and then Americans complain they are stealing jobs away from citizens. If Americans were willing to pick crops all day long for minimum wage, farmers would not have to resort to this other labor.

     

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    Random User, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 8:46am

    Re: I think what scares people...

    The problem with a skill shift late in life isn't an issue with starting over as much as, it is an income issue. You spend decades building your career and developing skills to support that career and then it's gone.

    Going back to school isn't difficult and is always an option but, you're cost of living is still based off of your previous career. You're mortgage, insurance, even commute distance was planned according to the income level that you had. Now, you're looking at reducing your income by easily half maybe even more. That can be quite a hit for someone approaching their 50's. Let alone someone in their late 50's.

    Then you have the problem of getting someone to hire you after you finish school. There are a lot of companies that are not going to be willing to invest in someone approaching retirement age with a new skill set.

     

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    rebecca, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 8:49am

    outsourcing

    It's not so much the outsourcing I mind it's the double standard. I agree that it is automation and being 51 it took a good year before I gave up the notion of customer service, tech support and quality but I came to terms with it. What really irks me is since the US passed that silly online poker law it seems my bank has a real problem with me buying things from foriegn companies. In my mind it's just outsourcing my buying. I'm not big on Chinese products but Germany has some great stuff and if American companies pay the Indians and Chinese I should be free to buy from Germans. And I like ajax hope it becomes increasingly more popular.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 8:51am

    You're right, the fact that I've seen people sent over to India or China to train groups of engineers who will be doing the trainer's job and then the training engineer is laid off a few months later along with the rest of his group that are now redundant thanks to the new training the offshored engineers received never happens. It's all being made up by racists.

    The company I work for flat out stated a few years ago that while they would not actively lay off american employees (they did anyway - several times), they would only be expanding overseas. Meaning that through attrition, they would be reducing the American workforce in favor of cheaper labor elsewhere.

    I like how apologists such as yourself run around screaming "racist!". You're right, wanting fair competition and not being sold out to some guy in another country who has one fiftieth the cost of living expenses I do is totally racist. How dare I?

    Capitalism isn't about fucking over citizens in your own country. It's about competition. Fair competition. If you can't find people willing to work for the age you are offering, then offer a higher wage. It is underhanded to just say "well, fuck you guys - we're goin' to India!". After all, I as a citizen and employee in the united states can not pay Indian prices for milk or chinese prices for rent. I simply don't have that option. Yet a corporation has the entire global pool to pick from to find the cheapest employees. Yes, fair capitalism indeed, huh?

    Seriously, look at all these idiots. "They would not have LOOKED for alternatives in the first place if willing Americans took those jobs at the pay they offered!".

    Well, then why not offer minimum wage? Seriously, if Someone in Chennai, India is willing to do my job for $6/hr, why not advertise the same positions in America for $6/hr? How dare I expect a comparable American wage. It's not the employer's fault that I can't pay $50/mo for rent and that I pay $3/gal for gas. How dare I expect so much!

    In fact, why shouldn't every industry do that? Let unfair foreign competition compete with Americans in a way that completely undermines them. That's true capitalism, right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 8:57am

    By the way, I don't "hate foreigners". I hate American companies that sell out their own citizens by trying to force them to compete with a global market that they simply can not compete with. No matter how educated, intelligent and hard-working an American citizen is, they can never ever compete with someone who lives in a region where $500/mo is "wealthy".

    What that has to do with racism, I have no idea. I guess it's the easiest cry of attack from the mindless who have no true footing. Like i care what race someone is? What does that have to do with the essential salary-fixing that companies are doing by simply saying "if you won't work for sub-standard wages in america, then we'll just give it to someone else in the world who can". As soon as I have the option of choosing where in the world i want to pay my income tax and what level of expenses I want to pay, while still living in America - then we can talk.

    I don't hate foreigners. I hate the company selling me out to them. I may not be losing my job to offshoring. You might not either. But we are all suffering lower salaries and other compensation than we'd otherwise get if we didn't have that threat over our head to artificially lower our value.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 9:00am

    Re: Dumb Americans...


    If Americans were willing to pick crops all day long for minimum wage, farmers would not have to resort to this other labor.


    Except for the fact that there are Americans that don't mind working for minimum wage but the farmers hire the immegrants anyway since even a less than minimum wage job is consdiered a massive salary to them and in the case of illegals the farmers can hire them "under the table" for less than min. wage because what are they gonna do? Its not like illegal immigrants can report them to the Better Business Bureau (or whoever you would file a complaint like that with).


    I agree there are Americans out there that think they are to good for hard labor jobs but there plenty who simply cannot do hard labor jobs much less at such low. And also we have corporations that search for loopholes in labor laws in order to get cheap labor.

    There is plenty of blame to go around.

     

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    Barrenwaste, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 9:06am

    logic

    A few years ago I had a great job. I didn't make a bundle, but I made enough and loved the job and people. Then the company outsourced. It took me over a year to find a new job that payed enough to make the bills. Eighty three people lost jobs because of that and not one of them were hired into a related feild.

    Now, I'm not racist, I don't care a bit what color you are, but I can recognize what my eyes see. They see jobs leaving, decent jobs, with little or no return benefit for Americans. Automated factories need techs, engineers, mechanics, you name it. But with the computer companies outsourcing there is no such reciprocol employment. The same is true with most other outsourcing.

    As for the "crop picking" comments, I'm fairly sure they originate in large cities, because anybody who has grown up in the country has spent thier time picking rocks and produce. Most of us did it as kids for pocket change and progressed to full pay during the final years of school. I have no problem with people from out country coming in and working those same jobs when we have outgrown them, but to dismiss the claims that jobs are being taken simply because YOU dismiss the job is pure folly. For instance, my brother is a janitor. He is well contented with a job that others would dismiss as menial and underpayed. He is not mexican or indian. He is your typical W.A.S.P. and that job is putting him through college. Will he stay with the job? No, but that only opens it up for the next generation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 9:14am

    Re:

    you're right, it has nothing to do racism when you're intelligent enough to look at it that way. people can't "steal" jobs. you employer *can*, however, sell you out and there's only one place to point the finger at that point.

     

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    Get off your bums, Americans, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 9:29am

    Americans are afraid of outsourcing because it means that they might actually have to get up, learn more everyday, and actually work. You know, the American Dream: Work for some union that protects you from ever getting fired, from ever having to work or actually acquire skills. Retiring in your early 60's and living for 20 to 30 years getting your money from the government.

    So, when American encounter people who actually are willing to work.... it scares them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 9:35am

    Re: logic

    A good point. Your brother is using his janitor job as a way to move on to the bigger and better things that he wants down the road. If all those "entry" jobs are snatched up what will future generations do for their basic jobs to help pay for school, buy their first car while in high school, etc.

    In the tech world today it is getting harder and harder to find entry level jobs yet companies still expect you to have experience (which you would have picked up in said entry level job). They won't hire you unless you have experience but there is nowhere to go to get said experience. Something of a catch-22.

     

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    TheDock22, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 9:42am

    Re: Re: logic

    In the tech world today it is getting harder and harder to find entry level jobs yet companies still expect you to have experience (which you would have picked up in said entry level job).

    Or those jobs pay to little. Perfect example, I had a friend fresh out of college who applied for a bunch of entry level jobs. They paid anywhere from $20,000-28,000. He turned everyone down because "the median salary is $40,000 and that is what I deserve to be paid." Whatever, take the lower job and work your way up. You can live fine off of $28,000, especially out of college.

    Also, as far as experience goes, what about doing internships while in school? I never understood why people go to college, never work a job or take and internship, then complain no company will hire them. I worked for IT when I was in college so the jobs are out there.

     

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    JKD, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 10:41am

    RE: Outsourcing costs companies money

    I been buying books mostly from Amazon for years. With one click ordering, its so simple, I go there, search for what I want, click order with on click and Forget about it! A few days later, and for $3 to $5 in shipping charges, I've got my order in my mailbox. Its great and convenient.

    A couple months ago, I ordered a couple items that totaled $14, clicked on one click, and forgot about it as usual. Later I get an email from Amazon showing $14 and $37 for shipping !! So I called them, or tried to call them. You can't call them, you have to enter your number first, then their call center (India) will call you back. I have no problem with the Indians, they are actually very polite, usually anyway and calm people who are probably very well suited for this type of job however, they had NO authority to help me with this problem. All they could say was I am sorry for the inconvenience. I had to threaten to contest charges on my credit card before they finally agreed to escalate me to a higher level of tech support which was by EMAIL ! The email came days later and gave me a credit of $15 on my next order, which I promptly placed and from then on I have been going to the local Borders Book store and making my purchases. Amazon LOST ME AS A CUSTOMER over this.

    When I call an American Company, when I need help or have a problem, I expect to get the company in Seattle, NOT India or somewhere else. And I also want to talk to someone who can actually HELP ME.

    Sorry Amazon, you loose. And this is the way everyone else should treat these instances. If everyone voted with their wallets, these problems would disappear.

    Put your money where your mouth is people!

     

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    Barrenwaste, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 11:11am

    RE: TheDock22

    I agree, some kids coming out of college balk at entry level pay, but then, after four or more years of schooling they generally ARE overtrained for the only job's they qualify for. Most entry level jobs are basic training positions. Do you blame them for balking when they have already had the training?

    The entry level position is great for a person with no formal higher education but who has proven a valuable and intelligent resource for the company. They need the training and conditioning the position offers. College graduates, for the most part, do not. To force them into these positions regardless of thier foresight, dedication, and proven training is not only insulting, but unfair. And before people start saying, "Just what I expect from a young college grad.", I have to state that I am a middle aged business man who only had two semesters in college and those not in business.

    I also agree about internships. They are a valuable resource that is often overlooked by college students. It's a shame, but it happens. Then again, internships often don't pay squat and those same students have to support themselves with other full time jobs.

     

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    Max Powers at http://ConsumerFight.com, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 11:17am

    Companies owe employee's nothing

    Why does a company owe you a lifetime of employment? Unless you have a contract, you can be let go and you can depart your employer for any reason.

    People that complain about their employers or go on strike because they are dissatisfied should go find another job or career.

    I don't buy the statement that Americans hate Foreigners. They just hate being transferred to a CS rep. in a Foreign country that has an accent that is hard to understand.

    And yes, I agree the average CS rep has no authority to do anything but read a prepared speech for any possible question that might be asked.

     

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    TheDock22, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 11:24am

    Re: RE: TheDock22

    Do you blame them for balking when they have already had the training?

    Yes. In order to make it in the business you sometimes need to take a job just to prove you have the experience, working for a business.

    To force them into these positions regardless of thier foresight, dedication, and proven training is not only insulting, but unfair.

    You can learn something valuable at any job you take. They might not learn anything new about CS or IT, but they will learn how a business hierarchy runs and about software they might not have learned while in school. To not take a job because "you have already had that training" is not a good reason to complain there are no jobs.

     

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    Barrenwaste, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 11:37am

    RE: The Dock22

    "Yes. In order to make it in the business you sometimes need to take a job just to prove you have the experience, working for a business."

    Ninety-nine percent of college grads have worked for a business, that isn't the issue. Whether you worked the family business or worked for McDonalds, most every graduate has held a job. The people who set the requirements and do the hiring know this. Prove they are responsible and reliable? I'm pretty sure that four plus years of studying proves that.

    "You can learn something valuable at any job you take. They might not learn anything new about CS or IT, but they will learn how a business hierarchy runs and about software they might not have learned while in school. To not take a job because "you have already had that training" is not a good reason to complain there are no jobs."

    True, you can learn something valuable at any job. Why should they have to be underpaid while they recieve this final bit of education? They worked hard to get thier degrees, to prove thier knowledge and ability. I thought that was what we prided ourselves on. Hiring and firing based on knowledge and ability over nepotisim. Youth and lack of time in company is not a good reason to underpay a person.

     

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    Matini Marflar, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 12:03pm

    How to kill American technical IQ

    Don't be stupid, bottom line is fewer and fewer Americans are going into IT field. There can only be two reasons: 1) other fields are more attractive or 2) IT field is less attractive. The government is even having problems finding citizens to work security jobs.
    I find H1B a bigger threat than offshoring. I used to cut lawns to make money when I was young, it has been years since I have seen a teenager cut a lawn. Also, I love automation, what do you think a programmer does?

     

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    SmileysMom, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 12:18pm

    Re: I think what scares people...

    You are absolutely correct!
    I think a contributing factor is also that if you go out and obtain the training/education for a new career/job, the employers out there who are hiring look at age as a hinderance to being physically capable day-in day-out over the life of the job (until it too can be outsourced/automated)...they don't want to hire someone who is older and may have health issues that someone younger may not have.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Companies owe employee's nothing


    Why does a company owe you a lifetime of employment? Unless you have a contract, you can be let go and you can depart your employer for any reason.


    The expectation of loyalty is a two-way street. One thing I don't like about corporations is that they expect you to give your mind, body, and soul to them and will not show that same loyalty back and the vice versa. These days it is popular to outsource to India but if those corporations decide that India becomes to costly they will not hesitate to lay them all off and set up shop elsewhere. And that is part of the reason why people are skepital to trust companies.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 12:28pm

    Re: RE: Outsourcing costs companies money

    And that is why I always check online and offline sources. If what I'm saving on buying the item online is going into shipping or savings is not that much then I just go buy it at a brick and mortar shop.

     

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    Random User, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: I think what scares people...

    That is especially true for smaller organizations. In a small organization one individual with a major health issue can make their group health rates skyrocket. In addition to that, there is the possibility that the individual may have to take extended leaves of absence because of their health.

     

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    Brad, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 3:34pm

    Re:

    I think what you're forgetting is that:

    1) Most Louisiana / Kentucky call centers are subpar - and their English tends to be worse and their accents thicker. Also, they cost more and work fewer hours. Yay, unions!

    2) Quite a few American products are lethal, or at least dangerous, I'd say percentage wise right up there with overseas goods.

    What affects the quality of the end product isn't where the good is produced, but the core values of management. There are lots of decisions made that lead a company to produce produces crappy products or mediocre services, and usually it's not the employees at the bottom making those decisions.

    Do you remember when you could only call tech support until 5pm Eastern, and it cost you to talk to them? I do. It sucked.

    And even though your motherboard was assembled in Taiwan, I'll bet dollars to yuan that it was built from parts almost entirely from China.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    Lord, Oct 31st, 2007 @ 4:13pm

    The effects are quite different

    Technology automation eliminates jobs but creates better ones. Offshoring is simple labor arbitrage and the only better jobs (relative to those around them) it creates are offshore. Eventually it will create some better jobs here, but those will be in finance and management, not in technology.

     

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  39.  
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    chris (profile), Nov 1st, 2007 @ 8:56am

    you can't outsource productivity

    you can send all the tech support, customer service, and manufacturing off shore if you want, but paying people sweatshop wages results in sweatshop productivity... meaning high turn over, constant re-training, and an over-all decline in quality and productivity.

    also, from an economic perspective, the less you export and the more you import, the weaker your currency gets. that means that the 12 ruples a day that you pay those indian dudes will cost more and more dollars, and it keeps getting more and more expensive to ship your materials to china and to ship the finished products back. also, as the standard of living in india and china improves, it will get harder and harder to find people who will work for 12 ruples a day. then you have to decide if you want to pay more to india or move the operation to someplace with a lower standard of living.

    you think quality is bad now, wait until operations get moved to an unstable region like africa or the middle east to save even more money.

    give it time, the greenback will become nearly worthless in a few years thanks to off-shoring, outsourcing, and increasing energy prices. eventually, every country in the world will outsource it's labor and manufacturing to the US because we will have the cheapest currency in the world.

     

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  40.  
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    Mick McAllister, Nov 4th, 2007 @ 5:27am

    Re: Offshare racism

    I was with him till he wrote anti-offshore sentiment off to racism. I have had not only tech calls, but service calls on my credit cards where the person on the other end marginally understood English and was barely trained to get beyond the box. Yesterday I asked a CC "tech" was a "Returned Check Fee" was (because I hadn't bounced a check) and she had to "ask her supervisor." Duh.

    Offshoring communications is callous and cynical, and the impulse is driven by our cultural contempt for language. The earnest technicians in Pakistan have no more business explaining the intention of installation instructions written in Janglish than I do trying to interpret Renaissance French poetry for a guy in Paris.

     

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  41.  
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    peter, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 12:20am

    Offshoring vs. Robots

    The other point I'd like to make is that machines don't mind when they have to work for low wages and no bathroom breaks. But, whatever guys. Just keep "flattening" the world (hurray cheap foreign labor).

     

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  42.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 5:17am

    Re:

    Well, I have seen US employees embark on 1 month stints to India to train the ppl that will be doing their jobs. The ppl in those positions were not fond of the idea but did it becuase it was work until thye could start a new job. BTW, these were technical jobs that were not Tier 1 as some ppl here claim.

    So to say its not a problem because you havent seen it just shows how in tune you are with the subject.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2007 @ 5:20am

    Re: RE: TheDock22

    college does not equal job training.

     

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  44.  
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    Jon, Nov 8th, 2007 @ 6:50pm

    Facts-lite Proof

    Why is the "tons of evidence" link just a similar rant about how misunderstood outsourcing is, possibly by the same author? Evidence is supposed to be facts, not idealogical conclusions. And from what facts I know I think you're wearing the world's thickest pair or rosed colored glasses.



    But instead of economics, I would rather discus values. The thing is, your conclusions are fine if someone happens to have the same values and world view as you. But you know what? Most people do not share your values and never will.



    Perhaps you like the idea of workers robotically bouncing around between careers every time their pay masters decide they would like to turn payrolls into profit. But most people like their lives to be more stable. And that is something outsourcing of high paying jobs and automation and entirely unregulated markets simply cannot give jobs leave or disappear, markets crash and people suffer. And the less they have the more the brunt of the shock they take.



    With little or no historical evedence, people like you constantly claim that everything will eventually even out and everyone's fortune will rise in the end. The reality is that most people don't like the trade offs they are told they have to make, and are tired of waiting for the rewards that never come. Americans are not happy with the way the country is going, and our economic situation is a large part of that unease.

     

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  45.  
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    Jon, Nov 9th, 2007 @ 7:15am

    Re:

    Insulting Americans by calling them lazy and stupid is no way to win them over to your idealogical point of view.

    So what, is working harder for less money supposed to be some kind of virtue?

    I think the world has heard quite enough from the well-to-do white suburban libertarians with a Calvinistic bent. People do not want the world view you offer.

     

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  46.  
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    autumn, Nov 9th, 2007 @ 7:15am

    Re: you can't outsource productivity

    You are spot on. Look at our dollar today compared to the Euro and the Canadian dollar. US$1 = .939 in Canada and .682 in Euros. I'm glad I saved a bunch of Canadian money because the last time I exchanged it, I got $1.36 in Canadian money for $1.00 US. Also, I used to travel to Europe almost every year and now I can't afford to.

     

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  47.  
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    Paul Hughes, Nov 10th, 2007 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Flaw in logic

    I like the anaolgy, but your assumptions are incorrect and the conclusion inaccurate.

    There are more people than in the early 1900's, so not applicable to use numerical superiority.

    I'm still working the numbers, but the concept of a shift works well with your analogy... it has 'legs'.

     

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  48.  
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    Michael Brant, Nov 11th, 2007 @ 12:04am

    Re: I think what scares people...

    In the interests of full disclosure, I'm in my early 50s, and I've been working full-time since I was 17 (I graduated early).

    I don't completely agree with you. The problem with outsourcing is that it is completely out of the worker's control. It doesn't matter if you do a stellar job, if you save the company tons of money, or make the company tons of money. It doesn't matter how ethical you are, how honest you are, how much you train, how much you know, or even who you know. It doesn't matter how much effort you put in, how much you scarificed. It doesn't matter, in point of fact, if your labor is cheaper than someone overseas. It doesn't matter.

    Every 7-10 years, there is a cycle of outsourcing, and your job will go away, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. It's the corporate equivalent of a fad, and I've seen it happen again and again and again.

    It just happened to me recently, immediately after getting a big raise and promotion and an award, I was outsourced. I went to another company, got a nice raise and was in line for promotion, and was outsourced again -- over the course of four years I've been nailed twice.

    Train up? Been there: this is my seventh career. I've spent nearly my entire life either working two jobs to make ends meet or working fulltime and going to night school.

    What to do? Well, I think workers ought to be able to sue employers for the economic damages they suffer as a result of outsourcing.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2007 @ 11:50am

    Re: Dumb Americans...

    So true, So true

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2007 @ 11:56am

    maybe when people asked you in grade school "what do you want to be when you grow up?" everyone should've responded "keep on growing up and keep on learning" instead of wanting to be in some job that is now outsourced.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 12th, 2007 @ 5:00pm

    Programming is an art.....

    Programming is not the same as building a car or making something in a factory. It is closer to designing the car and the car making process. It is design and manufacturing in the same step and often requires a bit of creativity. I've seen some of the code that has come from offshore companies and, when it actually works, it's often done with the crowbar method - hard coded dates and paths that ought not be, but it was quicker and got the job done in the time alloted to the programmer. I've also seen code that appears to have been done by several people - inconsistant and sloppy. I don't beleive that some countries are filled with creative people with the ability to program - what I see is that these people learned how to program by rote, not unlike what one is taught in one of those M$ certification courses. We will see the result of this just as we have seen the result of cheaply made products in China. I hope no one has to die before someone pays attention.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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