How Outsourcing Will Save The World

from the good-read dept

Brian Behlendorf has written up a great response to the Salon piece from last week talking about “white collar sweatshops”. Behlendorf argues that we should be encouraging this outsourcing, though, with policies to prevent exploitation of labor. His argument is that countries that should be encouraged to develop educated workforces – something that both China and India realized. The outsourcing of white-collar jobs to those regions helps to improve economic equality throughout the world. Furthermore, he makes the point that there are plenty of issues that go into things like software development beyond the cost of the developer (such as the person-to-person relationships needed to create software), and he finds it hard to believe that it will all be moved offshore, like other manufacturing industries. This is a good response to all of those suddenly wanting protectionist policies, instead of figuring out ways to change with the times.

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Comments on “How Outsourcing Will Save The World”

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Concerned says:


Your comments are accurate in refelecting that this exportation of the service market will have an effect on raising economies in depressed countries. But, there will be an exploitation of labor because businesses look at their bottom line. Do you actually think that businesses will pay these workers the same wages earned in the U.S.? Of course not. Not when companies can put the prophets into their bottom line and increase their stock prices. I’m still waiting for my $25 Nike shoes which are made in third world countries. Where is my savings? Think of fairness and an enforcent arm for fair wages before you spout the party line on globalization.

anonymous wimp says:

Re: Fairness

Another thing you have to consider is that in most of these countries the cost of living is significantly lower than it is in the US. The average salary in vietnam is about 20 to 40 dollars a month (vs 4000 dollars in US). The average cost of a bowl of soup is about 40 cents while in the US the same bowl of soup is 4-5 dollars. Relatively, the company is paying them the same wages.

About the 25 dollar nike shoes. the price charged is what the market will pay for the shoes. In the US, it is what people are willing to pay. In asia these shoes are not much cheaper at the retail level, but many of the stores that sell them put them on sale for 50 to 75% off. which would be about 25 dollars for your Nikes

Anonymous Coward says:


So just how much money can I make off your work before I’m “exploiting” you? 10%? 15%? 100%?

You’re obviously not a manager or biz owner.

In order to keep an employee around, that employee has to do 3x their salary – TOTAL salary, meaning every benefit I pay, tax, etc. which often pushes the salary up as much as 1/2 again – in order for me to be able to keep that employee.

So I ask again – what’s the exact amount where it turns into exploitation? Give me a number, it will ease my conscience.

TAD (user link) says:

Re: Exploitation

Exploitation is way too subjective to be able to assign it a percentage. You’re right about how much employers pay to keep employees. However,
are you suggesting that many (maybe most) businesses are not likely to exploit workers given the opportunity? Perhaps not as much in this country, though I know from first hand experience it happens (talk to most career lower and lower-middle class workers) in this country, and we’ve all seen in news stories that many companies are more than willing to pay pittances for basically slave labor in other countries where labor laws aren’t as strict as they are here in the US.

The Precision Blogger (user link) says:

Outsourcing to other countries is a half-way measu

Outsourcing to other countries is a halfway solution, fraught with serious communication problems that can ruin work or make it much more costly. These other countries will inevitably create their own fully competetive software companies and INSOURCE to their own talent.

– The precision blogger

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