Outsource or Else!

 


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Outsourcing and its corresponding job losses in the US continue to create endless arguments, as expected.

All of a sudden the fact that some jobs – quite a few really – continue to be exported is becoming a political issue. All of a sudden also, a number of “experts” make the case for or against job losses but always blaming one or the other political faction in the country for what they consider the most alarming job drain in history since Augustus allowed those specialist of his who could read crow innards, to accept jobs in the provinces of the Empire.

“What is the story, Professor? I went to have some changes made in my web page and I found that the company’s computer services are now operating from a place called Bilaspur in Madhya Pradesh, which for all I know could be in West Texas or north of London”

“Not quite, it is about 400 miles west of Calcutta and, while not famous otherwise, it has an excellent University and a first rate hospital. I am not surprised that they got into the technical support racket for third parties, like many companies in India. But do not be alarmed. Put the shoe on the other foot. Just imagine for a minute that all those foreign companies operating in the United States, that employ hundreds of thousands of Americans, are accused by the public in their countries of exporting their jobs, ruining entire families, destroying the tenuous fiber of their economies, attempting against their homeland and in general denying employment to millions of their citizens. Sound familiar? Do they blame their local Bill Clinton for all that?”

“Yes, but. Some people make it sound like in a few years there won’t be any more white collar jobs in the country and our citizens will be forced to emigrate to Mexico to tend gardens, build those cozy adobe homes and distill desert cactus, or is it cacti?” “Listen, figures always talk. The latest official data shows that around 200,000 jobs that were performed here by local employees, have gone abroad in the last three years. Of these, a good half are from companies that have traditionally operated all over, like Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett Packard and others in the IT racket.

In a normal economic atmosphere we create more than 3 million jobs a year in that sector; problem is that our economic climate is not always predictable and affects employment in many ways. This also has to do with the employment cycle: at retirement age many are forced to continue working, thus reducing the available job pool. For an eager politician, job losses, from assigning local employees to overseas posts, outsourcing or ‘selling out to foreign companies', is a cause as good as any to prepare a speech, deliver it and get his name in his local paper. You can blame anyone for all this, beginning with the President, through favored targets like Democrats, Republicans, Al Sharpton, Ralph Nader and the Choir of St. Patrick’s” “I am beginning to understand all this, Professor. But what do I do about my Web Page?” “Train your gardener to make Web Pages!”

Chemical engineer by training, international executive by merit and writer by addiction. Former syndicated columnist of Technology columns, has written for television and movies. His humorous articles contain fine satire and have been published in 4 languages. Quote: “Love and smiles teach tolerance; days without either are days wasted"

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