Soapbox Number 3

Outsourcing of America

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The outsourcing of jobs in America is on the rise like never before.  While this seems like a good thing for business in the short term, it represents a trend that will lead to complete failure of our economic system if it proceeds at its current rate.  Does it sound like I am overstating the problem?  Think again, and read below, and see what you think.

The situation is that many companies (and more every day) are "outsourcing" American jobs oversees (usually some other country with a high English speaking population, like India).  It started ancillary business functions (cleaning services) then started moving up the ladder to corporate service functions (call centers)   Today its programmers, engineers and IT services.  Tomorrow it could be accountants, paralegals, or medical techs. The internet has allowed this, because now communication is almost instantaneous globally, whether its voice, or data.  We are talking millions of jobs here people.  And the trend is picking up.  Once any occupation is routine enough to be defined in a contract (i.e. just about anything from telephone call centers, to engineering design of new products) its susceptible to being outsourced.  And since the wages in these countries often represent a 10 fold or higher reduction over what these companies would have to pay a worker in the U.S., not to mention the savings in benefits, companies are jumping in with both feet. 

That leaves basically the upper management jobs here in the U.S., while lower level jobs are outsourced.  Well wake up people.  If this trend continues think about it.  How did those upper management people get to be upper?  More than likely by working up from the bottom.  Well, what happens when the bottom goes away?  Remember what happened to the blue collar jobs that were outsourced in the 70's and 80's?  Those people were told to get retrained.   Now what do you retrain for?  Think about it.  I am in a position where I get asked by kids and teachers alike what is a good thing for the kids to study to be able to get a job in the future.  I no longer know what to tell them.  There is no skill that will guarantee a job, and soon, there may be no chance of them getting one here.  Long-term jobs are an illusion in today's (and tomorrows) world.  And forget stability.

While I know businesses need to make money to stay in business, killing off our nations employment in the future is not something I am willing to trade for.  If a business can't make it using American workers, maybe they need to rethink their business plan (like executive salaries and benefits).

I predict (and hope) that soon, the whispers that I have been hearing become screams, and there is will be some sort of regulation (governmental or self inflicted) that puts a stop (or a severe damper) on this trend.  And if you aren't retired yet, you had better hope for your sake and your kids that it does change.  The future in the U.S. will not be a nice place if this continues.

Don't agree with me?  Search the internet a little, there are lots of articles on this subject, by people who are much more knowledgeable than I am, and can spout out hard numbers if you require them.

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This site was last updated 03/08/04