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Theory on outsourcing

A very interesting theory. I dont know who thought of it first. This is not a flame war (Pro or Against), just a nice theory.

When you search for "outsourcing" and "H1B" in Google, you get hundreds of links. Yet, the amount jobs U.S has actually lost to India is a small number compared to the amount of jobs already lost to China. Yet, the anger over outsourcing to India is far more. Why?

The theory is that jobs going to India are software jobs while the jobs going to China are manufacturing jobs. A software engineer out of a job in New York can hook up with one in California. They have a collective voice.  But it is very unlikely that a steel worker in Pennysylvania will hook up with a valve maker in Montanta. Software engineers have a voice, manufacturing  people dont (Atleast to the same extent). This may have to do with ignorance. Being in manufacturing, i can attest to it. You go and show Yahoo messenger to a manufacturing company, and they are likely to say "WOW !". You can literally fleece, con, cheat and do anything you want. And many software companies do it too.

I know they get intimidated. I wrote a small  JSP application and was able to demostrate it to a few folks in big American manufacturing corporations. They looked at the application like i was demostrating a prototype of a mars mission. It was very easy to con them into parting money too (My boss did that).

A Second reason is that in manufacturing, the associations which represent workers do things traditionally(like petitions, meetings and so on) and very rarely harness the internet.  I mean the internet works, look at Howard Dean.  This is also the reason why some states are mulling for a ban on outsourcing of software, but not manufacturing.

Its true. Me coming from India, I am very very very impressed with American manufacturing companies and am in deep awe of them.  Although i studied manufacturing a bit, i think some of the things they do on a daily basis are a source of wonder to me. I visited Subaru's car manufacturing firm once near indianapolis and it was like seeing the eigth wonder in the world. Yet, it was very surprising that people like them did not know how to use the mouse!. They all complained of losing jobs, yet they cant hookup like we do.

How many "Joel on Software" type forums are there for manufacturing folks where people can come and share their thoughts, both for and against outsourcing? . In my college, we wanted to build one and later found that they cant be persuaded to use it.

Kar
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Those are good points, both about the voices and about selling simple things that we take for granted to people that have no idea what's going on.

I run into the second point all the time, and it's great!

Bob
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I disagree.  It is true that there is no JOS for manufacturing jobs, and even if there was it probably would not be used.

However, factory workers have a very loud void called unions.  I grew up in NW Ohio where there are many car manufacturers, plus both my parents worked in factories.  There was lots of worry about being shutdown in the 80's and early 90's and to some extent there still is. 

I guess my point is, maybe we have not heard about the factory workers concerns because our daily rounds do not intersect theirs. 


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Manufacturing is a very different world.  I personally hate it.  There are a lot of people that have become accustom to it though.  The only things they know are that they have to be to work at a certain time and that their job is to put X part on Y assembly and they get a paycheck every other week.  They really don't have an education past high school and some not even high school.  They don't really have to think for themselves and are not very sociable in the business sense of the word and count on the union to protect them.  There are always exceptions.

As for taking advantage of manufacting companies, that seems to be true everywhere ignorance is present.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I'm sure most factory workers have not heard about the dilemma of outsourcing technical work.  Nor do they care.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

---"I am very very very impressed with American manufacturing companies a. I visited Subaru's car manufacturing firm once near indianapolis "----

Err, Subaru isn't exactly the archetypal American company.

And shouldn't we all be behind the poor Japanese factory worker who has seen his job outsourced to low wage economies like the US?

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

<<Err, Subaru isn't exactly the archetypal American company.>>

The Subaru is actually staffed whoolly by Americans. The guys who developed the Subaru Bawa(or whatever) are Americans. The entire automated infrastrucrture was built by Americans.

Anyway its just an example. It could just as well have been Ford or GM. They are equally impressive.

Kar
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

You're way off base.  Way way way way way off base. 

Software engineers have a voice on insignificant internet discussion boards. 

Manufacturing people have a better voice:  A lobby with millions of dollars behind it and very powerful political machines.

Manufacturing represents a small percentage of the US economy, but who do politicians pander to?  UNIONS!

When was the last time Dean showed up at the .NET users group?  When was the last time Dean showed up at a manufacturing plant?

  
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

When was the last time Dean showed up at the .NET users group?
When was the last time Dean showed up at a manufacturing plant?

Thats because union members are used to getting something for nothing, much like many democratic voters.

apw
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Whatever apw.

If somebody's handing out candy to the kids that scream the loudest, you can sit in the corner and pout all you want about how unfair that is - but you still ain't got no candy.

  
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Subaru's plant in America is staffed wholly by Americans, which means that the poor Japs have got shafted (or at least that is what the protectionists on this forum would have us believe).

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

blank,

I'm sure you don't have that attitude when the wheel falls off you UAW made automobile....

The only thing the union promotes is mediocraty.

apw
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

<,Subaru's plant in America is staffed wholly by Americans, which means that the poor Japs have got shafted (or at least that is what the protectionists on this forum would have us believe). >>

Yes. As i explained earlier, I just used Subaru as an example.

This post was not about pro-con  .

Kar
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

uhhh, apw...

My point is they're mediocre AND they've got the candy.

You, on the other hand, still ain't got no candy.  Metaphorically speaking, of course.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

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