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Outsourcing -But not the usual stuff

So, i read in the newspaper that Britian will lose a few  more thousand software jobs to India. My sympathies to those in Britian and congats to those in India.

The way many Indians see it, America and Britian are the ones who have promoted "free trade" ,"globalization" etc.
Now, i understand the pain of an American or a British bloke losing their job. But both nations can hardly complain when its fruits turn bitter.

Take Britian for example, For centuries, it looted India dry since it was an occupying power. Most of Indian manufacturing/trade was subverted for Britians needs.  Add to this, the human cost. Massacres were pretty routine. In one instance, a group of British soldiers fired upon innocent Indians in Amritsar slaughtering hundreds.  Mind you, all this was only to promote Britian and increase her wealth.

I am not trying to get into a rant here against colonialism. But i want to point out that  western nations (Britian especially) had (until 1950-1960) long assumed that the wealth of other nations (India, Pakistan, Africa,Middle East etc.) was meant for **their** upliftment. Now when British and American wealth ( a little bit atleast), goes to other nations in form of jobs, we think its only fair and would do a lot  to uplift our country (and hopefully several other poor ones). If i had graduated 10 years before i actually did(1997), i would have been earning 50 dollars a month. Yes, 50 bucks a month. But thanks to "globalization", i can earn 1000 dollars a month in India . Past desperation of India as a whole is slowly, but surely turning into some kind of cautious optimism.
 
In fact does anyone here know why India is popular?. Its because Britian had introduced English at the expense of local languages. This is the reason why India is preferred more than China when it comes to software.

In fact how many Europeans today think of or acknowledge the human cost of subverting another nation's economy?. Prince Philips, on a visit to India even tried to play down the afore mentioned massacre. In Britian, you can see treasures looted from India as some kind of trophies.!

So God forbid, if you lose a job to some Indian, please do know you have our sympathies. But we just want to remind that Asia and the middle east had paid a terrible human price for several hundred years at the hands of the west . As George Monbiot (on whose article this post is based on) commented in the Guardian, for centuries people in  the West did not know how much their lifestyle depended on depriving other nations.
 
Lastly i hope this post does not get censored!

India
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Business, the media and politicians in America, the UK and Australia are not complaining about offshoring at all. Most of them love it.

Last century they raped India and their working classes. This century they're still doing it to their working classes. Lots of journalists and business people think it's a scream that programmers are out of work.

George's older brother
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Monbiot's article was  fairly inaccurate.

The Amritsar massacre was a mistake; that doesn't excuse the attempts at a cover up but it was not exactly part of a great Machiavellian plan.

English is strong in India because the South has always refused to accept the hegemony of Hindi. After all Hindi is no more related to Tamil than English is. The education system in India, which puts the emphasis on training the elite is another reason. And the Chinese education system deliberately discourages people from thinking. As far as the manufacture of computer hardware goes China more or less takes all.

Most of the call centre jobs going to India will disappear in the next few years as companies realize they can't make money off premium call charges and people start using the internet instead of trying to explain their problems to somebody a few thousand miles away who can't distinguish Thai airways from Qatar airways. Indians who have made call centres a "career" will be high and dry, though possibly they could retrain as waiters.

The idea that software will  lift the Indian economy is a joke. The figures involved are just ludicrously small. India's problems of chronic corruption, inefficiency, a ruling class formed of or controlled by armed goondas and fascist hoodlums, and the idea that the best way to make money is to cheat the other guy are not going to be solved by a couple of contracts to Infosys.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, December 21, 2003

---"middle east had paid a terrible human price for several hundred years at the hands of the west "------

Eighty-six actually for the parts of the Middle East taken over by the British or French. Still why should wannabee Indian software developers bother about such little things as numerical accuracy.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Dear the truth,
                      Nice to know that Europeans still can beat the pants of Indians when it comes to producing loud mouthed ignorant bigotry.

                      To suggest that Britain was saving the Indians from the savagery of its own local government is a joke. The early British rulers were there like all others to plunder. One of them, Warren Hastings, even got impeached for it, though his real crime doesn't appear to have been plundering the Indians, but rather not handing the plunder over to his British bosses. Blowing people out of cannons, as happened after the Mutiny, isn't exactly temperate civilized behaviour. As for teaching the Indians to work, that must be the biggest joke of all. Who the hell do you think build all the infrastructure of the British Empire (or was responsible for the armed repression in the Middle East) if it wasn't Indian labourers (or troops in the second case).

                    At the moment it's not the Indians who are whining anyway; it's the Americans who don't like globalization and free trade when it affects them adversely.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, December 21, 2003

When did America rape India? I must have missed that part of history lesson.

I do recall America being at war with the British though. And more recently attacked without provocation by the dirty Japanese! Rotten stinkers! That's less ancient history than what you are talking about and regarding the US 'raping" india, I think you made that all up!

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, December 21, 2003

> t's the Americans who don't like globalization and free trade when it affects them adversely.

Are you suggesting that we are supposed to like things that affect us adversely? How about you, do you like things that affect you adversely?

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, December 21, 2003

You know I can't evven get any shoes anymore that don't fall apart after six months. I even went to Nordstrums and bought some nice italian shoes for a premium and they fell apart just like the cheap crap from indonesia does!

Bring back the cobblers! I want some decent shoes!

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Dear Dennis,
                    He didn't mention America raping India; you're letting your fantasies run away with you! Try dating :)

                    Anyway Americans aren't up the spout as much as the Brits. Not only do they lose their softwre jobs to India but the Sri Lankans have just hammered them at cricket.

                    Sic transit gloria mundi

Stephen Jones
Sunday, December 21, 2003

"Business, the media and politicians in America, the UK and Australia are not complaining about offshoring at all. Most of them love it. Last century they raped India and their working classes."

As far as Australia raping India, I don't know but that I am skeptical of as well.

Dennis Atkins
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Sorry. You're right. I didn't so much mean to include America and Australia, as to say that business and politicians raped India and their own working classes in Britain.

George's older brother
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Also, India, the shooting at Amritsar followed a rape of an English woman, occurred in heated times when the British had good reason to fear violent rebellion and was a reaction to a large gathering that had been specifically banned. That's not to excuse it, but it wasn't as simple as you make out.

Also, Stephen Jones, the business with the cannons followed some of the most appalling bloodthirsty massacres of British mothers and children. Again, not to excuse it, but it occurred in an atmosphere where people were shocked and horrified at atrocities committed by Indians.

George's older brother
Sunday, December 21, 2003

If anyone is interested in finding out more about British/Indian history, then I would recommend "The Indian Mutiny 1857" by Saul David.

"The author is strong in revealing the rotten core of British India with its religious, racist and class divisions, encouraged by the colonial power in a divide-and-rule tactic. According to this account, the British came close to losing the so-called jewel in the crown a century before independence in 1947. Only luck and cutthroat countermeasures appear to have bought breathing space for the crown.

Saul David makes a compelling case for the theory that the mutiny was a fairly well organised general uprising, rather than something sparked by a local row over the use of cartridges coated with fat from cows (sacred to Hindus) and pigs (anathema to Muslims). The reader is left wondering, however, about the author's slant on the mutiny, which he seems keen to blame on the poor wages and conditions of native troops.

The implication that loyalty to the crown could have been bought by a pay rise, and by extension that the uprising had nothing to do with India's march towards nationhood, is hard to accept.

The Victorians may have tried to make Nana Sahib and other rebel leaders look like common criminals (the same propaganda tactics were, after all, used throughout the empire) but, of course, they remain heroes in modern India.

In the wake of the rebellion, London imposed direct rule and ensured that British troops would never be outnumbered more than two to one by armed Indians in traditional troublespots. Queen Victoria also abolished the East India Company whose "corrupt" directors had over the years "returned home with enormous fortunes."

Chris McEvoy
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Dear George's older brother,
                                            So next time there is a rape in San Diego you reckon it's understandable if the National Guard fire on a few hundred innocent unarmed civilians.

                                            The British atrocities after the Mutiny were in reaction to the atrocities committed by the mutineers though of course, as is normal when the victor takes revenge, they were disproportionate and not admininstered to those responsible for the original atrocities. However it was "the Truth" who claimed that the British took over India because of barberous Indian rule. It seems reasonable to point out that British rule could hardly be qualified as always civilized and beneficient.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, December 21, 2003

There are several interpretations of British rule in India. It's It persisted for nearly two centuries without harsh rule, so can't have been entirely without merit. The British were also keen to create an Indian public service and they used Indian soldiers.

As to the cause of the mutiny, there seem good grounds that declining relative pay was a factor, combined with declining quality of British officers since the early 1800's. The earlier officers were more attuned to Indian cultural practices.

Nana Sahib was the most gruesome war criminal of all time. Do you know what he did? If you don't, you've been reading politically correct accounts. Note by the way that modern Indian political parties have tried to recast those old events.

I certainly don't advocate the National Guard firing on crowds, but they were different times. When the Mutiny started, the British had been tolerant and failed to take any action. That led to the dreadful massacres by Indians. When Amritsar came up, there was a sense that the British would not just stand idly by yet again and let their wives and children be murdered.

George's older brother
Sunday, December 21, 2003

There is no such thing as a war crime when fighting against a foreign occupier. Frankly speaking, I wouldn't have a problem with it if every single British citizen in India was executed by the resistance.

A_bystander
Sunday, December 21, 2003

George's older brother is the classic British India apologist. In the same post he calls Nana Sahib a 'war criminal' while excusing British massacres. Guess what? If the British didn't like being killed for invading and occupying foreign lands, they should feel free to stay home.

A_bystander
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Ok folks,

so Indian Programmers are adequate in production but cheaper.  Thus, their productivity is higher.  There's nothing wrong with that.

Maybe I should subcontract 4 indian programmers to do 2-4x the work I do at work.  I could stay home delegating and making a nice profit.  What's wrong with that?

This is Globalization.  The smart ones use the new opportunities and go ahead making a fortune.  Like it's always been.

Programmus Interruptus
Sunday, December 21, 2003

I think it may be time to get back to the point. It was  "the Truth"'s pretense that British rule was a godsend to India that got us off the point. Frankly I believe that the most accurate obituary for British rule in India would be "Well, we didn't do too much", and it is a better record than many occupying countries have had.

The original poster is referring to a real phenomenum though. British rule in India saw the destruction of much of the village economy. Whereas previously clothes would be made at the village level, often using hand weaving, under British rule the raw cloth was exported to Lancashire, where the textile mills would convert it to cloth and reship it to India. The same thing happened to a lesser extent with traditional village handicrafts. The effect of this on the village economies, and on social stabiltiy was devastating. And of course much of the prosperity of England was a direct result of this. When Ghandi organized a boycott of British textiles in the 1920's and 1930's the Lancashire weavers found themselves facing hunger and massive unemployment.

Of course, what we are really seeing here is technological "progress", which provided no advantage to the many poor it displaced, but the procedure was irreversible. Textiles in India are still produced in giant factories, though most of them now are Indian, and the handwoven kurta that Gandhi hoped would be the national dress of the new India is now worn only by politicians, and anybody wearing one in a Bollywood movie is immediately identified as one of the villains.

The original posters point, copied from Monbiot, is that the present outsourcing to India is merely a pale reflection of the massive outsourcing of the whole textile and crafts industry of India to England during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Whether the point was worth making is a different matter.

Dennis's seemingly off topic comments amount shoes actually fit in well with the theme. Because there is a simple solution open to him; do what I do and always buy American shoes. For the last seven or eight years I have always bought Sebagos, docksiders for casual wear, and normal slip ones for wearing with suit or jacket and tie. The normal Sebago shoes have the sole sewn on to the upper (if you get them glued on you can guarantee the shoe will fall apart quickly) and can easily be resoled and reheeled three or four times at the local cobblers. Now the point is that I am not American, am not living in America and have indeed never been within 5,000 km of the place, but buy American shoes because I have found that in Saudi or the UK they are the shoes that are the longest lasting. My dress shirts I always buy from India for the same reason. This is called free trade, and the same free trade that means that I help provide jobs for American shoe makers (and jean makers until Levis pulled out of the States), also means that Americans can help provide jobs for Indian software developers.

But what really gets me is the "We're hard done by " attitude whenever the question of outsourcing comes up. Software developers, and before them electronic engineers, have spent their whole careers developing products to put others out of work. But since it was good for them they never complained, and felt superior to all the losers whose jobs they were automating. And now it happens to them they expect sympathy. They've had years writing software for use in Japan and Russia and Romania and not a peep from them about how those countries should be doing their own development instead of outsourcing to the States. This forum needs an Indian Bella (Belladin anybody?) to really rub their noses in it, because the only thing that is even more pathetic is hearing how they're losing all their jobs to Open Source.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, December 21, 2003


--
Eighty-six actually for the parts of the Middle East taken over by the British or French. Still why should wannabee Indian software developers bother about such little things as numerical accuracy.
--

Ever hear of the crusades? If I recall correctly those happened more than 86 years ago.

The west has been kicking other parts of the world around for a long time. All of the apologists on here trying to deny these atrocities based on minor nitpicks are really sad.

Whether past wrongs justify current job shifts to India is another story. I'm not sure on that one. If Indian professionals provide a better solution I don't see a problem (although it is annoying from my view as a US developer).

NathanJ
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Ahh, but the crusades all happened before the siege of Vienna. You see it's all the fault of these Asians messing up and colonizing us poor Europeans.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, December 21, 2003

"Indian", as a rallying cry was, to be truly honest, an unavoidabe consequene of the mis-management of the "Raj" by the British. They just took the idea of "Divide and Rule" too far.

Colonization is always easier and more viable bottoms-up, like the US of A or Australia, success stories of colonization, than "integration" and/or "conversion", like Africa and/or India/Asia. India was always doomed to be un-Anglican, as expressed by Lord Mountbatten in many ways, unavailability of ready quotes notwithstanding and that too not merely beacuse of the sheer geographic size and the huge differences in approaches and philosophy, but the huge accumulated history (close to 10,000 years of _recorded_ history) of the lands.

Indian economy and administration, insofar as "India" is concerned, owes a lot to ther British legacy. As long as that "cohesive unit" was the only face put forward (Kashmir se lekar Kanyakumari tak, ham ek hai) to the outside world, the world could easily deal with us.

But when a break up of the one large monolith with one unifying ideal of "Indianess" (as exemplified by the numerous stereotyping of *all* South Asians in the 70s and 80s) was replaced by individual, differential and sometimes contradictory facets of the many peoples of India (yes that _has_ to be with an 's'), the other large "cohesive units" become uncomfortable dealing with us. Outsourcing that was envisaged as a function of economics becomes, now, a function of history and/or national identity.

Only way past it is the two extremes of social governance. One single large society (One World) or the controlled anarchy of many small, independent and coherent social associations (such as Renaissance Italy or Ancient India).

Indian Developer in India
Sunday, December 21, 2003

"Maybe I should subcontract 4 indian programmers to do 2-4x the work I do at work.  I could stay home delegating and making a nice profit.  What's wrong with that?"

Ha, Ha, ha!  If you think offshoring is so simple, try it. The reality is quite different.

T. Norman
Sunday, December 21, 2003

You know, my wife and I get into discussions about our kids. When a daughter exhibits some random behavior that needs modification, my wife frets about "what did we do to cause this?"
My answer? "It doesn't matter how we got here - that doesn't affect the problem. Where are we now, where do we need to go, and how do we get there?"

The people who plundered India are dead or in nursing homes. IMHO the most productive way to deal with the issue is to look at today's playing field, look at where we want to go, and figure out how to get there.

I know, I'm dreaming - people need to grind their axes and feel righteous indignation over things that happened generations ago. But I can hope, can't I?

Philo

Philo
Sunday, December 21, 2003

We need to establish international contracts to raise the minimum wages in countries like India and Mexico thus forcing the work back to it's rightful owners.

Trolling is a form of fishing
Sunday, December 21, 2003

The one common misconception about all of this seems to be that nationality matters at all. Corporations do not see themselves as American, British, or whatever as much as they see themselves as their own nation. They will continue to try to exploit disparities between production and the markets they server until the cycle collapses and reestablishes itself at a new lower level world wide. 

We can all attack each other like a bunch of ethnic gangs, but the corporations see us all the same, so if someday Finland becomes the hot IT spot, they'll drop India like a bad habit and move their facilites there.

And no, I am not a communist, and someday I expect that I will have to reinvent myself if I want my career in software to continue.  If you wish to play the Man's game, you have to play by his rules. Or become The Man yourself, and make your own rules. But you may still have to play with him if you want to make big $$$.

Tim
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Nana Sahib talked the British garrison at Cawnpore into surrendering and then killed 1,500 or so soldiers, women and children in cold blood once they had surrendered. This occurred at the river.

About 200 women and children survived that first massacre and were kept in a house for two weeks. Then Nana Sahib sent the town's butchers in to slaughter them too, in the same way they slaughter a pen of goats. A few tiny children were still alive next day and were thrown into a well.

Nana Sahib's entourage had dancing and celebrations that night.

George's older brother
Sunday, December 21, 2003

So your point is that people can be evil? Not really anything new, is it? You'd be hard pressed to find a nation that hasn't had atrocities committed by its citizens.

Now seeing as how nobody responsible for Cawnpore is alive, how about discussing current events and how we can deal with situations that need resolving today?

Philo

Philo
Sunday, December 21, 2003

"We need to establish international contracts to raise the minimum wages in countries like India and Mexico thus forcing the work back to it's rightful owners."

And who are the rightful owners? Why should I buy software made in the US if I live in Australia or any other part of the world? Are you willing to pay more for products made in the US? How many of you buy stuff only when is made in the US and support what you say with your wallet?

Whinging programmers are turning outsourcing and open source discussions in a pathetically long complaint.

Coming back to the original post, I think the point India was making is that the current level of development of "first world" countries was, at least in part, supported by the extraction of natural resources and destruction of the local economies of "third world" countries. Thus, "first world" countries are suffering a similar fate now. Fair enough, but we do not need that explanation to understand that economic forces are moving jobs to cheaper places. Today is India and when India becomes expensive it will be to somewhere else. End of story.

uncronopio
Sunday, December 21, 2003

"Nana Sahib's entourage had dancing and celebrations that night. "

Again, I'd just point out that none of that would have happened if the British had stayed home. I don't have any sympathy for a foreign occupying army being executed by the local resistance. None at all.

A_bystander
Sunday, December 21, 2003

destruction of the local economies of "third world" countries

Listen, when britain came into india most of indua didn't have a local economy to destroy, the sitiation was similiar to modern day somalia

George Bush
Sunday, December 21, 2003

In fact if you think about it, the concept of india didn't really exist, before you go on ignorant tirades on how the british ruined your preindustrial paradise, why don't you take a minute and think aboutall the things england did give you, including knowledge of the english language so you can steal our jobs.
Lets see,

there is medicine, agricultural techniques, you first orderly system of government in 2000+ years

Gorge Bush
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Philo, I was replying to Chris McEvoy who for some reason tried to defend Nana Sahib.

Bystander, the 800 young women and defenceless young children at Cawnpore, and the others at other stations in the north of India, were part of no army. They posed no threat to anyone.

George's older brother
Sunday, December 21, 2003

I was the original poster.

Philo, I was not trying to start a flame. I was not crying victimhood or pointing out to atrocities generations ago, but was simply stating that the present software trend is a direct consequence of british colonial practices as well as the general trend of corporations not giving a damn to people and only to money.

It was money that made British companies go to India and it is money that makes them ditch british laborers.

As for American raping India, when the f*** did i say that?
As for the historical accuracy of my quote on the middle east, Stephen jones stretched it a bit. When the f*** was i bigotted?. In fact, as i said  i based my post on an article by monbiot in the guardian. My main point is that human suffering  dont matter  much to corporations . It was the east india company then, now it is HP,IBM etc.

And dear jones, monbiot is by far among the best british journalists. I would trust him unhesitatingly.

India
Sunday, December 21, 2003

I'm glad to see that a few people have taken a brief respite from bashing America for all of the world's ills and directed their frustration at the Brits for a moment.

American
Sunday, December 21, 2003

I'm glad to see that a few people have taken a brief respite from bashing America for all of the world's ills and directed their frustration at the Brits for a moment.

not al all. If you read it carefully, i was trying to point out that it was the greed of colonial adventures that resulted in the present day outsourcing.

As for IBM and HP not giving a damn, i did not mean it with respect to Indians. I said IBM and HP wont give a damn to Americans or British. There was a recent article in the NY Times about how IBM was refusing to acknowledge horrible birth defects in people working in semi conductor factories. 

India
Monday, December 22, 2003

"not al all. If you read it carefully, i was trying to point out that it was the greed of colonial adventures that resulted in the present day outsourcing."

With all due respect, I suggest you give this up.
1) We also outsource to Russia and China - not really colonial subjugates

2) Part of the reason India is attractive is their level of education and infrastructure. Is it really a wise tactic to blame this state of affairs on the British, with the implication that you wish it was otherwise?

3) When you want to make a piont, be wary of tapping sacred cows (sorry - colloquial expression). As you've seen here, your attempt to justify outsourcing was *completely* lost in the noise of a debate about the British occupation of India. And for that matter, what really *was* your point? It seems to be simply a matter of "Nyah, nyah - hung by your own petard! You deserve to be out of a job!" which isn't really constructive, is it?

If that last point is off base, I apologize and humbly await your clarification. :)

Philo

Philo
Monday, December 22, 2003

"We also outsource to Russia and China - not really colonial subjugates"

not entirely relevant though, <g> to badly misuse mathematical notation...if a=b because of c, but d and e are equal to b as well for some other reason, that doesn't disprove a.

"Part of the reason India is attractive is their level of education and infrastructure. Is it really a wise tactic to blame this state of affairs on the British, with the implication that you wish it was otherwise?"

well....yes.  A few crumbs now, or a rich country for the last 200 years, which would you rather have?
(thats not to say they _would_ have been rich if not for britain of course...)

Its perfectly possible that india would have been poor at this stage regardless of whether or not britain subjugated india for however long they did so.....OTOH there is no doubt in my mind that the subjugation of india by the british stifled any growth potential india may have had....theres no argument that the whole purpose _of_ conquering india was to grab its resources for the greater glory of the british empire....

thus, although the absence of britain may not have guaranteed india riches, its presence certainly guaranteed poverty.


"And for that matter, what really *was* your point? It seems to be simply a matter of "Nyah, nyah - hung by your own petard! You deserve to be out of a job!" which isn't really constructive, is it?"


as I read it his point was that there was a nice irony in the fact that india is finally benefiting from its mistreatment for so many years...both in the fact that its a fairly poor country so that labour is cheap, and in the fact that a decent proportion of its native population speak english so its a more attractive proposition for potential outsourcers than it may otherwise have been.



personally I think he is right about the irony, <g> but it required a huge amount of optimism on his part to expect this particular thread to be anything other than a bunfight..

FullNameRequired
Monday, December 22, 2003

1800 C.E. - .  Screwed us up.

We did not  _need_growth_.  We were _grown_.  Thankfully, a lot of science and technology is being re-discovered by today's generation. Stuff like Political theory, Medicine, Surgery, Chemistry, Astronomy, Number Theory, Architectural Engineering, etc.. were _way_ ahead and if you actually look into it, close to modern science. Just that our forefathers got complacent and perhaps a bit too greedy. When you get a chance, look up Aryabhatta, Susrita, the Chola or Pallava engineering, Kalingan democracy, etc. just as a start.

That is not diminish the benevolent contributions of Her Majesty to us. Our Railways, Civil Servants and most of all, of course, our close acquaintance of Her Tongue, have all been Her most gracious gifts to us. Thank you very much.

Indian Developer in India
Monday, December 22, 2003

Never mind, just think, all the out of work software people in the west will be able to produce free software and the Indians will be back to square zero. Even better, we'll fuck the companies exporting our jobs as well by removing their income.

That's my plan, anyway.
Monday, December 22, 2003

I'm totally waiting for some upwardly mobile indian PhD to take my maintanance programming job, finally giving me an excuse to stop being such a pussy and do something worthwhile with my life.


Monday, December 22, 2003

Please Philo,


Maybe the way i expressed it was wrong. Please read this article

http://www.guardian.co.uk/india/story/0,12559,1067377,00.html

For those who are monitoring this thread, please,please read the guardian piece.

Your arguments are totally incorrect. If you noticed, i repeatedly expressed my sorrow at Americans/British losing their jobs. And yeh, i want an apology ;-) <<Smile>>

And if you do come down to Bangalore one day, just pop a mail in Joel on Software and you will have be treated the best beer in town.

India
Monday, December 22, 2003

Stephen!

I didn't even know they still made American shoes. OK, I am going to start looking for them. I might be able to get them mail order. THANKS.

Regarding dress shirts, the Indian ones are nicely sewn but always seem to be cut too small to fit me. The very finest shirts I have are made in Bahrain, Qatar and UAE. Gorgeous thick cloth, ever seam double stitched. Really top notch textiles.

Dennis Atkins
Monday, December 22, 2003

Strange, you live in America and don't know about American shoes and I live in the Gulf, and have never seen a shirt made in Qatar the UAE or Emirates.

I have got tailors there to make shirts for me very cheaply, but the problem I found was buying the shirting material. OK for white shirts but not much good for anything else. Incidentally the tailors are all Indian or Philipinos.

Stephen Jones
Monday, December 22, 2003

Dear India,
                Monbiot's piece was thoroughly discussed on this forum when it first came out. You were merely providing a somewhat inaccurate rehash.

Stephen Jones
Monday, December 22, 2003

Stephen,

I think various countries export their best quality goods to far away places. Thus, you can get really fine Florida oranges in Malaysia, but the ones you get in Flarida tend to taste like cardboard. Likewise, when I was in Columbia a few years back, the coffee they had there in restaurants was terrible.

Dennis Atkins
Monday, December 22, 2003

The worst cup of tea you will get anywhere is in India! You will also get some of the best mandarins and bananas.

Florida oranges are normally juice oranges. Valencian oranges are considered the best desert oranges, but when the dairy companies went into packaging juice in Spain about fifteen years ago they insisted they had to import juice oranges because the Spanish ones weren't good enough.

70% of port and sherry are exported to England. The top Spanish shops then sell the English brands to their most well-heeled customers.

Sometimes it is not true. Spanish shoes abroad are crap, but Spanish shoes in Spain are top quality, and if I lived there I would still be buying them. Their quality control system doesn't apply to exports.

And the best Catalan cava (the Catalan version of champagne) never leaves the region. In America you get the big makes like Freixenet and Codorniu, but the best small vineyards sell everything locally.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Hey how in the world did those card board tasting oranges (or any other not-so-juicy fruits) get on the market anyway???? *angry*

Li-fan Chen
Tuesday, December 23, 2003

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