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Maybe It's Not That Bad....

"Summary: According to the election-year bluster of politicians and pundits, the outsourcing of American jobs to other countries has become a problem of epic proportion. Fortunately, this alarmism is misguided. Outsourcing actually brings far more benefits than costs, both now and in the long run. If its critics succeed in provoking a new wave of American protectionism, the consequences will be disastrous -- for the U.S. economy and for the American workers they claim to defend."

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20040501faessay83304/daniel-w-drezner/the-outsourcing-bogeyman.html

I'm an American-American
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Oh, so if a conservative, right-wing "think tank" that is totally funded by big business says it, it must be true.

Andy in Austin
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

I'm sure outsourcing can be a good thing. But not if everyone jumps in all at once. It's one of those disruptive things that needs to be taken slowly.

Nearly Nameless
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

> Outsourcing actually brings far more benefits than costs, both now and in the long run

To the people that lose their jobs, and as a result their homes? Yes, I'm sure that's very beneficial.

Do you want fries with that?
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

If by beneficial you mean "beneficial to the elite" then yes you are correct. If you mean the average man... well.. take a look at history and the little man.

Not saying it's right or wrong, but there is one constant - the little man will get fucked.

trollbooth
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"To the people that lose their jobs, and as a result their homes? Yes, I'm sure that's very beneficial."

Well, the trend in our capitalist/industrial society over last 150 years has been that workers in industries using outdated means of production are displaced when the means of production becomes mechanized.  The mechanization resulted in a net gain to society, even though the displaced workers were sh_t-out-of-luck.  So I'm not sure that's much of an argument.

The main thing to look for, it seems to me, is whether the new jobs that are created in U.S. are of higher economic value than the ones that are outsourced.  So that although some workers are displaced by outsourcing, the net value of U.S. jobs is rising. 

And I dont' really know, but I kind of doubt whether that's happening.  Seems like a lot of outsourced jobs, in particular programming jobs, are pretty high on the economic ladder.  And most of the new jobs are basic service jobs, relatively low on the economic ladder. 

If so, then outsourcing is not a benefit to the U.S. economy overall.  But it's not just  because U.S. workers are being displaced from their jobs.  It's because they're being displaced from their jobs AND the new jobs that are being created in the U.S. are lower on the economic ladder than the jobs that are getting outsourced. 

(Remember, though, that even if the new jobs in U.S. being created were higher on economic ladder than the jobs being displaced, there's no guarantee that the people filling those jobs would be the same people who lost their jobs to outsourcing.  The people who lost their jobs could just be out-of-luck and need retraining to fill the positions that are available within U.S., even if the outsourcing was improving the U.S. economy.  That's the way capitalism works, like it or not.)

Herbert Sitz
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"Not saying it's right or wrong, but there is one constant - the little man will get fucked."

So...the moral of the story is don't be the little man, right?

Of course, history has shown "little men" are the ones that sit around, bitch and moan and make predictions about the plight of the "little man"

Tony
Tuesday, June 15, 2004


Where were all you whiny programmers when we textile and factory workers lost our jobs to Asia back in the 70's?

Most of you didn't really give a shit because it meant lower prices on your fucking Nikes and stereos.

So, please forgive me if I don't cry a river over a bunch of non-college educated hacks losing their $100K/year VB programming jobs.

It's called life and sometimes it sucks. It sucked for us 30 years ago and now it's gonna suck for you a while. Quit your bitching and moaning and stop acting like the little spoiled children that you are.

As we learned damn fast, nobody guarantees you a job. Get off your ass, get off this board, get some better skills and go find a job.

Geesh.

Joe Schmoe
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"To the people that lose their jobs, and as a result their homes?"


The jobs aren't their's, the jobs belong to the company.  These people just happen to once have the skills the company wants that they trade for compensation that they want.  Now the company finds a different group of people to provide the skills at a cheaper price.

Yo
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"Where were all you whiny programmers when we textile and factory workers lost our jobs to Asia back in the 70's?

Most of you didn't really give a shit because it meant lower prices on your fucking Nikes and stereos.

So, please forgive me if I don't cry a river over a bunch of non-college educated hacks losing their $100K/year VB programming jobs.

It's called life and sometimes it sucks. It sucked for us 30 years ago and now it's gonna suck for you a while. Quit your bitching and moaning and stop acting like the little spoiled children that you are.

As we learned damn fast, nobody guarantees you a job. Get off your ass, get off this board, get some better skills and go find a job."


Such a good comment it bears repeating.

Mike
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Quote from the article:

>And U.S. labor can be reallocated to more competitive,
>better-paying jobs; for example, although 70,000 computer
>programmers lost their jobs between 1999 and 2003, more
>than 115,000 computer software engineers found
>higher-paying jobs during that same period.

I think that to many of us JoS readers, the difference between 'programmer' and 'software engineer' is ambiguous.  However, if there's any significance to these numbers then it suggests that there's a very real difference perceived by the marketplace.  What exactly is that difference and what are people demanding now that they weren't getting from those 70,000 programmers?


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"What exactly is that difference and what are people demanding now that they weren't getting from those 70,000 programmers?"

Probably a Bachelor of Science degree.

I'm an American-American
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Supposedly 50% of practicing 'software engineers' have degrees.


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"I love hearing things like 'you can't have the benefits of capitalism without the drawbacks.' Meaning, most often, 'I can't have the benefits of capitalism without you having the drawbacks.'"

--Adam Lang

...
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Dear Joe Schmoe, Mike and American American, here are some more articles you guys would enjoy:

1. How to get your secretary into bed by intimating it's a long term thing, and then sack her without a law suit.

2. Savings and loans - how to con elderly retirees and gullible county officials out of their life savings.

Nice doing business with far arseholes like yourselves, boys.


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Seems like an appropriate place to plug the book and the new documentary, "The Corporation":  http://www.thecorporation.com/

Right or wrong, good or bad, maximizing profit is what corporations were created to do, and it's their primary duty.  Everything else, including treating people right, is subservient to making a profit.  It's hard to argue that it doesn't work, at least to further the goals of creating wealth and fostering economic progress. 

Then again, who's to say maximizing wealth and economic progress should be our primary goals.  Maybe we've created a monster.

Herbert Sitz
Tuesday, June 15, 2004


Why is it ok when buisness interests are protected by the gov't that is ok, but when workers demand the same kind of protection it is whining?  Corporate wellfare is good, but job security is bad? 

"It's called life and sometimes it sucks. It sucked for us 30 years ago and now it's gonna suck for you a while."

So that makes it ok?  I love this answer because it shows your complete lack of imagination that there might be a solution better than "just deal with it sucking."  Oh, i forgot.  You are comparing  unskilled labor to skilled labor of course you have a lack of imagination. 

"Now the company finds a different group of people to provide the skills at a cheaper price."

The same company that reaps all the benefits (stable economy, strong IP laws, etc) from one country while giving back nothing?  Why exactly are we giving corporations special rights (treating them like a person, corporate veil, etc.)?  If you want the gov't not to interfere with the market then how about starting by not granting all of these benefits to corporations?  I mean, come one, you don't want them to interfere with the market do you? 

I'm not saying it is a black and white issue, but don't act all upset if *gasp* people expect the gov't to protect them occasionally instead of Big Buisness. 

Full Name:
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"Where were all you whiny programmers when we textile and factory workers lost our jobs to Asia back in the 70's?"

Depending on which point in the 70s you're referring to, I was between zero and five years old.  I can't say I was much of a political activist back then.  Terribly sorry.

Kyralessa
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"Why is it ok when buisness interests are protected by the gov't that is ok, but when workers demand the same kind of protection it is whining?  Corporate wellfare is good, but job security is bad? "

And who said this?

The government didn't protect the textile industry, nor should it have. The government isn't protecting your cushy VB job, nor should it.

I don't like corporate welfare anymore than I like the notion that the government is in business to protect my job.

"So that makes it ok?  I love this answer because it shows your complete lack of imagination that there might be a solution better than "just deal with it sucking."  Oh, i forgot.  You are comparing  unskilled labor to skilled labor of course you have a lack of imagination.  "

Yes, it makes it OK. Sorry, but the world doesn't revolve around you and your job. And there is a solution: It's called the free market. Protecting your overly inflated salary isn't my problem. I let the free market handle that. Or are you suggesting some type of protectionism to keep you in that $100K programming job? You're overpaid. You got lucky for years. Free ride is over.

Many of the programmers that are out of work aren't what I called "skilled labor". (But it's interesting that you draw the distinction as if textile workers are disposable in your viewpoint.) Many of these "skilled programmers" are nothing more than self-taught hacks with about 3 years of experience in Access and VB. Not very skilled.

Joe Schmoe
Tuesday, June 15, 2004

> I don't like corporate welfare anymore than I like the notion that the government is in business to protect my job.

Sure, Joe. Let's get rid of copyright protections around the world, for a start and the massive government investments in protecting corporate interests in that.

Then let's gid rid of the huge investment in police forces that let you chase up bad debts and maintain a large house while poorer people scrimp and save.

When we've done that, we will get rid of the Navy and Army and let the rest of the world come and share the spoils of the US of A.

Did I forget anything?


Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"Right or wrong, good or bad, maximizing profit is what corporations were created to do, and it's their primary duty.  Everything else, including treating people right, is subservient to making a profit. "

This is the kind of phrase that usaully ends with the words and that's why Microsoft does what they do.

Mike
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

> These people just happen to once have the skills the company wants that they trade for compensation that they want.

I'm glad you feel that way today. What about tomorrow when you are the one in the barrel?

> Now the company finds a different group of people to provide the skills at a cheaper price.

Funny how the top brass never outsource their own jobs, hmm? You'd think there would be someone in the world who could do just as good a job of firing people and hiring cheaper labour, wouldn't you.


Wednesday, June 16, 2004

By the way Joe, do your bosses at Gartner know you post this sort of inflammatory drivel?

You want to lose some weight too, pal.

Other blank
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"Did I forget anything? "

Yeah, a point. How does not wanting the government in business to protect my job have anything to do with dismantling the US military?

"I'm glad you feel that way today. What about tomorrow when you are the one in the barrel?"

Are you suggesting that we just ignore market realities and artifically prop up prices so nobody ever finds themselves "in the barrel"? That sounds like a marvelous idea. Let me know when you figure out how to make that work. I think Marx and Lenin tried it. Didn't seem to work out too well if I recall.

Joe Schmoe
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"Then let's gid rid of the huge investment in police forces that let you chase up bad debts and maintain a large house while poorer people scrimp and save."

If you're really concerned about "poorer people", without regard for race or nationality, free markets are serving them extremely well right now.  All of those jobs going to India and China are having a huge impact on the standard of living for poor people (relative to the U.S., certainly) in those countries.

Jim Rankin
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Let me also say that I'm a proponent for outsourcing jobs, as my paycheck comes from a European corporation.  I'm perfectly happy to be an American taking a job from some poor European person.

Jim Rankin
Wednesday, June 16, 2004

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