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Intel The Almighty Buck

Intel Chief: Don't Call Us Benedict Arnold CEOs 1033

theodp writes "In a USA Today interview, Intel CEO Craig Barrett pooh-poohs arguments against outsourcing, explaining 'We do not send our basketball teams to compete against the rest of the world, saying the other teams have to play slower because our folks aren't fit enough to run as fast.' He is also fed up with being called a Benedict Arnold CEO (perhaps he'd prefer Unemployed Computer Scientist). Barrett pegs K-12 math and science education as the biggest threat to U.S. employment, but when pressed about U.S. kids who do well in both, attend excellent universities, but have no guarantees of good jobs when they graduate, Barrett remarks 'I don't have a solution to that one.'"
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Intel Chief: Don't Call Us Benedict Arnold CEOs

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  • by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:30PM (#9027832) Homepage Journal

    When CEOs say "good for the economy" they don't mean "good for the average Joe" they mean "good for our shareholders"

    It's easy for these CEOs to sit in their ivory towers and tell the people that various things are good for the economy, they aren't the ones facing unemployment or living cheque to cheque. What matters to these people is making the shareholders happy, the workers are expendable cogs in their money-machine.

    Imagine, for just a moment, that Craig Barrett were to say "Intel investors, I have a great plan. We'll stop outsourcing and start hiring domestically. Yeah, it'll cost more money and there will be a profit hit for a while but it will keep our people working and spending their paycheques domestically." Something like that is truly good for the economy as a whole, but how long would be be CEO for? The security guards would be showing him to the door in minutes.
  • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:31PM (#9027836)
    Unfortunately for the fat & happy Americans (I'm one of them), we're entering an age of a truly global economy, where there are very few barriers as far as communication and travel. There's a huge standard of living between first world and thrid world countries. Basic economics (hell, and nature) say that what's going to happen is that there's going to have to be an equilibrium that say, the US and India will reach, eventually in terms of standard of living pay rates, etc. At least for the next generation or so, the US is going to see a dramatic drop in standard of living, while other parts of the world increase (we're seeing that already in SE Asia). There's no way around it. The Net and telephones and cheap air travel have done this, and there's really no way to stop it. The genie is out of the bottle. CEO's do what they always do: maximize the bottom line. workers do what they always do: work for as much money as is possible. It's really inevitable, and it's time the IT industry sucks it up and realizes this. It's already happened with other US industries (autos, steel, textiles), and will continue for the forseeable future.

    Time to tighten up those belts boys! The days of a big house in the suburbs with a giant SUV are pretty much over. If you expect to be able to continue living as well as you have been previously, you're kidding yourself.
  • Money fever. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:31PM (#9027838)
    "Barrett pegs K-12 math and science education as the biggest threat to U.S. employment, but when pressed about U.S. kids who do well in both, attend excellent universities, but have no guarantees of good jobs when they graduate, Barrett remarks 'I don't have a solution to that one.'""

    How about being honest with us, and admitting it isn't about education, but all about the money?
  • Yeah... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cybermace5 ( 446439 ) <g.ryan@macetech.com> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:32PM (#9027840) Homepage Journal
    That whole interview really did collapse at the end. He spouts off about having to compete, and discusses at length how kids need to be taught math and science, and how many teachers aren't educated in the subjects that they teach. But then he has to admit that even if the kids were taught to excel, it wouldn't change anything.

    We are not competing on basis of skill here, we're competing on the basic cost of living. Today's CEO's are pocketing the savings from outsourcing, and will be retired when the house of cards crashes down because no one here has any more money to spend.
  • by LBArrettAnderson ( 655246 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:33PM (#9027848)
    Barrett pegs K-12 math and science education as the biggest threat to U.S. employment, but when pressed about U.S. kids who do well in both, attend excellent universities, but have no guarantees of good jobs when they graduate, Barrett remarks 'I don't have a solution to that one.'

    That seems like a somewhat pointless addition to your news submission, theodp. I wonder why it's in there...

    The first thing he "pegs" has nothing to do with the "remark" he makes. It is a threat to employment because if there aren't enough kids interested in math and science, we're screwed.
  • by MakoStorm ( 699968 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:33PM (#9027849)
    To turn a small profit, they have outsourced over seas and cut the people that brought them to their current size. If turning on the people who made you what you are isnt treason, then what is?

  • by duckpoopy ( 585203 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:33PM (#9027850) Journal
    Kids with Down's Syndrome can graduate from US public schools. I suppose it is good for the ego of the disabled kid, but it seems to indicate that standards are pretty low here.
  • by Mad Man ( 166674 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:34PM (#9027858)
    http://volokh.com/2004_03_14_volokh_archive.html#1 07922202284050918 [volokh.com]

    [Eugene Volokh, 3/15/2004 07:53:35 AM]

    Calling people traitors: As readers of this blog know, I've been quite critical of people calling others "traitors" simply because they disagree with them about the war or about foreign policy. There should be plenty of room in civil debate for good-faith disagreement about what's good for the country. Moreover, decent Americans can still sometimes consider the legitimate interests beyond the American national interest -- for instance, they might oppose an attack on some country because of a concern about the country's innocent citizens, whether or not the attack is in the interests of America's citizens. It's neither fair nor productive to reduce legitimate policy disagreements to accusations of lack of patriotism, or, worse still, treason?

    But if this is true, then what's with all this that we've been hearing about "Benedict Arnold CEOs"? There are lots of hard and interesting questions about how American businessmen should deal with international competition. Some think that outsourcing is on balance bad for America, others think it's good. Some think that businessmen should focus first and foremost on the interests of America generally, others that businessmen should primarily serve the interests of their shareholders (within, of course, the boundaries of the law) -- or that outsourcing helps both shareholders and, ultimately, America generally, since without it we'd lose our competitive edge and thus have to lay off even more people. Reasonable minds can differ on this. But there's no justification for waging this battle through slurs and insults, and allusions (even if clearly hyperbolic) to a man whose name has become a snonym for "traitor."

    But if I'm mistaken, and "Benedict Arnold" is permissible political hyperbole to be used against people whose economic policies you think undermine the American national interest, then why isn't "traitor" permissible political hyperbole to be used against people whose foreign policy you think undermines the American national interest?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:34PM (#9027859)
    " It's easy for these CEOs to sit in their ivory towers and tell the people that various things are good for the economy, they aren't the ones facing unemployment or living cheque to cheque. What matters to these people is making the shareholders happy, the workers are expendable cogs in their money-machine."

    Your aim is slightly off. here let me correct. "It's all about the new BMW I'm going to buy with my golden parachute". If it was JUST about the shareholders, then CEO's would be outsourcing their jobs.
  • by DavidKirkBeale ( 747102 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:34PM (#9027860)
    Phase 1: Blame K-12 schooling here in the States, thus taking the blame off me and instead saying, "Hey, the educational system and all those 'teachers' are at fault, not little old Intel!!!"

    Phase 2: When confronted with the possibility that some kids have "slipped through the cracks" of the US education system and actually become quite smart, smart enough even to possibly hold a job at Intel and do it quite well, COMPLETELY DENY PHASE 1'S EXISTENCE.
  • He's right... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by trifster ( 307673 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:35PM (#9027865) Homepage Journal
    K-12 math and science is poor in the U.S. Also poor are employees perceptions of the goals of a businees. The goal of a business is NOT to give graduates jobs. The goal of ANY business is TO MAKE MONEY! I've been unemployeed and I have been employed. The fact is that outsourcing work is a compeditive advantage for business and in the log run benifits all. Trade whether goods or services is a good thing. Ask any economist!
  • Your aim is slightly off. here let me correct. "It's all about the new BMW I'm going to buy with my golden parachute"

    heheheh, well done. I have no problem with people getting rich if they've earned in a way that's equitable to all but getting multi-million dollar bonuses for taking away peoples' livelyhoods? That's just disgusting blood money.
  • People are crazy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by feelyoda ( 622366 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:37PM (#9027874) Homepage
    Since when is it the government's job to secure your own employment?

    If you did well in school, have a good education, but can't find a job, why not start your own business and follow the advice: Compete!

    I want to fight the nanny-state mentality that the government
    1) Should
    2) Can, even if it wanted to,
    control the economy and my economic well being.

    As for failing K-12 schools, clearly more volunteerism by parents and intelligent people, along with more incentive for competition among schools, is the solution.

    Again, if you are unemployed, maybe you should fix that situation. Try inventing something in your garage while working at McDonalds. They are always hiring.
  • by bazmail ( 764941 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:38PM (#9027879)
    Searching around for the best deal and leveraging it to make big profits is what our great country was built on. Why should Intel be forced to pay higher wages to less skilled employees here?

    Thats called COMMUNISM!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:38PM (#9027883)
    This outsourcing thing will seem like a great idea to these companies, until the folks overseas realize they don't need an American management structure in place telling them what to do.

    Then the shareholders of Intel can enjoy knowing they outsourced all their expertise to their new greatest rivals. They might think patents and whatever will save them, but they're nuts if they think other trading blocks will allow their workers to be wage slaves to U.S. "Intellectual Property".

    Good luck Intel; it might buy you a few years, but that's all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:39PM (#9027888)
    Something like that is truly good for the economy as a whole

    Until a processor fabricator opens up in China and sells us chips that are 90% as good as Intel's best at 10% of the price.

    Then, because Intel chose to handicap their competitiveness by refusing to oursource, they're out of business entirely.

    Intel is already a highly-globalized company, and so is AMD. If they weren't, the machine you're using right now would run half as fast and cost twice as much. Now, are you going to tell me that's somehow "good for the economy?"
  • by maelstrom ( 638 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:41PM (#9027897) Homepage Journal
    Free trade doesn't have to be a zero-sum game.

  • by ThomasFlip ( 669988 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:42PM (#9027904)
    I think we have a double standard here. Yeah we can outsource production jobs to Mexico and Asia in order to get cheap shoes and clothes. Nobody bitches about that. But all of a sudden when higher education jobs are taken away, we consider it a national crisis. The farming and manufacturing sectors have shrunk drastically over the past 50 years, thats not a national crisis. This is simply a result of change, something the United States tech workers are having a hard time dealing with. So either stop bitching, or do something about policy. These people have business's to run, they aren't philanthropists. Would you rather have a couple jobs at you're local tech firm, or no jobs because they went out of business.
  • by ulatekh ( 775985 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:43PM (#9027920) Homepage Journal

    ...the problem I have is that, thanks to widespread abuses in the H-1B visa program, foreign programmers are brought into the U.S. and paid very little compared to U.S. programmers.

    Businesses say they do this because U.S. programmers don't have the skills they need, but with the widespread unemployment of computer programmers, this can't possibly be true.

    H-1B made sense during the tech boom, but now that we're in a tech bust, there's no legitimate excuse for it.

    If we stopped the H-1B visa program, all those programmers went home, and then software jobs got outsourced to their countries, that'd be OK with me -- at least it'd be honest. Right now, U.S. programmers have the worst of both worlds.

    And as for doing something besides programming for a living...you mean to tell me that I spent my teenage years actually studying, getting good grades, and keeping my nose clean, I went to college to get my B.S. in computer science, I worked my tail off for 12 years...and now I'm unemployed and poor? Damn, I could have been doing drugs and partying all that time, and I'd have exactly the same to show for it! I deeply resent that losers, slackers, and lowlifes are better off than I am. Doesn't anyone understand that???

    And how the heck am I supposed to afford another college degree, when I'm facing losing everything I own?

  • by maelstrom ( 638 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:43PM (#9027923) Homepage Journal
    Bullshit he doesn't have a point. There are many excellent, well educated, CS and EE students graduating every year, and many of them are having a hell of a time finding a job in this market, or are you trying to tell me they haven't been educated in math and science?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:46PM (#9027947)
    "Time to tighten up those belts boys! The days of a big house in the suburbs with a giant SUV are pretty much over. If you expect to be able to continue living as well as you have been previously, you're kidding yourself."

    You might want to look at bit harder.

    The number of SUV's is lesser than all the other vehicles combined.

    The number of "big houses in the suburbs" is lesser than the total kinds of houses out there.

    Yeah we have a good standard of living, but it's not as good as you'd like it protrayed.

    "There's a huge standard of living between first world and thrid world countries. "

    Yes, but are people happy? Numerical superiority isn't happy.

    "Basic economics (hell, and nature) say that what's going to happen is that there's going to have to be an equilibrium that say, the US and India will reach, eventually in terms of standard of living pay rates, etc."

    Look up "entropy". Economics and life in general are active systems, not "water seeking" systems.

    "At least for the next generation or so, the US is going to see a dramatic drop in standard of living, while other parts of the world increase (we're seeing that already in SE Asia)."

    Were also seeing all the other problems that come with affluence as well.

    "CEO's do what they always do: maximize the bottom line. workers do what they always do: work for as much money as is possible. It's really inevitable, and it's time the IT industry sucks it up and realizes this."

    Gee, I didn't know, we didn't realize that we should be working for as much money as possible? Who knew?

    "It's already happened with other US industries (autos, steel, textiles), and will continue for the forseeable future."

    Yeah! That makes it OK. The "it's inevitable", just go with the flow. Pay no attention to that sucking sound. Defeatist crap.
  • by Ingolfke ( 515826 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:46PM (#9027951) Journal
    Yes they would show him to the door, because his job is to make money for the shareholders.

    If your bank sent you a letter and told you that they had decided that a new policy would be to reduce 20% of your savings annually in order to increase the wages of their local branch tellers so they could match cost of living increases and ensure employee comfort would you (or the average joe) keep banking there? Nope... so why would any shareholders keep money in Intel if they can make more money elsewhere... answer... they won't.

    Furthermore... despite all the hoopla about buying domestic... most people don't check every single thing they buy for where it was made. They buy whatever offers the best value, so if AMD outsourced their work to a place that had cheaper labor and thereby reduced the cost of operations and thereby reduced the price per chip... then Intel would in a tough spot, would most likely lose sales, and would eventually be in a weaker competitive position, which would reduce their shareholder value.

    Now since both companies are in the U.S. one might argue that you have to legislate that these companies keep jobs here. This is a Benedict Arnold policy, pandering to the fears and pains of today's masses while selling out the future. Yes would protect some higher paying domestic jobs today if we keep companies from outsourcing, but this would be giving away competive advantages to foreign companies who WOULD take advantage of lower costs of skilled labor in other countries. So in 10 years, you could have an Indian/Chinese/ that could enter our market, drastically undercut our prices, and still make good/better profits. Our companies would fold, investments dollars would flow out of the U.S. and future generations would have a much more difficult time finding quality work.
  • Re:Money fever. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pe1rxq ( 141710 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:47PM (#9027953) Homepage Journal
    I find it funny that after all that time all the capitalist fanboys are just now learning that in their system there is no guarantee that money is flowing their way....

    Both communism and capitalism predict that ultimatly there will be some balance in which everyboddy has equal chance and oportunity.
    The problem is that everybody has to play by the rules and there is no place for protectionism.

    Our technological advances are slowly taking down the natural protecting boundries... Ever since that started we tried to build new ones by law (taxes on money going the wrong way) but the balance is already tipping due to our own greed.

    The only question remaining is will we keep oscilating around this ideal forever or will things stable out after a while and reach a point of stability where everyboddy is happy?

  • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:49PM (#9027964)
    And I'm sure that people with degrees in buggy whips are having a hard time finding a job, too. Just because you have a degree doesn't mean that you're entitled to a job. Face it. You made a bad decision. Your options now are to move to India (where you can live well as a programmer), or find a new profession. Adapt or die. Nobody said life was fair, kiddo. That's something they don't teach you in college.
  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:50PM (#9027973)
    Two basic classes, the very powerful and the serfs.

    Now, look at the US economy. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer while the middle-class shrinks.

    You have an overly optimistic view of the future.

    Rather than hoping that everyone will, somehow, achieve a more equal economic level, why don't we start working now to preserve and strengthen the middle-class?
  • Re:Yeah... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wavicle ( 181176 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:53PM (#9027997)
    Yes. Craig Barret, like Carly Fiorina, has found a PR whipping boy. The public knows that Math & Science K-12 education is very poor. It's really just a red herring. Every one of the white collar jobs they ship over seas requires a college education, and he admits is the university system is healthy.

    They are lobbying for reforms to K-12 not because they actually care whether or not K-12 education gets better but because it would take years to happen and in the meantime they can continue finding ways to increase the bottom line. If you're laying off people here to send the jobs over there, you are admitting that you have people who could do it over here regardless of the state of K12 education.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:53PM (#9028002)
    ... and can't get it to work. So he blames the American educational system.

    The most obvious change involves the loss of IT jobs. Many have gone abroad, and they aren't coming back. Offshore outsourcing as a percentage of IT budgets went from 12% in 2000 to 28% in 2003, according to Forrester Research. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are now 212,000 unemployed computer and mathematics professionals. No doubt the number would be even higher but for the IT workers who have given up and moved on to different careers.

    Fewer students are opting for computer science degrees as more corporate recruiters skip college campuses.

    So? This guy blames Americans first. Some small competitor, AMD, upstages this guy with a better 64-bit architecture and he's whining about American college kids.

    Sounds like a "management vision" problem to me. The problem is in Craig Barrett's mirror, if he'd just look. Maybe Intel shareholders should outsource him.

  • by seven of five ( 578993 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:54PM (#9028006)
    When the boards of directors discover that Indian MBA's are as good as any this guy's ass is grass. They'll sell the fancy building, rent a PO box in a prestigious town, bump profits to an all-time high. Outsource everything except ownership of the brand. Investors happy.
  • by swillden ( 191260 ) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:54PM (#9028010) Homepage Journal

    When CEOs say "good for the economy" they don't mean "good for the average Joe" they mean "good for our shareholders"

    Most "average Joes" are shareholders. Many have personal investement accounts, some have pension plans, and most everyone with a semi-decent job has a 401K, or equivalent.

    It's a bit more complex than you make it out to be.

  • by the_2nd_coming ( 444906 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:55PM (#9028012) Homepage
    um, no, a true global economy would mean that workers can move to where the jobs are and that there is a world wide rate of pay that differs little from one location to the next.

    what we have is CEOs taking advantage of underpaid high tech workers in countries that have no labor laws.
  • Nor should he (Score:5, Insightful)

    by prisoner-of-enigma ( 535770 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:55PM (#9028016) Homepage
    but have no guarantees of good jobs when they graduate, Barrett remarks 'I don't have a solution to that one.'"

    "Guarantees" of a good job? Give me a break! Nobody is guaranteed anything in life, nor should they be.

    Look, I got laid off by the dot com crash three years ago and it took me nearly a year to find new work. Did I whine and moan about how I should've been "guaranteed" a good job? No! I made the choice to leave a larger, slower company to join a smaller, faster one with an eye towards more money and rapid advancement. When it came to a halt, I had no one to blame but myself. Nobody put a gun to my head and said "hey, leave this stable job for a riskier one!"

    For that matter, these college grads who are complaining about poor job prospects should think for a moment (something college, of course, consistently discourages in graduates). Um, who put a gun to their heads and forced them to become Computer Science majors? Answer: NOBODY. It might have seemed a good choice four years ago when things were still kinda booming, but thems the breaks. Sometimes you do everything right and you still fail. That is not a lack of a guarantee, that is life. I know that's a radically uncomfortable concept for a twentysomething college grad, but they'd better get used to it.

    As for outsourcing, I'm all for it if it makes financial sense for the company. We as consumers benefit from outsourcing in the form of lower prices. If price savings aren't carried over to consumers, we can still benefit from increased corporate profit margins by becoming stockholders in that company. Regardless, companies have no law preventing them from outsourcing, and any such law would very likely be unconstitutional in the first place.

    Quit whining about outsourcing and start looking for ways you can benefit from it. It will require effort, intelligence, judgement skills, and hard work, so it's likely college grads will be totally out of their element. But it's better to get started early on understanding how life works instead of living in the fantasy world of college for an extended period of time. If you fail a course in life, rarely is there a makeup test.
  • by the_2nd_coming ( 444906 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:57PM (#9028031) Homepage
    well, if india would accept workers from other countries, that would be an option. the fact is that these outsourcing countries where jobs are going are not allowing foreign workers to work there. how is that free trade?
  • by ImpTech ( 549794 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:58PM (#9028034)
    Well, its not like they lower the standards for everyone so that the downs syndrome kid will pass. They lower the standards for that kid. I don't know if it really helps the impaired kids to be handled that way, but I don't see how it necessarily hurts anybody else.
  • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:59PM (#9028040)
    Oh, puh-lease. I lost my job in the dot-com bubble, and I scraped together credit cards to start a business. Don't whine to me. I've been working 12-14 hour days for 7 days a week for the past 2 years.
  • Re:Hmmm (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:02PM (#9028071)
    "...when pressed about U.S. kids who do well in both, attend excellent universities, but have no guarantees of good jobs when they graduate, Barrett remarks 'I don't have a solution to that one.'"

    Guess what America, no more getting fed an easy life. If you are smart enough to excel in school then try to apply that knowledge in getting a job. Americans have to learn to be resourceful and accept blame when they fail. I don't think Americans understand that. I have a good friend who barely gets by at his Big Ten university with a 2.5GPA but he is very resourceful and is pulling in 6 digits.

    America needs to learn what an "entrepreneur" is too. Sorry for my rambling. America needs to stop crying and accept the change.
  • by Jhon ( 241832 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:03PM (#9028074) Homepage Journal
    I have no problem with people getting rich if they've earned in a way that's equitable to all...
    I'm sorry -- but that just doesn't make any sense to me. What is an "equitable" way to get rich? I haven't seen any overlords with whips beating the backs of workers to get them to perform. They work of their own accord. And if they want, they can leave.

    Outsourcing isn't the fault of the CEOs and to blame them smacks to me of a witch-hunt. It's a nice way to mis-direct attention to the REAL problem: Globalization. In particular, Globalization where we don't insist foreign workers fall under the same EPA, OSHA, minimum wage, workman's comp, etc standards that we force on the employeers of our OWN workers.

    If you want to REALLY solve the problem, either force outside workforces to comply with OUR standards, or lower OUR standards of employment to meet theirs. CEOs and corporations are not "boogie men". We've set up a system that basically lays money at their feet and we complain when the bend over to pick it up.
  • by Politicus ( 704035 ) <salubrious.ymail@com> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:05PM (#9028089) Homepage
    Since when is it the government's job to secure a CEO's ass by subsidizing R&D. Barret says,
    Another significant area is research and development (R&D) investment that is government funded. If you look at the fraction of output in the U.S. that has gone to R&D -- especially physical sciences -- it has been in decline for two decades. R&D creates the ideas for future products and services.
    This guy is all free market when it comes to jobs other than his own, and all socialized government funded nanny state shit when it's his own job. Do you think those future products and services that he's talking about are going to benefit American employees when they are being outsourced?

    It's a class war. At least the labor side is looking for a fair deal while capital is after old fashioned subsidies and new rights to exploit.

  • by stryck9 ( 670369 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:08PM (#9028110)
    If America has such a poor education system, then how come the people who complain about it are products of it? Both Craig and Carly are American educated. Seriously if these guys are right then their top priority should be outsourcing them selves as they are products of an inferior education system, and cost 100 times more than an well educated outsourced counterpart. When outsourcing gets to the executive suite, we'll see how fast this "education rant" changes.
  • Re:Money fever. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by provolt ( 54870 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:09PM (#9028122)
    The only question remaining is will we keep oscilating around this ideal forever or will things stable out after a while and reach a point of stability where everyboddy is happy?

    The answer is: WE CAN NEVER MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY! Never. Ever. Not possible. Never will be. Never. Never. Never.

    Why? Because people are never satisfied with what they have. Just look at the forms here. We have people that have enough disposable income and enough time to use a computer to post a comment about how terrible their life is. "But I'm unemplyed." "I'm underemployed." "My job isn't what I want to do."

    Seriously, those are good problems to have. If you can use a computer, you're not too bad off. A real problem would be something like not knowing if the well will have water today or if the water in the well will make you sick."

    People ALWAYS find something new to bitch about. No one will ever be happy. Utopia doesn't exist. Every time someone tries to build it it, something much, much worse appears. Free Trade and Democracy are the best ways we have to make the problems that people have be of the "what shall we have for lunch" type.
  • by feelyoda ( 622366 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:12PM (#9028143) Homepage
    the benefit of subsidizing an individual: one happy individual, and the company he works for.

    the benefit of subsidizing new research, at the university level or at a corporation: everyone who uses that research.

    Yes, the benefits should be cut, but one is more usefull (and cheaper actually) than the other.

    What is the government's allocation for funding research? Inisignificant.

    What does the government spend on other business subsidies that don't fund research? A lot.
    What about direct payments to people? at least 25% of the 2 Trillion budget.

    It's only going to get worse.

    Also, you can't exploit voluntary labor. If you are being exploited at a job, leave it. Any other thought is trying to put the words in the mouth of labor, and is in itself, exploitive.

    The fact is that people here need to work harder to compete. People abroad who are working at these jobs are thankful because they are far, far better than their old jobs.
  • by bangular ( 736791 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:13PM (#9028146)
    The reason companies outsource to China, India, etc. is because they can get away with paying these people next to nothing. They literally wouldn't be able to legally pay these people those wages in the US because they are below minimum wage. It's not about quality or anything like that. It's because these people live in such poor countries they can be paid next to nothing. If they legally could, I'm sure these companies would have slaves. If they want to pay these people the SAME US wages I have no problem with that.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:13PM (#9028150)
    Guess you've not ever heard of IDEA.
    Often these children graduate with Vocational Education degrees. Starting in high school they basically do nothing but learn how to do manual, repetative labor nobody else would do.
    These children often end up in group homes, working in assisted settings, doing things like shred top secret documents all day long.
    I used to repair the shredders that were never designed to handle the volume of paper the local Air Force Base had these disabled teens and adults shredding.
    It's a hell of a lot better than languishing, neglected in some mental institution from birth till death at taxpayer expense you stupid insensitive clod of duck shit.
    If you don't know WTF your talking about you should keep your mouth shut.
  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:14PM (#9028160)
    "This rich vs, poor thing has never proven to actually happen throughout history."

    Then you need to read more history.

    As I stated, it happened in Medieval Europe.

    It is happening in the US right now. A higher percentage of people are falling below the poverty line and a higher percentage of wealth is accumulating in the top 5%.

    "History (and nature) both show an equilibrium happening."

    Incorrect. If that were so, then we would not be seeing so much money accumulating in the top 5%.

    We'd be seeing LESS money.

    "The US may have less of a middle class, but that doesn't mean it's going away."

    Correct, but you'd have to show that less wealth is accumulating in the top 5%.

    "The middle class now lives in New Delhi."

    No, what has happened is that some people in a poorer nation have had their income raised. They are now "middle class" for that nation.
    The total percentage of wealth held by the top 5% continues to grow.

    You are under the impression that because someone, somewhere is doing better than s/he did before, then no damage is occuring. You are wrong.

    Here are some simple numbers. And before anyone gets stupid, these are just used as examples.

    Suppose the entire middle class in the US held about $1 Billion.

    You could wipe them out and raise an equal number of Indians to "middle class" making only 1/10th of that (about $100 million).

    So, $900 million have been moved from the "middle class" to the top 5%, but you don't see a problem with that.

    But we could do the same in China for only $10 million. The top 5% would gain $990 million while the middle class only made $10 million.

    And that is the problem. The money is NOT being spread evenly. It is NOT going to those in poverty. It is accumulating at the top.

    Therefore, the end result will NOT be what you want to believe (equal standard throughout).

    The end result will be a few very rich and a LOT of very poor.
  • by DissidentHere ( 750394 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:16PM (#9028166) Homepage Journal
    It seems we need an economics lesson here. Just because an American worker loses his/her job doesn't mean the CEO has simply taken away his/her livelihood. The money has been *redistributed*. If the company does not stay profitable, many more people do lose thier jobs. Also remember, there are more people depending on a company than just the ones who happen to work there. What about grandma and gradpa whose retirement is dependant on the success or failure of the company?

    I'm no big fan of offshoring, and it does hurt (at least temporarily) people here at home. But it is small minded to forget that the money from those salaries gets divided between the new offshore worker and the share holders (and the corp execs, yes).

    Also, how can someone get rich in a way that is equitable? Wealth is inherently unequal. What you seem to be saying would equate to asking Bill Gates to send some of his personal income to India to pay programmers to do nothing so the jobs stay at home and his personal wealth can diminish. (Gates is a bad example being so reviled here, but work with the analogy)

    As a I side note, the company I work for was purchased by a company that does a lot off shoreing. They did let a bunch of programmers go a few years ago, but a lot of people became business analysts and project or resource managers. And they still need programmers to do architecture and design work, and review the code that comes back. If you're worried about being offshored, make sure that grunt coding isn't the only thing you can do. US companies generally recognize smart, hard working people and want to leverage thier skills.

    Sorry for ranting.
  • by Fortress ( 763470 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:19PM (#9028192) Homepage
    How can they be called "standards" if they change from person to person? This muddy standard has devalued what an education is worth. If some one sees "High School Graduate" on a resume, how are they to know if they got "passed along" or if they are a mensa type? High school diplomas have degraded to certificates of attendance.
  • Re:Nor should he (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BCW2 ( 168187 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:22PM (#9028209) Journal
    Except for the fact that a Bachelors degree today has the same worth as a high school diploma did 40 years ago. That also makes high school diplomas worthless.
  • by Ba3r ( 720309 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:26PM (#9028236)
    Exactly, except what is so infurating about the article is that this CEO claims that it is US workers who aren't competitive due to education. Bullshit, US workers are not competitive because the US has a higher standard of living, and thus has higher costs. The only thing that keeps US workers afloat is their education.
  • both wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ender Ryan ( 79406 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:28PM (#9028262) Journal
    You are both wrong. What is happening here is a larger divide between rich and poor. The rich American CEOs are getting richer, and we are becoming poor, and people in other places are getting somewhat less poor. Yes, it is true that an equilibrium is being reached, but only for the poor masses of the world. Wealth, and then prices will equalize throughout the world, until we are all on the same level. In the short term, people in third-world countries getting good jobs are living pretty comfortably, but that's because their paltry salaries are a lot for where they live. As those areas get wealthier, prices will go up, etc., etc. Eventually we will be on roughly equal footing.

    And that's good for them, bad for us(especially in the short term), but the people who are benefitting the most are the American CEOs.

    In fact, American isn't quite right, but right now it's mostly American CEOs. It will spread throughout the world, as "free trade" expands.

    The wealthy have been getting their fingers deeper and deeper into the governments around the world, and they will eventually have total control. They will be our lords, and we their subjects.

    And then of course, we will have new revolutions. A lot of blood will be shed. Periodically, the poor masses will acheive brief periods of comfort, influence, even partial control. But as always, new kings, emperors, lords, deities, whatever... will gain control and force the masses to do their bidding, again. History repeats itself.

    Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe we truly are "civilized" now, and will remain free of such extreme tyranny forever. Heh, yeah right...

    <whisper>wow, this new armchair is comfy</whisper>

  • by Rich0 ( 548339 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:29PM (#9028266) Homepage
    Most "average Joes" are shareholders. Many have personal investement accounts, some have pension plans, and most everyone with a semi-decent job has a 401K, or equivalent.

    Take a typical smart middle-class person who started out with only modest support from his parents, and made his own wealth.

    Let's assume he makes $60,000 a year for 30 years, and puts away 10% of that into stocks increasing at a growth rate of 10%. Let's assume no inflation (it doesn't affect my illustration, it just makes all the numbers bigger).

    When he retires he'll have made $1.8 million from salary. He'll also have put away $180k of that salary into stocks, and he'll have made about $900k in stock growth. (I used a free web 401k planner to get the numbers.)

    Now, 10% growth is about all you can really expect, and a 10% rate of savings is pretty considerable. Most people do not save that much. Even so, the stock growth contributed only 1/3rd of his lifetime wealth accumulation.

    Try walking down the row of cubes at work with the following offer - if you accept a layoff we'll add to your 401k as if you had an extra 1% of growth for 30 years in the company stock. The CEO might take that in a heartbeat (assuming he were solely motiveated by money) - the CEO probably has millions invested in stock, and a 1% boost over 30 years might easily exceed his annual salary. On the other hand, the average worker probably has maybe $100k in stock, and so an extra $50k or so after 30 years surely isn't worth losing his job.

    Most ordinary people benefit the most from decisions that benefit works - not shareholders. That isn't to say that we should just plunder company treasuries - there should be a balance. However, the balance should not be, whatever is good for people who can afford stock is good for everyone...
  • by the_meager ( 686660 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:32PM (#9028287)
    If you understand economics, you understand that a country pays for its imports with its exports.

    When jobs are outsourced to other countries, the average level of income and standard of living in 'receiving' countries raises, the average level of income and standard of living in 'exporting' countries stays roughly the same. It the country of origin, the average level of income and standard of living raises as people stop whining about losing their "American Jobs" (ignorant of the fact that "American jobs" is a myth) and get out and find a new productive job.

    When you lose your job to someone overseas, it's the market telling you that your skills are worth something better. Well, at least if you got off your lazy ass and actually continously educate yourself and expand your skills in various fields.

    When the economy of a foreign country becomes stronger, they then have more money to spend on imports into their country. Very few countries (well, none really) can have everything they want as cheap as they want as fast and efficient as they want.

    Be creative. Be useful. Don't be afraid of a little change. It's funny how so many /programmers/ fall into the cliche of not enjoying working in a cubicle because humans weren't meant to (Office space, anyone?) but yet they roar up a storm when they lose said job.

    A monopoly refers to lack of competition. Please, no more nonsense about WalMart's evil outsourcing, either. American made goods are of higher quality. American programmers produce better qualitiy code (possible reason for the slowing down of job outsourcing for the more highly skilled positions?)

    Let's recap:
    -One pays for imports with exports. As with the individual, so is with a nation.
    -Stronger foreign economies means more money to be spent important American goods into said country. (The world loves American goods, so why are we afraid of them having enough money to buy them?)
    -Losing your job due to finding someone who can do a sufficient job cheaper means that you can earn more money and are capable of more difficult work.

    It's really disheartening when faux-intellectuals run off about evil corporations and blood money, and then propose that more government (laws, regulation, agencies, and officials) be put into play in order to prevent evil business.

    Right, because we know if a monopoly forms naturally, it is by definition a good thing and that no "monopoly" in U.S. history formed without the helping hand of big government. Also, Microsoft is not a monopoly, and the reason it acts as it does it because of government "regulation" permitting it. Microsoft has plenty of competition. I'm writing this off of a Redhat box.

    Book Recommendations:
    Hazlitt - Economics In One Lesson
    Hayek - The Road to Serfdom
    von Mises - Human Actions
    Folsom - Myth of the Robber Barons

    Pretty much read anything by Milton Friedman, Frederic Bastiat, von Mises, Hyek, Rothbard, Szasz, Hazlitt, and Sowell.

    And let's not forget Chodorov's Income Tax: The Power To Destroy (or was it, Root of All Evil? Look it up yourselves).

    about it... for now?
  • by foidulus ( 743482 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:35PM (#9028304)
    Is for countries worldwide to work towards eliminating "dollar dependence" The trade we have today isn't trade in any sense of the word, basically the US gives other countries little pieces of paper in exchange for manufactured goods, programming, call centers etc. If you ask me this isn't trade in any sense of the word. Because the US economy is the biggest economy in the world, the dollar is considered the most desirable and "safest" currency(Though if Britain joined the EU, the Euro will probably take it's place, but for the time being the UK isn't in a rush to join because of it's oil supplies, but I digress). This has introduced a world-wide "dollar dependency" ie every country in the world wants the most dollars possible(versus other currencies) to help it's economy grow. This worked out really well during Japan's economic miracle, because the Japanese could take their dollars and exchange it for anything(Canadian wood, Saudi oil), but look at Japan now. They are buying tons of dollars just to keep the yen as weak as possible(more yen to the dollar means Japanese products are cheaper). Now, Japan is just one country, a relatively small country at that. What happens when 3 billion others try this same thing? We are already seeing it, the value of the dollar is starting to fall. As the supply of dollars outside the US continues to skyrocket, each dollar is going to be worth less(supply and demand! Even the IMF said that America's huge trade and budget deficits are a threat to the world economy) So what happens when India, who bases a lot of their growth on exports to the US finds out that the dollar is worthless? Some argue that they could just transition to exporting to Japan, Europe(which they do now, but on a very small scale) But these countries will also be dealing with the falling dollar. Also, transitions do not happen overnight. Not to mention that OPEC prices it's oil in dollars too.

    My opinion is that if the US opens it's market to the rest of the world, the rest of the world should reciprocate. This is most definately not the case. So all you people scream free trade, but to me, the trade is anything but free. The US should use it's considerable infuence to pressure these countries to open up their markets and move towards a more balanced approach to trade, ie trade goods for goods, services for services, instead of trading little pieces of paper.
  • by killerc ( 462845 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:35PM (#9028306) Homepage
    Capitalism doesn't know patriotism, it's purely opportunistic.
  • by thedillybar ( 677116 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:36PM (#9028313)
    These CEOs are traitors - they are betrying their country and their people for money.

    They aren't betrying, or betraying for that matter, their country. What obligations do they have to their country? They pay their taxes, provide products and services, and the US economy would be worse off if the company didn't exist at all.

    They're certainly not betraying their people. By my estimation, "their people" are their stockholders. If their choices are outsource or lose to their competitors, there is no question. It's unfortunate, but what are they supposed to do?

    No I'm not (even close to) a CEO, and no I don't have a solution to our unemployment problems.

  • by Ralph Yarro ( 704772 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:37PM (#9028322) Homepage
    Capitalism doesn't know patriotism, it's purely opportunistic.

    99.9% of the time patriotism is purely opportunistic too. The two go well together.
  • by PixelScuba ( 686633 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:39PM (#9028336)
    Absurd. Allowing special ed students to graduate at the same time as their peers is perfectly fine. Nobody is lowering the standards here for graduation, we're just trying to make life the best and most fulfilling to Handicapped children as possible. There is no concern that they will take your jobs or demean your high school diploma. We're not talking about people with physical handicaps, but obvious mental deficiencies. Many of these people need help just functioning with normal society, and will likely die early in life. The advancements nations have made in the helping of Developmentally disabled in the last one hundred years is amazing. Rather than being left to die, we give them the best chance that they can have to live the life they're capable of.
    Saying Special Ed students Degrades the Education Process is absurd. Their graduation has nothing to do with the current educational standards of graduation.
  • by puppetluva ( 46903 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:41PM (#9028349)
    This author is using a series of flawed assumptions/myths that I'd like to debunk:

    1) Outsourcing is only happening to menial jobs. The author first states that "the activities that will migrate offshore are predominantly those that can be viewed as requiring low skill since process and repeatability are key underpinnings of the work"

    Software Development is not "low-skill". Repeatability for complex processes is a complex achievement. Nearly all of technology/science is concerned with repeatability.

    2) What is better for the global economy is better for the American economy.

    Let's say that China becomes even more of an economic powerhouse, the world economy becomes more efficent, and America gets beat out of many major corporate and employment deals to EU companies. America will go into decline. This is neither good for American business nor is it good for American workers.

    3) What is good for American corporations is good for American citizens.

    These two ideas are increasingly at odds. Let's say Joe CEO, an American citizen, starts a car-building company and outsources everything but the CEO spot. Let's then say that he beats out every major American car manufacturer and takes their marketshare. THIS WOULD BE A DISASTER FOR EVERY AMERICAN WORKER BUT JOE. Joe might get rich, he might make a bunch of foreign outsources rich, but he has helped suck both money and jobs out of the country.

    4) Protectionism would hurt our economy because it makes the world economy less efficient.

    WRONG! This would only be true if America was an equal consumer of goods world-wide. America is, by far, largest world consumer of most goods. Channeling that purchasing-power back towards American goods and services would be a huge boon.

    5) Protecting globalization at the expense of American jobs will help american citizens by creating more jobs.

    The author's whole argument about outsourcing of jobs towards America is completely false. His numbers are made up, as well.

    6) It is the U.S. government's job to protect the global economy.

    WRONG! It is the U.S. government's job to protect US citizens in both the short-term and the long-term.

    7) It is patriotic to support free-market economies.

    WRONG! It is patriotic to support the well-being of your fellow countrymen and women. Supporting slave-labor in China that forces inequitable economies of scale in labor is tantamount to economic treason.

    People need to stop thinking in blindered terms of "free-markets are good" and need to start thinking at a more sophisticated level about these problems. I'm ashamed at the trite cliches and hackneyed arguments put forth in this poorly-written article.
  • by xchino ( 591175 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:43PM (#9028373)
    "Globalisation is not going away. Outsourcing is not going away. IT jobs in the US are going away."

    "I took my meager savings and moved to a place where the cost of living is low, but infrastructure is well developed"

    Ok so we can tell from you statement that you really don't give a shit about America or the state thereof. Some of us actually love our country and would rather see the problems with it get fixed rather than just giving up on it and moving elsewhere. If "earning a living" was just cause to pack up and move, there'd have been no one left in this country after the depression.

    1: The one thing I cannot get in America is ameobic dissentary by drinking the public drinking water.
  • Re:Nor should he (Score:4, Insightful)

    by prisoner-of-enigma ( 535770 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:44PM (#9028378) Homepage
    Higher education is important enough for our country that this should not happen. College should not just be for the independently wealthy.

    Ah, the wonderful class warfare argument. Did you know that I worked my way through college on my own money? You see, my family made about $60,000 per year, which pretty much disqualified me from receiving any sort of grant or free assistance...because we were considered "rich." Oh, there are plenty of programs available for the blessed poor. You can get a completely free education at Yale or Harvard if you happen to be of the right ethnicity, sex, or economic bracket. In fact, the poorer you are, the better your chances. All you need to have is good grades and good SAT scores. I had both, but I'm a white male from a middle class family...oops, excuse me, a "rich" middle class family. If $60,000 a year between two working parents is considered rich, I'd hate to see what "poor" means. But those wonderful exemptions that kept me from getting any sort of financial assistance were put there by whining, bleeding heart class warfare hawks like you. Gee, how can I ever thank you? I hope you're glad you succeeded in keeping a "rich" kid from getting any help. I should thank you, though, because it taught me the value of hard work and its rewards. It also taught me that class warfare rhetoric is stupid, and is really a cloak for jealousy.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:46PM (#9028388)
    Those people all got rich because they worked hard, put themselves out there, and were generally innovative. What have you done to earn your millions? Develop an OS kernel? Invent a web browser? Startch a tech blog? Or, do you occasionally contribute patches to a few OSS projects and post anonymously on various tech blogs? Do you think that's worth millions?
  • by tfoss ( 203340 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:52PM (#9028446)
    Yes they would show him to the door, because his job is to make money for the shareholders.

    If your bank sent you a letter and told you that they had decided that a new policy would be to reduce 20% of your savings annually in order to increase the wages of their local branch tellers so they could match cost of living increases and ensure employee comfort would you (or the average joe) keep banking there? Nope... so why would any shareholders keep money in Intel if they can make more money elsewhere... answer... they won't.

    I hate this unfortunately pervasive attitude. The point of a company/CEO/board is not, and should not be to make as much money as quick as possible, at any cost to anyone. Morality ought to be a consideration in business decisions. Why do so many people seem to think that companies should be faceless money-grubbing automatons? That makes me vomit in my own mouth.

    There is a place for responsible companies, ones that treat employees, consumers, the environment, etc with respect. There are various [fortune.com] lists [corporateknights.ca] that suggest this idea of responsible business isn't totally foreign.

    What if you, as a CEO, could make more money by shipping programming jobs to India, should you? What if you could make more by using child labor in Burma? How about if you could make more by dealing with an apartheid supporting regime in South Africa, or a dictatorial regime in the Sudan, or North Korea, or Iraq? How about if you could make more money by overstating earnings reports? What if your motthoople widget would cost a little less if you buy from company A rather than company B, only company A tests it by anally raping baby seals?

    Not only is moral behavior a good thing to do, just because; it actually can be good in terms of reputation, public image, and employee karma. If you prefer the Gordon Gecko style of business, so be it... But don't cloak that in the bullshit of 'responsibility to the stockholders.'


  • by the_meager ( 686660 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:53PM (#9028457)
    Because they own and run the companies. Don't like it? Form your own company. It IS legal to do so in America. I just hope you can find ways to make your product affordable (for your targeted consumer) without outsourcing yourself. It's kind of a very difficult, if not impossible, thing to do in most cases. Or you can sit here and whine like all of the other psuedo-intellectual socialists who don't understand economics and believe that everyone was born equal and should be equal. (The truth is, if you're mentally and physically healthy, you have the equal opportunity to make yourself a good life. You deserve nothing but the chance to do so, and you're given that at birth (or the age of 16, depending :-p)
  • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:54PM (#9028458)
    Because you're talkign about government intervention, and any time the government intervenes, it's a completel and abject failure.
    You can't really believe that.

    Without government intervention, there wouldn't even be any such thing as property rights. Producing anything would be a waste of time, because whoever raised the biggest private army would help himself to whatever you produced.

    More proactive governments have laws controlling things like child labor and worker safety. If adding a safety guard to a metal stamping machine adds $15 to its cost, and the laws allow you to discard maimed workers without compensating them for injuries, then clearly that's the best way to increase shareholder value. In fact competitive pressures will kill off manufacturers that refuse to do that to people. So we have laws to make that illegal. Those practices may be "anti-business" for somebody with a very extreme viewpoint, but they're obviously good for individuals and the country as a whole.

    I think you're just defining "government intervention" to mean "government overbearance, in my own opinion." Nobody is arguing that more regulation is always better.

    However, I and most people think laws like the ones I mentioned are good. Well, there's no point having them if they can be circumvented merely by exporting work overseas, which is what the current laws force manufacturers to do.

  • by KingOfGondor ( 706522 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:56PM (#9028486)
    Yeah, I agree the Indian educational system is not great, but a small percentage of good students, who mainly learn stuff on their own, do filter out to the top (like in all systems). Because India has such a hige population, this "percentage" translates to a large number, out of which we get most of the IT workers. Forget call center employees, any idiot who knows decent English can do it. And the Indian "middle class" that's grabbed up all these IT jobs from the US is a pretty low figure in India, unlike the percentage of white collar workers in the US. Like someone earlier mentioned, we have a global economy and a global competition for jobs. For Americans, I would ask them to think about a situation where jobs went from one state within the country to another. Would they be griping as much? No, they would just pack their bags and go to the other state to get work. It is not feasible to go to India to get jobs simply because there are already so many mouths to feed over there. Lastly, I've been seeing arguments against H1B or immigrant workers; people seem to prefer that these be abolished and that outsourcing is somewhat better. I think all those people have the wrong end of the stick. All those immigrants or workers who come here generate wealth for the US economy, pay taxes to the US govt, do R&D work that generates new ideas for growth in the US economy. Anyone who doesn't get this argument is simply xenophobic.
  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:59PM (#9028512) Homepage Journal
    First, I find rating a comment like this as insightful a much more accurate predictor of low intelligence than whether a kid has down syndrome.

    Second, the graduation certificate given to a child who received significant accommodations is different from the graduation certificate given to a child that met all standard without significant accommodations.

    Third, as much as people wish to malign our education program, and it may be that it is less able to put out compulsive eggheads, education in the US has created some of the most free thinking and entrepreneurial people in the world. The reason is that our students in public schools has traditionally had to fight for every aspect of their education. Those that wish to be educated had to resist the onslaught of the majority that just wished to get high and play and fuck. That means the people who succeed are well trained to fit into the competitive environment of adulthood.

    I live in fear that the standards based education being pushed on us from the ignorant assholes in washington, assholes who never had to fight for a single thing in their life, assholes who were given their education, money, and success on a silver platter, is going to turn the next generation of kids into pussies that can only whine that someone is taking their jobs, and someone has to do something about it, and someone has to subsidize them because they are not creative enough to come up with a way to make money, or they believe they should have that new car even if they did not every lift a finger to earn it. We have enough of these people already. We do not need to create more.

    America is about diversity. It is a false ideal, but one that is often functional. It is why our Germans were smarter than most of Europe's Germans, and why the US can blow everyone to hell with minimal risk to the homeland.

    I know this a bit inflammatory, but really. The US public school system has been educating the vast majority of Americans for a very long time. Average intelligence is not all that intelligence, but we still are able to turn kids out that have a basic knowledge and abilities. These kids are not critical thinkers, but how many people in the world are. We teach kids in need of extreme accommodations everything they are able to learn, and then some pissant says that we did a bad thing, as if education is reserved for the privileged. As I said, an adequate education is reserved for those who really want it. Those who don't slack off, barely graduate, and everyone knows it. We give opportunity. Those who don't want find something else to do.

    If you or your child receive what you feel is an inadequate education, take responsibility for it. Not all the responsibility, but some of it. Did you go to the library for free books or buy comics? Did you go to free museums and theater, or did you pay for movies? Did you read the free textbooks or pay for car magazines? Did you eat the free lunch or pay for junkfood? Did you watch the free education programing on PBS or pay for the crap on cable? Did you go to the free park or pay for sports? Did you ask help from your free teachers? Were you at school everyday with your free desk and free educational aids? In short, did you take advantage off the low cost opportunities this country offers every citizen, and many non-citizens, or did you just take then for granted and are now too much of a pussy to admit it.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by saden1 ( 581102 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:02PM (#9028541)
    Seriously folks, has anyone seen the Prime Time [go.com] show that aired on ABC this past Thursday? It was disgusting. I wouldn't want to employ these people.
  • They aren't betrying, or betraying for that matter, their country. What obligations do they have to their country? They pay their taxes, provide products and services, and the US economy would be worse off if the company didn't exist at all.

    The companies were created thanks to this country, though. They succeeded thanks to the stability the US provides, the technological advances and trained graduates government-subsidized universities produce, and the American workers who actually, you know, designed and built the hardware that they sold.

    They're certainly not betraying their people. By my estimation, "their people" are their stockholders. If their choices are outsource or lose to their competitors, there is no question. It's unfortunate, but what are they supposed to do?

    It's not the only choice, that's the point. They could get rid of a lot of costs by simply reducing the ridiculously insane executive compensation--no, CEOs of corporations generally don't deserve the salaries they get, in most cases their jobs can be filled by any reasonably experienced executive.
  • Re:Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:18PM (#9028668) Homepage
    It's three things: cost of living, cost of living, and cost of living. Until housing and such is as expensive in India and China as it is in the US and Europe, it will always be cheaper to employ people there, and always be impossible for labor in the US to compete on price.

    The trouble is that the growing inequity in the US means that there isn't any downward pressure on prices in the US, either. The people who are making it can keep the prices afloat, and insofar as the primary equity for most American families is their homes, they sure as hell ain't gonna make the C.O.L. lower via reduced housing prices.
  • Oh, the poor man! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dentar ( 6540 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:28PM (#9028747) Homepage Journal
    So the poor little CEO is crying because someone called him Benedict? I say companies that outsource just to raise the bottom line should LOSE ALL TAX BREAKS!

    I'll do it!


  • by MerlynEmrys67 ( 583469 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:33PM (#9028782)
    Uh, try again. The people I work with in India make in the order of 30K a year at the dollar exchange rate. That is well above minimum wage (15ish an hour)

    However, what that buys you is a house, a car, a maid, a cook...

    To have those things in California would run me well over 150K, probably well into the 400K range. Why the difference, well for one - a fixer up house in the bay area runs just under a million (figure 5K a month in mortgage) a car is another 400 a month, wages for two servants at 3K a month (we are going to pay them minimum wage right ?) that is 8500 before taxes without any money left to eat, pay taxes, or anything.

    Don't go blaming it on wages - they do very well for themselves over there

  • by getafix ( 2806 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:33PM (#9028785)
    I have to disagree with you. Born and educated in India, but I also completed a portion of my studies here.

    The Indian system by far values memorization (or "mugging"). Get some extra tutoring, and do enough practice exams and you can do fairly well without understanding the problem. Knowing why things are the way they are is not an advantage; knowing how to plug in the right numbers in the correct places, is a better fit for success in India.

    The US system tries to emphasize understanding. It does not always succeed, but it takes the right approach, and leaves people with an open mind, a mind willing to take "alternative paths".

    When we start producing more thinkers, we can actually talk about having a better education system. Right now we produce software coders at cheap prices; we dont produce many software thinkers that innovate. How many mainstream languages have Indians pioneered (Japan:Ruby guy, Dutch:Python Guido, US:LWall,Steele,K&R,Gosling). How many non-co authored Nobel prizes have we won recently (compare to US/Europe).

    India has more intellectual workers than thinkers; its not a bad thing as there is a role for that too (and its better than having dunces). But our education system is not yet primed for producing thinkers.

  • by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:34PM (#9028789) Homepage Journal
    Fuck off, you ivory tower libertarian shithead. It is the government's job to do whatever the majority wants without harming the minority. If the majority wants government censure of companies that use outsourcing as a way to make a quick buck, then the government should do that. Stop dreaming teary eyed about the wonders of the free market and look at how things actually are.

    In the real world, competition is not the solution to social issues and volunteers are not as reliable as paid employees. Who's accountable when volunteers screw up?

    In the real world, government incentives have always been the most effective method of improving social, enviornmental and labor issues. In fact, it can be argued that labor would have never improved from the state it was in at the turn of the last century were it not for government intervention.

    In the real world, every industry that has been regulated has performed in record numbers during regulation, and many have fallen apart during deregulation.

    Why are you so scared of a system that has worked? In the US, you can run a monopolistic business and make some 40 billion per year. Is that enough potential economic well being for you?
  • by vsprintf ( 579676 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:37PM (#9028810)

    They're certainly not betraying their people. By my estimation, "their people" are their stockholders.

    An amazing number of people (especially CEOs) seem to have forgotten that *company* means a group of people, and that group includes all the employees, not just the executives and the stockholders.

    If their choices are outsource or lose to their competitors, there is no question. It's unfortunate, but what are they supposed to do?

    That is self-serving tripe put out by executives like Barrett to justify their actions. B of A started offshoring while making huge profits. Intel is in no financial straits. They are getting rid of the people who made that company a huge success and shipping their jobs overseas. I would call that "betraying their people".

  • by cubicledrone ( 681598 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:42PM (#9028843)
    What obligations do they have to their country?


  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:44PM (#9028863) Homepage
    yopu must be around 23-18 years old with no kids. as that would explain your lack of knowlege into the real world.

    Say I have a family, wife is not working and 2 kids at home... if I lose my job, then we are screwed royally. Not from the loss of income, mostly from the loss of health insurance. only a single young kid with no kids would fail to understand the terror of having a family without health insurance. Housing can be gained, food can be gained... that $400.00 a month perscription for your wife's health or the special needs of a chil you have? you CANT get those wnywhere.. you cant replace those med's with a $0.29 cent box of Kraft Dinner. without the med's you are Boned... royally boned. what happens if a child get's sick? I guess let em die? a single woman with children get's aid from the state... a family is told to go to hell.

    "I haven't seen any overlords with whips beating the backs of workers to get them to perform."

    really? you are obviousally new to the world of work... as they do find those and make sure to let that employee know that "we are going to have to cut health benefits if you dont work double overtime for free so we can ship this product on time." and management knows for a fact that family workers are prime for abuse as they will not leave without having something else lined up no matter how crappy they make it for that employee.

    Me? I'm enough of an asshole to tell my boss to F**K himself loudly and instantly go over his head and tell that asshole to F**K himself.. I've let my bosses know this from day one that I will NOT go above and beyond for them unless they do so for me. Basically I learned really early to NEVER EVER trust your employer, I don't care how nice they are, they will NEVER go out on a limb for you.

    CEO's are not boogeymen. but they are generally useless to every corperation. they typically offer ZERO leadership, ZERO ability to actually change the course of the company. Ther are a few good ones, but they are getting as rare as the DoDo bird.
  • by CptNerd ( 455084 ) <adiseker@lexonia.net> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:44PM (#9028868) Homepage

    At what stage in US history was it ever the case that anyone had a guarantee of a good job???

    Geeze, we Americans have gotten as bad a Europeans, we demand that someone has to take care of us, or else we whine about how unfair everything is!

    Hellfire, if my parents had had that attitude during the Depression, they wouldn't have ever married and raised a family, since there definitely were no "guaranteed jobs!" My Dad was a coal miner, but when the mines shut down, he packed everyone up and headed to Detroit to find work, and if he couldn't work at a car plant, he worked odd jobs, worked at tool and die plants, worked wherever he could. Mom would work checkouts, or wherever she could, even if it was shit work (washing the diapers for kids she babysat surely counts).

    There are times I really despair about the future of the US, if the generations to come are expecting endless "guarantees" and special treatment. What the hell will happen when we do have another Great Depression? From the attitudes being shown by the current crop of whiners, I predict mass suicide by people too shocked to cope.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:50PM (#9028909)
    I hope someone reads this, my humble post.

    I have been required as part of my daily work existence to actually point out to people who run major corporations all over the world that their is a potential downside to all the benefits of outsourcing, namely:

    !) All these so-called third world countries who have been the focus of relocation of so many American, Japanese, European Union, Australian and a few Russian and Chinese jobs, yes, RUssian and Chinese,...are NOT generating enough tax revenue from these low paying and HIGHLY technical jobs to provide themselves any means of actually starting these industries effectively, in their own countries thereby allowing reciprocal trade and imports or say allowing Africa and parts of Asia to someday become the 'India' of the future.
    2) Some of these countries, nay, most, subsidise business competitiveness through government involvement such as outright cash distribution, grants which never get paid back, loans at less than 3 cents on the dollar equivalency and by arbitrating or outright denial of litigation against any of these firms in order to protect their investment, when they do break the law. What do I mean? In India, child labor laws do exist, but they are enforced by 'voluntary' action on the part of the firms. It is the same in China where legal dissidents are jailed for their views or for perceived and unconfirmed actions/views and forced into back-breaking labor to meet private industry needs without trial or chance for parole!
    3) In countries where a legal trade is flourishing a growing middle-class occurs. In countries where illegal activity generates tremendous wealth and gain, their is a rapidly growing disparity between the haves and have-nots and almost no middle class or a middle class that begins to falter badly, as in Canada for example where the drug trade and the poor legal enforcement system and political corruption ( The police chief of Toronto calls it," this bargain basement legal system...") has allowed organized crime to grow so much that it most literally prints its own money right at the treasury! They have members of the Hell's Angels running organized crime rings while earning a college-Law degree, both, while behind bars, watching CNN and receiving $50.00 per month from the tax payers!!! In China, there is a growing middle class. In India there is one also, BUT, the purchasing power in these middle class entities is so low, whole industries are outside there reach: They will NEVER be able to buy
    a car, a house, a boat, a plasma display high definition television, even a real gamers-type PC with all the bells and whistles. All you will ever see of Indian and Chinese wealth or prosperity is the wealthy ones at the top or five working class families sharing a house and apparently 'surviving'.
    4) The high tech hardware they need to move into true first world presence is illegal for them to use, purchase or virtually, touch. One of the high tech firms I assist, has a Cray supercomputer for a mail server. It is expressly forbidden for anyone in Indian to even send mail TO IT!!!! You cannot even export an SGI 'anything' to China, India or Russia. Their response has been to use Open Source tools and clusters of slighty older technology which is allowed and commendable, BUT , NOT INNOVATIVE. What am I saying? Under close scrutiny, there is really nothing to fear from all this outsourcing - ITSELF!!! Yes, companies will do it, but as long as import laws keep these nations using three and four years old hardware, and cutting edge technology is being invented in US labs and closely controlled, you will stay a step ahead, but just a step.
    NOW, enters the " Benedict Arnold" component. Most major hi-tech firms are moving R&D to CHina and Inda and allowing industries there access to the latest and greatest technology as a matter of technology transfer for lower taxes and keeping work wages down, this IS treason and not just for the US! Al Queda has very strong ties in ALL these countries except Japan and Australia. It may
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:52PM (#9028929) Homepage
    Most "average Joes" are shareholders.

    what dream world do you live in???

    less than 39% of americans hold stock in any companies.

    no I dont have exact figures but they can be found on most trading and wealth websites... you might also like to see that less than 50% of americans have a saving account!

    that is a minority, so Few "average joes" are shareholders.

    and here's a news flash to you... most americans dont have a semi-decent job.

    it is a whole lot different than you make it out to be.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:52PM (#9028930) Homepage Journal

    You may be right, but all that means is that the shareholders are just as short sighted.

    It doesn't take a genius to understand that if you manufacture a consumer product and don't pay your workers enough to be able to afford that product, you will soon enough have no sales (Definatly worse for a company than marginal profits)

    Eventually, it will come back around when the many foreign workers start to create a domestic demand and then decide to meet that demand themselves (by forming new companies). Effectively, the positions of 'shareholder' and 'CEO' will have been outsourced as well.

    It's too bad the American workers will be too busy doing their economic duty re-re-re-re-re-re educating themselves for their new-new-new-new-new promising profession (answering support calls for Chinese companies in broken Chinese) to have a good laugh at the ex-CEO's expense.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @03:04PM (#9029015) Homepage
    Our economy is suffering. It is due, in large part, by our growing unemployment rate. But let's skip the unemployment problem for a moment and move on to macro-economics.

    When money is spent on labor within the U.S. the money stays here and, for the most part, circulates. When money is spent on labor outside of the U.S. the money is gone and lost forever.. for the most part.

    The nation's wealth is being sent out of the U.S. It's simple.

    Now back to unemployment. These companies are allegedly trying to make cheaper (more competitive) products and services. (I say allegedly because SWBell is cutting benefits for employees while they are consistantly making profits and raising salaries of top executives and this practice isn't limited to SWBell) With unemployment growing, to whom exactly do these wise captains of industry expect to sell their cheaper products and services? With a rising employment rate is a dwindling consumer base.

    The error is in being short-sighted and, in my opinion, fall-out from some 80's style economics practices. I don't fully buy into the "we must remain competitive" crap we're being fed daily either. These retiring CEO's know exactly what they are leaving to their successors and simply don't care.

    So what solves it? Altering their motivation. What would alter their motivation? Threat of death? Threat of criminal prosecution? Good-will and conscience doesn't play into this at all, so what would be the instrument of change?
  • by vsprintf ( 579676 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @03:25PM (#9029158)

    Hiring grown men with college degrees from across the world so that they have a better life and feed their families is not moral? When did nationalism become morality?

    Firing a loyal employee who helped build a successful company and shipping his/her job overseas so your bonus is bigger is moral? When did greed become a virtue?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @03:27PM (#9029174)
    Let's then say that he beats out every major American car manufacturer and takes their marketshare. THIS WOULD BE A DISASTER FOR EVERY AMERICAN WORKER BUT JOE.

    Well, except for the workers who buy cars. Which would be what, all of them?

    Joe might get rich, he might make a bunch of foreign outsources rich, but he has helped suck both money and jobs out of the country.

    It's impossible to suck money out of the country. If US dollars get exchanged for foreign goods, then either those dollars are eventually used to repurchase US goods (in which case money wasn't sucked out of the country) or they are never eventually used to repurchase US goods (in which unlikely case we can safely print replacement dollars without contributing to inflation, the country has just as much money as before, and we've simply received free foreign goods).

    6) It is the U.S. government's job to protect the global economy.

    WRONG! It is the U.S. government's job to protect US citizens in both the short-term and the long-term.

    Yes, but for at more than the last century this has implied protecting the global economy. It was less than a century ago when the US realized this, though. Attempting to recover from a stock market crash by record protectionist tariffs, then suffering through a global depression for the next decade, really brought the lesson home.
  • by GISGEOLOGYGEEK ( 708023 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @03:30PM (#9029188)
    This is not a troll, but im sure those most affected by the problem will miss the point ... anywho ...

    Just be like Bush

    Ignore any trade agreements / laws.

    Put a huge tariff on any work done overseas for US companies regardless of how reasonable or fair it is for the work to be done in the manner it is in those other countries. (you are afterall the only important people anywhere, screw all others, they don't deserve what you can have)

    Let your own companies die a slow painful death, killing your economy because all other companies around the world are able to compete better.

    The programmers in India live a very good life there because the cost of living is much lower than it is here. I wonder how much of the high cost here is due to the ignorant protectionism that has nearly destroyed the US agriculture, sugar, lumber and other industries?

    Don't like that someone else can live a good life doing what you do for less? Go live the good life in India instead of twiddling your thumbs here.

    Why shouldn't programming / IT work be outsourced? manufacturing of everything you use every day has been outsourced (manufactured elsewhere) 30 or more years! Just imagine what you would have to pay for your favourite toys if you had to pay for them to be made in the US! ... you simply wouldnt have those toys.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by composer777 ( 175489 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @03:38PM (#9029249)
    If you bother to study history, you will notice that complaining is part of fixing the problem of free trade. Crying is important. America doesn't need to do accpet anything. And, let's be accurate, by America, you mean America's poor and middleclass, since clearly America's wealthy love free trade. Likewise, India's poor needs to quit protesting the fact that their farms are being put out of business by US corprorate agriculture. They just need to accept the change as a small minority in their country get rich by expoiting free trade.

    Here's something to think about, when you hear someone from India on slashdot talking about how wonderful free trade is, remember that only a minority of people in India can access the internet, and they are relatively wealthy. The majority of people around the world cannot stand this exploitative form of trade. If democracy means anything to you, then you will be in favor of allowing people to govern their own lives, rather than have them run by the richest in that society.
  • I know it's always bad form to inroduce verifiable facts into a the latest Slashdot two-minute hate, but Daniel T. Griswold of the Cato Institute [cato.org] has a rather different (and seemingly more informed) view of outsourcing than most expressed in this thread. In his article in the May 3, 2004 issue of National Review [nationalreview.com] (which does not appear to be online for non-subscribers), he makes the following points:
    • America is actually a net benificiary of outsourced jobs (i.e., more money comes in from foreign countries outsourcing jobs to the U.S. than are lost outsourcing jobs from the U.S. to foreign contries). "In 2002, U.S. companies exported $14.8 billion worth of computer, data-processing, research, development, construction, archicetural, engineering and other IT services. During that same year, America imported $3.9 billion of those same kinds of services. So for every dollar Americans sent abroad for outsourcing, the world sent more than three dollars to the US. for 'insourcing.'"
    • According to a 2003 study by the McKinsey Global Institue, every $1 spent on foreign outspurcing creates $1.12 to $1.14 of additional economic activity in the U.S.
    • The vast majority of job losses due to outsourcing have been for lower skill jobs. Between 1999 and 2002, IT jobs went from 6.24 million to 5.95 million. However, during the same period of time, those requiring a relatively high level of training (i.e., an associates degree or higher) actually increased, from 3.43 million to 3.51 million.
    • If you use the saner baseline of 1998 rather than the peak of the dotcom bubble, things look better still. Current IT employment levels are equal to those of 1998.
    • "Domestic software, computer, and communications services accounted for a combined 4621 billion in 2003, up from $510 billion in 1999."
    • Far more people loose their jobs to technology or domestic competition than outsourcing.
    • The total outsourcing between 2000 and 2015 is only projected (by Forrester Research) to be 3.3 million jobs, or about 220,000 a year. This is a fairly miniscule number for an economy that employees 137 million, where an average of 350,000 million people file for unemployment every week even in strong economies, and which creates and average of 32.8 million news jobs (while eliminating 31 million, for a net annual gain of 1.8 million jobs) every year.
    • Outsourced jobs tend to go to countries that emulate the United States with low taxes and deregulated economies, and the foreign companies jobs are outsourced to tend to buy American equipment and services to do the job.
    A lot of the reason you see so many complaints about outsourcing on Slashdot tends to be the reinforced tendencies of self-selected sets. The people who do lose their job to outsourcing are the ones that complain loudest and longest, and the ones whose sob stories get modded up. The people who haven't lost their job, or who work in a company that benefits from "insourcing," have no particular reason to speak up. The fact is, outsourcing is just one of the more painful parts of free trade, but free trade improves the lives of everyone. You have to be able to look at the big picture to see that.

  • by composer777 ( 175489 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @03:41PM (#9029270)
    Rights are whatever people want them to be. That's the only reason people have rights to begin with, is because at some point everbody agreed that things like democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of unlawful entry, right to bear arms, would be a good thing to have in a free society. So, if enough people want it, then yes, it IS a right. It's worth thinking about.
  • by composer777 ( 175489 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @03:53PM (#9029345)
    What's ironic, is that India is going through the same thing that the US was four years ago. They have such a demand for workers over there, that everyone and their brother is getting into IT, which leads to a lot of clueless programmers screwing things up. On top of that, even the good ones are making so much money that they just aren't that motivated. Think about it, if you have 5 years of salary sitting in the bank, what motivation will you have to work over 40 hours of week or to bust your ass? Meanwhile, in the US, most of the bad programmers have been weeded out, and what's left are over-worked, but extremely talented programmers who often have everything on the line. That explains the difference in quality, in my opinion, not some "difference in culture" as others have said. I think that it's purely market based.

    I still don't think that this will brigde the gap. There is just too large of a difference in pay, and I think we need to regulate "free" trade if we are to have any hope of preventing disasterous economic consquences. It's like an article that I have read on the CWA Union's website said, those that promote free trade basically are presenting an article of faith. They have nothing, they have no evidence at all that this will be good for society. In the mean time, they are making boatloads of cash during the "jobless recovery", and simply want us to just believe, without any evidence, that things will get better. It's pure BS, and I see no reason to believe these people, they have given me every reason not to trust them.

    By the way, here is that article by the CWA presenting their view on "free trade". See, not everybody in America is insane, you just have to turn off the tv and focus on other sources of news if you want to make sense of it all.
    http://www.cwa-union.org/news/CWANewsDisplay .asp?I D=1383
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @03:58PM (#9029370)
    You can not ask for even more R&D spending funded by the taxpayer and tell them that you will outsource the results of that offshore in order to commercialize it. People like Intel should be well aware of the fact that their business was created by the taxpayer during the cold war for the national interest. There has to be some middle ground. They essentially want to have it both ways and this cannot happen. It is just a form a serfdom to force research funding out of the taxpayers' wallets and then farm it out overseas to make a profit. Better that the intels of the world undertake their own long term R & D. This particular argument is not just disingenuous, it is fundamental crooked. They are merely avoiding investment at the taxpayers expense and investing in competing economies at the same time - it is just screwing the taxpayer twice. They will quickly see through this. Curiously, it is reminiscent of the early rational for farm subsidies.

    I really do not believe the education argument at this point in time - it is just about cheaper wages. That is not to say that it will not be a problem in the future. I think this is just a dodge, and it is supported by his contention the the university system is "healthy." If this is so then there must be enough graduates with the right skills - they just want first world wages. This is a rhetorical pose meant to deflect and scare - It does not make economic sense. Again, it is the price differential, not the skill, that motivates the outsourcing. Again, the offshorers expose themselves as possessing a singular tendency toward dishonesty and obfuscation in their defenses. The public will soon weary of this constant resort to rhetoric at tjhe expense of rational argument.

    In addition, if companies like intel use offshoring to "compress" wages then there will be fewer people entering the fields. Nothing could be more obvious. What is required is a middle ground - yes obstacle to business, infrastructure and educational issues need to be addressed but there needs to be some sort of guarantee to support the nation. The question will be put before them: are you a loyal a corporate citizen of our society? If just the left can force such extreme measures in environmentalism and and "diversity in the work force" just imagine what an entire engraged populus can do. Push will come to shove, and the Intels of the nation need to have some less self-serving answers then these when it does.

    The attitude one sees in this article is particularly vexing in that the Feds went in and supported the semiconductor manufactures both in term of trade agree ments and informal quotas when the Japanese and the Taiwanese we threatening them in the 70's and the 80's, they were not preaching competition back then. This is how the current "international division of labor" in IC manufacturing came about. I would not be surprised to hear them start whining about unfair trade practices when the Chinese home grown semiconductor business takes off in a few years. They may find that their own words are thrown back at them.

    We must address this issue seriously and find the right compromise. Firms like intel will find that they have to come half way. It would seem perfect time for a true compromise that might work

    It is truly disturbing how self serving their arguments are and the fact that they do not seem to see this fact themselves. The nation will soon weary of high tech firms that do not contribute to the advance of the nations work force. I am amazed that they do not see this; this was an axiom is technology management throughout the cold war.
  • by Marvelicious ( 752980 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @03:58PM (#9029374)
    "Right", no I suppose not, but unions worked hard to make the 40 hour week a standard in this country. The problem is, there is no threat to these companies anymore: no one cares where the crap they buy is made. No one will pay extra to buy American. Hell, in a few industries (auto in particular) some will pay more to avoid it! We have had it real easy in this country for a long time, and it looks like its time to pay the bill.

    The best thing we can do as members of the work force is try to be the BEST at our jobs. Make it worth the extra money! Trust me, it can work. In my industry (Boilermaker), there are many non-union companies that will do the work MUCH cheaper than we will, but the eventual result is that we are hired to fix what they fucked up and it winds up costing more in the long run!
  • by ulatekh ( 775985 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @04:03PM (#9029410) Homepage Journal
    Well cry me a river...

    Believe me, I'm way ahead of you on that one.

    if you don't find what you want in your country, move to another country that'll welcome it.

    Your situation and my situation are very different. When you moved to the U.S., you got paid way more than you would have back home, and could return home very well off. If I went to another country to work, I would get paid less than I can make here shoveling $h1t in Hell, and if I could one day afford to return to my country, would have nothing to show for it.

    Do you see now how your solution is not viable?

    I guess I can't fault you; after all, I can't come up with any viable solutions...

  • by Mr. Hankey ( 95668 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @04:11PM (#9029470) Homepage
    Sure, people have a 401(k). Until they're outsourced, and forced to eat into that 401(k) to survive. Seriously, outsourcing wouldn't be a problem if they weren't removing the jobs from the US. If these companies were merely adding employees in other countries such that they could more successfully compete in those markets, which Mr. Barrett seems to be arguing, I'd buy that. If they were adding employees in these countries to access technology that we simply don't have, I'd buy that as well.

    What I don't buy is companies moving jobs into other countries simply because they can pay the workers less money. That money, coming from our pockets as consumers, leaves the country and never comes back. Sure, it benefits the places where the jobs are outsourced, but what happens when there aren't enough jobs here to keep a reasonable demand for their product?

    If these CEOs don't want to be labeled "Benedict Arnold", perhaps "Turncoat" or "Traitor" would be better. There's nothing noble about shipping jobs off to other countries to increase their stock's value.
  • by mabu ( 178417 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @04:17PM (#9029509)
    IMO, outsourcing is merely a symptom of a much larger problem that has psychological and sociological roots.

    I submit:

    * There's a fundamental paradigm shift in the mindset of the American work force. This is evident in all societies that become more capitalist and consumer-centric, and America being the leader of this trend, exhibits the pathology to a more extreme degree than other societies. America also has a less-substantive cultural background from which its sense of purpose has evolved when compared with Asian or European cultures and this also contributes.

    * While there are numerous exceptions, I see a substantive trend towards the output of the American worker, on average, considered little more than a means to an end. Sense of pride in a job well done now takes a back seat to revenue generated and the collection of material posessions.

    * The new, extreme consumer-centric American society revolves around selling neatly-packaged, instantaneous [seeming] solutions to solve all known problems.

    We have new economies rapidly being built around business models driven by the idea that everything needs to be constantly updated, upgraded and replaced. Things aren't built to last "forever"; products are specifically engineered to be quickly obsoleted in order to maintain a constant scheme of consumption and revenue.

    * So now we have a society where we have managed to easily provide ourselves of basic necessities, and are now "manufacturing desire" as a product unto itself. The process of creating this market has two really bad side-effects: First, we are conditioned to consider all products to be inadequate, even from the moment we produce or acquire them. The fact that nothing is ever good enough demoralizes our work force. So nobody really cares about the quality of their work. Second, the process of promoting this consumer-centric model manifests itself in an ever-increasing sensory bombardment of messages promoting inadequacy and simple solutions (however unrealistic) to complex problems. People become ADD and progressively less-capable of addressing issues from a proactive perspective.

    * So in our great, advanced society, we are overrun by those seeking simple solutions to complex problems, and those promoting simple solutions to complex problems. Our work ethic has gone to shit. We're so constantly bombarded with messages of inadequacy and the idea that "upgrading" will make everything instantly better, that we're not motivated to take the long road, understand why things fail, and actually solve problems. We just keep putting band-aids on things and passing the buck.

    * In many markets, this pathology isn't as critical, but when you talk of computer systems, their ability to be qualified as capable or non-capable are obvious. So when you need a complex system developed, outsourcing the project to a different cultural state, that isn't so tainted (yet), and still maintains more of a sense of pride in a job well done, makes sense.

    I've always felt that outsourcing was less about money and more about quality. And the truth is, the tech industry in America has become overly politicized, and the American worker has a dramatically diminished work ethic that is the result of his ever-changing environment, which de-emphasizes the significance of a job well done in favor of upgrading to the next perfect solution.

    Is education an issue here? Yes, but it's not as much dependent upon the knowledge people posess as it is the need to educate people on more abstract concepts involving a non-materialistic search for satisfaction, pride and productivity.
  • by vsprintf ( 579676 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @04:35PM (#9029631)

    1) It doesn't matter if the company is going under today or not. CEOs get paid a lot to try to predict the future and figure out what the economy and business climate will be like in 3 - 10 years, while at the same time being profitable today. Its called strategic planning.

    No. Strategic planning is what CEOs did twenty years ago. Today's CEOs don't plan any further than the current quarter and their stock options, and that is the problem. It's called greed.

    The simple fact is that we have entered a global economy.

    The simple fact is that we have had a global economy for centuries. The other simple fact is that the U.S. is on the losing end of a 500 billion dollar trade imbalance.

    No one should think that thier employer owes them a job, and no one should think that they owe thier employer anything but an honest day's work.

    That's a really sad viewpoint that has only become popular by constant retelling since companies started being run by corporate raiders. A few decades back, companies and workers had loyalty, and that is what made American companies successful. Now, the current executives are spending that *capital* for personal gain, and the sheep are following, parroting their newspeak about global economies.

    The simple fact is, make yourself valuable to the organization and you will probably have a job.

    The simple fact is, many workers who made themselves very valuable to the company and built those companies into sucessful entities have been discarded in favor of more money for a CEO who has often just been hired. Skills have nothing to do with offshoring.

    The entitlement mentality is killing the US.

    You're right. Those silly people who go into debt for many thousands of dollars for an education, work hard, and help build a company should have no reason to think they should be able to retain their jobs. They're just a bunch of whiners, and they deserve to lose their jobs. Putting them in the unemployment line will stiffen their lips and save the U.S. Hoo-yaaahh!

  • by jmichaelg ( 148257 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @05:15PM (#9029849) Journal
    Benedict Arnold was a traitor - he betrayed his country and his people for money.

    These CEOs are traitors - they are betrying their country and their people for money.

    So were you a traitor when you bought that Korean RAM over the homegrown variety? How about when you bought that Toyota or Honda? Were you a traitor then?

    The CEO's are going for the best value just like you.

  • by conradp ( 154683 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @05:25PM (#9029923) Homepage
    I just felt the need to point out that not all of us yanks are morons, and I for one found your post to be quite funny. And simultaneously insightful, as it skillfully points out that one group's traitor is often another group's hero.

    Someday these CEOs may be lauded as heroic global citizens who were able to look past the myopia of the little clumps of dirt on which they were born and provide opportunities to the underpriviledged in India, China, and other parts of the underdeveloped world.

    But for now, and especially during a presidential election year, they're just traitorous, greedy scumbags who are giving "our" jobs away to damn furriners.
  • by Jhon ( 241832 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @05:43PM (#9030038) Homepage Journal
    yopu must be around 23-18 years old with no kids. as that would explain your lack of knowlege into the real world.
    Wrong. I'm closer to 40, married and have two kids (the youngest of which is 2). Our annual income (my wife works part time) is far above the national average. We budget our life based on a single income and the rest is saved.

    Your cocky and snide remarks suggest you are the one who lacks any reasonable understanding of the REAL WORLD.

    It's fairly simple, and to help you overcome your limitations, I'll use small words:

    If you force labor to cost more near you, those who need labor will get labor cheaper away from you.

    Now, back to big-boy talk:

    THAT is the bastard son of globalization. The 1000 lbs gorrilla in the room NOBODY wants to talk about.

    The only way to offset these artificial gaps in the cost of labor is to (A) remove the constraints on local labor or (B) add the same constraints on exported labor. Personally, I like (B).

    The topic was discussing outsourcing of jobs and blaming it on CEOs. It's obviously not *THEIR* fault. We've paved a road for them, then bitch when they drive down the road.
  • Re:Hmmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Richthofen80 ( 412488 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @08:03PM (#9030864) Homepage
    US corprorate agriculture

    what you mean is HIGHLY SUBSIDISED BY THE FEDERAL US GOVERNMENT. The reason the US is putting the world out of business is because its governments fund farmers to grow or not grow crops. When governments stop funding industry, and lift ALL restrictions on trade, the economies will balance. Real capitalism means No government restrictions, no government favors.

    Also, note that India's poor are being put out of business because of lack of capital. They have less tractors and equipment and such. tractors and equipment and such are expensive because they are foreign bought. there are very few capital industries that develop heavy equipment needed to farm the land. etc etc etc Because they don't have the capital, it costs more to make the food. It requires more people and more work, for the same product, which has the same value. anything that takes more people and more time and more work to make less is inheretly more expensive to make.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zungu ( 588387 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @08:26PM (#9030996) Journal
    Seventy percent of India population, i.e., 700 million people cannot be told to shut-up and just watch American subsidized agriculture run riot. US supports 250,000 cotton farmers with billions of dollars in subsidy. First cut those subsidizes then go about teaching free-trade. Recent WTO decision against US and in favor of brazil is a case-in-point. A small minority of technically trained out of 30 per cent of India's non-farm population is giving US IT industry run for it money. Wait till many more Indians arise to compete with US. You ain't seen nothing yet buddy.
  • Re:You know (Score:2, Insightful)

    by theglassishalf ( 216497 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @09:21PM (#9031257) Homepage
    Um, I'm fine with "competing" with people from other countries (that word is a euphemism, and had to have been used 20 times in the article, which should be a clue.) However, until they have actual labor standards, it isn't a matter of competing. If they can't form labor unions, and cant negotiate for better wages/living conditions, then they will never get a safety net either. Did "outsourcing" of our manufacturing jobs create a safety net? No. Outsourcing of IT won't either. That will require political change.

    We can influence that by requiring that countries with which we trade comply with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [un.org]. Simple.

  • by Woodie ( 8139 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @11:58PM (#9031841) Homepage
    They aren't betrying, or betraying for that matter, their country. What obligations do they have to their country? They pay their taxes, provide products and services, and the US economy would be worse off if the company didn't exist at all.

    OK let's examine this for a second.

    Berkshire Hathaway - the company that Warren Buffet heads up has a 1% market capitalization of the entire US economy... And they pay roughly 5% of all corporate taxes collected by the federal government. That's because they're relatively honest. Intel, in the scheme of things, is more honest than some, less than others. The vast majority of US corporations are essentially shirking their civic duty and using tax dodges - all in the name of profitability to the stock-holder.

    But, let's examine who holds the majority of those stocks, shall we? Gee, could it be the same fat-cats who sit on the board and run the company? Sure a bunch of their stock may be floated, and involved in joe-sixpacks 401K programs, but don't kid yourself that they are trying to make sure the "shareholders" benefit - they are the shareholders.

    Essentially it's a fun little shell game for these guys. They benefit mightly from the stability and quality of life here in the USA. They benefit from a strong, educated (relatively) citizen population. They benefit from the power of our military. They benefit from the fact that we have largest number of good higher education facilities.

    I think it makes the most sense for them to reinvest in that community instead of outsourcing. Afterall, once they've canabalized the workforce here - who's going to buy their expensive goods and products? Trust me they're not interested in selling this stuff for a thousand rupees! So the engineers they're paying abroad - while well paid by local standards - can't afford these products; and neither will their home market!

    Take a look at other countries where wealth is funneled out - Saudi Arabia, Venezuela... The found wealth of oil is controlled by a few - and do they reinvest it in their own country? Nope - they dump it out - keeping their countries down, in the dumps and forever dependent. We're on that path here in the USA - by outsourcing too much, too quickly, we'll loose our competitive edge, and transform to some wierd dystopic combination of being a third world superpower...

    My solution is simple - let them outsource! However, if they want to insist that intellectual property is property let them pay an import tax on those digital goods they bring back into the country. If it's property, it should be taxed as such - just like car parts, and other material things. They screw the government and by extension you and I by dodging taxes and their civic responsibilities, this might help level the field a bit.
  • by blitz487 ( 606553 ) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @12:16AM (#9031894)
    Go see Grapes of Wrath, and get a good understanding of what real hardship is like.

    "real hardship"? The Grapes of Wrath is a novel, fer cryin' out loud. A work of fiction.

  • Re:Hmmm (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, 2004 @02:23AM (#9032227)
    If democracy means anything to you, then you will be in favor of allowing people to govern their own lives, rather than have them run by the richest in that society.

    "Governing their own lives" means individual rights, which includes thr right of property, production and trade. I.E. capitalism.

    UNLESS you mean majority rule of course, which is the sort of tyranny which murdered Socrates.

    Here's something to think about, when you hear someone from India on slashdot talking about how wonderful free trade is, remember that only a minority of people in India can access the internet, and they are relatively wealthy.

    Yessir, that means no Indians who dare to question leftist dogmas count.

    Yes, my Indian friends, they mean it.
  • by efficacymanUM ( 540328 ) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @03:57AM (#9032470)
    Actually, even if the labor cost approximately the same as it did here in the states it would still be cheaper to outsource for many companies. This is due to US laws that promote foreign investments, essentially allowing the company to tax defer all of the earnings as long as they are kept abroad. Thus they play a shell game where they either reinvest in foreign operations, or simply hide the money overseas, evading US tax law entirely. This is something that my state (Minnesota) is dealing with on a state level as a similar provision is in our tax code. One of the reasons that despite corporate profits increasing over 15% in the state, corporate income tax is actually down.
  • Toyota (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 02, 2004 @09:27AM (#9033281)
    ...and Honda, and KIA, and all these other Japanese car companies that have plants in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico...

    are outsourcing.

    Of course, the quick response to all of this is "so"? What part of the Constitution of any of these nations requires a business owner within them to hire only citizens thereof?
  • by NDPTAL85 ( 260093 ) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @11:34AM (#9033794)
    So we should adopt more regulation of the business sector here in the US so that we can eventually match the double digit unemployment figures that one sees in continental Europe?

Wishing without work is like fishing without bait. -- Frank Tyger