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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 YankeeInExile ( 577704 ) * on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:35PM (#9027864) Homepage Journal

    Globalisation is not going away. Outsourcing is not going away. IT jobs in the US are going away.

    Go see Grapes of Wrath [imdb.com], and get a good understanding of what real hardship is like. Nasty fact of life: Things change. And no amount of political posturing, wishing, whining, begging, or threatening is going to change that.

    If you really want to be a coder - that is - if you chose IT because you genuinely love it (I do), then emigrate.

    You cannot change the attractiveness of outsourcing through fiat. However you can change your situation until you are more attractive than Ravi's House of Outsourcing and Tandoori[1] and you will not have trouble finding work.

    Just as the dot-com bubble was collapsing, I took my meager savings and moved to a place where the cost of living is low, but infrastructure is well developed. There were surely tradeoffs - learning a new (human) language is substantially more difficult than learning a new programming language, but to be frank, that was a big part of the adventure: Throw myself into a foreign culture and see how well I could adapt.

    Now, I have a comfortable, but not lavish lifestyle - two junior programmers and one artist working on projects I manage (who make about 150% of what local companies pay for the same work) - and without hesitation I can say: I have a much better quality of life than I ever had working in the dot-bomb universe. And with personal freedom increasingly a joke in my homeland, I have a strong feeling I will never repatriate.

    If you chose IT because you thought it would lead to riches and a comfortable lifestyle: Well - you should have paid more attention to your carreer counselor in high school. It is not too late to learn to be a plumber, or a car mechanic.

    1: The one thing I cannot get in Mexico that I really loved when I was in the Silly-con Valley: Indian food

  • by aghorne ( 583388 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:36PM (#9027870) Homepage
    This guys in charge of a really big company. Now last time I checked he is only responsibility is to people that own stock in Intel. Now last time I checked those stock holders wanted the people running the company to widen the discrepancy between costs and profit as far as possible. So, cost go down (Craig Barrett decides to outsource stuff) and sales go up (crazy market share) then the only people that matter are happy. Don't waste your time looking at a company to create anything else but possible outcome for itself. Companies are totalitarian organizations by virtue.
  • by WarSpiteX ( 98591 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:38PM (#9027881) Homepage
    Barrett does have a point about the K-12 education in the US. Not only are schools passing flunky kids because the parents don't want their kids to fall behind (lawsuits being expensive and all), the US government itself seems determined to push a "faith" rather than "fact" educational agenda. It's not like the citizenry is helping either, what with creationist theme parks [nytimes.com] springing up.

    Amusing anecdotes aside, the fact of the matter is that Americans simply don't value education as much as other nationalities. I'm sure I'm not the only one who came here from Europe, Asia or India as a kid and realized he was three grades ahead of his peers in math and science. It goes without saying, if a child is unaware of basic physics and chemistry, he'll never wonder, marvel at and be curious about just how we went from light bulbs to transistors to microchips. While not everyone needs to be like that, at least we should provide the knowledge required to roughly understand how technology works, to spur those individuals who really want to know just how a processor decides what "transistor" of the millions it has on board is switched.

  • by Rude-Boy ( 25678 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:39PM (#9027891)
    It's hardly the monsterous thing everyone is making it out to be.

    Read this:

    LINK [foreignaffairs.org]

    The Outsourcing Bogeyman By Daniel W. Drezner

    From Foreign Affairs, May/June 2004

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

    Daniel W. Drezner is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and the author of "The Sanctions Paradox." He keeps a weblog at www.danieldrezner.com/blog; full references and data sources for this article can be found here.


    When a presidential election year coincides with an uncertain economy, campaigning politicians invariably invoke an international economic issue as a dire threat to the well-being of Americans. Speechwriters denounce the chosen scapegoat, the media provides blanket coverage of the alleged threat, and legislators scurry to introduce supposed remedies.

    The cause of this year's commotion is offshore outsourcing -- the alleged migration of American jobs overseas. The depth of alarm was strikingly illustrated by the firestorm of reaction to recent testimony by N. Gregory Mankiw, the head of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. No economist really disputed Mankiw's observation that "outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade," which makes it "a good thing." But in the political arena, Mankiw's comments sparked a furor on both sides of the aisle. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry accused the Bush administration of wanting "to export more of our jobs overseas," and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle quipped, "If this is the administration's position, I think they owe an apology to every worker in America." Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, meanwhile, warned that "outsourcing can be a problem for American workers and the American economy."

    Critics charge that the information revolution (especially the Internet) has accelerated the decimation of U.S. manufacturing and facilitated the outsourcing of service-sector jobs once considered safe, from backroom call centers to high-level software programming. (This concern feeds into the suspicion that U.S. corporations are exploiting globalization to fatten profits at the expense of workers.) They are right that offshore outsourcing deserves attention and that some measures to assist affected workers are called for. But if their exaggerated alarmism succeeds in provoking protectionist responses from lawmakers, it will do far more harm than good, to the U.S. economy and to American workers.

    Should Americans be concerned about the economic effects of outsourcing? Not particularly. Most of the numbers thrown around are vague, overhyped estimates. What hard data exist suggest that gross job losses due to offshore outsourcing have been minimal when compared to the size of the entire U.S. economy. The outsourcing phenomenon has shown that globalization can affect white-collar professions, heretofore immune to foreign competition, in the same way that it has affected manufacturing jobs for years. But Mankiw's statements on outsourcing are absolutely correct; the law of comparative advantage does not stop working just because 401(k) plans are involved. The creation of new jobs overseas will eventually lead to more jobs and higher incomes in the United States. Because the economy -- and especially job growth -- is sluggish at the moment, commentators are attempting to draw a connection between offshore outsourcing and high unemployment. B

  • by maelstrom ( 638 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:49PM (#9027968) Homepage Journal
    Agreed, I think it is incredibly short-sighted to be outsourcing higher-level IT work. In some cases, companies are training the foreign workers, giving them their design documents and then having them implement the product. In 5 or 10 years these workers you trained not only have all your IP, they live outside US jurisdiction and they will be ready to compete with you directly, perhaps even using the code you paid for!

  • No they are not. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:53PM (#9027998)
    They are paid 1/10th of what a worker here is paid so they can only buy 1/10th of the finished goods produced here.

    What you're seeing is a small transfer of capital from the US to other countries which raises the standard of living of a few people in those countries -and- the conglomoration of wealth in the hands of a few in the US.
  • Re:Yeah... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cybermace5 ( 446439 ) <g.ryan@macetech.com> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:53PM (#9027999) Homepage Journal
    How does that help them? The U.S. is only 300 million people, and the world is six billion. So a poor, undeveloped country is going to improve by a few people receiving American money, while the actual work they've done has little value in their own country and is sent back to America? They are skipping the industrial development phase and going right to the knowledge worker phase, which means the infrastructure to support their way of life is located in America and not in their own country. This means that their economy can be kept artificially where it is, maintaining the supply of cheap labor.

    These countries need self-supporting industries, roads, hospitals, and the high-efficiency agriculture lifestyles that allowed us to become knowledge workers in the first place. By luring developing countries to skip directly to the desk jobs, we are sabotaging the development of a strong industrial foundation that can make these countries economically independent.
  • by Baldrson ( 78598 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:55PM (#9028014) Homepage Journal
    Outsourcing is, indeed, a "Bogeyman" but not because, as the article claims, the problems are fabrications of disgruntled spoiled brats and pandering politicians and press.

    The problems are real -- and are far far worse than anyone is willing to admit. "Outsourcing" is merely a symptom. Like the first purple patch appearing on the skin of an airline attendant who frequents gay bath-houses in the early 1980s, the worst is yet to come.

    Western civilization is destined to become a museum piece. The fundamental problem is with the way Western Civilization has decided to monetize clan structures, raising the floor on the cost of living, while it takes the deracinated clans and moves them into a pseudo-clan identity via national defense and police protection of monetized assets. Western civilization is now addicted to this con-game and can't allow people to reconstitute their clan structures lest they realize how horrendous the crime has been committed against them, and through them in their dracinated state, others around the world. So the only hope Western civilization has is to go all the way to a single tax on net assets or something similar. Of course, the con of the present situation is that wealthy people claim that they're creating the wealth when in fact they're sucking the lives out of young families from which they draw their soldiers and policemen to protect their assets. Charming charming folks... so charming many if not most have charmed themselves into a state where they actually believe their own material. If so, there is no hope for Western civilization. However, if they merely would stop sapping the life from the planet and live among others -- keeping the wealth they've ill-gotten but paying the costs of its maintanence -- they might be able to stave off hell-on-earth for themselves and their posterity (not to mention the rest of us life forms around them since our "bodies are in vain" according to their beliefs -- we don't count).

    A few K5 diary entries that discuss the general situation follow:

    A [kuro5hin.org]
    dozen [kuro5hin.org]
    K5 [kuro5hin.org]
    diary [kuro5hin.org]
    entries [kuro5hin.org]
    that [kuro5hin.org]
    discuss [kuro5hin.org]
    the [kuro5hin.org]
    general [kuro5hin.org]
    situation [kuro5hin.org]
    are [kuro5hin.org]
    linked [kuro5hin.org]

  • by maximino ( 767005 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @12:59PM (#9028042)
    I'm generally a pro free trade person; I see the arguments to be made in favor of outsourcing.

    What I do have a problem with is that consumers are not allowed to take advantage of the same competitive edges that these large companies are. Nike can hire Chinese workers because they're cheaper, OK, I can live with that. Why can't I buy a Chinese DVD (legitimate, not a knockoff) or an Indian pharmaceutical product if I want to? Instead I've got to pay American prices (highly inflated) even though these people have products to sell, advanced communication can get me in touch with them, and transportation can get it to me cheaply.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:01PM (#9028066)
    • Marc Andreessen made 100s of millions of dollars shortly after graduating from UIUC. Today's graduates of the same university face moving back in with their parents. "Fuck that, I got mine!" [nytimes.com]
    • Brian Behlendorf decided he'd rather go to India [salon.com] to recruit software engineers than help out the graduating classes of 2001-2004 here in the US.
    • Robert Malda stood idly by and said NOTHING while his company offshored its flagship product [vasoftware.com].

    Miguel de Icaza, Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, and Linus Torvalds all got rich off the Open Source Movement. What do you have to look forward to?

  • by jedi-monkey ( 762035 ) <m_hetland.hotmail@com> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:03PM (#9028077)

    With all of the talk of "shareholders," I think this scope should be expanded to "stakeholders." This larger group includes the shareholders, those individuals or organizations that own stock in their company.

    Stakeholders also include customers, creditors, employees, etc. Is there no sense of social responsibility or ethics left in Corporate America? My personal experience, as well as many other slashdotters, would tell you "no."

    How do we stop this? Dollar votes! We are stakeholders! Stop purchasing from them, stop supporting them. One dissatisfied customer will inevitably tell at least 8-12 others about their experience.

    Bad CEO! No! Bad! No!

  • If it was JUST about the shareholders, then CEO's would be outsourcing their jobs.

    The CEOs are outsourcing their jobs, or, more accurately, they're outsourcing their successors' jobs, and I think most of them realize it.

    How are they outsourcing their jobs? They're training a new crop of managers and workers overseas. How long will it take before those people realize that they have everything they need to start their own company and compete with their former employers?

  • by tuxtomas ( 559452 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:14PM (#9028155)
    Time to tighten up those belts boys! The days of a big house in the suburbs with a giant SUV are pretty much over.

    Well said. I remember hearing panic about the possibility that this generation may not have a higher quality of life than the preceding. Are we measuring quality of life in consumption? How much energy does it take to heat your home and drive your flag stickered SUV 25 miles to work.
    This is not sustainable, yet we're fighting a war to see that it is.

    Tax cuts now for these big owners? With the deficit, medicare and social security, I know what I am going to do. I'm not going to stick around and pay for this mess. Like the invisible hand of the market sending jobs offshore, I'm going with it. I'm moving overseas. Living and especially HEALTH CARE are affordable. Is it good you ask? That question is irrelevant if you can't afford it here. The way the FDA blocks the import of cheaper drugs and every pharmaceutical/ medical sales rep position I know of has a 50k base + car + phone + commission + expense account.....It's not too hard to see where the powers that be interests lie.

    I write mortgages. I see personal finances. So few people aren't in big debt. So few people over 50 have more than 50K in retirement funds. I look at these people and really think they will have a better retirement, Walmart free- overseas. Instead of whining and wondering how we're "losing everything", it's time to work with the invisible hand. I'm saving up my cash, and going abroad. F**k this mess.

    When I mention this to clients, quite often their ears perk up. It's a scary option initially, but then all the sudden it makes sense to them. Cash out the American assets that is big time elsewhere, and go.

    People aren't ready for this yet. Give a few more years of rising energy and medical costs, with downward wage pressure, and I'll show you a new subdivision full of retired Americans south of Bangalore.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:15PM (#9028163)
    If we buy raw materials overseas, and produce everything domestically, we're plundering the third world's natural resources so they'll be dependent on our resorces for future growth.

    If we teach them intensive high-efficiency agriculture, we're destroying indigenous crops and agricultural methods, and making them dependent on western biotech companies for future growth.

    If we build factories there, and pay them to produce the stuff we want to buy, we're exploiting cheap labor, polluting their environment, and making them dependent on our capital for future growth.

    If we outsource tech-support jobs to them, we're sabotaging the development of a strong industrial base and making them dependent on our telecom infrastructure for future growth.

    Of course, if we disengage from trade with the third world, we'll be evil resource hogs that don't want to share the secrets of success with anybody, making sure that they'll be dependent on our superior tehnology in the future.
  • Re:Nor should he (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ASUNathan ( 63781 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:18PM (#9028190)
    There is no guarantee of a good job, but there should be a reasonable expectation of one if a college education is to be considered valuable to our society.

    The price of a college education, including the opportunity costs of not working full time, are very high. These costs were traditionally offset by the greater potential earnings that a job requiring that education provides.

    Unless a grad has a reasonable expectation of earning enough to pay for that education (and survive at the same time), college becomes (financially speaking) just money down the drain.

    Higher education is important enough for our country that this should not happen. College should not just be for the independently wealthy.
  • by Gannoc ( 210256 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:19PM (#9028191)

    Its very clever, because since everyone knows that schools are in poor shape, it tricks some people!

    It bends the arguement so just a FEW MORE people think "Why, Americans are just too stupid!" or "They have to go overseas because we just can't produce the people!"

    When really, we're laying off WELL EDUCATED, HARD WORKING people to put jobs overseas. Whether or not you think outsourcing is a good or bad thing, please don't swallow the latest sound of bullshit from our nation's elite.
  • You know (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:26PM (#9028240)
    I used to think that was true, but if you look at the key locations for outsourcing, Ireland is still well up there. Its below India (was top location two years ago) but it will remain top 5 according to most projections.

    Ireland is part of the Euro-zone. It is a little cheaper than America to employ people. But in terms of education and infrastructure, these are the same people, often holding British or American degrees (btw, if you've ever been to the Republic you can see why some would choose to foresake cash for scenery etc).

    And you don't mind this apparently. No-one ever carps and moans about the Irish. You could certainly stop all outsourcing to Ireland by taking a reaonable pay cut. But no-one wants to discuss that option. Is it because Americans (amusingly) think they are Irish? WTF is going on? Would someone like to explain please? It looks like the outsourcing hoo-haa has more than a little to do with thinly veiled racism given the difference in attitudes to the Indians and the Irish.

  • Re:People are crazy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Politicus ( 704035 ) <salubrious&ymail,com> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:31PM (#9028278) Homepage
    the benefit of subsidizing new research, at the university level or at a corporation: everyone who uses that research.
    Why do you expect employees to train and retrain themselves at a cost to them but on the other hand believe that corporations should not have to pay to develop the products and services that they profit from?

    Why is Barrett complaining about teachers being incompetent when the education system is paying them wages that could only attract people who are incompetent or find it their life's calling?

    Why do people parrot ignorant bullshit they heard someone else parrot?

    Why am I so pissed at ignorance when it's as abundant as the air we breathe?

  • He DOES have a point (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Prof. Pi ( 199260 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:31PM (#9028282)
    There are many excellent, well educated, CS and EE students graduating every year

    Unfortunately, they're way outnumbered by the hordes of people with CS and EE degrees who are neither excellent nor well-educated.

    One of my colleagues had to hire some people a while back. Our work is research-oriented, meaning we want people for the long haul, with a good foundation of knowledge rather than the IT skill du jour. He described the crop of applicants sent to him by HR as "mostly worthless" because it seems they learned almost nothing in their 4 years except Java. Most of them couldn't tell the difference between an O(n^2) algorithm and an O(n log n) one. In fact, most didn't even understand the concept.

    When I worked at a university, I saw where a lot of this came from. There was competition for warm bodies between the departments, so there was pressure to lower requirements in order to keep students from transferring to the easier departments. EE lost lots of students to CS because CS required almost no math, and EE took the heat for its "low retention rate."

    Probably the most telling anecdote I remember from my work there was when an EE professor, who was talking with some juniors, stopped me and said he wanted to ask me a physics question. I told him I took physics 23 years before and was probably rusty. He asked anyway. It was very elementary, and I hesitated, suspecting a trick question. But finally I gave the right answer, and he triumphantly thanked me. It turns out he had used this as part of a larger problem on an exam, and the students had complained that he hadn't covered this material. He said it was covered in the prerequisite course, which most had taken the previous year, and they argued that they couldn't be expected to retain that for a whole year! (And these were A and B students, not the bottom of the barrel.)

  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:53PM (#9028455)
    From your post:
    "Most jobs will remain unaffected altogether: close to 90 percent of jobs in the United States require geographic proximity. Such jobs include everything from retail and restaurants to marketing and personal care -- services that have to be produced and consumed locally, so outsourcing them overseas is not an option."

    Do you want fries with that?

    So, instead of working and actually PRODUCING something, we will become a nation of burger flippers.

    "There is also no evidence that jobs in the high-value-added sector are migrating overseas."

    Which jobs would that be? Any specifics? Please do not say "prostitute".

    "The parts of production that are more complex, interactive, or innovative -- including, but not limited to, marketing, research, and development -- are much more difficult to shift abroad."

    Incorrect, R & D is moving overseas.

    "As an International Data Corporation analysis on trends in IT services concluded, "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."

    Yet I keep seeing complaints about how many PROGRAMMING jobs are moving to India.

    But I don't know of anyone who claims that programming is "low skill".

    "As for the jobs that can be sent offshore, even if the most dire-sounding forecasts come true, the impact on the economy will be negligible."

    Then there are a few paragraphs devoted to debating whether the predictions are good or bad. Whatever. Facts are easier to deal with.

    "There is no denying that the number of manufacturing jobs has fallen dramatically in recent years, but this has very little do with outsourcing and almost everything to do with technological innovation."

    So, the FACT is that there are FEWER manufacturing jobs. Well DUH!!!!!

    Now they are arguing that the FEWER jobs are NOT the result of offshoring.

    So, we don't have a "rust belt" because we still crank out the same PRODUCTS in the same QUANTITY but we do it with FEWER PEOPLE?

    I don't believe that the FACTS will support that.

    We've lost the jobs. They are now being performed overseas.

    "If outsourcing were in fact the chief cause of manufacturing losses, one would expect corresponding increases in manufacturing employment in developing countries."

    Incorrect. It is possible to lose 100 manufacturing jobs in the US and only gain 10 robot-assisted manufacturing jobs in other countries.

    So, the same number of PRODUCTS are being produced, but fewer people are doing it and those people are NOT US citizens.

    "The fact that global manufacturing output increased by 30 percent in that same period confirms that technology, not trade, is the primary cause for the decrease in factory jobs."

    But the technology is NOT in the US. The jobs are NOT in the US. Rather than pay to upgrade the US factories, the jobs are going overseas.

    "What about the service sector?"

    Service sector: burger flippers, prostitution, butlers and such.

    "For example, a Datamonitor study found that global call-center operations are being outsourced at a slower rate than previously thought -- only five percent are expected to be located offshore by 2007."

    Dude, "global call-center" being outsourced would have to go to MARS. We're looking at US jobs here.

    "Delta Airlines outsourced 1,000 call-center jobs to India in 2003, but the $25 million in savings allowed the firm to add 1,200 reservation and sales positions in the United States."

    Here's a link to show how good Delta is doing.


    And I quote: "The nation's third-largest airline said it lost $387 million dollars."

    So, they "save" $25 million by outsourcing, but then they LOSE $387 million?

    "An Institute for International Economics analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data revealed th
  • The Solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kf6auf ( 719514 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:55PM (#9028477)
    Convince shareholders to outsource CEOs from (Santa Clara) California wiith a high cost of living to somewhere in Kansas, just to show them that the real way to increase company profits is to pay CEOs a reasonable amount of money. Maybe then those CEOs would be nicer to their employees here in America (I'm sure companies in Europe could do the same thing) not to mention fewer CEOs with ridiculous amounts of money.
  • by __aadkms7016 ( 29860 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @01:56PM (#9028481)
    Someone from Intel Labs came and gave a talk here a few weeks ago, and dropped an interesting fact -- they've learned how to distribute a processor team within a single time zone or two pretty well (say, Oregon, Santa Clara, and Folsom), but the amount of daily interaction needed for a custom chip makes distributing a single design between, say, India, Oregon, and Israel not easy at all. So, processor design jobs are stickier to a region, for the same reason full-custom VLSI is so hard in general (and avoided whenever possible) -- breaking the design apart horizontally (architecture, logic, circuit, layout) and vertically (ALU, register files, caches) leaves everyone with a schedule full of meetings each week to make sure details aren't falling through the cracks. The only practical way to outsource is to create the whole team in a region, and finding 200 specialists to fill all the roles a processor needs takes a generation of preparation (successful example: Intel Israel).
  • by Brian_Ellenberger ( 308720 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:02PM (#9028531)
    The fundamental problem is with the way Western Civilization has decided to monetize clan structures, raising the floor on the cost of living, while it takes the deracinated clans and moves them into a pseudo-clan identity via national defense and police protection of monetized assets. Western civilization is now addicted to this con-game and can't allow people to reconstitute their clan structures lest they realize how horrendous the crime has been committed against them, and through them in their dracinated state, others around the world.

    Definition of clan from Webster:
    1 a : a Celtic group especially in the Scottish Highlands comprising a number of households whose heads claim descent from a common ancestor b : a group of people tracing descent from a common ancestor
    2 : a group united by a common interest or common characteristics

    "while it takes the deracinated clans and moves them into a pseudo-clan identity via national defense and police protection...reconstitute their clan structures"

    Huh? Deracinated clans? Reconstitute their clan structures? So your solution to the problems of the world is to reverse back a couple thousand years to a time when people lived in small, distrusting clans? Huh? Civilization wasn't exactly fun when it was broken into small feudal systems, nor were people exactly free from their clan warlords.

    And by bringing race into it, you seem to think these "clans" better off segregated.

    That's great, just what we need. A bunch of racists, xenophobic clans who wage continual war against one another. BRILLIANT!

    Brian Ellenberger
  • by gnu-generation-one ( 717590 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:35PM (#9028797) 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."

    And plenty of these "average joes" as we call them, have had their pension money invested in companies who helped to outsource their own jobs.

    Increase in pension earnings versus having a job... interesting choice. I doubt that most people would automatically choose the rise in share prices.

  • by travler ( 88311 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @02:46PM (#9028878)
    For some people life will never conform to their sense of what is 'fair'.

    Usually this is due to being taught as a child that the world works one way only to find later in life that it works another.

    You have a choice at some point which way you want to go:

    1. try to 'make' the world conform to your instilled sense of justice (good luck!).
    2. study the world with open eyes and play the role that you see will give you the most joy.

    Here is the way the world works as I see it (which may or may not be the way it really is):

    1. Free market capitalism is the most efficient and stable form of economic distribution/production. Any other economic system that I can think of or have been exposed to does worse for both producers and consumers.
    2. Complex interactive social structures which is normaly termed 'civilization' seems to do well by the individual who chooses to participate. Giving him protection from without and within as well as efficient mechanisms to work with his fellow man.
    3. There might be even better systems than 1&2 but they have yet to prove themselves and since 1&2 evolved from more primitive systems it is a good bet that they are in some way 'better' for the individual who finds himself in such a system compared to the ones which were beat out.

    Basically I'm not saying that the current system(s) we find ourselves in is the best possible but I think that looking to the past and somehow trying to recreate a system that obviously didn't work as well as the present system is the wrong way to go about it.

    Just my opinion.
  • by cluckshot ( 658931 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @03:01PM (#9028999)

    I will be most precise. The founding fathers of the United States of America were neither traitors to Britan nor were they tolerant of those who might be traitors to their nation. They were as they saw it merely English Citizens demanding their rights as Englishmen only to have War leveled against them by a CRAZY (Documented Medical Fact) king and by a Parliment who was more interested in screwing the Colonies even harder than what was already going on .

    Don't give me that crap about England fairly laying taxes on the Colonies. That flies in the face of the definition of a colony. The colony was a corporate entity which operated for the profit of the home management in England. These people already paid most of their income to England as (Profits) a form of taxation. Laying heavy taxes on top of that merely threatened their ability to even do business at all.

    The founders of the United States of America were so honest and decent that as they settled the peace, they even paid in gold the sum value of any goods taken in the course of the war such as guns and flints and powder taken at Ticonderoga. They were neither rebels nor thieves. Before and even for a period of nearly 18 months after hostilities had begun, they made valient efforts trying to settle matters and remain English. It was only at threat of their towns burned that they broke away. The United States did not SEEK independence, England Forced it! The US Declaration of Independence merely stated known facts!

    Ben Franklin (US $100 Bill) and never a US President, was a PRO British representative sent by the Congress to try to settle the matter. It was only after being repeatedly abused that He turned to the US Independence Cause.

    Also The US War for Independence was not as portayed in many locations today. It was an ATTACK by the Armed Forces of England on the established Government of the Region which was repelled at great cost. The Colonial Forces were the government here for 150 years prior to the War. They were being crushed by England. Their trade and their safety were attacked by the Colonial Masters who sought not only to take about 1/3 of their revenue (Gross) as Colonial Profits but another 1/3 or so in Taxes!

  • by Tony ( 765 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @03:20PM (#9029126) Journal
    1. Free market capitalism is the most efficient and stable form of economic distribution/production. Any other economic system that I can think of or have been exposed to does worse for both producers and consumers.

    There is only one downside: once the power in a free market shifts to the "producers" away from the "consumers," the market ceases to be free.

    (NOTE: I use quotes because I despise the artificial division between producers and consumers. By defining me primarily as a consumer, the argument has already been shaped against me.)

    Consider the tech market, which is the one in which I am the most knowledgable. Microsoft has managed to shape the market so there is no "freedom." They have done this using illegal means, and they have been entirely unethical about it.

    (If you disagree with me at this point, we might as well call off all further discussion. The "illegal" aspect of it is irrefutable, as they were judged against. The unethical aspect is the unethical behaviour of a schoolyard bully, using their superior position of strength to destroy anyone who might pose a challange, such as the way they blocked BeOS from distribution through major PC outlets.)

    In this case, Microsoft has become the de-facto regulatory body. As with any body, even those in control, some initiatives have failed. But in any situation in which they controlled the market, nobody has succeeded they did not allow to succeed. The net snuck up on them (for more information, read Bill Gates' "The Road Ahead," first edition, especially the bit about the internet), the avoided the search space until recently, etc.

    Anyway, to get to the point: there is no such thing as a free market. Power is used by those who wield it, and they rarely use it to anyone's benefit but their own. The Enron debacle is one instance of people in charge of a major corporation using political power to gain personal wealth at the expense of millions of others, but "consumers" and their own employees. The fact they got away with it (at the expense of the company they were supposed to run) is an indictment of the system.

    There is no free market. It is as much an illusion as the spoon, and we believe in it only because we are told it is there.
  • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @03:29PM (#9029184) Journal
    "No single drop of water thinks it is responsible for the flood"

    This is the problem with capitolism in America... Each company will do what will net it the most money in the short term, while screwing themselves over in the long-term... It was self-regulating when companies were small, but now they can destroy the economy in one city and not be affected, because they service such a large area, that an economic disaster in one city doesn't seriously affect their sales anymore.

    Outsourcing is only one example. I'd say it's comparable to companies settling frivilous lawsuits... It might cost them more to fight a case, rather than settle, but if they fought a few, people would get the message, and wouldn't file frivilous lawsuits anymore. On a case-by-case basis, settling is better, but pretty soon, there are millions of frivilous lawsuits, and the company would go bankrupt if they settle them all.

    Outsourcing is the same thing... You can rationalize it by saying that it will drop prices and increase sales, but that doesn't happen because, *gasp* the economy is doing poorly. They will continue to complain about the terrible economy, while they are outsourcing more jobs.

    It's time to increase tarriffs people. They were actually invented just to prevent countries with more competitive economic conditions from completely taking over, like China and India are now.

    And before I hear from you free-trade advocates, you need to take a look at what's happened because of NAFTA. Things have not gotten better, they've gotten worse. There are a few people making a tiny bit more money, but the majority of Mexicans are making less, mainly because their former jobs are gone... Corn farmers in Mexico are out of work because of the industrialized corn farmers in the US. Yet the farmers in the US still aren't making enough money to support themselves. It's been lose-lose almost exclusively, and dropping tarriffs across the board would be catastrophic.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @04:01PM (#9029388)
    I contracted at Intel last year. It seems the majority of workers there are contractors (a.k.a. temps) and the rest immigrants. Believe it or not, Intel managers actually go overseas to recruit people on a regular basis.

    While I was temping there as a Network Admin, the fired my boss about half way through my contract, I was running the show until it was over. Near the end, they asked me to interview other temps and train a few regular employees to do the job. They even extended my contract despite telling them I had other plans, regardless, I left after a year anyway.

    I've heard through the grapevine that things in that department completely fell apart about three months after I was gone. The people that they replaced me with has no real experience running a large network. The manager of this department is one ignorant SOB, most of the temps that were working there with me stated there was no way the would never come back either.

    My impression of Intel was completely shattered after all this and I probably turn down at least two recruiters a week to go back and do another year.

    I also stopped buying Intel products, as a consumer that votes with my dollars, I refuse to support a company that doesn't support jobs in it's own country.

  • He's a liar (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, 2004 @04:13PM (#9029482)
    He is on the other side of the labor market. He wants more qualifed people to choose from becuase it pushes labor supply up and drives wages down, just as outsourcing kills job security and pushes wages down.
    By the way, his argument about improving K-12 education is entirely bullshit. He is hiring for technical positions out of bachelors, masters, and PhD holders, not high school grads. Quality of US universities and university grads is right up there with the foreign competition.
  • by silverbax ( 452214 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @04:20PM (#9029528)
    These are interesting points. I do see that you've made no mention of the huge tax breaks that companies are currently getting by outsourcing.

    These same breaks are illegal for citizens.

    The argument that this is 'just part of free trade' is only valid if you ignore the fact that laws are constantly being re-shaped to allow and encourage corporations to dump resources oversees. In addition, financial analasis is generally rotgut at best. Find me a noted economist who can prove numbers showing the benfits of outsourcing and I'll show you two who have just as much evidence of the opposite.

    The basic premise is this: If the U.S. corporations are allowed to circumvent free trade, they will do so. This will result in lower wages across the board. Claiming that it's okay because the jobs lost are less skilled is ignoring the fact that the VAST MAJORITY of paychecks in the U.S. fall into that category, and all of those meager paychecks are used to purchase services from those of us who hold better jobs. I owe my job to Wal-Mart employees and truck drivers.

  • by gaijin99 ( 143693 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @04:58PM (#9029752) Journal
    I will be most precise. The founding fathers of the United States of America were neither traitors to Britan
    Precise, but wrong. Treason is defined by Webster's as: Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.

    Sorry, but you will notice that "unless the government is being bad, then its not treason". Treason is not, by definition, a bad thing. A government may deserve to have its people commit treason against it (and I'll argue that the British citizens in North America certainly had cause for their treason). But justified treason is still treason.

    Most of the founders of the US government were quite content with their treason. In the prelude to the revolution Patrick Henry was ranting against the Stamp Tax and some of the conservative members of the government said that his complaints were treasonous, his reply: "If this be treason, make the most of it."

    So, yes, I'd say that all of the founders of our governmen were traitors to the British government. We probably need more traitors like that.

  • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @05:23PM (#9029910) Homepage
    That was a looooooooong post, but I applaud you for putting into precise words what my mind's been thinking for years. Government is the ultimate mob.
  • by alizard ( 107678 ) <alizard@NOspAM.ecis.com> on Saturday May 01, 2004 @06:30PM (#9030298) Homepage
    I've never owned a computer with an Intel processor. Even my first 286 boxes were AMD. It's the only thing that makes me feel better about reading this.

    As for Barrett... the obvious question is... if he wants to export every professional-level job in his organization to the Third World, why would the quality of US education matter to him? Another obvious point is... if the quality of education in the US is so bad, why are so many foriegners sending their kids TO the USA for a college education? Not to say that our public schools don't suck, but our college grads seem to be as well educated as everyone else's. Our college system might be more efficient if we didn't have so many kids requiring bonehead English as freshmen, but I don't see a lot of urgency with respect to improving primary and secondary education unless we have some idea as to where these kids will be working when they get out of college.

    Of course, his real goal here is to persuade kids to stay in school, run up tens of thousands of dollars in debt so Intel and other US companies can cherry-pick the top 5% and the rest can go to work at Walmart or McDonald's starting their adult lives tens of thousands of dollars in debt, even worse off than the people around them who didn't "try to make it through the system".

    What he is whining about is:
    1) Barrett isn't complaining about the lack of trained professionals, he is complaining about the lack of professionals willing to work for minimum wage.
    2) It is unlikely that he actually believes what he's saying. The cognitive dissonance between his saying "get all the education you can" and "I don't have a solution to that" is a bit too obvious. What he's trying to protect is not Intel, but his ability to pick up a few more quarters worth of vested stock options and their market price before he retires and sells out. If America is no longer a fit place to live even for the wealthy by the time he's done, there are other countries. If Intel is screwed long-term due to Barrett's use of Intel resources to train foriegn competitors, he will have no reason to care, he'll have made his pile. If regulation hits the outshoring marketplace, even if the regulation only eliminates US subsidies to outsourcing, investment analysts will be looking a lot harder at Intel's financials, and using offshoring as an excuse to cook the books to show higher quarterly profit won't work anymore. This would interfere with his pursuit of wealth at the expense of everybody else.

    With respect to competitive marketplaces, Intel has been #1 for so long despite generally inferior products (see also Microsloth) that Barrett won't know a competitive marketplace until it bites him in the ass.

    As for comparing him with Benedict Arnold. . . it isn't fair, he and his generation of CEOs appear to be trying to do even more damage to America long-term than Benedict ever dreamed of. If Benedict Arnold's treason had worked out, a few thousand Americans might have wound up "up against the wall". But people would still have been able to farm land and make things, they would merely have been paying taxes to England without representation for a couple or three more generations.

    The long-term result of offshoring as it's being practiced now will inevitably result in Americans as a group moving way down the economic ladder. Want to see hunger and poverty in America and a generation of college educated kids with no jobs available above the warm body level? Just wait.

    What's the alternative? Other than changing law and regulations that favor offshoring, massive public sector investment in basic science and technology R&D to create the products and services of tomorrow.

  • by Lips ( 26363 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @06:32PM (#9030309) Journal
    Well, thats the point! I don't care if they export my job India, but in return I expect to pay what you pay for goods and services. Why doesn't the global economy work for me?
  • by trompete ( 651953 ) on Saturday May 01, 2004 @07:13PM (#9030564) Homepage Journal
    You're totally right about the good students being outnumbered by the stupid ones. As a recent graduate, I was bitter at the economy last year, but when I got a job and had to hire a few other people to work along side of me, I got to see the real problem: colleges are training shitty people who are only attracted to the field because of the money that there once was. I wish I had access to the resume (legally) I read where the guy said that he was a "Senor Sails Associate". Dear god.

    I have a hopeless optimism that I will have an IT job because I truly love IT and work my ass off to always stay ahead of the ball. 3/4 of the people I graduated with are just looking for an easy job where they can make $60,000 a year ($19,000 more than the MN state average of $41,000) downloading windows patches to peoples' machines and surfing the web for 6 hours a day.

    I think there will always be IT jobs for those who are willing to work for them. It just sucks to compete with hordes of imbeciles.

    - 23-year old software engineer.
  • by js290 ( 697670 ) on Sunday May 02, 2004 @01:21AM (#9032069)
    It's always amusing how CEOs justify their compensation because they claim the success of the company is tightly coupled to him or her. But, when accounting irregularities arise, they start blaming every and any body else.

Loose bits sink chips.