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$4,400/Yr. Coders May Work On Dept. of Labor Project

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the living-wage dept.

Government 418

theodp writes "To power the Tools for America's Job Seekers Challenge, the US Department of Labor tapped IdeaScale, a subsidiary of Survey Analytics, which is headquartered in Seattle with satellite offices in Nasik, India and Auckland, NZ (PDF). According to the Federal Register (PDF), an Emergency OMB Review was requested to launch the joint initiative of the DOL, White House, and IdeaScale to help out unemployed US workers. A cached Monster.com ad seeks candidates to work on the development and maintenance of ideascale.com, but in India at an annual salary of Rs. 200,000 to 300,000 ($4,4000 to $6,600 US). BTW, an earlier White House-sponsored, IdeaScale-powered Open Government Brainstorm identified legalizing marijuana as one of the best ways to 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness.'" There's no guarantee that Indian workers recruited by that Monster.com ad would work on US Department of Labor projects.

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It's Worse Than You think! (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779602)

Do you know that the servers the government purchased to run these have memor that's ... made in Taiwan! Where the average annual income for a factory worker [taipeitimes.com] is a paltry US$1,150.00 annually! And don't even get me started on where the plastic casings came for the keyboards, servers and mice that comprise these servers!

I have this weird feeling that had they gone with American services for building these websites at 10x the cost of using IdeaScale, the Slashdot summary would have read about the absurdly high spending that the Department of Labor is wasting our tax dollars on and would have something about a cursory glance finding tons of companies willing to fullfill the work order for 1/10 what they spent. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. They picked the route that most CEOs today are picking and they saved us from more tax dollar expenditures. Pick your poison.

And don't tell anybody but I think Obama's coffee mugs are ... MADE IN CHINA! Just like yours and mine! The horror!

BTW, an earlier White House-sponsored, IdeaScale-powered Open Government Brainstorm identified legalizing marijuana as one of the best ways to 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness.

So because IdeaScale built an application to spec for the White House (who shouldn't have paid for it if it didn't meet requirements) and a bunch of pothead hippies turned up in full force to get their message out loud and clear on it, it's IdeaScale's fault? I think you'd be better off blaming the concept of democracy or the buzzword 'crowd-sourcing' as this is just kind of evidence of a technology-based bias of the voices.

You criticize the White House for doing something we all do then you blame the wonderful effects of democracy on a web application?

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (3, Insightful)

aengblom (123492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779644)

Thread over in one, good job.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (5, Funny)

CraftyJack (1031736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779826)

Thread over in one, good job.

You'd have to be some sort of a Nazi to disagree.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780276)

Congratulations. Your comment is made of GOD and WIN.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

Zantac69 (1331461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780326)

21 minutes from article, to post, to hitting Godwin's Law.

Is that a new /. record?

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

besalope (1186101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780296)

Nazi? I thought it was communist to disagree.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779676)

I'm not sure the pot thing was so out-of-line actually. Everyone I speak with agrees that pot should be legalised just like in the Netherlands. That way you can keep much better control over it. Disclaimer: I'm in Denmark, after having lived in the Netherlands.

Anywho, I think governments are very keen on getting their fingers out of the argument for some reason...

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779956)

Everyone I speak with agrees that pot should be legalised just like in the Netherlands. That way you can keep much better control over it.

I agree that it should be legalized (pursuit of happiness and all that) but I'm not so sure that I buy the "you can keep much better control over it" line. When I was a kid I had no problems getting my hands on booze or tobacco and both of those products are legal. We always knew which store we could go to that wouldn't card us, which 21+ sibling of a friend would make a straw purchase and whose parents were too lazy to lock up the liquor cabinet.

So no, I don't buy that legalizing pot would make it harder for the kiddies to get their hands on it. The only thing that will do that is parental involvement but I heard that went out of fashion a long time ago and the current trend is to rely on the TV and internet to raise your kids.....

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (4, Insightful)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780168)

"Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?" - Bender

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (2, Insightful)

colesw (951825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780196)

Everyone I speak with agrees that pot should be legalised just like in the Netherlands. That way you can keep much better control over it.

I agree that it should be legalized (pursuit of happiness and all that) but I'm not so sure that I buy the "you can keep much better control over it" line. When I was a kid I had no problems getting my hands on booze or tobacco and both of those products are legal. We always knew which store we could go to that wouldn't card us, which 21+ sibling of a friend would make a straw purchase and whose parents were too lazy to lock up the liquor cabinet.

I think what most people think with better control (at least what I believe, and I've heard others say) is you don't have to worry so much about what is in it. (ie not laced with something).

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780236)

Enforcing a license violation is a lot cheaper than sticking someone in county jail for a couple of months.

I'd like to at least see a transition to a confiscation regime where cops just took it and destroyed it (maybe with an allowance for a small 'personal' amount). Cheap, makes large scale operations unattractive (which helps cut down on availability being a free for all), without being so miserably authoritarian.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780348)

Cops taking your property and destroying it without due process doesn't strike you as being authoritarian?

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (3, Insightful)

ibbie (647332) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780284)

Everyone I speak with agrees that pot should be legalised just like in the Netherlands. That way you can keep much better control over it.

I agree that it should be legalized (pursuit of happiness and all that) but I'm not so sure that I buy the "you can keep much better control over it" line. When I was a kid I had no problems getting my hands on booze or tobacco and both of those products are legal. We always knew which store we could go to that wouldn't card us, which 21+ sibling of a friend would make a straw purchase and whose parents were too lazy to lock up the liquor cabinet.

So no, I don't buy that legalizing pot would make it harder for the kiddies to get their hands on it. The only thing that will do that is parental involvement but I heard that went out of fashion a long time ago and the current trend is to rely on the TV and internet to raise your kids.....

Keep in mind that "better control over it" isn't limited to keeping it away from under-age users. It also means the application of agricultural and consumer protection laws that we enjoy in regard to our legal vices.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (2, Interesting)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780130)

"BTW, an earlier White House-sponsored, IdeaScale-powered Open Government Brainstorm identified legalizing marijuana as one of the best ways to 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness."

"I'm not sure the pot thing was so out-of-line actually."

I was assuming that it continues along the wasteful spending theme. Why would the government spend money to conclude the phenomenally obvious fact that anyone who isn't either uninformed or a moron has known for decades? (answer: you can't finally argue for doing the correct thing after years of active government disinformation campaigns without a goverment study to show to those same wrongly informed sheeple)

Of course I may have been giving theodp the benefit of the doubt when he actually does think keeping marijuana illegal helps strengthen our democracy. After all, nothing shouts freedom from the rooftops like Uncle Sam telling you what plants you can and cannot grow and consume ;-)

The Inconvenient Truth (3, Insightful)

Concern (819622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780166)

Hey, I'm in the US, and it's obviously true. It's just inconveniently true.

Our anti-pot drug policies eliminate any possibility of salutary tax revenue from an industry that's worth billions even as a black market. In addition to that, we have to catch, try and incarcerate pot growers, sellers, and users at staggering expense (also billions, when all is said and done).

Pot is basically as harmless as alcohol, but since we force our educators and police to demonize it even while half of them use it themselves, we undercut the entire credibility of our anti-drug programs (which are important for helping kids avoid drugs that are actually dangerous). So not only do we get no tax on billions, but we spend billions, and we contribute to actual drug problems (at what additional cost I hesitate to guess).

We could still try the tired argument that pot really is dangerous. We have to hope not, since a huge portion of the population admits to using it in studies. The Netherlands notwithstanding, three of our last three presidents have admitted to using various illegal drugs and got elected anyway.

The open government brainstorming application worked perfectly. It distilled a set of great ideas directly from citizen activists with less lobbying, filtering and political BS.

Legalizing pot would be a great idea. It would cut waste, generate revenue, empty prisons, improve the health and safety of the nation's youth. It's too bad Obama absolutely cannot and will not do it. It would be political suicide. And that gets us into analyzing the particular hues that the fascinating kaleidoscope of American politics puts over reality...

Either way, you can't blame the app, or the app's developer for doing an unusually good job, just because the truth is embarrassing for the "national psyche."

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

olderchurch (242469) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780178)

Sorry to dissapoint you, but cannabis is not legal in the Netherlands. The police and politicians have decided to tolerate small amounts of cannabis, so they can spend their time chasing and prosecuting people that sell "hard" drugs like cocaine, lsd, etc and people that trade cannabis in large quantaties. You can read more on wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_the_Netherlands [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis [wikipedia.org]

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780396)

Well, as far as I remember, it's not illegal for the coffeeshops to sell it, and it's not illegal for people to have less than 3 grams on them at any time (and 3 plants in their homes), but not to buy it in for their stock. That's the one thing that's missing in the equation; a legal way of manufacturing large quantities, perhaps even checked by the "Keuringsdienst van Waren". Checking would be fun ;).

But yes, there's some confusion about whether the "Gedoogbeleid" actually means it's legal or just means you won't be prosecuted or arrested for it. Very grey areas indeed.

B.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (5, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779750)

I agree with most of what you said, but legalizing marijuana is not an idea only supported by "pothead hippies".

I've never smoked _anything_, nor done any illegal drug in my life and I'm in full support of legalizing marijuana. I believe I'm not the only one out there either.

Resources - Hemp is an awesome product all around (Paper, fabric, etc).
Save money - Stop jailing people for negligible amounts of recreational marijuana (read: not for distribution).
Save more money - Stop most of the ridiculous "war on drugs" and the exorbitant spending and manpower on the marijuana aspect of it.
Make money - Taxation on marijuana just like cigarettes.

Those are just a few tangible benefits.

Only hippies support it indeed.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (4, Informative)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779772)

Personally I'm in it if only for hemp jeans, those things are freakin indestructible compared to cotton.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (4, Funny)

Sebilrazen (870600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779810)

If marijuana is ever legalized, I'm going to ensure I invest in any and all snack food company stocks I can.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (4, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780192)

"If marijuana is ever legalized, I'm going to ensure I invest in any and all snack food company stocks I can."

Maybe you were going for funny, but there are a surprising number of people who think that the law is what keeps people from smoking pot, shooting heroin, etc. They really believe that if the government suddenly legalizes heroin there will be a run for the pharmacy. It apparently never occurs to the that they aren't about to do so, and they are not "special" [ at least not in that way ;-) ], or that the people who are likely to do heroin are already doing it, law be damned.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780246)

I'd go ahead and invest now while there still cheap, It's going to be legal in Cali within 1-2 months. unless the govanator veto's it, Then the voters will do it in Nov.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (4, Insightful)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779988)

Save more money - Stop most of the ridiculous "war on drugs" and the exorbitant spending and manpower on the marijuana aspect of it.

Not just the marijuana aspect. All aspects. Legalization would bring the price down by a hefty percentage, which would make marijuana even more attractive compared to the other choices. Plus, it's often argued that marijuana is a gateway drug... which I actually agree with. But why? It has a reputation as a relatively harmless substance. People are willing to buy it off of just about anyone. So you find a guy, you buy from him a few times, and when he's always delivered decent goods you start to have some faith in his products. You feel like trying something else, you go to the same guy who's been supplying marijuana to you. Now if you legalize that first guy stops being a dealer and instead is a corner deli that won't carry anything illegal. The dealer has lost a major trust building product. Of course this won't completely eliminate drug traffic (IMO, nothing ever will), but it'll make a bigger dent than anything else we could possibly do.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (2, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780346)

Not just the marijuana aspect. All aspects. Legalization would bring the price down by a hefty percentage, which would make marijuana even more attractive compared to the other choices.

Legalization introduces one other aspect that can turn this around. TAXATION

Cigarettes and alcohol are taxed in special ways (sin taxes, essentially). Legalized marijuana can also be taxed, heavily if you want. Make it have a 100% tax if you wish. Or more. You can have the price of marijuana stay the same, except that former profits are now going to the government. And anyone selling untaxed goods can be charged with tax evasion (dealers *and* buyers).

Hell, in this day and age, if there are that many doped up people going around, the government ought to have a nice tidy little revenue stream.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780040)

I've never heard anyone who wasn't a pothead singing the praises of Hemp before. I've always felt their judgement in that area suspect.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780092)

Why the hell should we jail people for distribution? We don't jail cigarette and alchohol distributers.

It's a multi-billion dollar drain on our resources that would immediately flip around and be a multi-billion dollar income resource.

Not to pick, but it seems like your post is confused on that (read: not for distribution) side note. The rest of your post is seems to be for complete legalization.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780266)

Actually, growing your own tobacco is legal, but if you grow to much it's considered intent to distribute and you'll find yourself in a world of hurt.

Distillers are regulated as well. Their size has to be pretty small and when someone sells one to you those records are to be open to the authorities whenever they need access to them.

Distributing commercially grown and packaged tobacco/alcohol is fine since these companies are watched and taxed. Doing it yourself out of your backyard is still a no-no.

Hence personal use and "not for distribution". You can grow/keep your own, but too much becomes intent to distribute and someone knocks on your door.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780186)

Screw the money saved in the war on drugs. You remove the incentive, and the crime and all kinds of other associated social ills dry up. Money is no longer flowing into the black market, and without money, you can't have a market.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30779768)

Do you know that the servers the government purchased to run these have memor that's ... made in Taiwan! Where the average annual income for a factory worker [taipeitimes.com] is a paltry US$1,150.00 annually! And don't even get me started on where the plastic casings came for the keyboards, servers and mice that comprise these servers!

All the salary figure in the Taipei Times article is per month, not per year. So the factory worker gets a paltry US$ 1,1500.00 per month.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30779856)

Do you know that the servers the government purchased to run these have memor that's ... made in Taiwan! Where the average annual income for a factory worker [taipeitimes.com] is a paltry US$1,150.00 annually! And don't even get me started on where the plastic casings came for the keyboards, servers and mice that comprise these servers!

All the salary figure in the Taipei Times article is per month, not per year. So the factory worker gets a paltry US$ 1,1500.00 per month.

make that $1,150.00 per month.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779976)

Well, it's quite a bit more than in China!

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780228)

That's about what a US minimum-wage worker makes.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (4, Informative)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779776)

Right on - awesome post.

However the official white house coffee is Kona coffee grown and processed in Kona Hawaii. I've had some and it is amazingly good. At least something is still made in America.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780424)

My Ecig favorite flavor is kona coffee. They stopped making it recently. I blame Obama.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

bcmm (768152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779792)

Where the average annual income for a factory worker is a paltry US$1,150.00 annually!

An annual income of US$1,150.00 annually? How much is that monthly?

the keyboards, servers and mice that comprise these servers!

I see you have never built a server.


Sadly, your post will probably still be moderated higher that it would've been if it'd come second because you actually read it before clicking submit.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779872)

You criticize the White House for doing something we all do then you blame the wonderful effects of democracy on a web application?

It's the American Way. Shifting blame is pretty easy.

Repeat after me. "I think its your fault".

Now wasn't that fun?

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (4, Informative)

Jeeeb (1141117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779912)

Do you know that the servers the government purchased to run these have memor that's ... made in Taiwan! Where the average annual income for a factory worker [taipeitimes.com] is a paltry US$1,150.00 annually! And don't even get me started on where the plastic casings came for the keyboards, servers and mice that comprise these servers!

Given Taiwan's status as almost a developed country $1150 annually seemed like a rather suspicious figure. So I read your linked article. It doesn't give a figure for factory workers but it puts the average worker at NT$36,564 per _month_. Or according to the first currency conversion site that came up on google about USD$1200 per month which is a hell of a lot higher than $1150 annually.

Free movement in goods, no free movement in people (2, Interesting)

Concern (819622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779926)

We have a marvellous system called Free Trade. You can tell it's good just from it's name. It promotes Freedom! All the nations of the world are joining together as one to allow free movement in goods across borders.

Unfortunately, they are all also being very careful to make sure that their citizens don't have the same freedom of movement as a toaster.

What must it be like, to work all day on an assembly line as a child, producing shoes that have more freedom than you do - they can go to America!!

We can whine for tariffs, and try to tax and regulate foreign trade. This sucks for the economy - incidentally, protectionist policies are said to have contributed to the Great Depression. Double good luck stopping trade in something like software, which can cross a border without even needing to be smuggled in a gas tank.

So many factors go into currency and cost of living differences of the kind between the US, and say, India. So, that's not changing any time soon. Unless the dollar crashes. :)

In fact, the only hope an American laborer really has in the mean time is to open their borders. Allow free movement in people. And hope that people from around the world will want to come to the US to work. While it's cheaper to make things in the 3rd world, no one really wants to live there. It kind of sucks to save money by eliminating working police, courts, fire exits, scholarships, clean streets, environmental regulations, safety rules, torts, and so forth. The current system only soldiers on because, workers just have no choice. If they had one, labor might elect to find a more favorable set of laws to live under, which would somewhat mitigate management's ability to shop for the most cheap-but-labor-unfriendly shit-where-you-sleep laws they can find.

Hardly anything could be a bigger screw than what we have now, which involves H1B programs that bring foreign skilled labor into the US to learn, get experience, and then forces them to take it back home to India, Asia, etc. But this is probably exactly why IBM, Sun, Microsoft, etc. all support H1B programs.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779930)

The problem is that Ideascale will likely bill the DOE back for US rates (300-400 dollars per hour) and pocket the difference - they clearly need to keep a tighter reign on contractors.

And don't tell anybody but I think Obama's coffee mugs are ... MADE IN CHINA! Just like yours and mine! The horror!

My mug is made in the USA ;). If I was the president I'd do the best I could to make sure everything I used was made here in America (or at the very least - made in a country that has fair labor practices) - because I'd want to do the best I can to support this country.

Making stuff in China for 10 cents and selling it here for 20-30 dollars will likely have some severe repercussions being the economic miracle that it is.

You are off by a factor of 12 (4, Informative)

dreadlord76 (562584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780204)

The article you quoted states:

>The average worker in Taiwan earns a monthly salary of NT$36,564, a slight increase from the same >period two years ago, a recent survey released by the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) showed.

That's $1142 USD a Month, not annually. That's comparable to the US minimum wage, but in a country you can have lunch for 1-2$ US. Compared with cost of living, it's not really a bad deal.

Oh, and for folks working at Foxconn or Taiwan Semiconductor, their annual bonus this year is expected to be 6 month of salary. Any US tech companies giving out 6 months of bonus this year?

Re:You are off by a factor of 12 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780366)

The article you quoted states: >The average worker in Taiwan earns a monthly salary of NT$36,564, a slight increase from the same >period two years ago, a recent survey released by the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) showed. That's $1142 USD a Month, not annually. That's comparable to the US minimum wage, but in a country you can have lunch for 1-2$ US. Compared with cost of living, it's not really a bad deal. Oh, and for folks working at Foxconn or Taiwan Semiconductor, their annual bonus this year is expected to be 6 month of salary. Any US tech companies giving out 6 months of bonus this year?

Yeah those Taiwanese have it easy, you should think of moving out there for work since it's so cushy.

Re:You are off by a factor of 12 (1)

stephentyrone (664894) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780374)

Any US tech companies giving out 6 months of bonus this year?

Yes, though typically in some form of RSU rather than straight cash bonus.

Your point about average salary in Taiwan is spot on, though.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780222)

Speak for yourself. My coffee mugs do not say Made in China, because I made sure I bought cups made in America. The may have cost a bit more, but I know they don't have lead glazing.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780240)

I would rather spend a little extra tax money, and buy American. After all, it would be nice to have that money circulating within the US after the work is done. However, the money paid to the Indian workers will be untaxed (aside from corporate profits), and the money they earn will almost certainly not be spent in US.

This also encourages the idea of outsourcing. Just because others are doing it, it does not mean that it is a valid approach. What did our mother's tell us? If the other executives are jumping off of a bridge, will you?

At the exact same time, there is a very strong constant coming out of the Indian outsourcing: low quality work. I am sure there are some high quality examples, but they are certainly the exception and not the rule.

So, if it comes down to picking my poisons: cheap, low quality, out-of-country labor versus not-cheap, higher quality, in-country labor, then I choose the more expensive route.

Also, I strongly doubt the President has some cheap, Made-In-China mugs. The secretaries et al might, but I doubt they go cheap when it comes to the President's luxuries, which every President gets.

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780278)

Actually, yes, I criticize the White House for doing what I'm doing.

It's not my job to keep the country's economy running. Well, it maybe should be, but things aren't running that way. The government, on the other hand, has NO other job than to keep the country healthy and in good shape, economically and otherwise.

So yes, I expect them to better buy domestic stuff. From cars to coffee to developers. What do you think we'd get to hear if the new "official" government cars are from Kia or Toyota? Or, after all they're supposed to be presentable, how about a nice BMW or Mercedes?

Re:It's Worse Than You think! (2, Insightful)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780416)

I think that the problem here is not just the outsourcing for cheap labor. I think that the problem is out sourcing for cheap labor a project designed to help provide jobs domestically. I hope that you can see that and were just typing all kinds of mad rant to get some karma.

Increase American employment through outsourcing (3, Insightful)

caller9 (764851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779630)

Yeah, job one for creating American jobs is farming jobs out to India. Nice.

Re:Increase American employment through outsourcin (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30779790)

Apparently this is some of the change we voted for.

Isn't our economic stimulus program doing a great job? We're bolstering the economy of enemies (China) and potential enemies (India) , we bailed out two of the big three auto makers and they responded by killing American jobs and jobs of allies (Sweden) and now build American[sic] cars in China, Mexico, and possibly even India. Does it surprise you that offshore Indian workers will be programming for the government?

On top of that, the universal health care program is going to be modeled after Massachusetts health care. Like me in Massachusetts, you will be forced to buy government-approved health care. Here since it became mandatory premiums have gone up three times, at a rate well in advance of inflation.

We trusted you and you are proving to be an enemy of state. Thanks, Obama.

Re:Increase American employment through outsourcin (2, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779840)

Don't worry. In time, India will outsource its jobs to America.

Re:Increase American employment through outsourcin (4, Funny)

batquux (323697) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780008)

In all fairness, America did intercept all the trade Europe was going to attempt with India back in Columbus' day.

Re:Increase American employment through outsourcin (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780206)

I have actually read something to that effect.

As the Indian economy grows, they will likely have demand for IT jobs grow faster than they can produce graduates.

Re:Increase American employment through outsourcin (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780056)

A lot of people will make the argument that "you can't blame people for going with the cheapest option out there that can get the job done". They say it's the American and capitalist way. After all, it's our fault as employees for not being competitive with our salaries. Brushing aside the whole "...while we give these same companies major tax breaks and incentives and our own government won't even employ us to do our own jobs... that our own taxes are paying for", the major problem is that we *can't* compete.

How can I compete with someone who makes $4,400/yr and yet live in America? They want to pay me Indian wages while paying American prices. After tax and other required withdrawals, that $4,400/yr wouldn't even cover the gas to get to and from work. I'd need an entire second salary just to pay for parking while at work.

Re:Increase American employment through outsourcin (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780434)

Outsourcing whatever we can just frees up Americans to do more productive and high-paying jobs, such as, you know, really cool jobs and stuff.

Don't Worry... (4, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779660)

Don't worry. I'm sure they'll be billed back to the Dept. of Labor at 100k per year, +20% finder's fee.

Re:Don't Worry... (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779680)

>100k per year, +20% finder's fee.
 
I would have expected higher, but I guess we are in a recession.

200000 or 300000 in India is very low (5, Informative)

middlemen (765373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779666)

Rs. 200,000 or Rs. 300,000 is a very low salary in India. Junior programmers generally get paid at least Rs.500,000 to Rs.700,000

Re:200000 or 300000 in India is very low (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779754)

Wow. $10,000-15,000 a year. Do you realize what you're saying here? Most of them are working below the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour! Burger flippers at McDonald's make more than that.

Re:200000 or 300000 in India is very low (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30779774)

Yeah but you can likely do more with $15,000 in India than here.

Re:200000 or 300000 in India is very low (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779888)

That's marginally true [chillibreeze.com] , but that's besides the point. There is no way in hell any American programmers can live on that salary. You won't get a programming job without a college degree, and if you haven't noticed, the cost of getting a college degree is very, very steep in the U.S.

I guess we're all going to have to move to India.

tell that to the american companies (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780088)

who never fucking cut their costs even if they get stuff produced for cents in china. moreover, prices of each class of goods appear to be fixed around their respective price margins for decades. despite costs have fallen down to tenth or lower from before, they havent budged to cut down costs. there was supposed to be competition. where is it ? why isnt a fucking single company cutting costs to get more market reach ?

all these show that there has been a fucking unsigned, unwritten cartel established in each walk of american consumer life, and they are practically price fixing like the LCD producers did a few years ago.

or, just like how riaa members has been charged with price fixing just today.

no, dont blame anyone else. the problems of america lies in its unbridled corporate structure. corporations are free to do anything, under the pretense of free market, yet the consumer doesnt appear to be making use of any of that freedom.

as a result, your cost of living is insanely high. nike produces shoes for a few bucks in pakistan, sells them for $20-30 in turkey, sells same shoes for $80-100 in usa. they are practically raping the shit out of you.

Re:200000 or 300000 in India is very low (2, Insightful)

bain_online (580036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779858)

Yah but obviously you are missing the difference in living cost.

Socially acceptable (and considered good) living conditions are achievable with these salaries in India. Minimum wedge in "Federal" US means probably some dingy old apartment and living on free food from Mcdonalds.

BTW: Can you afford a full time housekeeper on minimum wedge in US?

Re:200000 or 300000 in India is very low (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780144)

I make six figures in America and I can't afford a house keeper. On $15k/yr in America, you would have to take public transportation (which means adding a good four or five hours to your travel time each day in many cases). You would have no health coverage. You would not be able to live on your own (the cheapest shitty studio apartment in a bad area of town, plus electricity, trash, water bill would easily run you $600+/mo which is half of your 15k/yr right there). You'd have to live on an unhealthy diet of fatty hamburger helper and top ramen. You'd have a hard time figuring out how to pay for your glasses or medications if you needed any (and working in tech for your whole life, you're sure to need either or both eventually). And that's all on top of - presuming you are being paid $15k/yr as a qualified educated professional - the cost of your education. Your education was easily $50k to $120k. You'll probably be paying a third of that $15k salary every year for the rest of your career (or even your life) before it is paid off.

Re:200000 or 300000 in India is very low (1)

hihihihi (940800) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779816)

i don't know where you get your stats. but in big cities like delhi or mumbai 400k is sufficient for starters. for medium class cities like lucknow or hyderabad, its more like 300k. but yes not much from american prespective

I am not sure why this came up (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779682)

BTW, an earlier White House-sponsored, IdeaScale-powered Open Government Brainstorm identified legalizing marijuana as one of the best ways to 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness.'

It is probably worth mentioning (if it was even worth bringing up the content of that site in the first place) that the current number one idea on that site is a meta-innovation [ideascale.com] aimed at giving users the ability to apply 'ignore' votes to ideas to better stifle unproductive but popular entries. Sounds like they need to throw the whole thing away and just run slashcode!

What do you guys make per year for coding this site? I can start getting the next submission ready...

Don't politicize, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30779698)

Not that I am against it, but the mention of marijuana legalization has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on this particular story; it was mentioned (and rightly so) in the story about the brainstorming project, but it has no place here.

About that "legalizing marijuana" thing (-1, Flamebait)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779724)

legalizing marijuana as one of the best ways to 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness

Yeah, but that is only because stoners who are home all day getting high are the only ones who care about and have the time to bother to vote on it.

Marijuana could be legal if they were willing to stop toking long enough to have a political voice and vote.

Re:About that "legalizing marijuana" thing (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779876)

Whoa, wait a minute...are you insinuating that there are no active marijuana activist groups that are politically active?

That's almost as ignorant as saying pot is as dangerous as cocaine.

Obviously, NORML and MPP are the two biggest...but there are literally HUNDREDS of them. Spend a couple minutes with some searches on Google...what you find will surprise you.

Re:About that "legalizing marijuana" thing (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779906)

Whoa, wait a minute...are you insinuating that there are no active marijuana activist groups that are politically active?

...and I just realized how poorly that was written. Still, you get my point...there are a huge number of marijuana activist groups who work full-time on this issue.
  Again, two minutes and Google will show you the way.

Re:About that "legalizing marijuana" thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30779928)

Yeah, right, and all other downtrodden minorities are responsible for the poor treatment given to them, because they are too lazy to develop a "political voice".

Congratulations for justifying tryanny by the majority from the point of view of the majority. Well done there.

Re:About that "legalizing marijuana" thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780148)

"Marijuana could be legal if they were willing to stop toking long enough to have a political voice and vote."

Dope is wasted on kids, I'm a grandfather and have been regularly smoking pot for 35yrs, at least a third of the people I know in my age bracket have a similar habit, none of us sit at home all day getting high. The only political party in my country that has a policy of repealing prohibition are the single issue "Marijuana party" and I believe the political options in the US are similar. You may be naive enough to vote for a single issue political party but the vintage stoners I know are not.

Re:About that "legalizing marijuana" thing (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780248)

Says the poster on Slashdot...

By the way, all cannabis lovers are not stoners that spend their whole day high. All people who like to drink beer or wine are not pathological alcoholics. Some people actually enjoy the productive effect a low dose of THC can have on the cognitive functions. It is a slight euphoria state like the one given by alcohol but without the dumbing down of intellectual capacities. The day it is legal, I think my two work drugs will be coffee and THC. Coffee when fast low-level coding is needed and THC when architecture has to be done with the big picture in mind.

When it comes to programming (3, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779734)

You get what you pay for.

A lot of people tend to think that just because the person is over in India they'll be willing to work for a sub-average wage. Which, given regular circumstances, is generally true. Coding is another thing all together. If you live in a poverish state, you can't be expected to know C++. In fact it might be a stretch to say you know how to operate a computer. Those people who get hired for "Tech Support" aren't guru's by any means (and I think we all knew that). But they have been trained how to handle with customers, the basics of operating a computer, and are given a good list of responses. Programming is not something you can train "on the job". You need previous knowledge on the basics of computers. Then you need to learn a bit of program theory, how it all works. Lastly you need to learn the Syntax of various languages. A lot of people drop out when they can't deal with the Syntax. Some people drop out when they can't get the theory. Some people just don't like computers. You can't hire someone off the street and think that within a short time they'll be able to pick up all of those skills.

That's not to say there aren't educated programmers that come from developing countries. Every once in a while a hard working family will be able to afford an education, and once they have that education, they usually fly stateside to make more money. They know that with their education they can be making way more money than 4400 USD a year. So they go and tack an extra digit to that paycheck, keep half and the other half is more than enough to either fly the family to the States or support them in India.

Basically what it boils down to, they're going to get some guy who can talk the talk but not walk the walk. He'll agree to $4400 a year for as long as he can hold the job since he was only make $1000 a year back at his old job. Because anyone who knows what they're doing knows they are worth more.

we are in the internet age fool (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780102)

people are telecommuting. they dont need to go abroad. there are many indians working out of india doing jobs for other countries as well as americans moving abroad to europe to work from there because cost of living is cheaper. its a digital age with freedoms.

Re:When it comes to programming (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780264)

I'd agree with this, except for one thing. You're making an assumption that programming can't be learned without a "formal education". Most of the U.S. based software programmers I know were self-taught, actually. Many opted to continue in that vein when they attended college, since it was their area of interest already -- but they knew how to code in languages like C++ before they even got to their first college class.

I'd argue that of all the professions out there, I.T. related work is one of the most lucrative fields a person can still "break into" without formal schooling or training. Good software is good software, period. If you write and release something a lot of people enjoy using and find useful, you just earned a lot of credibility. People aren't going to say, "Great software package, but did the author complete a degree at a 4 year university? If not, I'm not installing it until he/she does!"

My experience, just from browsing web sites like www.odesk.com, is that a LOT of people are looking for contractors to do fairly complex computer-related projects for them, at a pay-scale of as little as $10 for completion. It's not US citizens bidding for those jobs paying $10.... It's people in other parts of the world, for whom that $10 US goes a lot further.

Re:When it comes to programming (1)

Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780352)

You're acting like India is Somalia, rather than a G-20 nation with a hugely diverse sector of industries, universities, and research. Indian companies can charge (and pay) less because the cost of living is considerably less than in the US, not because they're hiring the little street kids from Slumdog Millionaire to code your CMS platform. "Every once in a while a hard-working family can afford an education?" Yeah, right, and it's amazing that they have such diverse cuisine given that they have to hunt for food with nothing but rocks and sticks!

Re:When it comes to programming (1)

runbadscott (1047086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780420)

I think you nailed it. I always tell people to be extremely cautious when considering outsourcing to another country. Some of the issues that I have run into in the web development world: 1) After a project is completed the code usually gets reused and sold. 2) Language barrier. 3) Commitment to the project (outsourcing 'company' just got up and left). 4) Time zone issues. Last year I had a hand full of projects from people that came to me asking me to fix the mess they got into with outsourcing! And in the end it cost them 3x more that they originally budgeted.

Shame... (1)

DaemonKnightVS (1422157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779736)

that software dev wages are now so low, even in India. How low can they really push these wages??

Software vs. Cow shit. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30779800)

Software development and software, for that matter, has become a cheap commodity.

I can get a free version of software for any problem I may have. On the other hand, if I need fertilizer for my garden, I have to buy it. Fertilizer costs money: software is free.

That's right folks: cow shit is worth more than software.

The markets have spoken.

Re:Shame... (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780090)

Is it really a shame? Does the world not benefit from cheaper access to code? Does the basic truth that competition makes things better not apply to the world of programming?

Sure it's a shame for many American programmers, which are overrepresented here on /., but on a global scale I think this is a good evolution.

Re:Shame... (1)

DaemonKnightVS (1422157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780252)

Yeah cheaper access to code is better, more competition makes the field better but there is a point when you realise that programming is difficult work!

For crap applications sure you can knock something out relatively quickly but it definitely won't be bug free or stable! It takes a lot of a software engineers time to get design a good app.

Would you suggest that a software engineer should be paid less than a civil engineer? or a electrical engineer? Proper software development is difficult, tiring and sometimes thankless work( because a lot of manager types don't understand how complex coding can be ) which should be rewarded in the bare minimum with a good wage.

outsourcing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30779740)

It's just a matter of time until the United States Department of Defense gets outsourced

Re:outsourcing (1, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779908)

It's just a matter of time until the United States Department of Defense gets outsourced

Don't laugh. The U.S. DoD is already largely outsourced.

Fixed that for myself (3, Funny)

Taedirk (870181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779746)

US Department of Labor

For some reason, I read this as Department of DAY Labor..

Why So Flamebait, Chums? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30779758)

What's with all the anti-administration flamebait recently? Yesterday, submitted as fact, were a set very dubious allegations that turned out to be false, surprising almost no-one. Today, we're supposed to get upset because an American company that also hires workers in India gets a contract to hire workers in America, and reprise the anger we felt when fratards overwhelmed a lackluster public response to an Obama administration suggestion box with their gormless suggestion to 'save the economy' by legalizing a plant that grows like a weed. What gives?

test (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30779822)

test test

But, it's the Free Market, right? (4, Interesting)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779824)

Sure, it might be driving down wages and benefits for Americans and allowing other nations to leverage our infrastructure for their profit, but isn't that just one of the perks of being a Friedmannite economy?

Re:But, it's the Free Market, right? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780274)

The United States is not a free market. International trade with the US in no way represents a free market. Why is that so hard for Slashdorks to understand?

full-time? really? (5, Informative)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779850)

I have friends in India. I discussed IT salary differences with them. I said "this web page says you can get software engineers for $5k/year in India. Is that for real?"

I was told that that's bullshit and that Indian professionals actually earn in excess of $20,000 per year. $5k/year would only buy interns with no education and no experience, from what my friends in Bangalore tell me.

Re:full-time? really? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780142)

I was told that that's bullshit and that Indian professionals actually earn in excess of $20,000 per year.

Ah. So, instead of being paid less then a 10th of what an American is getting paid, they're making about a quarter to a third of what an American is getting.

I feel better now.

Imagine how much that is in Canadian dollars! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30779942)

You might as well send those jobs to Canada, because 4400 U.S. dollars = 4 515.71984 Canadian dollars and... oh wait.

Summary is a goddamned mess (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 4 years ago | (#30779958)

The evil computer program that shunted those random phrases together in a mockery of English syntax should be forceably retired. The summary manages to be long and tortured, yet strangely free of specific information.

Comparsion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30779964)

Just for comparsion. I work as programmer for small Slovak hospital/database software vendor and after 5 years, my income is 13'000 $/year.

4000/year ? youll only get college kids (5, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780012)

or script kiddies.

4000/year is too low for getting even an average quality indian coder. i have to compete with indians in web development, i know how ridiculously low rates they pull sometimes, but these rates generally are placed in projects that can be somehow gobbled up from premade code. i dont think with 400/month you are going to get quality ppl. youll probably get some college kids in a high turnover sweat shop.

Re:4000/year ? youll only get college kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30780428)

average quality for India or average quality for the US? (i.e. familiar with US customs and culture, wouldn't say "yes" meaning "no", etc)

Come on ... (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780020)

Not one reference to this being a kdawson post, or is my comment threshold set too high? ;)

Call or e-mail your Congress-Person (4, Informative)

catherder_finleyd (322974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780094)

I would urge US slashdotters to call or e-mail your Congress-Person. If this is really true, it is a violation of US Federal Contracting standards. Generally, Federal IT contracts specify all workers on the contract to be either US Citizens or Permanent Residents.

Re:Call or e-mail your Congress-Person (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780138)

+1

Fine, just make it fair (4, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780164)

If I have to complete with $5K/year Indian programmers, I have a right to lower my living costs by outsourcing my yard maintenance to an $3/hour undocumented mexican gardener. Or by outsourcing my software purchases to $0/hour piratebay. I know there are good arguments about both of these pursuits, but then there are similar ones about skirting US labor laws by outsourcing. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Am I reading this right? (4, Funny)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30780318)

The U.S. Government is essentially paying non-U.S. citizens to maintain a web-site for Americans seeking employment?

Sorry, but my Irony Meter (TM) just pegged and is now completely non-functional.

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