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U.S. Suspends JEEP Aid

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the i-want-to-be-tier-one-support-when-i-grow-up dept.

Politics 136

gManZboy writes "As noted last week, the USAID's JEEP (Job Enabling English Proficiency) program has been using U.S. taxpayer dollars to train students in the Philippines to work at outsourcing call centers. An update: After Congressman Tim Bishop and a colleague protested to USAID, USAID decided to suspend funding to the effort. 'In response to the concerns you have raised, the Agency is suspending its participation in the English language training project in Mindanao pending further review of the facts,' said USAID deputy assistant administrator Barbara Feinstein, in a letter Monday to Bishop. 'Furthermore, the Agency has established a high-level taskforce to review these matters.' Bishop says that USAID needs to find ways to assist developing regions without compromising the jobs of U.S. call center workers"

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136 comments

Really Reads: (2, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#39777009)

You forgot to line the pockets of the right people in an effort to make a quick buck. I would dearly love to see if any of the call centres getting this aid and training have investments from US politicians or friends of them. Never underestimate a woman scorned, but never ever underestimate a polly who you "forgot" to pay.

Re:Really Reads: (1, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 2 years ago | (#39777399)

You forgot to line the pockets of the right people in an effort to make a quick buck

... and that of using the money of citizens from country A to train citizens from country B to compete with against the citizens from country A

Re:Really Reads: (1, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#39777509)

Totally agree with the sentiment as I posted below [slashdot.org] but you do realize that you are either politician (ergo, supposed to be looking after the country to stop all your work being sent offshore) or you are a businessman (and therefore primarily focused with making the most profit you can without breaking the law). A byproduct of capitalism is that these two roles are in competition and in reality require politicians to take a stand and be able to say "Hey, this is going to suck, but we HAVE to do this..." and I am pretty sure that those politicians are all resting in their graves. This generation of politicians doesn't seem to be able to do anything that makes ANYONEs life harder in any shape, way or form - except when it was someone else's fault.

Re:Really Reads: (2)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#39778195)

This generation of politicians doesn't seem to be able to do anything that makes ANYONE THAT THEY KNOWs life harder in any shape, way or form - except when it was someone else's fault.

FTFY. They routinely make the lives of people they don't know and won't likely meet harder.

Re:Really Reads: (1)

VanGarrett (1269030) | about 2 years ago | (#39779339)

The funny thing is, when an individual small-ish company with, perhaps, up to a few thousand employees starts sending their jobs over seas, it makes very little impact on the overall economy. But when very large companies, which employ several tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of employees sends their labor-intensive jobs over seas, they're starting to cut out a great deal of their own consumer base, by removing those wages from the cash pool that also buys their products. I suppose it's not such a big deal, if that company also sells a great deal of product in the region of their foreign employees, or if their wages are otherwise only a few transactions away from being used to buy their product, but when we have a great deal of business, both large and small, all doing this, and to diverse foreign populations, that becomes a money sink for our own economy. If we are to continue down this road, we really need to be exporting more of our own domestic products.

Re:Really Reads: (1)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | about 2 years ago | (#39779689)

It is a stupid, kneejerk reaction... Maybe you are blissful in your ignorance of outher world, but English is useful not only to get an offshored, help desk work. From management to administratives and secretaries (passing by IT people), English knowledge is a useful tool for many people.

You could argue about if the US should be giving foreign aid (most of first world countries do, mind you) or if it is the most effective way to help. But the "oh if they speak english it is because they want my job" meme is too silly to think that it is other think that a disguise to more xenophobic instints.

I would find the program objectionable if it was directed in a corrupted way (by example, using its funds to teach current employees of an offshore company, so that company does not need to pay for the formation themselves).

Ah, and by the way.... I don't believe how you people are so naive to think that, if this program was actually helping US bussiness lower their costs of offshoring, it would have been cut. The best sign that it was not is because the US bussiness allowed it to get cancelled (to give some representatives an excuse to boast about how they care about your, without really doing nothing about it).

Re:Really Reads: (-1, Troll)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#39777591)

Never underestimate a woman scorned, but never ever underestimate a polly who you "forgot" to pay.

Wait, so the Democratic politician who stood up to end this ridiculous program meant to move US jobs overseas is the bad guy?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and bet that you're planning to vote for Mitt Romney.

Re:Really Reads: (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#39777861)

I am not saying that he did a bad thing in trying to put a stop to it, I am just doubting the motives behind it. US politics seems to be on a massive downhill slope over the last few decades - or perhaps I just didn't see it before. As for my vote, I vote for the greens although I am a member of the Australian Pirate Party. If Assange is able to contest a place in the Senate, I will be voting for him. When the democrats (Not to be confused with the US Democrats) were calling bullshit as needed in the senate, they had my vote.

Re:Really Reads: (4, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#39778005)

I am not saying that he did a bad thing in trying to put a stop to it, I am just doubting the motives behind it.

My mistake. However, I am inclined, when presented with a US politician who is doing the right thing, to be purely supportive and not question motives. I think that approach is more productive. It happens so rarely, that I would hate to ever dissuade a politician from doing the right thing.

It turns out this congressman, Tim Bishop, is a pretty good egg. He's been consistent about pro-peace, pro-human rights, pro-gay rights, pro-women's rights and pro-prosperity and pro-worker positions. As sleazeball politicians go, he's about as good as it gets (I get all that from his Wikipedia page plus his ratings from certain good government groups). He does not accept corporate campaign funding in any form, his website claims.

You gots to be grateful when you come across one of these guys, know what I mean? Hey, good luck down there. You've got your work cut out for you too. I see Australia is trying to avoid some of the worst mistakes the US has made regarding deregulation, etc. I am glad to hear you support the Pirate Party. I do too, but not many of them run for office here in the States.

Re:Really Reads: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39778211)

He does not accept corporate campaign funding in any form, his website claims.

That's great that he doesn't, seeing as how it's illegal and has been for a while.

When I run for the House, I'll make sure to include a blurb front-and-center about how I don't kill people, rob banks, or cut the tags off of mattresses before they reach the end user.

Re:Really Reads: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39778407)

That's great that he doesn't, seeing as how it's illegal and has been for a while.

http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/fecfeca.shtml

Without looking into Tim Bishop, I'm guessing PopeRatzo was referring to PAC contribution to his campaign. Since PACs can accept unlimited contributions from both individuals and corporations, and subsequently make independent expenditures.

Re:Really Reads: (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#39778961)

He does not accept corporate campaign funding in any form, his website claims.

That's great that he doesn't, seeing as how it's illegal and has been for a while.

Why do you think it's illegal for corporations to donate to campaigns? Of course they can. They just have a limit. Congressman Bishop is just one of the handful who don't except corporate donations. The great Bernie Sanders of Vermont is another.

Re:Really Reads: (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#39778983)

Why do you think it's illegal for corporations to donate to campaigns? Of course they can. They just have a limit.

I may be mistaken here. I see that there is a prohibition on donations to campaigns for national office. It appears that includes Senate campaigns, but I'm not sure about the House of Reps.

So I guess Bishop's claim might be regarding PAC money. Still, it's commendable.

Re:Really Reads: (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#39778247)

It turns out this congressman, Tim Bishop, is a pretty good egg.

Hey, if I misjudged, I am big enough to admit it. If he is squeaky clean, great, US politics needs more like that.

Re:Really Reads: (1, Insightful)

BenJCarter (902199) | about 2 years ago | (#39778347)

Wait, so the Democratic politician who stood up to end this ridiculous program meant to move US jobs overseas is the bad guy?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and bet that you're planning to vote for Mitt Romney.

What about the Republican Congressman Walter Jones (R-N.C.), that co-wrote the letter? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that you probably think the Democrats are the good guys, despite the fact that Obama nominated an RIAA shill [slashdot.org] to be solicitor general. I don't think it's Democrats vs Republicans as much as it is politicians and their friends vs us.

Re:Really Reads: (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#39778931)

What about the Republican Congressman Walter Jones (R-N.C.), that co-wrote the letter?

He's a good guy too, in this case. Just nowhere near as good as Tim Bishop, who is one of our best congressmen, as far as I can tell. How many Republican congressmen don't take corporate money, for example?

. I don't think it's Democrats vs Republicans as much as it is politicians and their friends vs us.

No, it's corporations vs a democratic republic. Politicians are just a representative sample of the population.

Re:Really Reads: (1)

ArcherB (796902) | about 2 years ago | (#39779057)

You mean THIS [maplight.org] Tim Bishop?

Top 10 Interests Funding

Interest Contributions
Lawyers/Law Firms $174,015
Transportation Unions $164,750
Education $140,600
Securities & Investment $132,800
Public Sector Unions $115,000
Health Professionals $102,825
Building Trade Unions $75,250
Real Estate $67,450
Industrial Unions $59,050
Abortion Policy/Pro-Choice $52,900

Also from the same site, he took $18,000 from New York Life and $16,450 from Estee Lauder Companies. So, yeah, he does take corporate money.

But as for the unions, that's over half a million dollars from unions alone. Unions are his biggest contributor by far. Surely, a man as pure as Bishop couldn't be affected by money. He's not corrupt enough to be bribed by these people right?

How does Tim Bishop feel about Card-Check? Does he feel that unions leaders should know how you vote for things like, "should we have a union"? Is he the least bit concerned that someone might drop by the kid's schools to try to persuade the parents to vote for a union? Does he not see the value of the secret ballot, the bedrock of any democracy? He would protect a workers' right to become unionized right? He would also have to protect with the same vigor the right to NOT become unionized, otherwise it's not really a choice. A man this pure would have to support the worker over the unions and allow them to accept or reject a union without the possibility of "persuasion" from union members, wouldn't he?

How does Tim Bishop feel about non union members being forced to pay union dues if they have a job? Should workers be forced to pay union dues, which will go to support political candidates that the workers may not agree with? Does Tim feel that it's OK to take forced contributions from workers who don't support him, but must contribute to his campaign in order to have a job? Isn't forcing workers to join a union the exact same thing as forbidding a union? They both remove the choice, right?

I don't know if you realize this, but a Democrat taking union money is the same thing as a Republican taking corporate money. You say Republicans are bought and paid for by corporations. I say that Democrats are bought and paid for by unions. It's the same thing.

I'm sure Mr Bishop does some good things from time to time, like what TFA is talking about, but don't play like he's squeaky clean. Given that unions make up the bulk of his political contributions and the two issues above, which he sides with unions on both of them, I believe corruption is proven. This guy is bought and paid for by unions.

Why? (5, Insightful)

Rouphis (2501464) | about 2 years ago | (#39777013)

Tell me exactly why it is our responsibility to find ways to assist developing regions. There are americans that would love call center work. It beats a lot of other bad jobs.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777039)

Americans won't work for 50 cents an hour, no benefits, no bathroom break. Convince the government to pay for the English lessons, and bam, pure uncut profit.

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#39777245)

Tell me exactly why it is our responsibility to find ways to assist developing regions. There are americans that would love call center work. It beats a lot of other bad jobs.

The problem you are missing is that lovely thing called capitalism. You see, if I own a call centre with 100 customers, and I employ 100 staff to operate the phones, I pay the going rate. Lets say it is $10 for nice round numbers. So, I pay $1000 a year in wages. Now, I work out that I can invest $200 and train some chaps in some cheap labour country - like the Phillipines - and then pay them $500 to do the same work. So, I invest that $200, get the training done and the following year, my wages have gone down and I can say that in the first year, I made an extra $300 profit, and every year after that, I make $500 extra profit.

Of course, that paints a pretty worrying picture from a wider view as that means that instead of $1000 being paid to local workers, $500 is being shipped out of the economy and into another country, but not many people want to look from that angle when it impacts their own profit margins.

This sort of thing only works long term if you can get that $500 back from the other country by getting them to buy your goods with the money you give them so that the cash stays local. How is the US Balance of Trade [wikipedia.org] these days you ask? Take a look for yourself.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 2 years ago | (#39778117)

Except it isn't capitalism when the government is spending tax dollars on it, so your example is flawed. Yes, yes I know government is in the pocket of corporations but since you decided to talk economic theory I had to point that out. Real capitalism would have companies who wanted to outsource funding the training.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#39778259)

It we are talking theory, lets throw in some game theory. A clever capitalist would spend a fraction of the cost of all the training on lobbying and then have the government foot the bill while making use of the facility to train his new outsourced workers.

Re:Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39779467)

That's crony capitalism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crony_capitalism

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#39777453)

Tell me exactly why it is our responsibility to find ways to assist developing regions.

Because when they fail at developing in a way that produces legitimate exports, they instead develop in a way that produces, for instance, narcotics and terrorists as their exports.

Which, humanitarian concerns aside, also has adverse effects on the US economy.

Re:Why? (1, Insightful)

gmhowell (26755) | about 2 years ago | (#39778383)

Tell me exactly why it is our responsibility to find ways to assist developing regions.

Because when they fail at developing in a way that produces legitimate exports, they instead develop in a way that produces, for instance, narcotics and terrorists as their exports.

So it's a big protection racket? At least you're honest.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39779085)

It's not a protection racket, it's the end result of anarchy and a failed state. You end up with nobody in control which means that other groups fill the void. It's happened all around the world at various points.

Suggesting that it's a protection racket suggests that the same people currently running the government would still be running it after the state fails, that's not necessarily true and often times quite incorrect.

Re:Why? (1)

ppanon (16583) | about 2 years ago | (#39778393)

Meh. narcotics wouldn't be such a problem if the USA finally accepted (once again) that drug prohibition/criminalization doesn't work. Education and treatment do. Though I don't have any problems with increasing sentences for associated crimes (i.e. theft, B&E, DUI), thereby to encourage them to seek treatment, when the crime is committed by addicts who abuse drugs and continued drug use increases the chance of recidivism.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39778661)

When has education EVER worked to prevent a drug addiction? Addiction isn't so much a matter of intelligence, but rather a matter of temptation. All you have to do is overcome the initial resistance one time to create an addict. Most addicts know that they are killing themselves, but the use experience has a firm grip on them and it takes extraordinary means to free them from its grasp.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

Jeeeb (1141117) | about 2 years ago | (#39777463)

Tell me exactly why it is our responsibility to find ways to assist developing regions. There are americans that would love call center work. It beats a lot of other bad jobs.

Well in regards to the Philippines in particular there is the rather ugly history of America buying the islands of Spain and then invading them, crushing the Philippines independence movement and ruling them as a colonial power for about 50 years. So you could say there is some moral responsibility there.

For aid in general there are 3 good self interest arguments.

1. Economics: There are more people in Pakistan than Japan or Germany but wanna guess which ones America trades more with? Germany and Japan of course with trade volumes many times greater than American trade with Pakistan. The wealth of those two countries has created enormous new markets for American products. Yes trade involves job losses but the point is that the opportunities created outstrip the losses.

2. Security: Poor undeveloped countries cause security problems. Look at Somalia. If you can it's better to spend some money helping them develop rather than having to continuously deal with the security problems that you otherwise get.

3. Security 2: Aid is the act of buying allies. If the West isn't going to buy then others (China, Russia, Iran) might just step in.

Aside from self interest developed countries giving aid to developing countries has been a long standing principal. In terms of aid per capita the US gives quite generously but it is by no means the most generous. From memory the U.K is the biggest giver per capita. Aid programs like this are simply keeping the US in line with other developed countries in giving aid.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39778763)

Or we freed the Philippiens from spanish rule then when we tried to grant them independence they got invaded again by the Japanese and we were forced to saved them for a second time granting them independence only a year later.....

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39778943)

you forgot the most important reason: Manifest Destiny

Re:Why? (2)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | about 2 years ago | (#39779567)

Those who don't know history...

From the beginning of the occupation, the USA was ignoring the philippino rebels and started clahes with them. The main revolutionary leaders that had fought the Spanish were killed by the US Army. The USA converted Philippinas in a colony, the same way Spain had (including government appointed military governors).

After WWII, ships were no longer using carbon so there was less necessity of a refuelling station in Manila to project the US Navy power in the Far East (and also Japan was an occupied country, too). So, the USA "remembered" that they were supposed to have liberated the country 50 years ago and Philippines was allowed to become free.

Re:Why? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 2 years ago | (#39779487)

1. Economics: There are more people in Pakistan than Japan or Germany but wanna guess which ones America trades more with? Germany and Japan of course with trade volumes many times greater than American trade with Pakistan. The wealth of those two countries has created enormous new markets for American products. Yes trade involves job losses but the point is that the opportunities created outstrip the losses.

Of course Japan and Germany trade more with us, they're developed! They were both highly developed nations before they ever got a dollar of aid from us. China was somewhat in the 1930s before Japan went in.

There is no way to develop Pakistan, they'd have to want to do it themselves.

2. Security: Poor undeveloped countries cause security problems. Look at Somalia. If you can it's better to spend some money helping them develop rather than having to continuously deal with the security problems that you otherwise get.

Somalia is not a security problem. Not a significant one anyway. For some private shipping, but the US Navy can blow anything they have with their lowest tech gear out of the water. The threat is nothing compared to the cost of developing it.

3. Security 2: Aid is the act of buying allies. If the West isn't going to buy then others (China, Russia, Iran) might just step in.

Just like that $10B or so a year bought Pakistan's loyalty when our chopper crashed.... and oh, wait, they gave China a look at it.

Mutually Beneficial Trades makes more effective, profitable and longterm alliances than indiscriminant handouts ever will. France and Germany defended Iraq up to the US invasion, trying to stop it, because of the trade they did with Saddam.

Re:Why? (1, Troll)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 2 years ago | (#39777743)

Tell me exactly why it is our responsibility to find ways to assist developing regions.

Because a rising tide floats all boats. In this case I'd much rather have filipinos learn to speak american standard english than something like learning to speak chinese because the long-term effects are good for the USA in general.

There are americans that would love call center work. It beats a lot of other bad jobs.

The same argument can be made for any job at all and maybe that's how you feel too. However, not all of us see the world economy as a zero-sum game.

Re:rising tide floats all boats (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | about 2 years ago | (#39778043)

Ooh, a nice argument.

I'm not being cynical - "better a Filipino speak fluent English than Chinese" - it's a nice theory.

All that we have to navigate is the local tactics of "Filipinos work for $2 an hour" long enough for those boats to rise on the tide.

It's a VERY tough game.

Re:rising tide floats all boats (4, Informative)

coredog64 (1001648) | about 2 years ago | (#39778245)

I was considering out-sourcing some work to the Philippines (from a non-American territory, for an international aid organization) and ISTR the going rate for educated Filipinos was ~ $1300/month. It was more expensive than India (again, going by memory, $1000/month) but the Philippines were closer and they have much better infrastructure and English skills.

Re:rising tide floats all boats (2)

janimal (172428) | about 2 years ago | (#39780025)

Jeez, at those rates you can get Europeans too. They're closer to timezonewise to the West as well.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39778331)

The problem with "a rising tide floats all boats" is that not everyone has or can afford "boats" so the poor just end up "drowned".

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777761)

"Tell me exactly why it is our responsibility to find ways to assist developing regions. There are americans that would love call center work. It beats a lot of other bad jobs."

While I've done call center work in the past and could very easily be reduced to such again soon (shortage of STEM workers my ass) there is potentially a selfish motivation here. A hundred years ago a great power could displace, enslave, or simply slaughter the native population of a developing region in order to gain control of their resources. While of course that still goes on, a cost benefit analysis probably indicates that for a nation like the Philippines it is cheaper to make nice with the locals to ease their accommodation of our interest in their resources. Note that we're supplying an increasing amount of armaments to the Philippines right now to help out "their" interests in the oil-rich South China Sea...which just so happen to align with our interests of boxing China in and degrading their international relations in that area. Plus oil of course.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777891)

Tell me exactly why it is our responsibility to find ways to assist developing regions. There are americans that would love call center work. It beats a lot of other bad jobs.

Many developing regions, if not exactly the Philippines, will get foreign aid from whatever sources they can find.

How would you like the Philippines getting foreign aid from China or Russia?

Re:Why? (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 2 years ago | (#39778317)

It goes back to the cold war and a very long term way of thinking.
The more you help people with your brand, the more they will be imprinted with liking you no matter what.
So you see many parts of the world reaching out to offer aid even when they are in need of aid.
Vietnam, China, East Germany gave farm aid and advice, Taiwan does at lot of great work too. Then you have the classics of the UK, USA and Soviet Union.
Why the aid? If they help the grand parents with simple work, their children might get better jobs and grandchildren might just make it to some top bureaucratic/public/private position. When they hold billions of aid money in one hand and have billions worth of infrastructure projects on their desks... anything to sway a person at any level helps.
Add in listening stations, bases for freedom fighters, stopping a sphere of influence forming in a part of the world with useful, cheap resources.
Then add in training programs, jobs back home making the aid flow, the ability to inject spies as aid workers ...
It was always seen as win, win, win - good edu jobs at home, stopping the bad people and making the world safe for US products and services.
Now other embassies in the region will be rushing to fill the US aid void. The happy locals will welcome their new buildings under other flags and pass by new plaques as they are educated.
The story of been dumped by an old friend will be passed down.

Re:Why? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#39778391)

Tell me exactly why it is our responsibility to find ways to assist developing regions. There are americans that would love call center work. It beats a lot of other bad jobs.

However... do to the cost of workforce (wages), it is not going to happen.
The most plausible outcome is that you'll still be answered by an phillipino support person, except it will be an untrained one (to be fair... maybe it will be trained, but won't be trained on US taxpayers money).

Re:Why? (1)

backslashdot (95548) | about 2 years ago | (#39779089)

Just because you're not responsible doesn't mean its not the right thing to do.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39779483)

It's not the right thing to feed bums off the street if your own children are starving.

Boohoo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777015)

Boohoo. Old, racist white guys complaining that a darkie is "taking our jerbs!". Except that most Americans will snub these jobs at the same time.

Re:Boohoo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777093)

Boohoo, 1%ers whining about the free market then whining when we suggest that the tax money they refuse to pay not go towards training Filipinos.

I guess having the 99% pay your training cost is the "free" part of the free market.

Re:Boohoo (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 2 years ago | (#39777729)

1%ers whining about the free market then whining when we suggest that the tax money they refuse to pay not go towards training Filipinos.

Where in any of the linked articles does it say that?

Re:Boohoo (0, Troll)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 years ago | (#39777931)

Just for grins, do a bit of research to find out just how much taxes that 1% actually pays. You'll be surprised (hint - average, according to this [taxfoundation.org] is in the range of 20% of income. the top 0.1% is the Buffett group, paying about 8% of gross income.). The bottom 50% pay about 12% of their income - but almost 4/5 of that group actually gets subsidies back from the gov that exceed their tax payments for a net negative payment for that group.

The top 1% of income earners in the US pay about 40% of the total income tax, the top 5% about 60%. The top 25% pay 87%. The bottom 50% pay about 2.7% , but again receive more than they put in.

We also have the highest corporate tax rates in the world, ameliorated slightly by the plethora of silly loopholes and exceptions, that keep a million or so accountants busy.

I note that when the Constitutional amendment to allow the income tax was passed, the PR was that it would always be limited to the top 2% of income earners, and would be limited to 2% of their income. Obviously once the camel got into the tent, it began to eat everything in sight. Too bad the amendment didn't include any limits! At one time the entire federal government was paid for by the postage on mail, and the liquor tax. Was that so bad? When you didn't like how one state did things, you could move to another. Now the feds have their noses in everyone's behinds, sniffing to see what we had for dinner. That, IMHO is not the role of a FEDERAL government structure.

Meanwhile, the present administration's spending is (IIRC) 40% of the entire GDP. Of that, it is borrowing about 40% and of that, the Federal Reserve is buying about 60% because the number of suckers willing to buy US debt has dropped precipitously. When the Fed buys it, it is just a silent form of 'quantitative easing', in essence creating money out of thin air. Another name for that is inflation - the most regressive hidden tax there is. 60%X40%x40% = about 10% inflation PER YEAR. :)

Regardless of whose party is in, this has to stop before, like Germany a few decades ago, we will be in the boat where a postage stamp costs $5 billion (no joke - that's what happened, only marks instead of dollars.)

Re:Boohoo (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#39778401)

Just for grins, do a bit of research to find out just how much taxes that 1% actually pays.

Aren't corporation also "persons"? Why did you let them [slashdot.org] out of the picture?

Re:Boohoo (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 2 years ago | (#39778531)

Well, I did mention this:

We also have the highest corporate tax rates in the world, ameliorated slightly by the plethora of silly loopholes and exceptions, that keep a million or so accountants busy.

Stuff like the gasohol subsidy - basically welfare for Cargill and ADM are good examples of bad ideas. In fact, using tax policy and subsidies for social engineering are bad ideas in general IMHO.

I'll just add that, if the Health and Human Services dept. were a 501(c)3 charity, the entire management would go to jail for corrupt practices. Their cost of administration compared to what actually gets to the street is abominable. And having worked for an independent social service agency with some federal funding (a long time ago), where it took, as we counted, 23 levels of decision making to authorize purchase of pencils. Needless to say, the meetings, reports and analysis cost thousands of times what the pencils cost.

Re:Boohoo (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777163)

No. It's Americans complaining that we are being taxed so that some local fatcat business owner can get an even sweeter deal offshoring jobs. The fatcat is welcome to save money by offshoring and anyone is welcome to compete for the jobs (even at insanely low wages), but neither is entitled to use taxpayer dollars to do so. Choosing to not send your money to your competitors is not racist -- it's common fucking sense.

Re:Boohoo (4, Insightful)

NetNed (955141) | about 2 years ago | (#39777297)

Is it me or is the race card becoming like the boy that cried wolf? Really, 9 times out of 10 now I instantly discount anyone that brings race as either a flamebaiter or someone that uses it as a crutch for their own short comings. It's like every forum has to have a person that stretches as far as they can to inject racism in to a topic.

Nice that they feel so strongly about it that they posted anonymous.

Re:Boohoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777797)

Is it me or is the race card becoming like the boy that cried wolf? Really, 9 times out of 10 now I instantly discount anyone that brings race as either a flamebaiter or someone that uses it as a crutch for their own short comings. It's like every forum has to have a person that stretches as far as they can to inject racism in to a topic.

  Nice that they feel so strongly about it that they posted anonymous.

It's not just you. Of course, every time *I* see the race card played, I review my plans for death camps to march them into.

(I figured I'd give them someone else to call a Nazi, instead of you.)

Re:Boohoo (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39779743)

If someone needs to play the race card, he/she has already lost.

Only with publicity do they do this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777025)

Why can't they police this kind of crap without being publicly shamed into doing so?

Face it, just about every politician and beaurucrat needs to be thrown out and we need to start again from scratch with people who have a better sense of doing right by the American people.

Re:Only with publicity do they do this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777227)

And replace them with who? Some schmuck that will just turn around and do the same thing? Please.

Re:Only with publicity do they do this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777241)

We elected them in the first place. So technically they are doing what we want them to do.

Won't Work (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777113)

Any company willing to ship their American/English tech support to a non-English native country is going to do so whether or not the American government helps the people there learn english. If this program made the Philippines a more attractive place to outsource to, so what? If not there, then there are plenty of english speakers in other countries willing to do the job.

oh a review (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777131)

how about you review whose idea it was and make sure they never work in a job greater than a wall-mart greeter

there are socio-paths everywhere in US gov, they need to be exposed and shunned as traitors, traitors to their own countrymen

I called tech support. (4, Funny)

mrmeval (662166) | about 2 years ago | (#39777157)

I called tech support for black box router #5. I ended up talking to someone in a call center in the Bronx.

After about 5 minutes of not being able to understand them I asked to be transfered to India so I could understand them better and get my problem resolved.

Thank you I'll be here all this century.

Re:I called tech support. (1)

game kid (805301) | about 2 years ago | (#39777351)

'ey, watch it with my borough, buddy!

(Seriously, the differences between calls to the US and abroad can be stark. I won't name names, but from experience the voices on the other end of credit card activation numbers can differ heavily with the issuer--the difference between a clear and even pleasant conversation, and "excuse me? Wuzzat?".)

Unclear (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 2 years ago | (#39777187)

Without knowing more than the very limited information in TFA it's hard to say for sure what the situation really is. That said, these programs are being misused if the allegations are true. But if true, it isn't exactly the worst fraud being perpetrated on US tax payers. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be addressed now that it has come to light.

Still strange that with all the big fish to fry government has focused on something relatively minor like this.

Re:Unclear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777271)

$100 million a year is minor?

Re:Unclear (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777287)

In comparison to the $6 trillion Obama has tacked onto the national debt? Yeah, pretty much.

Re:Unclear (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 2 years ago | (#39777557)

No matter whose fault it is, I think we can all agree that any program that has no domestic benefit should get re-evaluated. The semantics of if it has been Obama's failed leadership or Bush's massive overspending isn't really relevant to fixing some of these clear cut misappropriated programs.

Re:Unclear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39778091)

Bush's massive overspending

What a strange reply to parents:

In comparison to the $6 trillion Obama has tacked onto the national debt? Yeah, pretty much.

I guess if you say something untrue often enough, people will believe it?

Re:Unclear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39778683)

I guess if you say something untrue often enough, people will believe it

And if you ignore Bush's overspending long enough, people will believe it never happened? If your defense is "But Obama!" then I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the Bush Thanksgiving. "I'm so proud of you, son! You're a little better than Obama!"

Hell, the excuse for 3/4ths of the shit Bush pulled back when he was pulling it was "But Clinton!" I guess if the Republicans keep shooting for their toes they'll never have to work hard to hit their target.

Re:Unclear (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 2 years ago | (#39777527)

In the scheme of things yes.I'm talking about priorities. Listen, any program that can't demonstrate real success should be reconsidered. However, I would rather the limited time spent on the billion dollar scams as opposed to the multimillion dollar ones. Doesn't mean either should exist, but lets be real.

Re:Unclear (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777281)

Still strange that with all the big fish to fry government has focused on something relatively minor like this.

Lets see... Scores points with people who don't like specific minority groups, who don't like paying taxes and then seeing those taxes wasted / exploited / spent on non-American people, and of course with the they took our jobs sect. Also gives them some "we're doing stuff!" credit!

wtf (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#39777267)

Bishop says that USAID needs to find ways to assist developing regions without compromising the jobs of U.S. call center workers"

Does our esteemed congress critter realize we conquered the Philipines, and for awhile owned it after WWII? This isn't like offering education programs in Iraq; Some of them are still legally US citizens. We destroyed their infrastructure -- the least we can do is help these people improve their economic infrastructure, of which literacy is an excellent first step. The issue of corporations outsourcing to this country is a separate problem, and one that will not be solved by plunging these people back into illiteracy.

There is a word for men like Bishop, and that word is 'asshole'. This guy's screwing them over for short-term political points in an election year. They deserve economic aid; It's part of the treaty we signed with them along with a mutual defense pact. Plus with the crap in North Korea going down, can we really afford to be pissing on these people's backs? We may need their military support, and they'd be a lot more willing to give it if we were making good on our treaty obligations.

Re:wtf (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777355)

You're a tard.

Re:wtf (3, Informative)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#39777385)

Oh, and just 'P.S.', the philipines right now is experiencing a rise in extremism amongst its muslim population due to high unemployment and low literacy; this program was enacted specifically to address that problem as an informal 'thank you' to that country for being a major supporter of our anti-terrorism efforts after 9/11, particularly in Iraq. So you could say with a straight face that Bishop is supporting terrorism in order to garner more votes in this election. Sick, isn't it?

Re:wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777765)

philipines right now is experiencing a rise in extremism amongst its muslim population

If your memory was long enough you would recall that during the 1990's extremism was becoming a very serious problem. The US basically did nothing to help (imagine that). Sometime after 2000 the US started helping and extremism became less of a problem, until about 2008. Since then it's picked up again. See a pattern there?

Re:wtf (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 2 years ago | (#39779637)

Oh, and just 'P.S.', the philipines right now is experiencing a rise in extremism amongst its muslim population due to high unemployment and low literacy; this program was enacted specifically to address that problem as an informal 'thank you' to that country for being a major supporter of our anti-terrorism efforts after 9/11, particularly in Iraq. So you could say with a straight face that Bishop is supporting terrorism in order to garner more votes in this election. Sick, isn't it?

Even if that were true, then why should we spend those dollars educating them specifically to take US jobs? If we're going to give them education aid, why not put that money towards general education? Why not educate them to be productive without specifically taking away American jobs?

Re:wtf (2)

mjwx (966435) | about 2 years ago | (#39780171)

Oh, and just 'P.S.', the philipines right now is experiencing a rise in extremism amongst its muslim population due to high unemployment and low literacy; this program was enacted specifically to address that problem as an informal 'thank you' to that country for being a major supporter of our anti-terrorism efforts after 9/11, particularly in Iraq. So you could say with a straight face that Bishop is supporting terrorism in order to garner more votes in this election. Sick, isn't it?

Erm, no.

Groups like Abu Sayaaf and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF, no joke) has been around since the 70's. In fact there's been a marked decline in terrorism since the establishment of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (where all those evil mooslims live right). Most of the bombs in the last few years have in fact been inside the ARMM or at least in the surrounding provinces of Mindanao.

But nice try using the old "Terr'ism" bogeyman.

The biggest problem coming out of Muslim Mindanao at the moment is the number of beggars and unemployed travelling to Luzon and other islands.

In the Philippines, as a westerner or a Filipino you are much more likely to be killed by a gun toting, god fearing, Christian Filipino then being killed or kidnapped by a Islamic terrorist. Guns are everywhere over there, it's easy to find a $20 Cebu special (locally produced gun copied from popular designs), complete with no safety catch. A lot of westerners "commit suicide" in the Phils, although that is rare unless you're a complete idiot.

Also that being said, I recommend not going anywhere near Muslim Mindanao.

Re:wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777489)

Isn't it possible to allocate money in foreign lands to educate people in reparations or whatever without *also* having them required to learn English?

I would imagine a lot of them would learn English anyhow using the "General Education Fund" or whatever we'd rename it as, but at least this way congresspeople will be able to wash their hands of "teaching foreigners to speak English to take American jobs."

Hell, we screwed up Japanese infrastructure a fuckload in WWII what with the nukes and the bombing. We also messed up Germany a lot. Oh and South Korea in the Korean War. None of those folks are getting aid from us, especially not for learning English. They do it all on their own.

Re:wtf (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 2 years ago | (#39778555)

The US public is starting to not really give a shit what other countries are doing. They want every penny handed out in Foreign aid to be used domestically. It won't solve many problems in the US because the dollar amounts are a relatively small percentage of the government budget but even small amounts are better than none. The US government should not be isolationist, instead it should establish and pursue a strict amoral policy methodology when interacting with foreign countries. Any political, military, or commerce related deals should be made only if the US stands to gain something tangible. One example would be the aid given to Isreal. Isreal is required to use 90% of their aid money buying US goods and which benefits the US economy . The US gets most of the money back while still maintaining an allie in the region. In contrast the aid given to countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Egypt produce a low or negative return on investment and is a total waste. The "spreading democracy" bullshit has been tried and failed. Any country who can't fix their own problems should not expect any help from the US other than some stern statements. This mirrors the UN approach to problem solving. If countries want treaties with the US for military support they should be billed with at least a 50% due upfront for any services rendered. The government should also let the business community negotiate their foreign arrangements using their own money as long as they do not violate any US laws concerning foreign commerce. If the average US citizen have problems with the situations, such as human rights, in foreign countries they should be allowed total freedom to do anything they want to help but they should do it on their own dime.

Re:wtf (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 2 years ago | (#39777575)

Treaties should be honored above all. Even if in retrospect a population may not have wished them. It's a basic tenant of modern government and you raise a great point.

Re:wtf (5, Informative)

Tofof (199751) | about 2 years ago | (#39777649)

Your version of the Philippines' history is laughably wrong. We gained ownership of the islands around the turn of the century, not by the war as you imply. It's true that despite initially supporting the Philippines independence movement from Spain, we waged our own war against a rebelling populace after we received the islands in the Treaty of Manila (ending the Spanish-American War). The destroyed infrastructure was of the same pre-Industrial-Revolution kind that was largely being willfully destroyed elsewhere in the world. In the interrim, the Philippines prospered alongside the US - we established a modern health care system rivaling our own at the time, ended slavery, formed a national education system and civil bureaucracy. Throughout the 1930s efforts toward releasing the Philippines as a free and independent nation were well underway, with the first independent government elected in 1935 and the transition to be gradual to full independence a decade later. In WWII, the Japanese conquered the Philippines despite American and Phillipine attempts to defend it. Philippine and US troops alike died in the Bataan Death March. We of course hosted the legitimate citizen-elected government as a government-in-exile. After the official withdrawal of US troops, the Philippine Army )with large participation from underground movements) waged a guerilla war with support from what US remnants remained - against the unpopular Japanese-puppet regime. When we reinvaded in 1944, the civilian president Osmena literally accompanied MacArthur onto Leyte Island. We ceded the Philipines as scheduled before the war, in July 1946 - a mere 10 months (nearly to the day) after Japan's formal surrender. You paint a picture of an invading US army laying waste to the country and then holding onto it during and after WWII, when the exact opposite is far closer to the truth.

Re:wtf (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 years ago | (#39777833)

Wow, another slashdotter who knows some history. I'm impressed.

It should also be remembered that Douglas MacArthur was, in the period leading up to WW2, NOT a US Army General, but a Field Marshal in the Philippine Army. His US Army rank was reactivated at the beginning of the war in the Pacific.

Which put him in the odd position of being junior to General Marshall, who was a colonel when MacArthur was Chief of Staff of the US Army (the position Marshall held in WW2), while at the same time outranking him (MacArthur's date of rank was decades before Marshall's, and in the US Army, two people of the same rank determine relative position by date of rank).

Re:wtf (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#39778823)

Your version of the Philippines' history is laughably wrong.

No, it's actually spot-on, and now I must insist that you provide citations for any 'facts' you present.

We gained ownership of the islands around the turn of the century, not by the war as you imply.

Umm, no -- you lost [state.gov] at exactly the turn of the century -- the philipine/american war was from 1899â"1902, and we won. You were owned by the US until the Treaty of Manila in 1946. You may recall that within that 44 year time period, both world wars happened. The islands were occupied by japanese forces during WWII, true enough -- but less than a year after the war ended and we'd licked our wounds, we returned and cleared the deck.

It's true that despite initially supporting the Philippines independence movement from Spain, we waged our own war against a rebelling populace after we received the islands in the Treaty of Manila

You imply that the struggle ended; the declaration of martial law in 1972, assassination of opposing party leaders in 1983, a rigged election in 1986 which eventually led to the incumbent fleeing to Hawaii with his cabinet, the removal from office of the current president in 2001 amid stories of corruption, and into the present now with several militant factions suspected of ties to terrorism including the Moro National Liberation Front, New People's Army, and the Abu Sayyaf.

The destroyed infrastructure was of the same pre-Industrial-Revolution kind that was largely being willfully destroyed elsewhere in the world

But it was destroyed. If I crash my friend's 20 year old car, I don't just tell him "Well, everyone else was junking these to, so this was totally, like, a favor to you." No, I help him get another vehicle.

In the interrim, the Philippines prospered alongside the US - we established a modern health care system rivaling our own at the time, ended slavery, formed a national education system and civil bureaucracy. Throughout the 1930s efforts toward releasing the Philippines as a free and independent nation were well underway

Yes -- because the US helped rebuild your country after the war, in the same way it helped the UK and France rebuild. You paint a picture of US neglect of the philipine islands, when in fact it had major involvement. Your country attempted to create free public education while it was still under spanish rule as early as 1863, but it wasnt until the 1930s, under US control, that the system was fully realized -- thanks in no small part to programs like JEEP.

After the official withdrawal of US troops, the Philippine Army )with large participation from underground movements) waged a guerilla war with support from what US remnants remained - against the unpopular Japanese-puppet regime. When we reinvaded in 1944...

If by "we" you mean the United States, Mexico, Australia, as well, then sure. But don't try and claim sole credit for that -- it was a 4 country effort.

You paint a picture of an invading US army laying waste to the country and then holding onto it during and after WWII, when the exact opposite is far closer to the truth.

No, I was trying to paint a picture of a country that, like many, suffered greatly during the world wars, and was assisted in its rebuilding by its ally (and owner), the United States, who after making sure the country could stand on its own two feet, ceded independence. Since then, we've done our best to render economic aid because the country is still not stable and over the past decade has seen a rise in militancy due in no small part to a failing economic infrastructure.

Re:wtf (1)

webnut77 (1326189) | about 2 years ago | (#39778189)

We destroyed their infrastructure -- the least we can do is help these people improve their economic infrastructure

IIRC, we liberated the Philippines from Japanese occupation and if you know anything about how the Japanese, during WWII, treated non-Japanese you'll agree that that was a good thing. A lot of Allied blood was spilled doing this. And yes, it was in our interests. It was in the world's interest.

I'm all for helping other nations but I think we should help ourselves first. It's only when we set a successful example will other countries want to follow that example.

Re:wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39778519)

I'm all for helping other nations but I think we should help ourselves first. It's only when we set a successful example will other countries want to follow that example.

So we want to show the world to be selfish. Exactly how is the whole world working to further their own self interest going to advance any form of collective or civilized goals?

It's called tit for tat as the solution to the prisoner's dilemma, but in the end, most world issues more closely mirror the snowdrift [phys.org] . When we work for our own selfish goals we achieve them. But when we work together, we accomplish so much more than just the sum of our efforts. This for example is why assembly lines work.

Not a zero sum game (1)

Essef (12025) | about 2 years ago | (#39777285)

Politicians love to use the hot-button topic of oursourcing to pretend like this is a zero-sum game. i.e. a job outsourced is a job lost domestically. Americans have to choose: Do you want your companies to have access to cheap callcenters so you can grow your core business and create more jobs, or do you want to pay high local callcenter rates just so you can brag that "we buy american", while possibly stiffling growth.

Re:Not a zero sum game (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#39778507)

WAAAAyyyyy back before computers, companies used to support massive rooms full of people crunching numbers AND a local call center and yet they managed to grow and prosper. Probably because there were plenty of well employed customers who could afford their products. The claim of 'needing' cheap labor to grow business is just as much nonsense.

I'm all for helping other countries develop their economies, but that's not what's happening. It's just a bunch of rich corporations pocketing the difference between economies. If the cheap labor shows the slightest chance of getting fractionally more expensive (due to their local economy actually starting to develop), they'll be dumped on their asses with no prospects in one second flat.

I'll believe a company is sincere about their reasons for outsourcing when they replace their expensive American CxOs with inexpensive but equally well educated 3rd world CxOs.

Looking at this another way... (2)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | about 2 years ago | (#39777293)

JEEP used USAID funds to train students in the Philippines troubled Mindanao region, which has seen unrest by Muslim activists, to work in call centers and other industries. Feinstein said JEEP was initially conceived as a way to help students in the region integrate into Filipino society. "The intent of the program is to enable these youth to make productive contributions to society, and to reduce alienation and marginalization that may make them vulnerable to the influence of terrorism and extremism."

"LET'S PROTECT AMERICAN JOBS" is just fine, but remember that this is seen as a way toward 2 positives: 1) Offer the Filipinos something worthwhile and valuable to them and 2) reduce the power of extremists in their own territory.

So instead of jerking my knees around, I'd rather see numbers that show how much this costs vs. how many jobs it is "stealing" vs. how much protection the Filipinos and U.S. interests abroad / at home are benefiting from it. And if we cut those funds, where will they really go next?

What crud: (4, Insightful)

Hartree (191324) | about 2 years ago | (#39777447)

This just means that more of the work will go to Luzon where they have more english speakers and better infrastructure.

Creating jobs in Mindanao to help with many of the endemic problems there is a good thing (tm).

It's unlikely that any jobs that would have been outsourced to Mindanao would have stayed in the US anyway. They would have ended up in other places in the Philipines or in Bangalore India or $english_capable_low_cost_location.

(Engage rant mode:)

Bishop is a Democrat and Jones is a Republican, so this is a bipartisan shortsightedness. But it'll get them votes in the short run and that's the truly important thing.

Hey, I'm sure the Moro Islamic Liberation Front approves. Poverty and ignorance is great for maintaining low level wars.

Better not teach them any other skills either. They might do something that would compete with the US in areas that wouldn't be outsourced. We could just make the spreading of ignorance the cornerstone of our foreign policy. What a concept.

Slashdotters are great at talking about how little others know about world politics and how the problems facing other societies end up on your own doorstep. Maybe some of them should take their own advice.

without compromising the jobs of U.S. call center (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777479)

how about training for U.S. call center workers to actually be polite, listen to what customers are asking instead of just reading their form replies, and stop being generally a*holes

Re:without compromising the jobs of U.S. call cent (1)

matazar (1104563) | about 2 years ago | (#39777667)

not that I don't agree with you, but part of the problem is the customers. people are idiots, which would be fine but they are also self entitled assholes about it. i've never worked in a call center but i have worked in a retail environment in the past and hated dealing with the phones for that very reason.

reading scripts for support type things is the devil though...

One word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39777617)

There is a word for the people who pushed for and implemented this: Traitors

Just a wild idea (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about 2 years ago | (#39777881)

Why don't we use that money to teach some of our own citizens to speak English? I don't mean the foreigners who come here. I mean the ones born and raised here that you'd need a freaking interpreter to understand.

Improved English diction for phone s{c,p}ammers? (2)

Snorbert Xangox (10583) | about 2 years ago | (#39777953)

When I was at home during the day over the Christmas holiday period, a number of the "hello, this is the technical support centre, your Microsoft Windows computer has a virus [so please install our trojan software to remove the bogus virus, you chump]" scam callers had an accent that sounded Filipino to me, and spoke pretty clearly compared to the Indian accented callers I had heard before. Perhaps I was experiencing the benefits of US-funded English training in the Phillipines.

NB: This is not any racist remark, just my experience of a number of phone calls (1 or 2 per day) that I received when I happened to be home for a week. It got to the point where I was interrupting them with "Oh, you're calling about the computer, aren't you?" within a second of them starting their patter. It was a small consolation to hear the pause and uncertain "..yes?" before I hung up on them.

When the labour of humans with Internet access is so plentiful and cheap, you can try all the same "works one in a hundred times" scams that used only to be economical to automate, but now your scam mechanism can talk, interpret speech, pass a Turing test and solve CAPTCHAs...

wait what? (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about 2 years ago | (#39778793)

The companies who run those call centers should be forced to pay back every penny. Why would the US willingly spend tax dollars to outsource jobs?

blind (1)

alienzed (732782) | about 2 years ago | (#39778833)

Does it not occur to the business men exporting these jobs that locals won't have that 'wage' to spend on products right here at home? The economy only works if people have money to spend and people only have money to spend if they have jobs. The near-sightedness inherent here is just dumbfounding.

Re:blind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39779611)

Does it not occur to the business men exporting these jobs that locals won't have that 'wage' to spend on products right here at home? The economy only works if people have money to spend and people only have money to spend if they have jobs. The near-sightedness inherent here is just dumbfounding.

They know, they just don't care. They only care about next quarter's profits.

Wisdom follows, pay attention! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39779733)

> USAID is suspending its participation in the English language training project in Mindanao

In other words: the tutor grant of the Chinese Communist Party's Workers Education Organization is starting its participation in the Mandarin language training project in Mindanao.

Stupid americans colonized the Philippines and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of its islamic moro inhabitants in one of the worst genocides of the 20th century, then, rather than accepting full responsibility and reparation duty, like modern germans did, Uncle Sam is tossing the Philippines to the red chinese. God does not look kindly upon such treachery!

English (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39779961)

I think this money would be spent better on improving the English language skills of American citizens.

Really? Why? (1)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | about 2 years ago | (#39780287)

"Bishop says that USAID needs to find ways to assist developing regions without compromising the jobs of U.S. call center workers"

*sigh* Insert your image of plantation owners and whips as you see fit.

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