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Labor Department Downplays Offshoring

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the if-we-don't-see-it-it-isn't-happening dept.

Businesses 849

twitter writes "The New York Times is reporting the US Labor Department's first assessment of International Offshoring. The report claims that less than 3% of Q1 2004 jobs were lost to offshoring. Companies were asked if workers had been replaced and taken at their word. A Federal Reserve governor is also quoted as dissmissive. Estimates by Goldman Sachs are 20 times higher. Despite Washington's IP fetish, no one quoted is worried about the export of US research and knowhow. Your job and 830,000 others are gone."

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I am optimistic... (0, Flamebait)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#9396952)

But, but, but, according to GWB's webpage [slashdot.org] there have been four million jobs added since August! He told me he's optimistic about America because he believes in the people of America!

A new report released yesterday by the Labor Department on mass layoffs found that in the first quarter of this year, 4,633 workers were laid off because their jobs were moved overseas, a mere 2.5 percent of the total of 182,456 longer-term job losses reported by companies in the period.

Excuse me but zero jobs should be lost to overseas workers. You know why? Because companies that do this should be taxed to hell and back for doing it. Make it so fucking unattractive that the companies will NEVER even consider a foreign worker cheaper than a US native. I have a feeling that the person currently running the show wouldn't ever think of THAT. Remember he's optimistic about furthering his "base" of the "have mores".

Vote Bush/Cheney in '84 and you too can be optimistic and believe in the people of America!

Re:I am optimistic... (1)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397007)

"Remember he's optimistic about furthering his "base" of the "have mores"."

I think that almost every president has been trying to further his own while in office. He has to think of himself when he gets out in 4/8 years.

Re:I am optimistic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397018)

Umm you realize the only reason the people who aren't "have mores" can afford the stuff they have is because of the low prices at Wally world, etc. By forcing companies to not buy shit from overseas, prices just go up.

Unless you are just talking about IT type jobs, in which case you are completely forgetting the manufacturing jobs that keep a good portion of the US population with food on the table...

Re:I am optimistic... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397030)

Bush IS doing something about those jobs, from the 17th green !

still at least GWB outsourced torture [ft.com] , wouldnt want blood on American hands now would we ?

now stop whining and let the man who has spent 50% of his presidency on holiday get back to the real issues at hand, like sinking that putt.

Re:I am optimistic... (3, Insightful)

WombatControl (74685) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397041)

Excuse me but zero jobs should be lost to overseas workers. You know why? Because companies that do this should be taxed to hell and back for doing it. Make it so fucking unattractive that the companies will NEVER even consider a foreign worker cheaper than a US native. I have a feeling that the person currently running the show wouldn't ever think of THAT. Remember he's optimistic about furthering his "base" of the "have mores".

Yes! Let's do exactly that!

While we're at it, let's ensure that no policy that would cost American jobs is ever passed. We should tax the hell out of any company that attempts to hurt American workers by doing things that increase efficiency, automate labor, or make products and services cheaper. Sure, we'll all have to pay $50000 for a computer assembled by hand, but at least we'll have all those good-paying jobs right here in America.

All this regressive protectionism is a throwback to the nativist movement and the failed policies of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff. You can't take the benefits of global trade and then complain about how terrible it is that people are getting their jobs replaced by cheaper workers. We all benefit from products and services that would be prohibitively expensive if it weren't made in a distributed fashion.

The best way of saving American jobs isn't by shutting our borders and going back to the 1920's, it's by reducing the cost of health care and enacting tort reform to prevent frivolous lawsuits, both of which would decrease the regulator burdens that make it very hard to add new employees and be able to pay them well.

Of course, why bother with a nuanced solution when we can react in a kneejerk fashion and makde a cheap ad hominem against the President?

Re: I am optimistic... (5, Insightful)

MarkPNeyer (729607) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397114)

Hear, Hear! I'm sick of hearing protectionist garbage, particularly on slashdot. I like to think of this as a place where intelligent people can debate ideas. It discourages me enough when some guy says that we should tax the hell out of companies who think about outsourcing, but then when people go and say this sort of thinking is Insightful? Give me a break! It makes me think of a bunch of Neanderthals with clubs sitting around in a cave. One of them stands up and says "GROG SMASH," and the others point and grunt approvingly - "Grog Insightfull!" they chant, and Mod him a notch.

Re:I am optimistic... (2, Funny)

EricWright (16803) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397043)

Vote Bush/Cheney in '84 and you too can be optimistic and believe in the people of America!

I don't know about you, but I'll probably be dead in 80 years... I'm betting Bush and Cheney will be, too!

Re:I am optimistic... (5, Interesting)

Rico_za (702279) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397058)

You know why? Because companies that do this should be taxed to hell and back for doing it.
Fine, but be prepared to pay at least twice what you now pay for a lot of your consumer goods, including your PC, TV, clothes and most of what you can buy so cheaply at the mall or Wallmart. Why is it OK to outsource the manufacturing jobs so you can have cheap electronics, but when the job being outsourced is something you're trained / interested in, it's wrong?

Re:I am optimistic... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397119)

Coming from the man that has HIV does not cause AIDS - Manto & Thabo in his signature I don't see how the fuck you can get modded up for anything you say.

Re:I am optimistic... (1)

Shajenko42 (627901) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397181)

Fine, but be prepared to pay at least twice what you now pay for a lot of your consumer goods, including your PC, TV, clothes and most of what you can buy so cheaply at the mall or Wallmart.
Let's see... pay current prices for stuff and have no hope of getting a job, or pay twice as much and have much better job prospects... Guess which one most people will pick?

Re:I am optimistic... (5, Insightful)

elefantstn (195873) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397063)

Excuse me but zero jobs should be lost to overseas workers.

Ah yes, the boundless economic ignorance that leads to +5 insightful on Slashdot.

An economy where no jobs are going overseas or coming back is a lifeless, growthless economy. Acting as if even one job moved overseas is somehow a problem does nothing but illustrate your own particular ideological blinkers, which prevent from thinking in any halfway rational way about complex topics like economics and globalization.

Re:I am optimistic... (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397144)

> An economy where no jobs are going overseas or
> coming back is a lifeless, growthless economy.

Not quite. Such an economy simply has a lower cost of living than that in other countries. If it didn't cost so much to obtain shelter and food ($700-$900/month in any place close to a good job), people would have been happy to accept lower wages.

Excuse me (5, Insightful)

MarkPNeyer (729607) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397075)

"Comapnies that do this should be taxed to hell and back for doing it?"

This post betrays an utter lack of economic sense, and a complete disregard for individual rights. So you think companies should be taxed to hell for hiring employees outside of the U.S., and then Slashdotters think this idea is insightfull? What the hell happened to keeping the federal government out of private buisness? I see now that most of you slashdotters are all about personal rights, so long as those rights are yours and rights aren't given to other people who might use them in ways that you don't like

Your idea that "zero jobs" should be lost to workers overseas is completely, utterly, assinine. Anyone who thinks this sort of thinking is "insightful" needs to learn some basic economics. Everyone benefits when companies become more productive because their products are made cheaper. We have seen a net increase in the number of americans employed as a result of international trade, because those people in foreign countries who get jobs will now be able to purchase more expensive American jobs.

You really piss me off. Saying that we should tax the hell out of companies so that they keep all their workers here is mindlessly stupid from an economic viewpoint, and utterly unamerican. Is there any consitutional basis for controlling whom private companies wish to have for employees? No! Mind your own god-damned buisness. If you think too many companies are outsourcing, then start your own company with only american workers and american inputs, and see how long you last in a free market. The truth of the matter is that it's the American People who are pushing for outsourcing becuase they demand cheaper products. And why shouldn't they?

Re:I am optimistic... (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397078)

Excuse me but zero jobs should be lost to overseas workers. You know why? Because companies that do this should be taxed to hell and back for doing it

I know this is just your own misguided opinion... But could you at least back it up with some economic theory? Other than making you feel good for having "paid back" someone for a perceived "wrong", what will it accomplish in the long run?

You're essentially saying free markets and the encouragement of growth in the world economy is a bad thing. I'm sure people in poorer areas of the world are jumping with joy over the extra money and education coming in from this. Meanwhile, you are free as an American citizen to find other work, including becoming self employed.

Re:I am optimistic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397092)

"Because companies that do this should be taxed to hell and back for doing it."

If the company does not have a big investment in US government contracts (the suggestion is that these can be only won by US based companies) then what will happen if tax is raised in this way is that the company will simply register abroad and move all its workers elsewhere.

Robotics anbd industrial automation (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397100)

Robotics and industrial automation should be taxed too!!

Think about this ..why should companies be allowed to improve efficiency and use robots or software??

Who the fuck are people to tell others how to do THEIR business? If they want to offshore, that's their CHOICE. It's the same as using industrial automation (which people opposed in the 19th century). Why not ban that? After all, it's somehow a God given right to force a company to hire people.

Also, don't workers that are willing to work for less deserve these jobs?

I dont see how forcibly preventing companies from hiring offshore workers can be ethically or morally justified.

Re:I am optimistic... (3, Insightful)

fiftyvolts (642861) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397113)

You're idea of taxing companies for shipping jobs overseas has merit. Despite this, however, I am reluctant to go along with it. My concern is that the current state of the IT industry depends to a certain degree on the cheaper labor of programmers, etc. in countries that do not have the labor laws we enjoy here in the US. If the government begins taxing this practice will the impact force companies to hire American workers? Or, perhaps companies will fire more American workers to make up for the taxes. Or the company might just fold and leave all their employees without jobs.

I don't know enough about economics and business to make a conjecture about which of the above would happen, but they all seem like reasonable possibilities. Is there anyone with a MBA out there who can elaborate :D

As a side note I am an EE and, while I'm not one of the jobs most likely to be affected by the shift, it still makes me quite uncomfortable.

Re:I am optimistic... (1)

Valluvan (564515) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397170)

I'll save this as a typical example of how sentiment and lack of knowledge overtakes pragmatism and better sense when people have their butts pinched. Once you have made it so fucking unattractive for companies, you will also realize that living in this country has also become so fucking unattractive due to prohibitive cost. Every protectionist country in this world has payed the price.

Re:I am optimistic... (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397175)

"Excuse me but zero jobs should be lost to overseas workers. You know why? Because companies that do this should be taxed to hell and back for doing it."

Why? Because white Americans have an inalienable right to easy overpaid desk jobs while the rest of the world starves to death?

I have a novel idea. Lets try this thing called "competition". Let US workers compete with foreign workers, and let the best get the jobs.

Xenophobia (or racism or whatever is motivating these opinions of yours) aside, your argument suffers from the fact that you are unable to look at the big picture. Many companies offshored jobs to cut their budgets after the dot-com economy tanked. Had they been forced to keep those jobs in the U.S., they would have gone bankrupt and then instead of a couple dozen overpaid programmers having to find new work, the entire company would have gone bankrupt and everyone would have been out of work. Add to that, think of all the jobs we get selling American products overseas. What happens when they implement similar protectionist laws in response to your little plan?

Three step plan: (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397177)

1. Tax US companies that move jobs overseas
2. Watch while U.S. companies go under because they're unable to compete on cost
3. See tax revenues fall as the US economy tanks.

Economics isn't as straighforward as the parent seems to imply. Capital has always been mobile. Now labor is, too.

US companies move jobs overseas for a number of reasons - one of which is the need to compete in both the US and world markets against foreign companies that use cheap labor to reduce their price-point. If the gov't taxes these companies for moving the jobs overseas, where do you think the money to pay those taxes is going to come from... thin air? Nope - higher prices. And when the US companies raise prices, what will consumers buy at the local Stuff-Mart? Non-US products. That's rather counter-productive if you're looking to keep US jobs.

Think about past situations that are (somewhat) analogous to the current one... Say textile manufacturing. When non-US textile companies started competing against US companies in the US market, prices fell and yes, some US companies went out of business. But that's because those companies couldn't compete on cost (or apparently, quality). That "inefficient" portion of the US economy shrank and there are very few US-based textile manufacturers left. But our economy moved on to focus on different strengths - manufacturing and then "technology."

I'm afraid that I'm not willing to conceed economic planning to the government. We all know where that leads For now, despite the fact that I've been laid off twice in three years, I'm still more confident in allowing the economy to be directed by market forces (within reason, of course) than by the inteligence of our elected officials.

Capitalism (of the laisse fair type) succeeds because it's based on a solid reality - human greed, and the necessity of restraining it.

Offshoring is a sensitive topic, I know. But the solution isn't necessarily government intervention to prevent it. IMO, it makes more sense to try and ease the impact on laid off workers than to prevent economic forces from making the market more efficient.

cant wait to get bush out of office (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9396955)

Kerry will stop this offshoring nonsense!

oh wait, his wife's companies are offshoring as much as anyone else.


NADER '04 !!!1!

Re:cant wait to get bush out of office (5, Insightful)

hackmole (656682) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397002)

Crap. This is all crap. Does anyone know how many jobs we have "insourced"? Think 6 million. The economy is always churning. People lose and gain jobs everyday. Yeah, lets tax the hell out of companies that outsource, then we can lose 6 times the number of jobs. Seesh, you need to read beyond the headline

Re:cant wait to get bush out of office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397027)

He's already refered to them as Benedict Arnolds, but don't expect to see him to do anything about it. Like any politician he will say anything to get elected, then forget everything he said to push his personal agenda.

Re:cant wait to get bush out of office (4, Informative)

Enry (630) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397031)

If Teresa Heinz Kerry were actually an officer [reuters.com] of HJ Heinz, she might hold some influence. She isn't, so she doesn't.

Re:cant wait to get bush out of office (4, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397083)

Yes, and we Pittsburghers are much more upset about losing ketchup producing jobs than about how the entire steel industry has moved overseas.

Re:cant wait to get bush out of office (3, Informative)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397097)

Ummm, she inherited that money and the Heinz name from her former husband, the late Senator John Heinz, a Republican [heinz.org] . Also, she owns less than 4% of Heinz Co. stock and isn't even on the board. You can bet that her ex-hubbies Republican pals are on there though. Anyhow, I don't have anything against Republicans historically and was once one myself, it's the "new" far-right wing Republicanism that turned me off the party.

Re:cant wait to get bush out of office (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397156)

One thing Mrs. Kerry could do is divest herself of that 4% holding, but here is a cautionary tale...

In the 1980s Nestle obtained a share in the Rowntree confectionary company in the UK (famous for the Kit Kat). The share was not a controlling one. The Rowntree Trust, the chariable arm, also held enough shares to influence the company but not to stop Nestle taking the company in directions it felt were unreasonable. In protest the Trust divested itself of its shares. Nestle was then able to buy these shares on the market and obtain a controlling share of the company and do even more things that the Trust objected to. So by disinvesting in the company the Trust made things worse...

No way (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9396957)

Dey took arr jabs!

Re:No way (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397004)

dur ka tur!

Go work for the government (5, Interesting)

Mz6 (741941) | more than 9 years ago | (#9396962)

Here is a registration free link (for the NYTimes) [nytimes.com] courtesy of GOOGLE.

Here is some advice that I took after I graduated college. During my last few years of college there was a lot of talk that companies may start outsourcing their work to places such as India. Living in an area where there is a large air force base I was given the advice to get a job there working with either with a contractiong company or the civil service (government). They are so strung for computer-minded people that they can offer up to a $60,000 hiring bonus on top of about $60-70,000 per year just to get you to work for them. And the best part? The US government isn't going to outsource your job anywhere. The only thing to worry about, however, is that your job can be eliminated. But the benefit of working for the civil service? They also have to find you a new job of similar pay.

Or an University... (2, Informative)

Cyclopedian (163375) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397051)

depending on how much they need the computer-minded people. However, they're very flexible in hiring young people and are willing to give them a chance to establish a work history that they can use in the future.


Re:Go work for the government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397117)

I have worked for the government.

It is fine, as long as you don't mind spending
most of your time working on assignments that
range from the inane to the insane.

Downplay (2, Insightful)

mzkhadir (693946) | more than 9 years ago | (#9396970)

I think they have to downplay it because its election season and Bush doesn't want to lose an election.

That's politics for you. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397157)

Not only do they incorrectly calculate the numbers, but they also don't use the correct numbers in the rest of the article.

It says we lost 3 million jobs since 2001.

But then it says we've gained back 1.4 million of those jobs recently.

But our population has been growing since 2001. What about the jobs that are needed to employ the new workers entering the workforce in 2001, 2002, 2003 and early 2004?

And what is the total pay for those segments of the population?

If I get outsourced as a sysadmin, and I take a job flipping burgers, then that's still ONE job. But the pay rate is very different.

It isn't just a matter of adding X jobs. They have to be in similar or better fields at similar or better pay.

Huh? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9396972)

The report claims that less than 3% of Q1 2004 jobs were lost to offshoring.... Estimates by Goldman Sachs are 20 times higher.

So 60%? I don't think so...

Oh no... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9396973)

This article is just another pathetic excuse for the unwashed, unskilled inhabitants of Slashdot to bleat about how they are losing their jobs.

Here's a tip. Throw away your books on Perl, Sed & Awk and C.

Grab a Win2k MCSE core set, a few books on .NET/C# and get down to work.

You all blow goats, the fucking lot of you.


Look, folks. Do it now, nicely, or be blindsided. (5, Insightful)

Slartibartfast (3395) | more than 9 years ago | (#9396981)

I feel for people who've lost jobs -- my wife lost hers, twice, and several of my friends did as well. But you know what? It keeps the labor market dynamic. "Well, if this is dynamic, I want none of it!" Sorry, but that's a kneejerk reaction: if people overseas can do it cheaper, and maybe even better, WE HAVE TO LET THEM. If we don't, then some day they'll come along and simply overpower us, because they -aren't- stagnant. Look at what happened (say) to American automakers when they were dismissive of Japan! How about textile workers? It's part of being in a global economy. Unless we wish to become entirely self-sufficient and isolationist, we HAVE to learn to do well what we do well: innovate, create jobs, create wealth and opportunity. But don't try to bail out a tepid economy with finger pointing and a leaky pot.

Re:Look, folks. Do it now, nicely, or be blindside (4, Insightful)

SirGeek (120712) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397021)

The problem is that in a level playing field, that is fine..

But you also need to take into account that these foreign workers :

  1. Don't get Insurance
  2. Don't have the same working environments
  3. Don't have anywhere near the same cost of living

So how can you compete when they can feed a family of 10 on 10K a year and have housing while you would be in poverty here if you made that much ?

Re:Look, folks. Do it now, nicely, or be blindside (5, Insightful)

Slartibartfast (3395) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397060)

No. That's not how it works. It -is- a level playing field, almost by default: their cost of living is lower than ours, regardless of the reason. That means that there are certain things that they can do cheaper. WE HAVE TO LET THEM. Eventually, their economy will get better, raising their cost of living... or it won't, and they'll no longer be a concern. But if you try to "level" the playing field, you're just kidding yourself. If someone else can do it cheaper, and you don't let them, YOU WILL LOSE: that's the only sure bet. Check history if you don't believe me; gov't instituted remedies in situations like this just don't work, as most socialist countries were fine examples of. Free market may not be fun, but it's the only game that consistently wins, because there's nothing artificial, and greed -- the great human motivator -- is allowed to run rampant.

Re:Look, folks. Do it now, nicely, or be blindside (1)

cHALiTO (101461) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397138)

Compared to what they make a year, that low cost of living (for an American viewpoint) is extremely high.
You can't feed a family of 10 with 10k a year, and even if you could, not many people are as lucky as to have a job that pays that much.

Don't have a family of 10 (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397174)

> when they can feed a family of 10 on 10K a year and have housing

You might survive just fine on 10K a year as long as you don't have children. Just let them outbreed you and see how they like a world where nobody knows how a computer works, how to make steel, or refine oil.

Re:Look, folks. Do it now, nicely, or be blindside (2, Insightful)

JawzX (3756) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397116)

I think one of our fellow Slashdoters has a sig line that says the following:

"If They have access to our jobs, I want access to thier cost of living"

This my friends is the crux of the matter. One thing we must understand is that the cost of living in the United States is so high that we literaly CAN'T AFFORD (monitarily speaking) to compete with off-shore jobs. One of the main reasons an Indian tech support company can pay thier workers the equivalent of $2 an hour is that the cost of living in India is so low that $2 an hour is actualy a COMPETEIVE WAGE! Maybe if healthcare, housing (especialy housing), education, and food were cheaper in the US we could compete, but the fact is you're lucky if you can even find a nearly condemned hole in the wall to live in for $320 a month, let alone pay for food, transportation and medical costs.

Unfortunately we really have no one to blame but our selves, the American economy has driven these costs up. Perhaps when half the US is unemployed due to out-sourcing prices will drop and then we'll be competetive again. Until then it's gonna be rough, and I don't fault anyone for complaining.

Re:Look, folks. Do it now, nicely, or be blindside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397179)

"If They have access to our jobs, I want access to thier [sic] cost of living"

In a sense this is the case in the cost of consumer goods. The cost of a DVD player in the USA is a partly function of the cost of living in China.

A telephone call for comment (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9396985)

was answered by Sanjay Patel, who couldnt comment as his superiour had popped down the shops in Delhi for a curry

Question (5, Insightful)

USAPatriot (730422) | more than 9 years ago | (#9396990)

How is this being "downplayed" if there is very little to play up?

Yes, when you take a survey, you expect people to be honest, the very few that aren't honest won't make much of a dent in distorting the picture.

Anyway, I don't know why slahsdot is playing protectionist when it comes to tech jobs in the US. You people enjoy the fruits of offshoring in cheap computers, gadgets, and other electronics. Tech jobs aren't any more sacred than manufacturing jobs. Adapt or die.

well (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9396991)

I have to reply as an Anonymous Coward b/c my indian replacement took my slashdot account!

BPO jobs: (5, Informative)

anandpur (303114) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397000)

It is not downplayed in India. BPO jobs: Devil in sheep's clothing? [indiatimes.com] Call centres put Indian mores on the hook [indiatimes.com]

Re:BPO jobs: (1)

Haydn Fenton (752330) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397066)

There are literally hundreds of companies here in the UK that have moved their call centers to India, and I can remember seeing numerous stories on ./ about Indians being good at programming, outsourcing people and whatnot, I also remember a lotta ma mates having a virus which made a hidden file on my desktop with text about 'The great Indians' heh.

They're moving up in the world, and at pretty fast too. It's because they will work for a heck of a lot cheaper than the people in the UK, yet to the Indians, it's still more than an average wage. So both parties are happy.. Well, except all the redundant people over here.

Re:BPO jobs: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397193)

And just what the fuck does BPO stand for anyway?!

This will show up in the unemployment % (1)

MrRTFM (740877) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397012)

3% of the total job market outsourced is pretty bad, but certain sectors (like IT of course) are having a huge impact.

They dont really give a shit now, because everyone is earning big bucks, but perhaps the government will rethink this when the National unemployment rate jumps by 3%.

Isn't there an election coming up in the US soon?

Re:This will show up in the unemployment % (1)

hackmole (656682) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397042)

Oh give me a break. 3% outsourced is nothing. How many were insourced? Take a class in Macroeconomics. You will get the picture.

Re:This will show up in the unemployment % (1)

MrRTFM (740877) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397112)

Ok - so how many jobs were insourced?
And from what sectors?
I am curious - because it really seems to me that too many knowledge based jobs are getting outsourced. (not just US - here in Australia too).

If they are being replaced by insourced jobs of a low level then you should be pretty worried.

Re:This will show up in the unemployment % (2, Insightful)

mike_mgo (589966) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397178)

3% of the total job market was not outsourced.

What the report says is that 3% of the jobs lost (not total jobs) were lost to overseas outsourcing.

From the article: "Nine percent of non-seasonal U.S. layoffs in the first quarter were due to outsourcing, but less than a third of the work was sent overseas, the U.S. Labor Department said in releasing new figures on mass layoffs and outsourcing."

So less than a tenth of all jobs lost were lost to outsourcing, and only a third of those were lost to overseas markets.

Does it matter? (4, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397014)

There is a big attitude that ofshoring is taking away people's jobs.

What bull! Of course, These jobs don't belong to you in the first place, but that's missing an important point. There are always more jobs. Many of them will NOT be offshored. People need employees. People will create jobs when there are some free workers. If you can't get a job writing tedious code that a trained monkey can do, learn to do something that requires real skill and talent.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

minamar (786261) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397143)

you find a job as a programmer if it isn't taking a way jobs. If you think writing professional code is something that a trained monkey can do then you must have the IQ of a retarded gold fish.

I wonder... (-1, Offtopic)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397016)

If this had been written up in the Wall Street Journal, and posted to a website where the median age of the readers was > 30, if the rabid trolling and flaming about "W" would still happen?

Re:I wonder... (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397134)

Of course not. WSJ readers would blame Clinton instead.

Which is fine with me, as long as they're willing to extend their logic and celebrate Jimmy Carter as the man who brought down Communism, because clearly no president can be responsible for anything that happens during his own term.

More third-world owned IP would be good... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397037)

... for Washington's laws. Think about it.

With all this talk of outsourcing to India... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397044)

...it's no wonder why this website's name is Slash-DOT

This is a continuous argument... (3, Insightful)

Dagny Taggert (785517) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397045)

..within my department at work. The company recently exported some data entry positions to India. Our IT manager claims this is just a natural progression to the "next thing", just as we made the move to a service-based economy. But what is the next thing? A progression to service seems natural in hindsight; can anyone point to what is after that? Of course, I hear people say that wages overseas will eventually climb, making companies here rethink this outsourcing strategy. But when? 50 years from now? I am no alarmist, but this is beginning to really, really worry me.

The only solution ... (5, Insightful)

doudou42 (691076) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397059)

... is to be the best ! No matter the cost, if no one is able to do your job, you are safe. With the development of automatic code generation, middleware and so on, the number of coder will fall in a near future. Trying to reduce offshoring is just a way to gain time. Remember the beginning of the modern era, when labor worker where replaced by machines... but there are still manual worker, they are doing "haute couture" and earn a lot of money. Now, it is the same thing with software. But, maybe we are all wrong, maybe there ain't enough job for us all, not enough place, not enough ressources... Want to drive a SUV ? Eat super maxi menu ? We can't go on like this, it is time to slow down, relax and live a better life. The more is not always the best.

My job has not been shipped offshore (5, Insightful)

TaxSlave (23295) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397061)

My job has not been shipped offshore. There is no risk of my job being shipped offshore.

Of course, I've escaped the rut of the corporate/educational/medical IT structure and gone into business for myself. There's no more worries about losing my job because some corporate bigwig doesn't know how to use a computer correctly. I don't worry about the High Point Furniture Market doing badly, causing a warehouse glut and staff cutback. I can no longer use victim-mentality to explain what goes wrong with my career.

These days, if I don't make much money, it's because of the ups and downs of the retail cycle. It's because I need to get off my butt a bit more and do some work. It's because of a lot of things, but it isn't because of offshoring of my job.

Want to be insulated against offshoring of jobs? Learn carpentry, or HVAC maintenance, or any number of trades. Then, buy yourself a van, hit the road and work for yourself. The rewards are greater, the hassles are more easily managed, and you get paid extra for working with bigger problems or worse customers.

Oh yeah, and you'll get a thank you occasionally, from those you do the jobs for.

Re:My job has not been shipped offshore (3, Insightful)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397192)

Hear hear.

Slashdot's reader base is finding it more interesting to complain and play the victim than actually put some effort, thought, and most importantly creativity into improving their situation. And slashdot's editors encourage it by posting stories like this one, even though I'm sure none of them have ever had to deal with outsourcing themselves.

in the not so distant future (2, Insightful)

schild (713993) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397064)

I wonder what happens when the next generation of Indian kids realizes he could be making $50k+ a year programming over here and they all start coming to America. I mean, $8,000 a year may be adequate there, but surely India will eventually go to war and completely shoot their bustling economy directly in the foot. All the computer programmers in the world won't be able to save them. What happens then? Does America get their obfuscated code? Will all the companies that outsourced spend even more money to re-localize the operations?

Don't open that! You don't know if there's air out there! /obligatory GalaxyQuestReference

Def. Dept. just acknowledged innumeracy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397070)

and half an hour later the Labor Dept. claims it can do complex/dynamic statistics?

Outsource torture for profit ! earn cash with dogs (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397072)

you too can make it big, buy that pool you wanted for your second home, fill up that hummer hourly !


INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE ! [courttv.com]

The ONLY Person Who Should Lose His Job Is... (0)

nyc.!fnord (768633) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397073)

...Cowboy Neal!? Sorry, but we all know there are plenty of skilled Indian cowboys.

Get a job that can't be outsourced (0, Flamebait)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397074)

I recently got a job working at a research place that provides science and technology to the DoD. You have to have a Secret clearance to work here, so the jobs can't be shipped to India. And with today's security and military efforts, these jobs will only increase in number, especially if we all smarten up and vote for Bush--he's the best choice from both a policy and a pocketbook point of view.

On Offshoring (0)

image (13487) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397080)

I've spent the last few years looking at and dealing closely with offshoring efforts for a large US corporation. My overall impression is that while it can be done effectively, the vast majority of companies are approaching it in the wrong way, and will in fact incur higher costs and reduced productivity as a result.

I recently wrote an article entitled On Offshoring [unto.net] that collects these thoughts. It's easier to link to than it is to quote in its entirety. I'd be very curious to hear the Slashdot reaction to this piece.

Its been said before... but... (1)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397086)

IT workers aren't going to get any clout in government until a majority of them unionize.

Re:Its been said before... but... (0, Flamebait)

wayward_son (146338) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397120)

IT workers aren't going to get any clout in government until a majority of them unionize.

At which point they will be outsourced even faster.

Not too different than before (1)

wayward_son (146338) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397090)

Old and Busted: Importing foreign IT workers to the U.S. because there aren't enough Americans to fill the jobs.

New Hotness: Hiring the foreign IT workers in their own countries for a fraction of the price.

YOU FAIL IT? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397094)

said. 'Screaming to Kkep up as

Oh, really? (1, Interesting)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397098)

Boeing alone, in a period from 1996 through 2002, went from a high of over 150,000 jobs to around 70,000.

That's a lot more than 3 percent!

I have no idea what started this most ugly trend of bleeding off the 'industrial edge' that the U.S. once had but, like raw engineering know-how, I firmly believe that the drain is going to reach a 'critical mass' (if it hasn't already), and true innovation and invention will be left to other countries who still value the long-term gains of pure R&D.

Boeing has already suffered so much of a brain-drain, thanks to its "outsourcing," that I question if it can ever recover.

And that's just one example.


So when does the US industrial base go up on the auction block?


I helped do my part (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397101)

As a U.S. IT worker, I helped do my part for GE outsourcing. I traveled to New Delhi and GE's new facility in Haryana State where I helped to set up the infrastructure for helping to offload work from the GE financial units.

I can tell you that I did not feel the least bit sorry for the American call center employees whose jobs were sent to India. The Americans in the call center were men and women right out of high school and college with crappy attitudes and a streak of laziness a mile wide.

The Indian workers had master's degrees and had drive and ambition. The Americans did not even care about the job competition and thought they were owed work. Sorry, I cannot agree with protecting an entitlement!

That being said, there is still a barrier. Despite English being the common language between India and the U.S., Most Americans cannot understand the Indian accent and get rather frustrated. (I am sure it works both ways. ) Also, some of the Indians take a "Brahman" or intellectualy superior view and treat their American customers like crap, especially women.

The offshoring will level off in my opinion. Some companies will still try to gain competetive service level where empathy and understanding are part of the customer experience.

My job is gone? (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397104)

WTF, I have to find out on Slashdot!? Its just typical of these new management types here, to not have the sack to tell me in person.

Thats fine, I was sick of this crap anyway, I'm out of here.

How about "On Shoring"? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397105)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm starting to become a little concerned about foreigners taking jobs here in the states as well.

Where I work, it's not even so much about your skills as it is that you're a warm body filling a seat at a lower rate.

It's beginning to look like "Little New Delhi" around my office and I'm becoming concerned that the fact that they don't understand me when I speak is going to become my problem instead of theirs since Americans are becoming the minority at my office, even though I work for an english speaking US based comany.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't some racist rant. I'm just showing a little concern for the direction things are headed.

Outsourcing "Your Job"? (1)

TheSync (5291) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397123)

This whole "your job" concept is invalid. You don't own your job (unless you own your own company). Jobs are mutually beneficial opportunities for companies to pay people to do things. They are not property. They are a privilege of your current skillset meeting market needs, not a right. They are transient. Get used to it.

Estimates by Goldman Sachs is 20 times higher ? (1)

gorim (700913) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397124)

Lets do the math! 3% original estimate, multipled by 20 = 60%. So, someone is going to try to claim that 60% of jobs were lost to overseas outsourcing ? I find it so hard to believe that so many slashdot stories always have to include taglines like this that are so impossibly obvious trolling flamebait. I agree with someome else from another topic, SLASHDOT needs a way to MOD stories posted.

Capitalism (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397125)

Well, i might sound like a troll but...
Americans say they love capitalism (im not suggesting all say that), and America is a capitalistk country (at least compared to many european countries). Everything has its good sides and bad sides.. You can not simply take the good sides of capitalism and think that you won't see any of the bad sides.. Americans need to understand that outsourcing jobs to cheaper labour is a perfect exampel of capitalism.. thats life..

Re:Capitalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397155)

Capitalism is great because the capitalists will sell you the rope from which they will hang

cant you see the noose tightening ?

So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397129)

The jobs that we are losing are the low level positions, like data entry and tech support. These are the positions no one likes anyway! It's like complaining the mexicans are taking all of our jobs. If you lose you job, you'll prob be happier in your next one anway....

On a different note... (2, Interesting)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397136)

It may be useful at this point to take a look at this report [acton.org] titled "Multinational Corporations in the Third World: Predators or Allies in Economic Development?".

For a good part of the latter half of the last century, MNCs (which are incidentally mostly US owned corporations) have been trying to *market* their goods to third world countries with an aim to get their earnings up (expanding markets = more money). This has often resulted in loss of local jobs and industry and made the countries more dependent on foreign corporations, and local unions/organization have often opposed opening up local economies for this reason - but mostly to no avail.

Lately, we've seen that corporations have figured out that the skill/education levels in these so called developing countries have been increasing, and it's more cost effective to shift their manufacturing/services divisions abroad. This has caused widespread annoyance due to loss of jobs in the developed countries.

But really, is it the people's fault anywhere? Is it fair for people living in developing nations which have been invaded be these megacorps to just serve as profitable markets for the MNCs while being denied economic benefit from them? A bit of pondering may reveal that it's profit minded corporations which have been sucking peoples from both sides for their benefit (and for their parent countries' since the profit trickles down in the form of jobs/cashflow).

I think it's just the completion of a circle. Not flamebait - sincere concerns.

Some quotes:

Multinational corporations (MNCs) engage in very useful and morally defensible activities in Third World countries for which they frequently have received little credit. Significant among these activities are their extension of opportunities for earning higher incomes as well as the consumption of improved quality goods and services to people in poorer regions of the world. Instead, these firms have been misrepresented by ugly or fearful images by Marxists and "dependency theory" advocates. Because many of these firms originate in the industrialized countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Germany, France, and Italy, they have been viewed as instruments for the imposition of Western cultural values on Third World countries, rather than allies in their economic development. Thus, some proponents of these views urge the expulsion of these firms, while others less hostile have argued for their close supervision or regulation by Third World governments.

Incidents such as the improper use in the Third World of baby milk formula manufactured by Nestle, the gas leak from a Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, and the alleged involvement of foreign firms in the overthrow of President Allende of Chile have been used to perpetuate the ugly image of MNCs. The fact that some MNCs command assets worth more than the national income of their host countries also reinforces their fearful image. And indeed, there is evidence that some MNCs have paid bribes to government officials in order to get around obstacles erected against profitable operations of their enterprises.

I should add... (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397188)

The article linked to is the normal type of FUD generated for/by corporations to appease the public about their wrongdoings.

The article is an example of how reprehensible activities are turned around to sound like a Good Thing(TM).

secret work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397139)

Don't want to be outsourced? Another option is to do work requiring a security clearance. I doubt secret work will go to foreign workers.

No one's thought of this? (5, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397142)

Has no-one thought of the possibility that Goldman Sachs might be wrong ? I don't know how trusted they are (I'd assume at least a bit, as they're used as a reference,) but even the most trusted firms/whatever can be wrong.

I'm not saying the Labor Department is right, but there's a chance that Goldman Sachs is wrong. I mean, they are estimates. I could do some quick researching, round to the nearest hundereds places, and report that as an estimate.

You're all pessimists.

/prefers to be an optimistic pessimist: Plan for the worst, try/hope for the best.

Think it worldwide (1)

volponi (733838) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397154)

Globalization. The same idea behind the offshore tech jobs problem in USA, the piracy-driven companies in China, the low-cost humanforce in South America.

Here, in Brazil, we have seen those topics since mid-90's.
Is that bad? Is that good? I don't know.

But I'm sure we can't look only to OUR problems.
Think it worldwide: you'll see a lot of new losers and winners.

Don't Trust Unprecedent Manipulation of Govt Trust (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397160)

The report is hogwash. Hear me out.

Look, the Bush Administration has done something that has never been done by any previous administration: they're actively distorting truth in the reports that low-level non-appointed staffers put out. Sure, in the past political appointees could always be counted on to put spin on things (and even bury information, like Reagan did with AIDS and the CDC), but actively creating misleading information was not done by the career service government workers.

Until Bush, that is. For example, recently the State Department put out a study claiming that world terrorism incidence were down in 2003 (even if you include Iraq). This bolstered Bush's claim that he's winning the War on Terrorism. But thanks to Rep. Henry Waxman, this report was shown to be false and misleading. The State Department then issued a statement admitting the mistake. (Read here [nytimes.com] ).

As another example, recently a government study pointed out that children who had breast milk has 30% fewer incidents of ear infections, allergies and Downs syndrome, compared to infants who used formula. So, the FDA decided to launch a commercial campaign to promote the use of breast milk. Well, the infant formula companies saw the commercials (which included the statistic), and were allowed to intervene, and this vital data was cut out. So, the campaign promoted breast milk, but did not say that compared to formula use, babies suffer fewer maladies. This outrageous intervention by industry had never been done on a matter of public health before. But Bush's FDA let it take place. The same thing [center4policy.org] has happened with other government studies on the safety of abortion, women's health issues, etc.

So, now we have another report in an election year that outsourcing is not costing the US jobs (at the same time education cuts are not replacing them with better-skilled positions...) Do we believe this? No. The Goldman Sachs report states that there were 20x as many jobs moved over seas.

Now, I'm what you'd call a Reagan Democrat. I even voted for Bush (but probably won't a second time--still need to see about Kerry.) But what Bush has done is simply this: he's squandered the public trust we used to have in government research and studies. Whether there was a Democrat or Republican in charge, we used to trust the staff would do the best job they could to study a problem. (Sure, sure, in the end it was a government study, and perhaps not the best, but it was at least an honest effort). Now, that trust is gone.

So, the Government claims outsourcing is not costing jobs? And this comes right after a huge wave of press articles about outsourcing... I don't believe the study for a second. I'll stick with the Goldman Sachs study. They have a financial incentive to get things right, not a political incentive.

Does Mexico count as offshoring? (2, Interesting)

JD-1027 (726234) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397161)

I know that's where a big percentage of our company's labor-related jobs have been shipped to within the last two years.

Lessons from history (2, Interesting)

SiO2 (124860) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397165)

When discussing off-shoring, whether it's tech jobs or manufacturing, keep in mind World War II. A lot of industry in the United States at that time retooled their manufacturing facilities to produce goods for the war effort. Now that most manufacturing happens outside the U.S., what will happen in the event of another world war? The U.S. won't be able to produce the goods it needs at scale. Furthermore, think about a "technological war" fought over the internet. If all of the techs are siding with or in another country, we're hosed.


Get over it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9397168)

Somebody or something can do your job for cheaper. You're expensive, useless, and have nothing to offer. Get over it.

The Luddites were pissed when companies were firing blue collar workers in the 19th century with the advent of the industrial revolution.

Those luddites had no grasp of economics and only cared about themselves.

You guys are the equivalent of luddites, opposed to companies trying to improve their efficiency. Listen if offshoring doesnt improve efficiency, so be it .. DEAL WITH IT! Don't invest in them, if you believe that.

But trying to use government to force companies to hire people ..that really sucks and is a pussy move.

Why not oppose every single thing that could possibly "cost a job"??

So What? (2, Interesting)

stinkyfingers (588428) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397183)

Did anyone here really care when textile then manufacturing jobs got pushed overseas? I'd say the majority didn't, with those who did having an anecdotal worry ... as in, my father worked a manufacturing job. But now that a few jobs in IT are being outsourced, it's a big deal.

Did you ever think that perhaps those jobs are being outsourced because it can be done better *and* cheaper? That means that even if it weren't cheaper, it could still be done better.

Don't like the job market is going? Get better or change skillsets. When I vote with my dollars, I want value, not the warm fuzzy feeling that comes behind paying more money for something just because it was "Made in the USA".

A whole host of contrafictions... (2, Informative)

sirdude (578412) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397185)

can be found on the Economic Times site: Link 1 [indiatimes.com] , Link 2 [indiatimes.com] , and Link 3 [indiatimes.com] . Follow the "Related Links" trail to reach ..

A slightly related (and interesting) article on the social ramifications of the BPO (Biz jargon for Business process outsourcing) can be read here [indiatimes.com] .

Un-Patriotic (4, Insightful)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 9 years ago | (#9397191)

Ship 100,000 jobs overseas - It's a free market and a free country

Drive to Canada to buy medicine for your grandma - you're un-patriotic

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