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Outsourcing Evolving

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the onward-and-outward dept.


Shree writes "An article at NYTimes suggests that the outsourcing mantra is shifting to reasons of hiring global talent, tapping new potential minds and amassing top global human resources. Its not just software companies trying to save a buck by outsourcing; now its about Berkely trying to hookup with Tsinghua University and institutes in India, and companies like IBM and Microsoft looking to setup R&D labs in Asia."

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And people wonder why. (5, Insightful)

massivefoot (922746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748563)

If nothing else, this should serve as a short, sharp shock to Western governments. Why are we having to outsource these kinds of technical jobs? Most people don't quite seem to appreciate the crisis that the UK is going through in maths, science and engineering. I'm guessing the situation is similar abroad?

Re:And people wonder why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748583)

One word:


Re:And people wonder why. (4, Interesting)

massivefoot (922746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748589)

Is that the entire reason? My aunt works in chemical engineering, and they regularly outsource their mathematical modelling to Polish universities. It would be cheaper to employ people to do it, but they don't for the simple reason that you can't get the mathematicians/physicists in the UK.

Re:And people wonder why. (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748737)

"It would be cheaper to employ people to do it, but they don't for the simple reason that you can't get the mathematicians/physicists in the UK."
Actually they can, it would just be extremely expensive because they are in such limited supply. So I don't know where the "it would be cheaper to employ people to do it" is coming from in your comment.

Re:And people wonder why. (2, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748839)

precisely... you can't get the mathematicians/physicists in the UK for what they're proposing to pay for the job...

Re:And people wonder why. (1, Troll)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748599)

Why are we having to outsource these kinds of technical jobs?

Because our workers and governments demand too much. When companies have to pay high salaries, top benefits, and meet tons of regulations and pay huge taxes on top of everything then what do you expect? It amazes me when I see legislation that attempts to force large companies to dedicate a portion of their payroll expenses to health care costs for workers. Don't our lawmakers understand that this communist style approach to government will only drive businesses away?

Re:And people wonder why. (3, Insightful)

luvirini (753157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748628)

Yet in most cases I have found the people who the job is outsourced to, to be quite "one track". In most cases for a actual development or similar job you need a broad understanding of things.

Most people coming out of university programs in countries like India are actually trained in a very narrow part of the subject. This is fine for a actual "techie" that does a very narrow job, but anyone doind R&D or such needs more. (note that many people from "western universities suffer from the same, but there atleast you can find the other type fairly easy)

Re:And people wonder why. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748670)

You know maybe, just maybe, there's things that are more important than the almight dollar? I don't know, like human life. Having companies pay their employee's health benefits is far from ideal, it would be better to have the government recognize health care as the fundamental human right that it is and take care of it, rather than burden employers over a certain size. But until we can get that, forcing employers is the best option we have.

Re:And people wonder why. (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748712)

health care as the fundamental human right that it is

Health care is not a "fundamental human right". It is a service like any other service, your emotional proclaimations notwithstanding. You are no more entitled to health care at other people's expense, than you are entitled to force other people to feed, clothe, or shelter you.


Re:And people wonder why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748862)

...And the companies that come to the realization that paying their workforce a decent wage to do the job properly rather than going for the global economics of hiring the most desperate people and using them up like any other resource will come out on top in the long run. And if they come to the realization that debt will destroy them from within, all the better. ...And the people who come to the realization that part of working hard isn't about letting someone take advantage of you will make the most money. ...And the consumers who come to the realization that buying a $150 pair of combat boots and taking care of them for 5 years is a far better deal than buying $20 sneakers every 8 weeks.

Take wal-mart for example. I know a truck unloader who hauls boxes off of a truck for a living. Wal-mart loses hundreds of dollars in stock because they pay their employee's $8 an hour and provide poor working conditions. A $40 plastic stand for taking freight off of a truck would be a good investment considering they stand on boxes and break the merchandise in them as is. Boxes are routinely flung 10-15 feet, instead of using a mobile $200 conveyer belt. Wal-mart has to hire 7 full-time unloaders because the job they're doing is so inefficient and half of them don't come in due to work related stress since wal-mart wants to not employ people for more than 12 months and would rather someone quit than pay workmans comp. Then there's work related injuries; this guy, who's normally careful, has broken bones twice not due to his own stupidity but due to frozen juice from poorly packed boxes and a box cave-in, and how expensive is that? It's a far more sound investment to get 4 full-time unloaders, give them the right equipment, and pay them $12-$16 an hour as well as give them health benefits and bonuses for good work. Cosco does that, for example, and they're company has been doing pretty well.

In the end, outsourcing and globalization are just symptoms of predatory economics which require predatory slave-like populations to consume. Long-term, nothing predatory lasts as all predation is self destruction; predators can't produce food, and once a predatory society has grown to the point the food source is eaten up, you get mass cannibalization and society starts anew. Wal-marts stock has been going down for the last 2 years because they have eaten everything they can and there's nothing left for them but stagnation. They're trying to expand into other markets; groceries, cars, ect, but it's likely they'll flop within the next 5.

Re:And people wonder why. (0)

mankey wanker (673345) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749122)

No man is an island. When the people around you get dragged down far enough, you will start to think all kinds of weird things matter to you. Or should have mattered to you before things got so bad.

Westerners do not yet fully understand what it is like to live in a society where someone is willing to cut off your hand in the subway just because they must take your watch or bracelet to feed their family. But the understanding is coming...


Re:And people wonder why. (2)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749543)

No man is an island.

Well, that's quite a non-sequitur. Cooperation between people is quite a different thing from claiming that one is entitled as a right to a service from another.


Re:And people wonder why. (1)

mrraven (129238) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749176)

"Health care is not a "fundamental human right". It is a service like any other service, your emotional proclamations notwithstanding. You are no more entitled to health care at other people's expense, than you are entitled to force other people to feed, clothe, or shelter you."

The above is easy to glibly say if you are comfortably employed NOW. I wonder if you would be so glib if your job was outsourced, all high paying jobs had migrated from your community, and you were homeless and sick. What may seem like altruistic compassion of helping sick poor people in your community may in fact turn out to be self interested if present trends continue.

Not to mention that advocating that people be left to get sick and die in the wealthiest country in the world makes you look like an utter prick. And people wonder why much of the rest of the world hates Americans when many portray cold self centered attitudes such as yours. Compassionate conservatives my ass. Your attitude would not be morally acceptable in any European country or Canada, where many are aghast at the way we treat our most vulnerable people.

And why yes I am an American citizen who so far has a first amendment protected right to criticize the country I live in.

Re:And people wonder why. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749564)

The above is easy to glibly say if you are comfortably employed NOW.

I've been out of work, and it was just as easy to articulate my principles at that time.

Not to mention that advocating that people be left to get sick and die in the wealthiest country in the world makes you look like an utter prick

Arguing against something that I haven't said makes you look like a hysterical moonbat. And for the record, I am not a conservative.

If you choose to contribute to healthcare for the indigent, then I'll commend you for performing a mitzvah. This is not the same thing at all as claiming that healthcare is a "right". Nothing that requires the servitude of other people is a right.


Re:And people wonder why. (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749612)

So I suppose that other than my Right not to be Murdered I have no Right to Live? 'Cause if I do somebody better allow me enough land to farm my own food on.

Welcome to Earth, population 6 billion. Mazl tov on getting here.

Re:And people wonder why. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749659)

So I suppose that other than my Right not to be Murdered I have no Right to Live?

You have the right to live by whatever means you can muster, as long as you don't rob or enslave someone else to provide you with those means.


Re:And people wonder why. (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749647)

Let me tell you how the other half lives... In the past my income has flucuated from as much as 6 figures to as little as 4, so I think I am in a unique situation to comment, having been desperately poor and fairly well to do.

I pay over 40% of my income between state and federal, medicare, social security. I paid 1300$ last year for disability insurance tax! And that doesn't include sales tax, car taxes, etc etc which easily brings it past 50%. So basically, the government takes what I make, breaks it in half, and gives me one of the half.

This sucks for many reasons. First of all, there's no incentive to work. I used to do consulting on the side, but 1099 income is taxed at your rate + 14%. So on consultig income my base tax rate is 54%, and that still doesn't include all the other taxes we talked about which brings it up another 10% or so to around 64%. It's like having an abusive partner that beats you up and takes your money. Would you work on weekends if you could only keep 36% of what you made? Neither would I.

Well at least all this money is going to better society right? Not really... the vast majority is wasted. The government has proved to me that it is incapable of doing damn near anything right. The government just throws money at problems, and somehow some giant megacorp usually ends up with the money that was supposed to help people.

When people do actually get the money, poor people usually waste it. In california, 30% of San Bernardino county is on government assistance. In my town, there are appartments where the government provides rental assistance to people who can't afford rent -- the cars there are nicer then my middle class neighborhood. In california, 10 billion a year of tax money goes to services for illegal immigrants -- I see no reason why I should be taxed to provide services to the indigenous peoples of a foreign country.

My last anticdote -- the stock boy where I work drives *MY* dream car. I make 5x what this guy does. I won't buy myself the car because It would be irresponsible.

So here's the deal. When people who have a bit of money hear people say "Health care is a fundamental human right" the reality of the situation is that *SOMEONE HAS TO PAY FOR YOUR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS*. You are declaring that you have the right to take the fruits of someone elses labor. So when you hear "healthcare is a fundamental right" ... they hear "another 10% tax increase that the government will waste".

The real sollution has always, and will always be to eliminate government waste, pay down the debt, and at that point you will probably be able to expand services *AND* lower taxes.

Actually, it's pretty important. (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749291)

Most civilised countries do provide healthcare of some form, and most of us would recognise that when one person has health and wellbeing, while another is sick, purely because of monetary issues, that's poverty. Being entitled to healthcare by others is NOT the same as being entitled to FORCE others to provide it. Those are very different concepts. The first is simply living in a society where people help you when you're in need, much like you help them. There's no need for force, because, having helped them, they are glad to return the favor. It's how all close-knit communities work, and the only reason it doesn't happen in large western countries is because we forget that everyone is in the society together.

Re:Actually, it's pretty important. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749589)

Being entitled to healthcare by others is NOT the same as being entitled to FORCE others to provide it.

What does "entitled" mean to you?

If I were to accept the premise that one is entitled to the product of someone else's labor (whether it be for healthcare, or food, shelter, etc), then that entitlement requires someone to provide it. This is the difference between considering healthcare a "right", and healthcare being a service that people obtain through voluntary interaction.


Re:And people wonder why. (1)

zacronos (937891) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749425)

Health care is not a "fundamental human right".

While I would agree with you that health care is not a fundamental human right, there is no reason to think that it cannot be a right, just because it is a service. Times change, the rights and privileges society give people change, and the ideas about what is and is not a right change (because in reality, those ideas are opinions, though some people like to think they are universal facts).

I don't believe a person has the right to be fed, clothed, sheltered, and provided enough wealth to live in excess their entire life without ever doing anything even arguably productive. However, someone who inherits a very profitable company (for example) can do that. I would argue that, since this hypothetical person receives benefits from others without providing anything back (that money has to come from somewhere), they are doing it "at other people's expense". Yet many people view this possibility as following directly from basic rights (you may accumulate as much wealth as you can; you may give wealth to anyone; you may profit from ownership, even if that ownership is the only thing you contribute), so they would believe any attempt at interference to be a violation of those rights.

Thus, in essence, many people believe it is a right to be fed, clothed, and sheltered at another's expense (the inheritance example above), as long as it fits with the "rights" they infer from their economic perspective. A differing economic perspective might include the ideal "no one should go hungry while another has more than they need", which would also infer the right to be fed at the expense of others, but in a different set of circumstances. It's not hard to extend that to health care.

In short: someone very well might be "entitled to health care at other people's expense", despite your insistence to the contrary -- it depends greatly on your perspective, and the situation/society that particular someone is in.

Re:And people wonder why. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749602)

there is no reason to think that it cannot be a right, just because it is a service.

That's not why it can't be a right. It can't be a right, because it is a demand that infringes the liberty of other people. Food isn't a right either.

someone very well might be "entitled to health care at other people's expense",

Sure, if that other person took on the obligation voluntarily.


Re:And people wonder why. (2, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749217)

Forcing governments? Forcing employers? What a terrible idea if you actually want good health care. In Canada, where I live, health care is terrible because of exactly this reason: overtaxation of people wouldn't let them to provide themselves with sufficient coverage on one hand. On the other hand private health insurance is against the law (only in Canada, Cuba and North Korea, what a nice company to be in.) And the worst part is that all that money provided in taxes is not really creating the health care that is accessible, people have to wait for months, almost a year to get MRI, years to get various surgeries. Canadian healthcare is great, when you are healthy.

Re:And people wonder why. (5, Insightful)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748735)

Because of course mere survival is the purpose of one's existence. The fact that a century ago people have fought and sometimes died for the right of working for more than a mere pitance, for the right of not seing their chilren mangled by machines in factories, for the right to be able to afford a doctor, for the right to be able to rest every now and then may mean nothing to you. They must be spinning in their graves.

In that case, you can feel free to go work in a US meat factory. It sounds like your dream environment. Workers are daily wounded or killed, they have no benefits whatsoever, they have the most basic of pays, the very idea of unions is ludicrous. It's the least protected work environment in the US with the least benefits. Maximizing shareholders value at its best.

Nowadays if office or factory equipment is reasonably safe to use, doesn't irradiate you or chop your hand off at a whim, it's because of those damn workers that demanded too much. Don't you think safety goes against the bottom line ? In the short term it certainly does. And what matters nowadays except the short term ? People in Wall Street can't count beyond a couple months anyway.

Sure, let's have a level playing field, leveled at the bottom. The chinese have factories with truncheons to motivate workers, fine, truncheons for everybody, we wouldn't want those poor western businesses to suffer now would we ?

It's not as if anyone was paying the price except for the actual population of your country. Except of course for the happy few very top execs who will keep on enjoying their insane lifestyle.

It's nice that suicidal sheep like you (still spitting "communist" like a good brainwashed 1950s TV watcher) are still alive and well. The abusive corporations still have sweet days ahead of them...

In the mean time I'll stick to Europe where we're still trying to do something around it.

Re:And people wonder why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14749386)

"In the mean time I'll stick to Europe where we're still trying to do something around it."

We all agree and hope you and your opinions stay there.

Re:And people wonder why. (3, Insightful)

nicklott (533496) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748800)

Why does paying helthcare cost for their employees drive business away? The employees still have to pay their healthcare costs, so they either get a higher salary and pay it themselves or a lower one and let the business pay it. For an example of this in action just compare average european salaries with average US ones (Hint: American salaries are much higher). Only the most short sighted businesses cannot see this. Luckily the lawmakers aren't as short sighted as you, who clearly have never been in the position of of not being able to afford your health insurance because your tight-fisted employer only pays you minimum wage and makes you work a 60 hour week. Presumably "workers" in this sentence to you means "trailer park scum who milk the system for all its worth" or some other social group to which you do not belong? Can you not understand that your parents/neighbours/you are all "workers"? You're privileged to even be able to think about this stuff. Take your $100k pa, buy your ipod/mopar/hdtv, accept that you're going to have to pay some tax and shut the fuck up.

Anyway, drive business away from where? America? Everything you're wearing right now and 95% of the computer you're looking at was made in china or SE asia by american owned megacorps. The business that can go away has already gone. The car dealer down the street isn't going anywere, the local kwikemart isn't going anywhere (unless walmart undercuts them out of business), people will still need to buy things and as long as that is the case businesses will survive and prosper.

Why should business assume that it has a god given right to only take from society and not be expected to return something? You pay taxes to keep your neighbourhood clean and get your trash taken away, is it not reasonable to expect that a business should pay taxes to help maintain the neighbourhood that allows it to make a living? That $9bn profit that Mega Corp made last year was squeezed out of the pockets of the people in society. They only exist under the sufferance of that society; why should they not be expected to put some of that enormous amount of money back into the society?

A business is part of society, not an isolated entity who's only action is to take money in return for goods or services. Not only is every employee of that company a part of that society with rights and responsibilities towards it, but the company itself is legally an individual with the same rights and responsibilities. It's unfortunate that many businesses don't see this and largely try to avoid their responsibilities while at the same time going to extremes to enforce and extend their rights.

As a business owner myself I'm glad to see that I'm not the only who sees all of this. Under programs such as [] companies are voluntarily paying extra tax for the benefit of others. OK some are doing it for PR reasons, but most are doing it cos they genuinely feel that their government is not doing enough or they just want to contribute more. Hopefully as the old style business dinosaurs die out, the new breed will appear and take a more rounded view of the world.

Re:And people wonder why. (0, Troll)

unknownideal (881232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749365)

Trade is the only fair and just principle under which social relationships can be undertaken. When one party purchases something from another, it is a trade. If you wish to have more, then you must offer something that is worth more. Or else you're what we call a thief, or parasite.

What exactly do companies take from society? Those people walking into McDonald's by their own volition are actually being forced? The employees who get up every morning and work there by their own volition are somehow slaves?

Companies in America have no right to physically compel anyone to do anything. You either accept the terms they offer or you don't. No one is forced to work a sixty hour week. No one forces customers to purchase their goods. You show up at work because you want to. You buy things because you want them. No one is forced to do anything. Communist countries such as China are relevant to this discussion only as an example of what happens when the principle of trade is violated en masse. A perfectly capitalist society would never deal with despots.

You openly advocate holding a gun to the head of anyone who makes more money and demanding payment, at which point you say "accept it and shut the fuck up." Certainly sounds like the brotherly, charitable society of which I'd love to be a part! And incidentally, by this logic, any third-world citizen is entitled the contents of your bank account. Why haven't you sent any and all funds above the bare minimum requirements of your subsistence to Africa?

You actually seem to be more upset that the physical reality of existence compels people to work in order to live. Wouldn't it be great if we could all just hang out and do whatever we wanted all the time without consequence? I say we mandate this a human right: from now on every one has the basic human right to be free of the burden of their bodies, and of living: they have the right to die.

The author of this post has no health insurance, and runs a rapidly growing business that he started with $400 to his name.

Re:And people wonder why. (2, Insightful)

testadicazzo (567430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749752)

Boy this kind of thinking always gets to me. It just strikes me as knee jerk reactionism. What's wrong with expecting large corporations to pay fair salaries? You aren't opposed to governments illegalizing indentured servitude or restricting the use of child workers are you? Illegalizing slavery is also a form of restricting the free market you know.

Read a little bit of recent history. Particularly enlightening would be to read something about the industrial revolution, as a lot of the regulations we have now are a product of that age. A market based economy has distinct and clear advantages, primarily that it does a good job of getting goods and resources to where they are needed.

But it's the hight of foolishness to assume that the optimal system is one in which the market is as free as possible. One only has to consider the implications: If you decide to allow the free market to determine everything, with no kind of social controls (laws, government), then if the demand is there (and history teaches us it is), you will have slave trading, child workers, private police forces, etc etc. Further, certain controls need to be put into place to prevent monopolies, which destroy all of the benefits of a free market economy, discarding all of the benefits of a free market economy for the sake of a wealthy individual or few.

The fact is that free market thinking must share credit with democratic processes for the economic and technological advances we currently enjoy. One could also call thes socialist processes , but this has become a kind of anathemic word in the modern world.

It makes total to sense to allow the masses of people to determine what appropriate and safe working conditions are, as well as to group together to exert some influence on their wages. Private interests, corporations, seek to maximize their profit margins. If you don't place some constraints on this, it will lead to instability, not to mention to horrible pay and working conditions for the people who are actually responsible for producing the goods or services the corporation is manufacturing. In a well functioning democracy, the government is the method by which the non wealthy masses can exersize some power. The rich and powerful already have plenty of power and influence, so it's important to have a mechanism to balance that out.

What I'm trying to say here, is this kind knee jerk government bashing is poorly thought out, and not helpful.

In physics, in order to understand a system, we usually look to the extreme conditions first, since these offer a certain amount of insight into a system, and are often easier to solve, being subject to certain simplifications. One can apply this to this outsourcing issue. Consider the following case: We have a system of production where the methods of production are controlled by a single entity, or a very small collection of entities who often cooperate when they have interests in common (they can compete with each other in other arenas, this is irrelevant to the scenario in question). In that case, these companies could force people into accepting an unfair wage, little better than slavery. By cooperating together they can agree to wage fixing, similar to price fixing, which is illegal. This is in fact what happened in the early industrial age. You have people living in misery, while a very few had it great.

I would propose that outsourcing is a tendency in this direction. It's a tool that takes power away from the individual workers to barter for a fair wage from their employers, and gives additional power to the corporations. Just as price fixing is a perversion of the free market system which harms the system, one can consider this kind of activity as also breaking the system. It's my opinion that currently the corporations hold too much power over their employees as it is. Of course, if you believe it's the other way around, this is what we should be discussing, and it perhaps it could lead to some kind of progress.

But just saying "govt is bad", and "we should tell corporations what to do" ac complishes nothing.

Re:And people wonder why. (1)

sswiller (817055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749072)

I think we tend to forget that the Western mind is different from the East and that 'difference' will give the West a competitive advantage in the knowledge economy. Westerners are better suited to jobs requiring creativity and innovation. Its what got them to the top in the first place. Westerners are not saddled by groupthink and do not cower to authority.

Re:And people wonder why. (1)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749183)

don't pat yourself on your back yet. the chinese and japanese are plenty creative.

Re:And people wonder why. (1)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749113)

I'm an American living in Asia. I moved here about a year ago to start my own R&D center. Corporate minds are finally catching up with small business it seems. I thought they were supposed to be the ones doing the leading.

Anyway, I live in Manila. Here's why US people aren't getting the jobs they could, and here's the jobs they could be getting, in that order.

1 - PHP/MySQL/Linux are becoming classroom staples here as early as middle school. This country is focusing intently on making its people its chief export. Google a little about Filipinos working abroad. I think you'll see a case of "little brother" leading the way for US people to get jobs.

2 - Work ethic is taught here correctly. You join a company to lend your efforts to a greater good and receive compensation for doing so. The emphasis is effort before compensation

3 - Web hosts love this place. Millions of them are supported here. Java's R&D facility is a 20 minute walk from me.

Now, why we're losing jobs :

1 - We're not teaching our kids what they need to know to be competitive in the "real" it marketplace. We're still under the foolish assumption that if we throw lots of money at good schools our kids should end up with marketable skills. Not true. Parents : research the markets and find out how best to expose your kids to the tools they need to explore some of the new opportunities opening up.

2 - We're not empowering vocational rehabilitation centers with profitable internet businesses because we're a bunch of greedy bastards. Are you a web host? Go find a voc rehab center give them a re-seller account and show them how to manage it. Now they get a few hundred bucks a month they wouldn't otherwise because they can rally their community to support them, and have something useful to offer. Pay your outsourced staff to teach the teachers who will be putting this in place.

3 - We're still out chasing cyber terrorists instead of giving people money to get the needed certifications to get into the jobs they need. Companies like Red Hat want you to pay lots of money to take their tests, yet offer cut rate RHCE exams in third world countries. What gives? So either help us get them or pay for plane tickets to the Philippines or India so we can take them cheaper.

What can you do (Short of moving to another country) ? Not much. Can't beat em .. join em. Pack your bags and live / spend money in countries that have programs empowering you to learn and support yourself. Duck major snowstorms in the process :)

I'm not encouraging people to get up and do what I did. I'm merely saying there aren't many other options for some people.

When you have limited dollars to setup a small business, you are obligated to give yourself the best bang for the buck. US companies who outsource need to spend a little more money on the homefront, yes .. but bigger companies need to help lead that direction by empowering the people with knowledge of the technology they sell. Right now, its just too damn expensive for the people smart enough to work on it.

Off the soapbox. Crucifiy me if needed. I like flaming .. lets me keep my derrier warm without the hassle of smelling farts.

Re:And people wonder why. (1)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749261)

Why are we having to outsource these kinds of technical jobs?

Because the education system at top universities in the UK is often completely worthless. It was recently said by a minister that the drop in numbers of students doing art degrees was "no bad thing" ... which I'd agree with, but what are they supposed to do instead? Computer science degrees? How funny. It seems the more respected the university the more irrelevant the CS course becomes.

Why only the other day we were being taught parallel algorithms. You might think that this involves teaching students how to write multi-threaded code, but no. Their idea of parallel algorithms is for instance how to sort a list of n items in O(log n) time, which would be great but unfortunately it requires O(n^2) processors. So sorting a list of 1000 items would require a million shared memory processors. Interesting as an abstract theoretical exercise, but should this sort of thing be taught to the exclusion of employable skills? I think not.

Re:And people wonder why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14749350)

In the US, there is no crisis in math, science or engineering. At least not yet. There is plenty of scientific and IT talent on the unemployment lines, victims of the DOT-Com bust and companies looking for some short-term gains by outsourcing.

There WILL be a crisis, when young people stop registering for math, science and engineering educations, because it's not work $120,000 of debt for a minimum wage job.

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748565)

Huzzah, first post! []

Re:First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

massivefoot (922746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748581)

*SLAP!* No, SECOND post, S-E-C-O-N-D. Although deliciously ironic coming after a post decrying the state of mathematics education...

whatever they say... (5, Insightful)

elynnia (815633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748566)'s all about the money.

Re:whatever they say... (1)

butlerdi (705651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748615)

Seems more like rats and sinking ships......

Re:whatever they say... (3, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748616)

I especially liked the quote:
The American executives who are planning to send work abroad express concern about what they regard as an incipient erosion of scientific prowess in this country, pointing to the lagging math and science proficiency of American high school students and the reluctance of some college graduates to pursue careers in science and engineering.
Imagine that, EXECUTIVES who are overpaid and underworked are criticizing the scientists who they force to work long hours for pay that while not exactly meager, comes nowhere near theirs. And of course, when things go wrong, it's always the workers' fault, NEVER EVER the saintly executives who were only looking out for our well being, and well, can you blame them if they want a couple of million for leading a company into failure, after all a guy's gotta eat....
Too bad GM didn't take a line from Nissan and sack the top managers and replace them with someone from the outside. Would have taught a lesson to all the other CEOs who think they can just sack a company for all it's worth and jump ship with a golden parachute while pointing their fingers at the drowning workers and saying, "it's your fault!"
Or maybe I'm just cynical :P

I could not say it any better. (3, Interesting)

cyberscan (676092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748728)

There are plenty of qualified people to fill the jobs that these executives want to export. I have met many qualified applicants for many jobs that were simply overlooked because a different word was used on a resume, or there weren't enough letters in a specific title or some other stupid bullshit reason. I also know that there are many other places where one can aquire a quality education without having to spend time in a classroom. I know a lot of stuff, and most of this stuff was learned from nights spent reading books, doing the excercises and from doing experiments.

Yes, I went to college, and yes, I graduated. However, I have no formal education whatsover in the I.T. industry. The field in which I got my degree was made obsolete by all of the "Free Trade" Agreements. Even though I have no formal education in I.T., I do write code for a living and have taught college graduates in the I.T. field many things. I have also fixed the mistakes of many college graduates and yet, it is the college graduates in the field who get the credit as well as the money for the work I have done. I do not resent college graduates nor do I believe that their knowlege is necessarily any less than mine. I have worked with many smart people who have graduated college and was impressed with the knowlege and skills. However, I have worked with many just as smart people who have learned their profession on their own.

I am 38 years old, and I can definitely see why high school graduates may have second thoughts about attending college. If I had to depend on student loans in order to make it through college, I would not go. There are many people who are finding themselves to be outsourced before they have paid back even half of their student loans!!! In the Police States of Amerika, we have governments that work against small businesses as well as employees. We need to quit voting for Democrats and Republicans (in America). Both are EQUALLY GUILTY for the decline America is currently experiencing. People in other nations should also discard candidate in the top known political parties in their respectiver nations. The top parties in each nation usually have their campaigns financed in one way or another by the top money. Top money is what these lawmakers end up working for. It is time to change that, one way or ANOTHER!!!!

My message to Phillipeanos and Indians is that I do not doubt your capabilities or your smarts, or your willingnes to work. There are good, bad, ugly, pretty, smart, and stupid people in every country in every part of the world. From the media such as newspapers, TV news outlets and other places, you have most likely heard that most Americans are stupid, lazy, do not care about a thing, and live lives of luxury. This could be further from the truth! Most of my fellow Americans work two jobs just to make ends meet. Right now Indians and Phillipeanos may be experiencing an economic boom, but I guarantee that the outsourcing of your jobs is coming within the next few years. When the multinational cartels find other smart people that they can exploit for a cheaper price, then that is what they will do. You and your families be damned as far as they are concerned. The executives will then claim that they cannot find "qualified" people in India or the Phillipeans and are "foced" to look elsewhere. This is what happens when what is called "money" has it value arbitrarily set. When small time money printers print money, it is called "counterfeiting." When governments or Federal Reserve banks do it, it is called "Monitary Policy." The paper based currencies of most nations are backed by nothing, so the real value of this currency is almost nil. Talk about the blind faith of the religionists around the world. There is more blind faith being demonstrated on payday than any other day of the week.

Re:I could not say it any better. (1)

msat56 (774135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749540)

I don't think anybody can stop globalization until the standards in countries such as India and China reaches of the western countries(or that of western countries reach of India/china's !). I can't guess when will it happen. Till then things are going to dizzy. Though I can't imagine or I am scarred to live with a lesser wage or to lose my job, I believe in spiritual studies for guidance. They only can help me to pass through this challenging times of this century. I think where ever possible I need to cut down luxuries in my life. I want to be active and take it easy even when things don't go like the way I want to happen. Sometimes I like to understand and follow Gandhian life style which is very difficult for an person to follow. That all a soft, scarry guy can do.

Why does big business care? (1)

DuctTape (101304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749465)

The American executives who are planning to send work abroad express concern about what they regard as an incipient erosion of scientific prowess in this country...

I don't see why big big business executives care since they're international anyway, and they can go where the talent is in other (non-US) countries. As long as they have markets in other countries where their workers are, then you have some sort of balance, right?

But if your market is in the US, and (lemmie do the math here) you remove US residents' ability to make money, then you're killing off your market. OTOH, if all you do is reduce the incomes of US citizens, then as long as you're not stuck selling just luxury goods (except for phat stuff that kidz will buy anyway), you'll still make money!

So keep shipping those jobs overseas!

DT (with tongue firmly in cheek)

Re:whatever they say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748621)

You don't think they have a plethora of very fucking bright talented people over there? I hope these research companies do a better job of seperating the wheat from the chaff than the stupid IT companies do.

There are a lot of people over there who are just screaming for expression of their amazing talent. A lot of those people leave for the west. Many other can't.

They haven't been getting their fair shake. Sure the culture values education but only as a status symbol. It's all about blind rote memorization and getting pieces of paper rather than exploration and understanding. I've met a lot of bright nerds ready to break free of it.

Yes I'm making overly vast generalizations of culture. I went to school in southern india for a few years. And these are my general impressions.

No we don't much respect education here these days. I still think there have been more elements here to spur me forward with encouragement and support me if I was willing to shake off popular opinion.

Yes it's about the money too.

Why outsourcing rules. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748590)

It makes Enterprise Software [] accessible to all!

We've been doing this for years (4, Insightful)

ishmaelflood (643277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748607)

In Australia we have always been short of technical talent. The company I work for has been trying to recruit 200 engineers for the last couple of years, fortunately the recent collapse of engineering in Europe and to a lesser extent the USA means we'll be filling those jobs pretty quickly.

Personally I'm pretty annoyed that we can't recruit locally, but basically our graduate recruitment program cuts fairly deeply into the available pool of graduates (ie we recruit more thickies than I'd want to). The truth is, you have to be bright and motivated to do well in an engineering course, and when you leave, there are far more superficially attractive options than working for people like me.

I think I have heard this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748893)

I am reminded of a conversation I had several years ago.

Friend: "Come move up here to Colorado. Lockheed is hurting for C++ programmers really bad. I can get a bonus if I hand in your resume and you are hired."

Me: "Sounds good. What is the pay scale?"

Friend: "Um.. Uh... That's why Lockheed is hurting for C++ programmers...."

I've been thinking... (5, Insightful)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748608)

Everyone tends to agree that Americans/Westerns have a hard time competing with outsourcing, due to the huge differences in labor costs between the first and third world. Fine.

But what I'm beginning to see is that the real problem is the cost of housing in the West.

Yes, everyone bitches about high gas prices, health costs, etc (which all seem tend to be trumpeted by politicians with alterior motives), but these won't bankrupt you. Housing can destroy you financially if you aren't careful.

If housing was cheaper, I would be okay making a lot less than I do now. However, I'd personally be screwed if I made much less than $100K (rent is over $2000/month in my very plain, old neighborhood in California). I don't really spend much on anything else.

I'm approaching middle-age, and this is the number-one factor that I face trying to safely raise a family. Frankly, health costs pale in comparison as to how much I have to pay even to rent a halfway safe home.

I think the financial industry has pulled a fast one on us, and are milking average folks dry. The environmentalists don't help either, with their 'smart growth' policies (i.e. 'no growth').

Re:I've been thinking... (5, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748647)

EXACTLY! Mod this man up as much as you can.
Younger Americans are really caught between a rock and a hard place now. Renting is one of the worst financial moves you can make(the others being credit cards and interest only adjustable rate mortgages). Even if your home doesn't increase in value you are still better off owning than renting, because every month instead of paying a landlord, you are paying a bit to a bank and the rest to yourself. And by the time you totally pay off your home, you don't have to pay a monthly fee to anyone(well, perhaps the government :P), saving you tons of money you can put to use in investments etc.
The problem for people who got to the game too late to get a house cheap is that it's almost impossible for us to own homes. First and foremost you have the cost: Home prices AND rents have been spiraling ever higher, but wages have not. So while we are making money, what little we can save after paying outrageous rents hardly makes a dent in the downpayment we would have to pony up just to get a mortgage at a reasonable rate.
The second of course is job security. Owning a house doesn't make any sense if you aren't going to be in the area more than 5 years, but how many of us here can say they have a job secured in their area for that long? If you sell it before is up, all the interest and fees would have made it hardly worthwhile....
I see the US becoming more and more like places such as Italy and Japan where kids live with their parents till they are married, and maybe even a bit after that. When I was working in Japan, my co-worker was a 30-something graduate of the University of Tokyo making good money, but he still lived with his parents? Why? Because he could actually afford a decent lifestyle that way(such as owning a car!) As much as people like to make fun of nerds living in their parent's basement, if I wasn't in Germany right now and could find a job close to my mom's house, I would live in her basement for a while. It's getting harder and harder not to....

Re:I've been thinking... (1)

tomjen (839882) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748726)

I have heard the conventional wisdom, that you should buy in stead of renting often, but i am not sure this applies always.

As it has been stated, the housing market is expensive and i dont think it can hold this value much more. So if i buy a house now, i am going to pay maybe 2 times the amount i would pay if I buy when the market collaps.

Say the market collapses in five years. With at 30 year houseloan, i would have payed 1/6 of it. If i wait and buy at the correct moment, i would saved 1/3 of the price of the house.

Re:I've been thinking... (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748727)

Even if your home doesn't increase in value you are still better off owning than renting,

This is not always the case.

Housing prices don't only rise, they sometimes fall, and when you buy a house you are making a very highly-leveraged investment. If you buy a $400K house for $10K down and $2500/month, and the price falls to $380K, your equity is now negative $10K. Lose a job while you're in the hole, and you're screwed.


Re:I've been thinking... (1)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749219)

Not in this market. Mortgage payments are sometimes double rental payments in this environment. Wait a few years when you can get the house at half price, and then it might be a wise move. Renting also means no need to pay over 6% of the property value every time you move (greedy real estate agent cartel). 6% of 500k is $30,000 - enough money to cover over a year's rent even in a pricey district.

because every month instead of paying a landlord, you are paying a bit to a bank and the rest to yourself

Every month you're paying mostly the bank, and a bit to your self. If you have an I/O load, it's all going to the bank. If you have a negative amortization loan, you're piling on more debt with every payment. Your 'rent' on the bank's money is the interest, but that money is now the bank's and you built up no equity with it.

A simple formula is that if the interest payments exceed rent, renting is the cheaper long-run choice. This is assuming appreciation about matches property taxes and maintainance (it probably won't).

Also don't forget that any savings from renting can be invested. Long term stock returns are around 10% and bonds 6%.

Re:I've been thinking... (1)

dr3vil (604180) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748758)

Don't worry. The downward pressure on wages will really soon do the same, and more, to house prices and rents. You'll still have the same problem, though, bacause you'll be earning a lot less too.

On the other hand... (1)

Ivan Matveitch (748164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748782)

...there is certainly a ghetto some place near where house prices are much lower. One advantage of an expensive neighborhood is that your next-door neighbor is far more likely to be called Dr Cohen than Doctor Dre. If prices there were not so dear, people other than prosperous, well-socialized professionals would eat your children for breakfast, more or less.

Re:I've been thinking... (1)

Xugumad (39311) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748791)

Hell yes! Four years after graduating, with continuous employment (finished my last exam on the Thursday, started work on the Tuesday), I find myself renting a 10'x10' room in a three bedroom ex-council property, because it's what I can afford. Rents around here have almost doubled in 4 years, it's terrible.

What's really frustrating is being told by people who bought their house for a fraction of its current value, that the housing market should be this high. Or that I should buy somewhere, and then I can start saving for somewhere bigger; if the $15,000 extra I'd need to buy somewhere around here suddenly dropped into my lap, and I bought a two bedroom place and rented out the second bedroom, I might be able to save some money. That sounds less like a plan and more like a recipe for disaster to me...

Re:I've been thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748799)

Wrong, my friend. If you don't think health costs can bankrupt you, then you've never had a serious illness. I'm about the same age you are and 10 years ago I owned a home in a nice area of Chicago. Paid for. In the price range of what you have to pay in your area. I got seriously ill, my insurance company wasn't all it's cracked up to be (none of them are any more) and the treatment, and round the clock care I needed for a while cost me almost everything. I'm lucky that I was able to become part of a drug-trial and had the treatment that saved me paid for because my insurance company had dropped me unceremoniously. Today I'm healthy so it's all good, but man I had a political awakening over all this.
Do you know more American families own homes than have health insurance?

Re:I've been thinking... (1)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748882)

Sure, of course, but you're in the minority. Major illness will certainly cause all sorts of financial troubles.

Hope it worked out for you BTW.

Re:I've been thinking... (1)

sweborg (954876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748825)

Spot on! One of the most insightful comments I've seen regarding outsourcing.

I live in the UK and the scenario is the same.

The financial industry benefit alot on lending out money (credit) and mortages to the public. By giving mortages to people who can't afford them, house prices go up because the demand becomes higher with "fake" money.

Once the house is bought the families are trapped in a financial situation were they struggle to pay back. When most of their montly income goes to pay the mortage, they start using credit cards and other loans to purchase items, pay for holidays, etc, making the situation worse.

The most common way to break this financial dependence is to sell your house with a profit. But the problem is that this helps house prices to rise and puts first-time buyers into the same financial dependence.

Housing is a Ponzi scheme. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748936)

You cannot have housing be both a major component of the cost of living and be a good long term investment (i.e. do better than inflation of which cost of living is a major component). The more people over extend their finances in order to be able to buy a house, the closer the housing bubble gets to bursting. The people who make money in the housing market are the ones who get out early, same as in a Ponzi scheme. In some respects, it's worse than a Ponzi scheme. At least there you only end up broke. When the housing bubble bursts you could end up worse with negative equity. Which with the new bankruptcy laws you may not be able to walk away from.

Re:I've been thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14749143)

If housing was cheaper, I would be okay making a lot less than I do now. However, I'd personally be screwed if I made much less than $100K (rent is over $2000/month in my very plain, old neighborhood in California). I don't really spend much on anything else.

Get a girlfriend and live together, halves the rent, reduces food bills, less takeaways etc too as the other will cook if you're too tired. We pay $1400 a month for a 2 bed apartment in a pretty swanky area, plus $600pcm commuting, yet we get by on $80k a year between us (even though the government swipes $30k and student loan repayments come to anoher $12k)

Gives us over $1100 a month to live on after rent, commuting, taxes and debt.

Re:I've been thinking... (1)

The Cydonian (603441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749207)

While I pretty much agree with you on housing costs, must point out that, ironically enough, Bombay has one of the costliest housing markets out there in PPP terms. Even in actual terms, costs in urban India seem to reach international levels pretty fast; an average cab ride in Mumbai, for instance, is much more expensive than what it is here in Singapore. The same for cinema tickets.

Problem with public perception on jobs (1)

luvirini (753157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748611)

There are real problems with the fact that the society in "west" is so geared to make businessleaders and artists and so on as "heroes".

Thus the prestige that was attached to technical jobs is gone and most people do not see them as desirable jobs.

Yet, to further the livingstandards and so on we need technical and engineering people.. in huge numbers and as smart as possible.

Today, unfortunately most smart people choose some other carreers instead.

24 hour development (2, Interesting)

DavidHOzAu (925585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748614)

A large company will outsource eventually if they want a 24-hour workday. India is a nice place for such companies because they can be coding while you are sleeping. Result: Projects get finished in about half the time.

Besides, there is also the financial benefits of cheap labour that outsourcing brings. Some might say that outsourcing isn't nice to those working at home base, but that's beside the point to a company when deadlines and audits are looming.

Re:24 hour development (2, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748660)

No they won't- more bodies does not cut the time in half. Read the Mythical Man Month.

Besides, if they just wanted 24 hour development, hire a night shift. You know, like US based hospitals, police, and factories do. I'd be willing to work nights for extra pay.

Re:24 hour development (1)

DavidHOzAu (925585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748714)

I'd be willing to work nights for extra pay.

But would your boss be willing to pay you 'extra' for the night shift? No, no, and no. Obviously.

Myth? (2, Insightful)

edderly (549951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748672)

Depends what industry you're in. Manufacturing - well of course. Where you need to communicate over the time zone e.g. s/w development - in my experience it's a myth, and highly dependent on the quality of the people communicating. I haven't seen any good documented evidence of any efficiency improvements. In fact I've heard that it actually can decrease the net efficiency of your local team 40%.

It's even worse for US -> India than it is for UK->India, at least our timezones cross over a bit. I've seen simple questions been ping ponged across time zones for days, which would have been resolved locally in 5 minutes.

"Result: Projects get finished in about half the time"

Yeah right.

Re:Myth? (1)

DavidHOzAu (925585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748705)

Where you need to communicate over the time zone e.g. s/w development - in my experience it's a myth, and highly dependent on the quality of the people communicating. I haven't seen any good documented evidence of any efficiency improvements. In fact I've heard that it actually can decrease the net efficiency of your local team 40%.

On the other hand, efficiency of the local team is also highly dependent on the quality of the people in the local team. If the local team finds it so difficult to work with other teams, then perhaps they don't know teamwork as well as their bosses thought they did and should be replaced.

"Result: Projects get finished in about half the time"

Yeah right.

I know sarcasm when I see it, but have you heard of optimism before? Besides I believe I said "about half the time", not exactly half. Of course there will be /some/ time overhead, but not so much that it increases production time. With good teamwork, a reduction in expected completion time to 60%-55% should be expected with an extra team working on it. If not, someone is slacking and deserves to be fired. (Trying to prove to your boss that outsourcing is bad by pretending that it decreases your efficiency to write code is not the way to go about it.)

Re:Myth? (1)

HampiRocks (769257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748810)

It seems that you have never worked in an outsourcing environment !! It seldom happens that questions are ping-ponged like you are talking about. Most Indian companies have a representative on the american/british side whose responsibility is to resolve such problems. The Indian team mebers talk to this person on phone/conference call and he resolves the issue with his american team members.

Re:24 hour development (3, Insightful)

sbrown123 (229895) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749549)

India is a nice place for such companies because they can be coding while you are sleeping.

Wow! What a huge advantage! I mean, since ALL Americans HAVE to go to sleep between 6 PM to 6 AM this rules! Seriously, theres this thing called "shifts" that can do the same thing. And if you ever had to deal with India in software outsourcing you would know the horrors of working 12 hour days so you can reach one of the sleeping bastards by phone for a phone conference.

Result: Projects get finished in about half the time.

Not true. Anyone who has done software projects knows that they are usually given unrealistic schedules and changing requirements (scope creep). I once, to great humor, watched a local project with serious issues go overseas. The outsourcing company supposedly threw swarms of software engineers at it and were still unable to complete the project. No matter how many people you have its impossible to reach a goal if the goal is undefined.

Besides, there is also the financial benefits of cheap labour that outsourcing brings.

Trye. Cheap labor means company makes more profit and the stock goes up. Executives, who usually recieve stock in the company as "rewards", make more money. This means executive can buy fancier boats, cars, and houses. A win-win situation for them.

Some might say that outsourcing isn't nice to those working at home base

Everyone around is effected by outsourcing, not just software engineers. You see home based software engineers pay taxes, eat at restuarants, buy items from stores or the internet, etc. etc. That money goes in to the community which in turn pays for other peoples living and general area welfare (like fixing roads with tax money). Now to be honest, software engineers are not that numerious to make a serious dent. But India, and China for that matter, are moving to outsourcing other types of jobs. Indians generally target the higher paying jobs. Go to a hospital in a larger city and figure out how many doctors on call don't hail from the U.S. Theres not a shortage of doctors, its just that hospitals are businesses too and cheap labor makes the executives happy. The complaint that there is this "shortage of talented labor" by companies can be correctly translated as "shortage of cheap labor with sufficient degrees".

Buh-bye (3, Insightful)

sanman2 (928866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748623)

Look, big business interests are tired of waiting for politicians and public to slog through the debate morass about education reform, privatization, vouchers, "no child left behind", blahblahblah.

While Western politicians and activists babble about all that, big business is just going to cut to the chase and hire from whichever countries have actually managed to come up with educational systems that churn out needed skills, rather than waiting for this reform business to work itself out.

So dear politicians and activists, please by all means continue to wrangle in endless debate over the issues, because meanwhile your societies are the ones who may be left behind wholesale, while the fluid business interests bypass you altogether.

Wrong. (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748833)

While Western politicians and activists babble about all that, big business is just going to cut to the chase and hire from whichever countries have actually managed to come up with educational systems that churn out needed skills, rather than waiting for this reform business to work itself out.

Wrong. Big business does whatever gives big business the biggest buck fast (within the next quarter). Meanwhile the capital is eating itself. More and more people are not running for the money but the self-inflating money. Money is the only good that doesn't lose but gains value when put on a shelf. A bank account that is.
This kind of business makes sence in the short term for an individual business - given money won't get worthless someday. In every other way this course of action is descructive and shortsighted, benefits no one and damages all. And that's no 'debate morass' - it's a simple fact and can be found by taking a closer look anywhere in the world.
The Bottom Line is:
The 'free market' as we know it today has flaws. Not huge ones, but flaws that give to much power into the hands of to few without anybody really noticing it. This will have to change, globally. Because if it doesn't global economy is going the way of the dodo. I actually expect something like a global currency within the next 30 years. The only question remaining is: Will the people have to learn it the hard way or will they be smart?

No, it was DESIGNED! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748632)

DESIGNED i tells ya!

Re:No, it was DESIGNED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748684)

And on the seventh day, God outsourced the designing work to India.

Re:No, it was DESIGNED! (1)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748908)

i'm glad somebody else saw that. i saw "outsourcing evolving" and assumed it was an article about setting lions loose in NYC.

How to tell whether you're outsourcing (1, Insightful)

edderly (549951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748643)

Outsourcing is about commoditising jobs which a business doesn't believe are more a cost than a value to them, they move existing local jobs out so people who are paid less can do them. US firms have had R&D centres throughout the world for decades, was that called outsourcing? Or is that a term only used when the guy with the job in the other country has a different colour skin - the answer is no, it's about salaries. The controversy about outsourcing comes when the two are mixed up. For example businesses cite that it easier to hire talented people remotely. You can easily argue, well of course it is! Whether there are talented people or not. if you delegate your hiring decisions to someone six thousand miles away, whose only job is to hire people, they'll hire them. If they're not that productive, very few people in big business will be honest enough to say they made a mistake investing millions into an off shore site. Businesses can distinguish between outsourcing and talent hunting with salaries. There is no substantive reason why in the market of an international firm someone in India can't be paid roughly equivalent salaries as those back at base - if they do the same job. If it is about talent, this shouldn't be a problem right? If your senior well respected engineer in India is paid the salary of a US grad, 1 year out of college you're outsourcing.

You know what I'm looking forward to (3, Funny)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748664)

The outsourcing of economists' jobs. Suddenly we'll be hearing how it's a terrible thing and should be stopped.

Re:You know what I'm looking forward to (1)

mattkinabrewmindspri (538862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748696)

or we wont...

Mod++ (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748740)

n/t :)

Perhaps Slashdot can Outsource its proofreading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748678)

Perhaps it's easier never to use its. Just use it is whenever you can, then use its in the other places.

BTW It's Berkeley not Berkely ( [] )

Yeah... sure... (1)

TheNoxx (412624) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748693)

While I'm sure there are a few, as in, one out of a hundred, companies that believe this rhetoric, it comes across more like the idea that children and teenagers should be happy to be paid 13 cents an hour. As in, I'm not buying it, in the least.

Flame on.

Hypocrisy. (1)

Ivan Matveitch (748164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748850)

How much have you paid a peasant lately? Let me guess---nothing.

The big picture is the real center here (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748695)

The big picture is the real center here... Its not just about costs of labor, housing, or whatever. Since the advent of the information age and the Internet, the world has increasingly become a flat world, a smaller world, evolving toward a single community. This evolution toward flatness is stretching and pulling on national and international boundaries, laws, and business practices. Its cheaper to live in Texas then in California, and business incentives on top of that have made Texas the silicon valley of telecommunications companies. Cost of living is less than half of many places in Cal. or the New York area, so the jobs should be good... but still there is outsourcing. Government still has not given businesses the right incentives to hire from within the country, so they will save money wherever they can. If that means hiring people in a country around the world where health plan costs and retirement costs are cheaper, they will because the flat world means it is possible to do so. 30 years ago, it just would not have worked. Communication was not good enough, now it is.

The real problem is not quality or quantity of graduates in the science fields, it is the fact that governments have not caught up to the information age with their legal and business practices standards. Giving companies tax breaks for this or that but not taking into account hiring practices is one of the things that has upset the balance of wages and outsourcing. All this political rhetoric about colleges is just political posturing. The real changes need to be made at the business tax and law level of things. The government can give incentives to companies that don't outsource... but then that would be taking easy money out of their pockets... it is all about money, but not for business, its about money for government and political figures.

When businesses are given the right incentive by governments through taxation and regulation, they will pay for in-country talent, and those jobs will again carry prestige, thus garnering the admiration and adulation of students planning for their futures.

It was fine to enforce equal hiring practices by race, but for some reason its not okay to make companies biased toward hiring citizens of the country they are registered in and pay taxes in. The big picture is that politics is screwing the west for the short term gain.

The dotcom bubble and bust showed that there are times when a guy coding in his mom's basement is as good as a 120k/year engineer... businesses are still learning that the dotcom boom is over, and getting quality work and workers again costs money. It doesn't matter how many people you hire in India, there are costs associated with communicating with those workers, and instilling pride in those workers to do the kind of job that gives the company the reputation that they want.

Right now, there are tons of call centers in India (we all know and hate them) and in the interests of business, even Indian companies are outsourcing to China (of all places) to cut costs because that is the only incentive that business has... cut costs, make profit... Its time for government to step in and realign incentives for companies. Yes, labor is often cheaper, and regulations or lack thereof makes doing business overseas cheaper.. but for the same reason that, say, poisoning the environment is wrong in California, its also wrong in Yogoslovia and India, and governments should not support businesses that are involved in such practices with tax incentives etc. That would counter the effect of a flatened business world.

Well, that is the gist of it anyway.... "its the government's fault" more or less...

Okay, go ahead and show me where I'm wrong now

Self-fulfilling Prophesy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748708)

The American executives who are planning to send work abroad express concern about what they regard as an incipient erosion of scientific prowess in this country, pointing to the lagging math and science proficiency of American high school students and the reluctance of some college graduates to pursue careers in science and engineering.

This is from the same bunch that won't invest in the local education system. The locals are reluctant to invest the time and effort when they know that there won't be any jobs left for them at home anyway.

Looking forward to Socialized Higher Education (0)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748733)

One way to stop it is to outright allow every US Citizen (by birth, to help prevent Internationals from endrunning it) unencumbered access to any US University, ending the distinction between public/private.

You just apply, prove citizenship and attend - with the admissions capped at 10% of whatever the Internationals pay. If they want to take jobs, it's only right to protect our own as they protect their own in their home countries.

If this continues, you raise the rates for Internationals and decrease the rates of the Domestics.

You dont have to touch the educational standards, just have to keep the doors open for domestic students who seem to be shut out from meaningful education.

Re:Looking forward to Socialized Higher Education (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748755)

"internationals" - why not just call them niggers/spics/wogs/chinks/jews/cp's

Believe it or not... (1)

Ivan Matveitch (748164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748830)

...they actually have such a system in Britain.

Re:Looking forward to Socialized Higher Education (1)

RevMike (632002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749090)

Thank you, PatrickThompson, for correctly recognizing and labeling a bigot. For 200+ years the United States has been a rich and prosperous country because of the contributions of immigrants. I hope we continue to welcome those who want to work hard and build a better life for their families, because they also build a better life for all of us.

Re:Looking forward to Socialized Higher Education (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749172)

Throughout my entire life, I've had my surname misspelled by people. Even when I entered it into an online form which was then printed onto a shipping label, somehow an errant "p" crept in. Please, for my sake, be lazy and copy/paste from now on ...

P.S. I am from the UK.

Re:Looking forward to Socialized Higher Education (1)

RevMike (632002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749201)

Throughout my entire life, I've had my surname misspelled by people. Even when I entered it into an online form which was then printed onto a shipping label, somehow an errant "p" crept in. Please, for my sake, be lazy and copy/paste from now on ...


P.S. I am from the UK.

Don't feel bad. Nobody is perfect.

Blasting the Indians (4, Insightful)

HampiRocks (769257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748760)

Slashdot at its weekend best.

Let the slashdot readers go back to blasting the Indians and the asians. How pathetic and incompetent they are, if it was not about the prize they would not get anything to do, we are so great they are so bad, blah blah blah .....

Re:Blasting the Indians (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748858)

Mod parent up. I'm so tired of hearing about how the Chinese/Japanese/Indians etc. are simply getting these jobs because of the price. That is one of the reasons, but it's foolish to think that it's the ONLY reason. I just finished University, at a top U.S. school for computer science, and personally I thought that it was pathetically easy. The vast majority of the students who come from the U.S. (I myself come from the U.S.) do the very minimum amount of work to succeed if that. While on the other hand, all of the students I met from foreign countries worked their asses off to learn as much as they possibly could and be the best in their respective field.

Even the teachers have really started to notice this. The work ethic from my American peers was just pathetic and instead of putting in hard work and learning as much as possible, they would rather go to the clubs, get drunk and high and listen to latest idiotic 50 Cent album. The vast majority of the foreign student simply had a far better work ethic and were willing to work a lot harder to become better in their respective field. A major problem right now in the U.S. is that we're harvesting a culture that doesn't promote hard work. If you can't see that, simply ask a professor at any major University campus in the United States what he thinks.

In all my years of study, I only met a handful of students that I would consider hard workers that really started to master their field. Unfortunately for us, the vast majority of them were not native to the United States. We're producing a culture of lazy idiots who are incapable of critical thinking and we need to start making serious changes or there is simply no reason that companies are going to choose American workers over foreign ones. It's time to stop blaming everyone else and to start looking internally at our culture and our incredibly low scores when it comes to science, math etc. If we want to compete globally we need to give companies reasons to hire us over others, it's as simple as that and right now we're not doing that.

P.S. And yes, there are plenty of Americans that are not like this, however they're in the minority and if we don't want this image of lazy dumbass Americans being portrayed all over the world we need to make the hard workers the majority.

Re:Blasting the Indians (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749328)

Actually, looking around today, I'm not seeing too much along the lines of "its the Indian's fault" or "I'm entitled to a job with a 75,000+ salary which involves me just sitting at a desk".

Of course those posters are probably just sleeping in...

What ever happened to the mobile office? (1)

MrNougat (927651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748836)

Wasn't the explosion in communication technology supposed to free us from our desks and allow us to roam across the blooming meadows, palmtops in hand?

Oh yeah, there's still a whole bunch of old dudes running companies, who have no idea how communications technology works. I guess we'll have to wait for them to die.

Seriously, though -- the only things standing in the way of people officing wherever they choose are the inflexibility of management and the inability of employees to make effective use of existing communications tools. Hm, maybe one begets the other. Perhaps the old dudes don't have to die so much as they need to insist that their companies embrace technology, even if they're too late to do so themselves. And back that up with consequences.

Programming v Networking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748874)

Networking seems to be accepted as the easier of the two professions, though I personally feel more comfortable with networking because there is a physical medium that better ensures job security. Programming is tough and the skill is worthy of recognition (if the person's competent), but it CAN be outsourced. Networking can't be.

Unfortunately, outsourcing is becoming more and more a concerning factor when weighing career paths.

frost pist? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14748902)

resul7eD in the

why-macro economic efficiency. (3, Insightful)

greg715 (955508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14748913)

The real reason for outsourcing is macro economic efficiency. In true free trade its the last denominator that companies can do nothing about internally as its an external factor.

Like it or not its the reason why china should not float their currency and the reason why countries like Singapore have managed to survive in a very competitive technical sector. In countries Like the US,UK and Australia you may pay an engineer more but the engineers themselves don't benefit due to the high living cost. The high living cost is attributed to the high proportion of non-productive sectors in an economy compared to productive sectors. Productive sectors would include the likes of Engineering,manufacturing, mining,agriculture while non productive sectors are largely the finance sector and bureaucratic sectors. In essence productive sectors support the non productive sectors(eg you cant eat money if there are no farms).

I will give you an example of what has happened in Australia recently. In the last 10 years the cost of house ownership(and thus rent) has gone up hugely. Incomes have gone up to match, but once the cost of paying for a house is taken into consideration, what is left over in the income has not gone up, often down. Take two people bidding for a house. In order to get the desired house each bidder goes to the bank to secure the loan. Thus due to bidding competition each will try to obtain the highest possible loan possible but from the same bank. Thus the bank increases the price of housing by giving larger loans and increases its profits due to interest on the loans. In the end the productive sectors of the economy must provide high pay jobs to support the high value loan to provide the bank with a profit.

So why should a company pay for bank/financial sector profits when in a country with a lower cost of living they could pay the same amount and the engineer would benefit much more as they would actually retain the wealth. Otherwise if the company does pay the engineer less the engineer would still attain an equivalent living as one on a much higher income in a high living cost country.

Take a country like Singapore for example. Here the government heavily controls housing. Singapore doesn't have much choice if you look at the population density however they have benefited greatly due to maintaining a low living cost. Essentially the government here controls 90% of the housing as government housing. In order to get his housing you get a government loan which is not designed to make the government profit. They call it subsided housing, but its not really subsided. The prices of houses cover the construction cost, they just don't provide profits to the financial sector through high interest loans that artificially inflate house prices through competitive bidding.

The result is you can hire an engineer for a lot less in Singapore than you can in the US and the engineer still has an equivalent life.

The second example is China. As a developing country china has a very low cost of living. In much of the country no one expects to gain a high level of profit from housing. As a result in these areas you can set up a manufacturing company and by default be competitive due to low living costs. Should the Chinese government float their currency, from the point of view of foreign-non Chinese currency, the cost of living will rise dramatically. Through this rise, locals would suffer from an increase in relative living cost due to the lost competitiveness. They only institutions set to gain are the financial ones as they will make massive profits of the rise in the Chinese currency. That profit has to come from somewhere and thats the productive sectors of the world economy. i.e. engineering.

Thus when you see outsourcing, don't blame the engineering companies- they are in a loose loose scenario. If they don't, they loose due to foreign competition, if they do they will fail due to a faltering local economy.

Blame the non productive financial institutions, the naive governments who have no idea what macro economic efficiency is( do you really think that Bush has that one in his vocabulary) and the general public for caring.

If free trade is here to stay then in the end unless western countries improve in the macro economic efficiency there will be no engineering left in the west. When will we learn.

Re:why-macro economic efficiency. (1)

swid (209109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749124)

That makes sooo much sense to me. mod parent up

Re:why-macro economic efficiency. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14749723)

Same here. Kudos to parent, thats the most insightful post I've seen in a long time.

Writing on the wall. (1)

jeff_tucker (955505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749103)

The reason that most students do not go into engineering or technical fields any more is that they see the writing on the wall. They have seen friends and family members jobs already going over seas for the last ten years slowly but surely creeping more and more into the pocket protector fields. Medicine is next with the insurance companies looking to fly people to India for selective surgeries. Right now people are flying to India for surgeries that are not covered by their policies and getting the same results for a 20th of the cost. Some hospitals in the U.S. are contracting with radiology firms in India to evaluate X-rays from digitized images - I know this because a relative of mine who is a Doctor has seen it at the Hospital He's doing his residency at. There is a since of Doom and Gloom in the U.S. about meaningful careers. I wonder were will it stop. Will U.S. air traffic controllers be setting in Main Land China someday because someone thought it was a great idea to develope and install (on the tax payers dime) even faster and practically instaneous latancy connections to them. Some may believe that I think less of those in other countries and guess what your right. I have that rare disease today know as Pariotism. When governments and citizes alike in other countries take care of there own by changing laws or creating tarrifs and actually enforcing trade agreements it's just fine. When the U.S. does the same thing (or attempts to) watchout, we are seen as emperialistic, uncaring, economic fear mongers. The U.S. has become the economic and educational whipping boy of the world. Everybody and anybody can come here and reap the benefits of our education, free society, enormous business grants for immigrants and when they are fat and through sucking the tit completely dry they leave taking back to their country everything they have earned and learned. Don't get me wrong - immigrants have made this country what it is today but it is the immigrants of the past that have done that not mostly the ones that come into this country today and recently. I am third generation Polish. When my Grandparents (on my Father's side) came to the U.S. my Father was already 6 years old and spoke Polish for that of a 6 year old. After arriving my Grandparents wanted him to learn English and they themselves took classes to learn English. Today my Father speaks very little Polish and I speak about 5 words of it. We recognize ourselves as Americans first and of Polish decent second. The lack of this desire to become apart of the American Melting Pot is one of the main problems with our country today and echoes into our government, education, society, and economy. My Grandparents came to this country to not only have a better life for themselves and their decendents but to be Americans. Our schools have been forced to have 3 and sometimes 4 translators in the classrooms because no one thought it important to learn the language of the country that they are in. We even have translators in the military, not for teaching English but for actual combat situations to commincate to our own solders. We have ballots printed in California in 23 different languages. What better way is there to keep our country divided than to not have everyone speaking english. And that is the problems with politics. Many politicians do not want members in their disticts, of a specific persuasion, to be forced to learn English. They would then not be the only candidate that those voters could understand. This country is so divided that it is starting to lose a since of itself. I constantly hear others that have become U.S. citizens that their country is a great country to which I respond "Yes, the U.S. is a great country" but they correct me by telling me they were speaking of the country they originally came from. I sometimes respond "If it is such a great country that you came from then why are you here?". At the beginning of the Conflict in Iraqi when the French Government made some very misguided comments about the U.S. how did U.S. citizens react - they boycotted French resturants in New York which had no effect on the French government but only hurt Americans. This is a small example of the divide in this country between Citizens of diffent origin. Citizens of other countries have no doubt about their loyalties to their country but here in the U.S. you are likely to see 20 different country flags on car windows and bumpers in a days drive. Most immigrants today are not willing to make an investment in this country with their heart and soal by becoming a citizen. Look at all the illegal immigrants that cross the boarder on a daily basis for work. All that effort and risk but not a single one of them even looks to even try the legal route. Because they don't care about the U.S.. The only concern is to use America for a job, educational benefits, free medical and many other perks and not put one sinlge dime back into it. Because they, like many others that are in fact legal citizens, do not care about or want to be apart of this country. Because being apart of something means that you have to contribute back into it. So many illegal immigrants are here now that it is putting a massive strain on educational resources, infrastucture, medical and other resources that things are starting to fail. If feel really good that I pay school tax every pay check but have no kids while others are sending 6 kids to public school and paying absolutely nothing back in. People here think that they are so patriotic but rarely does anyone look to see if anything is made American anymore. Citizens of other countries pay close attention to things like product origin because they understand that they can not survive alone and that one thing does affect another. This country needs to come together and stop the idiodic infighting that has progressively gotten worse over the last 20 years. One thing that is known is that tragedy has always brought this country together the sad thing is the current slow and methodical tragedy of our economical destruction is going completely unnoticed.

the issue is fairness, equality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14749232)

The real problem is that the people at the reins of power act like they are doing things only for themselves. So instead of saying 'work with' these other people, groups, whoever they are, they seek to treat the ones who they contract to do the work as if they are expendible. As if there is no implied social responsibility to people of their own country.
This is an attempt to return to a fuedalistic model for government.
Fuedalism in the modern world will not work. When you treat workers like they are dross, expendible, you create class warfare which is failure all around.

And so why do these monied, powerful groups do this? Because they are moral reprobates who believe in somekind of primacy of their own kind, whoever they may be.
What happened to the Romonov's ought to be reason enough for these so-called rulers to stop doing what they are doing.

It is a matter of fairness and equality of human effort. And when people make arguements like 'there is no right to health care' then I ask the question: why the hell should we give tax breaks for health care for one group and then not give any health care for another?

And if you think that is fair then you better watch out because there are live Marxists roaming the globe who want your head on a stick. And your currupt outsourceing and treating workers like they are cattle empowers these people.

Marxism ultimatly is failure. It does not work, will not work. But equally flawed is the corporate fascism that is so popular these days. We are suppose to be communial in some things, like paying for wars foisted upon us by currupt elites, but in other things like health care we are suppose to think that if we can't have work that we don't deserve it.

There is too much power in too few hands. These people need to be put out of government
Impeach Bush, Cheney, and remove the neocon stain from our government. These fascists have had long enough.

Regarding Higher Ed (1)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749366)

One of the things that is driving American Universities toward change is the rise of for-profit education in the US. These enterprises tend to clip high margin students away from traditional educational settings into an increasingly fast-paced and often online world. This is squeezing colleges, especially colleges without the power of a large endowment.

This comes at a time when there has been unprecedented growth in the number of American colleges and universites. None of them want to go out of business and many are seeing the handwriting on the wall. Government funding of Higher Ed has been slipping for over a decade and for-profits are about ready to REALLY start eating their lunch when the 50% rule goes away (as it appears it will).

In this light, one of the mantras has become "diversify". Many traditional educational institutions in Higher Ed now have a fully online component and many have an overseas component. I dont think it is so much globalization driving that trend as it is the twin pincers of for-profit competition and shrinking government funding.

Relation to IP (0, Offtopic)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749384)

This is really another reason why copyrights and patents are so harmfull. The US has a big technology sector, but pretty soon the world's will be way bigger. By upholding copyrights and patents, we will eventually lock ourselves out from innovation and progress all over the world. IMHO, the copyright system is already dead and will probably formally be so betime it becomes an issue, the patent system though - I worry that it will be too late. Just like false physically coerced property rights like slavery in the industrial era only died after great violence, patents will likely die a hideous death.

Economic fundamentals (2, Interesting)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14749514)

IMHO, the economic fundamentals do not favor China and India making a smooth transition into the world economy. I think that both China and India will become a large part of the world economy someday, just not as soon as most people think.

First off, if you look at the infrsatructure of these countries, they are very small compaired to the size of infrastructure in the western world. Which I'm sure they will catch up, but infrastructure is expensive and the US has over 100 years up on them.

Second off, if you look at the political freedom rankings of these countries, many of them are in really bad shape. This is very important, because countries with political freedoms have outlets for the stress cuased by growth and change. China especially, could be explosive.

Third off, if you look at the economic freedom rankings of these countries. They are also in really bad shape. This is extremely important, because economic freedom allows peoples to exploit opportunities to create wealth and prosperity. I could really see a situation where all these cool technologies get developed all over the world, but they only get applied in productive ways in the free and western countries. In China, general tax rates are as high as 40%. (The US is pretty bad too, but already has a middle class(for now)) But there is no way that you can have high rates of sustained growth under those kind of taxes, because there is no way to build an economic middle class.

Fourth off, IMHO the economic shithole that the US is in is temporary. Currently the US has more debt than it can ever pay off, and is about ready to fall off a hyperinflationary debt cliff. However, once the financial system collapses, and they push the reset button, the path will be cleared for sustained growth. Half the government freebies will be dead, realestate will collapse and become reasonably priced, the debt will be offloaded, the currency will likely end up backed by something other than the good faith of the federal government, and taxes will be low. That combined with the higher level of economic and political freedoms will position the US very nicely. Hopefully, the US will also open the immigration flood gates, bringing intellignet people over here who will even create more jobs and oppertunity - getting more bang for the buck.
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