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  #1  
Old 06-27-2007, 05:03 AM
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More on Job Outsourcing

Interesting article in Business Week concerning outsourcing. As a recent
college grad looking for a job, this hits home. Welcome to the brave new world.
http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jun2007/db20070621_912042.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index_businessweek+exclusives
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:09 AM
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You really have to be careful about any career choice. Anything that has a chance of being outsourced these days probably will be. With the cost of education and training, you want to assure that you can pay off the loans as well as be able to minimally support yourself.

I'm not sure what those choices would be. I myself continue on with my specialized software trade and have been lucky so far. Perhaps a specialized niche is you best bet against being outsourced. Repair/service technician, medical specialist/therapist, business/project manager, or any service jobs connected with a resort area would be among the tough ones to move off shore. Commodity type work, such as generic software development and maintenance, manufacturing, help desks, basically anything that does not require a physical presence, are all fair game. Lately it's been publishing, and now even some food production.

So think twice before asking the boss if you can work from home! You might start looking like an outsourcing candidate.

As far as that law firm is concerned, they should complete the cycle and relocate to India.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:13 AM
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I've been looking for another job selling and have run across quite a few in which the product is outsourcing American jobs to operations overseas. It's probably inevitable, but still, I would feel rather traitorous doing that.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:18 AM
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Now THAT is why youtube is so friggin' awesome... I don't blame the company -- I blame the government for making it so easy.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:26 AM
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I have at times tried to think about which professions are least endangered by outsourcing. Once I thought the medical profession was pretty safe. Now, I'm not so sure about that either. I've heard stories about people going to India to have surgery done. It is so much cheaper there, apparently, that even the cost of traveling can be absorbed. Freaky!
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:40 AM
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And the ultimate irony is that the Indian doctors I have had have been far superior to the American ones. The Indians work twice as hard to prove themselves. The Americans are lazy and feel they know it all.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:48 AM
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Truly, we seem to have passed the zenith of American greatness. We've become a nation of consumers. The number of producers seems to be declining.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:57 AM
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Truly, we seem to have passed the zenith of American greatness. We've become a nation of consumers. The number of producers seems to be declining.
I'm not so sure. We have shed many dirty, polluting industries and our unemployment rate is still enviably low. I think any country's greatness is measured by it desirability to actually live there. By that measure, it's still pretty great.
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:12 AM
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Well, I wasn't implying that we'll plunge into darkrness overnight. I was speaking more in terms of attitudes that seem to be prevalent than I was about anything specific.

I see a lot more motivation and determination in other countries than I do in ours. Maybe it's just a slant in the way the mass media depicts Americans vs those in other countries. That's just my opinion. . . . and I'm stickin' to it.
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:11 PM
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Interestingly, there are many westerners now working in India, specially in IT and other corporations so I guess in a small way, its trying to even out.
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:49 PM
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July 2007 | 136 » Essays » Protecting the global poor
Almost all rich countries got wealthy by protecting infant industries and limiting foreign investment. But these countries are now denying poor ones the same chance to grow by forcing free-trade rules on them before they are strong enough
Ha-Joon Chang

Ha-Joon Chang's book Bad Samaritans—Rich Nations, Poor Policies and the Threat to the Developing World is published by Random House on 5th July
Discuss this article at First Drafts, Prospect's new blog

Once upon a time, the leading car-maker of a developing country exported its first passenger cars to the US. Until then, the company had only made poor copies of cars made by richer countries. The car was just a cheap subcompact ("four wheels and an ashtray") but it was a big moment for the country and its exporters felt proud.

Unfortunately, the car failed. Most people thought it looked lousy, and were reluctant to spend serious money on a family car that came from a place where only second-rate products were made. The car had to be withdrawn from the US. This disaster led to a major debate among the country's citizens. Many argued that the company should have stuck to its original business of making simple textile machinery. After all, the country's biggest export item was silk. If the company could not make decent cars after 25 years of trying, there was no future for it. The government had given the car-maker every chance. It had ensured high profits for it through high tariffs and tough controls on foreign investment. Less than ten years earlier, it had even given public money to save the company from bankruptcy. So, the critics argued, foreign cars should now be let in freely and foreign car-makers, who had been kicked out 20 years before, allowed back again. Others disagreed. They argued that no country had ever got anywhere without developing "serious" industries like car production. They just needed more time.

The year was 1958 and the country was Japan. The company was Toyota, and the car was called the Toyopet. Toyota started out as a manufacturer of textile machinery and moved into car production in 1933. The Japanese government kicked out General Motors and Ford in 1939, and bailed out Toyota with money from the central bank in 1949. Today, Japanese cars are considered as "natural" as Scottish salmon or French wine, but less than 50 years ago, most people, including many Japanese, thought the Japanese car industry simply should not exist.

Half a century after the Toyopet debacle, Toyota's luxury brand Lexus has become an icon of globalisation, thanks to the American journalist Thomas Friedman's book The Lexus and the Olive Tree. The book owes its title to an epiphany that Friedman had in Japan in 1992. He had paid a visit to a Lexus factory, which deeply impressed him. On the bullet train back to Tokyo, he read yet another newspaper article about the troubles in the middle east, where he had been a correspondent. Then it hit him. He realised that "half the world seemed to be… intent on building a better Lexus, dedicated to modernising, streamlining and privatising their economies in order to thrive in the system of globalisation. And half of the world—sometimes half the same country, sometimes half the same person—was still caught up in the fight over who owns which olive tree."

According to Friedman, countries in the olive-tree world will not be able to join the Lexus world unless they fit themselves into a particular set of economic policies he calls "the golden straitjacket." In describing the golden straitjacket, Friedman pretty much sums up today's neoliberal orthodoxy: countries should privatise state-owned enterprises, maintain low inflation, reduce the size of government, balance the budget, liberalise trade, deregulate foreign investment and capital markets, make the currency convertible, reduce corruption and privatise pensions. The golden straitjacket, Friedman argues, is the only clothing suitable for the harsh but exhilarating game of globalisation.

However, had the Japanese government followed the free-trade economists back in the early 1960s, there would have been no Lexus. Toyota today would at best be a junior partner to a western car manufacturer and Japan would have remained the third-rate industrial power it was in the 1960s—on the same level as Chile, Argentina and South Africa.

Had it just been Japan that became rich through the heretical policies of protection, subsidies and the restriction of foreign investment, the free-market champions might be able to dismiss it as the exception that proves the rule. But Japan is no exception. Practically all of today's developed countries, including Britain and the US, the supposed homes of the free market and free trade, have become rich on the basis of policy recipes that contradict today's orthodoxy.

In 1721, Robert Walpole, the first British prime minister, launched an industrial programme that protected and nurtured British manufacturers against superior competitors in the Low Countries, then the centre of European manufacturing. Walpole declared that "nothing so much contributes to promote the public wellbeing as the exportation of manufactured goods and the importation of foreign raw material." Between Walpole's time and the 1840s, when Britain started to reduce its tariffs (although it did not move to free trade until the 1860s), Britain's average industrial tariff rate was in the region of 40-50 per cent, compared with 20 per cent and 10 per cent in France and Germany respectively.

More at: http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=9653
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2007, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Dee8go View Post
I have at times tried to think about which professions are least endangered by outsourcing. Once I thought the medical profession was pretty safe. Now, I'm not so sure about that either. I've heard stories about people going to India to have surgery done. It is so much cheaper there, apparently, that even the cost of traveling can be absorbed. Freaky!
India has some excellent medical services, including a world-class cardiac centre.
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:54 AM
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I know doctors here in Washington who have patients who come to them from other countries. I guess that now the trend is beginning to shift the other direction.

We will be seeing our standard of living declining in the future, I'm afraid. As long as there are people somewhere else willing to work for less and do a better job in the process.
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:57 AM
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India has few cardiac centers, also world class transplant, ortho, dentistry etc. Most Indian and US doctors work in these outfits, the hospitals offer five star comfort at fraction of cost of US, few of my US friends have already availed of medical services in India and now their whole families come for regualr treatment including dental work.
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:59 AM
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I think it has more to do with the quality. Price is secondary. For example, if I knew I could get a person to do it well here, I would -- the problem is that the average American worker is --well, lazy. They do the minimum and want the maximum. When I find people that want to do an honest day's work for an honest day's pay -- that is where I go.

Quality. Look at the Honda and Toyota autos... higher quality, and people are willing to pay for it.

Once we learn to stop making junk and doing the minimum, we'll be back on track. But right now we are definitely in a slow decline. From our health care to our industry.
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