Offshoring, not just for IT...
Reg readers respond
Letters Register readers are not easily riled. But talk of offshoring (Offshoring inevitable - so get over it) can get them hot under the collar. Nathan McCourtney represents the voice of reason...
From Nathan McCourtney:
What a silly line of reasoning. Let me see if I can map out this train of thought:
1. An implosion of consumer confidence resulting from multi-billion dollar companies being revealed as little more than shells for creative accounting causes a recession.
2. The recession resulted in a massive loss of jobs in the tech sector (among others). High-paying jobs that generated billions in tax revenue to pay for schools and other social benefits.
3. As jobs disappeared, consumer spending evaporated and sent the economy further into the hole.
4. To save us all from the horrors of recession, companies and government institutions opted to pay slave wages to unqualified staff in third world countries, leaving hundreds of thousands of Americans jobless as their unemployment benefits ran out.
So, if I'm to understand correctly, consumer spending which accounts for 2/3s of the American economy, is going to be bolstered by jobs disappearing never to return? And instead of paying for social benefits here, the taxes generated by these jobs will line the pockets of corrupt third world governments?
And all this was done to save us from competition by whom exactly? Is there a database being marketed by a company in New Delhi that is threatening to lay waste to Oracle's market share? Has Microsoft passed along these call-center cost savings to the consumer? Who is the third-world Honda to Sun's GM that enjoys such low cost of production that a company in the US can't hope to compete with it?
And I have personally interacted with numerous outsourced positions overseas. The idea that they could write software successfully half a world away is laughable. Not only that, but the call center personnel are useless. One of the reasons I've personally moved toward open-source technology is that private companies no longer seem able to solve problems with their own black boxes. John Q. Callcenter, who was with the product from version 0.8, is now pumping gas. Instead, a third-world worker who can't even afford to buy a computer for his own house is going to help you troubleshoot IIS 6 today! He's got a lovely script translated from the help files to walk you through! You say all the managers who made the outsourcing decision are happy? I wonder what their customers would say.
In my opinion, studies like this are commissioned to keep the state of FUD in effect: Don't even try to stop it because you'll only make things worse! Be happy you can get a job pumping gas! Sorry you lost your house, but the American economy is strong, by god!
The bigger the lie, the more people who believe it.<
A lengthier and angrier email comes from Walter Nodelman, from Connecticut.
I refer to John Oates' illogical and arrogant Pro-OFFSHORING item.
Specifically . . . http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/12/03/offshoring_unstoppable/
I am writing from the perspective of an unemployed high tech American. I became a victim of TERRORISM when my employer's Manhattan Agency in the 47 story office building of the WTC burned on the evening of 9/11. I am also a victim of OFFSHORING since all high tech IT work has been sent to India. I have been seeking work in Connecticut, or Boston, or Manhattan across the past 163 weeks.
I obviously disagree with nearly everything that John Oates wrote. "Inevitable" in the title is cockiness bordering on lack of sanity. My reaction is ...The bigger they are (corporations) - the dumber the decisions and the harder they fall, - more likely the predictable outcome. You defend the villains who are committing treason against my country and the UK, (by hollowing out the skilled high tech workforce) and you never disagree with their activities. You will write anything for a price. You claim to see inevitability and benefits while I keep seeing reality of 163 weeks without a paycheck. When enough people lose enough paychecks, the entire economy will crash, and the newspaper goes bankrupt with no advertisers to sell anything and no readers with money to buy anything.
You lump everything together (France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the US and UK) and create fictional numbers which are unprovable. I know what the real numbers look like. Here are a few accurate numbers.
Maury Harris of (that foreign) Union Bank of Switzerland in Stamford Connecticut recently wrote that 400,000 American Jobs are lost - while NBC tells us that Connecticut alone has lost 70,000 jobs. Mr. Harris's numbers are lies. NBC's numbers are understated, but provable.
That 70,0000 number is supplied by INS (United States Immigration and Naturalization Service) Statistical Yearbooks, and reported by www.toraw.org.
Here is the Connecticut 6 year history of Non-Immigrant Visas Issued Annually. It represents the selected multiple categories of H-1B for high technical Information Technology, the H1C for Registered Nurses, the H2 and H3 for temporary Agricultural, the alpha O for extraordinary achievement in Sciences, Art, Education, Business, or Athletics, the P for Athletes, Entertainers, Artists, the Q for Cultural Exchanges and finally the R category of visas for Religious Occupations.
As I stated, the numbers are Connecticut only. Every single person on this count represents a Connecticut job that was removed from availability to a Connecticut citizen.
H-1B Temporary Workers year 1997 2,979 H-1B Temporary Workers year 1998 2,979 H-1B Temporary Workers year 1999 3,826 H-1B Temporary Workers year 2000 4,310 H-1B Temporary Workers year 2001 4,663 H-1B Temporary Workers year 2002 4,835 Six Years Total 23,592
L-1 Intra-Company Transferees 1997 5,711 L-1 Intra-Company Transferees 1998 5,711 L-1 Intra-Company Transferees 1999 6,708 L-1 Intra-Company Transferees 2000 7,918 L-1 Intra-Company Transferees 2001 8,693 L-1 Intra-Company Transferees 2002 8,609 Six Years Total 43,350
Grand Total Connecticut Jobs Lost 66,942 NBC 30 reported Connecticut Jobs Lost 70,000 Difference (overstatement) 3,058
This 66,942 only represents those jobs which were stolen from us by foreign workers who arrived here to work. The number does not count jobs taken by spouses or young adult children of that visa holder.
Multiplied by 50 states, that calculates out to 3,347,100 jobs lost across my country. Not 400,000 which is UBS's fictional numbers.
In addition to these 66,942 stolen jobs, there are the "OFFSHORING" situations where the USA job itself was sent to India or elsewhere, rather than bringing the foreign worker to Connecticut.
There is more truth to be found in a Harry Potter book then can be found at UBS, or Computerworld, or The Register dot com, or many similar barely competent sources. The inevitability of success under OFFSHORING is far from certain. The higher the quality of the journalist, the lower the certainty of offshoring's future. You (John Oates) and your numbers represent one end of the believability range scale.
Here is an example of your journalism profession when that job is done by a very competent professional. How often do you see a journalist of The Register receiving a standing ovation by 1,000 admiring fans? You, journalist, editor, author, John Oates should be interested in reading a communication which I sent to the editors of Editor and Publisher Magazine.
I apologize for the length. We, the unemployed get very angry. You will understand that anger very soon. In my opinion, in your writer's occupation you are about to join us in the ranks of the unemployed. It may be true that John Oates' type of low quality journalism CAN now be done in Calcutta on the cheap.
Now there's a thought...(El Reg moots Bangalore hack outsource plan). ®