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View Diary: Obama, Sri Lanka, and Outsourcing: Some Perspective and Context (304 comments)

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  •  What I don't get (41+ / 0-)

    Is that everyone seems to assume that if we're training tech support, they're taking jobs away from American companies.

    Not all tech companies are in America, and not all tech support customers are in America or speak English.

    So helping a foreign (and gravely injured) country by teaching them to do tech support for... who-the-hell-ever... is now bad?

    Why do we assume that all tech customers are in this country?  If someone in China or Sri Lanka needs tech support, are they supposed to talk to an American who only speaks English?

    Every country that has any kind of technology and/or tech company needs support staff that will speak the local language.

    "An uprising of the reasonable is our only chance." - Keith Olbermann

    by Diogenes2008 on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 02:29:29 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  There has been an awful lot of weirdly (31+ / 0-)

      nationalistic sentiment parading itself about as Progressive populism lately.

      I'm hoping that we are about to get more adept as a community at catching it, naming it and shaming it, but I'm not holding my breath.

      "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

      by Unduna on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 02:38:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People seem to be on edge (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        deaniac83, Into The Woods, Onomastic
        •  Imaginary frogs on real lilly pads (4+ / 0-)

          People are scared and frustrated.  They are losing patience.  

          If you pull them in with an underlying fear of a problem that is real, it's a lot easier to use that momentum to push them towards an example that is not or a remedy that does not really solve the underlying problem.

          Here's what's real:  We've been losing good jobs, decent paying jobs, for years.  The economic disparity is getting worse.  The next generation may actually fall down the ladder instead of climbing up.  Globalization and outsourcing both have contributed to those realities.

          Then you take a basic issue like globalization.  Don't discuss it's current design and implementation to favor corporate profits over advancement of the people (in all settings - here and abroad).
          Don't discuss it's manipulation by global corporations to evade the true costs of environmental impact/worker safety/taxes (here and abroad).
          Don't describe it's mistaken reliance on the theory that lowering production costs could outpace the resulting lower purchasing power of American consumers over a long enough period to avoid collapse of the consumer-driven US economy (even with the record level of personal debt and household leveraging .)

          Those ideas are not in the glossary of "words that work".  

          Instead we end up with "illegals", or Sri Lankan IT vampires, or undead Indian Phonebankers from Hell.

          Garnish with 'crime', 'drugs', 'national security', 'white minority', 'English as official language', citenship or voter ids and 'crushing burden on our welfare system', stir briskly and bake on very high heat until done.  

          We've now taken real fear and frustration about a very real problem and made vile political pie out of it.

          Sirota's diary is offensive not just because it draws connections that do not really exist, but because it obscures the real (and complex) sources of our problems with how globalization is being implemented and ignores again that this structure is created by policy choice not some immutable laws of nature or the almighty "market".    

          Sirota questionably raises this example of foreign aid as part of that grand choice of priorities and design.  Sirota then presents that choice (impliedly)as either a) fund $10 Million in Sri Lanka assistance/relief or b) keep well paying American jobs.  

          This use of a false choice furthers the propaganda that distracts us from the real choices and that we have the power to choose.

          By approaching the issue in this way, Sirota also sets up and invites a discusssion within the progressive community that helps discredit the idea that policy choices can shape (and have shaped) how globalization will work.

          The topic of discussion is discredited not because it is false, but because the choice he focusses on is not a real factor in the shaping of the global economy and reversing that choice would have Zero effect on the shape of that economy.  

          If a Republican had engaged in this type of faux debate building from a real foundation to present a false connection and unconnected choice that places the whole premise in doubt, I'd call it a devious straw-man strategy.  

          I would think it inconceivable that Sirota would intend that result.  

          Once is accident.  
          Twice is neglect.  

          But at some point it becomes intent.

          Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often. Mae West

          by Into The Woods on Thu Aug 05, 2010 at 07:21:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  easy to understand (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dithered

      Step 1 - get a job like mine, where you have to try and compete for software-consulting contracts against offshore-centric companies

      Step 2 - be told time after time by US customers that they can get talent cheaper offshore, and slash rates

      Step 3 - realize that the more programmers there are offshore, the harder it gets to keep the people who work with you.

      Step 4 - find that you're having regular phone-conferences at 10pm to be able to do technical architecture education/reviews with teams based in, say, Sri Lanka.

      Then you start to realize that this is all about cutting salaries for US software-talent by inflating supply.

      Step 5 - see the gleaming Porsche 911 outside the client's office to realize that s/he's profiting handsomely from this offshoring.

      Still a good idea? Let's see how it feels when your job disappears. It's not tech support - they specifically mention

      Enterprise Java (Java EE) programming

      .

      JavaEE is the powerhouse behind Wall St, supply-chain, e-commerce etc. etc. No flame wars please - there are other important s/w tools etc., but they DO mention Java specifically.

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