3.25.2004

Facing the challenges of a global work force: Outsourcing the future? Last of a series Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (3/24)

"The average starting pay for an electrical engineering graduate from Carnegie Mellon University is $56,000. On the other side of the globe, the starting pay for a graduate with the same degree from the Indian Institute of Technology is $10,000.

A decade ago, those two highly educated young people would rarely have competed for the same job. Today, the Internet and cheap telecommunications costs have changed all that."

You call that competition? No wonder the Pirates have sucked for so long if this is what passes for 'competition' in Pittsburgh (and before we get the hate mail, some of us are from Pittsburgh)

[snip]

"The trend is in its early stages, but it's already raising questions for policy leaders about how to make U.S. knowledge and service workers more competitive, and how to help those who lose their jobs make the transition to new careers."

Well, if we had universal, or single-payer, healthcare maybe we could be more competitive.

"Several proposals are now circulating for how to ease the dislocation caused by outsourcing.

One is wage insurance, a government-funded program that would pay a worker a share of the difference between an old job and a new one if the new job's wages are lower. Another idea is subsidizing health insurance to ease the burden during unemployment.

Brandeis University Professor Robert Reich, former secretary of labor in the Clinton Administration, supports both wage insurance and portable health care benefits. He also says that job training needs to be easily accessible and the government needs to provide tax cuts to middle-class people rather than the wealthy. Middle-class families are the ones whose extra spending would best stimulate the economy, he says.

Another idea getting attention from both the Democratic and Republican parties in this election year is expanding the existing Trade Adjustment Assistance Act to cover software and service workers.

The trade adjustment law provides unemployment benefits and tuition aid for manufacturing workers who can prove their jobs were lost because of foreign competition."

Lots more, go check the entire series out for yourself!

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