3.05.2004

Tonight's "All Things Considered" on NPR had 2 very interesting reports on Friday (3/05)that we think you ought to take a listen to (scroll to about half way down):

U.S. Jobs Creation Far Below Expectations... particularly the part where David Weise (sp?) states that the things have changed for Corporations who "don't want employees... Welcome to 'Just-In-Time-Employment'"

Trade Groups to Fight Anti-Outsourcing Legislation... basically the aforementioned Corporations don't want legislation to rain on their cheap labor parade. They have the money and connections to finance a fight and buy it outright if need be. This is why WE must be heard: by writing your representatives, local and national, and voting.

From NPR's "All Things Considered" on Friday (3/05), here are audio links to 2 stories we think you should listen to (warning: this will launch some audio program)...

Report: U.S. Jobs Creation Far Below Expectations
"They (corporations) don't want employees... Welcome to just in time employment"

Trade Groups to Fight Anti-Outsourcing Legislation

Lawmakers Introduce Anti-Outsourcing Bill eWeek.com (3/05)
"The Defending American Jobs Act of 2004, sponsored by more than 50 legislators, proposes to cut federal funding from companies that lay off workers at higher rates in the U.S. than abroad. The legislation would also require companies that apply for federal grants and loans to declare the salaries of employees in the U.S. and abroad, said Joel Barkin, spokesman for Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the bill's principle sponsor.

Barkin pointed to Motorola as an example of one such company: "Motorola since 2001 has laid off 43,000 workers and invested $3.4 billion into China while receiving 190 million" in federal funding."

Want to see this morning's Senate Democratic Policy Committee's hearing on Outsourcing? Go to CSpan.org and it's currently listed under "Latest Video" on their homepage. 2 hours long but worth your time (requires RealOne player).

The hearing was chaired by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), and his web site has some interesting stuff like this nifty fact:

"According to FY2005 budget documents, as recently as 1943, U.S. corporations provided nearly 40% of total U.S. tax revenues, but now pay about 7%. One tax expert has estimated that, on the average, large U.S. corporations today are paying an effective tax rate of 15%, less than half the 35% corporate rate in the tax code. Recently released data also shows that, in 2001, about half of all foreign profits of U.S. corporations were in tax havens."

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee is on C-Span right now discussing the Outsourcing of American Jobs. Why are you not watching C-Span?

3.04.2004

Sharing of info gets attention SFGate.com (2/29)
"In California, two bills have been introduced that would impose new safeguards for sensitive consumer data exported overseas. At the federal level, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., is demanding that regulatory agencies ensure that the outsourcing trend not undermine U.S. citizens' privacy rights.

All these moves are a direct response to my reporting late last year that a clerical worker in Pakistan had threatened to post confidential records of patients at UC San Francisco Medical Center on the Internet unless she received more money.

The worker, Lubna Baloch, had received the patient files as part of a long chain of outsourced subcontractors hired to transcribe notes dictated by UCSF doctors. She backed up her threat by including two actual patient files with her e-mail to hospital officials.

Baloch promised to destroy the medical records -- it's unknown if she ever did -- after another subcontractor in the chain paid her off."

Hilarious.

The Center For Public Integrity Check 'em out.

Kerry should make an issue of trade Boston.com (3/04)

This article is strongly recommended and the author offers some interesting solutions (though he makes a silly observation, noting that by 2040 China & India will be as "wealthy" as we are so their advantage will disappear... gee that's only 36 years, we're wealthy enough to wait that long, aren't you?)

Via Atrios:
President George Bush and the Gilded Age Glocom.com (3/01)
"At Harvard Business School, thirty years ago, George Bush was a student of mine. I still vividly remember him. In my class, he declared that "people are poor because they are lazy." He was opposed to labor unions, social security, environmental protection, Medicare, and public schools. To him, the antitrust watch dog, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Securities Exchange Commission were unnecessary hindrances to "free market competition." To him, Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal was "socialism"... President Bush and his brain, Karl Rove, are leading a radical revolution of destroying all the democratic political, social, judiciary, and economic institutions that both Democrats and moderate Republicans had built together since Roosevelt's New Deal.

In June 2003, Bill Moyers said that "Karl Rove has modeled the Bush presidency on that of William Mckinley (1897-1901) and modeled himself on Mark Hanna, the man who virtually manufactured McKinley. Mark Hanna saw to it that Washington was ruled by business, railroads, and public utility corporations."

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: welcome to the 19th century! (There's plenty in the article about the widening income gap between the haves and have-nots)

3.03.2004

US agency helps Indian firms bag outsourcing contracts ZDNetIndia.com (3/03)
...(The) General Service Administration (GSA), a US government agency is helping IT companies promoted by Indians in the US to get contracts from the federal govenment agencies and counties. CellExchange Inc, the US-headquartered real-time management and security solutions provider promoted by Indians is one such company which has bagged a five-year contract from the US Federal government agencies like Navy and Jacksonvile county.

...SNIP...

CellExchange, which kept the implementation part to its US employees, has moved the basic development works including developing, designing of frameworks and tools to its Hyderabad centre.

Your tax dollars at work.

Law firm cuts rates by outsourcing to India TwinCities.com (3/03)

More on Intellevate and the offshoring of Paralegal support. Hmmm, maybe I should re-think my opposition to caps on damage awards...

An Unseen Peril of Outsourcing BusinessWeek.com (3/03)
"All the knowledge about how to do things had moved over to India." The investor's withdrawal scuttled the former employees' proposed deal to acquire AM's products business did so because he saw that outsourcing had essentially stripped the concern of perhaps the most important asset of them all -- its knowledge."

A story of what can go wrong when you offshore (and, therefore, lose) your "institutional knowledge"... oh, cry me a river. Serves them right.

Burnsville yarn plant closing; 163 workers to get pink slips Citizen-Times.com (3/01)
"Following is a list of major closings or layoffs at Western North Carolina manufacturers announced since January 2003... (does not include all manufacturing closings or layoffs.)"

This is a truly scary story: you have to see the list to believe it and I strongly encourage you to do so. These are real jobs, they are real workers and the US is just not producing jobs fast enough to help these folks.

Found this on TechsUnite*, a yahoo! group, but can't find any independent confirmation. If you have anymore info, please send it along!
Rally Against Offshoring Friday March 5 on Capitol Hill
Press Briefing and Rally
Sponsored by the Democratic Policy Committee
Friday March 5, 2004
12:00 Noon
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Room 106
1st and C Streets, NE
Washington, D.C.

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is the principal coordinator of the
event. The CWA Legislative Office is working on T-Shirts and signs
for the event. We would like to have a considerable turnout as this
issue is a very important issue that affects us all.

Questions can be addressed to:
Alfonso M. Pollard
Legislative Representative
Communications Workers of America
501 Third Street, NW 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20001
202-434-1315 (O)
202-434-1318 (Fax)

(*We are not vouching for this group: as always judge for yourself, the OA only provides the link, but if you like them tell them we sent you their way!)

HA HA HA! From the "No One Is Safe" File:
Intellevate They Outsource Paralegals & Legal services!!
"Intellevate India offers services for law firms, corporate legal departments, and other businesses... assures its clients that all employees will be motivated, educated, and speak fluent English..."

Here are some of the services they offer: Patent & Trademaker Paralegal Functions; Docketing Functions; Patent Engineering Research among others!

And just when you thought it couldn't get worse... Do you get it now? No job is safe! HILARIOUS!

3.02.2004

Out of the mouths of not-so-babes. TalkingPointsMemo.com (3/02)
"If the Democratic policies had been pursued over the last two or three years, the kind of tax increases that both Kerry and Edwards have talked about, we would not have had the kind of job growth that we've had." -- Dick Cheney

Once again Josh Marshall knocks it out of the park as he points out the problems with Cheney's assertions. We can't do better, so we're not gonna try. Read for yourself.

This was forwarded to me recently:

On February 25 the Comptroller General of the GAO (the General Accounting Office) hosted Jodie Allen, managing editor of US News and World Report, as one in a series of discussions on "Conversations on 21st Century Challenges". She spoke for about a half an hour on the outsourcing trend, and how the conventional wisdom about free trade has yet to catch up to the current realities.

Allen noted that jobs have moved across borders for decades but that, this time, the jobs being lost are the high-tech jobs that were intended to replace the lost "Rust Belt" assembly jobs . What will replace the lost jobs that are now being exported? Have our leaders thought through the changes that lie ahead for our economy? she asked.

"The United States must appreciate that we are in a tumultuous period," she noted pointing to the rapid rise of India's and China's capabilities. She also expressed concern that workers in the US are not sharing in current productivity gains, exacerbating the trend towards a two-tier society, which is not healthy for democracy, which needs a strong middle class.

She mentioned two things in particular.

First, she used the example of Levi's moving its last plants overseas to illustrate how misleading the productivity gains that come out of aggregate statistics really are. Levi's moves all its production overseas, where it makes product for, say, a tenth of US labor costs. It continues to sell the same amount of product (maybe more) at about the same price (finally someone challenges the assumption that consumer prices go down when labor is outsourced – as if Nike and the Gap charge at marginal cost rather than what the market will bear). Now, all that revenue the Levi's Company generates with those sales is attributed to its few remaining US employees - the central office planners, accountants, and managers. So now it looks like the Levi's Corp's productivity is through the roof, but only a few people benefit.

That scene gets repeated over and over and we see that “productivity gains” are illusory and the benefits of the outsourcing go almost exclusively to owners of capital - corporate leaders and substantial shareholders. Almost none goes to workers. The middle and working classes of the developed world are indisputable losers in the current free trade regime.

She also cited an article in the WSJ a few months ago which examined how Walmart is wringing wage concessions from its Chinese contractors who pay individuals something like $10 a month. Her reaction to this was that if American consumers are prostrate on the altar of consumerism that our market machinery systematically depresses the wages of the most impoverished people in the world we should be ashamed of ourselves.

She tied it to Bush policy by mentioning that the current tax reform pushes the burden of taxation onto payrolls and off ownership of capital. Boosting the payroll tax to lower the income tax – taxing work instead of wealth – offers further incentive for companies not to employ Americans. We’re cutting off our middle class, and that can’t be good for our democracy.

Scary stuff eh kids? Keep reading and keep letting folks know what's really happening here because as goes the middle class, so goes America.

3.01.2004

Bank of America creates Indian outsourcing subsidiary ComputerWorld.com (2/18)
Bank of America Corp. is setting up a wholly owned subsidiary in Hyderabad, India, that will process some of its back-office operations.

The Continuum Solutions Pvt. Ltd. subsidiary will have about 500 staffers by the end of this year, with up to 1,000 employees by the middle of next year, the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank announced

If you bank with Bank of America, please print out this article and give it to them when they ask why you're closing your account.

Fighting Offshore ComputerWorld.com (3/01)
"The newly minted Jobs and Trade Network isn't just concerned about sending away programming jobs, of course. Its members want to fight everything from manufacturing jobs going offshore to big-box retailers wiping out family stores. But they see offshoring as the root problem."

Worth keeping an eye on. As always, check them out for yourself.

U.S. jobs take overseas trips: Send the word that the Yanks' (jobs) are coming RockyMountainNews.com (3/01)
The issue strikes a chord in Colorado because the state boasts the highest concentration of tech workers in the nation.

---SNIP---

To be sure, outsourcing doesn't always work. After fielding customer gripes, Dell stopped sending U.S. technical support calls for some corporate computer customers to a call center in India.

Dell customers reportedly complained of language barriers and delays.

Customers complained. Hear that? So the next time you're talking to 'Chad,' 'Jake,' or 'Sally'* ask them where they are and when you find out they aren't in the US, talk to their supervisor and tell them they've lost your business because of offshoring.

(*Actual names used by customer reps that a friend could not understand until she complained and was given a number in California)

Mass layoffs set record in January WashingtonTimes.com (2/26)
"There were more mass layoffs in January in the United States than in any previous January for the nine-years that such records have been kept."

Hey, there's always more room on the unemployment line! It may take a while, and you may lose your benefits and have to work at Wal-Mart, but at least the Bush Administration is keeping us safe from the scourge of gay marriage!

“The issue in 2004 is not if gays marry. The issue is not who you go to bed with. The issue is whether either of you have a job when you get up in the morning.”
     - the Rev. Al Sharpton

The New Global Job Shift BusinessWeek.com (Cover Story, Feb 3, 2003: Registration required)
Outsourcing experts say the big job migration has just begun. "This trend is just starting to crystallize now because every chief information officer's top agenda item is to cut budget," says Gartner's Karamouzis...

...Karamouzis expects 40% of America's top 1,000 companies will at least have an overseas pilot project under way within two years. The really big offshore push won't be until 2010 or so, she predicts, when global white-collar sourcing practices are standardized...

The truth is, the rise of the global knowledge industry is so recent that most economists haven't begun to fathom the implications. For developing nations, the big beneficiaries will be those offering the speediest and cheapest telecom links, investor-friendly policies, and ample college grads. In the West, it's far less clear who will be the big winners and losers. But we'll soon find out."

Things that make you go "hmmmmm..." (We've received some requests for this article, thus its appearance)

From our "Isn't It Ironic" file: Anyone notice that the mandatory blog*spot ads are now all for Outsourcing & Offshoring?

2.29.2004

Thomas Friedman makes my teeth hurt This Modern World (2/26)
I'd been working on my analysis & retort to Thomas Friendman's Über-silly article "What Goes Around..." in the New York Times the other day, but Tom Tomorrow and some readers of the Times beat me to it.

"If Thomas L. Friedman, in touring a call center in Bangalore, India, had looked inside those American-brand computers and telephones, he would have probably found labels saying "made in China" (or the Philippines or Taiwan, name your preferred off-shore place)."

What more can I add to that?

Job Losses Pit CNN's Dobbs Against Old Pals Wall Street Journal (2/26)
"It's really one of the most dramatic shifts of attitude and persona that TV has seen," says David Bernknopf, a media strategist and former CNN vice president. "Lou was always seen by corporate America as a reliable and generally friendly journalist. Now he has shifted 180 degrees and has clearly dedicated his show to criticizing a lot of the way that corporate America does business."

---snip---

Mr. Dobbs acknowledges that his anti-outsourcing campaign has sparked complaints from some traditional allies. "I've had one or two CEOs suggest that I'm a communist," he says. James K. Glassman, a conservative commentator who sparred with Mr. Dobbs on the air earlier this month, has launched an anti-Dobbs campaign on his Web site. And in India, an economist calls the growing political backlash in the U.S. against outsourcing the "Lou Dobbs effect."

I never thought I would say this (since I love to "torture" Lou via Atrios), but please watch Lou's show on CNN and let him know how much you appreciate his efforts (and tell him the Outsourced American sent you!).

The Gospel of Supply-Side Jesus From the indispensable Buzzflash.com! A must read!

And We, the People, continue to speak...
Outsourcing weakens U.S. StatesmanJournal.com (2/29)
"The measure of the U.S. economy is not Wall Street and the greedy investor class, it is the financial well-being of all U.S. citizens. A jobless recovery is no recovery at all."

We couldn't have said it better ourselves! This guy now can't believe he voted for Bush, but we can't believe anyone ever did and we pray you won't make that mistake again!

the Outsourced American (OA) has received some comments to the effect that "Indians are evil!" and we want to state that we do NOT subscribe to this point of view: Indian businessmen are simply taking advantage of a business situation and their workers are simply trying to provide a better life for their families.

If anyone is "evil" in this situation, it is American businessmen that would rather put their workers -members of their communities who have worked hard to help them build/grow/sustain their businesses- out of work so that management can have larger bonuses or greater returns on their stock options.

The OA NEVER blames Indians, the Chinese, or people in other countries that simply want a job; we are NOT anti-immigration (immigration has made this country great); and we are not racist and have no tolerance for those that are.

The OA can be black, white, asian, or even, believe it or not, Indian.

The OA may admits that we present a point of view - we have a message that offshoring jobs is wrong because it is done for the wrong reasons and weakens America as a whole- but you must think for yourself: we encourage you to collect information from a variety of sources and never simply trust one place: that will get you in nothing but trouble (especially if it is FOX News which is right-wing propaganda).

Battle over outsourcing heats up ContraCostaTimes.com (2/29)
"'It's the political season, and it's no surprise that opponents of the administration would jump on' Mankiw's comments, the Fed's McTeer said in his speech. He called the movement of jobs abroad part of a 'creative destruction' process that ultimately benefits the U.S. economy.

Uh, yeah: folks are losing their jobs just as a political statement? 'Creative destruction' sounds an awful lot like 'Friendly Fire' doesn't it? Very, very Orwellian.

I don't know if this a joke or not, but it is Hilarious...
Bangalore or bust? The Outsourcing of Journalists SignOnSanDiego.com (2/29)

"In October, researchers at the University of California Berkeley predicted that as many as 14 million white-collar U.S. jobs could be outsourced to foreign countries in the next 10 years. Among the outsourcing leaders: 3Com, Aetna, AT&T, Citigroup, Earthlink, Gateway, Sprint, Verizon and Yahoo.

And earlier this month, the Reuters financial news agency announced plans to hire a reporting team to work alongside its existing data-entry operation in India. Initially, the Indian journalists will report on 3,000 small and medium-sized companies in the United States.

David Schlesinger, Reuters' global managing editor, told The Independent, "We will still have journalists elsewhere doing the value-added stuff. This will free up journalists in the West for value-added, such as interviewing."

Western journalists rejoice: You will soon be considered, "value added."

HILARIOUS! Always more room in the unemployment line! See you there!