4.02.2004

We know it's not about outsourcing or offshoring but the flash movie 'Bush Knew' over at TakeBackTheMedia.com is an amazing timeline of what happened and what Bush didn't do on September 11th.

Please take a look.

U.S. Firms Keep Billions Overseas The Washington Post via Yahoo!News (4/2)

With sales up 5 percent last year, Merck & Co. was not satisfied: To hold down costs, the pharmaceutical giant shed 3,200 jobs as 2003 drew to a close, and announced that an additional 1,200 positions would go this year.

But Merck's picture abroad was quite different. It made 1,300 new hires in 2003 outside the United States, on top of the 900 brought on the year before. Company documents indicate that Merck had a cumulative $18 billion in foreign earnings untaxed by the end of last year, $3 billion more than in 2002. And the company said it had no intention of ever paying U.S. taxes on that burgeoning sum.

"Foreign earnings of $18.0 billion . . . have been retained indefinitely by subsidiary companies for reinvestment," Merck's annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said. "No provision is made for income taxes that would be payable upon distribution of such earning."

[snip]

By the end of its 2003 fiscal year, Hewlett-Packard Co. had "indefinitely" deferred taxation on $14.4 billion of foreign earnings, according to SEC filings, a move that helped lower its effective tax rate from the statutory corporate income tax rate of 35 percent to 12 percent.

Domestic employment at Intel Corp. slipped by more than 3,300 people last year, but it grew by more than 4,300 abroad. By the end of 2003, the company had $7 billion in cumulative foreign earnings, $700 million more than it had sheltered in 2002, according to SEC filings. The semiconductor powerhouse stated that it "intends to reinvest these earnings indefinitely in operations outside the U.S."

[snip]

Corporate tax revenue in 2003 fell for the third straight year, to its lowest in a decade. As a percentage of the economy, business taxes last year reached the second-lowest level since the Great Depression.

There's more, especially about John Kerry's tax plan, so go read for yourself: it's worth your time.

4.01.2004

Bush Addresses 8.2 Million Unemployed: 'Get A Job' The Onion (3/31)

Responding to the nation's worst unemployment rate since the Hoover Administration, President Bush addressed the nation's 8.2 million unemployed workers in a televised speech Monday.

"The economy has been on the rebound for months, but 5.6 percent of you are still out of work," Bush said. "Come on, people: Get a job! Don't just sit there hoping that you'll win the lottery. Turn off that boob tube, get off that couch, and start pounding the pavement."

[snip]

"My fellow Americans, don't come crying to me," Bush said. "I've got a job. I go to work every day, whether I feel like it or not. I don't take handouts, and I don't give them. That's a belief my daddy taught me. Now, let's get this show on the road!"

The unemployment rate remains high, in spite of the many tax-cut initiatives the Bush Administration has introduced over the past several years.

"The government can only do so much," Bush said. "How hard can it possibly be to find a job? A friend of mine lost his job when his company went belly-up. Did he bitch and moan about it? Absolutely not. He picked up the phone and started making cold calls, he landed back on his feet, and now he's the chief financial officer of a major petrochemical concern."

[snip

Continued Bush: "I heard McDonald's is hiring. What's wrong with that? Does your fancy degree say you can't work at a Mickey D's? You may not be doing exactly what you want, but at least you'll have the pride of knowing that you're earning your living."

[snip]

"What are you doing listening to this speech when you should be out there looking for work?" Bush asked. "Get a move on! Even my brother has a job. He's no one special, and he's the governor of Florida! If he can do that, you should be able to line up something at your local Wal-Mart."

Ah, The Onion: what would life be without it?

Displaced Workers in Harrisburg, Pa., Area Call Attention to Outsourcing The Miami Herald (4/1)

From the AFL-CIO's nationwide "Show us the Jobs" bus tour...

Since January 2001, the United States has lost 544,000 information-related jobs, including 17,600 in Pennsylvania, according to the tour organizers. Some of the 51 tour participants -- outsourcing victims who represented each state and the District of Columbia -- were less forgiving than Smith with the corporations that shed their jobs.

When Pat Fluno was laid off at Siemens AG in Orlando, Fla., the 54-year-old data consultant suffered what she described as the ultimate indignity -- training her replacement from India.

"The visa holder that replaced me sat at my old desk, answered my voice mail and worked on the same systems and programs that I used to work on -- but for one-third the cost," Fluno said. "Training my replacement was the most humiliating experience of my life. No American should be forced to train their foreign replacement one day, and file for unemployment the next."

Fluno found a new job six months ago, but for less pay and fewer benefits than she received at Siemens.

"The so-called experts, quoted by the media, tell people like me to update my skills to become more marketable," Fluno said. "I hold a master's degree and the highest level of certification that I can for my programming specialty. My job still exists, but my higher salary does not. No training class can help me find a job when the bottom line is cheap labor."

And there it is: the bottom line is cheap labor. They don't have to pay Americans when they can get cheap labor overseas and until we take steps to level the playing field we won't be able to compete.

And what steps are those? Well you gotta spend money to make money and until we actually start investing in our people through education and healthcare (among other areas) and enforcing trade rules we'll never be able to compete and this will just remain a race to the bottom.
"I think what we're up against is this tremendous spin machine that the [Bush] administration has," Gittlen said. "One part says, 'This economy's growing, it's great. We just haven't seen the jobs yet.' The second part of it is, 'Just have faith and jobs will appear.' "

But given that we have no faith in George Bush we don't feel like we can take that chance.

Hill GOP Seeks to Limit 'Offshoring' Fallout The Washington Post (4/1)

The Bush administration this week began responding to the movement of jobs overseas, outlining how to make the U.S. labor force more competitive against international rivals. But some congressional Republicans -- unsatisfied with what they say is an overly complex, tepid answer -- are planning their own assault on "offshoring."

"Republicans have to have a better response because the Democrats are going to hit this until the horse drops," Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said. "So far, we've had an academic response to an emotional issue, and that never serves you in politics."

[snip]

This spring and summer, Republicans plan to launch a marathon, eight-week "Hire Our Workers" debate in the House. Its goal is to push votes on health care, regulatory relief, job training and education, tax cuts, energy production, lawsuit curbs, research and development incentives and "trade fairness and opportunity."

Oh goody: Republicans in the House and we know what that means don't we folks? Tom "the Hammer/Exterminator" DeLay. We're going to lay it out for you folks: we loathe DeLay and as the man who currently controls the agenda in House and is one of the figures behind the K Street Project we don't believe for a minute that he (especially as somone who uttered the words "It has never been proven that air toxics are hazardous to people") or the Republicans under his control, would ever do anything to help anyone who isn't wealthy.

AOL sets up software center in India CNN (3/31)

U.S. Internet giant America Online, plagued by subscriber losses and American job cuts, is stepping into the software development market where many big companies come to save money: India.

Oy. Is it time for them to take the "America" out of their name? Well screw them, if you have broadband what the hell do you need to shell out another $20 for their useless corporate content for?

(And kudos to Richard a faithful reader who loves sending in articles!)

Bush Can't Provide Proof To Support His Jobs Claim MISLEADER.org (3/31)

As President Bush tours the country touting his economic record, he is trying to shift the blame for the more than 2 million jobs that have been lost since he took office. Specifically, he has repeatedly claimed, "over a million jobs were lost because of the [9/11] attack". But a new report shows that there are no statistics to support this assertion, and that the White House itself cannot provide any evidence that this is the case.

According to the Bureau of National Affairs, "White House officials were unable to point to any specific information that supports a direct link between massive job losses and the attacks". While one White House spokeswoman claimed that the President's statements were "supported by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)," that agency's associate commissioner "said BLS has not compiled any specific study on jobs which were lost specifically because of the Sept. 11 attacks."

We love Misleader.org and the folks at MoveOn.org and we hope you do too.

3.31.2004

Are you listening to Air America? Well, you really should be!

Chicago: WNTD 950 am
Los Angeles: KBLA 1580 am
Minneapolis: WMNN 1330 am
New York: WLIB 1190 am
Portland, OR: KPOJ 620 am
Inland Empire: KCAA 1050 am
XM

Or listen to their streaming broadcasts! Do it, do it NOW! ("The O'Franken Factor"! Hilarious!)

Offshoring study misses important issues IEEE-USA Press Release (3/31)

An offshoring study touting benefits to the United States on outsourcing high-wage jobs to lower-cost countries fails to address a number of important issues, according to IEEE-USA.

[snip]

"Industry-sponsored reports such as this tend to confirm what we already know – that offshoring helps the corporate bottom line," IEEE-USA President John Steadman said. "But they invariably fail to address the implications of offshoring on the long-term technological competitiveness and security of the United States."

[snip]

The unemployment rate for U.S. computer scientists and systems analysts reached an all-time high of 5.2 percent in 2003. The joblessness rate for electrical and electronics engineers rose by 47.6 percent in 2003 to a record 6.2 percent, compared to 4.2 percent in 2002.

The study's conclusions are based on two significant assumptions that bear close scrutiny. First, it assumes the U.S. economy will benefit through reinvestment of the savings realized by U.S. corporations that offshore their software and IT services. This assumption ignores the likelihood that many companies will invest those savings into their own overseas operations, or divert such savings into windfalls that benefit only corporate executives and stockholders. It is reasonable to believe that a significant percentage of those savings will flow to other countries, and that many of the new jobs will be created overseas.

The study also assumes that the new jobs are essentially equal to those being destroyed, and that replacing offshored, high-tech jobs with other support and service jobs will not impact U.S. ability to maintain a technological edge in an increasingly competitive global economy.

Repsonse to Peter Cochrane's Uncommon Sense: Outsourcing and offshoring Silicon.com (m/dd)

The migration of jobs from the West to poorer countries is closely related to the lowering of working standards. As union pressure forced up working conditions in the West, the cost rose accordingly. An easy option was to move these jobs to economies that don't have the same level of protection (such as health and safety regulation/minimum wage/paid holidays etc).

I have personally visited factories in China, producing goods for UK companies, that would have been closed down on health and safety grounds in an instant in the UK. If you really want to improve conditions for people in the Third World, the answer is to stop Western countries being allowed to outsource work to countries (or at least companies) that do not have the level of workers rights that are considered acceptable in the West. If this means lower profits/higher prices, then so be it. Companies aren't allowed to gain competitive advantage by flouting regulations for their workers in the UK, so why should the be allowed to do it for workers in the Far East?

Here's the article this poster was responding to Peter Cochrane's Uncommon Sense: Outsourcing and offshoring

USM prof reveals woes of outsourcing The Clarion-Ledger (3/30)

When American CEOs are berated for outsourcing call center jobs to Asia, most simply retort that their companies are chasing cheap labor.

But companies may decide the price of that cheap labor is too high if they read a new book by a University of Southern Mississippi professor who studied the call center industry for eight years.

David Butler's Bottom-line Call Center Management is a rare examination of a job that employs 7 percent of the American work force.

[snip]

"What CEOs don't tell reporters is that outsourcing is still experimental and the experiment may not be working," said Butler, who heads the international economic development doctoral program at the Hattiesburg-based university. "Overseas call centers can cost more in customer goodwill than they save in staff salaries."

Many corporate executives who outsourced call centers to Asia confided to Butler that they are plotting quiet moves back to U.S. soil. They don't want to lose face by admitting errors. But they don't want to lose American clients who resent having customer service calls answered on the other side of the world.

"The current political climate and terrible jobless numbers have made outsourcing a hot-button issue even for white collar professionals," Butler said. "Airlines, brokerage firms, banks and manufacturers need to look at call centers as part of brand imaging. Call centers are the continuous bond customers have with companies. Call center staff calm panicky customers with detailed advice. They help them choose new products. They create empathy."

[snip]

Much of Butler's data is anecdotal because the U.S. Commerce Department doesn't track call center employment statistics. The jobs are lumped into larger categories like banking.

[snip]

"It's elitist for economists to be dismissive of jobs lost from call center outsourcing," Freeland said. "Ocean Springs went from a big box retail center generating zero jobs to an employer who gave livelihoods to over 700 residents, including displaced workers and former military personnel."

The Jobs of the Future Are a Thing of the Past The Village Voice (3/30)
"And the sad little movement to stop it"? And here we thought we were kinda cute!

You may have read about the outsourcing issue, the great X-factor in American politics today, in cover articles in Time, Wired, Business Week. The numbers can be hard to fix. According to Time, outsourcing to India "accounts for less than 10 percent of the 2.3 million jobs lost in the U.S. over the past three years." Wired, drawing on research from Gartner analysts, says one in 10 U.S. tech jobs will have left by the end of this year.

It is here, in rooms like this one, that the movement against outsourcing is revealed in full metaphoric flower. The media observe the efforts obsessively for signs the timid might soon be joining in torrents. But when the victims get together, they don't know what to say.

We know what to say: NPWA.

It isn't about the middle-class anymore: you've been replaced by the investor-class and it is all about them. Corporations and the wealthy know they have they can do away with all the hard fought liberal, progressive gains of the last 100 years (the 40 hour work week, the minimum wage, workers compensation, the end to child labor, the right to organize, etc.,) and they're going to do it. Outsourcing/offshoring is just one of their tools.

Our first ever competition!

That's right folks, we're looking to come up with a term to describe when you have to train your 'offshore' replacement!

Use the comment feature and let's see what we can come up with!

(Please, do not use any racist or derogatory terms. We're asking nicely and hoping you will respect our wishes).

Snow: Outsourcing Can Help the Economy Yahoo! News (3/31)

Treasury Secretary John Snow says outsourcing of American jobs, a hot issue in the presidential campaign, can help make the economy stronger.

"It's part of trade," Snow said. "It's one aspect of trade, and there can't be any doubt about the fact that trade makes the economy stronger."

[snip]

"You can outsource a lot of activities and get them done just as well, or better, at a lower cost," Snow said during a stop here Monday. "If we can keep the American economy strong and growing and expanding, we'll create lots of

"And I can't wait until they find someone in someone that will do my silly job for less money, freeing me up to go and find an even better job!" He gleefully added "Golly, gee whiz, America sure is great!"
I was struck by the fact coming in this morning, the number of foreign companies that have operations right here, proudly displaying their logos," he said. "America can compete with anybody. What we need to do is not build walls but tear walls down."

No: what we need is universal healthcare which will go a long way to evening the old playing field. Face facts, a lot of the the old rules of economics are out the window in terms of trade and unless we do something to make things even we're all in a lot of trouble.

3.30.2004

Great news! We just heard on NPR that Silicon Valley trade groups say that outsourcing/offshoring will create jobs... in 2008.

We're sure that Visa, Mastercard, your mortgage lender and others will be willing to wait for their money when they hear that, so take a few years off! All will be well.

3.29.2004

The Philadelphia Inquirer Personal Finance Column The Philadelphia Inquirer via The Miami Herald (3/28)

Now this is a fairly horrific story, and we dare anyone to tell us that this is a good thing:

Into Thin Air Fast Company (4/04)

It was Saddam Hussein who broke the news to Myra Bronstein that her job was gone forever.

A 48-year-old senior engineer at WatchMark Corp., a Bellevue, Washington, software company, Bronstein had spent three years running tests and hunting for bugs in the company's software. She knew that things weren't going so well at work; she'd been asked to pull 12- to 18-hour shifts frequently, her boss reiterating that the company's success depended on her "hard work and efforts." So when Bronstein received a brusque email in March 2003 instructing her to come to a 10 a.m. meeting in the boardroom the next day, she began to worry. "No way can that be good," she thought.

Looking for guidance, Bronstein logged on to a Yahoo users' group for WatchMark employees. And there it was, in a post written by "Saddam Hussein": "Here's what's going to happen tomorrow," Bronstein remembers the post read. "For all the quality assurance engineers reading this, your jobs are gone." At that very moment, it said, their replacements were on their way here from India for training. It listed their names, then concluded with sadistic glee: "Make sure on Monday you welcome your replacements with open arms, because your company has chosen them over you."

[snip]

The next morning, a Friday, Bronstein and some 60 others were told that they were being terminated. Some left immediately; others, like Bronstein, were asked to stay on for several weeks to train the new folks. "Our severance and unemployment were contingent on training the replacements," she says. "It was quite explicit." WatchMark's new CEO, John Hansen, says an additional payment beyond the severance was offered to those who stayed on.


Did you read that: their severance and unemployment were contingent on training their replacements! We dare ANYONE to justify that behavior: it's brutal, it's sadistic and it should be illegal.

Since leaving WatchMark (now called WatchMark-Comnitel), Bronstein, who made $76,500 plus bonus, has been out of work, making ends meet with unemployment and by cashing out her 401(k). With both of those gone, she's turned to selling her collection of antique women's compacts on eBay. "It's the difference between hopeful and hopeless," she says. "If you're just laid off, you can tell yourself that the economy swings back and forth, but if it's outsourced offshore, it ain't coming back. It still exists, but it just exists in another place. The IT industry in the United States has gone from being a very high-level, well-paying industry to being very low-paying sweatshop labor, and that's an inexorable trend."

[snip]
Equally dramatic are the displacement, downward mobility, and suffering of the people left behind. So far, at least, that enhanced productivity hasn't translated into jobs at home. Offshoring is steadily eating its way into the educated classes, both in the United States and elsewhere, affecting jobs traditionally considered secure. People whose livelihoods could now be at risk include everyone from IT experts to accountants, medical transcriptionists to customer-service representatives. In IT alone, Gartner estimates that another 500,000 positions in the U.S. may leave by the end of this year; in one scenario, as many as 25% of all IT professional jobs could go overseas by 2008. If just 40% of those people never find another job in their field, that could be more than 1 million whose careers are altered forever.

[snip]

That's the challenge faced by both Roxanna Sieber and Doug Hill every day. They come from different backgrounds--Sieber, 58, was an $11-an-hour keyboarder in Villisca, Iowa, for a company that helped make textbooks, while Hill, 60, worked as a contractor in automotive design at Lear Seating in Dearborn, Michigan, and earned six figures. But both saw their jobs move overseas and neither has found permanent work since. Hill works part-time in the veterans' benefits office of American Indian Health and Family Services; Sieber is unemployed.

"I'm done," says Hill. "I know that. Who's going to hire me? I'm 60. I'm just living one day at a time, and I do a lot of praying." Both Hill and Sieber are philosophical about the offshoring trend, saying that's the way the world works, but they worry about the long-term impact on the middle class. "I believe in free enterprise," says Sieber, "but personally, I think that the government makes it too easy to do it."


Brutal. Absolutely brutal: and, if you're an American, your goverment makes it easy! Hell, they're encouraging it.

Outsourcing of jobs will spark crisis in Britain: Experts Hindustan Times (3/39)

Outsourcing call centre jobs to India has become a major concern for unions in the UK. Now analysts and data protection specialists warn that the "off shoring" is an accident waiting to happen for the UK's financial services industry.

Eamonn Rice, head of financial services Ernst & Young predicts the trend will "inevitably" spark a regulatory crisis at one of the banks or financial services firms that is off shoring call centre or business processing work, which, in turn, will prompt a major rethink of the off shoring phenomenon.

He said: "Given the volume of off shoring that is going on and the risks attached, there will have been a major regulatory failing within five years. The FSA will be keen to respond appropriately, coming down pretty hard on any organisation that allows the carrot of reduced costs to outweigh the regulatory and risk management stick."

"Financial services companies can never be entirely sure that off shore workers are up to speed on UK regulatory requirements. It will be a disaster for the financial services brand involved."

Amid reports that criminal gangs have been trying to bribe employees in Indian call centres to help them commit fraud against customers, Rice said the scandal is likely to involve a failure to handle complaints properly, a breach of confidentiality or mis-selling.

It is also believed that more than half the UK firms that are exporting call centre work to India are understood to be flouting the Data Protection Act, which put them at the risk of unlimited fines, being sued by customers, leading to further harm to their reputation. Information commissioner Richard Thomas has warned that companies would not be able to escape the law by blaming failures on the act’s complexity


Ha Ha, those silly Brits! That sort of stuff could never happen to good old American companies because they have your best interests at heart... don't they?

Rice calls the spate of companies rushing to India as being "cyclical". He said, "We're in a part of the cycle right now when the attractions seem huge. Two things will convince people that actually some of this stuff is better done in the UK. Those will be pressure from customers to bring jobs back onshore as they recognise that service levels are lower, and the potential for regulatory failure. That will create doubt in the minds of UK executives which can only be eradicated by bringing stuff back onshore into a UK regulated environment."

Capital One, the credit card firm, has recently cancelled a deal with India’s largest call centre after Indian workers misled the US card company’s customers with unauthorised offers of credit. Lehman Brothers and Dell have both taken back services to the US following customer dissatisfaction at poor service.


Uh oh, better check that Capital One care, 'cuz we never heard that one!

Tax cuts boost joblessness, encourage outsourcing AJC.com (3/29)

Why, economists ask, is this recovery jobless? No one seems to know. But the answer is right there in the Bush tax acts, which many economists have apparently never read.

Almost any business task can be performed using more labor and less capital or less labor and more capital. We learn in Econ 101 that if government doesn't intervene, business will choose the most efficient alternative. But what if government intervenes? What if it puts its heavy tax thumb on the "more machines, fewer workers" side of the scale?

Answer: Instead of using two workers and one machine to do a given job, business will use two machines and one worker.


Alright, so businesses are encouraged to invest in machinery but what does this have to do with outsourcing?

When a U.S. corporation manufactures in the United States, its income is subject to U.S. tax at a nominal rate of 35 percent. If the same corporation moves those jobs to some other country, it can normally structure the deal to reduce its U.S. taxes to zero. That's right, zero.

What this means is that the standard economists' assumption, "all else being equal," is simply not true. Current U.S. tax rules create a strong artificial incentive to move business offshore. Until recently, the one big disadvantage of doing so was that it was then hard to bring the resulting profits back to the United States. The most recent Bush tax act helped solve this problem by cutting U.S. taxes on the repatriation of offshore profits. In other words, the most recent Bush tax act made these artificial incentives to move business offshore even stronger.


As always: read for yourself and make up your own mind.

3.28.2004

High-paying software jobs being moved abroad Economic Policy Institute (3/24)

"Software jobs, which pay some of the highest wages in America, have fallen sharply since 2000.  These jobs have disappeared despite the fact that software sales to U.S. businesses in 2003 were up 4% over 2000.  Comprehensive data on the number of U.S. software jobs that have moved overseas is hard to come by, but persuasive indirect evidence points towards the significant movement of software jobs to India (the most prominent of many countries to which U.S. software work is being moved)."

[snip]

"Domestic software-related jobs, however measured, have declined significantly in recent years.  U.S. jobs in software-producing industries declined by 128,000 (10%) between 2000 and 2004, while jobs in software occupations shrank by 154,000 (5%) from 2000 to 2002 (the last year data were available).


The story in India is quite different. In February, India's industry association of software and related companies (NASSCOM) published an analysis of recent trends indicating that the professional jobs in India's software export sector rose by 150,000 from 1999 to 2003. Given that 67.7% of its software exports go to the United States, this growth implies that Indian software jobs servicing the U.S. market have increased by roughly 100,000 over the last four years.
 
The NASSCOM report also indicates that its two largest customers abroad are in the banking, financial services, and insurance industry (39% of exports) and in the manufacturing industry (12%).  Both industries have traditionally employed many people to produce software in-house.  Increased movement of work overseas that had been formerly done in-house at these companies may explain why U.S. jobs fell by 154,000 in software occupations but only 81,000 in software-producing industries between 2000 and 2002."

Won't anyone think about the children?

From our "Everyone Needs A Good Laugh" and "Fair Is Fair" Files:

Customer Reviews of Bill Frist's When Every Moment Counts: What You Need to Know About Bioterrorism from the Senate's Only Doctor Amazon.com

"I am troubled that someone would sell a book, trading on their service as a government insider with access to our nation's most valuable intelligence, in order to profit from the suffering that this nation endured on September 11, 2001."

-- Senator Bill Frist, on the Senate floor, speaking of Richard Clarke.

HAHAHAHAHA! HILARIOUS! He may be the Senate's only doctor but, sadly, he's not its only jackass!

By the way, for profit healthcare (where the Frist family fortune is still beingmade) is wrong: healthcare should be a right, not a commodity. Universal Healthcare NOW.

From our "You Can Get Anything on eBay" File:

3D Graphics Development Team eBay

"We were the core team of the world's leading 3D graphics, animation, and rendering system. This system sets the standard by which all others are measured due to our many years of work as a team and individual talents we bring to it. The product of our work has touched the lives of every person who has ever enjoyed a movie, played a computer game, or watched television. If you've ever dabbled with "Warcraft III™" or "Myst™" on your computer or seen "The Matrix™", "Mission Impossible™", "The Last Samurai™" and many, many others on the big screen, then you've seen the work done with our tools.

We are in love with what we do and we are the best people on the planet to do it.

What happened to us is nothing new. Our jobs were offshored because companies need to focus on the bottom line. We feel it is THEIR LOSS, YOUR GAIN. High-tech is really shaken up by offshoring. For us, we've been like a family for more than a decade so we are focusing our energies on keeping our team intact.

Now you have the opportunity to negotiate a contract with the most cohesive and passionate people in the industry. We are ready to go. We have the enthusiasm, imagination and talent that only a proven team of people can bring to a successful product.

Our level of expertise is second to none. We range from software and hardware based 3D renderers to advanced modeling and animation systems, user interface design and implementation, image processing and post production, distributed networking systems, quality assurance, project management, everything you need in your production pipeline and more.

If you are a studio, this is your way to have all your development in-house allowing you to have complete control over your process without depending on third party tools to do things the way you want done.

If you are a VC looking for a team to bring some great idea into fruition, here is you chance to contract the best team one could find."

As of this posting, bidding was only at $260, but there's 4 days and 20 hours left. But you know eBay: everyone waits till the last minute and then tries to get in the lowest bid.

Most U.S. companies plan more outsourcing-survey Reuters (3/26)

"Most U.S. companies plan to outsource more of its back-office functions overseas where labor is cheaper, despite a public relations backlash and weaker prospects for cost savings, according to a survey of 182 companies released on Friday.

About 86 percent of U.S. companies plan to increase the use of offshore outsourcing firms, according to a poll by Chicago-based management consulting firm DiamondCluster International.

But companies have lost the illusion of dramatic cost savings from outsourcing, the survey said, because managing far-flung international operations can be costly and difficult. They expect outsourcing to save only 10 percent to 20 percent of their costs, down sharply from 50 percent two years ago."

Oh, we're so sorry you didn't realize huge the savings by offshoring jobs. Gee did that impact your bonuses? Or your stock options? Serves them right the bastards.

Kerry vows to slow outsourcing of jobs: Plans to scale back corporate tax relief HoustonChronicle.com (3/26)
"But his proposal to end an estimated $12 billion annually in corporate tax relief is certain to stir stiff opposition from some of America's largest multinational companies who are currently enjoying those breaks."

Sounds good to us (yes, there are some breaks for business but you know carrots & sticks).

Outsourcing helps no worker The Arizona Republic (3/28)

"Obviously, locating a manufacturing plant in Mexico, China or any of the Third World countries to make products for the United States violates all of the above criteria. Again, unless you consider human beings as raw material or machines, cutting the cost of their labor is not an economic efficiency. It's the one-sided and brutal use of power.

In most cases, the only reason products can be made outside our country and sold more cheaply here is the huge disparity in wages, which more than makes up for all the trouble corporations and investors go through in order to cut American workers out of the income stream.

And that's the bottom line.

Investors and corporations know they get a triple-barreled benefit from outsourcing work to other countries. First, the workers who lose their jobs are replaced by workers making one-tenth to one-third as much.

Second, workers who lose their jobs enter the labor market and have a depressing effect on workers who still have jobs that can't be exported from this country: construction workers, truck drivers, salesclerks, waiters and so on.

That's why the outsourcing of jobs has hurt not only manufacturing workers, but virtually all who are in the same income class. It's not just the 5 percent of workers who are hurt by globalization, it's 100 percent.

Third, workers who still have manufacturing jobs know that when a corporation threatens to shut down a plant if employees don't behave, like wanting a bigger share of the corporation's profits, the threat is real. Even unionized employees have learned that they have effectively lost all their bargaining power."

Oy. This just gets worse and worse doesn't it?

Those who believe that eventually all workers will benefit from this perversion of international trade - which is based on true economic efficiencies - should read a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (Nov. 13, 2003), under the headline and subheadline: "Behind China's Export Boom, Heated Battle Among Factories; As Wal-Mart, Others Demand Lowest Prices, Managers Scramble to Slash Costs."

It describes how some Chinese workers are making $32 a month, even though the minimum wage is supposedly $56 a month - and they work up to 18-hour days.

The competition is brutal. As the Journal noted: "Buyers are moving aggressively to play one factory against another. 'As things get more competitive, the pressure that comes along with that, yeah, we try to take advantage of it,' says Gary Meyers, a vice president in global procurement at Wal-Mart."

STOP SHOPPING AT WAL-MART!! Please! We're begging you!

Carricaburu: Legislation won't stop outsourcing The Salt Lake Tribue (3/28)

"That Americans persist in viewing themselves as the center of the universe is nowhere more apparent than in the current clamor over the outsourcing of jobs overseas.

The practice justifiably worries U.S. workers. It's hard enough to compete for jobs in a weak labor market without losing positions to India or China.

Recognizing an exploitable vulnerability, politicians have responded. In Congress and some state legislatures, bills have been introduced that would require companies to disclose plans to move jobs overseas, rescind tax incentives awarded companies that send work abroad and prohibit government contracts with companies that export jobs."

[snip]

"Such efforts, however, are reactionary and fail either to understand or to adequately address the problem. The American Electronics Association (AEA) says as much in a report released Wednesday.

AEA acknowledges that people are hurt when high-paying jobs once reserved for Americans move overseas. However, "the magnitude of offshore outsourcing is unknown" it says."

And we agree and this isn't some knee-jerk, protectionist reaction: we're of the opinion that this country is in trouble and things cannot get better without deep structural changes, such as...

"Education is key. "It is not possible for the United States to retain its intellectual and business leadership in the world without improving math and science at the K-12 level," the AEA says.

It recommends increasing federally sponsored scientific research and giving green cards to foreign nationals with advanced degrees to keep their jobs in the United States. Health care, litigation and regulatory costs associated with doing business in the United States also need to fall."

Univeral healthcare: we're all for it and it will go a long way to keeping jobs here competitive.

An interesting article, but it misses a few, subtle things the author misses and we'll be dicussing that, and the evils of 'insourcing' hopefully soon.