6.02.2004

Yes, we also saw Thomas "Hey, at least my job isn't going anywhere" Friedman on the Daily Show. What a tool.

No, we're not gonna push his show on Outsourcing tomorrow night. We have little or no use for him or his work.

From the "this still makes us sick" file
True this happened back during the 2000 election but it is still appalling...

Bush looked out over the well-dressed audience and declared it an impressive gathering of the "have and have-mores."

"Some people call you the elite, I call you my base," he said.

So much for that down-homey regular-guy persona he can barely pull off. What a wanker.

Why do we mention this? Because apparently it is included in Fahrenheit 911 which is opening June 25th and we can't wait!

Manufacturing job losses to continue, says new study The Manufacturer.com (6/2004)

he drop in manufacturing jobs in the United States isn’t likely to slow down soon, according to a study released by the nonprofit organization The Conference Board in May.
The drop in manufacturing jobs in the United States isn’t likely to slow down soon, according to a study released by the nonprofit organization The Conference Board in May.

[snip]

"While job destruction and job creation are part of the regular fabric of economic activity year in and year out, manufacturing is drawing attention because job losses remain high and are not being made up by greater job creation in expansions," said Dr. Robert McGuckin, author of the study and director of economic research at The Conference Board, in a statement.

[snip]

However, not all manufacturing job losses are due to outsourcing, offshoring and moving production abroad, says the study. Some involve temporary layoffs and permanent reallocations from one industry to another in response to shifts in consumer demand, or improvements in technology.

So if job losses are to be expected, why get rid of those jobs that aren't permanently 'destroyed' or 'reallocated' with offshoring? Why? Because there's money in offshoring and if you aren't on top then you don't matter.

A Sleeping Class: Young Americans fight for every cause but their own. Wake up, already. The Village Voice (6/01)

Frustratingly few young people seem to recognize their shared interests across the lines of class, education level, and ethnicity. Now, in this election season, a few people have stopped hitting the snooze button. Josh Green, a 25year-old Harvard grad student, co-founded the 2020 Democrats in 2002. His 1,500-member group is working on long-range policy ideas while raising generational consciousness. "We've started to wake up to the fact that the baby boom generation is saddling us with an extraordinary set of problems," he says. "They're enriching themselves with tax cuts, and if we don't make our voices heard, we're literally going to be paying the bills. I would say that besides class and race, there's starting to be a generational cleavage in this country."

The numbers back Josh up. Tuition at public colleges is up 47 percent since 1993, and the increase is landing disproportionately on students' shoulders. Grants used to make up half of all school aid; now they make up just over 40 percent. The average undergraduate debt in 2002 was $18,900. Right now, the picture is getting yet worse: Republican lawmakers are talking about saving money by eliminating the low guaranteed rates students lock in when they consolidate unbearable debt. Variable rates put borrowers at the mercy of the market, and by some estimates individuals would pay $5,484 more in interest on a typical $17,000 loan. Hitting seniors in their pockets like that would cause a revolt.

And now where are those nice middle-class jobs the college educated were expecting? You know, don't you...

6.01.2004

The Selling of America
DigitalJournal.com (5/30)

Fans of political irony must have had a good time in late 2003 when Lou Dobbs, host of CNN's business show Moneyline, went on a rampage.

Dobbs, a flint-eyed patriot and a high-minded capitalist, took aim at those U.S. companies that had outsourced jobs overseas. Outraged, he asked viewers to help him create a rogues' gallery, which he called "Exporting America," and added to it every night for a week. By the end, he had listed more than 200 businesses -- some of them very large -- which had used "offshoring" as a business tactic. CNN then posted the list on its website.

[snip]

He touched a nerve. His populist ranting was rewarded with a flood of supportive letters, many of which CNN published on its website.

Dobbs' list is sobering because it shows how enthusiastically the high-tech sector has embraced the concept of outsourcing, especially offshoring. Handily, a third of the businesses Dobbs listed are exclusively high-tech operations; Dobbs doesn't break the offshoring statistics down, but many of the non-tech companies on the list got there because the divisions they chose to send offshore are either new technology divisions, or somehow handled through new technology.

The political irony lies in the fact that Dobbs, a tub-thumping right-winger brandishing a Harvard economics degree from his bully pulpit at CNN, was declaiming against the export of jobs, and thereby aligning himself with his traditional opponents: Democrats, unions, East-Coast intellectuals, anti globalists and left-leaning political science professors.

And thanks to this we officially have changed our opinion of Dobbs wholesale and now have a crush on him.
While Dobbs has been careful to limit his criticism to jobs shipped outside the country, he has not really done much to separate offshoring from its benign twin, "outsourcing," meaning the practice of contracting out labour within the United States. The problem lies in the fact that the idea and the motives behind each practice are identical: To cut off the corporate endeavour from the mainstream and ship it to a place where it can be done more cheaply. The only difference between outsourcing and offshoring is how much farther afield a company is willing to look to find cut-rate labour.

Uh, yeah... we've been meaning to discuss this with Lou (or 'Sweet Lou' as we refer to him), but we're still sorta in our honeymoon phase. Can't you leave us with our illusions for a little while longer?

But back to the "evil"...
The underlying message, tricked out in management jargon, is clear: Forrester will tell you exactly how to restructure your business so that it can be chopped into a series of discrete operations that can then be cut loose and farmed out.

"Layoffs" is not a word you'll hear in discussions of outsourcing, despite the fact that layoffs lie at the heart of the process. In fact, IBM was recently embarrassed when an internal memo was leaked to the Wall Street Journal, which sought to educate Big Blue managers on how to speak to employees who were about to be laid off. The managers were not, for instance, ever to use the words "layoff" or "offshore" or even "onshore."

As always, check it our for yourselves!