When you think of it in relative terms–when you take a 10,000-foot view and consider the amount of suffering caused compared to the greater good it has imparted, outsourcing is most definitely good for the human race.
Job loss hardships in the United States attributable to outsourcing are negated by the improvements in quality of life, standard of living and overall happiness for those workers in other countries who have been laboring in these formerly American worker positions.
C-level executives who take a world view approach have never been surer of outsourcing’s benevolent qualities for the world as a whole. It would be a truly altruistic notion and indicative of the regard they have for workers and humanity worldwide save for the fact it is not true.
If you can find someone who will tell me that outsourcing was born of these premises and not of greed for as much profit possible, I’d like to go on safari with them as they would appear to me as possessing a knack for exploring adventure fantasies.
Now that the blue collar ranks have been ravaged to the point that some say is beyond repair, CEOs have their sights set on the formerly untouchable, white collar set.
With current investor demands on stock prices being exerted by baby boomers fortunate enough to be able to retire and making one last push for yields on their 401k’s before they do so, the C-Suite has nowhere else to go to slash jobs here in order to satisfy the demand.
That is correct.
One of the largest expected areas of growth in the outsourcing business is expected to come from white collar job sources. I’m not going to waste precious space here at hittingthesweetspot citing studies and statistics to back this up; Google “white collar outsourcing growth” and see for yourself. Besides, budgets, statistics and spreadsheet data in general, when it comes to supporting a position or viewpoint one way or the other, can usually be manipulated, revised and biased to support your way of thinking.
However, polls can be fun when kept in an entertainment only context and not meant to deliver conclusive evidence one way or the other for all concerned, so I’ll keep the one on my home page here at bobskelley.com relating to outsourcing and tariffs, up for a while (for my entertainment, if no one else’s).
People can still get pretty emotional when they talk about outsourcing or offshoring—take your pick of word.
If the C-Suite was interested in anything other than maximizing profits we would see them taking more responsibility and trying to help with the overall poor infrastructure and impoverished conditions in countries like India where the practice now has deep roots.
But acts like this would imply a social conscience and the motivation for lofty stock prices has no other to rival it.
The recent country-wide blackouts in India were widely reported, but have stolen to the background along with so much of yesterday’s old news.
One of the things in the story that didn’t get reported, an angle that wasn’t taken by mainstream news media and journalists (I loathe using that word as true journalists are not employed by these outfits), was the fact that during the blackouts companies who have large outsourcing facilities and backup generators, never lost power.
How is that helping the greater good of the rest of the inhabitants of India?
It’s helping line the greater pockets here of those in the C-Suite who maintain these facilities for their respective companies, though. No amount of adventure fantasizing can dispute this.
And don’t get me started on pollution to the environment contributions, the “free of OSHA watchdog,” less than ideal working conditions and substandard wages (relative to what American workers receive for doing these jobs), that are part of the equation that must be factored in to any legitimate, unbiased discussion on outsourcing’s being good overall for its practitioners.
Offshoring won’t go away or start to lose its luster until either tariffs are imposed for companies who outsource (don’t hold your breath) or workers in these countries begin to recognize just how exploited they are in the name of profit.
Until either of these developments come to fruition, workers in India and other vestibule countries of offshoring will continue one of the dirty little secrets of the practice also not reported, but acknowledged: high rates of turnover among the workforce. Workers there will continue to sell their services to the highest bidder.
The irony here is that although variation may be the enemy of quality in these facilities, the fact that workforces in these facilities typically have high levels of turnover suggests that the products and services produced therein will only ever be good enough.
So yes, outsourcing is good…good enough for the power brokers.