Job outsourcing good for America

by on February 12th, 2004

Meet the United States’ newest faux victim in its long line of faux victims – the American programmer and information technology employee. Ever since this month’s Wired Magazine placed an attractive Indian female on the cover along with the words “Kiss Your Cubicle Goodbye,” the idea that American high tech workers are facing desolation as more and more of their jobs are outsourced to Indian “IT Farms,” has been granted a degree of undeserved legitimacy. Expect to hear more and more about this as the year progresses and millions of more Indian workers and American businesses benefit from these cost saving initiatives.

In fact, I know some of those facing this desolation. My old company recently laid off a significant number of engineers and replaced the team with an Indian outsourcing company at 25% of the cost. And while there is undoubtedly a short-term discomfort with any layoff, the word is, almost all of those employees have found new and improved employment.

Just like Mexican workers who come to the United States to “steal our jobs,” the cost savings afforded to American businesses make us stronger, freeing up American capital and talent to create opportunities that are ever more interesting for all of us. There are currently a billion people in India and a billion more in China who will continue to “steal” our jobs. I wish there were a trillion of them.

At the dawn of the computer age, many intelligent people preached gloom and doom; altruistically warning us to beware of a future race of supercomputers which would obsolete human beings and drive the entire world’s wealth into the fewer and fewer hands. This notion was (and remains) derived from Marxist economic theory which states that the end game of capitalism is a greater concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands while every day, more and more people are left by the wayside. That millions of people still cling to this theory is pure blasphemy to economic reality. Rather than being left by the wayside, millions are getting in on this good action ($).

The skeptics preached a similar doom about industrial machinery replacing farm labor. Raise your hand if you would rather be tilling the soil right now or reading this column.

Trade and new technology has always freed us up to lead more and more interesting lives. In the case of Indian engineers working for less, from an economic perspective, this is the equivalent of discovering a new super computer that can produce more output using fewer resource inputs.

Throughout history, there have been certain subversive individuals chiefly responsible for creating, cultivating and finally manipulating particular groups of people to achieve their own ends – and one of the most effective tools for cultivating masses behind a would-be dictator’s cause is to paint that person as a victim. A victim of “the system,” a victim of “race,” of “the Jews,” of “the almighty dollar,” of “religious persecution,” of “technology,” of your “parents,” of “men,” of “gun manufacturers,” “a fast food culture,” ad nauseam.

This latest uproar over Asian labor simply needs to be identified for what it is. The manipulators desire to curb the individuality out of some of the most individualistic members of the new economy – the computer geeks. I am not falling for it.

This nonsense will eventually cease. I look forward to seeing this culture of victimization become the final victim.

Michael Hussey