Is it fair that American jobs are outsourced to India? (2015)

In America, the debate over outsourcing has raged on for decades. Americans are outraged that their jobs are outsourced overseas; while companies are outraged that they can’t find suitable labor resources at a sustainable rate in America. So, who is right, who is wrong and why?

What goes up must come down
When America loses jobs, it is normally because there are not enough quality people available to do those jobs. Many manufacturing jobs went to China, Honduras, Vietnam and other countries simply because labor was so expensive, unreliable, and temperamental in the United States. Additionally, labor unions made it cost prohibitive to manufacture automobiles in the United States which nearly put many American car manufacturers out of business. For decades there were endless disputes between labor and management which were very disturbing and costly. Many manufacturers decided it would be easier to relocate somewhere where people actually wanted to work without all the hostility. However, despite tens of millions of American jobs being outsourced overseas, unemployment has been generally 5-10% over the years. Additionally, we are so short of labor, that we rely on a constant influx of Latin Americans and other immigrants to help do all types of jobs. America has a labor shortage, and no matter how many jobs are offshored, there will still be a labor shortage. Additionally, jobs sent overseas gain American currency as payment, and that payment comes back to us in the form of purchases of agricultural exports, toiletries, and other products. If you visit India, everything in their small stores seems to be made in America — you’ll recognize Tide, Head and Shoulders, Snickers and hundreds of other brand names.

If America starts really hurting…
Americans often want manufacturing to come back to the states. What they don’t realize is that for economic conditions to be ripe for manufacturing to come back, our labor rate would have to come down to $3 per hour. America would have to be in a permanent economic depression for labor rates to ever be that low. With the recent mass influx of Latin Americans into the United States, labor rates have been going down. Hispanics have a higher birth rate than Anglos and normally do labor intensive jobs which means that future labor rates in the U.S. will be very low as we will have a huge labor pool of Hispanics. Additionally, with technology and robotics becoming so developed in America, we will be able to compete with China for the first time in recent history. Chinese workers are not as efficient as American workers, and lack the robotics to help them decrease labor costs. It seems clear to me that tech-aided manufacturing is already making a comeback in the United States and could continue to prosper as labor rates in China rise.

What about programming jobs?
It is very difficult to find a programmer in the U.S. Most programmers are overloaded and there is a vast shortage of qualified programmers in America and overseas. It is common for programmers to leave jobs undone as other jobs come onto their plate. You might feel that is irresponsible, and you are correct. But, the work ethic and integrity today is not like it was years ago. This is part of the reason jobs are outsourced to India. Conversely, the level of responsibility or quality of work in India is dismal. There are some good programmers, but nine out of ten are not. Hourly rates and availability are where India can really compete against the U.S. After you factor in how little they get done per hour, and how much of the work is so sloppy that it needs to be completely redone — it no longer looks like a bargain.

Americans need to compete
Americans feel entitled to make a huge salary. Additionally, many Americans have a real attitude problem, ego, and are hard to manage. People in India are happy to work for less. An IT job is their ticket out of slums so miserable, you wouldn’t be able to stand even walking through one. When you see the level of desperation in India, you will see how Americans need to be a little more motivated to compete.

Call center jobs went to India and took a U-turn
Americans are always resentful that so many call center jobs went to India. Then Americans were once again dismayed that the quality of the call center employees in India really horrifying. The Indians got their karmic payback and most of their call center work was redirected to the Philippines. Even companies in India often outsource their call center work to Manila as the quality of the reps and the clarity of their English is so much better. Is it fair that Indian jobs are being outsourced to the Philippines? I don’t hear Indians wailing about this type of thing. They are too busy finding other ingenious ways of taking “our” jobs.

There is no “our”
There is no such thing as an American job. The job belongs to the employer. If an employer hires lousy workers, they will soon lose their business. In real life a company cannot just outsource any job wherever they want. They have to be very particular about the quality of the work being done. If the work is terrible, they lose a very expensive client and their reputation.

Does anyone want to work?
Ironically, I have been trying to outsource some call center work myself. However, nobody is emailing me back. I offered to pay more than their fee, but wanted to interview the workers myself just to make sure they were good. I guess people want me to sign a year long contract and hope for the best when it comes to figuring out which rep I get. Well, I am not going to guess anymore. I’m doing the work myself and automizing the rest. Now, “American” jobs are being done by an auto-caller. I think that my personal story is ironic — foreigners don’t even care if they get “our” jobs, and I don’t see any Americans begging to do my lousy calls either. In reality, it seems that nobody wants to work. No wonder companies outsource overseas. You can get someone who doesn’t want to work at a quarter of the price.

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