Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Consider the (out)source

A report by the Information Technology Association of America says that foreign outsourcing of tech jobs won't harm the economy, it'll actually create good jobs in America because it will lower inflation and spur productivity. Right.
First of all, inflation could hardly be lower than it is. Second, the productivity gains that have so far been experienced haven't been turned into jobs, but rather to increased profits of corporations. Third, over what time span is all this to occur? Perhaps within the period of unemployment insurance coverage? Hardly. So what do we tell the children whose tech-writing dad or mom is now taking orders for fries?

The report goes on to say that "only" 103,000 tech jobs have been lost to outsourcing so far (this, BTW, at an early stage of the phenomenon), a figure that doesn't approach the loss of tech jobs when the dot-com bubble burst. This figure is 268,00, and 103,000 "so far" sure sounds to me like it's approaching 268,000.

Toward the end of the article we're told who ITAA consists of: Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Amazon.com, outsourcers all. Indeed, whenever I need to fix my H/P Compaq, who do I call? You guessed it: A guy named Pavel or something in New Delhi.

PS. If you want to read past the spin of the news release that's linked to above, you can read the ten-page summary of the report (Adobe Reader required), and you'll find that buried within it are huge assumptions and qualifications that more or less amount to saying this: Trust us--all will be well someday.

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