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The Friggin' Huge Offshoring Thread!

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  • krunky
    Eternal Companion
    • Jan 2004
    • 726

    The Friggin' Huge Offshoring Thread!

    {I dedicate this bit to Berry, owner of this site, with much love and hopes for his success. I don't know Berry at all, but it seemed fitting - and y'all know what a softy I am deep down...I apologize to Berry in advance for how monstrously long this first message is...}

    This is a thread about outsourcing and long-term economic planning. There are lot's of places you can get information on this stuff. A lot of the available information is "expert" op/ed crap from people that never held a real job in their lives.

    In late 80s and early 90s people like Alvin Toffler ("Future Shock," "Third Wave") convinced me that Hi-Tech was an extremely important phenomenon and that our culture would tend to run somehow parallel to the trends in that "industry." Clearly, Hi-Tech is a dominant force in american culture. Some people even have "techno-lust" - which is sort of the desire for continually more and faster of their chosen favorite Hi-Tech gear.

    I read a site called Slashdot from time to time because I need to be told what might be going wrong with my home network and I am a DIY kind of person. Slashdot "geeks" are continually discussing the ramifications of Open source Software, Linux, the GPL, and a whole host of other things too. They have been absolutely furious about the massive shift to send many jobs "offshore" - away from the U.S. and the other western countries. They have been discussing the offshoring phenomenon for at least three years at this point and many of the participants have refined their views to razor sharpness. Much of what you will see in this initial message is documented from that site (with hopefully correct URLs provided).

    My statement of the facts:
    An untold number of jobs are being offshored. These jobs range from simple manufacturing, textile, agricultural positions all the way to more complicated programming, accounting, engineering, and managerial jobs. H&R Block offshores sensitive tax return data to India. Deloitte and Touche offers offshoring services to prospective clients. U.S. states are offshoring call centers. Many federal jobs are likewise outsourced (or turned over to prison labor, but that's another story). And it goes on and on and on...

    It is my opinion that everyone is training their future competition. H&R Block CEOs are all smiles today, but their myopia might mean future competition from their offshore counterparts. How soon before Deloitte & Touche is little more than an annoying middleman for services other corporations can get for themselves? Is there some reason that these foolish companies believe that people smart enough to compete with the likes of coders, accountants, engineers, and lower management cannot just form their own corporations and compete directly with them?

    Call me crazy, but this all seems very "not smart" to me...

    Let's have a look at some other opinions on the issue:


    "Intel CEO: Let's end political games and compete"

    {Edit: These are statements made by Intel CEO Craig Barrett:}

    Intel has had about 40% of its employees outside of the United States for the past two decades. What is new is that the character of those jobs is changing. It used to be mostly manufacturing production. Now it is increasingly white-collar or engineering jobs offshore as well. The big change is you've had a one-time-in-the-history-of-mankind event take place in the past decade. You almost instantly had half of the world's population pulled into the world's free economic system. If you take China, India, Russia and the other Eastern European countries, that's about 3 billion people.

    Education is probably the most important - and I'd further refine it to K-12. The university education system is healthy. Another significant area is research and development (R&D) investment that is government funded.

    The United States still is the world's biggest, most productive economy. But none of that guarantees you lack of competition. So when my grandkids come to me and ask, "What should I major in?" I tell them, "Get the best education you can; that's really all that you have to go on. Then go do something that you really like to do." So sure, it's so easy to find a guy from a steel mill or a textile mill, or a software programmer who has lost his job, but if you want to be competitive, you have to compete around the world. Jobs are going to be around the world. I don't have a solution to that one. It's also disingenuous to say that because this one person lost his job, you have to do something totally different.

    You have to look at what it takes to compete. Until you're doing those basic things, I have relatively little sympathy on the issue of the competitive nature of the U.S. compared to other countries. We have to fix our education system. We have to invest more in R&D. And we have to be more consistent about our infrastructure if we want to be competitive. If you have a worse education, a worse infrastructure, and you spend less of your gross domestic product on R&D, what makes you think you should be in a pre-eminent position? So somehow we have to turn the debate around to say, "Life is tough. Life is not fair. You have to compete. It takes hard work to compete, so let's figure out how to compete." That's the debate we're not having.


    These are my own opinions:

    I think that it's stunning that a man that has made his fortunes on the back of american ingenuity and from the sweat of well educated americans can now claim that americans are just not educated enough. But let's face it, his whole k-12 argument is a wild goose-chase with no substance. Americans built this idiot's company, I think many of them are well educated enough. What he doesn't want to talk about is how being well educated will not save them their jobs. He has no solution for the well educated person that can't find a job because he cannot work for a "globalized" wage and still live in the U.S.

    Seems like he wants more free R&D from the government too.


    "The Chutzpah is amazing" by Anonymous Coward

    1. Intel demands that the US gov't needs to invest in more computer R&D and schools.
    2. Intel demands that the US not change the stock rules. Strongly suggests to employees that they mail their congress critters their nice form letter.
    3. Intel demands that the US help keep the China market open for it.

    Intel repays these favors by:
    1. Demanding generous tax breaks which keeps money away from schools. If they had to pay the going rate, the school district in my area with an huge Intel campus would have 75% more money.
    2. Offshoring all jobs but exec board. 30-40% of all US Intel engineers (at least) are already from outsourcing countries(China/India). US based Technicians and fab employees are 90-100% US born citizens, but earn 1/3 to 1/4 what the engineers get.
    3. Enabling groups that want to limit freedom because they can make money from it: China, MPAA/RIAA, Patriot Act, Microsoft

    Corporations exist outside of states and countries and exist only to perpetuate themselves and the few that own massive quantities of the stock. Sure places like Intel grant stock to employees but the total amount is less that 10% of the total shares per grant period.

    Sure globalism happens, but I am a citizen of the US first and an employee second. Corporations should receive no special treatment because once they get they will have the in and make the locality turn and turn until all the blood is out of the stone. Then leave and blame the community for not making it a good place to keep high tech.

    Just leave me anonymous though, because as Intel employee, I can be terminated for speaking the truth. Being on the inside I see a lot more than most on /. can see, and I can tell you huge corporations care nothing for themselves first, second and third. Arnold switched sides for his own gain, these CEO are the exact same. They don't care who gives it to them, as long as they get theirs. And any location that counts on them will be burned when their loyalties switch as the money moves around.

    yes I'm bitter because they have killed the spirit of my town and they don't care.


    "Re:Hmmm" by Lemmy Caution

    It's three things: cost of living, cost of living, and cost of living. Until housing and such is as expensive in India and China as it is in the US and Europe, it will always be cheaper to employ people there, and always be impossible for labor in the US to compete on price.

    The trouble is that the growing inequity in the US means that there isn't any downward pressure on prices in the US, either. The people who are making it can keep the prices afloat, and insofar as the primary equity for most American families is their homes, they sure as hell ain't gonna make the C.O.L. lower via reduced housing prices.


    "It's not about quality, it's about cheap labor" by bangular

    The reason companies outsource to China, India, etc. is because they can get away with paying these people next to nothing. They literally wouldn't be able to legally pay these people those wages in the US because they are below minimum wage. It's not about quality or anything like that. It's because these people live in such poor countries they can be paid next to nothing. If they legally could, I'm sure these companies would have slaves. If they want to pay these people the SAME US wages I have no problem with that.


    "Re:It's not about quality, it's about cheap labor" by composer777

    There is just too large of a difference in pay, and I think we need to regulate "free" trade if we are to have any hope of preventing disasterous economic consquences. It's like an article that I have read on the CWA Union's website said, those that promote free trade basically are presenting an article of faith. They have nothing, they have no evidence at all that this will be good for society. In the mean time, they are making boatloads of cash during the "jobless recovery", and simply want us to just believe, without any evidence, that things will get better. It's pure BS, and I see no reason to believe these people, they have given me every reason not to trust them.


    "Re:Hmmm" by composer777

    Here's something to think about, when you hear someone from India on slashdot talking about how wonderful free trade is, remember that only a minority of people in India can access the internet, and they are relatively wealthy. The majority of people around the world cannot stand this exploitative form of trade. If democracy means anything to you, then you will be in favor of allowing people to govern their own lives, rather than have them run by the richest in that society.


    "Re:Hmmm; And don't complain about overtime" by composer777

    Rights are whatever people want them to be. That's the only reason people have rights to begin with, is because at some point everbody agreed that things like democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of unlawful entry, right to bear arms, would be a good thing to have in a free society. So, if enough people want it, then yes, it IS a right. It's worth thinking about.


    Re:"good for the economy" my ass.-outsourcing CEO' by Tablizer

    >Globalization where we don't insist foreign workers fall under the same EPA, OSHA, minimum wage, workman's comp, etc standards that we force on the employeers of our OWN workers. {edited back in for clarity} If you want to REALLY solve the problem, either force outside workforces to comply with OUR standards, or lower OUR standards of employment to meet theirs. CEOs and corporations are not "boogie men". We've set up a system that basically lays money at their feet and we complain when the bend over to pick it up. {end edited back in for clarity}

    Amen! Dumping cheap products and services in the US is a PRIVILEDGE, not a right of these other up-coming nations. Plus, many of the nations guilty of dumping have plenty of barriers against US goods and services. We are boxing and they are street-fighting. (Simon and Garfunkle reference)


    Re:"good for the economy" my ass.-outsourcing CEO' by swillden

    >If it was JUST about the shareholders, then CEO's would be outsourcing their jobs.

    The CEOs are outsourcing their jobs, or, more accurately, they're outsourcing their successors' jobs, and I think most of them realize it.

    How are they outsourcing their jobs? They're training a new crop of managers and workers overseas. How long will it take before those people realize that they have everything they need to start their own company and compete with their former employers?


    "Re:A truly global economy" by the_2nd_coming

    um, no, a true global economy would mean that workers can move to where the jobs are and that there is a world wide rate of pay that differs little from one location to the next.

    what we have is CEOs taking advantage of underpaid high tech workers in countries that have no labor laws.


    "Yeah..." by cybermace5

    We are not competing on basis of skill here, we're competing on the basic cost of living. Today's CEO's are pocketing the savings from outsourcing, and will be retired when the house of cards crashes down because no one here has any more money to spend.


    "Re:Yeah..." by cybermace5

    How does that help them? The U.S. is only 300 million people, and the world is six billion. So a poor, undeveloped country is going to improve by a few people receiving American money, while the actual work they've done has little value in their own country and is sent back to America? They are skipping the industrial development phase and going right to the knowledge worker phase, which means the infrastructure to support their way of life is located in America and not in their own country. This means that their economy can be kept artificially where it is, maintaining the supply of cheap labor.

    These countries need self-supporting industries, roads, hospitals, and the high-efficiency agriculture lifestyles that allowed us to become knowledge workers in the first place. By luring developing countries to skip directly to the desk jobs, we are sabotaging the development of a strong industrial foundation that can make these countries economically independent.


    "The Outsourcing Bogeyman" By Daniel W. Drezner

    Long, complicated, and I don't really buy into the reasoning - but it's worth reading to understand how an opposing view might operate.


    "This article is based on flawed assumptions" by puppetluva

    This author is using a series of flawed assumptions/myths that I'd like to debunk:

    1) Outsourcing is only happening to menial jobs. The author first states that "the activities that will migrate offshore are predominantly those that can be viewed as requiring low skill since process and repeatability are key underpinnings of the work"

    Software Development is not "low-skill". Repeatability for complex processes is a complex achievement. Nearly all of technology/science is concerned with repeatability.

    2) What is better for the global economy is better for the American economy.

    Let's say that China becomes even more of an economic powerhouse, the world economy becomes more efficent, and America gets beat out of many major corporate and employment deals to EU companies. America will go into decline. This is neither good for American business nor is it good for American workers.

    3) What is good for American corporations is good for American citizens.

    These two ideas are increasingly at odds. Let's say Joe CEO, an American citizen, starts a car-building company and outsources everything but the CEO spot. Let's then say that he beats out every major American car manufacturer and takes their marketshare. THIS WOULD BE A DISASTER FOR EVERY AMERICAN WORKER BUT JOE. Joe might get rich, he might make a bunch of foreign outsources rich, but he has helped suck both money and jobs out of the country.

    4) Protectionism would hurt our economy because it makes the world economy less efficient.

    WRONG! This would only be true if America was an equal consumer of goods world-wide. America is, by far, largest world consumer of most goods. Channeling that purchasing-power back towards American goods and services would be a huge boon.

    5) Protecting globalization at the expense of American jobs will help american citizens by creating more jobs.

    The author's whole argument about outsourcing of jobs towards America is completely false. His numbers are made up, as well.

    6) It is the U.S. government's job to protect the global economy.

    WRONG! It is the U.S. government's job to protect US citizens in both the short-term and the long-term.

    7) It is patriotic to support free-market economies.

    WRONG! It is patriotic to support the well-being of your fellow countrymen and women. Supporting slave-labor in China that forces inequitable economies of scale in labor is tantamount to economic treason.

    People need to stop thinking in blindered terms of "free-markets are good" and need to start thinking at a more sophisticated level about these problems. I'm ashamed at the trite cliches and hackneyed arguments put forth in this poorly-written article.


    "WRONG! (using caps like you)" by sulli


    NO IT WOULDN'T (using caps like you), unless every worker worked in his particular industry. Which every worker does not. We have a very diverse economy which survives these kinds of industry specific disruptions remarkably well.

    America is, by far, largest world consumer of most goods. Channeling that purchasing-power back towards American goods and services would be a huge boon.

    Import substitution, the strategy you recommend, has been a massive failure in all economies where it has been tried. Everyone's favorite bad guy India used this strategy for decades and hardly grew at all - after India modernized its economy in the 1990s it has experienced rapid growth. The same was true for Latin American countries like Brazil and Argentina.

    Back to the outsourcing issue, the problem I see is the tax break favoring it. This actually provides an unnatural incentive to invest overseas that gives it more value than it really has in the marketplace. We should definitely get rid of that in favor of a fairer corporate tax structure.


    These are my own opinions:

    I think it's interesting that previous commentator refers to what were two "shining" examples of prosperity (under the guidance of the IMF, and Argentina esp. was the much touted example of what doing things the IMF way could get you). Both are now bust. Brazil is so naughty that it's new leftist leader is regularly in very hot water with the U.S. white house administration, and he even claims that the U.S. is trying to kill him. In Argentina the people are living hand to mouth.

    Examples of boom and bust. Wait for it India...


    "How many butlers does someone need?" by khasim

    "Most jobs will remain unaffected altogether: close to 90 percent of jobs in the United States require geographic proximity. Such jobs include everything from retail and restaurants to marketing and personal care -- services that have to be produced and consumed locally, so outsourcing them overseas is not an option."

    Do you want fries with that?

    So, instead of working and actually PRODUCING something, we will become a nation of burger flippers.

    "There is also no evidence that jobs in the high-value-added sector are migrating overseas."

    Which jobs would that be? Any specifics? Please do not say "prostitute".

    "The parts of production that are more complex, interactive, or innovative -- including, but not limited to, marketing, research, and development -- are much more difficult to shift abroad."

    Incorrect, R & D is moving overseas.

    "As an International Data Corporation analysis on trends in IT services concluded, "the activities that will migrate offshore are predominantly those that can be viewed as requiring low skill since process and repeatability are key underpinnings of the work."

    Yet I keep seeing complaints about how many PROGRAMMING jobs are moving to India.

    But I don't know of anyone who claims that programming is "low skill".

    "As for the jobs that can be sent offshore, even if the most dire-sounding forecasts come true, the impact on the economy will be negligible."

    Then there are a few paragraphs devoted to debating whether the predictions are good or bad. Whatever. Facts are easier to deal with.

    "There is no denying that the number of manufacturing jobs has fallen dramatically in recent years, but this has very little do with outsourcing and almost everything to do with technological innovation."

    So, the FACT is that there are FEWER manufacturing jobs. Well DUH!!!!!

    Now they are arguing that the FEWER jobs are NOT the result of offshoring.

    So, we don't have a "rust belt" because we still crank out the same PRODUCTS in the same QUANTITY but we do it with FEWER PEOPLE?

    I don't believe that the FACTS will support that.

    We've lost the jobs. They are now being performed overseas.

    "If outsourcing were in fact the chief cause of manufacturing losses, one would expect corresponding increases in manufacturing employment in developing countries."

    Incorrect. It is possible to lose 100 manufacturing jobs in the US and only gain 10 robot-assisted manufacturing jobs in other countries.

    So, the same number of PRODUCTS are being produced, but fewer people are doing it and those people are NOT US citizens.

    "The fact that global manufacturing output increased by 30 percent in that same period confirms that technology, not trade, is the primary cause for the decrease in factory jobs."

    But the technology is NOT in the US. The jobs are NOT in the US. Rather than pay to upgrade the US factories, the jobs are going overseas.

    "What about the service sector?"

    Service sector: burger flippers, prostitution, butlers and such.

    "For example, a Datamonitor study found that global call-center operations are being outsourced at a slower rate than previously thought -- only five percent are expected to be located offshore by 2007."

    Dude, "global call-center" being outsourced would have to go to MARS. We're looking at US jobs here.

    "Delta Airlines outsourced 1,000 call-center jobs to India in 2003, but the $25 million in savings allowed the firm to add 1,200 reservation and sales positions in the United States."

    Here's a link to show how good Delta is doing.

    And I quote: "The nation's third-largest airline said it lost $387 million dollars."

    So, they "save" $25 million by outsourcing, but then they LOSE $387 million?

    "An Institute for International Economics analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data revealed that the number of jobs in service sectors where outsourcing is likely actually increased, even though total employment decreased by 1.7 percent."

    So, more people LOST their jobs, but that's a good thing?

    "How can these figures fit with the widespread perception that IT jobs have left the United States? Too often, comparisons are made to 2000, an unusual year for the technology sector because Y2K fears and the height of the dot-com bubble had pushed employment figures to an artificially high level. When 1999 is used as the starting point, it becomes clear that offshore outsourcing has not caused a collapse in IT hiring. Between 1999 and 2003, the number of jobs in business and financial operations increased by 14 percent. Employment in computer and mathematical positions increased by 6 percent."

    You don't compare one year to another.

    You compare each year to the year before and that shows a TREND over TIME. So, instead of comparing 2004 to 2000, you would start with 1994 and see what changed in 1995 and compare that to 1996 ... until you get to 2004.

    "A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York suggests that the economy is undergoing a structural transformation: jobs are disappearing from old sectors (such as manufacturing) and being created in new ones (such as mortgage brokering)."

    But WHY is that happening? Is it because people do not WANT to work in manufacturing? Or is it because mortgage brokering is the only option left once the manufacturing jobs have left?

    One mortgage broker could handle 100 manufacturing workers' mortgage needs.

    What happens to those other 99 workers?

    "Once the structural adjustments of the current period are complete, job growth is expected to be robust. (And indeed, current indicators are encouraging: there has been a net increase in payroll jobs and in small business employment since 2003 and a spike in IT entrepreneurial activity.)"

    But that "net increase in payroll jobs" has been in low-pay service jobs.

    While the "IT entrepreneurial activity" is not a "payroll job".

    "Offshore outsourcing is undoubtedly taking place, and it will likely increase over the next decade. However, it is not the tsunami that many claim. Its effect on the U.S. economy has been exaggerated, and its effect on the U.S. employment situation has been grossly exaggerated."

    Perhaps, but none of the information presented supports that statement.

    Good wage manufacturing jobs are GONE.

    They have been replaced with low-wage service jobs.


    "Unpopular Truths About Outsourcing" by Nova Express

    I know it's always bad form to inroduce verifiable facts into a the latest Slashdot two-minute hate, but Daniel T. Griswold of the Cato Institute [] has a rather different (and seemingly more informed) view of outsourcing than most expressed in this thread. In his article in the May 3, 2004 issue of National Review [] (which does not appear to be online for non-subscribers), he makes the following points:

    ***America is actually a net benificiary of outsourced jobs (i.e., more money comes in from foreign countries outsourcing jobs to the U.S. than are lost outsourcing jobs from the U.S. to foreign contries). "In 2002, U.S. companies exported $14.8 billion worth of computer, data-processing, research, development, construction, archicetural, engineering and other IT services. During that same year, America imported $3.9 billion of those same kinds of services. So for every dollar Americans sent abroad for outsourcing, the world sent more than three dollars to the US. for 'insourcing.'"
    ***According to a 2003 study by the McKinsey Global Institue, every $1 spent on foreign outspurcing creates $1.12 to $1.14 of additional economic activity in the U.S.
    ***The vast majority of job losses due to outsourcing have been for lower skill jobs. Between 1999 and 2002, IT jobs went from 6.24 million to 5.95 million. However, during the same period of time, those requiring a relatively high level of training (i.e., an associates degree or higher) actually increased, from 3.43 million to 3.51 million.
    ***If you use the saner baseline of 1998 rather than the peak of the dotcom bubble, things look better still. Current IT employment levels are equal to those of 1998.
    ***"Domestic software, computer, and communications services accounted for a combined 4621 billion in 2003, up from $510 billion in 1999."
    ***Far more people loose their jobs to technology or domestic competition than outsourcing.
    ***The total outsourcing between 2000 and 2015 is only projected (by Forrester Research) to be 3.3 million jobs, or about 220,000 a year. This is a fairly miniscule number for an economy that employees 137 million, where an average of 350,000 million people file for unemployment every week even in strong economies, and which creates and average of 32.8 million news jobs (while eliminating 31 million, for a net annual gain of 1.8 million jobs) every year.
    ***Outsourced jobs tend to go to countries that emulate the United States with low taxes and deregulated economies, and the foreign companies jobs are outsourced to tend to buy American equipment and services to do the job.

    A lot of the reason you see so many complaints about outsourcing on Slashdot tends to be the reinforced tendencies of self-selected sets. The people who do lose their job to outsourcing are the ones that complain loudest and longest, and the ones whose sob stories get modded up. The people who haven't lost their job, or who work in a company that benefits from "insourcing," have no particular reason to speak up. The fact is, outsourcing is just one of the more painful parts of free trade, but free trade improves the lives of everyone. You have to be able to look at the big picture to see that.


    Re:Unpopular Truths About Outsourcing by silverbax

    These are interesting points. I do see that you've made no mention of the huge tax breaks that companies are currently getting by outsourcing.

    These same breaks are illegal for citizens.

    The argument that this is 'just part of free trade' is only valid if you ignore the fact that laws are constantly being re-shaped to allow and encourage corporations to dump resources oversees. In addition, financial analasis is generally rotgut at best. Find me a noted economist who can prove numbers showing the benfits of outsourcing and I'll show you two who have just as much evidence of the opposite.

    The basic premise is this: If the U.S. corporations are allowed to circumvent free trade, they will do so. This will result in lower wages across the board. Claiming that it's okay because the jobs lost are less skilled is ignoring the fact that the VAST MAJORITY of paychecks in the U.S. fall into that category, and all of those meager paychecks are used to purchase services from those of us who hold better jobs. I owe my job to Wal-Mart employees and truck drivers.


    "Re:Unpopular Truths About Outsourcing" by mabu

    >A lot of the reason you see so many complaints about outsourcing on Slashdot tends to be the reinforced tendencies of self-selected sets.

    Oh, and yours isn't?

    The National Review. Shill for selected sets of political agendas propped up by the likes of Pfizer, Merck and Halliburton. There's a publication that's the bastion of objective and well thought out journalism.

    Oh, and let's talk about the "distinguished" CATO Institute, a right-wing organization masquerading as libertarian to further the agenda of a select group of uber-powerful business interests. CATO was founded by a huge grant from a Chemical/Petroleum industry heir named Charles Koch.

    * Cato leads the right-wing's push for privatization of government services. In 2001, the Washington Post, noting Cato?s influence, said it "has spent about $3 million in the past six years to run a virtual war room to promote Social Security privatization."

    * Cato supports the wholesale elimination of eight cabinet agencies - Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Agriculture, Interior, Transportation and Veterans Affairs - and the privatization of many government services.

    * Right-wing foundations that fund Cato include: Castle Rock, Sarah Scaife, Koch Charitable, Olin, Earhart, and Bradley Foundations.

    * CATO's corporate benefactors include:
    Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Bell Atlantic Network Services, BellSouth Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, GTE Corporation, Microsoft Corp- oration, Netscape Communications Corporation, NYNEX Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Viacom International, American Express, Chase Manhattan Bank, Chemical Bank, Citicorp/Citibank, Commonwealth Fund, Prudential Securities and Salomon Brothers. Energy conglomerates include: Chevron Companies, Exxon Company, Shell Oil Company and Tenneco Gas, as well as the American Petroleum Institute, Amoco Foundation and Atlantic Richfield Foundation. Cato's pharmaceutical donors include Eli Lilly & Company, Merck & Company and Pfizer, Inc.

    I wonder how many of the above companies are outsourcing? Probably every one of them.

    The Washington post characterize'd CATO's agenda as, "A soup-to-nuts agenda to reduce spending, kill programs, terminate whole agencies and dramatically restrict the power of the federal government." That sounds really good in theory, but the underlying agenda of CATO is to pump out polarized "research" to further this cause, which ultimately divests critical responsibilities to a small set of mega-corporations, which probably have less a sense of responsibility and ethics than the government.

    I'd be real scared of the future they're promoting.



    ***Marc Andreessen made 100s of millions of dollars shortly after graduating from UIUC. Today's graduates of the same university face moving back in with their parents. "Fuck that, I got mine!" []
    ***Brian Behlendorf decided he'd rather go to India [] to recruit software engineers than help out the graduating classes of 2001-2004 here in the US.
    ***Robert Malda stood idly by and said NOTHING while his company offshored its flagship product [].

    Miguel de Icaza, Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, and Linus Torvalds all got rich off the Open Source Movement. What do you have to look forward to?


    "In My Opinion: Bush and Democrats: Night and Day Views on Offshoring"
    By Morton Bahr, CWA President


    In light of today's "jobless recovery," some economists are starting to doubt the orthodoxy of free-trade-is-always-good. Washington Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein recently wrote: "If you peel back the arguments in favor of offshoring, what you finally end up with is an article of faith" - that word again - "faith that history will repeat itself and the U.S. economy will quickly generate enough new jobs in higher-paying industries to compensate for the ones lost to trade. What I've yet to see, however, is even an educated guess as to what those jobs might be."


    In response, bills have been introduced in Congress and in several states to ban use of taxpayer money for outsourcing, eliminate tax breaks for moving jobs abroad, give consumers a right-to-know when they are dealing with overseas call centers, and require advance notice of outsourcing.

    Above all, we need leadership in Washington that sets a different tone when it comes to corporate accountability and responsibility to our nation.

    We know what the Bush administration believes - offshoring is "a good thing."

    And we know that CWA's choice for president, Senator John Kerry, believes otherwise, and has blasted "Benedict Arnold CEOs" for abandoning America.

    It seems that today, America's greatest innovative talent lies in finding new ways to do more and more sophisticated job functions in lower wage countries.


    "Fair Tax Where the Wealthiest and Corporations Pay their Share - Tax Wealth More than Work; Tax Activities We Dislike More than Necessities"

    The complexity and distortions of the federal tax code produces distributions of tax incidence and payroll tax burdens that are skewed in favor of the wealthy and the corporations further garnished by tax shelters, insufficient enforcement and other avoidances.

    Corporate tax contributions as a percent of the overall federal revenue stream have been declining for fifty years and now stand at 7.4% despite massive record profits. A fundamental reappraisal of our tax laws should start with a principle that taxes should apply first to behavior and conditions we favor least and pinch basic necessities least such as the clearly addictive industries (alcohol and tobacco), pollution, speculation, gambling, extreme luxuries, taxing work or instead of the 5% to 7% sales tax food, furniture, clothing or books.

    Tiny taxes (a fraction of the conventional retail sales percentage) on stock, bond, and derivative transactions can produce tens of billions of dollars a year and displace some of the taxes on work and consumer essentials. Sol Price, founder of the Price Clubs (now merged into Costco) is one of several wealthy people in the last century who have urged a tax on wealth. Again, it can be at a very low rate but raise significant revenues. Wealth above a quite comfortable minimum is described as tangible and intangible assets. The present adjustment of Henry George's celebrated land tax could also be considered.

    Over a thousand wealthy Americans have declared, in a remarkable conflict against interest , that the estate tax, which now applies to less than 2 percent of the richest estates, should be retained. The signers of this declaration included William Gates, Sr., Warren Buffett and George Soros. Mr. Nader does not believe that "unearned income" (dividends, interest, capital gains) should be taxed lower than earned income, or work, inasmuch as one involves passive income, including inheritances and windfalls, while the latter involves active effort with a higher proportion of middle and lower income workers relying on and working each day, some under unsafe conditions, for these earning.


    "China and Japan reject Bush's currency pleas"
    By Peronet Despeignes, USA TODAY

    BANGKOK - President Bush failed in weekend jawboning sessions to persuade either China or Japan to quickly allow the value of their currencies to rise against the dollar, which would give U.S. manufacturers a boost as they try to sell their goods into Asian markets.


    And I thought we were selling so much stuff to these now vastly wealthy economies...