Is Outsourcing Jobs Good for America
American workers, at all levels, are the objects of a two-front attack. On one front their
jobs are being outsourced to foreign countries where pay scales are very low, and, on the other
front, people are being brought here from low-pay countries to do their work for less money as
explained in the essay titled “Let Someone Else Do It, The Impulse Behind Everything” by
High end jobs, particularly those of programmers and engineers are being contracted out
by US companies to companies in other countries, such as India and China, with much lower
pay scales. The second front is also a factor, as people are being imported under special
temporary visa programs, mainly H-1B visas, to work harder for less pay. “The reality is that too
many H-1B visas are being used to facilitate the outsourcing of American to other countries”
I agree with Murphy that outsourcing is not going away but should be limited
and governed to protect American jobs.
The H-1B visa program was launched in 1990 to allow foreign scientists, engineers and
technologists to be employed for up to six years in the U.S., at the end of which they must obtain
U. S. Outsourcing Introduction Since the development of communications such as internet, business globalization has accelerated, and U.S. has been giving up a lot of jobs to foreign nations where people work for low wages; most of the predominant businesses that are listed in Fortune 500 are practicing this, outsourcing, in some way. By doing so, operational cost was cut significant, but it also ...
permanent residency or return home. But this program is spinning out of control. According to
an article written by Workpermit.com, in 2006, the entire quota of regular United States H-1B
awarded to individuals, primarily from India, evaporated in one day. Petitions for the 65,000
standard H-1B’s exceeded the available quota by more than a 2:1 ratio.
In addition, many US companies are establishing satellite operations abroad to do
manufacturing, design, and research. The two fronts neatly complement one another. People are
often brought here under the H-1B programs to acquire special expertise, and then returned to
their home countries to work on outsourced projects, thus stealing the knowhow that US
companies and Research Institutes strive to keep confidential (workpermit.com).
Outsourcing extends into areas one might never have expected, such as movie and
television locales. New York is often played by (cheap) Toronto. The Appalachian settings in the
movie Cold Mountain were played by (even cheaper) Romania. It used to be that standing in line
for a driver’s license or a government hearing, or to buy tickets, was the sort of thing one pretty
much had to do for oneself. This function, too, is outsourceable. Today the “service expediter”
industry provides human substitutes (for up to $30 an hour) who will save a place until your turn
arrives. Additionally, outsourcing can range from personal assistance with child care, financial
handlers, food preparation and extends beyond the imagination into areas like Reproduction (by
means of sperm and egg donors and in-vitro fertilization), and various kinds of human tissue
donations. For example, American’s have been known to purchase organs from other less
industrialized countries because of the cost savings, “Where life is cheap and so are kidneys”
One important thing to mention, not all these examples of outsourcing will eliminate
American jobs. Rather, it shows how diverse the term “outsourcing” can be.
Economists see nothing wrong with outsourcing. They regard what is happening as the
proper, inevitable operation of a free market and free trade. Americans, they say, benefit from
Wal-Mart is the largest American retailing company. There are close to 3.000 Wal-Mart discount stores in U.S. alone. Nowadays, many people think of a Wal-Mart as the symbol of American consumerism, however, not many of them do realize that the word American is the least applicable, when it comes to describing the essence of Wal-Mart as commercial enterprise. This retailing company is nothing but ...
lower prices. Of course the overseas workers doing the outsourced work are benefiting, and the
H-1B workers are earning much more than they would in their home countries. They often send
home part of their earnings, which helps their families and also benefits their home countries in
that they acquire more dollars. So one might ask, what is wrong with outsourcing if in return we
can benefit from lower consumer prices?
One obvious problem is the jobs are no longer available to Americans. (By Americans, I
mean US citizens of all categories and those with permanent resident status, regardless of
birthplace.) The response of Economists is that outsourcing is a great benefit to our economy.
The collateral damage to American workers is a minor issue in their view.
American companies were once loyal to their employees until faced with economic
situations that forced them into outsourcing. It is estimated that 170,000 workers have been used
in India over the past few years. The figure is expected to reach 1.1 million by 2008, industry
groups say (Information week).
American companies like Honda R&D American, for example,
considered its engineers as valuable, long term assets. I should know, I worked there for 10 years
as a contract Design Engineer. As employees, we were expected to maintain a level of expertise
to stay proficient at our jobs. When knowledge of some new development became important, for
example a new computer language, we were given time to acquire that training while working on
the clock. But soon, H-1B’s started filtering into my company and it was becoming apparent that
my job might be in jeopardy. Honda’s motivation for hiring H-1B’s is that they can be paid less
and, secondarily, due to the circumstances of their employment, they can be worked harder.
Estimates are that an H-1B can be hired for roughly 25% less than the going rate for similarly
qualified Americans (Cyfuture).
Outsourcing Jobs to Foreign Countries Outsourcing jobs formerly held by Americans to the foreign countries is one of the major issues that are ... also the quality of work the foreign countries can come up with is really sub standard. Outsourcing is a management strategy ... still moderate 5% of the total 10.3 million workers believed to work in the technology sector. Deloitte Consulting predicts that ...
This savings apparently was more important to Honda then the
decade of knowledge I obtained while working at the company. Shortly thereafter, my job was
eliminated and outsourced to India. So much for being considered as a valued employee!
Even Cullan Murphy confesses he outsource a large portions of his column to facilities in
Bangalore and Nogales because of cost constraints. He too goes on to say that there are some
glitches that need to be worked out but the quality seems to be adequate considering the
language barrier. I agree with Murphy, a language barrier exists when outsourcing jobs to foreign
countries but I disagree that the quality remains the same. I had firsthand knowledge of it while
working at Honda. I was dealing with an outsource agency that were on a different time zone
and a whose associates spoke a different language. You couldn’t just pick up the phone and call
someone to explain directions. Rather, most of the communication was done via email. When job
are outsourced like this, you lose the ability to communicate with someone in person, causing
mistakes to be made.
It is often argued that Americans benefit greatly from the lower prices made possible by
paying low wages either here or in some other country. One obvious response to this is that
the same argument can be used to justify slavery, “a fundamental form of outsourcing”
But it is also the case that even a drastic cut in wages often has only a small impact on
Furthermore, outsourcing is linked to unemployment can be associated to an
increased need of public assistance, such as unemployment compensations, Medicare, and
welfare at a cost to taxpayers.
The loss of US jobs to outsourcing has been going on for several decades, but is still at an
early stage. I doubt that it will get to the point where we are all drawing unemployment checks.
So what is likely to happen? First, it should be clear that the problem is not with the people
coming here to work, or with workers in other countries doing jobs previously done by
Americans. They are mostly just ordinary people trying to get along in the world. The problem
The economy is one of the most varied topics on the political frontier that is constantly debated, though there is no obvious solution to the United States perpetual economic problems. Held within the crumbling economy of today, are many ongoing controversial issues that plague our once healthy nation. One such problem is job outsourcing, an issue with many schools of thought giving the topic its ...
is that corporate managements are in control and making decisions merely for their own
financial profit. But at what cost is it to the taxpayers and our society? I feel our Government
should introduce legislation aimed at protecting U.S. workers and limiting the ability of
companies to outsource jobs, as well as, limiting the number of visas being granted to foreign
countries. If left unmanaged, it will create a negative impact on the economy by eliminating
high tech jobs and increasing the unemployment rates across America.
Cullan Murphy. Someone Else Do It, The Impulse Behind Everything.
Pearson: Copyright, 2011.
Neelesh Misra. “India’s Prime Minister Defends Outsourcing.” Associated Press. March 12,