Friday, April 23, 2010

Outsourcing - A Far Greater Danger Than Terrorism & Bullshit Racism Alive in South!

(EXTRA: If anyone could make a contribution to my PayPal account (or otherwise - contact me for further info), it would be sincerely appreciated as I've just gone off the cliff financially. I really appreciate everything that my kind readers have done for me in the past financially and otherwise. Now . . . back to your regular viewing.)

. . . the authors provide a devastating expose of the three "studies" that have been used to silence doubts about offshore outsourcing - the Global Insight study (March 2004) for the Information Technology Association of America, the Catherine Mann study (December 2003) for the Institute for International Economics, and the McKinsey Global Institute study (August 2003).

The ITAA is a lobbying group for outsourcing.

The ITAA spun the results of the study by releasing only the executive summary to reporters who agreed not to seek outside opinion prior to writing their stories.

I saw it coming. Yep, I didn't like what I perceived, but I did see it on the horizon for decades. What I failed to see was the "dumbing down" of the populace to the extent that "unreality" TV and a failed education system would ensure that very few others could see it in time.

In the early 80's when I was in grad school in Business Administration (yes, sorry, it was an MBA program originally, which switched its designation to M.S. before I graduated due to the bad reputation of MBA's in general (imagine that!)) and Reagan's policies of installing/strengthening fascist regimes in Central/South America, the destruction of unions and outsourcing of American jobs that had once had the admiration and emulation of the world to overseas sites (to enrich those "brilliants" at the top of corporations) were just beginning to be implemented, I wrote papers on why all this was a very bad course for the US to follow for the future.

Being young without much knowledge of how the world worked yet, it never occurred to me that it was a good thing to devastate your industrial/technical base in order to strengthen your country. The response from my professors (and this was a pretty good school, mind you) was generally one of disbelief or dismay at my out-of-the-box thinking (ha!) at that time as the accepted idea was "trickle down" economics (on the peons below) was the primary capitalistic way to riches for all, not empowerment of the workforce. I'm oversimplifying a bit when I say that I was confused and puzzled at their response. I worked in engineering (both hardware and software) that had already been overrun with foreigners being brought in (very cheaply) to do technical tasks that we should have been training our own workforce to do (and I was in charge of training them and figuring out what they could do for us at all). I could go on and on about what I've seen throughout the rest of my career, culminating in my being turned down for jobs by foreign bosses in stateside companies who were barely trained to do anything but, once again, were very cheap and looked very good to the people at the top. Like I said . . . I could go on. Want to know why this was such an overwhelmingly accepted fait accompli (done deal from the start) in the USA (as we ultimately gave away our technology edge and all our good jobs)? Read Paul Craig Roberts below (or click on the link) for the explanation of what exactly happened, who benefitted and why. (Hint - It was the only way for the people at the top to get absolutely, filthy rich quickly.) (Emphasis marks added - Ed.) And weep.

P.S. It wasn't you.

A Greater Threat Than Terrorism: Outsourcing the American Economy

Is offshore outsourcing good or harmful for America? To convince Americans of outsourcing's benefits, corporate outsourcers sponsor misleading one-sided "studies."Only a small handful of people have looked objectively at the issue. These few and the large number of Americans whose careers have been destroyed by outsourcing have a different view of outsourcing's impact. But so far there has been no debate, just a shouting down of skeptics as "protectionists." Now comes an important new book, Outsourcing America, published by the American Management Association. The authors, two brothers, Ron and Anil Hira, are experts on the subject. One is a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the other is professor at Simon Fraser University. The authors note that despite the enormity of the stakes for all Americans, a state of denial exists among policymakers and outsourcing's corporate champions about the adverse effects on the US. The Hira brothers succeed in their task of interjecting harsh reality where delusion has ruled. In what might be an underestimate, a University of California study concludes that 14 million white-collar jobs are vulnerable to being outsourced offshore. These are not only call-center operators, customer service and back-office jobs, but also information technology, accounting, architecture, advanced engineering design, news reporting, stock analysis, and medical and legal services. The authors note that these are the jobs of the American Dream, the jobs of upward mobility that generate the bulk of the tax revenues that fund our education, health, infrastructure, and social security systems. The loss of these jobs "is fool's gold for companies." Corporate America's short-term mentality, stemming from bonuses tied to quarterly results, is causing US companies to lose not only their best employees-their human capital-but also the consumers who buy their products. Employees displaced by foreigners and left unemployed or in lower paid work have a reduced presence in the consumer market. They provide fewer retirement savings for new investment. Nothink economists assume that new, better jobs are on the way for displaced Americans, but no economists can identify these jobs. The authors point out that "the track record for the re-employment of displaced US workers is abysmal: "The Department of Labor reports that more than one in three workers who are displaced remains unemployed, and many of those who are lucky enough to find jobs take major pay cuts. Many former manufacturing workers who were displaced a decade ago because of manufacturing that went offshore took training courses and found jobs in the information technology sector. They are now facing the unenviable situation of having their second career disappear overseas." American economists are so inattentive to outsourcing's perils that they fail to realize that the same incentive that leads to the outsourcing of one tradable good or service holds for all tradable goods and services. In the 21st century the US economy has only been able to create jobs in nontradable domestic services - the hallmark of a third world labor force. Prior to the advent of offshore outsourcing, US employees were shielded against low wage foreign labor. Americans worked with more capital and better technology, and their higher productivity protected their higher wages. Outsourcing forces Americans to "compete head-to-head with foreign workers" by "undermining US workers' primary competitive advantage over foreign workers: their physical presence in the US" and "by providing those overseas workers with the same technologies." The result is a lose-lose situation for American employees, American businesses, and the American government. Outsourcing has brought about record unemployment in engineering fields and a major drop in university enrollments in technical and scientific disciplines. Even many of the remaining jobs are being filled by lower paid foreigners brought in on H-1b and L-1 visas. American employees are discharged after being forced to train their foreign replacements. US corporations justify their offshore operations as essential to gain a foothold in emerging Asian markets. The Hira brothers believe this is self-delusion. "There is no evidence that they will be able to outcompete local Chinese and Indian companies, who are very rapidly assimilating the technology and know-how from the local US plants. In fact, studies show that Indian IT companies have been consistently outcompeting their US counterparts, even in US markets. Thus, it is time for CEOs to start thinking about whether they are fine with their own jobs being outsourced as well." The authors note that the national security implications of outsourcing "have been largely ignored."

Outsourcing is rapidly eroding America's superpower status. Beginning in 2002 the US began running trade deficits in advanced technology products with Asia, Mexico and Ireland. As these countries are not leaders in advanced technology, the deficits obviously stem from US offshore manufacturing. In effect, the US is giving away its technology, which is rapidly being captured, while US firms reduce themselves to a brand name with a sales force.

In an appendix, the authors provide a devastating expose of the three "studies" that have been used to silence doubts about offshore outsourcing - the Global Insight study (March 2004) for the Information Technology Association of America, the Catherine Mann study (December 2003) for the Institute for International Economics, and the McKinsey Global Institute study (August 2003).

The ITAA is a lobbying group for outsourcing.

The ITAA spun the results of the study by releasing only the executive summary to reporters who agreed not to seek outside opinion prior to writing their stories.

Mann's study is "an unreasonably optimistic forecast based on faulty logic and a poor understanding of technology and strategy.

"The McKinsey report " should be viewed as a self-interested lobbying document that presents an unrealistically optimistic estimate of the impact of offshore outsourcing and an undeveloped and politically unviable solution to the problems they identify."

Outsourcing America is a powerful work. Only fools will continue clinging to the premise that outsourcing is good for America.

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. His latest book, How The Economy Was Lost, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Obama opposition increasingly comes wrapped in the racial code that McDonnell revived in endorsing Confederate History Month. The state attorneys general who are invoking states’ rights in their lawsuits to nullify the federal health care law are transparently pushing the same old hot buttons.
Frank Rich nails the South - the racist South (which is not overwhelmingly present anymore). Hey, if it didn't work, you didn't actually witness it. I still think Beck is being groomed for the Hitler role, and that the SS shock troops are a mixture of anti-abortionists and racists (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
It's kind of like that legendary stunt on the prime-time soap "Dallas," where we learned that nothing bad had really happened because the previous season's episodes were all a dream. We now know that the wave of anger that crashed on the Capitol as the health care bill passed last month — the death threats and epithets hurled at members of Congress — was also a mirage.

Take it from the louder voices on the right. Because no tape has surfaced of anyone yelling racial slurs at the civil rights icon and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, it’s now a blogosphere “fact” that Lewis is a liar and the “lamestream media” concocted the entire incident. The same camp maintains as well that the spit landing on the Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver was inadvertent spillover saliva from an over-frothing screamer — spittle, not spit, as it were. True, there is video evidence of the homophobic venom directed at Barney Frank — but, hey, Frank is white, so no racism there!

“It’s Not About Race” declared a headline on a typical column defending over-the-top “Obamacare” opponents from critics like me, who had the nerve to suggest a possible racial motive in the rage aimed at the likes of Lewis and Cleaver — neither of whom were major players in the Democrats’ health care campaign. It’s also mistaken, it seems, for anyone to posit that race might be animating anti-Obama hotheads like those who packed assault weapons at presidential town hall meetings on health care last summer. And surely it is outrageous for anyone to argue that conservative leaders are enabling such extremism by remaining silent or egging it on with cries of “Reload!” to pander to the Tea Party-Glenn Beck base. As Beck has said, it’s Obama who is the real racist.

I would be more than happy to stand corrected. But the story of race and the right did not, alas, end with the health care bill. Hardly had we been told that all that ugliness was a fantasy than we learned back in the material world that the new Republican governor of Virginia, Robert McDonnell, had issued a state proclamation celebrating April as Confederate History Month.

In doing so, he was resuscitating a dormant practice that had been initiated in 1997 by George Allen, the Virginia governor whose political career would implode in 2006 when he was caught on camera calling an Indian-American constituent “macaca.” McDonnell had been widely hailed by his party as a refreshing new “big tent” conservative star when he took office in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy, in January. So perhaps his Dixiecrat proclamation, if not a dream, might have been a staff-driven gaffe rather than a deliberate act of racial provocation.

That hope evaporated once McDonnell was asked to explain why there was no mention of slavery in his declaration honoring “the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens.” After acknowledging that slavery was among “any number of aspects to that conflict between the states,” the governor went on to say that he had focused on the issues “I thought were most significant for Virginia.” Only when some of his own black supporters joined editorialists in observing that slavery was significant to some Virginians too — a fifth of the state’s population is black — did he beat a retreat and apologize.

But his original point had been successfully volleyed, and it was not an innocent mistake. McDonnell’s words have a well-worn provenance. In “Race and Reunion,” the definitive study of Civil War revisionism, the historian David W. Blight documents the long trajectory of the insidious campaign to erase slavery from the war’s history and reconfigure the lost Southern cause as a noble battle for states’ rights against an oppressive federal government. In its very first editorial upon resuming publication in postwar 1865, The Richmond Dispatch characterized the Civil War as a struggle for the South’s “sense of rights under the Constitution.” The editorial contained not “a single mention of slavery or black freedom,” Blight writes. That evasion would be a critical fixture of the myth-making to follow ever since.

McDonnell isn’t a native Virginian but he received his master’s and law degrees at Pat Robertson’s university in Virginia Beach during the 1980s, when Robertson was still a rare public defender of South Africa’s apartheid regime. As a major donor to McDonnell’s campaign and an invited guest to his Inaugural breakfast, Robertson is closer politically to his protégé than the Rev. Jeremiah Wright ever was to Barack Obama. McDonnell chose his language knowingly when initially trying to justify his vision of Confederate History Month. His sanitized spin on the Civil War could not have been better framed to appeal to an unreconstructed white cohort that, while much diminished in the 21st century, popped back out of the closet during the Obama ascendancy.

But once again you’d have to look hard to find any conservative leader who criticized McDonnell for playing with racial fire. Instead, another Southern governor — who, as it happened, had issued a Confederate Heritage Month proclamation of his own — took up his defense. The whole incident didn’t “amount to diddly,” said Haley Barbour, of Mississippi, when asked about it by Candy Crowley of CNN last weekend.

Barbour, a potential presidential aspirant, was speaking from New Orleans, where the Southern Republican Leadership Conference was in full cry. Howard Fineman of Newsweek reported that he couldn’t find any African-American, Hispanic or Asian-American attendees except for the usual G.O.P. tokens trotted out as speakers — J. C. Watts, Bobby Jindal and Michael Steele, only one of them (Jindal) holding public office.

New Orleans had last attracted G.O.P. attention in 2008, when John McCain visited there as part of a “forgotten places” campaign tour to deliver the message that his party cared about black Americans and that “never again” would the city’s tragedy be ignored. “Never” proved to have a shelf life of less than two years. None of the opening-night speakers at last weekend’s conference (Newt Gingrich, Liz Cheney, Mary Matalin et al.) so much as mentioned Hurricane Katrina, according to Ben Smith of Politico. When Barbour did refer to it later on, it was to praise the Bush administration’s recovery efforts and chastise the Democrats’ “man-made disaster” in Washington.

Most Americans who don’t like Obama or the health care bill are not racists. It may be a closer call among Tea Partiers, of whom only 1 percent are black, according to last week’s much dissected Times/CBS News poll. That same survey found that 52 percent of Tea Party followers feel “too much” has been made of the problems facing black people — nearly twice the national average. And that’s just those who admit to it. Whatever their number, those who are threatened and enraged by the new Obama order are volatile. Conservative politicians are taking a walk on the wild side by coddling and encouraging them, whatever the short-term political gain.

The temperature is higher now than it was a month ago. It’s not happenstance that officials from the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Virginia and Mississippi have argued, as one said this month, that the Confederate Army had been “fighting for the same things that people in the Tea Party are fighting for.” Obama opposition increasingly comes wrapped in the racial code that McDonnell revived in endorsing Confederate History Month. The state attorneys general who are invoking states’ rights in their lawsuits to nullify the federal health care law are transparently pushing the same old hot buttons.

“They tried it here in Arkansas in ’57, and it didn’t work,” said the Democratic governor of that state, Mike Beebe, likening the states’ health care suits to the failed effort of his predecessor Orval Faubus to block nine black students from attending the all-white Little Rock Central High School. That battle for states’ rights ended when President Eisenhower, a Republican who would be considered a traitor to his party in 2010, enforced federal law by sending in troops.

How our current spike in neo-Confederate rebellion will end is unknown. It’s unnerving that Tea Party leaders and conservatives in the Oklahoma Legislature now aim to create a new volunteer militia that, as The Associated Press described it, would use as yet mysterious means to “help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.” This is the same ideology that animated Timothy McVeigh, whose strike against the tyrannical federal government will reach its 15th anniversary on Monday in the same city where the Oklahoma Legislature meets.

What is known is that the nearly all-white G.O.P. is so traumatized by race it has now morphed into a bizarre paragon of both liberal and conservative racial political correctness. For irrefutable proof, look no further than the peculiar case of its chairman, Steele, whose reckless spending and incompetence would cost him his job at any other professional organization, let alone a political operation during an election year. Steele has job security only because he is the sole black man in a white party hierarchy. That hierarchy is as fearful of crossing him as it is of calling out the extreme Obama haters in its ranks.

At least we can take solace in the news that there’s no documentary evidence proving that Tea Party demonstrators hurled racist epithets at John Lewis. They were, it seems, only whistling “Dixie.”

I think Steele is also serving as the "cautionary tale" to the bigots (racists) that this is what you get when you elect a black to a high-level position. It's certainly what the Rethuglicans wanted.

And are flaunting.

Suzan _________________

8 comments:

zeppo said...

I lived in the South for about 10 years when I was in high school and then college. I have no incredibly insightful observations to make, other than I witnessed, first hand, some of the attitudes that are present there. It was pretty amazing. When I was there, we were about seven years removed from the killing of three students in Philadelphia, MS, when they were trying to sign up black people to vote. Things really haven't changed that much, I guess. They were just submerged for a while. I think it probably takes about three generations for attitudes to really change, and that is only if there are some extreme social forces at work. Otherwise, it takes decades and maybe even centuries for the local population to unlearn attitudes. A better education system would certainly help. But that's being socialist, I guess.

Yeah, I am also in engineering, software, hardware and systems. I see an incredible amount of work being done in Russia, India, the Czech Republic, and others. It isn't to say that these places are bad. Many of them are actually pretty good, from an engineering standpoint. It's just more of the same, companies going to where they can get the work done for the cheapest amount.

I'm not sure where this will all end up. I think our society may just end up sort of withering away and becoming inconsequential. However, given how much inertia we have and the fact we still have the largest consumer market on the planet (but maybe not for long), we are still going to continue on with our grandiose ideas that puts the U.S. at the center of the universe, long after there are no longer any good reasons for us to think that.

The Truffle said...

Paul Craig Roberts is one of the more interesting conservative writers. He's a paleocon (and his views are often "out there"), but he was one of the few right-wingers to see through the Bush-Cheney deception circa 2003-2004.

Vigilante said...

This does it for me: Bill Maher calls out both the Tea-Partiers and Obamacans on the budget deficit!

mud_rake said...

Suzan- than you for presenting 'that which hopes to hide' from the general masses of our society. With the print media shrinking and with fewer and fewer journalistic essays on TV, the masses will continue to remain unaware of what is going on in the CEO lounges of America. Additionally, and most sadly, these masses will continue to shout the lines of propaganda fed to them by the right-wing media and, thusly, guarantee that they will remain the dumbed-down masses who will grovel for the scraps thrown to them from the banquet tables of corporate America.

Dave Dubya said...

The reality hit home when my wife was told to train an Indian how to do her job. I guess it's better we don't have to depend on an evil pharmaceutical company for an income.

As to the other issue, I have a plan. Let's return General Lee's surrender papers and let the South go be their own country. We can offer an exchange program where we send Northern racists, bigots, and other assorted Republicans down south in return for the enlightened folks trapped south of Mason-Dixon.

Of course the US gets to keep New Orleans because the conservatives don't want it anyway.

Suzan said...

Unfortunately, Zeppo, I think we do know where this will end up: the American Empire bankrupt but very powerful (and scarier than even now although that's tough to define in these "torture times") with a citizenry of slaves living in trailors to keep up the tax base which has disappeared from those actually able to pay, importing all the hardware and software it needs from the farthest regions of China where the people still work cheap.

And then much worse.

But I hesitate to talk about that because I have difficulty sleeping at night already.

Thanks for your comments.

Hi Truffle! Good comment on PCR, whom I've covered for years now, attempting to dissect his rightwing "don't tax'em" views from the sorta leftwing "quit giving everything to the top guys" view, and also please, other people (not me), expose the rule of the CIA/NSA/ad infinitum/ad absurdem.

Thanks for your comments.

He's a paleocon

MudRake, old buddy, old pal,

You've said it all. Keep telling it at your site!

most sadly, these masses will continue to shout the lines of propaganda fed to them by the right-wing media and, thusly, guarantee that they will remain the dumbed-down masses who will grovel for the scraps thrown to them from the banquet tables of corporate America.

I don't know about your plan, DDubya,

I don't need anymore racist jerks in my neck of the southern woods and I'm afraid that they will do something really stoopid if talk of recession gains any more ground - like reinstating paying by piecework: today's union-free slavery in NC where they brag that they don't have unions as they stand in breadlines.

I feel this way mainly because I can't afford to leave. Now, if there's an international exit program you want to support, I'd like to go to one of the countries with the best health care and I promise to repair all their computers without losing any of their data in exchange for a place to live and human growth hormone-free food.

How's that sound?

let the South go be their own country. We can offer an exchange program where we send Northern racists, bigots, and other assorted Republicans down south in return for the enlightened folks trapped south of Mason-Dixon.


Love you guys,

S
_______________

Jazzbumpa said...

I've pondered the Separated south idea for quite a few seconds, and find it wanting. Back in the day, If Abe had said, "The hell with them," and let the south cut loose, it might have worked. Not a chance now. for one thing, they have both Langley's and waaaay to many of our other military bases.

Simply not workable.

Thanx, susan - keep rattling the pots and pans.


Cheers!
JzB

BertR25596 said...

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