Friday, June 09, 2006

Education-Retraining =Middle Class Jobs Myth

The following email was written by an American software engineer commenting on economist Paul Craig Roberts' recent article debunking the jobs outsourcing lies of corporate lobbyists like Harris Miller.

Since Harris Miller avoids all discussion of the corporate worker replacement programs he supported as a business lobbyist and since he continues to assure Virginians that education and retraining will make them "competitive" (i.e., employable), a dose of reality is clearly in order.

So, here's some testimony from the real working world about what's happening to the American "high tech" workforce -- the jobs sector that was supposed to be our national future after the industrial jobs went offshore... This American engineer's experience flatly contradicts the sort of pro-outsourcing, dynamic world economy nonsense that Miller has used as a smokescreen throughout this campaign. For Miller and his corporate clients, it's all about replacing expensive Americans with cheap foreign labor whenever possible...

"I have a Masters of Science and work for a large software/travel related company near Dallas, TX. My employer is growing a presence in India, and it was very easy because we have so many Indian citizens who have worked here for years. The company first offered a nice deal to have them relocate back to India. At the same time we hire ["business visa"] contractors and bring them onshore for 6 months (perhaps they are paid about 25k, a fraction of my salary) then cycle them back [offshore]. Basically I'm watching as our [American] groups shrink, evidenced by the closing of buildings...but the code is still being written somewhere [by non-Americans].

In a recent mail from my US senator she explained how she believed we needed more math and science grads [making the same claims that Harris Miller has long made as a business lobbyist and political candidate]...I had to laugh. Why on earth would an intelligent American choose a career in math and science? They [i.e., "Americans"] have a right to act in their own best interest, and a smart young person would be better off in law or medicine or something that people will still do here in the future...

The status of the job is in decline, and it's obvious. We work long hours but are asked not to indicate in time sheets that we work any more than 40. We are crowded into "labs" that resemble call centers...again, why on earth would somebody get a Masters degree to sit in a bull pen? Our India located counterparts are worse, perhaps they work 60 hours a week, but indicate on projects that they work 40...Can you see how the productivity measures are skewed?"


Blogger AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Thanks for this article. The only jobs that are safe are those that can't be done off shore. That is, jobs that must be done on site.

For some, it will be medicine, as a hands on doctor or nurse; lawyer; or other profession that requires face to face contact.

But, realistically, we also need jobs for people who are bright, able to complete an Associate or Bachelors program but who aren't going to be rocket scientists with advanced degrees and years of training.

Any society where only the very few with advanced degrees can make a halfway decent living but everybody else is reduced to flipping burgers or scanning prices at Wal-Mar is a society that is going to have a small wealthy class and a vast impoverished class with no in between.

In other words, kiss the middle-class as we have known it good-bye.

Is that the best Harris Miller and the corporations he represented can do?

Fri Jun 09, 07:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Info_Tech_Guy said...


I don't believe that the CEOs and the others driving the offshore outsourcing and worker replacement programs (H-1b, L-1 and other "guest worker" programs) care about the longer term consequeneces to our nation and our society. They are fixated on maximising compensation, driving down labor costs and maximising revenue related objectives measured on a quarterly basis.

They live in isolation from the majority of Americans -- even the majority of the middle class. Many don't even think of themselves as members of our communities or Americans. I have worked with and gone to school with people who are now a part of this managerial/investor elite. They seen proud to announce a sort of internationalist comraderie with others of the same privileged class while belittling their fellow Americans.

For the most part, I find the proponents of offshore outsourcing are disconnected, disinterested and incredibly arrogant. They sometimes attempt to pass themselves off as good democrats but their selfish preoccupation with amassing wealth and power makes such assertions preposterous. (We see this quite clearly in Harris Miller.)

Sadly, I find this elitist class in positions of influence manipulating political affairs in both major American political parties.

This is what makes the Jim Webb campaign revolutionary -- a sort of working/middle class insurgency -- a reassertion of real American democracy and the ideals of real economic opportunity for ALL American -- not just the wealthy and well-connected.

Fri Jun 09, 08:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Code Monkey said...

Dude, you've nailed it.

"We work long hours but are asked not to indicate in time sheets that we work any more than 40."

Exactly the same crap is going on where I work. I couldn't believe it. They're now asking you to lie to your own detriment. We don't expect to be paid overtime, but our managers DON'T EVEN WANT TO FRIGGING KNOW HOW MUCH WE WORK. This is new where I work. I will not participate in such a charade. If that's what they want, let them fill out my damned time sheet. But don't ask me to do it. Lying is still against the corporate ethics policy.

Sun Jun 11, 05:47:00 PM GMT-5  

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