Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Things the critics of the "outsourcing" bogeyman won't tell you

Two things to remember about the horror that some pundits call "outsourcing":
The Information Technology Association of America has estimated that outsourcing to countries such as India and China created a net 90,000 new jobs in IT in the US in 2003, and this is expected to rise to 317,000 new US jobs by 2008. Workers displaced by outsourcing can, with appropriate training, be moved to more lucrative and productive jobs. For example, between 1999 and 2003 some 70,000 computer programmers lost their jobs, but 115,000 higher paid jobs were created in other parts of the IT industry.
What? You mean different and better jobs are created when existing jobs are given to other, more cost-efficient companies, whether here in the US or offshore? Naaahhh, come on, that's just crazy talk.

Then there's this:
It should also be remembered that outsourcing is not a one-way street. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs outsourced from the US increased from 6.5 million in 1983 to 10 million, but in the same period the number of jobs outsourced from other countries to the United States increased from 2.5 million to 6.5 million.
What? You mean companies in other countries actually might prefer to use workers in the United States to do certain jobs? I thought we needed protectionism to make sure our people had jobs, why would other countries be hiring our people?

The inescapable fact of the free market is this: either the United States has very capable people who should be able to find gainful employment (from firms here or abroad) due to their skillsets and work ethics, or they don't. Perhaps it's somewhere inbetween - and those that have the skills (or the work ethic to develop new skills when required) will work; those that don't, won't. Period and point-blank.


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