General discussion


Outsourcing and the presidential election

By jmottl ·
A political analyst states the following in a ZDNET article (link: ):
"It's safe to say that almost none of the really important Internet and technology issues will be debated during this campaign...In an attempt to shore up votes and campaign cash for the technology community, all the candidates will probably just play it safe and stick to bland platitudes and generalities about how 'technology is vital to the U.S. economy.' It's just a bunch of hot air."
What's your take?

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You're right, Julian

by maxwell edison In reply to The politician's dilemma ...

It is a fundamental dilemma facing any candidate of any party. That's why I place most, if not all of the blame on the voters who, in essence, sell their souls, I mean sell their votes to the highest bidders.

And so my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you ? ask what you can do for your country. ? John F. Kennedy, Jan., 1961

That was then.

This is now:

And so my self-centered fellow Americans: ask not what you can and should do for yourself ? ask instead what your government will do for you. ? The American voter in 2004

(Just thinking about it disgusts me. Where's that ticket to the next "new world"?)

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Must reply

by Oz_Media In reply to Issues that polarize

Well you have an extremely valid reasoning here Max. I completely see your views and agree with the onus being put pon the voter to not demand the best of both worlds from candidates. This in turn allows the candidate to campaign with a more focused and realistic objective.

I agree with your points about companies being forced to outsource in order to retain a market share and stay competitive in a market that is slowly being shared with internet transactions.

I do have a different view on why the corporations publically say that they all strive to see the worker thrive.
This is obvious in ANY form of business in ANY country in the world. The companies pay thier workers a very small portion of their gross revenue (rightly so in most cases and to a certain degree)but ultimately if the worker is earning more, then so are the companies.

As sincere as this is, it would be unrealistic any other way, a company that overpays its emplyess and buys them chauffer driven limos would be great! In the same sense, it wouldn't last and that same company would be responsible for a numnber of layoffs, not so great.

So the reason EVERYONE agrees that the worker needs to thrive is because it is essential. It isn't insincere, it is neccessity.

I don't think such thoughts detract in any way from the fact that too many companies have overpaid upper management and therefore cannot afford to increase wages or keep business within the country.

I am also not implying that this only occurs in the USA by any means.

This is a global problem and will probably grow as far as India where the workers will demand more money due to the higher number of jobs being outsourced to India. Their employers will in turn raise costs for their services, the worker in the USA for example, will be earning less due to outsourcing, the worker in India is demanding more. The Employer in the USA will now start to see more value in bringing the business back to America, and so on, and so on the circle of life goes on.

Companies need to reduce costs by eliminating ridiculous salaries, paying higher salaries to workers such as nurses and teachers.
One thing I have noticed in US corporations I dealt with the early 90's is that they had removed middle management in order to control costs. There were 'peons' and then a multitude of freshly promoted Upper management staff. THe CO's, CTO's, CFO's etc. cost money and way too much of it. It is here in Canada too, but I think less here out West than in Toronto for example.

Your post all makes sense to me but I think I see the larger corporations as greedier than you do by a long shot. Working with portfolio design for pubic companies in the mid 90's showed me just how greedy these guys are, it's not QUITE as bad as it was then but that's only due to streamlining and cutbacks in what I see as the wrong areas. This does not show that the companies want employees to thrive, but for themselves to thrive, after that the employee can have some.

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Companies and Corporations

by Oldefar In reply to Must reply

As I was reading your post, it occurred to me that you were regarding the company or corporation as a person. This is something we all do, and is part of the self illussion that makes change so difficult.

It wasn't a corporation or company that removed middle management. It was an individual in a senior level at a corporation or company. It isn't a corporation or company that layed off workers or outsourced work. It was an individual or group of individuals who did that. Now, it is very hard to hold a company or corporation accountable, and very easy to excuse an individual for his or her actions because the company or corporation made them behave as they did.

If the gap in the ownership of wealth is to be lessened, if the gap in the standard of living between people at local, regional, national, or global levels is to be reduced, and if the general respect of people to people is to expand, I think it has to come in large measure by dropping the illussion of corporate or company actions and putting responsibility back on individuals.

The same holds true for the actions of nations - people act, nations are illussions to hide behind or containers some individuals control and exploit.

To me, this is in full agreement with my perspective of individual sovereignty.

So what? Well, just something for each of us to consider.

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Good observation

by Oz_Media In reply to Companies and Corporation ...

You're right but I don't think at anytime that I was referring to a company as an entity more than I was representative of those that run it.

In these multi-million/billion dollar corporations, decisions are made by various people. Sometime a board of directors, others a CO, CEO, CTO, CFO etc. As I said before, there are too many high paid cooks in the kitchen. It takes the identity AND responsibility away from an individual, as you noted, and lumps it into a more acceptable (due to anoninimity) collective, the 'corporation' or 'The Company'

This generalization may have been adopted from terms of law and legal contracts that simplify the blame by reducing ownership to 'The Company'.

Perhaps it is due to seeing a paycheck or stub with a big logo embossed on it. Taking away the personality of a signed check. This would also show the money train and great deductor as a company or logo not the person they are working for.

Yes, people are often seeing a large brick building with a big sign instead of the snake behind the desk, just to the left of the plant, behind the coffee mug, under the phone book...yes that's him, hiding in the corner under the big logo.

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Not Personal

by Oldefar In reply to Good observation

I don't you personally, only by your postings here at TR. My comment was to your post only because while reading it I realized how often I and those I do know have forgotten or avoided putting a specific name to an action and instead used "the company".

I receive a number of newletters from various organizations, and I see this quite often. For example, union newsletters often refer to companies in their comments on outsourcing. I can't help but wonder how many of the union workers or impacted workers have ever personalized the action. IBM didn't outsource anything. It was an action by an individual at IBM. Boeing did not close anything. It was a decision by an individual. Companies don't freeze wages, cut benefits, or award stock options to senior management. Individuals do this.

Now, what happens when John Doe worker makes this personal and asks **** Boss why he is moving the work to someplace else, or closing the plant, or eliminating staff? **** Boss can no longer hide behind a logo. He has to answer why he is taking a particular action that means John Doe will be out of a job. He has to take personal responsibility for the options considered and rejected, or never considered. And perhaps he has to look at an end of quarter bonus as John Doe's annual pay next time and still sleep at night.

Of course, the individual accountability increases as the company shrinks in size. When workers pass the owner in the hall and know his name, the decisions are personal, and the human impact is known and considered by all.

There are problems everywhere, and behind all of them are people who have made decisions not as individuals but as elements of a company, a corporation, or a government. We have all at times hidden behind these illussions to avoid making the right, ethical, moral, and painful decision I suspect, or at the least let others off the hook using that same illussion.

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In the same vein

by Oldefar In reply to Good observation

who at TechRepublic decides on how the Web site navigation occurs? How about a name and an email? How about individual responsibility? Why did you put Discussion above Technical Q&A? Why is there a default topic area at all? Why do we not have a spell checker for users posting discussions or questions?

At least give it to Oz so he can complain directly! ;-)

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Good thoughts

by Oz_Media In reply to In the same vein

I have learned to read your posts a little more carefully lately as i see a lot of logic and common sense in your ideas.

I wasn't trying to sound defensive in my last post, I just wanted to be clear that I was not intending on singling out a proprietor as these were much larger companies that I spoke of and ones that have many responsible parties involved.

You actually sparked an interesting thought for me (uh oh !)

A guy I know was complaining about the family run business he works in (small town life for me now, almost all business are family operated here except Weyerhauser and Crown Forests)he was complaining that they had a small town attitude and him being from Victoria (Capitol of BC) he was shocked that they aren't interested in his thoughts and ways to improve efficiency. He also complained that(bosses name)was this and that and he said this and did that etc. Very personal!

He then said he preferred working in Victoria for the larger companies just because THE COMPANY was so well run and THE COMPANY did this and that.

When I speak with him next, I will remind him of what you've said here, it was quite thought provoking and I think he'll see that just because THE COMPANY now has a name, this doesn't mean he is being treated differently, just that the company has now become personal as it's owner is someone he works closely with and knows in a more personal nature.

You're right, this does effect the overall reaction to changes, decisions etc. Once a face is put to a logo or corporate image.


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Corporations indeed!

by DC_GUY In reply to Good thoughts

Oldefar raised an issue that I have been trumpeting for years, and I am gladdened by the thoughtful responses to it. Many of the problems in what we call the "free market" are due to the existence of what lawyers call "artificial persons": corporations. The free market as described by Adam Smith was supposed to be a level playing field populated by producers and consumers of more or less equal stature. He never envisioned corporations with the wealth and power of small nations "competing" with individual employees, suppliers, and customers. He would throw up if he read the chapter in a modern economics textbook describing the "holding company": a pyramidal corporation that contributes absolutely nothing to the free market but just skims the profits off the top of other corporations, routinely tossing them, their employees, and customers off the playing field as casually as chessmen. The corporation was invented by government as a modern version of the disappearing aristocracy: able to perform the nefarious deeds that the government itself could not get away with (especially one that must now deal with elections), but with no accountability. Corporate leaders used to strive to achieve a modicum of good citizenship, recognizing that their families' future was linked to the prosperity of their country. Today's corporate leaders are either less educated and don't understand the pitfalls of living only for the next quarter, or else they really are part of an international conspiracy and plan on moving their families to an enclave where they can be provided with luxury goods by low-wage workers while the rest of us go jobless.

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by Oldefar In reply to Good thoughts

Just want to thank all the posters at TR.

Ideas are a lot like seeds. For a seed to grow, the soil has to be prepared by breaking up the ground a bit, sometimes adding a bit of fertilizer, knocking down competing plants, and adding the right amount of water and sunshine.

Now the soil at my place in the blackland prairie region of Texas can be tough to break up. When wet it is so sticky it will suck the toenails off you right through your boots, and when dry it can challenge concrete for hardness. It takes time and effort to break it up for farming, and takes a whole lot of manure to get it workable for gardening. Most of the time its too wet or too dry except for weeds, and those weeds can be mighty tough to deal with. They will burn you, prick you, cut you, and generally block any attempt of a useful plant to grow.

Now my mind is a bit more like that blackland soil than I care to admit. However, there is hope. In this forum there are plenty of posts that keep plowing into those weeds of foolish ideas and concepts. A whole lot of manure gets spread around on a regular basis! But there are some good seeds being dropped as well, and enough sunshine for some of those to grow.

So to all of you who have helped plow into my brain, spread your manure, kept dropping those seeds of ideas, brought a bit of sunshine, and even rained on my parade - thanks!

DC-Guy - sometimes you have to sow a lot of seed before it lands on prepared soil.

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Let me know

by Oz_Media In reply to Good thoughts

Anytime you need some more manure. ;-P

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