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Shipping jobs offshore

By Jim Phelps ·
There is a big movement these days of big companies shipping whatever jobs they can "offshore" in order to save money (taxes, wages, benefits, etc).

I have no qualm with a company wanting to save money. Neither am I angry with some entrepeneur in another country grabbing some business opportunity which comes his way.

I do, however, have a few problems with the whole thing:

1. If lots of US companies ship lots of jobs overseas, the US government will lose lots of tax dollars. However, the people's appetite for government services never seems to decrease; it continually increases.

2. If lots of US companies ship lots of jobs overseas, you won't have as much money being spent in the US. This will hurt the same companies, and other companies as well, when they can't sell as many of their products and services.

3. If this trend continues much longer, we will reach a point where other countries overpower us financially. This will also reduce our military abilities and our influence on the world scene.

4. Many of these jobs are going to communist China. The workers there are virtual slaves of the government, yet we speak of China as if it is such a great country. I can't understand how an enlightened Western Civilization (I'm speaking of Western Europe and the US) can keep their heads in the sand about how terrible communist China is!

I can hear the naysayers responding now, especially to point 3: SO WHAT? If the US can't keep the business, it doesn't deserve it!

My response to that? Do you think this is a great country to live in? Are you free here? Does the worker have rights? Do we have a decent government? (I didn't say a perfect government.)

If you agree that the US is a great country for these reasons and more, then you should want to strengthen it as much as possible. Because if we don't, it won't be long till we are left behind, biting the economic dust.

And do you think that those who have acquired the US business will give their people and their workers as many rights as the US gives her people and workers? NOT HARDLY! Especially not Communist China!

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Welcome to the Global Economy

by TheChas In reply to Shipping jobs offshore

It has been said that a recession is when your neighbor looses his job.
A depression is when you loose your job!

The shift of jobs overseas has been going on for decades.
The general US population was not upset by the first few waves of job losses as the jobs lost were those of Union workers.
It is a myth that the majority of union workers are under-worked and over-paid.

There are 2 core societal problems that are accelerating the demise of US jobs.

First, we continue to demand cheaper goods with more features.
Take electronics devices. Most are made with custom components and cannot be repaired at an acceptable cost.
Oops, there goes another industry, repair shops.

Second, is the lemming like attitude of investors and corporate boards.
They are almost universally focused on the results for the current quarter, and have no concern for what may happen in 5 years.

I do not have a panacea to correct the problem. I do have a few suggestions as to how to make corporations stand up and take notice:

Limit the pay of company VPs and officers to a fixed multiple of the lowest paid contracted workers compensation.

Restrict stock options so that they the option cannot be exercised early than 5 years after they were awarded.

Require top managers to take a cut in compensation equal or greater than the percentage reduction they make to the workforce.

Limit corporate mergers.

On a more realistic level, the answer is for EVERYONE to support their local businesses and retailers.
Stop shopping at WalMart and Amazon.
Go to a local restaurant and not a major chain.
Support "Living Wage" laws in your community.

Another problem has to do with the perception of high taxes and wasteful government spending.
It is very easy to target programs that you do not personally use. We need to start looking at the programs that we do use, and propose cuts to them.
What road that you use could use less frequent repairs?
What teacher that helped your child should be laid off?

We need to make our communities OUR communities.

Chas

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Not an American Issue Only

by Oldefar In reply to Welcome to the Global Eco ...

The same issues are occurring within all the "first" world countries. I am basing this on discussions with those in Germany, England, and Singapore.

I think a major part of the issue is with the distribution of consumption - those of us who have been "hogging" the resources for our own use are now seeing other people step up for a share. Since the resources are finite, we have to have a more balanced distribution. In short, the days of plenty are behind us.

Chas points out how uneven the distribution is between worker and CEO in many US corporations. The variance is even worse between an average Westerner and a Chinese worker.

We are entering a new era, a global economy. What we are seeing now are the birthing pains. Growing pains are still ahead of us. The good news is that if we do this right, we may all benefit. If we don't, well there are over 6 billion on this life raft and I don't think 5 billion of them are going to let the rest of us continue with such an uneven share. Somebody is going to end up tossed overboard if we don't make changes.

There is some good news. There are technologies available today that, when merged with common sense practices from just a generation or two back, can cut our cost of living significantly. Cooling costs too high? What a difference a covered porch makes. Heating bills too high? Building with such techniques as straw bales will cut those. Water bills too high? A cistern and reverse osmosis will work with just 6 - 8 inches of rainfall a year. Try taking mass transit to work to reduce those transportation costs, too.

Got a side benefit for the effort - less reliance on the power grid and water system makes us all a bit safer.

Watch out for "laws" that will solve our problems though. Very few have ever worked as intended.

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Energy Independence

by TheChas In reply to Not an American Issue Onl ...

One thing that we all can do to help is to reduce our waste of energy resources. If we reduced energy waste in the US, it would aid the rest of the industrialized countries.

It would be great to move the US away from SUVs. But that is not the only thing we can do.

When you replace your roof, use white or light colored materials.
Black is the MOST wasteful color for a roof.
You spend much more on cooling than you can ever save on heating costs with a dark color roof.

Driving habits can also change to save a lot of energy.
Lobby your employer to adopt flex time, and adjust your start and stop time to reduce the amount of traffic you are in.
Don't race to the next traffic light. Choose a speed that gets you to the light just after it changes. The goal is to reduce the number of times that you come to a complete stop.

Switch from CRT to LCD monitors. This not only reduces electricity costs for running your PC, it also reduces cooling costs.

Insulating, and sealing against drafts are still important ways to reduce energy usage.

The size of your home and driveway make a difference too.
Do you really need a 10 acre lawn?
Do you 'need' a home larger than 1500 square feet?
While a house in the woods is nice, do you need a 1/2 mile long winding paved driveway?

In the US, we make far too many choices based on aesthetic values without considering the environmental and waste issues.

Chas

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by djent In reply to Shipping jobs offshore

The current administration does not have the balls to play hardball with China. We have a $600M trade deficit with China, who has an artifically devalued currency pegged to the dollar. They are perfectly happy with this and in no mood to change, why would they. We seem to have pissed most of the world and they are content to let us stew in our juices. Our corporate leaders can't seem to move their headquarters to offshore tax havens fast enough and our Gov. still lets them bid on contracts even though they are forgein entities, all the while shifting and dodging campaign financing laws. We probable havent had a politician enter office, worth less then $1M, in 30 years. We have judges deciding elections and corporations picking candidates. If you really want to influence politics, choose carfully and vote at the checkout stand. That is how to influence the corporations that influence the politicians. If you don't like HP or Dell outsourcing tech support to Bangledesh avoid those manufactures products. Tell your representitives to get the offshore vendor off the approved vendor lists. Your dollar is more important then your vote, use it wisely.

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Greed

by gahamblin In reply to Shipping jobs offshore

In a word 'Greed' is the reason. Yes many companies must now move production to east asia just to be able to compete with those that have already gone there. But the main ingredient to all of this is the desire to boost the bottom line. And it's not just the labor. If you are manufacturing Ni-Cd batteries in the US. The enviromental regulations alone will cost a fortune. But in east asia the employees walk around floors that are covered with cadmium and Nickel dust and never think twice about it. Another example: Take a look at the printed circuit board industry. The number of shops forced out of business due to the continually rising cost of environmental compliance is unbelievable! And probably the largest problem is just not having enough lobbyists in washington. The mining and petroleum industrys have much more leanient regulations because they have much richer lobbyists. Where do your batteries and PWB's come from??

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No greedy capitalist...

by john_wills In reply to Greed

would allow his wage slaves to walk around on nickel or cadmium dust: those are expensive metals.

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Create incentives for companies to stay

by it4eric In reply to Shipping jobs offshore

Jim Phelps and I agree 100%. I would go a step further to say that the goverment should create incentives for jobs to stay. After all, the tax base is draining and I would think it would be beneficial for the goverment to protect that tax base.

Or another way would be to restrict business pricing of the products or services they provide here in the US. If they keep claiming that it is cheaper to make elsewhere then we better see their products or services prices reduced considerably. Last I checked they were not reducing any prices.

How about a tax on imported product that was made here but no longer made because it was "cheaper" to make elsewhere? That way the tax could help the unemployed people that they created.

Increase the CEO's tax heavily, the more they decide to ship job the more we tax them. In fact lets make it so after a certain level they must leave the country and no longer are they welcomed here. They sure love their country clubs and the good life that this country provides to them but they don't want to help the people of this country. If they love India and China some much then they should move there.

Buttom line is that if businesses don't feel the same pain that we have to feel, they will continue to rape this country anyway they like.

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