In your last column I posted a comment that the conservative think tanks were heavily involved in lobbying for immigration issues related to tech, including outsourcing, but at the time I wasn't sure where the money was coming from. Since then I learned independently of at least one source for these funds, and a number of others have come to the same conclusion, so I'll link one of them here so this isn't "just my opinion":
There are a number of ways of looking at this situation now, one of them is to observe that the Citizens United decision used to be thought of as going to the advantage of conservative "interests" but that's now pretty much upside down. It's clearly understood if hardly ever said that "self-determination" is part and parcel of the conservative argument, meaning that the individual shouldn't need the government's help to be successful. But I've certainly noticed that the rates offered for contract employment have recently headed through the floor, they don't even cover expenses. If we're going to allow money to lobby for decisions that foster hypercompetition in our tech labor market then the US tech worker doesn't need the government's help JUST to succeed, he'll need handouts all the way along for expenses just to survive, therefore he'll need (and be encouraged to vote for) a huge government! I would think this translates into not merely a political conflict but an outright public policy catastrophe. What bothers me is I personally "lean to the right" and I've tried to get some conservative leaders to respond but so far they're all ostriches, yes I suppose it WOULD be an embarrassing situation but as usual the tech "rank and file" has no voice and gets almost no attention. A sad situation indeed.
@vlsi_guy, the companies you named IBM, TI, Intel and many like these, when they open an office in India its actually not outsourcing its the same company with another branch somewhere else than US so that is ok.
What I was talking about outsourcing from these companies or many other US companies to services companies which only do servicing. For these companies US companies are treated as customers.
"Many American companies outsource only the maintenance and routine jobs outside the country. Higly technical and R&D work is normally kept onshore."
Your statement is incorrect, I've been in electronics (VLSI) industry over 25 years. I've been to India, I worked over a decade at Intel Corporation, I've worked at IBM, at TI. I can tell you (not my perception, but facts) that at least these companies "highly technical and R&D work is equally done off shore"
The problem comes when H1 visas or for that matter any visa to US gets abused by the employer or the employee. That is mostly the case. One can easily find out how many dubious companies operating out of US for being called as consultant, they either bring low end workers and give them high job or they bring good technical guys to US and there is absolutely no work for them or give them a less technical job. Here is where the problem. These dubious consultant companies dont even pay their taxes properly and take away the job of the right candidate.
Outsourcing to offshore is a good and ethical business proposal but getting the wrong candidate to US and make them work continously for long period is not quite sound.
If Corporates were paying their taxes wherever they happen to be established, this would not be a problem at all IMO. The real problem is not outsourcing per se but the way Corporates evade or avoid taxation. I mean if outsourcing is good for the balance sheet of Corporates and if these end up paying their fair share of taxes wherever they happen to be established, then the tax payer of the host counry would benefit from increased tax returns even if it means some jobs are no longer available. The state can then use these increased tax returns to compensate its citizens e.g. through re-training or even social welfare.
"this statement by Dobbs: "The truth is that American workers are the most productive in the world. They shouldn't be forced to compete for their jobs with Indian or Chinese workers who can afford to earn a fraction of US wages. Corporate America cannot expect to charge American prices for their products but pay third-world wages for their labor.""
This paragraph from Mr Dobbs contrains a clear contradiction IMO for if we accept productivity to be the rate of output generation per unit of cost employed, then clearly American workers are not the most productive in the world, otherwise why are Capitalists outsourcing jobs to Asia for example?
The genie is out of the bottle I am afraid. We accepted globalisation with all the benefits it brought to us, we should live with its disadvantages as well. One can't have his cake and eat it!!
Well I completely agree on the point that American workers are quite systematic in their tasks and also robust. When they work they seriously work and not gossiping around. A very large percentage very well know to balance the work life pressures. And the system in America also supports that.
When the jobs get outsourced, the Asian culture comes in and working round the clock is quite common. Because many Asian workers dont know to say "NO". They like saying Yes to everything whether they know it or not. As a result they spend lots of time in office. Also if the job gets outsourced, for one American worker the company can hire many Asian workers.
Outsourcing if seen from a positive side is quite a business attraction, you have 24 hrs to work on a project, you definitely have financial profit.
Many American companies outsource only the maintenance and routine jobs outside the country. Higly technical and R&D work is normally kept onshore.
Jobs are all being automated (eliminated) and that includes the emerging countries as well as US jobs. Careers are another story, but they concern relationships between humans, not relationships with machines or parts.
Multi-level marketing "jobs" are really careers that pay well for those skilled in organizing other people. These are not high tech issues, but rather "high touch."
Banking jobs are mostly gone, replaced by ATM machines, but loan officers (high touch, not high tech) are still working.
In the STEM world, one must go where the work goes, and its all temporary in my opinion. Engineers, scientists, systems analysts, algorithm creators, often need to move where the need is and that means projects of shorter and shorter duration these days, but plenty of them, unfortuneatly they shift globally and seasonally.
Corporations are shrinking in human content in general, and only top guys have careers...and they often become migratory birds as well as STEM workers.
So perhaps our schools should add human communications skills, and teach adaptive living, assuring mobility of all students, not "permanent home town job skills." Just my opinion based on 50 years of career work globally.
A few great careers that involve more machine than people skills are still around, but even they involve travel. Bulldozer operators, welders, truck drivers, soldiers.
While electronic devices were shifting in sales from stationary to mobile, the workforce was making the same shift. Get used to it. Adapt, move on, and don't expect stability locally. Survival skills have to include migratory skills.