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What are your feelings on outsourcing?

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by roomfullofflowers, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. roomfullofflowers

    roomfullofflowers New Member

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    After seeing the movie “Outsourced” (great comedy, shot beautifully in India) last weekend I had a heated debate with a group of people, all working in the same industry (one that’s not been directly affected by outsourcing) – all on different sides of the issue. I wasn’t aware people had such a strong stance on it and I’m wondering where it comes from. There’s a line in Outsourced where the US manager explains “A lot of Americans are upset about outsourcing” and the Indian call center work retorts “but sir, most of the products they buy are made in China.”… which is how I feel, it’s awfully ironic to be sitting around wearing outfits made entirely overseas complaining about the customer service for those outfits being located out of the US, innit?
     
  2. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    It's ridiculous taxes that drive people to outsource wealth and business out of the country. If we were to lower our taxes on corporations and small businesses (or adopt something like the FairTax) and make the U.S. a tax haven of sorts we would bring all of this wealth, job creation, entrepeneurship, etc.

    In my opinion, the goal should not to try to punish people who outsource because frankly, they'll always get around it. The business class is, pretty much by definition, smarter than the government and so there is nothing the government can do to stop other than removing the things that drove them to outsource in the first place. As I said, I think the goal should be to try to bring in as much business and wealth as possibly.

    I find it mightily contradictory to cry about outsourcing while simultaneously clamoring for tax hikes on busineses.
     
  3. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    I'm a big fan, makes the stuff we buy cheaper.
     
  4. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    It also decreases our self-reliance.
     
  5. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    It is way more complex of an issue than the previous posters have made it out to be.
    It all boils down to greed any many sects of people.
    Firstly the American consumer. People want $1.00 a paid tighty whiteys from Wal-Mart. No American manufacturing company can compete with such things as inexpensive items such as $5 wholesale tshirts and plastic items, and electronics etc. This is due to thier overhead. Taxes arent the real expense here. If it is, then USMC, Bush has failed miserably in his efforts to cut taxes. The real issue here is the ever raising cost of insurance and energy. This is to include health insurance for employees, corporate insurance against law suits, etc. But no industry seems to benefit from the right as much as the big insurance companies and big oil.
    But also as a matter of increasing profits at the expense of the consumer. Why is it, I live in Alaska, the biggest oil producing state in the nation, and pay probably the highest cost for energy? Why is it, something that cost $15 at the turn of the 21st century now costs $80?
    Such as having customer service call centers in India and the Philipines and even Ireland. My biggest issue with those is that they are often not very helpful, but thier grasp of the english language is severly lacking.
    For instance high end retail products, lets take my North Face parka. Runs at about $300 bucks. Made in China. Now the product is quite good and I am willing to pay that much for said product. What I dont like is that the money is going to line the pockets of the corporate heads, not the employees making the product, and not the consumer. There are many many examples of this, I just named the first one that came to mind. Another good example is Nike shoes. Same deal.
    But ultimately, this is a consumer driven market. The consumer demands things to be as cheap as possible. To make our already stretched dollars go even further, at the expense of our own neighbors jobs. Its a completely greed driven system.
     
  6. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    It also allows countries to specialize and be more efficient. And, as countries becomes more interwoven cant you argue that then the costs of wars becomes more costly and it encourages cooperation.
     
  7. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    Rob, Specialization is for insects. What makes any economy strong is diversity
    As countries become more interwoven and resources become more scarce or at least the competition for them goes up, you are much more likely to see a resource driven conflict. See the food driven conflicts in Africa, the Pacific arena of WWII and one could say the current situation in Iraq as good examples.
     
  8. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Unless I'm much mistaken regional specialization was something the Soviets tried, and all they had to show for it were a whole mess of starving Ukrainians. As Bunz pointed out, a national economy thrives on diversity.

    You could argue that. However, if you turned out to be wrong, the results would likely be cataclysmic.
     
  9. roomfullofflowers

    roomfullofflowers New Member

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    The global economy, just like nature - benefits from diversity. Individual economies, just like individual species, benefit from specialization. I still think that we should take it as an opportunity to learn about and appreciate other cultures - rather than complain about the tradeoffs. Saw this review of the movie I mentioned in the NY Times: review
     
  10. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    While I see your point, I will still disagree on principal. I we all need to take time to appreciate all world cultures and give it the due empathy they all deserve. We should not judge one until we walk a mile in thier shoes. There is little doubt about that. But diversity in economies is still the way to make them healthy. A specialized economy makes them vulnerable to market fluctuation, or in the case of a non-renewable resources, the case of producing it until there is no more. Whereas having many different areas to rely on will protect the entire structure from collapse if something should give way.
    If we look at Japan for example. It has enjoyed a very strong economy since WWII and even before those years it also had a strong economy compared to other countries in the world. Japan is a world leader in manufacturing, especially automobiles and electronics. But Japan produces very little of the raw materials that go into those items. So what happens should the price of those raw materials become cost prohibitive or even become scarce in thier exsistence, the Japanese economy would face some very serious hard times. See December 7, 1941 as an example of this. This is not to pick on the Japanese, but simple proof that diversity balances the risk through market fluctuation.
     
  11. BigRob

    BigRob Well-Known Member

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    I didnt say single product economies, I said specialization. It already happens. The US specializes in advanced technologies, just like say someone like Bangladesh makes clothes. Its not the entire economy, but economies are certainly focused in certain areas.
     
  12. Bunz

    Bunz New Member

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    I still stand behind my post that generalization is a good thing. The US might be a world leader in advanced technologies. But it also exports great amounts of agriculture, consumer goods, aerospace technology among other things. It has a wide base. Where if one were to faulter, others would pick up the slack.
    For instance in SE asia where textiles seem to be coming from in larger numbers. If thier source of cotton or other fabric were to dry up, or a cheaper source of labor were to come along. So would those jobs and that entire sector. This has been an example of the last 30 years. Where there used to be vast amounts of textiles produced here. Because of cheaper labor in SE Asia, those jobs moved overseas. Ultimately it is important to have a broad base of resources produced inside of any country and rely less on international markets. A perfect example would be oil coming from the middle east. If for instance tomorrow oil was to become an unimportant commodity, because humans figured out how to run cars on water, lets say. Well except for the nominal amount of petroleum that is used in consumer goods. Thier only source of continuing economic wealth dries up, because if it wasnt for transportation use, I would imagine the oil produced domestically could cover that amount.
    The bottom line is this. Specialization isnt a horrible thing. But to have a truly strong economy that can absorb large market flucuations, one needs to have a large variety of sources of wealth and not a specialized one.
     
  13. Concerned citizen

    Concerned citizen New Member

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    The outsourcing of manufacturing is a complete economic disaster that will result in the demise of the U.S as a super power. What are you going to do when the enemy makes you're ammunition?
     
  14. numinus

    numinus New Member

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    It is the natural consequence of an economic system that is based on ever-increasing profits. The time of cheap raw materials and energy is over. More profits can only be realized either by increasing efficiency in the work force or paying less wages.
     
  15. Dr House

    Dr House New Member

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    The fears are way overblown. less than 1% of layoffs are due to offshoring, and the number of jobs insourced to America is growing much faster than the number of jobs outsourced. Personally, I'm a strong supporter of free trade, and I would be even if it didn't benefit us (which it very much does) because it benefits very poor people in very poor nations, who need it more than we do.

    -Dr House :cool:
     
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