Commentary

Another Offshoring Debacle

State officials in North Carolina say they will ask the Legislature for money to locate a state food stamp call center in Martin County after learning a contractor operated it in India. It’s funny that the savings generated don’t get discussed much – or in this case, how much MORE it will cost the state to provide the services in the state. The call center in Mumbai, India, charged $1.65 a case to handle calls, compared to $2.05 per case that a competitive bidder offered using American workers. What’s worse is the lack of discussion about what that money COULD have bought – perhaps job training to better prepare North Carolina’s workforce. Nah, we’d rather just “protect American workers.”

Geoffrey Segal is the director of privatization and government reform at Reason Foundation, a nonprofit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. He is also editor of Reason's Privatization Watch.