Commentary

Techies Tout Outsourcing

The conspiracy mounts. Add the American Electronics Association to the list of those hell-bent on outsourcing America. The group recently released a report that defends the practice. Actually, it sounds like another good dose of sobriety on the subject. Among the findings: 1. The magnitude of offshore outsourcing is unknown. 2. A weak international and domestic economy and productivity improvements are the primary cause of the lost jobs over the last three yearsââ?¬â??not outsourcing. 3. Changes in the international marketplace are posing far more significant new competitive challenges for U.S. companies than is offshore outsourcing. 4. The United States experienced a similar anxiety to offshore outsourcing in the late 1980s and early 1990s when there was a common view that Japan was going to take over the world. It didn’t. 5. We should not forget that the United States remains an immensely attractive location for foreign direct investment and insourcing by foreign companies, employing millions of Americans. 6. Although some people will be hurt, offshore outsourcing is likely to be a long-term benefit for the United States. 7. If protectionist legislation should emerge from the states or Congress, high tech, as the largest exporter, stands to lose the most. The report also notes that other nations have caught up to the US in a crucial areaââ?¬â??education. Unless we improve education, we can expect companies to turn to foreign nations not just for cheaper labor, but for smarter labor. So we can either make ourselves smarter or foreign nations dumber. (Via Daniel Weintraub)

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.