Monday, March 15, 2004

Why the Outsourcing Flap Makes Cents

Rich Miller, who runs my favorite blog, made a posting near to my heart titled, "Why the Outsourcing Flap Makes No Sense" - where, Rich asks what the flap is all about.

The flap is about...well, pissed off people that lost their jobs.
I spoke with two different people today who are old friends. They both worked (past tense) at Sabre. The first was a VP of engineering who was laid off and his job was moved to Poland. This guy was a real "do-er" - the kind of guy that made things happen - he'd cut through the BS and get things done. Does he cost more than someone in Poland? Yes. Sucks to be him. He's now remodeling his kitchen and sending resumes out on He gets it - lower wages for Sabre lead to a more competitive product - higher share prices for share holders and lower prices for consumers. He completely gets it - but he's still pissed off.

The second person I talked with (a project manager) told me that she was told that she had to let her whole team go because they were to be replaced with people in India. She told her manager that she didn't like the idea but went along. Eventually she was told that her job was moving offshore as well but they gave her the option of being manager of 'offshore procurement'. She did it. Then when the procurement was done she was let go. Now she is reading books on how to day-trade. And yes, she is pissed off.

The flap is about people that are great at their job who get let go based purely on cost. They weren't given the opportunity to accept a lower salary - after all, their employer has a mandate to move 25% of product engineering jobs offshore. The flap is about humans who felt disgraced by long-time employers.

Maybe the U.S. installed a minimum wage system too early. Maybe we drove up our own cost of living and that drove up our salaries. It is our own fault. I know - yelling about free markets won't change anything. But if my friends at Sabre and all the other companies that have cut U.S. workers want to bitch - I understand. Flap all you want - because that is all you are going to get.

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