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Outsourcing hits US techies hard
Times of India ^ | MAY 26, 2003 | CHIDANAND RAJGHATTA

Posted on 05/26/2003 3:51:30 PM PDT by Lessismore

WASHINGTON: On a recent April afternoon in Silicon Valley, moments after he was told he had been laid off from his computer programming job at a Bank of America training centre, Kevin Flanagan stepped into the parking lot and shot himself dead.

Some of America's technology workers, who like Flanagan have also had to collect pink slips over the last several months, think they know why Flanagan took his life: Bank of America not only outsourced his job to India, but forced him to train Indian workers to do the job he had to give up.

In the weeks since his death, the techies have used the incident as fuel to fire a campaign against outsourcing to India, an issue that now seems poised to become a major sticking point between the two countries. Several US states are already considering legislation to ban or limit outsourcing.

Bank of America is one of several major US corporations – General Electric, Microsoft, Intel are among others - under scrutiny for outsourcing jobs to India. The Bank created what is called a "Global Delivery centre" in 2000 to identify projects that could be sent offshore.

Since then it has signed agreements with Infosys and Tata Consulting Services (TCS) to provide solutions and services.

In an e-mail exchange with this correspondent, Kevin's father Tom Flanagan said "a significant reason for which my son took his life was indeed as a result of his job being outsourced."

"Did he blame India for his job loss? No. He blamed the "system." He couldn't understand why Americans are losing jobs. Rather I should say he understood it economically, but not emotionally," Flanagan said.

Bank officials, who did not return calls relating to Flanagan's death, have said in the past that the deal with Indian companies would effect no more than 5 per cent of the bank's 21,000 employees, or about 1,100 jobs, in its technology and operations division.

According to some surveys, the US has lost at least 800,000 jobs in the past year and some 3.3 million jobs will move overseas over the next few years because of outsourcing, mostly to India.

The Bank has also acknowledged that it had asked local workers to train foreigners because such knowledge transfer was essential. According to Tom Flanagan, his son was "totally disgusted" with the fact that he and his fellow-workers had to train foreigners to do his job so they could take over. "That sir is a travesty," he said in one e-mail.

US tech workers are challenging the corporate world's claim that it is outsourcing work to improve bottomlines and efficiency. Some analysts have also pointed out that US corporations were being forced to tighten up by the same people who are moaning about outsourcing, and who, heavily invested in the stock market, demand better performance.

But on one website that discussed the Flanagan case, a tech worker pointed out that data processing consumed only a small per cent of revenues and was hardly a drain on the Bank's profit.

"(It is) a prosperous bank which has let greed trump any sense of patriotism or social responsibility," he fumed.


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1 posted on 05/26/2003 3:51:30 PM PDT by Lessismore
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To: Lessismore
Another coward takes his own life rather than adapt to changing circumstances.

I don't know what's more pathetic, the guy who sucked the gun or the guys who are using it to advance their own agenda.

They both make me sick.

L

2 posted on 05/26/2003 3:54:47 PM PDT by Lurker ("One man of reason and goodwill is worth more, actually and potentially, than a million fools" AR)
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To: Lurker
I know why makes me sick. Clymers like you.
3 posted on 05/26/2003 4:00:37 PM PDT by -YYZ-
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To: Lurker
What do you do?
4 posted on 05/26/2003 4:03:20 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP
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To: Lessismore
But on one website that discussed the Flanagan case, a tech worker pointed out that data processing consumed only a small per cent of revenues and was hardly a drain on the Bank's profit.

"(It is) a prosperous bank which has let greed trump any sense of patriotism or social responsibility," he fumed.

Leaving aside the Marxist outburst, I doubt that B of A is spending only a small percentage of revenues on IT. For any large bank, IT is a gigantic, draining expense that is absolutely necessary, even though it isn't one of the firm's core competencies.

5 posted on 05/26/2003 4:03:52 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves
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To: Lurker
Who are the "guys" you speak of?
6 posted on 05/26/2003 4:04:23 PM PDT by Texaggie79 (pimps up, hoes down!)
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To: Lessismore; SamAdams76
I went to a farewell party on Friday for an Indian guy who came to work in America 4 years ago.  I hired him and he was definitely one of the best hires I ever made.  Well, that company is a shadow of itself and we went our separate ways.

Now his software company is outsourcing its development to India.  He would like to stay, and I would like someone with his skills to stay here as well.  None-the-less, he and his family are on their way back to Bombay next month where he'll work for the outsourcing company.

An ironic twist I suppose but the trend worries me overall.

After spending countless hours in the science library and computer lab (mostly with foreign students incidentally) to get my Engineering degree in the 80's, I always encouraged US born high school kids to challenge themselves and study engineering and math.  Now, the payoff for all that work seems to be lower and lower and I can understand if kids are discouraged from pursuing an engineering major.

When will the trend to outsource lawyers start?

7 posted on 05/26/2003 4:04:32 PM PDT by Incorrigible
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To: Lessismore
So, he's a victim because of outsourcing? What a crock.

He CHOSE to take a life. He COULD have looked for work elsewhere.

This article is a bunch of crap, only for the "**wahhhhh** we are getting outsourced" agenda.

8 posted on 05/26/2003 4:07:21 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Lurker
This is the wonderful Hindu society that we are giving our jobs to --

http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0306/feature1/index.html

To be born a Hindu in India is to enter the caste system, one of the world's longest surviving forms of social stratification. Embedded in Indian culture for the past 1,500 years, the caste system follows a basic precept: All men are created unequal. The ranks in Hindu society come from a legend in which the main groupings, or varnas, emerge from a primordial being. From the mouth come the Brahmans—the priests and teachers. From the arms come the Kshatriyas—the rulers and soldiers. From the thighs come the Vaisyas—merchants and traders. From the feet come the Sudras—laborers. Each varna in turn contains hundreds of hereditary castes and subcastes with their own pecking orders.

A fifth group describes the people who are achuta, or untouchable. The primordial being does not claim them. Untouchables are outcasts—people considered too impure, too polluted, to rank as worthy beings. Prejudice defines their lives, particularly in the rural areas, where nearly three-quarters of India's people live. Untouchables are shunned, insulted, banned from temples and higher caste homes, made to eat and drink from separate utensils in public places, and, in extreme but not uncommon cases, are raped, burned, lynched, and gunned down.
9 posted on 05/26/2003 4:08:01 PM PDT by Lessismore
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To: Willie Green
Willie Green, call your office!
10 posted on 05/26/2003 4:08:29 PM PDT by Incorrigible
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To: Incorrigible
My company is outsourcing some DP areas to India. They pay to bring a bunch of Indians here to America for training. After they have been here for a while, they won't to go back to India.

The get a H1B visa, train here, then quit, so they don't have to go back.

How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm, after they've seen Paree.

11 posted on 05/26/2003 4:10:06 PM PDT by Licensed-To-Carry (He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.)
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To: Incorrigible
I'm scheduled to speak at a graduation ceremony of control system engineers this week. I'm not sure what to tell them, given the automation/control industries current slump.
12 posted on 05/26/2003 4:10:07 PM PDT by bribriagain
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To: Lurker
Another coward takes his own life rather than adapt to changing circumstances.

I agree - he could have found a good job washing dishes.

13 posted on 05/26/2003 4:11:54 PM PDT by Hacksaw
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To: bribriagain
Tell 'em to stay in school and get a Masters in International Business -- that way they'll at least be able to go to whatever country is hiring at the time they get out.
14 posted on 05/26/2003 4:15:25 PM PDT by Ed_in_NJ
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To: Lurker
I agree with you, 100%.

I am sick of Americans thinking that they are intitled to employment without competition. The other person using this death to advance an agenda which suggests that Americans need help to deal with foreign competition is even worse than the suicide.

I do not understand what the big deal about IT workers is anyway. Things change. Why didn't the man training his replacement just resign? Did he have no savings and living paycheck to paycheck? If so, who's fault is that?

We are currently supporting 39 weeks of unemployment insurance for those who cannot find work. I think the coward would have just found another reason to give up if not for this one.

Americans just do not realize how good we have it over here. There are people in other countries willing to work harder for much less. Maybe instead of trying to keep them out, we should develop a set of values that insure we do not become less valuable workers to this nation's employers.
15 posted on 05/26/2003 4:15:56 PM PDT by Pukin Dog (Sans Reproache)
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To: Lurker
According to some surveys, the US has lost at least 800,000 jobs in the past year and some 3.3 million jobs will move overseas over the next few years because of outsourcing, mostly to India.

The Bank has also acknowledged that it had asked local workers to train foreigners because such knowledge transfer was essential. According to Tom Flanagan, his son was "totally disgusted" with the fact that he and his fellow-workers had to train foreigners to do his job so they could take over. "That sir is a travesty," he said in one e-mail.

Gun suckers? What a nice way of describing suicide by a desperate man.

No, I know several of the IT people that can't find jobs, all the jobs are going to Indians. Market place economy and Ayn Rand lives? No, it's average Americans with very good resumes who can't find jobs because it's being out-sourced and they're being forced to train their foreign replacements. Let's hope that you are in a secure market and not worried about such problems.

16 posted on 05/26/2003 4:15:57 PM PDT by xJones
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To: Lurker
Here, here, I agree. The cowards way out by taking ones own life instead of adapt, adjust and overcome your setbacks.
17 posted on 05/26/2003 4:16:22 PM PDT by PiP PiP Cherrio (Kosovo is Secure! -- www.pedalinpeace.org)
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To: Hacksaw
I wonder how many jobs in total, and what sort, the US is losing to outsourcing in India?
18 posted on 05/26/2003 4:17:23 PM PDT by johns4
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To: Lessismore
The market was sending him a signal that his training skills were more highly prized than his data-processing skills. It is sad that he did not listen. He could have been well on his way to a rewarding and interesting career.
19 posted on 05/26/2003 4:17:59 PM PDT by redbaiter
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To: Incorrigible
Do you have a clue what the job market will be in 4 years? What I'm asking, what should this years high school grads be majoring in for future job potential?
20 posted on 05/26/2003 4:18:34 PM PDT by lonestar (Don't mess with Texans)
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To: Pukin Dog
Americans just do not realize how good we have it over here. There are people in other countries willing to work harder for much less.

If their cost of living was as high there as it is here, then perhaps they couldn't be willing to work harder for "much less".

Maybe instead of trying to keep them out, we should develop a set of values that insure we do not become less valuable workers to this nation's employers.

There are 2 billion ppl between China and India. Good luck.

21 posted on 05/26/2003 4:18:58 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP
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To: bribriagain
My suggestion.  Tell them not to artificially limit themselves to engineering.

After graduation, I swore I would never take another engineering class as long as I lived!  I didn't.  I got my MBA.

The cool thing about being an engineer in an MBA class is while everyone else is struggling with simple integration equations in economics, the engineer can breeze through much of the math requirements of an MBA.  In fact, I was allowed to get a pass on several of the more basic math class requirements.

In my 15 years since graduation, I've drifted between development, consulting, management and sales.  I'm currently in sales.  I'm feeling pretty secure at the moment until everyone is willing to accept tele-video sales calls from India!

Having the dedication it takes to become an engineer means you can exploit that perseverance in any line of work.  Don't let the current market get them down.

22 posted on 05/26/2003 4:19:22 PM PDT by Incorrigible
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To: redbaiter
Oh what a GREAT POINT!!!

I wonder if he might have ever considered using his experience to train others?

No, I guess it's much easier to just blame the world and check out.
23 posted on 05/26/2003 4:19:29 PM PDT by Pukin Dog (Sans Reproache)
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To: lonestar
Government.
24 posted on 05/26/2003 4:21:49 PM PDT by Ed_in_NJ
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To: Pukin Dog
I wonder if he might have ever considered using his experience to train others?

That's retarded. Who's he going to train if there is no demand for IT labor in US?

25 posted on 05/26/2003 4:21:57 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP
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To: BrooklynGOP
My experience tells me that your "Cost of Living" is whatever you want it to be.

Most of us are living the "Cost of keeping up with the Joneses" rather than the cost of living.

If 2 billion Chinese and Indians are willing to out work and out think me, then I guess they deserve to live better than me.
26 posted on 05/26/2003 4:24:05 PM PDT by Pukin Dog (Sans Reproache)
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To: lonestar
Welding, power plant operation, car repair.
27 posted on 05/26/2003 4:24:27 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: lonestar
>>"Do you have a clue what the job market will be in 4 years? What I'm asking, what should this years high school grads be majoring in for future job potential?

Yeah, Nursing. All the old people will be dieing off soon and they need someone to change their crappy diapers. Enjoy life! ;-) (/sarcasm?)

28 posted on 05/26/2003 4:25:36 PM PDT by Normal4me (I am a militant conservative according to Petah Jennings. I LIKE it!)
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To: Incorrigible
Re your post #7.

I know great kids who have graduated from college over a year ago with engineering degrees (Virginia Tech) and have yet to find a job. Talked to a friend of mine whose daughter just graduated with a teaching degree -- hasn't found work. The smaller communities where her daughter would like to teach, cannot afford more teachers. One person out of that graduating class has found a job so far. Many of these kids are continuing their education simply because there are no jobs.

29 posted on 05/26/2003 4:25:53 PM PDT by EverOnward
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To: Lessismore
I just find it interesting that companies in the United States use the US's copyright laws, legal system, and military to protect their rights, but won't show allegience to the citizens of the country that allowed them to become the successful multinational corporations that they are today. American corporations are so focused on diversity in the workplace, especially diversity towards foreign workers, but don't think twice about any sense of patriotism towards the people who keep the country that protects these corporation afloat.

-PJ

30 posted on 05/26/2003 4:26:18 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: Pukin Dog
My experience tells me that your "Cost of Living" is whatever you want it to be.

Sure. So if I am used to living in a decent apartment and own a car, and eat out once in a while and then you have a bunch of people who are fine living dozen to a room and eating once a day... You are right. Its totally unreasonable for me to desire to keep my standard of living. I should pool my money with several other IT workers and share my 1 bedroom and car with 10 other people, thus driving my cost of living down. Cool.

31 posted on 05/26/2003 4:26:24 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP
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To: BrooklynGOP
We would not be having this conversation, were their no demand.

I just got my first computer 7 weeks ago, after 21 years in the Navy. He could train me!
32 posted on 05/26/2003 4:26:58 PM PDT by Pukin Dog (Sans Reproache)
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To: BrooklynGOP
If others are willing to make those sacrifices, and you are not, then why should they not take your job?
33 posted on 05/26/2003 4:27:55 PM PDT by Pukin Dog (Sans Reproache)
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
The article speaks well of avoiding programming as career, unless you wish to work in India.
34 posted on 05/26/2003 4:29:05 PM PDT by Rebelbase (220, 221 whatever it takes.)
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To: Pukin Dog
I just got my first computer 7 weeks ago, after 21 years in the Navy. He could train me!

Obviously you have little to no clue as to what's going on in the real world. He didn't train those Indians on how to use a computer, nor did he give them general technical skills. He showed them how the bank's proprietary system works. Much like "training" the guy who valet parks cars by showing him where to put the keys.

35 posted on 05/26/2003 4:29:24 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP
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To: Pukin Dog
If others are willing to make those sacrifices, and you are not, then why should they not take your job?

Are you willing to make that sacrifice? Live 10 to a room, etc?

36 posted on 05/26/2003 4:30:22 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP
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To: BrooklynGOP
No, I have no clue, you are right.

Nope, I only flew jets for two decades, while managing to save enough money to not be worried about finding a job anytime soon.

No, I would say I am just clueless.

Have a nice day.
37 posted on 05/26/2003 4:31:58 PM PDT by Pukin Dog (Sans Reproache)
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To: Lessismore
Ernest Hollings was on with Lou Dobbs tonight talking about this phenomena. I am telling you, the Dems are going to pick this up as an issue. Its not just IT, its human resources departments, customer service, financial services, basically any job that can be done using a computer terminal is going to be offshored by US corporate management who use the savings to put into their own pockets. This is going to be a big issue, not that the Dems will do anything about it, but they will talk about it and promise programs for the displaced workers, and believe me they will gain votes from it.

There just aren't enough service jobs that pay high wages to support a middle class in this country if all of these "information" jobs go overseas.
38 posted on 05/26/2003 4:32:08 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
The John Pickle Co., manufacturer of industrial equipment—including boilers and other pressure holding vessels—finds itself in a pickle of a lawsuit due to its practice of holding welders from India as virtual slaves, reports the Tulsa World.

However, the more important issue—the lack of any need to import welders—is not addressed.

Pickle has been contracting with Al Samit International, a Bombay, India, recruiting company which charges Indian nationals up to $2,500 to find them work in the United States. That amount is a fortune for the average Indian, who must gain a high income as justification for such a layout. Once the money is obligated to Al Samit there is no backing out of the deal.

Al Samit, at the last minute, demands investors sign contracts which result in pay of between $2.31 to $3.17 hourly, little different from India’s wages. The contractees actually work for Al Samit while companies such as Pickle contract their labor.

SIMILAR TO PRISONS

When workers arrive at John Pickle Co. they are housed inside a compound at the factory under least expensive circumstances similar to prison setups. They are not allowed to leave the premises unless accompanied by factory agents. Their work day is reportedly from 12 to 18 hours.

Complainers have been unceremoniously returned to India or shipped to another John Pickle Co. plant in Kuwait to work under similar circumstances.

For full article see:

http://www.americanfreepress.net/Free_Trade/H1-B_Visas_Shaft_U_S__Workers/h1-b_visas_shaft_u_s__workers.html

39 posted on 05/26/2003 4:32:29 PM PDT by EverOnward
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To: Political Junkie Too
Re your post #30

You are so right.

40 posted on 05/26/2003 4:34:05 PM PDT by EverOnward
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To: Rebelbase
I know several programmers who are making a good living at their trade, and with the same company for the past 9 years. The article is slanted.
41 posted on 05/26/2003 4:35:03 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Lessismore
Not to get into the suicide thing but any large corporation that outsources jobs that it can handle in house is stupid and the CIO that thought of it is criminally negligent.

If you are one of the biggest banks in the country are you really going to outsource projects that are mission critical and involve huge transactions of money to some shmoe in India or God knows where?

Talk about the Mother Of All Backdoors.

BTW - I hear that the trend in IT is away from outsourcing.

As for the guy that sucked the gun, well, I don't approve but I can understand. Especially if I had to train my replacement.

42 posted on 05/26/2003 4:35:34 PM PDT by WhiteKnuckles
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To: Pukin Dog
Nope, I only flew jets for two decades, while managing to save enough money to not be worried about finding a job anytime soon.

Two decades in the Navy. How about private sector? How would you do if they flooded us with Indian pilots? They have close to a billion people over there. I am sure there would be a sufficient number of pilots who are as qualified as you. How would you be saving money then? No, I would say I am just clueless.

I would say so, too. I specially enjoyed how you suggested that he should go over your house to show you how to turn your pc on. Cool.

Have a nice day.

You, too. Unless you have other plans.

43 posted on 05/26/2003 4:35:51 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP
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To: Pukin Dog
Most of us are living the "Cost of keeping up with the Joneses" rather than the cost of living.

For me it was keeping up my child support payments. Try telling the friend of the court you want to pay less so you can take a pay cut, and they throw you in jail! This whole thread is based on a very complicated situation, and yes, suicide is not the answer.

44 posted on 05/26/2003 4:35:53 PM PDT by Ace's Dad
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To: BrooklynGOP
Are you, by any chance, in a union????
45 posted on 05/26/2003 4:36:19 PM PDT by Texaggie79 (pimps up, hoes down!)
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To: lonestar
In all seriousness, I would tell a person coming out of high school, who was techically inclined and had good mechanical and computer skills, to skip traditional engineering and do this:

Go to Mercedes Benz and train to be one of their automotive technicians, and get a job at the dealership out of high school, even if you start out prepping cars, and move up the ladder. You would be amazed at what these tecnicians and service managers earn, but stick with the high end dealerships: Mercedes, BMW, etc.
46 posted on 05/26/2003 4:36:44 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: Lessismore
I remember when it was manufacturing jobs that were heading overseas. As a consumer, it seemed like a good deal to get better quality goods (most of the time) for less money. As an American, it was painful to watch. Same thing happening today, only the collars are white, not blue.
47 posted on 05/26/2003 4:38:10 PM PDT by leadpencil1
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To: Pukin Dog
they are not "out working" or "out thinking" the americans, they are working for 1/10th the wages, with a much lower living standard. At 1/10th the wages, the american worker has no chance of competing.
48 posted on 05/26/2003 4:38:25 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
I know several programmers who are making a good living at their trade, and with the same company for the past 9 years. The article is slanted.

Several? I live in NYC, and practically everyone I know got laid off from the IT jobs. Those who didn't are considered to be *very* lucky. Unless you are in the industry you don't realize how bad it became. I lost my job in 2001 and it took me over a year to find the job I have today. I was looking for any job that paid $10 or better, too.

49 posted on 05/26/2003 4:38:45 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP
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To: Incorrigible
Now his software company is outsourcing its development to India. He would like to stay, and I would like someone with his skills to stay here as well. None-the-less, he and his family are on their way back to Bombay next month where he'll work for the outsourcing company.

Here's the kicker, at least the guy you refer to has the option to go back to his home country, where he'll pick up a job probably making more (by local standards) than if he just stayed in India. For the U.S. born tech, no such option exists. If tech jobs dry up in this country, his options are limited.

Another thing I heard (maybe someone else knows more) is that in India, higher education is subsudized and people are generously rewarded for going into the technical fields.

50 posted on 05/26/2003 4:39:28 PM PDT by YankeeReb
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