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A Passage to India Services to Follow Manufacturing Jobs Exodus
Comprehensive Marketing Service ^ | July 22, 2003 | Bob Djurdjevic

Posted on 08/06/2003 9:12:59 AM PDT by robowombat

A Passage to India

Services to Follow Manufacturing Jobs Exodus

PHOENIX, July 22 - Remember the "giant sucking sound" of American jobs heading south? That's what the former presidential candidate Ross Perot said would happen if NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) were implemented.

The "south" Perot was talking about was Mexico. And NAFTA was (mostly) about manufacturing or "blue collar" jobs, which account for less than one-fifth of the U.S. payrolls.

Ten years later, however, American "white collar" workers face a far greater threat. It is a "giant sucking sound" of American services jobs heading south... all the way to India. Services (including software) account for nearly three-quarters of all American jobs

Services were thought to be the future engine of job creation back home. Yet they are now also on "A Passage to India" [title of the E.M. Forster's (1879-1970) book, written in 1924], according to a front page Business Day story in today's (July 22) New York Times.

Two IBM executives speaking to Big Blue employees around the world in a March 2003 teleconference said that "IBM needed to accelerate its efforts to move white-collar, often high-paying, jobs overseas even though that might create a backlash among politicians and its own employees," the Times reported.

During the call, the IBM executives said that three million service jobs were expected to shift to foreign workers by 2015, and that IBM should move some of its jobs now done in the United States, including software design jobs, to India and other countries, the Times reported.

Nor is IBM alone on the latest "Passage to India." Microsoft, Oracle, EDS, Accenture, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Unisys, BearingPoint Inc... were also among the passengers, to mention only some leading IT vendors.

Oracle, for example, plans to increase its jobs in India to 6,000 from 3,200, while Microsoft plans to double the size of its software development operation in India to 500 by late this year. Accenture, a leading consulting firm, has 4,400 workers in India, China, Russia and the Philippines, the Times said.

Electronic Data Systems (EDS), for example, has predicted it will have 20,000 employees providing offshore IT services in various countries by the end of 2004, according to the Dow Jones report.

All in all, about 450,000 computer industry jobs could be transferred abroad in the next 12 years, representing eight percent of the nation's IT jobs (per Forrester Research, an independent market research firm).

What's the sudden attraction of India? Christopher Columbus set sails for it six centuries ago "only" to discover a new continent - America. Are the global IT providers also looking for some new heretofore undiscovered treasures?

No, it's not the riches of Taj Mahal, nor a splash in the holy Ganges river, nor many other of this country's resplendent cultural and tourist attractions. It's its cheap labor. And well educated.

"You can get crackerjack Java programmers in India right out of college for $5,000 a year versus $60,000 here," a Forrester analyst told the Dow Jones Newswire today (July 22).

Some IT firms are almost entirely based on the offshore model, the Dow Jones report noted. Wipro Ltd. and Infosys Technologies Ltd. are based in India and provide services to U.S. companies. Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. is based in Teaneck, N.J., but has most operations in India.

As a result, employment in India's IT services and software industries jumped 24% to about 650,000 in March from a year earlier, according to Nasscom, an Indian trade group.

The offshore specialists have put pressure on the more established U.S. IT- services firms. Under competitive pressure to offer lower prices to clients, American firms say they've had little choice but to move some IT work offshore, the Dow Jones report said.

Mexico Yesterday, China Today, India Tomorrow

Of course, we've heard such arguments before, including two years ago, when China's entry into the WTO (World Trade Organization) was being discussed. And 10 years ago, when NAFTA was being debated.

It was November 1993. Perot and former vice president Al Gore were facing off in a nationally televised debate on the pros and cons of free trade. The Clinton administration, then it its first year, was eager to to please its globalist masters, and push through Congress its first major international trade legislation. And did.

NAFTA passed. Wall Street cheered. Main Street mourned. At least its non-stupefied citizens did who had not yet been anaesthetized by the globalist media.

Congress passed, too... on a chance to do something good for America for a change.

But there were some honorable exceptions. Senator Fritz Hollings of South Carolina, for example, was one of them. Although a Democrat, he voted against the Clinton administration on "free trade" issues. Hollings said that "free trade," beginning with GATT and NAFTA, equals foreign aid, according to the Senator's web site:

He (Hollings) contends that U.S. agreements have done nothing more than encourage American companies to relocate abroad and take the jobs with them. This has resulted in a drastic erosion of America's manufacturing capacity and, ultimately, the loss of hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs for middle America.

South Carolina's textile communities have been especially hard hit, having lost nearly 60,000 textile jobs since the passage of NAFTA. Hollings argues for better enforcement of existing trade laws, improved efforts to leverage the lucrative U.S. market for more competitive agreements, and a longer-term vision for the U.S. economy, which includes a strong manufacturing sector and efforts to protect the American jobs.

Yet it was all "much ado about nothing." Or close to nothing. Unfortunately for Main Street America, even the well-meaning senators like Hollings have a blind spot. They equate American jobs with manufacturing jobs (emphasis added by Annex). Yet as we have been saying since a decade ago, more than 72% of American jobs had been already in the services sector (see Annex Bulletin 93-53, Nov 12, 1993):

NAFTA or Bust?

Gore said that free trade would help increase the U.S. manufacturing base. That's sheer nonsense. The U.S. manufacturing jobs are headed the same way as were the agricultural ones more than a hundred years ago. It's a one-way trip into oblivion. No trade agreement will stop it anymore than the Luddites prevented the British industrialization by destroying some of its textile factory equipment between 1811 and 1816. It was an act of desperation, perhaps understandable considering the low level of computer penetration back then. But for the Clinton Administration to argue our manufacturing job losses can be reversed - with or without NAFTA - is either irresponsible or just plain stupid. Just consider the following statistics.

At the turn of the 19th century, the U.S. manufacturing and farm workers accounted for over 73% of the total U.S. job market. Today, they represent less than 22%. By the turn of the 20th century, their share is likely to dwindle into the single-digit range. And even the biggest and the most successful industrial corporations are no exception.

The FORTUNE 500 industrials' employment, for example, has been declining since 1979. Their share of all U.S. jobs has been dropping ever since 1969! The downsizing is actually accelerating in the 1990s. In other words, the loss of manufacturing jobs is an irreversible, technology-driven trend, just like the move from the farms to the cities was a hundred years ago. It's the "Third Wave," as Alvin Toffler put it in his 1980 book of the same title. Administrative deals such as NAFTA, from which multinational companies will benefit the most, can only affect the rate of decline, not the ultimate outcome. From Piece Work to Brain Work

Which brings up an interesting anachronism. As economic power incumbents, the leaders of multi­national industrial companies still wield the greatest political influence in our society. Yet, that's like having had the farm heads preside over the industrial revolution! To be sure, many industrials are trying to transform themselves into service businesses, where most of the new wealth is being generated these days. Already 72% of all U.S. jobs are in service activities. And small and medium size companies are leading the growth.

But, transforming a manufacturing company into a service business, a task which Lou Gerstner at IBM is facing among other top executives, is no smaller a challenge than was to have remade "Elmer the Farmer" into a "City Slicker." A century ago, progress was made by turning farm labor into piece work. Today, the challenge is converting piece work into brain work.

The industrials who are prepared to act like an amoebae, splitting themselves up into many smaller business units, each catering to a particular group of customers in a discreet market, have a chance of making it. Those who don't, will probably have to look for their reserved plots in the "Jurassic Park" of the 21 century.

(An excerpt from Annex Bulletin 93-53, Nov 12, 1993)

Not a Permanent Loss

Of course, shifting work around the world is not a new phenomenon. Multinational companies have been doing it for decades. Nor is the latest trend a guarantee that India will remain a programmer's Mecca forever.

Hungary and Israel, for example, used to be the "India's of the 1980s." Remember the "goulash communism," a term coined for Hungary's newfound "capitalism," while this country was still under the Soviet yoke?

As the once cheap labor force got richer, however, the Hungarian and Israeli programmers, among others, discovered that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence - in the West. So many skilled software developers upped and left their home countries in pursuit of higher salaries in America and Western Europe.

But while "free trade" assumes unrestricted movement of money and goods around the world, there is no such thing when it comes to "free labor movement." Most countries have more or less restrictive immigration laws, designed to protect the interests of their indigenous work force.

Up to a point, of course. For, lowering the domestic labor costs can be just as attractive to employers as is exporting jobs overseas, if not more so. Enter immigration.

Even if that Hungarian, Israeli or Russian programmer does not get an American or a Western European IT job on the first try, he/she will help lower the wages in those markets by merely competing for it. Which is why we have seen an unprecedented explosion of immigration from third world countries in the last several decades.

But that's a topic for another Annex Bulletin...

Meanwhile, let us hope that the sometimes volatile Indian political landscape, including occasional nuclear saber-rattling between Pakistan and the world's largest democracy, remains stable long enough for the western IT companies to cash in on their plans. Otherwise, the latest "Passage to India" passengers may end up like some on the "Ship of Fools" J [by Katharine Anne Porter (1890-1980), first published in 1962].

IBM, for one, should remember what happened with its investments in the former Soviet Union during a thaw in East-West relations in the 1970s, when the former IBM CEO (Tom Watson, Jr.) was the American ambassador to Moscow. (The money went down the drain after the USSR invaded Afghanistan in late 1979). Or perhaps that's a page from history the Big Blue would rather forget?

Happy bargain hunting!

Bob Djurdjevic


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ibm; india; nafta
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 08/06/2003 9:13:00 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: robowombat
There is yet another side to this issue, and that is the H1B visa program. Not only are we shipping white collar jobs overseas, we are importing tens of thousands of Indians to take American jobs at home. While I respect these individuals, they are now doing the majority of the software development in the United States, and they are all here on H1B visas.

The H1B visa program should cease immediately, or at least until unemployment is back below 4%.

Full Disclosure, I work for one of the companies mentioned above.
2 posted on 08/06/2003 9:19:35 AM PDT by opusprime
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To: opusprime
Full Disclosure, I work for one of the companies mentioned above.

But for how much longer...?

3 posted on 08/06/2003 9:22:36 AM PDT by StatesEnemy
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To: opusprime
They need to stop giving out new H1B and L1 visas, but I don't think it would be good to try to cancel the existing visas.
4 posted on 08/06/2003 9:27:29 AM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: opusprime; SAMWolf
The H1B visa program should cease immediately.

I agree completely. We have very few jobs left and importing workers doesn't help.

Something our government and big business should take a serious look at. After all, if you take all our good paying jobs away, who is left to pay their salaries via taxes and who is left to buy the products the companies makes.

They are biting the hand that feeds them, the American worker.

5 posted on 08/06/2003 9:29:45 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (I can't think of anything clever to put here)
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To: opusprime
I know of a company holding 60 H1-B visas effective 2 years ago. Those visas represent the entire development staff in Silicon Valley and Austin, all making $55 to $65K annually (which in not the going rate for Sr. Software Developers in Silicon Valley).

So after 2 years of a 100 percent H1-B dev staff, what do you think management did? They looked at every other employee (customer support, sales engineering, etc) and did a mass layoff based solely on compensation level. That is, if you make more than $X, you're fired.

Funny what H1-B labor does to management thinking.

6 posted on 08/06/2003 9:31:05 AM PDT by angkor
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To: robowombat
Good post. And if we want to keep the House, the Senate, and the White House, our political leadership needs to take it to heart!
7 posted on 08/06/2003 9:45:46 AM PDT by neutrino (Oderint dum metuant: Let them hate us, so long as they fear us.)
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To: angkor
What is sad about all this is, money. All this does in drain the dollar from the USA market to other countries. These people send money home. They dont buy American products!

I guess what will happen will there wont be any Americans with any money and the major companies will leave. Which will open up a market for small manufactures to build locally and start all over.

Or those countries now getting $5k a year will want $6k next year ect till everything balances out and everyone will be making $35k!

8 posted on 08/06/2003 9:46:05 AM PDT by Baseballguy
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To: robowombat
Regardless of who's actually responsible, Bush will take the blame for this. Here in NC, IBM is talking elminating 100's of IT jobs and sending them overseas. I know many of those about to be laid-off, and they all say Gore has a chance, if he'll only run. Those hundreds of millions dollars in bribes, er, campaign contributions, that W is presently collecting is cushioning him from reality real good.
9 posted on 08/06/2003 10:12:55 AM PDT by warchild9
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To: snippy_about_it
Multinational companies don't care about America. The domestic companies are run by executives who don't care about anything except their golden parachute. And the US government is infiltrated by many politicians and apparatchiks that are doing everything they can to quietly undermine this country.
10 posted on 08/06/2003 11:00:24 AM PDT by TexasRepublic
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To: TexasRepublic
Then they along with us will lose in the end. Unless of course they can find a way to get an increase in tax dollars from H1B workers taking the white collar jobs and illegals that are taking the blue and pink.

The politicians and government workers may be the last to go, but go they will. Look how high our taxes are now. What in heaven's name are they thinking will result from all this?

11 posted on 08/06/2003 11:09:49 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (I can't think of anything clever to put here)
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To: Question_Assumptions
Fortunately for me my job is to focus on corporate technology strategies, vision, and thought leadership (I know, I know, you cant tell by my posts :-) ).

The Indians I work with are better at straight forward tasks with a clear start and finish. They do not typically have many critical thinking skills, i.e., thinking outside the box. Americans have and will always excel at one thing... imagination.

Coporate America sees India as an endless supply of endentured servents. Indians are already beginning to realize this. I predict this trend to be short lived.
12 posted on 08/06/2003 2:36:26 PM PDT by opusprime
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To: snippy_about_it
Great points!!

I like the reverse psychology angle.
13 posted on 08/06/2003 2:37:47 PM PDT by opusprime
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To: neutrino
I dont get the "if we keep it" logic.

We have control of the three "houses" of Government. Instead of "hoping" we keep them, why arent we doing what is right while we have them? What if we dont keep them? Then we'll all be saying... "damn, wish we had done something while we had the power".

This administration should assume they will not have full control, and make use of the present. If our values and positions are the right ones, they will bear fruit and re-election will be guaranteed.

IMO, this administration is not honoring my values as a Conservative. They can start with the $500 Billion a year debt, and I dont wanna hear any spin about 4% of GDP is an acceptable debt to bear.
14 posted on 08/06/2003 2:45:01 PM PDT by opusprime
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To: snippy_about_it
Something our government and big business should take a serious look at. After all, if you take all our good paying jobs away, who is left to pay their salaries via taxes and who is left to buy the products the companies makes.

Good point, I don't have a job, and I don't buy that new car, appliance or take that vacation. I cut back on all my spending, enough people do that and what happens to the economy?

15 posted on 08/06/2003 2:52:24 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.)
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To: Willie Green; Wolfie; ex-snook; Cacophonous; Poohbah; Jhoffa_; FITZ; arete; FreedomPoster; ...
NAFTA or Bust?

Gore said that free trade would help increase the U.S. manufacturing base.

"Free" trade bump.

16 posted on 08/07/2003 7:55:11 PM PDT by A. Pole
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To: A. Pole
Gore said that free trade would help increase the U.S. manufacturing base.

Atta boy Al.  Don't blow my theory about you.

17 posted on 08/07/2003 8:10:03 PM PDT by DoughtyOne ("He's baaaaack!" Now is he on our side or the side of the (political bigger is better) machines.)
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To: robowombat
Open war has been declared on US employees. Just plain and simple, total all out war!
18 posted on 08/07/2003 8:11:52 PM PDT by DoughtyOne ("He's baaaaack!" Now is he on our side or the side of the (political bigger is better) machines.)
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To: opusprime
There is yet another side to this issue, and that is the H1B visa program. Not only are we shipping white collar jobs overseas, we are importing tens of thousands of Indians to take American jobs at home. While I respect these individuals, they are now doing the majority of the software development in the United States, and they are all here on H1B visas

I agree and every manager that has filled out the paperwork for an H1B visa in IT should be in jail alongside whoever ordered him to do it. I actually will give a pas to the perjurers who swore that no Americans were being displaced and no Americnas were available to fill thejobs if they rollover on their supreiors who ordered tem to do it.

19 posted on 08/07/2003 8:23:17 PM PDT by harpseal (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
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To: robowombat; clamper1797; sarcasm; BrooklynGOP; A. Pole; Zorrito; GiovannaNicoletta; Caipirabob; ...
ping nothing really new here but it may generate some significant commentary.

As always on or off let me know.
20 posted on 08/07/2003 8:24:24 PM PDT by harpseal (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
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To: DoughtyOne
and now there is total hatred for corporations amongst the people who work there (still) and see this happening. this trend is destroying the entire US corporate structure as it relates to the relationship with the employee. trust me, most voters could care less if corporate taxes rise, even if they work at one of them. they see these practices, all taking place while corporate management lines their pockets, so they say "who cares". why argue for lower corporate taxes, show me any proof this would lead to a reduction in offshoring.
21 posted on 08/07/2003 8:34:17 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: oceanview
The atmosphere isn't healthy for the corporations or the employees.
22 posted on 08/07/2003 8:47:51 PM PDT by DoughtyOne ("He's baaaaack!" Now is he on our side or the side of the (political bigger is better) machines.)
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To: A. Pole
Gore said that free trade would help increase the U.S. manufacturing base.

Of course it will. Indians and Malaysians and Chinese will manufacture more goods for American companies to sell to the American workers they are continuing to lay off.

23 posted on 08/07/2003 8:58:39 PM PDT by andy58-in-nh
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To: robowombat
US gives India assurance on outsourcing
24 posted on 08/07/2003 9:05:42 PM PDT by LayoutGuru2 (Call me paranoid but finding '/*' inside this comment makes me suspicious)
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To: A. Pole
Gore said that free trade would help increase the U.S. manufacturing base.

And Bush continues H1-B, L1 and policies supporting OPIC encouraging U.S. companies to invest outside the country.

How about some program cuts to go along with those tax cuts?

25 posted on 08/07/2003 9:13:21 PM PDT by UnBlinkingEye
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To: robowombat
Ross was right!
26 posted on 08/07/2003 9:22:34 PM PDT by Ed_in_NJ
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To: A. Pole
Al Outreach still thinks he was in the Carter administration, too.
27 posted on 08/07/2003 9:24:28 PM PDT by Ed_in_NJ
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To: Baseballguy
and by the time they are making 35k a year...they can outsource the jobs back to us.
28 posted on 08/07/2003 9:45:56 PM PDT by stylin19a (is it vietnam yet ?)
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To: snippy_about_it
Something our government and big business should take a serious look at.

Why should they? The way things are going, all you have to do is draw breath to be eligible to vote. Deep down, the pols don't give a damn where the money comes from. Tax revenue is tax revenue. Left is Right and Right is Left. They're all the same.

If they can stay in office while pandering to a new and loyal voting demographic it is a win/win for them. To hell with the rest of us. The Game is all about staying in power.

29 posted on 08/08/2003 4:07:12 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts ()
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To: angkor
Funny what H1-B labor does to management thinking.

They thought wrong.

Stipulations of an H1-B and L1 visa is that the incoming laborer does not displace an American worker. Or am I wrong? They should be held accountacle for this.

30 posted on 08/08/2003 4:09:30 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts ()
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To: opusprime
I predict this trend to be short lived.

From your keyboard to The Almighty's monitor. I hope you are right.

For blessed is this nation and her Republic...'twas His hand that molded it. We must ensure its survival.

31 posted on 08/08/2003 4:14:04 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts ()
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To: SAMWolf
I cut back on all my spending, enough people do that and what happens to the economy?

1929.

32 posted on 08/08/2003 4:16:04 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts ()
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
Well I was thinking the Right are the folks paying the most taxes. If all that is left to the pols is the left, imported and illegal workers their money might dwindle. And as far as big business, who would be buying?
33 posted on 08/08/2003 4:42:28 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Pray for our Troops)
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To: robowombat
It's a well planned strategy. With jobs leaving en-masse and immigration out of control, our job base cannot support what we have, much less the crowd spilling in through our borders illegally. Someone should try applying the dumping laws to these practices and put a stop to what's happening before we become a third world country with a memory of having been a superpower.
34 posted on 08/08/2003 4:43:22 AM PDT by Havoc (If you can't be frank all the time are you lying the rest of the time?)
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To: snippy_about_it
"What in heavens name are they thinking will result from all this?"

They know exactly what will happen.

Does anyone else here see the parallels to the history of other countries? Once critical mass is reached, those who have been replaced with foreign workers will finally realize that they have nothing left to lose. The govt and business are working together to destroy our standard of living, and wiping out the lifelong efforts of the American worker for the sake of the next quarterly report. I'm not saying it is a conspiracy, but it doesn't matter.

Our corruption of govt is opening the door for some Lenin wanna-be to get the ear of all of these now unemployed/destitute workers.

That's when it hits the fan. I think that the govt realizes this somewhat. Why do you think they are trying so hard to disarm us?

35 posted on 08/08/2003 5:52:56 AM PDT by wcbtinman
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To: snippy_about_it
who is left to buy the products

The emerging world market, so they think.

They don't give two craps about America or Americans.

36 posted on 08/08/2003 5:56:09 AM PDT by banjo joe
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To: banjo joe
Sadly true. I'm just wishing that fact would bring them to ruin.
37 posted on 08/08/2003 5:59:25 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Pray for our Troops)
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To: wcbtinman
Does anyone else here see the parallels to the history of other countries?

I do. Just one of the reasons it is so important to study history.

38 posted on 08/08/2003 6:01:26 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Pray for our Troops)
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To: opusprime
On another thread, the H1B figures were disclosed. H1B visas are good for three years and can be renewed. The total visa approvals for the last three years (and thus the number of visa holders here) is 786,383 visas. This is much more than the total IT unemployment/underemployment figures. Per US dept of labor statistics, the TOTAL number of IT professionals in the US is 1.8 million. Granted that not all H1B's are in IT, but I think most are. THERE is your cause for IT unemployment right there
39 posted on 08/08/2003 6:22:58 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor (Java/C++/Unix/Web Developer === needs a job at the moment)
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To: angkor
>So after 2 years of a 100 percent H1-B dev staff, what do you think management did? They looked at every other employee (customer support, sales engineering, etc) and did a mass layoff based solely on compensation level. That is, if you make more than $X, you're fired.

I take that this firing by compensation level did not include executive level employees.

40 posted on 08/08/2003 6:41:57 AM PDT by Dialup Llama
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To: robowombat
"Services (including software) account for nearly three-quarters of all American jobs.
Services were thought to be the future engine of job creation back home. Yet they are now also on "A Passage to India""

If America can potentially lose 75% of its jobs, what possible future options do Americans have?
At what point will this be addressed by our leaders in Congress, not just Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo?
If the RNC thinks it can just "wait and see" while the DNC claims this issue, then we will undoubtedly lose control in Congress and the White House.
41 posted on 08/08/2003 7:17:39 AM PDT by LibertyAndJusticeForAll
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To: A. Pole
And Bush1 agreed, so does bush 2
42 posted on 08/08/2003 7:22:17 AM PDT by N3WBI3
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To: A. Pole
IEEE sight to let the pres know what your thinking!!

http://capwiz.com/ieeeusa/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=3008896
43 posted on 08/08/2003 7:33:54 AM PDT by samuel_adams_us
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To: A. Pole
IEEE sight to let the pres know what your thinking!!

http://capwiz.com/ieeeusa/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=3008896
44 posted on 08/08/2003 7:34:28 AM PDT by samuel_adams_us
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To: robowombat
A Reader Mourns An American Programmer Who Lost His Job -And Took His Life
FROM: Gene Nelson him]

On May 13, The Contra Costa Times reported on an event that should trouble us all-the suicide of Kevin Flanagan, 41. ("Job losses sap morale of workers," by Ellen Lee - elee@cctimes.com) Kevin was not a drug addict, a convict, or a ne'er-do-well; he was a trained computer programmer with years of experience whose job was sent overseas. The Contra Costa Times story reports that "led by the information-technology industry, 3.3 million service jobs and $136 billion in wages will move from the United States to such countries as India and Russia over the next decade or so."

At the same time, the federal government is cooperating with hugely-profitable computer companies to relax H-1b visa restrictions, so thousands more programmers from India, Pakistan, and other impoverished countries can pour into the U.S.-to compete with American programmers like Kevin. In 2002, Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman characterized H-1B visas as a "government subsidy program."

A month ago, Kevin Flanagan found out that he'd be losing his job at the Bank of America's Concord Technology Center. That same day, he took his life-in the parking lot of his former employer.

It wasn't that Flanagan was surprised to lose his job-he'd seen it coming for months, as his father told the paper. Flanagan had watched as veteran co-workers were forced to train newcomers from India-then fired and replaced by the immigrants. One former employee told the CC Times that employees at Concord feel like they're "on death row. Every day you think, 'Is this the day I'm gone?' he said."

Typically, the Contra Costa Times story did not draw the connection between the loss of high-tech jobs and immigration. But one of the story's sources did; Peter Bennett, a refugee from the technology consulting industry, who founded a group called NoMoreH1B.com. On its site, Bennett estimates that "approximately 800,000 highly-skilled U.S. workers are now unemployed as a direct result of Congress' H-1B visa legislation."

The story also gave the impression that the Bank of America was shifting jobs overseas and hiring immigrants to preserve its competitiveness. But the numbers tell a different story-that of a prosperous bank which has let greed trump any sense of patriotism or social responsibility.

The Bank of America (Chairman and CEO Kenneth D. Lewis) is a public company. According to its most recent report to Securities and Exchange Commission (10-Q), the company's first quarter revenues this year were $8.85 billion-up $0.3 billion from the same quarter last year. Data processing expenses consumed only 2.94 percent of revenue-hardly a drain on profits.

But that hasn't stopped Bank of America from using immigrants to undercut American workers. The U.S. Dept. of Labor H-1B website shows that in just two years, the company has imported about 200 technical professionals, mostly managers. Many received low pay for the work they perform-for instance, one "Securities Operations Analyst" who is paid only $38,100 annually.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, since most of the bank's newly imported employees are likely to be contractors who report to the imported managers.

How do I know this? I've read it in press releases from "outsourcing" firms, mostly based in India, with names like as Syntel, Cognizant, Tata (TCS), Exult, HCL Infosys, Wipro, and Satyam-all list Bank of America as a client. Between them, they employ thousands of Non Immigrant Visa (NIV) holders who don't appear in the above Federal tabulations.

In fact, many new Bank of America contractors fail to appear on California or Federal tax rolls at all, since they are paid by foreign firms with foreign currency via the L-1 program. (But they and their families use government services, so U.S. citizen taxpayers pay those bills.)

More than 17.2 million such visas have been granted since 1985. Nice work, if you can get it.

To learn more about the H1B program and how to fight it, see www.ZaZona.com and www.numbersusa.com.

[Gene Nelson is a U.S. citizen and a computer programmer, who has been seeking employment since 2001. His former employer still employs H1B immigrant. Nelson has testified before Congress on the H-1B program. His upcoming book is An American Scam - How Special Interests Undermine American Security with Endless "Techie" Gluts. E-mail him c0030180@airmail.net for a 22 - page special Congressional Summary.]
45 posted on 08/08/2003 7:52:39 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: robowombat
A Reader Mourns An American Programmer Who Lost His Job -And Took His Life

Maybe we can rip a page from our opponent's playbook (the Lefties) and bring lawsuits against the companies, politicians, and others who support or participate in the H1B and L1 visa programs for wrongful death and anything else we can think of. I hate to do this but if this is what it takes to wake them up, so be it.
46 posted on 08/08/2003 8:10:38 AM PDT by Nowhere Man ("Laws are the spider webs through which the big bugs fly past and the little ones get caught.")
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To: robowombat
I interviewed with Bank of America last week. I'd hate to think they were wasting my time, making a pretense of looking at American candidates before tossing the job to an H1B because "no American worker is qualified for the job"
47 posted on 08/08/2003 8:16:39 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor (Java/C++/Unix/Web Developer === needs a job at the moment)
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To: opusprime
Fortunately for me my job is to focus on corporate technology strategies, vision, and thought leadership (I know, I know, you cant tell by my posts :-) ).

There are basically two types of jobs in this world: "Do" jobs, and "Think" jobs. While certainly programming and engineering jobs, and even some middle management positions involve a lot of thinking, upper management sees them as "do" jobs. It is the "do" jobs that are getting outsourced, the key to career survival is to have a "think" job. Of course, the 64 dollar question is, are there simply enough "think" jobs to go around?

48 posted on 08/08/2003 8:21:56 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
I'll think about it and get back to you.

OK, I did. The answer is NO.

and I will add, what makes you think someone cannot think in India or China?
49 posted on 08/08/2003 11:32:29 AM PDT by oceanview
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To: stylin19a
and by the time they are making 35k a year...they can outsource the jobs back to us.

Why should they? Do you thing they are stupid?

50 posted on 08/08/2003 4:08:33 PM PDT by A. Pole
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