A new analysis commissioned by the Legislature suggests that sending American jobs overseas, far from being a blow to employment, can actually help preserve existing jobs and create new ones.
The paper, prepared by the Public Policy Institute of California, warns lawmakers against trying to stem the practice by prohibiting offshoring in state contracts, noting that such a ban would drive up the cost of services and take money away from other programs in the budget...
"Because of the dynamics of the U.S. economy and offshoring's expected effect on productivity, the overall, longer-run effect of offshoring may be to increase living standards at home," [the report says].
I scanned the report, and I didn't see anything in there supporting the long-term benefits of outsourcing. It doesn't address the problem of technological innovation being sent offshore. And, it doesn't address the problems described in Students saying no to computer science:
This fall, there are just under 200 new undergraduate majors in MIT's electrical engineering and computer science department, down from about 240 last year and roughly 385 three years ago.
The Rutgers University computer science department has canceled some course sections and expects total enrollment in classes in the major this year to be thousands less than its peak of 6,500 several years ago. Saul Levy, chair of the undergraduate computer science program, said the ongoing decline stems from the way students perceive career prospects.
"They don't believe in the job market in computers anymore," Levy said.
Because of offshoring, those in India do believe in the job market in computers. In fact, I'm sure Indian colleges are rapidly teaching their students all about computer programming even while Rutgers is reducing the number of classes. If that disparity accelerates, how long before schools start dropping CS programs? At that point in time, the long-term problems with offshoring might become clear to many people. But, fully expect the usual suspects to come out with yet another cheery, rosy report.
It's strange how many of the wonderful new programs proposed by our "leaders" - whether in offshoring or immigration - tend to have a whiff of Saudi Arabia or Latin America about them. I guess I should just top up my glass of Kato-Aid and sit on my veranda.
Politics · Wed, 08/25/2004 - 20:15 · Importance: 1