Right Thinking From The Left Coast
If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti

Visdom from Vajpayee
by Lee

Generally speaking, I agree with the Indian prime minister.

India’s prime minister today said Western workers’ opposition to the outsourcing of jobs to India will hurt their companies and their countries’ economies.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee attributed the recent surge in outsourcing to visa restrictions blocking the movement of skilled workers to rich countries.

Companies in the United States and Europe are cutting costs by tapping cheap labor in India and other developing countries, particularly in software development and in so-called “back office’’ work such as the handling of customer calls and payroll processing.

Tens of thousands of technology jobs in Europe, mostly Britain, are moving overseas. In the United States the numbers are even bigger.

But Vajpayee said outsourcing means savings and profits for Western economies.

“The resultant boost to the balance sheets and dividend pay-outs are very much in these countries,’’ Vajpayee said. “The increased profits are also plowed back into these economies.’’

Vajpayee’s comments, his first on the issue, came at a summit of business and political leaders from India and the European Union.

Vajpayee said the debate over outsourcing was mainly emotional and lacked perspective.

I disagree that the debate is “mainly emotional.” These are real, actual people losing their jobs, not some vague, nebulous statistic.  But he is correct in that this is the type of cost-cutting operation that contributes to a strong, healthy economy.  I don’t think that we should be working to save American jobs simply for the sake of saving an American job.  The advent of the automobile brought about the demise of the horse buggy industry.  The introduction of the business computer virtually negated the typewriter business.  (Olvetti, anyone?  How about Smith/Corona?  Ever hear of them anymore?) Change, while hard on the individual, is good for the economy and the country overall.

Posted by Lee on 11/29/03 at 07:48 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

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