Debate and Discussion

pro or against outsourcing labor
subcultured at 10:18PM, April 10, 2007
posts: 5,392
joined: 1-7-2006
companies have to make profit, so they have to outsource because it is cheaper labor. Some people find this disturbing because they steal jobs from people in thier own country. IMO it's the nature of business, and if you can make more profit by moving some labor outside the country, then more power to them.

what do you guys think?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:02PM
ozoneocean at 11:24PM, April 10, 2007
posts: 26,044
joined: 1-2-2004
Thanks for refining that sub ^_^

Well “outsourcing” is in essence a made up buzz-word from a few years ago. It refers to the practise of employing a workforce outside of your main company to take on certain tasks that they can do more efficiently, cheaper, better or all three. For example, many years ago businesses would employ their own security staff, these days people mostly go through specialised security companies for their security staff. Through these security companies the staff get specialised training that the original system could never have provided so in that way outsourcing is a beneficial system.

What about say, a graphic design company that prints designs and prints company logos on on various items, from pens, to stationary, to backpacks to bottle openers… Occasionally they have to go outside of their immediate workforce for some outside expertise. Perhaps they have an in-house printing system, but it's just getting to expensive to maintain it and keep up with the technology compared to what the specialised printing shops across the road can offer, in such a situation it makes sense for them to “outsource”.

BUT, when we talk about taking the jobs outside of your country then we're talking out something different. Basically this isn't about smart business, it's about exploitation- pure and simple. You rob from your own country by having the population support you while you remove all reciprocal support from them, and in tern you exploit foreign labour by paying them lower wages with worse working conditions than you could ever get away with doing to your own people! It's quite disgusting really.

It's not a new thing, the worst example of it has been around for decades: Merchant shipping! Ever since “Flags of Convenience” first came about, conditions for merchant seamen have gone into the sewer. Most Western countries have very good labour conditions placed on any ship that is registered with them, but since companies can register with small greedy countries that simply sell their registries and have NO labour conditions or rules for safety aboard ship or about maintaining ships it has meant that most international shipping lines have moved to registering with people like Panama (that's an old classic): and what that means is that sailors can be treated as slaves. Literally.

-In many cases they are bought and cannot leave their ships, they don't even get paid, the conditions are horrendous and disgusting, and there's nothing anybody can do about it.

So, “outsourcing” is a bad thing if it means moving labour simply so that a company can get a cheaper, more easily exploitable workforce. In fact it should be punished by imprisonment. Slavery is illegal in most of the developed world and this explotation is basically tantamount to that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:26PM
Aurora Moon at 12:34AM, April 11, 2007
posts: 2,630
joined: 1-7-2006
Well, I can understand the reasoning behind why companies outsources to other countries…

However, that doesn't mean that I am pro-outsourcing…

in fact I'm pretty much against this.


For one thing, like people have stated before… it's creating a lot of Jobless people who needs an job in order to feed thier families, etc.

I'd proably be for outsourcing labor if there was actually other countries who was doing the same thing that American companies are doing…then this way American companies would be outsourcing to forgien countries, and the forigen companies would be sending thier jobs to the people in America who needed the jobs…

dunno if that makes sense to you. To me it does in a way.

but as it is, the outsourcing is usually an one-way street, and doesn't really benfit the “little people” in the end.

after all, the forgien countries with their own companies aren't into that whole outsourcing thing, they're actually preffering to send thier own jobs to thier OWN people.

So why can't the american companies do the same damn thing?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
Phantom Penguin at 9:15AM, April 11, 2007
posts: 1,075
joined: 1-6-2006
Theres no denying that its good for business.

But whats good for them is bad for the people under them. Its almost always been that way. First it was machines replacing workers, again great for the people running it. Now its whole factorys being closed.

The little guy getting face f*cked again.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:42PM
SpANG at 1:34PM, April 11, 2007
posts: 3,105
joined: 1-1-2006
I posted this elsewhere, but chances are if you are an American you are supporting it whether you know it or not.
As I've told a lot of people, I am against outsourcing. But reading through this list, I support it on a daily basis.

How about you?
Drink coke?
How about Pepsi?
Use Photoshop?
Own a Dell?
Use any DOW chemicals (lysol, etc)?
Get gas at Exxon?
Eat Doritos?
Have a Chevy?
Got a Ford?
Use Google?
Have DirectTV?
Go to the Home Depot?
Use Verizon?
Eat Kellogs cereal?
Eat Nabisco foods?
Visit Toys R Us?
Did you Yahoo?

..And these are just the tip of the iceberg. All these companies outsouce overseas. If you speak out against it, but constantly consume products from companies that do it, you are being hypocritical. And sadly, you can't avoid supporting it.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:52PM
BigFishComic at 9:12PM, April 11, 2007
posts: 970
joined: 7-27-2006
outsourcing feels like one of those necessary evils so long as everything is centered around maximize profits and minimizing costs. With an increasingly global sort of marketplace, for the united states to really stay competetive, they need that cheap labor that they can't get internally…so yeah, it's bad but what are the alternatives?

spang's right. it's something that has permeated every aspect of our daily life and you can't just take it out and make it go away.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:22AM
Hawk at 11:00PM, April 11, 2007
posts: 2,775
joined: 1-2-2006
My dad is currently losing his job to outsourcing right now and I hate it. It's not like Hewlett-Packard is just doing it to make even more money… It's to keep the company afloat, and that's the problem. It's the only way they can remain competitive enough to stay in business. If they didn't, they'd probably go under and my dad would be jobless again. I'm really torn on the issue because of that.

Outsourcing labor overseas is bad for the country because it funnels profit out of the country. It also means less jobs here, and when you call for tech support you often get somebody who doesn't know english very well. I wish there was a solution to the problem.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:45PM
SpANG at 5:42AM, April 12, 2007
posts: 3,105
joined: 1-1-2006
Something HAS to give eventually, though. Right?

I mean, if the economy keeps going down the crapper, we won't be able to afford things like chocolate bars or Direct TV.

I will say this: Right now, corporations not only reap the rewards of low wages and no overhead, but they get tax breaks for doing so! That's right! You get PAID to outsource to another country. That's just disgusting. That's the main reason I voted for John Kerry. He promised he would close the loopholes. Bush never even mentioned it in his campaign. Suprise, suprise.

Here's what I think should happen:
1. Corporations that outsource overseas need to be given stiff penalties/taxes.
They would still stay on the same ‘level playing field’ as everybody else that is outsourcing too.

2. Companies that stay in the US get rewarded. They would need to have rival corporations that go overseas to be eligable for the “tax break” or whatever.

That's the only way this economy can survive. And corporations would at least think twice.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:52PM
Roguehill at 6:28AM, April 12, 2007
posts: 211
joined: 1-3-2007
It's important to keep in mind that corporations have been “outsourcing” jobs as long as there has been somewhere where they don't have to pay folks as much (or obey governmental guidelines). I say that because I live in Kentucky, which has a long history of corporations coming in and “exploiting” the locals to make a buck. What we're seeing is just the same old story, but on a global scale. Local people take the jobs that the corporations offer because they are actually good paying jobs compared to what was around. Folks in India are lining up to work phone-support jobs because they pay well, offer benefits and incentives, etc….something they never had access to before.

Here's the thing, though. Once a company plants a business in an area for a while, the job stability and extra capital that is generated increase the basic standard of living in the area. Costs for items go up because…well..people can afford to pay it. As this continues, the workers become less enthusiastic with what they're making, so the company has to pay more to the employees to keep them working. After a while, the company starts looking for a new area to move it's production to.) By that time, a working class has arisen that (to increase the money they can make) have become specialists, offering more value-added services. They start their own companies with their earnings, and so on.

So, what we're seeing with outsourcing isn't necessarily a bad thing. Corporations moving their low value-added jobs to areas where they can hire cheap labor actually bring a certain level of wealth to the people there, while people in more developed areas aren't really interested in working those jobs anyway.

So…yes, the corporations are “sticking it to the little people”, but then the “little people” gain some financial leverage they might not have had otherwise.

Me? I'm going to start growing my own crops to eat. These things hurt my head!)

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:09PM
Roguehill at 11:24AM, April 12, 2007
posts: 211
joined: 1-3-2007
Ian, I haven't read any conclusive data about a connection between outsourcing and lower standards of living. Something that would be interesting to study is a comparison between the number of jobs outsourced and the number of jobs “insourced”, or moved into the U.S. I can see that if there were a trend in a country to outsource more jobs than it insourced that it may be indicitive of a problem.

Comparing the United States' enconomy to Mexico's isn't really valid, since were never the economic powerhouse that the U.S. is. A comparison with the U.K. or the European nations might be a better reflection.

The jobs that are most often outsourced are those that require unskilled labor, thus the people most likely to feel the sting are the unskilled laborers in the U.S. So the real question with outsourcing is….are we providing enough unskilled jobs to support our population of unskilled workers?

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:09PM
isukun at 7:16PM, April 12, 2007
posts: 2,481
joined: 9-28-2006
Ian, I haven't read any conclusive data about a connection between outsourcing and lower standards of living.

There are plenty out there. Look up anything that has to do with the major motor companies moving their factories out of Michigan. The standard of living there dropped dramatically. My family is from Michigan. While my father getting laid off by GM was sort of a blessing in disguise (he was eligible for a government-funded program to learn computers and now makes a decent living as a network specialist for the Washington Post), most people did not share his good fortune. None of my family members who are still in Michigan are as well off as my family.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
kyupol at 10:04PM, April 13, 2007
posts: 3,717
joined: 1-12-2006


There are winners and losers in outsourcing labour.


1) The elite - increase profit… while decreasing labour costs. Cool. I'm a fat pig CEO who wanna get 10 new mercedes benzes… But I cant since I need to pay my staff $10 million in a year.

But thats ok. I'd ship off that job to China or any other third world country… Like… pay em half or 1/4… I'd save my money now… to finance my fatcat lifestyle.

2) The skilled 3rd world workers - Since more jobs have been outsourced to their countries, they will be the first to get the jobs… and get the benefits. For example, a friend I know in the Philippines… is a computer programmer… and guess what. He has 2 condos and 2 cars. Wow. In reality, he's getting paid maybe slightly higher than my salary when converted to dollars… but factoring cost of living, he is richer than me. (how I wish I had fucking two condos and two cars… instead of driving a shitbox since thats all I can afford) He told me Philippine economy is rising. And dont believe the bullshit stories of newly landed Filipino immigrants… who love to talk crap about their homeland.


1) Born and raised Americans - If their jobs are going to the third world, how will they have a job now? How will they compete with the third world? They'd have no choice but to bring down their own wages. Therefore, cheapening the standard of living.

2) The backlash on immigrants - Since immigrants usually are used to harsher conditions in their own countries, when they come to the first world, they wouldnt mind sharing 6 in one. Imagine. If 6 people work minimum wage… and live together… they'd be living pretty good.

However, the American culture of more individuality and “privacy”… gets into a conflict with immigrant culture of close family ties. Creating friction. Serves as a breeding ground for hatred against “minorities”.

As a “minority” myself, I try not to push wages down even further. By simply slacking off at work (and encouraging others to do so). You see… the harder I work, the more product the company gets from me. And the more product they get from me, means less VALUE of the wage they give me.

But I also see the point from the perspective of an immigrant. They work hard in order to please their racist boss. Show them they work hard… show em they're willing to take shit, etc… etc… etc… please the boss. They dont care if their coworkers will start to look bad. Its a cycle that feeds itself… in a way. :(

3) The small businesses in 3rd world countries - Now who will you buy if you were a consumer? The food from the big company that has high health standards? Or the food from the dude down the street who raises backyard chickens? For the same price that is. WELL DOH! Of course… the consumer will get the better product for the same price.

And what if I'm Mr. backyard-chicken-raiser who is competing with the big companies?

All I can do is cheapen my stuff… so that people will buy from me… or else.

But even if I do that, I'd still be out of business. If I'm out of business, how will I get a job. If I'm out of job, how will I feed myself and my family?

I know now.

There are alot of companies willing to hire me. You know… reputable companies like HAMAS, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, New People's Army, Abu Sayaff, MILF, Rebellious Liberation Army of blablabla… etc… For being a foot soldier, I'd get paid good money.

Or maybe its better if I have my own business or be self-employed? Like… selling drugs… being a hitman for hire…

You get the idea. :)

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
subcultured at 10:30PM, April 13, 2007
posts: 5,392
joined: 1-7-2006
first of all…not all jobs are bieng outsourced. especiallly not the specialized jobs.

Jobs that doesn't require a lot of training or thought go out of the country.
i.e. phone customer service, code monkey, assembling

business have to stay competitive. there's more than just one company, so each companies have to find ways to be on top to stay in business. if you keep bleeding through creating the materials, you won't be able to supply your goods as well as your competition.

even large companies go down in flames if they can't compete. it's the nature of the beast. CEO's get paid because they earn the company millions by leading them (marketing strategies, cutting cost, increased annual profit). you can't compare one worker who might only make the company thousands a year. besides if you were a business owner and you see a CEO riding a geo, would you really give him your business?

it's all about showing the competition and thier partners that the company is doing well. They have to comp thier partners with expensive dinners. it takes money to make money.

most western countries want their citizens to have jobs that require intelligence. they help you with student loans, gov't programs…it's a person's fault if they don't take advantage and continue to stay and work in minimum wage jobs.

Although minimum wage can get you a nice house, you just have to be smart with your money. I watched a documnetary about cubans who came to america with nothing. they all started in the same level, yet there was a man who was smart enough to work hard at an office supply store and saved his money. he has a nice house and could afford to send his daughter to college. while some of the others went to jail for selling drugs or drink thier wages away until they lived in a group home.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:02PM
AQua_ng at 12:03PM, April 14, 2007
posts: 7,830
joined: 4-6-2006
This is interesting. I watched a video about outsourcing during my business studies class.

What I'm going to be talking about is outsourcing services (call centres)

Let's be honest. To do well in business, you have to be ruthless. Businesses outsource to make and save money. They don't care if the service is of a lower quality. If it passes, they'll stick to it.

I myself get infuriated when I speak to them on the phoneline, as I can't tell what they are saying. Some even disconnect. My mum even asked if the call centres were from England when she signed up to another ISP.

Apparently, in India, working in a call centre will get them more money than being a doctor. So I understand they're side of view.

The thing is, if they have those jobs, we can't. And vice-versa. There's going to be a loser in the end.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 10:56AM
isukun at 12:10PM, April 15, 2007
posts: 2,481
joined: 9-28-2006
besides if you were a business owner and you see a CEO riding a geo, would you really give him your business?

The CEO of the Washington Post lives in a small house in DC and rides the metro to work every day. Somehow that hasn't hurt business. Image is a superficial thing and most companies won't even see another company's CEO, let along get the opportunity to judge him based on the size of his house of the cost of his car.

Jobs that doesn't require a lot of training or thought go out of the country.
i.e. phone customer service, code monkey, assembling

i.e. entry level jobs. This is one of the reasons it's been getting harder to get specialized jobs these days. Look at the aimation industry these days. It's easy to get a job in Malaysia, the Phillipines, China or Korea if you want to work in animation. In the US, however, any student fresh out of school has to prove themself before they can get a job in this market. There are no entry level positions available since almost every studio now outsources those jobs to overseas studios. Even advertising firms are outsourcing most of their special effects and animation needs. Some of the greatest animators of our time started out as inbetweeners, color artists, inkers, or other crap jobs. You can't do that in the US, anymore and as a result creativity is declining.

Plus, the more unskilled jobs you send out of the country, the less are available for people in this country. There aren't enough specialized jobs to go around, especially with our economy becoming more import-based.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:04PM
SpANG at 12:44PM, April 30, 2007
posts: 3,105
joined: 1-1-2006
I could make the argument that not all outsourced jobs are entry level. Video game designing and just about every aspect of engineering, to name a few. I would hardly call those ‘entry level’ jobs. No, high paying, skilled labor is also going overseas.

Here are a couple of articles I pulled on the matter:,289142,sid19_gci1017378,00.html

But let's say that all the jobs that are being lost ARE entry level. This means that nobody will ever be able to start from the bottom and work their way up. Now, in order to achieve a high paying job, you'll need one of 2 things: A college degree or nepotism. Forget about working your way up. Those days are gone! And if you can't afford college, hey too bad for you.

It's a further down-sizing of the middle class. Pretty soon there will only be the super rich and the super poor in this country. The new royalty/peasant dichotomy.

Also, this is why quality assurance (with anything) is going down the toilet. There is no personal experience anymore. There is no ACTUAL experience at all. The people that bark the orders have never had it because they jump from college to the management job, and the people that receive the orders are brand new to the product. It's only going to get worse, too.

People that work their way up actually CARE about a company. The same can't usually be said for outsourcers or Upper Management fresh out of college.

The other argument I can have is the real fearful risk of security by sending and storing American Citizen's personal information offshore. This poses an inherent risk of not only identity fraud, but actual RIGHTS of U.S. citizens. Are there any laws in place to protect your privacy if your information is NOT in America? I am hesitant to find out.

Think I'm overreacting? For all of our sakes, I certainly hope I am.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:52PM

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