Craig: Outsourcing, American style |

Craig: Outsourcing, American style

by Steven Craig

Heard during a recent job interview:

Please, take a seat. We appreciate you coming in for this interview today. Well, let’s be honest: We couldn’t really care less since we actually have 200 applicants for what amounts to an entry-level position, but hey all these applicants for such few spots at least keeps me employed when we aren’t exactly hiring tons of folks!

Now, let’s take a look at your credentials. It says here in your resume that you speak four languages. Any chances one of those is Portuguese or Chinese? You see, back 20 years ago, the jobs American companies sent overseas were really just toy and clothing manufacturing jobs, but now we’ll outsource almost any job, including some of our better-paying technology jobs like semiconductor and software production. Oh, it’s true – I just outsourced my own mother last month. The kids have trouble understanding their new grandmother’s Mandarin dialect, but I’m sure they’ll warm up to her in time.

All kidding aside for the moment, our profits are up, but demand here in the United States continues to struggle, so we’re moving where the money is, baby! According to MasterCard, Americans are still spending 3 percent less than before the recession on essential items like clothing and more than 10 percent less on jewelry, furniture, electronics and big appliances. So we’ve got to do what’s best for us and take our business to where the labor is cheap and orders are still coming in. It’s just like Robert Scott from The Economic Policy Institute said: “There’s a huge difference between what is good for American companies versus what is good for the American economy.” Well, I don’t have stock in the U.S. economy per se, but I sure do in this company!

Which brings me to my next question: I see here that you list traveling amongst your hobbies, so how about actually moving overseas? You see, the job we’re posting for is actually being outsourced to India, so you would have the opportunity of a lifetime to have the earning capacity of an untouchable from New Delhi. No, just kidding – we pay slightly more than that.

I know that may sounds awful, but everyone is doing it. American companies have created only a million jobs inside the United States in the last year while creating 1.4 million jobs outside of the country. Sure, I know the result is an unemployment rate of 9.8 percent as compared to 8.9 percent, but like I said earlier, Americans aren’t our primary market anymore anyways, so what do we care if they have jobs or not? Just look at the bottom line: Only 4 percent of the Fortune 500 failed to report a profit last year, and the stock market is almost back to the highs it reached prior to the 2008 economic meltdown.

Which does remind me, this position does not offer a stock option, though you are always welcome to purchase company stock independently. It also has no benefits to speak of. When the Obama administration constructed the bailout and stimulus, they failed to seriously address the loosey-goosey deregulation of the Bush years and protect American workers by preventing outsourcing. As such, we can continue to exploit the job shortage here in the United States by offering low wages and poor benefits to workers desperate for jobs. In the end, it’s a real win-win, for us that is.

Oh, you’re still sitting there? I guess you really do want this job …

Steven is a Silverthorne resident, educator, husband and father of two, and president of the Summit County Library Board. He can be reached at:

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