Thursday, March 12, 2009

Outsourcing (again?)

As regular readers know, I rarely waste any of my bon mots. If I write a comment of any length, it will probably show up in a subsequent blog post, and, as it has been, so is it here.

My post yesterday, More on outsourcing, attracted some comments in spite of the fact that it was basically a weak spin-off of an excellent Carrie post (which itself has received some deserved attention, having been featured in the most recent Job Destruction Newsletter and in a post at, which termed it "superb"; they also featured Yours Truly in a post - I must confess to slightly mixed feelings here, as VDARE has occasionally gone over the top in their opposition to immigration, and has a strange affinity for Michelle Malkin, the low-rent Ann Coulter).

One good comment came from Red Oak, and I take the liberty of reprinting it in full:
Poking around that blog [U of Michigan professor Bob Kennedy's book- and offshoring-promoting blog, The Services Shift] is fascinating. It's an excellent illustration of the thesis that our globo-class really is a pack of denatured sociopaths. It is now an unquestioned axiom to these people that the nations and peoples of the earth have no purpose beyond contributing to the "competitiveness" of multinational corporations. I don't mean "sociopath" hyperbolically either, but technically. There is no human value - no culture, no bonds, no shared heritage, no social meaning, outside the "ego", as it were, of corporations.

But what I find interesting is this: we know that this sociopathy is not shared by the businessmen, academics, and politicians of the nations who benefit from the mass offshoring and "H1-B-ing" of America's wealth and jobs. They strike me as normal human beings, looking out for the interests of their own, though they're happy to mouth the globo-crap to the eager Western whores selling out their own nations, who probably think they're "one of them", all playing the big globo-game together. For example, one of the links at Kennedy's blog went here, to an article that is pretty much the standard b.s. about the horrors job "protectionism", with an added bit of interest from our friends the sociopath immigration lawyers, warning that "[w]hile some populist sentiment may call for employers to lay off H-IB visa-holders before U.S. workers, experts say such plans are not only shortsighted, but discriminatory. Facing liability for nationality bias is only one problem with the concept." Got that? They're getting all geared up to invoke (or rather, invent) some "global law" to litigate against preserving American jobs in America during a deep recession that may turn into a depression. Behold this bizarro world Magna Carta: the laws of a nation do not exist to protect the interests of its citizens, the laws of a nation exist to promote and protect the interests of foreigners and multinational corporations from the self-seeking of a nation's citizens.

Now this is disturbing, and infuriating, but, at this stage of the game, hardly surprising. But as I noted to myself that these alleged globo-laws against "nationality discrimination" would be wielded only against Americans - the Chinese or Indians would have the good sense and sane patriotic sentiments to laugh them off and tell any protester to stuff it - a question just occurred to me: I wonder what the foreign beneficiaries of visas and offshoring think of the likes of Mr. Kennedy and his ilk (like those helpful native immigration lawyers who are devoted to screwing their countrymen - unless the Americans are the co-ethnics of foreigners they're helping and just engaging in standard ethnic nepotism). Nobody, after all, has any admiration or respect for sell-outs and traitors, not even the people who are using them. Do they just consider them useful chumps, or do they actively despise them? I'm just curious, because I think holding such types in contempt is a pretty basic and pre-rational human reaction.
I didn't try to respond to everything, there's a lot packed in that comment, but I did write:
Thanks for the comments. I wonder if you've ever had occasion to check out Bakan's book, The Corporation. Bakan. a professor at the University of BC, lays out an interesting case that the very structure of a corporation makes it pathological in nature, that it is inherently incapable (if acting "properly") of promoting the common good. The book was written in 2004, and now seems prescient in detailing the implications of the legal construct.

What this thesis makes me think is that most individual people within corporations are not sociopaths (though I have run across a few), but people who are conditioned by their surroundings into taking positions that turn out sociopathic. Obviously, they are gullible, believing the likes of "statesman" Bill Gates as they trash the reputations of US workers, but that's natural of those who thrive in hierarchical institutions. If you can convince yourself that the greater good is being served by moving thousands of jobs overseas, it's easy to overlook the concomitant harm.

As to your point about a nation's laws, it does seem as if we, perhaps out of a sense of guilt about our good fortune (much of which came out of the hard work and sacrifice of our forefathers and -mothers), are the prime movers in a kind of implicit global law. We have to educate the world's youth and employ the world's workers, because we have so darn much. The protectionism of others is understandable, because they have so little; we, on the other hand, have an obligation to look out for everybody else. That we may need to change the rules in response to new conditions is not a popular idea at all.

Your last point, about the way we're regarded by the folks who are profiting the most from our giveaways, is an interesting one. Perhaps, after years of our giving foreign aid and education and citizenship to large numbers of immigrants, they've just come to expect that we'll keep the giveaways coming.

A quick word on another comment. I'm not sure what exactly to what this comment was responding, but it stated:
Work visas stop offshoring of high-skill jobs? Work visas stop the offshoring of high-skill INDUSTRIES.
One hears this a lot (and it probably deserves a lengthy post of its own) but this sentiment doesn't fully hold up. Essentially, what this implies is that these high-skill jobs are going to foreigners no matter what we do about it, but we're better off if they at least do them in this country.

This seems plausible, the taxes stay here, and we presume that ancillary companies and suppliers are better off. I honestly don't think we can balance that yet against the technology leakage when those job-holders return home, and the loss of capacity to perform that work by Americans. I don't think, long-term, that we will retain those industries anyway in the wake of a recession and the idle workers of Asia. There's a kind of neutron bomb idea here, that we can retain industries without them actually employing people, and that's somehow a good thing. Again, I don't think we've really begun to understand this yet, but it's difficult to see this as an absolute good for Americans, no matter how it turns out.


Citizen Carrie said...

I have the same feelings about VDARE, and I've seriously had to weigh the costs versus benefits, but this is how I look at it. First and foremost, the offshoring enthusiasts would love it if we all stayed in our left, right and centrist camps and threw brickbats at each other rather than united for a common cause. The actual articles that are written about H-1B visa issues are well-written and well-researched. John Miano, Rob Sanchez and Norm Matloff all have written articles that appear in VDARE, and those are some of the main writers I rely on to get reliable, up-to-date information. I also agree with a lot of educational posts from some ofthe other writers on the lunacy of trying to get every child in America on an advanced college prep curriculum.

For these reasons, VDARE is practically a daily read for me.

Some of the other writers, particularly the ones who act like they want to take my checkbook away from because I'm a woman? I'll fight them tooth and nail if they try to push some of their crazy ideas into law.

Anonymous said...

technology leakage? people return to their countries of origin and they know, for example, how to use Microsoft products? And that might be contrary to American interests? that is strongly in our favor! And you don't think we'll retain our technology industries because workers are idle in Asia? I guess if you think the jig is up for American innovation, then you're right: No point in trying to continue our leadership position. "without them actually employing people"... what on earth does that mean? Do you mean *American* people?

America's position in technology leadership is lost "long-term", so we need not defend it with public policy? So short-term those industries should employ Americans, until those companies leave the country? All's lost so milk it til it's gone. Reminds me of the antagonists of Atlas Shrugged.

Recession and idle workers in Asia will cause the American leadership position to disappear. Wow again.

Basically in all honesty none of your response to my comment makes sense to me. Neutron bomb idea? Not employing people? Microsoft employs thousands in my city, the vast majority are Americans.

The fact we disagree means I don't have a name here even when you quote me verbatim, but I continue to sign every comment. All wow today. Wow, wow, wow.

- mcfnord

Androcass said...


I apologize for missing your name in a post titled Anonymous. I know you said previously that you didn't want to bother signing in, that Anonymous was easier for you, and that's fine. But, if you're going to do that, try not to be quite so unhappy if I miss your "real" name at the bottom of the post. No slight was intended, I assure you.

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