Read this and then come back here for what actually happened:
Everyone keeps conjecturing this and that about outsourcing and why companies are moving overseas. Well, technically they are not moving, they are just shifting business around to reduce the bottom-line costs. There are a number of reasons businesses may claim they are moving overseas, but there is only one underlying reason:
Businesses here in states are not innovating. They are not inventing. They are not being creative. What happens when this happens? Think about it for a moment.
If you guessed that in order to stay in business they have to focus on reducing bottom-line costs, you have guessed correctly. So, really outsourcing is just one symptom of a huge problem here in the U.S. For lack of a better term, I am going to blatantly call every American lazy. You are all lazy. And fat. So there.
Now that I've got your attention, let me show you what people are doing around the world that the media does not want you to know. Singapore, according to someone in the comments of the article, is some third-world country. They could not be more wrong. Singapore, by all respects, outdoes American technology-wise a hundred times over. A very simple example: Every person who has a cell phone outside of America has a chip that can simply be transferred to any other phone and have it work. Americans generally are clueless about this because privacy advocates interfere with anything that sounds remotely too easy-to-use. This makes our phone system completely incompatible with the rest of the world. The media blocks most outside communications with those in the U.S. to protect the image that we are "superior." An example of this media interference: Most Americans are led to believe that 99% of all Iraqis are terrorists. In actuality, 99.99999% of all Iraqis really just want to live normal lives and only put up with our foolishness as long as we don't get in their physical way of going to the market to buy food for their family. So, in reality, America is brainwashed by information blocking and controls.
That said, a lot of companies are using this to their advantage because they simply can't innovate with these controls in place brainwashing their employees. They are sending their companies overseas because the innovation is in other countries. Remember that very smart people are making these decisions and they don't generally make them lightly.
So, what can the average "Mark" do in this situation to keep his job? Innovate. Think of ideas. Be creative. Use the right half of your grey matter. Once you have a really great idea, sell it to those who control the bottom line. Show them how it improves the bottom-line and positions the company in the market. Anyone can simply obey orders, "Here, program this" or "Go sweep the floor" or "Change this account over to the new system." Even having a degree is not enough. It takes guts and brains to not only take orders but be innovative when executing them. You have to be able to think for yourself to create new ways to do things.
Here is what happens if people in the U.S. don't innovate: The economy goes down the toilet. The 2000 stock plummet was a symptom of the real problem. If people were innovating, those startups would have been valuable and the U.S. wouldn't be in the situation it is in today. Instead, they were overpriced because people did not understand the value of innovation. eBay, Amazon, and Google were innovators...they are still in business today.
Here is what will happen if the U.S. doesn't start innovating again: The economy stays in the toilet. Enough said.
By the way, the whole Bush vs. Kerry debate on the economy and how they will improve it is one big lie after another. Both the President and Kerry know the truth: No U.S. President has ever had a significant positive impact on the economy. Historians know this to be fact. As a case-in-point, FDR's "New Deal" to recover the economy set the U.S. behind 10 years of every other country in the world. The best positive thing any President can do is reassure the people - this is how the economy recovered from Black Tuesday. Get the people to trust their bank to build a trust relationship. In reality, it is an empty promise, but people believe it well enough that they store their hard-earned money there. If, for no other reason, to gain interest. Wars can also help boost the economy briefly, but acts more like steroids. The initial war with Iraq, to be blatantly honest, was really a well-timed operation to help recover the economy in specific sectors. Kerry is foolish to take the Presidency at this time, because the fallout from Iraq is extremely risky if he wants a second term. Kerry is a fool in general, but that is a gargled backwash story better left for another time to swallow. Just a hint to those voting in Michigan - Kerry has threatened to drain the Great Lakes and then promptly said he wouldn't - heed that hypocrisy and double-talk at the polls as the Michigan and Illinois fishing industries and fresh water supply are in limbo (roughly 40% of the annual Michigan income is fishing and we need the fresh water to live and draining the lakes would cause the midwest to turn to wasteland). Bush has 4 years of precedence of not touching them, so I feel much safer with him behind the wheel. Kerry is a very dangerous loose cannon.
Anyway, I digress. How does one become innovative? The concept is pretty vague, so let me give an example. I'm tired of every car being the same. You walk into a dealer and every car has the steering wheel on the left, a gas and brake pedal, four wheels, and windshield wipers. Let's take windshield wiper blades. They practically haven't changed since they were invented. You turn them on and they wipe back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Honestly, I don't care what you do with them, but please make them do something else? Experiment. Perhaps figure a way to eliminate them altogether and keep the windshield clear year round. Impossible? Well, flying was "impossible" yet a bunch of people tried it anyway. Those crazy innovators. Now they are famous. Dead. But famous.
Or how about the windshield? Take the sun. Lots of drivers get blinded by glare off the windshield. What is the current workaround? Sun visors. Those things have been around forever. Get rid of them and think. What else is available? Watch a few commercials and you will see Lens Crafters with something called Transitions. Well, that works "in any light", right? Wrong. I own a pair and let me tell you, when I am driving, my Transitions lenses don't work as advertised. Why? They respond to UV radiation only. Glass and metal blocks those "harmful UV rays" so I still get glare. But wait! What happens if you use that technology in the windshield itself? No need for sun visors. Improved visibility. The windows and windshield automatically darken in bright sunlight and go clear in the shade or at dusk/night. That is innovation at its best. Solving problems. Problems you never thought were problems. This is how people keep jobs in the U.S. The only problem with this particular idea is that the law prohibits tinted windows and this might be viewed as tinting...but if I worked at GM or Ford, I would take that risk and sell it to management.
I've got plenty of innovative ideas for the car still tucked away. The windshield and wiper ideas are just a couple among thousands. GM and Ford have not done anything truly innovative with the car for 20 years. No wonder jobs are being outsourced.