It's a new week at Finance Talk and they are featuring a new set of people. In the place of prominence is Pattboy from Patrick's Place. They are highlighting his journal entry titled "Calcutta, We have a Problem!" It discusses outsourcing and his suggestion for imposing sanctions via taxation on companies who send their jobs overseas. You're probably thinking, "Thank God!" They've finally moved on to someone else. Ah, but look closer. It's almost humorous. They ask down below Patrick's Image a poignant question that I'm sure all of you have been wondering - "What's next for Robbie?" I say it's humorous because it brought to mind the game, "Where's Waldo?" They are spotlighting my graduation entry this week. There's also another journaler, Platotang, being spotlighted for his job search efforts.
His journal isn't just about job hunting though. He talks about his philosopy on life and living in the D.C. area too. His new job has him moving to Philadelphia. It's another great journal out there that has received little attention. Stop by and say hi. Since he's moving to Philadelphia and doesn't know the area I referred him to Vince's journal. (I hope Vince doesn't mind.) To me that's just what you do. If you know someone who can help someone else, you step in and connect the two. As a matter of fact, I had the opportunity to do that last week when one of the women I work with needed someone to take care of her dogs. I referred her to Freeepeace. Freeepeace wanted to pay me a fee for referring her, which I turned down. I think hooking people up with complimenting needs is part of being a friend, and in this case a good journaler. It's also a great way to find a job. Two of the jobs I have had in my life were acquired because friend's told me about the positions. In addition, I have been able to hook friends up with jobs in other situations.
The topic of the week is about outsourcing. The question is whether outsourcing will affect me? I feel fortunate because I really don't think it will. You might think I should be fearful because my field of study is Finance and many of the big finance companies are sending their back office jobs overseas. However, I don't work in the Finance industry anymore. I actually work for a corporation in their accounting department. It's not a big name company and their operations are rather small. Not everyone is so fortunate when it comes to globalization though. They are losing jobs that are being sent overseas. I feel for them but from an economical and even humanitarian point of view, I do support globalization. I touched on the subject a while back in my entry "The New Telemarketer." I was actually surprised they didn't highlight that entry instead. So I thought I'd link to it because it is essentially in opposition to Patrick's point of view. Although, I did present it in a humorous slant it's obvious that I don't agree with Patrick. However, I do respect his opinion and he brought up some valid points.
The two biggest complaints of companies sending jobs overseas, besides the obvious complaint of job loss, is that companies do so in order to save money by paying people substandard wages and that customer service has been severely impeded when the person on the other end of the line doesn't speak English as their primary language. However, I believe with minimal intervention the market will work out the issues. I say minimal because I think some government regulation on big business is always necessary. Otherwise, greed tends to corrupt and given the opportunity companies generally will not do the right thing. It's why we have environmental and labor laws. As a consumer, we have a responsibility in the market as well. If you know of a company that is acting unethically you should not turn a blind eye. The market is large enough that there are others who will provide you the service you demand.
Taxing companies to force them to stay in the United States will cause prices to rise. Companies outside the U.S. will be able to provide products and services cheaper than their domestic counterparts. Having a larger market to sell your goods encourages economies of scale. It becomes cheaper to produce a million widgets as opposed to only a few thousand. There are some jobs that just can't be sent overseas for practical reasons. In addition, sometimes it's just makes economical sense to manufacture items locally as opposed to half-way across the globe. The short-term ramifications does mean a shift to the job force and that's where affordable education becomes the issue. However, that's best left for another entry.
The other point Patrick brought up is the difficulty understanding someone from Calcutta. My recommendation is patience and using your own voice. Often times, it's just a matter of listening. If you carry on conversations with people who have an accent often and long enough, you begin to understand rather easily what they are saying. It's no different then someone from the North conversing with someone who has a thick Southern drawl. You wouldn't expect someone in this country to sound exactly like you so why expect it from anyone else. Consider the opportunity that you have to speak with someone from another part of the world, to expand your horizons. As I mentioned in my previous entry, I find people from India tend to be some of the most hospitable and gracious people I have ever met. It only seems logical that they would make great customer service people. Of course, that won't last long if they see Americans as rude and obnoxious because of their dealing with us. You are representing yourself and your country to the world conduct yourself worthy of that honor and treat the person on the other end of the line with respect. If you still find you have a problem then politely tell them so. Request to speak with someone else. Don't be rude about it, just explain your need and I bet they'd be happy enough to accomodate you.
Another quick point since this has turned into a rather long entry, a while back I read an article that some of this outsourcing has actually begun to create jobs back here in the U. S. Companies that operate service centers overseas have found the need to establish a presence here in the U.S. in order to best serve their clients here. I haven't adequately addressed all of the issues of globalization. But, I hope what little I have brought up will encourage people to investigate the issue for themselves and realize that there are always two sides to every coin.