Re: How to get a job in these challenging times

Subject: Re: How to get a job in these challenging times
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2002 01:02:34 -0700 (PDT)

""Jill Johnson"" <jilljohnson -at- programmer -dot- net> wrote in message

> Getting a job in challenging times is easy. You have to be willing to work
cheaper than people offshore in India. If you are willing to work for $4 per hour
then it is easy.
> You also should be willing to commit to doing fixed price work. American's and
people from the state of Canada are the only ones that are hesitant to commit

This is an extremely limited and uniformed notion of how global economics, labor
markets, and just about everything else works.

The reason work moves overseas is mostly because of two factors:

1. Americans have priced themselves out of the market.

2. There is minimal difference in quality in obtaining goods from a foreign

There is a great business case study I read once about a manufacturing company in
Ohio. The company had been nursing a single plant along for years trying to
strike a bargain with the local unions. The unions main argument was that
American workers could produce a better product and employing American's is the
company's responsibility.

After many failed negotiations, the company gave up and moved manufacturing
operations to South Africa laying off about 100 or so local workers. Naturally
the company got tons of bad press and the unions raised a stink. But in South
Africa, the locals were happy as clams to work at wages that were considerably
above what anybody else made locally. And no, they weren't whipped or forced to
work 90 hours a week.

In 6 months, the plant was operating at a higher rate of productivity and quality
than its American counterpart. The products were so good and in such demand that
the company was able to expand, hiring more American's to manage, develop, and
market the business.

After a few years, the company actually hired MORE Americans and at higher pay
than the number of manufacturing people they had at the original plant. The
company's profits fed back into the American economy considerably more than the
salaries of that one plant. Many of the more reasonable workers got hired back
after a few higher salaries.

This is a classic case of a business making a business decision that is
ultimately better for the very people they serve. But because 100 or so workers
were laid off, people only see that. The complex interactions of the economy are
not as obvious or interesting to the 10 o'clock news or the Carrots and Commie
Times that seem to be on some people's doorsteps.

This decision was also good for the workers of South Africa. As it gives them
much needed jobs, stable incomes, and begins the process of building a black
middle class in South Africa...something that plainly did not exist for zillions
of years.

The world is a more complex and interrelated place. Moving work offshore is not
necessarily a bad thing. In the long run, it can help not only the American
economy, but also the economies of other countries. Yeah, some people are going
to lose their jobs. But, if those people paid attention to what was going on
around them, they would realize that there is no shortage of opportunities in
this country for the person who is willing to work hard and adapt with shifting

Andrew Plato

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