Re: More on Technical Writing in India

Subject: Re: More on Technical Writing in India
From: "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2003 11:48:39 -0800

<eric -dot- dunn -at- ca -dot- transport -dot- bombardier -dot- com> wrote in message
news:219070 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> "Chuck Martin" <cm -at- writeforyou -dot- com> wrote on 11/06/2003 02:36:03 PM:
> > But here's one politically charged question: Who would
> > take such a position
> > knowing full well that the intent is to take jobs away
> > from here (the U.S.)?
> A Canadian maybe? ;)
> But honestly. People have been moving cross-country to relocate plants and
> up operations. What's different between setting up a branch in Vancouver
> you live in Montreal or going off to India to do the same? Oh, yeah. Only
> it comes down to is they're Indians and we aren't. Us and Them.
> That's why I find these discussions unnerving. If you think you have the
> to work for a company that sells overseas, then anyone else has the right
> produce product destined for Canada or the USA in an overseas location.
Yes, you're right. I am writing from an American persoective, even though I
know it's a global economy.

In thinking about this topic, I find it just as unnerving what companies do
within the country's borders, such as pulling up stakes and moving to
locales in government bidding wars. Look what happened when GM started
Saturn. And just a couple of years ago, Seattle lost Boeing.

But I don't want to couch the discussion in terms of "rights" because that's
a straw man. These are moral and legal issues that differ from jurisdiction
to jurisdiction.

What does concern me about offshoring--and should concern companies who
decide to undertake it--is the lack of security and privacy laws in faraway
locales. A front-page story in today's San francisco Chronicle tells of
credit agencies sending sensitive financial data abroad in another instance
of outsourcing. This story follows on the heels--by days and weeks--several
other similar stories, including one Indian medical transcriptionist who
theatened to release private medical data is they weren't paid more.

How much of a company's intellectual property, property that is often more
valuable that its physical assets, is being made available to people in
countries where privacy laws are weak or nonexistant, where legal and
political influence and cooruption is the normrather than the exception,
where incentives to release sensitive information is a lot less expensive
for unscrupulous people?

Nobody ever said life was fair. (If it was, we'd all be making $500K and
driving BMWs.) But these are issues that seem to have been little thought
out in the drive to improve the bottom line.

Chuck Martin



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