Jewish World Review Nov. 4, 2003 / 9 Mar-Cheshvan, 5764

Lou Dobbs

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports


Overseas outsourcing is an alarming trend


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | Every American should be outraged by the trend of massive outsourcing of U.S. jobs overseas. This trend is not about efficiency, higher productivity or skill level, but about selling out American jobs to cheap foreign labor. A study released this week by the University of California, Berkeley, indicated that as many as 14 million U.S. service jobs are at risk of being shipped overseas.

But it's not just corporations. Many state and local governments are now following the pathetic example set by corporate America. And the trend is expected to worsen.

A recent study done by Input Research found that the market for state and local government IT outsourcing will grow from $10 billion in 2003 to $23 billion in 2008. The problem now, however, is that some state and local governments are not simply outsourcing jobs to contractors that employ American workers. Several government agencies have actually begun to outsource work to firms that utilize cheaper foreign labor.

One of the most mystifying examples is the state government of Indiana. The state's Department of Workforce Development is responsible for helping out-of-work Indiana citizens find jobs. Ironically, the department has awarded a $15 million contract to update its computers to the Bombay, India, firm Tata. The project will provide employment to 65 workers coming from India on L-1 visas. The reason given for the move was the millions in tax dollars it will save the taxpayers of Indiana.

This is, of course, the worst kind of shortsighted thinking. New Jersey state Senator Shirley K. Turner notes that the outsourcing of government jobs overseas ultimately results in higher costs to state and local governments and lost income tax revenue.

Donate to JWR

"If people don't work, they don't pay taxes," Turner said. "And if people don't pay taxes, we can't provide the services that we're responsible for providing."

Keeping tax dollars in the United States will be crucial as states struggle to repair their finances in the years to come. New research conducted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that weak tax revenues will contribute to the state budgetary shortfalls that will persist through at least 2005. According to the study, states will have additional combined budgetary gaps of more than $40 billion in 2005, on top of the $78 billion already reported for 2004.

Some state politicians have put forward legislation in an attempt to stop government from outsourcing jobs to foreign workers and overseas labor markets. Six states have introduced bills that would require work on government contracts to be performed by American workers.

Turner, for instance, proposed legislation forbidding the outsourcing of government jobs after the company eFunds, which ran a Green Bay, Wis., call center for New Jersey welfare recipients, packed up and moved the center to India.

"These were jobs that welfare recipients easily could have done themselves," Turner said. "But we were sending the jobs out of the country, rather than employing our own."

Fortunately, Turner's action created some tangible results. "Because of my bill and the firestorm that it created, eFunds decided they were going to move their call center not just back to this country, but to Camden, N.J., which is one of the poorer cities in our state," she said.

And while victories like this are certainly something to cheer, there is little is leadership at the federal level. Among the few saying "enough is enough" is Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif. Hunter spearheaded "Buy American" provisions in the House-passed fiscal 2004 defense-authorization bill. The provisions were to boost the domestic content requirement in military hardware from 50 percent to 65 percent. A new compromise proposal will give priority to U.S. suppliers - a good beginning.

We must stop, or at least constrain, the trend toward outsourcing American jobs to cheap foreign labor. The American dream for our workers is too high a price for global competitiveness.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



Lou Dobbs is the anchor and managing editor of CNN's "Lou Dobbs Moneyline." Comment by clicking here.

10/28/03: Spending so much time 'making a living', we don't live
10/21/03: As population soars, U.S. faces tough choices
10/14/03: Schools need to re-emphasize math and science
10/07/03: It's lonely at the top
09/30/03: Is America over-medicating?
09/23/03: Corporate execs need to stop selling out U.S. workers
09/16/03: The scandals just keep on coming
09/09/03: Let's get real on energy
09/02/03: Is free enterprise the answer to education woes?
08/26/03: Building the road to recovery
08/12/03: War on drugs is still a war worth fighting
08/06/03: An attack on progressive thought
07/29/03: Prosperity begins at home
07/22/03: Real earnings, or really creative earnings?
07/15/03: Flirting with disaster
07/08/03: It's good to be the king
07/01/03: Border disorder
06/24/03: Prairie dogs and mosquito bogs
06/17/03: Bullish on America
06/10/03: Retirement realities: we need new solutions — soon
06/03/03: Curing what ails us
05/27/03: America's export problem
05/21/03: Wall Street's new imperative: Integrity
/13/03: Losing sight of the dangers in creating further fiscal stimulus
05/06/03: Optimism is unfashionable, but here's some anyway
04/29/03: Nuclear nightmare
04/22/03: Naysayers ignore signs of economic recovery
04/15/03: Game over--but for whom?
04/08/03: No more fool's games
03/31/03: United States must seriously review foreign economic and political relationships
03/24/03: Delusional Chirac may be a thorn in coalition's side, but new alliances are forming in response to 21st-Century threats without him and UN
03/18/03: Bush critics offer little more than hyperbole
03/11/03: Geopolitical visibility
03/04/03: Freedom: Our best export
02/27/03: Guns, butter and greasing the way
02/18/03: Looking for a silver lining
02/10/03: Space program remains a valuable investment
02/04/03: Hi pal, come back
01/28/03: Bush address a chance to bolster confidence
01/22/03: Here we go again!
01/14/03: Bush's bold bid
01/07/03: The only thing certain is uncertainty
12/30/02: No need to be so negative as new year approaches
12/23/02: NY's AG deserves credit for settlement
12/18/02: Critics of Bush nominees should tone down rhetoric
12/09/02: A lot rides on prez's Treasury pick
12/04/02: A fast fix for corporate credibility?
11/26/02: Urge to merge is hard to resist
11/19/02: Are we really so bad off?
11/12/02: Bush's lucky week bodes well for recovery
11/05/02: Wall Street firms treat investors as fools
10/29/02: Earnings estimates offer some hope
10/22/02: Economy's strength tied to national security
10/17/02: Harvey Pitt, get real!
10/08/02:Are we experiencing the fall before the rise?
10/01/02: Concerns about earnings are justified
09/24/02: Business leaders must abandon stall tactics
09/17/02: Wall Street's reality check
09/12/02: There's no better time for leaders to show resolve

Up

© 2003, TMS