and most of the Indians I've ever run across can't speak English worth a damn, with that sing-song, poorly inflected, improperly emphasized speech and can't be understood.
and most of the Indians I've ever run across can't speak English worth a damn, with that sing-song, poorly inflected, improperly emphasized speech and can't be understood.
I think it's disgusting the way big buisness is run in america .The corporate greed takes presidence over the patriotism they claim to have . I agree with what simon said as far as knowing the cost of something but sacrificing quality for quantity . Nobody can understand the foreigners as they attempt to speak english .
I have been thinking about this situation and here are my conclusions:
America and the European countries industrialized without the rest of the world. We basically created a closed economy that naturally grew to what we are now. There was an equilibrium in the number of people to the number of jobs and inflation grew at a healthy rate that resulted in better wages and an increase in the value of property (deflation causes property values to go down).
What has happened is the isolation of our economies has collapsed and now the other few billion people in the world are now jockeying for position in the economies that we created. Basically, there are too many people. The law of supply and demand (regarding the number of jobs and the number of people) has taken over.
It is as if a dam between two lakes has broken. Both lakes were filling up before the break… only one was fuller than the other. When the dam broke, all of the water (money and jobs) started rushing into the lake with a lower water level. The water level of the two lakes will eventually even out… one will rise and the other will fall. Once the two are equalized the level between the two will return to rising at its normal rate.
It is as if we are going to go back to 1900 when the industrial revolution first started to take off. We are going to have to rebuild again… only with the rest of the world with us. As pointed out before, we built up without the world… now we have to build up again with them.
Our mistake was isolating our economy during the rise. Now we are paying the price while the rest of the world catches up. For those of us in our 30’s… our children are going to have to build it all up all over again. Our grandchildren will be the ones to enjoy the next boom.
These are some of the results of the releasing of controls on corporations about 100 yrs ago. Before that, they were to serve the populace. After that, they were granted all of the rights that an individual human had.
Corporations have gradually turned carnivorous, eating people, so to speak. Corporate profts at any and all costs. Since free trade, these animals have been set free to roam the globe, devouring, exploiting and devastating as they go. Any indigenous cultures that still remain are mere appetizers for these beasts. In some countries they run the govts.
Even in the us, they have hundreds, perhaps thousands of lobbyists prowling the hallways of govt buildings. For instance, during a recent drug industry curfuffle, there were 623 of these hired guns stalking about. How many american citizens can afford to lobby congress directly like that?
Some people are starting to wake up.
NOW I understand. I've been dealing with paysystems over two purchases. 4 help persons so far.........and all foreign accents. Not much help either.
Pretty good English, however.
The first jobs ot be outsourced are things like helpdesks because they are easy to do.
All jobs are at risk ultimately though with the mentality on display because it is always cheaper to hire someone from a country where there is poverty compared to one where there isn't. People are willing to work for less and can work for less.
Long term, I think it is a mistake. Typical accountant "short termism". What do they care about consequences?
However, it is one of the correcting factors that comes with the capitalist, free-market. The wages and lifestyles of the rich nations are unsustainable and so cannot be sustained indefinitely
Liberty's great advance
Jun 26th 2003
From The Economist print edition
Liberalism has brought sharp reductions in both poverty and international inequality
THE past half-century can be seen as a long exploration of the power of liberal trade to raise living standards, not only in the rich world but among the poor too. It has also, more recently, been an exploration of people's preference, when given the choice, for democracy. The process is lamentably patchy and far from complete. Still, it has been an extraordinary success which holds great promise for the future.
The story begins with the growth that took place in western Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan once the two great scourges of economic activity—war and trade restrictions—were removed after 1945. These countries were the main signatories of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade in 1947 (Japan joined in 1955), which began the process of dismantling trade barriers. That group, subsequently known as “the West”, increased its income per head fourfold in 1950-2001, a growth rate averaging 2.8% a year. Chart 1 shows how world GDP growth, led by the West, came to be associated with even faster growth in world trade.
|Radical birthday thoughts |
Liberty's great advance
Pigs, pay and power
Beyond shareholder value
Pro-market, not pro-business
Give freedom a chance
Sources and acknowledgments
Offer to readers
Click to buy from Amazon.com: "Imagine There's no Country", by Surjit Bhalla (Amazon.co.uk); "The Future of Freedom", by Fareed Zakaria (Amazon.co.uk).
"The World Distribution of Income", by Xavier Sala-I-Martin is online as are the United Nations Human Development Reports and "The West and the Rest in the International Economic Order", published by the OECD. See also the WTO and the World Bank.
The rest of the world—communist, socialist, or just plain poor—also grew, but more slowly: at 2.2% a year on average, or a threefold rise in income per head. Thus the gap between “the West and the rest”, as Angus Maddison, an economic historian, described it in an OECD report in 2002 from which these figures are taken, has been widening. It is now especially wide between the richest few countries in the world and the poorest few, which are mainly in Africa; wider, indeed, than ever before. Sceptics about trade use such increases in global inequality as evidence that under liberalism the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. Yet that is wrong.
Such broad figures disguise the underlying trends. These are that countries in Asia have actually been narrowing the gap substantially: there, excluding already-developed Japan, in 1950-2001 income per head increased fivefold. In the early decades, Asian growth could be dismissed as exceptional, given that it was limited mainly to the city states of Hong Kong and Singapore, and two politically anomalous countries, Taiwan and South Korea. But since 1980, not only has growth spread to South-East Asia but it has also accelerated in the world's most populous countries, China and India. Given that Asia as a whole is home to well over half of the world's people, such progress can no longer be dismissed.
An open secret
The countries that have succeeded in raising living standards rapidly, over long periods, have followed many varieties of economic policy and have lived under many different forms of government. What they have had in common, though, has been a policy of opening their economies to trade and to foreign capital. Not fully, or even nearly so: none, except perhaps tiny Hong Kong, has followed the laisser-faire formula demonised by anti-globalists (which, incidentally, America has not followed either). Nor have they grown by somehow promoting exports and blocking all imports. Rather, they liberalised some markets in order to stimulate competition, internally and from imports; and they ensured that imports of most basic commodities and components faced few barriers, in order to keep prices down for the users of such goods. They adopted liberal trade partially, selectively and mostly gradually. But the important thing was that they adopted it.
Chart 2 shows the World Bank's depiction of the effects of such policies since 1990, a period during which the move away from closed, centrally planned economies became a rush, following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Countries that have opened their borders in this way have seen their incomes per head grow rapidly—much more rapidly than either the existing rich countries or those that have not globalised, either by choice or through lack of opportunity. There have been failures, most notably in the former Soviet Union, where Russia and its nearest neighbours, Ukraine and Belarus, suffered economic decline in the 1990s even when they did liberalise some markets; and most recently in Argentina where a fixed exchange rate combined with fiscal profligacy led to disaster. But such failures are heavily outweighed by the successes.
The result is that far from rising, global inequality has actually been falling substantially. Not when measured as the gap between the very richest and the very poorest. Nor when measured, as has until recently been the rather odd norm, as the difference between the average incomes of each country, regardless of population (thus counting Chad and China as if they were of equal size). But if it is measured in the way which is normal within countries, as the distribution of individual incomes, it has narrowed considerably. Given the rapid growth in China over the past 20 years, and the less rapid but still healthy growth in India, that observation makes eminent sense: huge chunks of the world's population have been climbing out of poverty. Even so, it is controversial.
Far from rising, global inequality has actually been falling substantially
Such things are, admittedly, hard to measure. There is no worldwide census of everyone's individual income, so indirect routes must be used to estimate it. But two different studies, using different methods, have now come up with broadly the same conclusion. One, by Xavier Sala-i-Martin of New York's Columbia University for America's National Bureau of Economic Research, is depicted in chart 3: it shows how rising incomes, especially in Asia, are creating what, in world terms, could be described as a huge middle class. As the bulge moves to the right of the chart, so incomes are becoming more equal.
Another study, by an Indian economist named Surjit Bhalla, in a book for the Institute for International Economics called “Imagine There's No Country”, confirmed those findings as well as the consequent drop in world poverty. Measured by the benchmark favoured by the World Bank of income of $2 a day or less, adjusted to cater for differences in purchasing power, the proportion of the world's population in poverty dropped from 56% in 1980 to 23% in 2000, on Mr Bhalla's calculations. Thanks to population growth, the absolute number of people in that category remains large: more than 1.1 billion. But that is still far fewer than in 1990 (1.7 billion) and 1980 (1.9 billion). Before 1980, the absolute numbers were rising. That date roughly coincides with the spread of trade and internal-market liberalisation to many poor countries.
The truth about market liberalisation and economic growth is not that it increases inequality, nor that it hurts the poor: just the opposite. Rather, the truth is that some large parts of the poor world are pulling themselves out of poverty while others are not. Those poorer parts include some countries in Asia, including Pakistan and Central Asia, and some in Latin America as well as most of the Middle East, where liberalisation has scarcely been attempted and revenues from oil have lately declined. Most notably, though, they include more or less a whole continent, namely Africa. There, incomes have stagnated or even declined, and life expectancies are falling too, thanks to AIDS and other plagues. Home to 13% of the world's population, the continent accounts for merely 3% of world GDP . The lack of progress in Africa, not the supposed evils of globalisation, is where the most difficult problem of economic development lies.
Alongside this successful growth in economic liberty, there has also been an impressive expansion of political and civil freedoms. Since 1980, according to the 2002 United Nations Human Development Report ( UNHDR ), 81 countries have taken “significant” steps towards democracy, with 33 military regimes replaced by civilian governments. Of the world's nearly 200 countries, 140 now hold multi-party elections. That may not make them fully democratic, but 82 of them are, and those are home to 57% of the world's population. Especially pleasing to an independent organ such as The Economist is the fact that, according to the UNHDR , 125 countries, with 62% of the world's population, now have a free or partly free press. The spread of daily newspapers in developing countries has risen to 60 copies per 1,000 people, from 29 in 1970-96, and the number of televisions has increased 16-fold.
Recently, it has become fashionable to play down that progress by pointing out that many of the new democracies have not gone beyond elections to build the other, essential, protections for liberty: an independent judiciary, equality before a well-enforced rule of law, and constitutional limits on the abuse of political power. In Zimbabwe, an elected president, Robert Mugabe, has ruined the country, sponsored violence and rigged elections. Constitutions have been violated by elected politicians in Peru and Russia, and judiciaries manipulated. Venezuela's elected president, Hugo Chavez, essentially wrote his own constitution, which he hands out to visitors as a little blue book reminiscent of Mao Zedong's red one.
In sub-Saharan Africa, according to “The Future of Freedom”, a new book by Fareed Zakaria that wrings its hands about “illiberal democracy”, 42 out of 48 countries have held multi-party elections since 1990, but most have simply allowed a rotation of plundering governments. A few democracies have even collapsed: Pakistan's elected government was overturned in a coup in 1999 by General (now self-appointed President) Pervez Musharraf.
Such worries are perfectly fair. Much more progress is needed. It would be wrong to celebrate the mere holding of elections if other, arguably even more important, protections for liberty are not present or likely soon to be created. Some democracies, including long-standing ones such as Malaysia and Singapore, essentially have semi-authoritarian regimes. Yet such legitimate concerns should not be allowed to detract from the basic progress that has occurred: in the past 20 years the share of the world's population living in proper democracies has risen from about a third to just over half. Freedom House, a Washington-based think-tank, this year rated 89 countries as being “free societies”, up from 75 in 1993, and a further 55 as “partly free”. Liberty has had a period of tremendous advance on all fronts.
In the past 20 years the share of the world's population living in proper democracies has risen from about a third to just over half
In the short term, there is cause for optimism that this advance will continue. Despite economic crises in East Asia, Russia and Latin America during the past six years, developing countries still seem to want to liberalise their economies. China has recently joined the World Trade Organisation, bringing the total membership to 146 countries, and Russia is in the queue for membership, along with 25 others. After shrinking slightly in 2001, the volume of world trade started to grow again in 2002, albeit weakly. Efforts have begun to try to implant democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq. Argentina has endured an economic collapse to match the Great Depression of the 1930s, yet has emerged with its democracy intact.
Liberty's next retreat?
For all the anti-globalists' cries on their behalf, few of the world's poorer countries show signs of wanting to retreat from liberalism: their question, rather, is whether to extend it rapidly or gradually, and whether they have the domestic governmental institutions to be able to cope with it. Though it does little to promote democracy, China is proving a spur to economic liberalisation in other developing countries: fear that its growth will steal their markets or investment is prompting others to copy its reforms and to adopt international trade rules by joining the WTO . The real doubts are in the pioneers of globalisation, the rich countries.
Business is under attack, even in the homeland of free enterprise, the United States, whether from politicians, single-issue lobby groups or, most dangerously of all, from lawyers. Having made pots of cash from tobacco firms, they are turning their attention to Wall Street and to drug companies. Anti-capitalist demonstrations on May 1st in cities around the world attracted sizeable crowds. Stockmarkets remain weak, despite a quick end to the war in Iraq and a 30% fall in oil prices. So do many economies, especially the biggest and richest ones in western Europe, Japan and the United States.
There is always anxiety that the good times may never return. Yet they always do
Plus ça change, once again? Wherever democracy allows a crowd to gather, there will always be some who resent the selfishness inherent in the profit motive, or who stand to lose from the change that economic and technological progress or the evolution of tastes may bring, or who simply like a good march and love to yell abuse at the high and mighty. With the economic, social and even environmental failure of communism and its milder comrade, socialism, still fresh in the memory, there is little chance that any alternative to a capitalist economy could soon garner widespread support. And whenever economies approach the bottom of their inevitable cycles, there is always anxiety that the good times may never return. Yet they always do.
There are, though, some stronger reasons to worry. One, admittedly, is generic to all bad times: the fact that it is when unemployment is rising, or incomes are falling, or prospects seem dim, or threats of war and terrorism spread fear and anger, that politicians come under the greatest pressure—and temptation—to close borders or to slap controls on freedoms of all kinds, whether civil or commercial. They may wish to curry favour with domestic lobbies or merely to look as if they are doing something.
Another reason, however, is peculiar to today and risks greatly amplifying the generic one. It is that the economic and financial-market boom of the 1990s was so extreme that its bust is also producing extreme results: a pile of corporate scandals, resentment at an extraordinary widening of inequalities of income and wealth within the rich countries, a ghastly hole in the retirement funds of millions of ordinary people and, most crucially of all, a gathering disillusion about the ability of democratic institutions to hold culprits accountable for their sins.
A long way to fall
Such results can be seen, in some measure, right across the developed world. But they are at their most noticeable in the United States, for that is where the 1990s boom, along with its extremes of misbehaviour, went the furthest. In the title of a feisty and well-researched book by a commentator and political activist, Arianna Huffington, in America in recent years there were “Pigs at the Trough”, extracting gigantic executive salaries and perks, faking corporate accounts, manipulating equity offerings and granting each other vast piles of share options, among other abuses. More outrageously still, many of those benefiting from this flow of cash managed successfully to lobby Congress and the White House to reject reforms that could have stemmed some of the abuse.
When such excesses have occurred in the past, there has been a political backlash to exploit the popular anger, as under the presidencies of Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson in the 1900s. That remains a strong possibility, even though the popularity of the famously pro-business President George Bush is running high, thanks to the wars on terror and Saddam Hussein. The danger is often expressed as one of an over-reaction to the excesses, of an excessive bout of regulation on business. That danger exists; but the worst possibility is that anger at capitalist abuses will tip the balance in domestic politics towards protectionism, as a misguided way to help the weak and vulnerable, and to pander to suspicion of markets and business. If it does, remember to blame those pigs and their love of the trough.
Good article. Here is another one.
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – She was the weaver; he was the loom-fixer.
For the past 20 years of their marriage, Delores and Robert Gambrell strode the heart-of-pine floors at Pillowtex's Plant 16. The noise from the looms forced the couple to communicate in a sign language. They even had their own signal for "I love you."
Those days are over for now - the victim of a flood of imports from China. The nation's third-largest textile company, where the Gambrells worked, closed its doors last week. For the moment, that means the end of sheets and towels with the household names of Cannon and Fieldcrest.
The trend reaches far beyond the textile industry or Kannapolis - a community whose name means "city of looms" but which is shedding 5,000 Pillowtex jobs. Manufacturing businesses from electronics to furniture and fishing lures are closing their doors or moving production to China.
The rapid erosion of well-paying jobs has wide implications for the economy. Consider that the US trade deficit with China is now running at an annual rate of $120 billion - a record single-country amount that is larger than America's entire trade deficit only six years ago.
"This will become the dominant economic policy issue in the US [over] the next five years," says Don Straszheim of Straszheim Global Advisors in Santa Monica, Calif.
Indeed, China's export push is already becoming a front-burner issue in Washington. Congress has asked everyone from think-tank experts to Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan for answers to the problem. Three members of the president's cabinet on a cross-country jaunt to promote the Bush economic plan have gotten an earful from angry businesspeople trying to compete with Chinese imports made by workers getting 50 cents an hour. The loss of jobs to imports is almost certain to be a recurring theme in the Presidential campaign next fall and beyond.
The numbers are eye-opening. Chinese exports soared 22 percent last year. And it's not just low-cost towels. Exports of computer and telecom products are growing 60 percent annually. While American firms have struggled, Chinese companies reported profits rose in the first quarter by 56 percent from the previous year.
To some, this may seem like a replay to the 1980s, when the US trade deficit with Japan swelled to about $50 billion a year. It seemed as if Japanese automakers and semiconductor companies would devastate the US economy.
"The atmosphere today reminds me of the 1980s," says Clayton Yeutter, who was the United States Trade Representative back then. "Everyone worried about the Japanese being 10 feet tall, and all of that turned out to be inaccurate," recalls Mr. Yeutter, now of counsel at Hogan & Hartson, a Washington law firm.
Back then one of the major complaints was about the Japanese yen, which many felt was kept unreasonably low to benefit the big exporters. Today, business is complaining about the value of the Chinese yuan, which is pegged to the US dollar. "It is hugely undervalued," says Frank Vargo, of the National Association of Manufacturers. "It could be as much as 40 percent undervalued, and that is a major reason for the trade deficit." The argument has been picked up quickly by members of Congress. Last week, Rep. Donald Manzullo (R) of Illinois, chairman of the House Small Business Committee, was among 14 cosigners of a letter to the administration encouraging "stronger action."
Last week, Treasury Secretary John Snow said it was a critical issue that he intended to discuss with the Chinese during a planned trip this fall.
Yeutter says a floating yuan would make China, now a corn exporter, a net importer of corn and soybeans.
Mr. Manzullo says his district is among those feeling the heat from China. Unemployment in Rockford, Ill., is now 11.3 percent. Machine tool manufacturers, tool and die companies, and bolt and screw manufacturers are all struggling.
One of those who has testified at the end of June before Congress is businessman Jay Bender of Falcon Plastics Inc. in Brookings, S.D. In an interview, he recounts how one of his customers, a manufacturer of fishing lures, has decided to move its production from the US to China. This would allow the company to cut its manufacturing costs by half. It asked him to bid on molds to make the plastic bait. He bid $25,000 per mold. "That was a competitive price," he says.
Instead, the company found a Chinese source for $3,000 a piece. "I can't even buy raw materials for that," he says. "There are two possibilities: Either they are subsidized by the government or they gave away the molds to get the manufacturing business," says the businessman, who has to lay off 30 percent of his workforce so far.
But Mr. Bender has fared well compared with the US textile business. US markets are getting flooded by Vietnamese and Chinese goods. "People are moving jobs faster than you can count," says Charles Bremer of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, which is lobbying for emergency protection.
It may get worse for the industry. In 2008, all quotas come off Chinese imports. "At that point, the Chinese will completely dominate the market," says Mr. Bremer.
The effects can be seen in Kannapolis, where the Cannon Mill closing has taken on the air of a natural disaster. The layoffs are the largest in state history, and social workers are descending on the town to set up satellite offices. People are turning off cellphones, cutting cable TV, and pleading with creditors. Already, 200 have had their water shut off.
"They're going from $35,000 a year with overtime to making maybe $9,000 a year," says Joe Rogers, a local official with the Union of Needletrades and Industrial Textile Employees (UNITE!).
Sen. John Edwards says he will try to secure $38 million in federal aid, and Sen. Elizabeth Dole is opening an office in town to take questions. But workers are leery: "We don't want questions answered, we want a paycheck," says Mr. Rogers.
Hundreds of businesses rely directly and indirectly on the mills, including everything from pizza palaces to mortgage brokers. For the Gambrells, the plan now is for Ms. Gambrell, in her early 50s, to go back to school, while Mr. Gambrell tries to find a job - doing what, he doesn't know. "We always said we wouldn't do anything if we couldn't do it together," says Ms. Gambrell, offering a tired smile to her husband.
We hired about a dozen programmers at my last gig from India. Most of them had Ph.D.s and made considerably less than the programmers they replaced, all of whom had B.S. degrees and were Americans.
My husband is from Pakistan. (I am assuming, Francois, that you were referring ONLY to the Indian accent--not the Pakistani one. I have no problem understanding Mr. Q) He actually came here to get his degree, liked it, and stayed. The problem with the 'degrees' overseas is that many of the colleges and universities don't have the same standards. Only the wealthiest and most priveleged people from the subcontinent send their children to the west to study...it is considered a status symbol. So...getting a PhD over there may not be as glorious as it sounds.
That being said, I think outsourcing this kind of thing is a bad deal all around. I didn't like it when I found out Korean kids were making 50 cents an hour to make Nikes, and I don't like it knowing that educated and skilled people are being paid less than half what they should be making.
I know a lot of people from that part of the world. The poverty there is STAGGERING. Basically, you're taking advantage of people who are desperate. Not to mention taking jobs away from Americans. Both my husband and I were laid off last year...and I know many, many people who have been out of work for more than a year. I know a guy who's got his Masters who is bagging groceries until he can get something else.
Everyone is a patriot, until they realize they can make a buck.
To me, my two posts look screwed up. I don't know what happened.
Anyway, i wanted to add something 'for the other side'. This globalisation of trade/manufacture/technology, while it raises people out of 'poverty' and destroys many old ways of life, on the small scale, also may have an effect on the large scale. That affect is concerning war, or rather peace. Voltaire made a comment that, in england, he saw people of different religions doing business w each other, and he was amazed. In the mainland, there was still a lot of animosity between the religious groups. One can extrapolate this affect to the world scale, i think.