Outsourcing America: The True Cost of Shipping Jobs Overseas and What Can Be Done About It
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Still one of the hottest, most controversial topics in the news is the outsourcing of American jobs to other countries. Outsourced jobs have extended well beyond the manufacturing sector to include white-collar professionals, particularly in information technology, financial services, and customer service. "Outsourcing America" reveals just how much outsourcing is taking place, what its impact has been and will continue to be, and what can be done about the loss of jobs. "Outsourcing America" shows how offshoring is part of the historical economic shifts toward globalism and free trade, and demonstrates the impact of outsourcing on individual lives and communities.In addition, the book now features a new chapter on immigration policies and outsourcing, as well as information on how individuals can protect themselves from this trend. The authors discuss policies that countries like India and China use to attract U.S. industries, and they offer frank recommendations that business and political leaders must consider in order to confront this snowballing crisis - and bring more highpaying jobs back to the U.S.A.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #224908 in Books
- Published on: 2008-04-30
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Binding: Paperback
- 288 pages
- ISBN13: 9780814409893
- Condition: New
- Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
From Publishers Weekly
Two Ph.D.s weigh in on globalism's hottest button. In the Hiras' preface, they note that "Ronald Reagan made most Americans feel proud because he stood for American values, including supporting democracy and free markets abroad." That kind of giant, unexamined assertion does not bode well for a work purporting to be analytical, and this book is best read as a polemic. The economic arguments are legitimate, but following the CNN anchor's foreword calling for a moratorium on outsourcing, the two economist authors give subtle and not-so-subtle cues throughout, starting with the subtitle, that they find the practice dubious at best. Yet, in a refreshing change from the spate of protectionist conservatives calling for the end of outsourcing, the Hiras (they are brothers) offer a worker-friendly set of prescriptions that include adequate notice, legislated relief for displaced workers and—hold on to your desk chair—Canadian-style socialized medicine. A decidedly mixed bag, this book contains surprises. (May 26)
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"Library Journal: ""...an excellent book that brings clarity to this troubling subject. Given the ongoing debate, readers need a well-reasoned and sensible book like this to help them understand what outsourcing is and what it is not.""
The Public Register: ""There are many reasons why this book on overseas outsourcing is worth reading. Not the least of these is its interesting and rationally stated analysis of outsourcing's impact on the U.S. economy.""
The Boston Globe: ""[The authors] present a clear and convincing picture.""
Chief Engineer: ""...nothing less than a wake-up call for every American. I want to encourage every reader of the Chief Engineer to pick up a copy of this important book. Read it and pass it on to business leaders and politicians. What you learn will help you and your family prepare for the future. By passing it on, you might just help to wake up American business and political leaders.""
Manufacturing & Technology News: ""…a comprehensive and illuminating account of the debate on offshore outsourcing, and one that offers some valuable tools for looking at familiar issues in a novel light.""
Inland Empire Business Journal: ""There are many reasons why this book on overseas outsourcing is worth reading. Not the least of these is its interesting and rationally stated analysis of outsourcing's impact on the U.S. economy."""
About the Author
Ron Hira (Rochester, NY) is a recognized expert on outsourcing, and the only person to testify twice before Congress on its implications. He has appeared on national television and radio, and has been widely quoted in The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and other publications.
Anil Hira (Burnaby, BC) is a specialist in international economic policy and trade issues. He currently teaches at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
Most helpful customer reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful.
Outsourcing, good or bad for America
By J. LIttle
Outsourcing America is a book worth reading. Hopefully our policy makers and corporate leaders will read it as well. This book makes us think about the complex issues related to off shoring. It certainly makes us want to know more about the longer range effects of current policy.
Outsourcing America raises important questions. Why do we have tax incentives for those who off shore? Couldn't American companies achieve the same level of cost reduction if we did a better job of implementing lean manufacturing in U.S. facilities and save jobs at the same time? Doesn't off shoring put intellectual property at risk? Are we off shoring our innovation with respect to manufacturing methods? Is off shoring a quick fix for American companies that allows them to avoid dealing with more difficult changes necessary to achieve competitive advantage in a global economy? Are we capturing all of the costs associated with off shoring?
This book presents an excellent perspective on off shoring issues. What we need now is hard data, systematically gathered and without bias, to better understand the future effect of current practice and current policy on the U.S. economy and its job markets.
With so many vested interests involved in the debate, as detailed in the book, a study, without bias, will be difficult to achieve.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful.
A very accurate portrayal of the current labor market
By John A. Taylor
I have recently retired from a 38 year career working with people getting displaced from jobs. The Hiras description of what has been happening, especially in the last 5 years, is extremely accurate. Virtually everything I had read, heretofore, was solely on a macroeconomic basis. I kept wondering where are the studies about the people affected? Where are the analyses of all the other negative effects?
Outsourcing is not going away, but taking the overly optimistic approach used by so many simply doesn't cut it. In my observation, it only makes it worse. I have seen a very large number of people whose lives were permanently & negatively affected. The Hiras pointed out, accurately, that often retraining efforts are not successful, for a variety of reasons. But retraining coupled with a lot of preceding work with a knowledgeable employment counselor can be effective. But this is not a 'quickie' process. It does take some time. However, adequate time is not granted. I have seen training and reemployment funds steadily, often dramatically, reduced, often running out 3 - 5 months into the new fiscal year. Staffing for this type of assistance has been reduced to an absurd level.
Often, the best assistance to give to people in this situation is not retraining but just employment counseling, since the world of work as they knew it has changed so dramatically. A major reeducation process is needed as well as a serious self-assessment. A very large number of these folks had never known a day of unemployment in their lives, and felt blindsided, betrayed, angry. They had worked hard and well, were told by their employers that they were valued, played 'by the rules' (They thought. They didn't know that the game had changed, completely.), and were rewarded by getting laid off. And the way many employers dealt with these reductions only exacerbated their feelings, greatly.
I think the Hiras have managed to portray the type of problems that exist plus their scale and their ramifications. This is a problem on the same scale as the Industrial Revolution. But it is happening faster, more intensely, and is worldwide. For both political and economic reasons, it is not a problem that can be ignored or passed off as just another 'phase'.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful.
Despite Bias and Mistakes, "Outsourcing America" Has Value
By Christopher Byrne
There is probably not a topic that draws more emotional response in the information technology community than the offshoring of jobs. This change is not new in business as many people in the textile and manufacturing industries have lost their jobs to other countries, and this trend in IT is just the beginning of what is going to happen in all white collar professions in the coming years. Industry and politicians claim that displaced workers will find new careers and that this is good for the economy. But try telling that two people like my brother-in-law. He worked in textiles for 38 years and recently lost his job when his plant was shut down. With no pension and a difficult job market, what is he to do? And what happens when "astroturfing" type analyst reports are underwritten by industry?
It is the raw emotion of the polar ends of this debate, as well as the inherent appearance of bias, that seem to have driven Ron and Anil Hira to write "Outsourcing America" (AMACOM, 2005, 236 pages), in which they attempt to cut through the emotion to look at the real issues. It is clear that they went into this project with a clear bias, which is reinforced by having Lou Dobbs of CNN write the foreword. They also make some mistakes in their discussion of government contracting. Notwithstanding, they do succeed in identifying issues and implications for society as a whole that need to be clearly studied and discussed without emotion before a final judgement should be made.
Issues like offshoring are hard to discuss without emotion, but they are also hard to explain to the average person when couched in economic terms, so the authors do their best to make their points in a s straightforward a way as possible. However, they do tend to repeat themselves a few too many times. Where they are at their strongest is when identifying and talking about the long term impacts to communities as the result of diminished property tax revenues when high-paying jobs and the facilities that host these jobs are lost forever. Anybody who needs validation of this needs to do is look at what has happened in the Southern Tier of New York State as the result of IBM abandoning the place of its birth, taking 13,000+ jobs with them.
The authors also do a very good job of showing that there is no free lunch in free trade, that everything that is happening is the result of negotiations that always have winners and losers. That is why negotiation is often called the art of compromise. They also do a very good job documenting how the issue is being framed by industry and offshoring allies by funding so called "independent" reports on how good offshoring is for everybody. This needs to be discussed because it is certainly not being disclosed by the reports' sponsors.
However, their zeal to tell the story has resulted in sloppiness. In their discussions of U.S.Government Contracts, they say that the Section 8(a) program is the program that certifies businesses as small and disadvantaged. This is not correct. By definition, all 8(a) certified companies are small and disadvantaged, but not all small and disadvantaged businesses are 8(a). There is a distinction that the authors fail to distinguish or further explain. This makes this reader wonder if they were sloppy in other areas of their discussion as well.
If there is a lesson to take away from this book, it is that corporations are indeed making short-sighted decisions for their shareholders, but not necessarily for the common good. But there may not be any choice because the genie is out of the bottle, and the authors make their recommendations on policy changes that need to be made to address the issue.
Who Should Read This Book
This book should be read by anybody that has an opinion on offshoring, or at least thinks they do. You may choose to agree or disagree with the authors, but the content should at least make you think deeper about the issue.
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