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Outsourcing America: What's Behind Our National Crisis and How We Can Reclaim American Jobs
"Hira's new book, coauthored with his brother Anil, reads like he looked for something to blame for this rate of unemployment — and found outsourcing....Aside from the factual question of whether or not offshoring is really accelerating, a matter that is hardly settled by the book, this habit of framing offshoring as strictly a short-term jobs issue leads the authors to gloss over a more important question: Is offshoring good for the economy in the long-term?" Telis Demos, the New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)
Synopses & Reviews
In the debate over outsourcing, one fact is clear: Most companies believe they can save a tremendous amount of money by shipping American jobs overseas. They no longer see outsourcing as an option but rather as an imperative. Consequently, as many as 14 million white-collar jobs are vulnerable to outsourcing. By 2015, analysts forecast that $151 billion in wages will be outsourced to foreign workers. Even for highly skilled and specialized jobs in technology, financial and legal services, and other disciplines, a cheaper workforce is ready to be tapped somewhere in the world.
But how much is too much? And how can we, both as corporate entities and as a nation, create an environment in which keeping more jobs at home offers clear benefits to offset the obvious advantages of a lower-paid workforce?
The debate has become politicized and polarized into a "yes or no" argument, which is pointless. "The problem isn't so much that outsourcing is happening," the authors state, "as how it is happening." Outsourcing America presents the facts and clarifies the many complex issues presented by outsourcing: its impact on our jobs and economic outlook, our national security and global standing, and our future.
The authors identify the ten major reasons employers send jobs overseas. Apart from lower wages and salaries, companies benefit from favorable tax policies, access to emerging markets, and other incentives — including the fact that companies face no penalty for destroying their U.S. jobs. The book also articulates the profound effect that outsourcing is having on educational and career trends, and how developing nations like India and China are retaining top talent that previously would have come to the United States.
As bleak as the outlook may seem, there are practical solutions that our policymakers can (and must) implement to prevent unchecked outsourcing from seriously undermining the economy, not to mention displacing millions of working people-many permanently. These policies are designed by the authors to allow outsourcing to continue as a strategic option while simultaneously limiting its detrimental effects at home. They include reforming visa and trade policies, overhauling training and assistance programs for displaced workers, and reasserting our position as a global leader in technology.
Outsourcing has indeed become a crisis, but not because it is inherently bad — it is both good and bad. The key — and the imperative — is to maximize its benefits while mitigating its many negative consequences. Outsourcing America provides the necessary steps to confront this snowballing challenge and bring more high-paying jobs back to the U.S.
"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." Library Journal
Book News Annotation:
Hira (Rochester Institute of Technology) and Hira (Simon Fraser University) describe the factors that have led U.S. companies to send white collar jobs overseas, and propose business, education, and policy solutions that are simultaneously beneficial to workers and financially attractive to companies. The authors believe the public debate on the issue has been misleading, and analyze the long-term impacts of outsourcing on economic efficiency, U.S. labor demands, our technological capacity, American workers, and communities.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
One of the hottest, most controversial topics in the news is the outsourcing of American jobs to other countries. Outsourced jobs are extending 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 is and will be, and what can be done about the loss of jobs. More than an expose, the book shows how outsourcing is part of the historical economic shifts toward globalism and free trade, and demonstrates the impact of outsourcing on individual lives and communities. 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 high-paying jobs back to the U.S.
About the Author
Ron Hira, Ph.D., PE (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, Times of London and other publications. Anil Hira, Ph.D. (Burnaby, BC) is a specialist in international economic policy and trade issues. He currently teaches at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
Table of Contents
"Foreword by Lou Dobbs
1. What Outsourcing Means for America
2. Outsourcing In A Larger Context
3. The Public Debate On Outsourcing Is Misleading
4. Outsourcing of High Wage Jobs
5. Why Companies Are Moving Jobs Overseas
6. The Far-Reaching Effects of Outsourcing on the U.S. Economy
7. The Human Face of Outsourcing: The Impact on Individual Workers and Communities
8. How Developing Countries Attract American Jobs
9. Policy Recommendations
Appendix A: Defining Outsourcing
Appendix B: Analysis of Key Outsourcing Studies
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