“Strong, compelling, advantageous, and cost-effective highlight the business case for offshoring activities. Unyielding to any sense of social responsibility, the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies use this business case to send jobs overseas. Given the present political environment, this issue is troubling; moreover, even worse than the exodus of manufacturing jobs to overseas markets.

President Bush maintains that “”given a level playing field,”” Americans can compete with anyone in the world. He continues to fall back on the adage that a free market will benefit everyone in the end. What he fails to recognize (or acknowledge) is the aptitude or education required to secure a high paying IT position. Many manufacturing, blue collar, positions that were lost in prior years may have required twelve weeks of training. An IT professional is required to have up to twelve semesters of education. As the information technology industry continues to die in the United States, what new opportunity exists?

Should someone who has already worked hard and earned an advanced degree, follow the President’s advice and “”retrain””? Underemployment is the latest consequence of offshoring. In order to continue providing for their family, people are taking jobs at significantly lower salaries. Online message boards are is full of personal accounts of the underemployment phenomenon. Should someone have to dedicate another four to six years of their life to “”retrain””?

A solution: let’s level the playing field. (What a concept! )

The United Nations recently released the Human Development Report 2004. The document details statistics that define the standard of living for a given nation. The United States has a per capita GDP of $36,006. The numbers become increasingly interesting when you review offshoring countries such as India, Romania, and China:

GDP per capita ($USD)
United States 35,750
Latvia 9,210
Romania 6,560
India 2,670

How can an American worker expect to complete? With such lower standards of living, foreign employees can sustain a more than adequate lifestyle at a fraction of the cost.

The Kerry plan is a step in the right direction. I’d suggest going a step further and tax the importation of software or services provided by an outsourcing agent. Equalize the cost, and then decide who will provide better services. Competition by Americans is currently stifled. Foreign markets will eventually dominate the IT industry, and potentially cause a future crisis/dependence.

Corporations will scream (as will all of their constituents), but if their operating model heavily depends on offshoring to show a quarterly profit, then bankruptcy should be the answer.