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Old 04-17-2009, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Chino, CA
1,458 posts, read 2,073,514 times
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Default How can the US compete?

I was just looking at some freelance work sites, and it looks like white-collar and professional jobs (Accounting, Document Processing, Business Planning, Tech Development, Engineering CAD and Design work, etc., etc.) are being bidded on by firms overseas at rates that a McDonald's or Walmart employee would make here in the States.

With less than 8 dollars an hour, you can hire a college kid trying to learn the ropes and make a buck here in the States, or you can get a team of people, with years of experience and the educational backing of tech and other firms that have relocated there, from the likes of India, Ukraine, Russia, China, wherever.

So, how are US workers suppose to compete with wages at or bellow minimum wage? Or are we all condemed to work as McDonald servers, face-time "sales" and services, nurses, doctors, and lawyers? (and, btw, as those fields "flush" with people those wages would also go down)

In theory, any "office" work can be done overseas and even "executives" and managers at some point can probably be "outsourced" (especially since their "work" force is primarily overseas anyways).

Without some Real adjustment in the wage and cost disparity between the States and these developing nations, we're going to see almost all of our jobs gone to the cheapest bidder (as they get the experience, education and man power, while we fall behind). The American dollar and our cost of living has to collapse (as they have been propped up for far too long through credit and inflation).... we need deflation. Otherwise, we need to introduce "credit" to the developing world en masse so they can raise their standard of living to get closer to parity.

-chuck22b

Last edited by chuck22b; 04-17-2009 at 09:29 AM..
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:25 AM
Rei
 
Location: Los Angeles
492 posts, read 1,195,512 times
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Quote:
Tech Development, Engineering CAD and Design work, etc., etc
You're spot on. I'm a civil engineer and I've noticed this happening since years ago.
A license (i.e. a professional egr license) is one of the ways we can protect jobs/the market and compete in US.

However, companies got smarter nowadays. Because the US counterparts w/ license are more expensive, they start bringing in H1's to work here to be licensed. These H1s are paid peanuts and they wouldn't mind b/c they are promised green cards, etc...
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
74,463 posts, read 34,706,368 times
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chuck22b..I don't know the answer.

I'm in IT and have been seeing the brain drain to the BRICs since 2000. Corporates carry a big stick and deep pockets and have conviced America that they need these foreign workers because our education is lacking. While we do have problems in education (yet another hot topic) why would someone go into Engineering and spend all that money on a degree knowing the jobs are going to the BRICs for pennies on the dollar ?

I've been to College recruiting on the campuses. These kids know there is no stability or job security in the field.

I can't see the BRIC's raising their wages but I can see the US lowering theirs; it's happening already in some fields due to the "economic crisis". And people, needing their jobs, are accepting it.

There is a brain drain and it has been going on for some number of years now but is becoming more obvious with this crisis.

I don't see any silver lining so I've made my plans to change careers. I'm in school now while I've still got a job. I'm going DOWN the career ladder here as my only way out and learn to live with less. I see this as the new face of America.

I sound pessimistic because I've been seeing this for 8 years at least. It started off slowly but has escalated in the past few years and government actions (e-verify removed, no requirement for US workers in stimulus bill, UAW being beaten upon) doesn't give me any hope that things will turn around in our favor.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Chino, CA
1,458 posts, read 2,073,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rei View Post
You're spot on. I'm a civil engineer and I've noticed this happening since years ago.
A license (i.e. a professional egr license) is one of the ways we can protect jobs/the market and compete in US.

However, companies got smarter nowadays. Because the US counterparts w/ license are more expensive, they start bringing in H1's to work here to be licensed. These H1s are paid peanuts and they wouldn't mind b/c they are promised green cards, etc...
My wife works at a testing center, and is happy to report that a good chunk of licensing/testing candidates are foreigners.

Most get their license, and go back overseas to make the bucks.

I guess, being a mechanic? electrician? health care, construction can still wield ok pay, but then again, tons of people are going into those fields, and in the most part, if the general populous loses jobs, these activities would slow down drastically as well.

Jobs that make things... well, we all know where those jobs went.

Americans should just default ... causing a huge down draft in price levels and wages.... we'll farm on our land for sustenance, and learn Real frugal living. And then, our workers can be competitive with foreign workers. McDonald workers can work for less than $1 an hour, while white collar workers can work for $8. Phd guys... maybe $10 if your the top of the top. CEOs... pennies :P

Of course, those major multi-nationals would collapse or go bankrupt as demand shrinks to a peanut... and globalization collapses under its' own weight.

-chuck22b

Last edited by chuck22b; 04-17-2009 at 09:40 AM..
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:33 AM
 
309 posts, read 658,253 times
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I'm in the process of reading "The World is Flat" by Thomas L. Friedman so this has been on my mind a bit.

To summarize what I think his solutions he gives in the book I'd say there are two possibilities. 1.) Force laws to prevent this thing, and 2.) Work on our education and become world innovators.

Number one is fraught with peril. We might temporarily save our jobs, but this isn't going to stop the rest of the world from innovating. This will just seal us up and isolate us from the world and soon we will be behind anyway. I personally don't want to live in such a country and would probably move, to be honest.

Number two is a problem too I guess. We can reform education today and we can focus on industries and innovations that give us a bit more security, but not everybody can be Micheal Jordans and Bill Gates.

There are a lot of jobs out there that can't be feasibly outsourced and you listed a good number of them, but many rely on a strong economy. The sad thing is, even if we work on our education and limit outsourcing some, if China's education system takes off, by sheer numbers and percentages of top graduates will beat us out. As Friedman states, we have 300 million people, being one in a million means there are 299 people like you in the country. In China, there are 1,299 people like you. Imagine, statistictly, 4 Stephen Hawkings to our 1, 4 Bill Gates to our 1.

That's just China. India has comparable population, and an equally resiliant work ethic that spells doom for us.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Chino, CA
1,458 posts, read 2,073,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpgtfc View Post
I'm in the process of reading "The World is Flat" by Thomas L. Friedman so this has been on my mind a bit.

To summarize what I think his solutions he gives in the book I'd say there are two possibilities. 1.) Force laws to prevent this thing, and 2.) Work on our education and become world innovators.

Number one is fraught with peril. We might temporarily save our jobs, but this isn't going to stop the rest of the world from innovating. This will just seal us up and isolate us from the world and soon we will be behind anyway. I personally don't want to live in such a country and would probably move, to be honest.

Number two is a problem too I guess. We can reform education today and we can focus on industries and innovations that give us a bit more security, but not everybody can be Micheal Jordans and Bill Gates.

There are a lot of jobs out there that can't be feasibly outsourced and you listed a good number of them, but many rely on a strong economy. The sad thing is, even if we work on our education and limit outsourcing some, if China's education system takes off, by sheer numbers and percentages of top graduates will beat us out. As Friedman states, we have 300 million people, being one in a million means there are 299 people like you in the country. In China, there are 1,299 people like you. Imagine, statistictly, 4 Stephen Hawkings to our 1, 4 Bill Gates to our 1.

That's just China. India has comparable population, and an equally resiliant work ethic that spells doom for us.
I'm not too certain about innovating here in the States...

The major corporations invest more overseas and closes down shops here in the States. While the true innovators, the small/mid size shops that create new things sells out to the big boys and gets acquired.

In "theory", the US attracts the best and the brightest from around the world because of the freedom, diversity, standard of living, rule of law (intelluctual property), and strength of our higher education system. But, as these trends continue... I wonder why? would the best and brightest actually come... or even stay here. The money's all tapped out and funded through debt. Standard of living... hmm... I think is decreasing. And freedom? well, as the developing nations foster a growing educated populace, politics would also have to adapt and wheen.

-chuck22b
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
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I think that is changed. The US may attract them but there is now plenty enough reason to go back home. Major investments by Corporations back in their home countries made that possible.

Years ago they didn't have much to go back home to..now they can have careers back home that only the US used to offer.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:05 AM
 
309 posts, read 658,253 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck22b View Post
I'm not too certain about innovating here in the States...
Not to certain about which aspect of it?

Quote:
The major corporations invest more overseas and closes down shops here in the States. While the true innovators, the small/mid size shops that create new things sells out to the big boys and gets acquired.
Yes, we've already established it. What are we to do about it though? Not all innovators sell either. I know many people that have a pretty good business going for themselves and they haven't been offered a sell out from google. You don't have to be a multi-billion dollar business to contribute to the economy. These guys complaining about their factory jobs, don't realize that they could make a business that brings them only twice the income they are making at the factory. So there is risk... in this economy there is risk even taking on a new job.

Quote:
In "theory", the US attracts the best and the brightest from around the world because of the freedom, diversity, standard of living, rule of law (intelluctual property), and strength of our higher education system. But, as these trends continue... I wonder why? would the best and brightest actually come... or even stay here. The money's all tapped out and funded through debt. Standard of living... hmm... I think is decreasing. And freedom? well, as the developing nations foster a growing educated populace, politics would also have to adapt and wheen.

-chuck22b
In theory? The US does attract the bst and the brightest, still. We turn away a lot of brains with our restrictions. Right now the only strength in our education system, though, is our higher education. Graduate level education.

I like to think that the standard of living isn't decreasing as much as some of the other parts of the world's standards are increasing.

I agree about the adapting part though. It is an interesting, and dangerous time for Americans, and an exciting and promising time for many other parts of the world.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
74,463 posts, read 34,706,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpgtfc View Post
I agree about the adapting part though. It is an interesting, and dangerous time for Americans, and an exciting and promising time for many other parts of the world.
Yes, from that perspective, it certainly is a good time for some countries.
I would imagine that, for India, this is their open door full of promises for the future for their people and economy. They are becoming the next IT powerhouse. Their command of the English language puts them leagues ahead of China.
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,480 posts, read 11,050,611 times
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As long as the USA remains a county OF the corporation, BY the corporation, and FOR the corporation, we-the-people will continue to see our quality of life deteriorate.
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