Globalization Hurts; Globalization Helps

Here’s a good article on the upsides and downsides of this thing called globalization. And a few excerpts that jumped out at me:

    In recent years, about 100,000 software-writing jobs have moved from the U.S. to India alone, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Those jobs would have paid a combined $136 billion a year in wages. By the end of 2005, one of every 10 jobs at U.S. information technology vendors and service providers will have moved offshore, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Gartner and Morgan Stanley. Another 400,000 back-office jobs have already moved offshore and 3.3 million should move by 2015, according to Forrester Research.

    Vivek Paul, vice chairman of Indian IT giant Wipro, figures that over the next five years, 7% of U.S. white-collar jobs could be moved overseas, and a whopping 60% of software jobs. “There’s very little economic rationale for having those jobs in the U.S.,” he says.

Globalization is a truly gut-wrenching experience for those who get made globally redundant through no fault of their own. What concerns me is that there appears to be a gold rush mentality about outsourcing these days. Everybody’s doing it, which is why I can’t help but wonder if we’re witnessing a sort of offshoring bubble.

But, bubble or no bubble, a lot of people are now living out localized versions of the American dream…

    Cruel to Westerners, offshoring is cause for celebration in Asia. This migration of jobs is one of globalization’s greatest achievements-a fast-rising living standard in poor countries that is propelling better-educated Asian workers into an expanding middle class.

    In Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur, in Delhi and Bombay, white-collar denizens of the offshoring boom now gather at hip bars and pricey restaurants. It is as if the exuberance of Silicon Valley has moved to Asia. They spend their new paychecks on trendy Western clothes, trips abroad and new cars. Every month, two million more Indians and five million more Chinese carry cell phones as their countries grow richer. Young college graduates job-hop for ever-higher pay. The future has never looked brighter. While Chinese computer programmers splurge to buy the latest consumer goods, many will live with their parents until they are in their 30s, saving three-quarters of their $5,000-a-year salaries to buy a home or a car. That is not a sacrifice for them. It is an improvement.

These are the best of times; these are the worst of times. And it all depends on which side of the world you’re standing.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.

1 thought on “Globalization Hurts; Globalization Helps”

  1. 100,000 jobs that paid a combined $136 billion a year in wages? That means $1.36 million per year each? Where did you find such high-paying jobs?

    BTW, the link to the original article is broken.

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