Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Almighty Buck Businesses

Nielsen Collects FL Tax Breaks, Then Outsources Jobs 572

Posted by kdawson
from the can-you-say-ta-ta dept.
theodp writes "The poop is hitting the fan over tax breaks given to ratings giant Nielsen Co., which pocketed millions in Florida jobs-creation tax concessions but has turned around and dismissed hundreds of local workers after inking a $1.2B outsourcing deal with Tata Consultancy Services of Mumbai. Lou Dobbs is on the case. Lou may go even more ballistic once he sees the Nielsen-Tata pact, which assures Nielsen that OT worries are a thing of the past ('there shall be no additional charge for overtime work'), allows Nielsen to have unsatisfactory Tata hires replaced within 4 weeks of starting with no charge for the original or re-performed work, gives Nielsen up to 6 man-weeks of free labor when a Tata worker is replaced, and allows Nielsen to make 'any TCS Resource' disappear with no more than 5 days notice if their presence 'is not in the best interests of Nielsen.' Nielsen execs have launched a PR counter-attack, pledging not to bully 85 year-old ladies in future layoffs. In a Letter to the Citizens, Nielsen CEO David L. Calhoun explained that Tata won a 'rigorous competition' to get the job, failing to mention that Tata was also tapped by Nielsen EVP Mitchell Habib in his CIO roles at both GE and Citigroup."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Nielsen Collects FL Tax Breaks, Then Outsources Jobs

Comments Filter:
  • by GuyverDH (232921) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @10:56PM (#24169487)

    Has anyone done an audit of EVP Mitchell Habib's bank accounts and lifestyle????

    It might be nothing, but then again, it might not....

    • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @11:04PM (#24169529)

      I think it's time for one of those incredibly through audits.

      They kind that includes a prostate cancer test.

      • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:56AM (#24172879)
        They kind that includes a prostate cancer test.

        Yeah. I hear those are computerized nowadays. They're all digital.
    • by Otter (3800) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @11:20PM (#24169619) Journal
      Yes, that would be quite the red flag if the former CIO of Citigroup and GE were found to have a lot of money in his bank account!
      • by GuyverDH (232921)

        Just have to look at where it *came from*... yup... that's right...

        Follow the money trail, then see if there's that pesky old "conflict of interest" thing going on...

    • by clam666 (1178429) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:01AM (#24170411)

      I've consulted at two companies now, which I won't mention, which used Tata in order to outsource, and in both cases the people that "made the deal" were getting a "per-hour" arrangement with Tata.

      If you've never contracted through a third party before...it's common to receive a few bucks an hour of the billable time any other contractor you recommend to your agent or third party. I've made a dollar-an-hour "finders fee" for recommending someone that was later picked up by the client for every hour they billed. This is much like the bonuses at companies that give you a taste if you recommend another employee to be hired.

      At the companies that used Tata, the same system was at the top level too. The executive at the top level that made the deal also got a small percentage of every Tata resource that was utilized. Multiply that by several dozen resources or more, and you can imagine the incentive to move as many jobs to Tata as possible by this executive.

      I even saw a benefit by this. One of my clients that I was placed at had a large contract with the agency I went through. They "let me go" as a contractor during a time that they were cutting costs, but because the budget had already been sent to the agency, they continued to pay me to "work from home" and do virtually nothing just so the Director of the division could get his percentage cut.

      One wonders what Nielson needs to outsource to Tata for anyway. Their internet and TV ratings divisions daya can be analyzed and OLAPed by any basic data analysis of the participating members...one wonders what they need to outsource. Pay them to watch the shows themselves?

      • by jollyreaper (513215) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @05:16AM (#24171185)

        If you've never contracted through a third party before...it's common to receive a few bucks an hour of the billable time any other contractor you recommend to your agent or third party. I've made a dollar-an-hour "finders fee" for recommending someone that was later picked up by the client for every hour they billed. This is much like the bonuses at companies that give you a taste if you recommend another employee to be hired.

        At the companies that used Tata, the same system was at the top level too. The executive at the top level that made the deal also got a small percentage of every Tata resource that was utilized. Multiply that by several dozen resources or more, and you can imagine the incentive to move as many jobs to Tata as possible by this executive.

        Hmm, what does this sound like?

        Bribery may also take the form of a secret commission, a profit made by an agent, in the course of his employment, without the knowledge of his principal. Euphemisms abound for this (commission, sweetener, back-kick etc.) Bribers and recipients of bribery are likewise numerous although bribers have one common denominator and that is the financial ability to bribe.

        Examples of Illegal Bribes/Kickbacks

                * A building contractor might kick back part of what he is paid to the government official responsible for selecting his company for the job.
                * A pharmaceutical or medical device company might offer free training or other benefits to doctors who prescribe its drug.
                * A benefit or pension provider might provide cash or another bonus to brokers who convince companies to choose their services over those of another provider.

        So as long as it isn't secret, it's legal? Wow, if only the Mafia had figured that one out years ago!

  • by KoshClassic (325934) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @10:56PM (#24169495)

    I was at Citigroup when Habib brought in Tata for a 2nd time. Initially, he brought them in for the credit card division. He was then promoted to CIO of North America and by then it was obvious to everyone that after what happened at GE and in our credit card division that there existed a quid pro quo arrangement between Habib and Tata. So there was no suprise when Tata was awarded the contract for all of North America, even though there was a 'competition' with at least 5 Indian outsourcing companies. I've got no idea if Habib thought that this move was really in the best interests of our company, I only know that he promptly left Citi for Nielsen right smack in the middle of all the resulting layoffs that he initiated. And anyone paying attention knew at the time that Tata and Nielsen would soon be working together, and every IT worker at Nielsen needed to get their resumes polished up in a big hurry.

    • by GuyverDH (232921)

      Sounds like grounds for a massive civil lawsuit... (all the workers impacted by the layoffs) aimed directly at Habib...

      • by zappepcs (820751) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @11:27PM (#24169659) Journal

        Hey, want a laugh?

        http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&output=googleabout&btnG=Search+our+site&q=habib%20tata%20lawsuit [google.com]

        Only 2270 hits on Google for habib+tata+lawsuit

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Lawsuits won't accomplish anything. All they'll do is make some lawyers rich.

        We as American tech workers need to stand up against this. The first thing we need to do is to refuse to cooperate in any way with any Indian company. It may mean that we lose our jobs, but it's better to lose them for taking a stand than losing them to some half-assed outsourcing company.

        Second, we need to actively talk with our managers about the risks of dealing with Indian outsourcing firms. The results are always huge disaster

        • by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @12:47AM (#24170107) Journal

          We as American tech workers need to stand up against this. The first thing we need to do is to refuse to cooperate in any way with any Indian company. It may mean that we lose our jobs, but it's better to lose them for taking a stand than losing them to some half-assed outsourcing company.

          If that's your plan, then the zeroth thing you need to do is form a union. This kind of collective bargaining business doesn't work unless there's...a collective. Also, mob ties, to keep the collective in line.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Grey Ninja (739021)
          Karma be damned. Do you honestly think you are inherently superior to the Indian companies, just because you are American? I've worked with a few Indians, and they were just as good as some of the Americans I've worked with. Articles like this never cease to piss me off, because they never fail to paint the Indians as a group of imbeciles who can't code their way out of a paper bag. Your post really does not help.
          • by PacketScan (797299) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:51AM (#24170385)

            Karma be damned. Do you honestly think you are inherently superior to the Indian companies, just because you are American? I've worked with a few Indians, and they were just as good as some of the Americans I've worked with. Articles like this never cease to piss me off, because they never fail to paint the Indians as a group of imbeciles who can't code their way out of a paper bag. Your post really does not help.

            What country they come from is irrelevant. Nielsen is exploiting a tax credit and in my opinion that constitutes fraud.

          • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:15AM (#24170487)

            Karma be damned. Do you honestly think you are inherently superior to the Indian companies, just because you are American?

            These firms derive their characteristic competitive advantage from their ability to exploit their workforce in ways that would not be legal in the United States, and this is what most people object to with outsourcing. Nobody's "inherently superior".

            • by jacquesm (154384) <j@SLACKWAREww.com minus distro> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:01AM (#24170873) Homepage

              so, the 'free market' is not good enough when you lose your job but it's just fine when a bunch of canadians or mexicans lose theirs ? Where was the outrage over the beef and timber tarrifs ?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by jollyreaper (513215)

            Karma be damned. Do you honestly think you are inherently superior to the Indian companies, just because you are American? I've worked with a few Indians, and they were just as good as some of the Americans I've worked with. Articles like this never cease to piss me off, because they never fail to paint the Indians as a group of imbeciles who can't code their way out of a paper bag. Your post really does not help.

            We're talking about outsourcing companies that are screwing us out of our economy. Even if their consultants were IT gods, we're still talking about the destruction of our economy. For anyone who says "Businesses ain't charities, they're going to go where the money is," I call bullshit! Any corporation with a public charter is supposed to be granted such charter to be exercised in the best interests of the general public. That's the way charters used to be granted. Now it seems like everyone thinks being a

          • by aepervius (535155) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @06:28AM (#24171483)
            1) the firm I work with, we went through a turn around of 10+ coworker out of Mumbai
            2) 8 out of 10 could not code out of a paper bag, making obvious error that anybody having more than 1 week of experience should not do, and NEVER EVER testing what they produced before delivering (sometimes it did not even COMPILE).
            3) after years of saying "everything is fine" management finally admitted they did not get from outsourcing the benefit they waited for (hint : it costs them 2 millions more in operation instead of the waited 10 millions money spare)
            4) that was not an isolated case, the problem is that just like in the boom of the internet bubble anybody was calling themselves coder when in reality they had no idea on really developping software. The result was that there were a lot of people could not code out of paper bag in my own country either. I think the same is happening locally in India where the one which can code get better paid job / develop stuff,whereas the cheap guy which NEED to learn is put out to outsourcing departement.

            I am sure there are many case where outsourcing was successful (who knows maybe a majority), but after seeing my firm declaring it was a success to the outside world, and only after 4 years admitting internally it was failed for the main objective, I begin to suspect many of the success touted by consulting firm are not that successful in reality.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Ihmhi (1206036)

              Cripes! Look at this grammar... Are we outsourcing Slashdot posts to India, too?

          • by indifferent children (842621) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @07:41AM (#24171783)
            paint the Indians as a group of imbeciles who can't code their way out of a paper bag.

            In my experience, Indian programmers tend to be excellent coders, who know the corner-cases of language specs and behavior better than most Americans, but they are very weak in the area of 'design'. I'm used to being tossed a paper napkin (if I'm lucky) and told to create a system. The Indian coders I've worked with fare poorly in that kind of situation, and need a fairly detailed design, that they can then implement quite well (assuming the design and requirements are not crap). This is not a racist statement, different cultures and different education systems, produce different strengths and weaknesses, go figure.

        • yea (Score:3, Insightful)

          by unity100 (970058)
          everything that is not made by american it workers is shitty. you have used the word shitty 4 times in your post, as if there is some magical rule of nature that says stuff that is made in india (or other 'shitty' places) has to be 'shitty'. maybe you are shitty, and therefore having problems ?

          take me for example. i have quit industrial engineering education midphase, got into computers, taught myself programming, started freelancing.

          and without holding any degree, i am charging clients all over the w
  • Just Deserts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bonker (243350) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @11:07PM (#24169547)

    This is what happens when a apathetic populace lets fascism or corporatism slide. Florida is well used to letting megacorps and others who let their money talk for them get their way. Accordingly, they're the first to be taken advantage of.

    Florida's not the only one, certainly. The attitude of letting money talk is endemic all over the country. It's over the entire country. Corporations want cheap labor and will do what it takes to get it. They'd prefer slave labor, but compared to Americans, Indians are cheap enough to make the bottom line look good. Human rights mean NOTHING to them.

    Unless the American people stop this, it's going to get worse. WE allowed this to happen. WE allow companies like Neilsen and Citigroup to take advantage of us like this. Accordingly, WE get reamed.

    • Read the story. One Indian guy goes from American company to American company, merrily f--- over Americans to benefit Indians back in India. Has nothing to do with corporatism and everything to do with nationalism.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)
        I wonder what sort of cut he is getting. I bet there are some kickbacks to him or to some of his family back home.
        • by tjstork (137384)

          I wonder what sort of cut he is getting. I bet there are some kickbacks to him or to some of his family back home.

          Of course there are.

      • BAD MODS! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Eli Gottlieb (917758) <eligottlieb.gmail@com> on Saturday July 12, 2008 @11:47PM (#24169759) Homepage Journal

        Parent is not a troll. He's just telling the truth. When an Indian man always hires the same Indian company to do his work for 3 different American firms, it's ethnic/racial favoritism plain and simple.

        • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

          Parent is not a troll. He's just telling the truth. When an Indian man always hires the same Indian company to do his work for 3 different American firms, it's ethnic/racial favoritism plain and simple.

          You would have a point if a) the Indian company paid American income taxes, b) the Indian company adhered to all the American labor laws, c) the Indian company workers spend their earnings in America, amongst other things.

          Why? Simply because the economic boundaries of most societies are also their national

      • by GuyverDH (232921)

        Same thing happened to the company I work for... We're still digging out of the abyss caused by this, 5 years after the bastard was fired...

        Software took 4 times as long to write, had so many bugs, and grammar/spelling/wording was pathetic.

        Add to that the fact that outsourced workers like CSRs and data entry personnel get additional income by SELLING PERSONAL FINANCIAL and MEDICAL information of the customers of the company's that hired them...

        No company that deals with any kind of Financial, Medical or Per

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Quixote (154172) *
        The parent is flat-out wrong. Mitchell Habib is not an "Indian guy". From his last name, he sounds possibly of Lebanese (or Mediterranean) descent.

        His bio [nielsen.com] is available online.

        From the bio (above):

        Mitchell holds a Masters of Public Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Florida.

        How the f**k does a person with such a background become a CIO?!?!? Shouldn't have at least a science degree, let alone a CS or CSEE degree??

    • Re:Just Deserts (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RodgerDodger (575834) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @11:38PM (#24169721)

      This is what happens when a apathetic populace lets the free market or capitalism slide

      There, corrected that for you.

      Free market forces, along with the incentives in capitalism, says that the labour market shifts to where the labour is cheap. I thought Americans were fans of the free market?

      (FWIW, I'm not a fan of the free market, and I'm not American)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by liquidpele (663430)
        Okay, first off, *please* stop with the "I corrected that for you" BS. It's almost as annoying as the "FAIL" crap on reddit.

        Secondly, a free market does not mean that people should be allowed to take advantage of the market, companies, and workers. The market should also be fair. Americans are fans of free markets because of their efficiency, but we also realize that the markets have to be regulated or they become unfair (see the American History during the industrial revolution and where Unions gaine
        • Re:Just Deserts (Score:5, Insightful)

          by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @12:24AM (#24169999)

          Secondly, a free market does not mean that people should be allowed to take advantage of the market, companies, and workers. The market should also be fair. Americans are fans of free markets because of their efficiency, but we also realize that the markets have to be regulated or they become unfair (see the American History during the industrial revolution and where Unions gained power).

          Actually, this is an oversimplification. Many Americans (particularly Republicans and Libertarians) are fans of the "free market" (as in pretty much 100% unrestricted and unregulated), some other Americans are for "fair market" instead (although what is "fair" is subject to debate). Then there are those in between.

          The current state of affairs is however that the prevailing position amongst those in power (which is the only thing that counts in the long run) is that "free market" is a cure-all wonder solution to all economic problems and those individuals are ramming through "reform" after "reform" to that end. Those for the "fair market" are resisting any way they can (read: "feebly").

          The situation is of course not restricted to America, as the same kind of forces are at play all over the world. It is the eternal battle between those who are, despite of their many protestations, sociopaths (i.e. see only themselves as the center of the Universe and all others as mere objects, to be used as tools, abused and discarded when broken, since the Universe exists solely for the benefit of its "center") and those who see themselves as a part of a bigger whole and who wish for that whole and themselves to exist in mutually-beneficial harmony where no one is left to fend desperately for himself alone and where well being of the group's members takes precedence over rapidity of accumulation of possessions. There are even those who schizophrenically attempt to have the cake and eat it too, i.e. they believe that if only the entire world was arranged with unlimited and unbound personal greed as its sole Holy Purpose, then somehow (by means magical and divine) the society would end up being the inclusive, mutually-beneficial "got your back pal" arrangement sought by the second group.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RodgerDodger (575834)

          Aw - that's the first time I've ever done the "I corrected that for you" meme... :(

          As for fair vs. free, you can't have both. Free markets are unfair places to be, because nothing in the free market provides incentives for "fair". To get fair, you need a lot of market regulation, and then it's still not clear what "fair" means, as "fair" is subjective.

          Case in point: Neilsen got their tax subsidy by promising to deliver 1100 jobs, acording to the FA. After the layoffs, there will still be over 1300 jobs, so

      • Re:Just Deserts (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @11:59PM (#24169847)

        Free market forces, along with the incentives in capitalism, says that the labour market shifts to where the labour is cheap. I thought Americans were fans of the free market?

        How do tax subsidies make for "a free market?"

        • Re:Just Deserts (Score:4, Insightful)

          by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @12:27AM (#24170011)

          More than half the time someone brings up "free market", they have no idea what they are talking about. A great deal of the time it's projecting an idealized version of what the market is supposed to be in their own heads, like the poster above you.

          A free market is an unregulated market, with no government subsidies, bailouts, handouts, or funding, where the customers ultimately are responsible for the successes or failures for business based on whether they patronize them.

          If this does not work, then democracy does not work, as it'll fail just as hard or harder for the precise same reasons--apathy, ignorance, malice, or what have you. Of course, market capitalism doesn't really make decisions for you, it simply allows more or less avenues and possibilities for you to enjoy or pursue, while government steps in and forces you to do something (or not do something) at the threat of punishment.

          You probably knew that--that was aimed moreso at other people than you.

          • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:09AM (#24170891) Journal
            "A free market is an unregulated market, with no government subsidies, bailouts, handouts, or funding, where the customers ultimately are responsible for the successes or failures for business based on whether they patronize them."

            Sorry but there is no such thing as an unregulated market, "the market" is a system and by definition a system has rules. The 'free' part in 'free market' does not mean free from interference/change/rules, in fact the "free" part is a reference to a rule of the market that says everyone is free to participate in the market. Without rules to determine who owns what and who can/can't use force to uphold the rules, the 'market' part of "free market" is meaningless.

            Some things work well under your definition of the "free market" but some such as transport and health don't. After all there is a vast difference between running an airport/hospital and swapping home grown vegtables with the neighbours. I'm not suggesting you personally adhrere to a rigid ideology, but to assume regulation and government interference is always a bad thing is to deny the importance of things as trans-US railroads, the Panama canal, the moon landings, equal pay for women & blacks, etc.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Maybe you're upset that certain laborers can out-compete local labor; normally I thought the left was all into helping other people, but then I realized if 1) someone local is losing out 2) it's being helped through getting a job then it's no good. Outsourcing isn't evil, not unless you have a populistic "us vs. them" mentality; break free of those notions and realize it doesn't matter who gets a job, you're neither owed a job nor does one owe you a job. That Indian guy getting a job or that Chinese guy g

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by blahplusplus (757119)

      "This is what happens when a apathetic populace lets fascism or corporatism slide."

      Accurate but missing the reasons why. This is what happens when it takes two incomes, and 50-60+ hour work weeks to raise a family, add in long communtes, then on top of that add in all the distractions and whatnot and you get an overworked, overtired population with scarce little time for everything else.

      If we want this not to happen we have to take people out of the market and pay them to do nothing but investigate and man

      • Re:Just Deserts (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Karrde45 (772180) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @12:17AM (#24169947)
        Saying "The world is too complicated" sounds like a cop-out. Sure there's more information available than ever before, but there's also far more effective methods of accessing it than ever before. Knowing how to use google and wikipedia (and evaluate the credibility of the resultant sources) can give you answers to just about any question you can think of. If people are sitting at home watching 20 hours of reality TV a week, then they have no excuse for being ill-informed.
    • Re:Just Deserts (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Joebert (946227) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @12:03AM (#24169857) Homepage
      The market will fix itself.

      Everyone in America will eventually be too poor to buy anything, forcing these corporations to target the countries they outsourced to, chasing the money. This will make room for new pioneers in American business & the cycle will start all over again.

      I hope I live to see when this situation repeats itself driving corporations to the moon.
  • by RevRigel (90335) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @11:25PM (#24169641)

    I was under the impression that H1B-type visas were for skilled workers of which there was a shortage in the US. It goes against the entire purpose of the program to say 'We can't find people to fill these positions domestically, we have to import them.', and when these are jobs that are only available because the Americans currently doing them are being fired. This sounds less like a job for the Oldsmar city council and more like a job for Congress, to address this complete abuse of the visa program. Sounds like everyone should call their Congressperson and ask them to inquire with the INS about just how and why these visas were granted and continue to be granted to Tata Consultancy.

    • by mochan_s (536939)
      Tata consulting is in India. There are no H1B visas needed. The work is now done in India instead of the US.
  • by Nova Express (100383) <lawrenceperson@g ... inus threevowels> on Saturday July 12, 2008 @11:26PM (#24169649) Homepage Journal

    No private company should ever receive special tax breaks or subsidies for any reason. Instead, just lower business taxes so everyone has a chance to profit equally. Then these sorts of things wouldn't happen. It would also radically reduce the cope for corruption.

    (The only necessary exception I can see to this rule is for National Security-specific products and research, since protection the citizenry is the primary function of government, and in many cases (nuclear weapons development comes to mind) that nature of the product produce precludes recoupment if R&D costs in the private sector.)

    You won't get money out of politics until you get politics out of money.

    • These are local government tax breaks, not state or federal. Local governments give these tax breaks because the lost tax revenue is made up for by having lots of new jobs being created, and people to fill them moving into the area (or unemployed locals getting them). This stimulates the local economy, and becomes a net plus to the area.

      Local governments compete with each other, offering economic incentives to win economic rewards. This is the free market at work, and when it does work, it is very popular w

  • by HTRednek (793937) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @11:30PM (#24169681)
    Ratings Giant Nielsen Outsourcing Workers...
    In other news: ratings indicate that television shows with a strong patriotic theme experiencing a marked decline in popularity.
    Back to you Rob.
  • by TheNucleon (865817) on Saturday July 12, 2008 @11:43PM (#24169747)

    Yeah, call me protectionist, and queue all the rebuttals, but it's time to just knock this offshoring stuff off. I honestly think it should be made illegal at this point. Banned. For good.

    We are gutting good jobs from our economy at a time when we truly can't afford it. We are watching CEOs and other greedy executives make off with literally millions of dollars by making these decisions that take food off the table for countless US families. The people who lose their jobs to crap like this then cannot buy goods and services in America. Guess what that does to the economy? But hey, those CEOs have their mansions and BMWs! They definitely have the mansions and BMWs!

    My cell phone company uses an offshore support center. Recently, I spent 50 minutes trying to get two simple questions answered about my calling plan. The rep would "put me on hold while my issue was researched". We're talking REAL EASY questions, but they weren't addressed on the website (which was probably also offshored). This experience, by the way, has happened repeatedly with this provider's customer service. Note that my cell provider didn't lose anything - I'm locked into my plan, just like most other people who suffer from the cellphone cartels. They saved money by offshoring. But I lost 50 minutes of my life, because some bean counting boogerface decided to get himself a big bonus with his "cost saving offshoring" plan. I wish I could have spoken to someone in the US - someone who would then have money to buy stuff here, and who would have answered my question in perhaps only 10 minutes. I am a consultant who is paid by the hour. Should I bill my provider for the extra 40 minutes?

    Some people think that offshoring will just raise the level of jobs we have here, and make more room for higher-level salaries. BULL! Where is the evidence? Sure, a select few get to play project manager or supervisor or offshore liaison, and the rest get to go home and wonder what to do with skills they have spent years honing. By the way, I know this might surprise some of you, but NOT EVERYONE wants to be a manager. Some people here would love to have those call center jobs (or those programming jobs, or whatever). Trust me, some people would really like to have them, especially now.

    Darn it! Companies that made their fortunes on US ingenuity turn their backs on the US for a quick buck, and we continue to allow it to happen. It makes me sick and enough is enough. We are stupid, especially in the face of growing trade deficits, to send good jobs somewhere else. Wait, we peons are not stupid, it's the bigwig decision makers who AREN'T ACTUALLY HURT by the decisions. We should stop them. Congress should stop them. Which would be easy, if Congress wasn't attached to them at their wallet.

    By the way, I have nothing against the folks in other nations to which we offshore this work. They are doing what I would be doing in their shoes - making their best play for these attractive jobs. If you walk up and hand someone an opportunity, you can't blame them for taking it. It's not their fault. It's OUR FAULT!

    Not wanting to see our own economy gutted is not the same as being protectionist. This offshoring thing was a bad idea, ill-conceived and unethically promoted. Worse, it's been shamelessly allowed by our do-nothing Congress, and even condoned by brainwashed people who drink the "it'll free us up for more high-level jobs" kool-aid. If you run a business in the US, run it in the US. Employ people here. Between inexpensive overseas goods, offshoring of services, and oil, we seem absolutely hellbent to send every bit of value we can somewhere other than here. ENOUGH!!!

    Admittedly, I need to relax a bit. My typing fingers hurt.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2008 @12:39AM (#24170083)

      Do you propose banning or highly taxing all imported goods? Even just sticking to software, that'd have a lot of consequences. For example, Ubisoft is a large French videogame company, with additional offices in Canada, which sells a lot of games to the American market (as well as elsewhere). Would you support protectionist measures that aimed to increase the market share of EA at the expense of Ubisoft? If not, how do you distinguish this case?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by solios (53048)

      Agreed. This kind of capitalistic darwinism has gone beyond sucking the country dry and has passed into total economic terrorism.

      Thanks to the rampant, selfish, gold parachute greed of the boomers and their yuppie hellspawn, I fear CEOs more than I will ever fear Al Qaeda. They can (and do) screw up my life - and the lives of millions of others - much more thoroughly, and they stand to gain much more from doing so.... and they have nothing to lose.

    • Ok, but (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:31AM (#24170289)

      Does that mean we also kick out everyone who has offshored to the US? When someone like, say, Toyota, wants to open up a plant in the US (who has 5 currently) do we tell them to fuck off because we are against offshoring? Or are we hypocrites about it and we are ok with offhsoring so long as the jobs come here. If that's the case, why should foreign countries allow that? Why not mirror image our policies against us?

      Also how do you define it? Is it only offshoring when a US company moves jobs overseas? How about if they just stop producing something themselves and instead buy it from a foreign vendor? How about imports in general (where something is designed and produced in another country)? What about US companies that are owned by foreign conglomerates (like Blizzard, who is owned by Vevendi Universal)?

      This is not a simple issue. We are well past the days where something was made by one guy and sold in one town. Global trade is incredibly complex. So if you are anti-globalism first you need to decide what precisely it is you are against. What things are ok and what aren't and at what levels (by levels I mean is it ok for something to happen inter state but not inter nationally). Once you've done that, you need to look and see what the consequences of that are. There is no action without cost. Make sure you understand what the downsides (direct and indirect) of such a thing would be, don't pretend like it's all roses.

      Finally, doesn't it seem a bit supremest to tell everyone else "Well we got ours, we aren't going to help you get yours,"? I mean you seem to be all down on the rich in the US hording wealth, but yet you seem to be suggesting the US as a whole should do the same thing.

      This isn't a simple issue, and thus if you think a simple solution works, you are probably wrong. I'm not saying what is going on now is right, I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm saying that you need to take the time to understand the whole picture. It isn't a simple case of jobs leaving the US, it is a complex case of trade becoming more and more global and more intertwined.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sloanster (213766)

        Does that mean we also kick out everyone who has offshored to the US? When someone like, say, Toyota, wants to open up a plant in the US (who has 5 currently) do we tell them to fuck off because we are against offshoring? Or are we hypocrites about it and we are ok with offhsoring so long as the jobs come here.

        I think you're missing the point. Toyota built plants in the US to make the cars they sell in the US, which makes a lot of sense, actually.

    • by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3NO@SPAMphroggy.com> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:56AM (#24170395) Homepage

      Don't ban it. Let the market work. Make it expensive, and it will stop. This is something the government should be doing: add taxes and tariffs to things that are harmful and cause problems for society; give tax breaks to things that are helpful and do good things for society. That was the reason they gave the tax breaks in this case, but maybe the government dropped the ball here by not getting a solid agreement in writing (I don't know, maybe they have one, and the poo will hit the fan soon, I didn't RTFA, because I'm not new here).

      Unfortunately, the government doesn't step in this way as often as it should, or it interferes in the wrong ways, giving tax breaks to companies that aren't doing anything to benefit the public, because the CEO of the company is good friends with a member of Congress, or whatever. That sucks.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by noidentity (188756)

        Don't ban it. Let the market work. Make it expensive, and it will stop. This is something the government should be doing: add taxes and tariffs to things that are harmful and cause problems for society; give tax breaks to things that are helpful and do good things for society. [...] Unfortunately, the government doesn't step in this way as often as it should, or it interferes in the wrong ways [...]

        Letting the market work is not interfering as you describe. Once you start interfering, you have to do it righ

    • by Rakishi (759894) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:43AM (#24170615)

      Yeah, call me protectionist, and queue all the rebuttals, but it's time to just knock this offshoring stuff off. I honestly think it should be made illegal at this point. Banned. For good.

      The rebuttal is trivial actually, there are 6 billion people in the world and 300 million Americans. 6 billion will almost always innovate and progress better than 300 million, and protectionism goes both ways. In other words in 50 years the US would be a backwards nation running on outdated technology and subject to, for example, disease the rest of the world had cured decades ago. The same argument then extends to natural resources or rather their lack of for certain resources (ie: diamonds from Africa, oil from the middle east and so on). Remember that if you ban outsourcing then you need to logically ban foreign companies that outsource (unfair competition) so you essentially need to close off the US from the rest of the world.

      We are gutting good jobs from our economy at a time when we truly can't afford it.

      Sure we can afford it, we're in a mild recession at worst and are generally doing quite well.

      We are watching CEOs and other greedy executives make off with literally millions of dollars by making these decisions that take food off the table for countless US families. The people who lose their jobs to crap like this then cannot buy goods and services in America. Guess what that does to the economy? But hey, those CEOs have their mansions and BMWs! They definitely have the mansions and BMWs!

      What about the poor Indian who'd be ecstatic if they could eat as much as a homeless person in the US? Are their lives worth less than that american family you mention?

      My cell phone company uses an offshore support center. Recently, I spent 50 minutes trying to get two simple questions answered about my calling plan. .... This experience, by the way, has happened repeatedly with this provider's customer service. Note that my cell provider didn't lose anything - I'm locked into my plan, just like most other people who suffer from the cellphone cartels.

      You're not locked into anything, you CHOSE to get yoruself locked into it because you're greedy. You and only you chose to take the cheaper option to save some bucks instead of considering the long term problems. I, for example, am paying more for my dsl access than my neighbor but unlike him I made sure beforehand that my provider isn't a stingy ass pos company.

      I wish I could have spoken to someone in the US - someone who would then have money to buy stuff here, and who would have answered my question in perhaps only 10 minutes.

      Why do you assume that they'd be as stupid as you and buy products from their own obviously stingy and inferior company?

      Some people here would love to have those call center jobs (or those programming jobs, or whatever). Trust me, some people would really like to have them, especially now.

      I doubt anyone would want a call center job unless they were masochistic or desperate beyond measure.

      Darn it! Companies that made their fortunes on US ingenuity turn their backs on the US for a quick buck, and we continue to allow it to happen. It makes me sick and enough is enough. We are stupid, especially in the face of growing trade deficits, to send good jobs somewhere else. Wait, we peons are not stupid, it's the bigwig decision makers who AREN'T ACTUALLY HURT by the decisions. We should stop them. Congress should stop them. Which would be easy, if Congress wasn't attached to them at their wallet.

      Interesting, yet you continue to buy services from companies that engage in these behaviors. It seems you're want lots of things as long as you don't have to spend a penny more as a result. Typical.

  • trumps nationalism

    if someone can do what you can do for a cheaper price, the market gravitates to take advantage of that. not much protectionism will prevent that

    people talk about politicians and laws fixing these things. there's not much a politician can do to stop the basic laws of supply and demand, there's not many laws that can be enforced against rules of economics without hurting the entire economy

    the economy changes. protecting the jobs of steamboat captains or horseshoe blacksmith doesn't mean much when people start using trains and cars. you change with the world, adapat, and new opportunities present themselves. or you whine loud enough so that politicians protect your steamboat captain's job. which, under increasing pressur eof irrelevancy every day, loses its lustre and its income anyways, because the entire economy of steamboats is drying up

    CHANGE, motherfuckers, do you speak it?

    rather than complain about a job leaving the usa, why not train for a job that can't be outsourced? that makes more money?

    you may now pillory me into oblivion. but go ahead. i hate you. i hate the story summary. to me, it represents the worst of the usa: fat whiners with a sense of entitlement. you're the worst of this country, the lowest character

    i actually think outsourcing strengthens the country. it forces people to retrain. people seem to think getting one stupid job and entrenching yourself in that position for the rest of your life is some sort of nirvana. its not. its stagnation, mentally and financially. but it is nirvana for people who want to do nothing in their lives but shuffle paper on a desk and get paid more than their worth

    change has risks. and plenty of people who lose their jobs to outsourcing will never get a job that pays that well ever again. such people are usually useless overpaid dead wood anyways. they deserve to work at mcdonalds, they got the higher paying job by mistake in the first place. and outsourcing is the rational economic change that shoves them down to where they belong on the economic ladder. of course they whine about that

    meanwhile, anyone with any real skill and brains moves on, makes more money. the good float to the top, the shit sinks, whining and moaning the whole time. protectionism is for the weak. you're weak if you depend upon protectionism, you're the worst of this country. risk is challenging, it works your brain like a muscle. if you are too weak to stomach that, go clean toilets

    those who whine the loudest, to me, represent nothing but the worst of the united states: "if i whine loud enough i get what i deserve"

    no, asshole. you rise or sink based on your abilities and challenges are GOOD for you. they build you like rsistance to a muscle. or they kill you, in which case you are a weak loser who deserves no more than to be a grave digger

    you don't deserve anything in life. you aren't entitled to anything. you work, you take some risk, you shut up and play the game called life, and you eventually make your mark. or you bitch and whine and moan about this or that not being fair. because you are fucking loser

    now mod me into oblivion, you flabby whiny fucking losers at life. anyone with real skill is busy shutting up and moving on to better pastures and living their fucking lives. but anyone who knows nothing better, nor will know any better, than the jobs that were outsourced are sinking in their socioeconomic status, as they fucking DESERVE

    fuck you flabby whiny losers. fuck you all. the worst of this country

    • Wow, your rhetoric epitomizes the worst of economic "survival of the fittest" in your post. Congratulations on being both profane and profoundly wrong.

      We're not talking about jobs that are becoming obsolete. Your steamboat captain analogy is worthless. These are simply jobs that are being displaced. If the jobs are obsolete, why does someone overseas still need to do them?

      In a job market where tasks and skills are increasingly complex, it is not trivial to completely retrain yourself because your compan

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        My analogy is perfect: change. The internet means jobs are sent overseas. What can you do? You can't fight inevitabilty. Someone can do what you can do for much less pay. Go aheadn fight that. Fight the rise and fall of the tides while you are at it. Or go with the flow

        And yes, retraining is hard, is not trivial. Absolutely. WElcome to life, it isn't easy

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MrKaos (858439)

          My analogy is perfect: change.

          Well if that's the case then it would be smarter to be a blue collar worker cleaning toilets because those jobs cannot be outsourced. Only trouble is the pay and conditions of third world countries are being used to compete against first world countries and thus those conditions are being imported into first world countries.

          What you say may be alright when applied to white collar workers where physical risk is low, but in the cases of heavy industry where safety is a concern

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by gujo-odori (473191)

      If I'm going to be nothing but a gravedigger, may I please start with yours? Note that this is not a death threat. I want to dig the hole, then you off yourself and fall in. It'll be good for society, trust me. Think of it as a form of outsourcing yourself.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mieckowski (741243)
      The world isn't some ideal meritocracy. The US economy didn't spring into being because people adopted a "fuck you" attitude. The economy is driven by consumer spending. Wages went up, spending went up, business went up in a self-supporting cycle. Some things that artificially increased wages like unions probably helped this cycle along.

      Developing countries aren't as far along in this process. Wages and spending are lower. It's ideal for wages to go up there instead of reversing the cycle in the US.

      It
  • ...and we in Australia thought AWAs [wikipedia.org] were bad news! A few years of the Nielson Workplace Agreement down here would have had everybody gagging for AWAs as sweet relief!
  • by iwein (561027) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:39AM (#24170329)
    They took our JOBS!
  • by bugs2squash (1132591) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:59AM (#24170401)
    How much can you save outsourcing a call center operator - $30k per year ?

    How about saving some real money and outsourcing the board of directors.
    • by Burz (138833) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:24AM (#24170535) Journal

      This is more insightful than may seem on the surface.

      Due to a history of mega-mergers, there is less and less competition among this class of corporate actor: executives and directors. Meanwhile they increase competition to insane levels among the working class, such that we 'compete' with people who could never show up at a rally outside the employer's offices and who have scant civil and labor rights to begin with (and perhaps even less in a trans-continental employment situation).

    • by limabone (174795) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @07:25AM (#24171699)

      It can only last for so long. Once the people in India/China realize they don't need their American overlords anymore, they will spin off their own companies to directly compete, take the talent with them, and once they grow large enough, they will have their own board of directors. I am certain this is already happening, but would love to hear about some examples.

  • What Job is Safe? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by florescent_beige (608235) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:58AM (#24170679) Journal
    If I read this (table A1 p117) the top four employment categories are 1) Manufacturing 2) Retail 3) Health Care and 4) Hotels. Do any of these sound safe from outsourcing? Not to me.

    The US invested mightily and fostered the genius it took to create it's amazing economy. India did not, they can do that now if they want. They will catch up eventually, but why on Earth would you help your competition? Maybe it's not about America, maybe it's about greed which, contrary to neo-con oversimplified-theory-so-the-senator-from-Nebraska-can-understand-it isn't always good.

    I bet India has some very very bright people. Probably bright enough to be CIO or CEO of a major company. Probably bright enough to be a lobbyist. Oh right, CEO's are unique individuals with rare qualities that only their buddy CEO's at the club can recognize and set the compensation for.

    So anyway, H1-B visas for lobbyists and CEO's. And tax this wanker's bonus back because lynching is apparently forbidden or something.

    On the other hand Lou Dobbs scares me. I dunno, like a xenophobic populist or something.
  • by simong (32944) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @03:53AM (#24170841) Homepage

    Tata will have agreed to the terms to get the business. Nielsen may well be disappointed at the actual execution. A seemingly common trend within Indian outsourcing companies seems to be the eagerness in which they will pitch for work without considering the implications of the requirement. I worked on a project a couple of years ago where one of the biggest Indian consultancies had undercut a major IT services company by 30% to get the contract, but then found that they needed hardware and expertise with it to get the job done, and consequently hired the IT services company to provide it. The attitude to manpower was also interesting: if for example they needed an Oracle DBA, the manager would call the HR department in Bangalore and say 'find me someone with Oracle on their CV', and someone would step off the plane a couple of days later. If they proved not to be up to scratch (quite rare, as most of the staff were at least good at one thing), they would be back on the plane fairly quickly. I don't think Nielsen will be losing out having such a clause in their contract, and Tata certainly don't see it as losing out, just the way they and the other major Indian consultancies run their business.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @07:31AM (#24171725) Homepage Journal

    I see it happen a lot here in my area, but rarely are their any ramifications attached.

If it happens once, it's a bug. If it happens twice, it's a feature. If it happens more than twice, it's a design philosophy.

Working...