Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government United States News

$4,400/Yr. Coders May Work On Dept. of Labor Project 418

Posted by kdawson
from the living-wage dept.
theodp writes "To power the Tools for America's Job Seekers Challenge, the US Department of Labor tapped IdeaScale, a subsidiary of Survey Analytics, which is headquartered in Seattle with satellite offices in Nasik, India and Auckland, NZ (PDF). According to the Federal Register (PDF), an Emergency OMB Review was requested to launch the joint initiative of the DOL, White House, and IdeaScale to help out unemployed US workers. A cached Monster.com ad seeks candidates to work on the development and maintenance of ideascale.com, but in India at an annual salary of Rs. 200,000 to 300,000 ($4,4000 to $6,600 US). BTW, an earlier White House-sponsored, IdeaScale-powered Open Government Brainstorm identified legalizing marijuana as one of the best ways to 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness.'" There's no guarantee that Indian workers recruited by that Monster.com ad would work on US Department of Labor projects.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

$4,400/Yr. Coders May Work On Dept. of Labor Project

Comments Filter:
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Friday January 15, 2010 @11:59AM (#30779602) Journal
    Do you know that the servers the government purchased to run these have memor that's ... made in Taiwan! Where the average annual income for a factory worker [taipeitimes.com] is a paltry US$1,150.00 annually! And don't even get me started on where the plastic casings came for the keyboards, servers and mice that comprise these servers!

    I have this weird feeling that had they gone with American services for building these websites at 10x the cost of using IdeaScale, the Slashdot summary would have read about the absurdly high spending that the Department of Labor is wasting our tax dollars on and would have something about a cursory glance finding tons of companies willing to fullfill the work order for 1/10 what they spent. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. They picked the route that most CEOs today are picking and they saved us from more tax dollar expenditures. Pick your poison.

    And don't tell anybody but I think Obama's coffee mugs are ... MADE IN CHINA! Just like yours and mine! The horror!

    BTW, an earlier White House-sponsored, IdeaScale-powered Open Government Brainstorm identified legalizing marijuana as one of the best ways to 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness.

    So because IdeaScale built an application to spec for the White House (who shouldn't have paid for it if it didn't meet requirements) and a bunch of pothead hippies turned up in full force to get their message out loud and clear on it, it's IdeaScale's fault? I think you'd be better off blaming the concept of democracy or the buzzword 'crowd-sourcing' as this is just kind of evidence of a technology-based bias of the voices.

    You criticize the White House for doing something we all do then you blame the wonderful effects of democracy on a web application?

    • by aengblom (123492) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:04PM (#30779644) Homepage

      Thread over in one, good job.

      • by CraftyJack (1031736) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:20PM (#30779826)

        Thread over in one, good job.

        You'd have to be some sort of a Nazi to disagree.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by clone53421 (1310749)

        Better than that... kdawson basically refuted the whole point of the article at the end. The article was over before anyone even commented.

      • by TheLink (130905) on Friday January 15, 2010 @01:57PM (#30781240) Journal

        Uh, but he's wrong! From his own link, the Taiwanese workers are earning about USD1150 per MONTH (which is actually not bad in the 3rd world country I'm in[1]).

        The _FIRST_ sentence says it: "The average worker in Taiwan earns a monthly salary of NT$36,564".

        Google says 36564 Taiwanese dollars is about USD1150 : http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&num=100&q=36564+TWD+in+usd&btnG=Search&meta= [google.com]

        If the average US person can't figure out the difference between years and months, or have poor reading comprehension, or can't be bothered to check stuff properly, it's no surprise US bosses are outsourcing to other countries.

        So what if those 3rd world workers are crap. No point paying far more for just as crap (or worse).

        And guess what, many of these "3rd world" workers aren't that crap.

        See: http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=185 [bunniestudios.com]

        I've shown some kids these videos and told them that that's the sort of competition they'll be facing (more so as countries like Vietnam start getting into it as well).

        [1] FWIW, I'm a cheap worker (relative to the USA) in a 3rd world country. But hey at least I can read, spell and do basic math (with help from Google :) ). I can even write some simple perl and python code...

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Necrobruiser (611198)
          USD1150/month is not equal to USD1150/year? Next thing, you'll be trying to tell me that 0.02 dollars and 0.02 cents are different!
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by eldavojohn (898314) *

          Uh, but he's wrong!

          I am and I apologize for my haste in looking for an annual income and reporting a monthly income. I had no ill intentions of misrepresentation or denouncing the Taiwanese people. I get five free minutes here and there in my day and just wanted to point out that the memory in all our computers probably come from workers earning less than our minimum wage. That has nothing to do with the rest of my argument.

          If the average US person can't figure out the difference between years and months, or have poor reading comprehension, or can't be bothered to check stuff properly, it's no surprise US bosses are outsourcing to other countries.

          Please do not attribute my own ignorance to the entire populace of the United States of America.

    • by toQDuj (806112)

      I'm not sure the pot thing was so out-of-line actually. Everyone I speak with agrees that pot should be legalised just like in the Netherlands. That way you can keep much better control over it. Disclaimer: I'm in Denmark, after having lived in the Netherlands.

      Anywho, I think governments are very keen on getting their fingers out of the argument for some reason...

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Shakrai (717556)

        Everyone I speak with agrees that pot should be legalised just like in the Netherlands. That way you can keep much better control over it.

        I agree that it should be legalized (pursuit of happiness and all that) but I'm not so sure that I buy the "you can keep much better control over it" line. When I was a kid I had no problems getting my hands on booze or tobacco and both of those products are legal. We always knew which store we could go to that wouldn't card us, which 21+ sibling of a friend would make a straw purchase and whose parents were too lazy to lock up the liquor cabinet.

        So no, I don't buy that legalizing pot would make it harde

        • by PitaBred (632671) <slashdotNO@SPAMpitabred.dyndns.org> on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:46PM (#30780168) Homepage

          "Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?" - Bender

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by colesw (951825)

          Everyone I speak with agrees that pot should be legalised just like in the Netherlands. That way you can keep much better control over it.

          I agree that it should be legalized (pursuit of happiness and all that) but I'm not so sure that I buy the "you can keep much better control over it" line. When I was a kid I had no problems getting my hands on booze or tobacco and both of those products are legal. We always knew which store we could go to that wouldn't card us, which 21+ sibling of a friend would make a straw purchase and whose parents were too lazy to lock up the liquor cabinet.

          I think what most people think with better control (at least what I believe, and I've heard others say) is you don't have to worry so much about what is in it. (ie not laced with something).

        • by ibbie (647332) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:54PM (#30780284) Journal

          Everyone I speak with agrees that pot should be legalised just like in the Netherlands. That way you can keep much better control over it.

          I agree that it should be legalized (pursuit of happiness and all that) but I'm not so sure that I buy the "you can keep much better control over it" line. When I was a kid I had no problems getting my hands on booze or tobacco and both of those products are legal. We always knew which store we could go to that wouldn't card us, which 21+ sibling of a friend would make a straw purchase and whose parents were too lazy to lock up the liquor cabinet.

          So no, I don't buy that legalizing pot would make it harder for the kiddies to get their hands on it. The only thing that will do that is parental involvement but I heard that went out of fashion a long time ago and the current trend is to rely on the TV and internet to raise your kids.....

          Keep in mind that "better control over it" isn't limited to keeping it away from under-age users. It also means the application of agricultural and consumer protection laws that we enjoy in regard to our legal vices.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tomtomtom (580791)

          I agree that it should be legalized (pursuit of happiness and all that) but I'm not so sure that I buy the "you can keep much better control over it" line. When I was a kid I had no problems getting my hands on booze or tobacco and both of those products are legal. We always knew which store we could go to that wouldn't card us, which 21+ sibling of a friend would make a straw purchase and whose parents were too lazy to lock up the liquor cabinet.

          There's more than one definition of "better control over it". When was the last time you bought alcohol from the store which turned out to be antifreeze? How common is it for one liquor store owner to shoot the owner of the new liquor store which opened down the street because it encroached on his territory? These are both the sorts of things which used to happen during prohibition, and don't now for alcohol, but do for drugs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Zero__Kelvin (151819)

        "BTW, an earlier White House-sponsored, IdeaScale-powered Open Government Brainstorm identified legalizing marijuana as one of the best ways to 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness."

        "I'm not sure the pot thing was so out-of-line actually."

        I was assuming that it continues along the wasteful spending theme. Why would the government spend money to conclude the phenomenally obvious fact that anyone who isn't either uninformed or a moron has known for decades? (answer: you can't f

      • by Concern (819622) * on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:46PM (#30780166) Journal

        Hey, I'm in the US, and it's obviously true. It's just inconveniently true.

        Our anti-pot drug policies eliminate any possibility of salutary tax revenue from an industry that's worth billions even as a black market. In addition to that, we have to catch, try and incarcerate pot growers, sellers, and users at staggering expense (also billions, when all is said and done).

        Pot is basically as harmless as alcohol, but since we force our educators and police to demonize it even while half of them use it themselves, we undercut the entire credibility of our anti-drug programs (which are important for helping kids avoid drugs that are actually dangerous). So not only do we get no tax on billions, but we spend billions, and we contribute to actual drug problems (at what additional cost I hesitate to guess).

        We could still try the tired argument that pot really is dangerous. We have to hope not, since a huge portion of the population admits to using it in studies. The Netherlands notwithstanding, three of our last three presidents have admitted to using various illegal drugs and got elected anyway.

        The open government brainstorming application worked perfectly. It distilled a set of great ideas directly from citizen activists with less lobbying, filtering and political BS.

        Legalizing pot would be a great idea. It would cut waste, generate revenue, empty prisons, improve the health and safety of the nation's youth. It's too bad Obama absolutely cannot and will not do it. It would be political suicide. And that gets us into analyzing the particular hues that the fascinating kaleidoscope of American politics puts over reality...

        Either way, you can't blame the app, or the app's developer for doing an unusually good job, just because the truth is embarrassing for the "national psyche."

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by couchslug (175151)

          Our pro-theocracy religionists disapprove of any distraction from suffering for Jesus.
          Any pleasure must be rationed by the religionists (sex) or eliminated (pleasurable chemicals) because they are levers of social control and damn (pun intended) the consequences.

          The War on Some Drugs is a pure product of US religionist (p)uritanism.

      • Sorry to dissapoint you, but cannabis is not legal in the Netherlands. The police and politicians have decided to tolerate small amounts of cannabis, so they can spend their time chasing and prosecuting people that sell "hard" drugs like cocaine, lsd, etc and people that trade cannabis in large quantaties. You can read more on wikipedia:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_the_Netherlands [wikipedia.org]
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis [wikipedia.org]

        • by toQDuj (806112)

          Well, as far as I remember, it's not illegal for the coffeeshops to sell it, and it's not illegal for people to have less than 3 grams on them at any time (and 3 plants in their homes), but not to buy it in for their stock. That's the one thing that's missing in the equation; a legal way of manufacturing large quantities, perhaps even checked by the "Keuringsdienst van Waren". Checking would be fun ;).

          But yes, there's some confusion about whether the "Gedoogbeleid" actually means it's legal or just means yo

    • by rotide (1015173) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:12PM (#30779750)

      I agree with most of what you said, but legalizing marijuana is not an idea only supported by "pothead hippies".

      I've never smoked _anything_, nor done any illegal drug in my life and I'm in full support of legalizing marijuana. I believe I'm not the only one out there either.

      Resources - Hemp is an awesome product all around (Paper, fabric, etc).
      Save money - Stop jailing people for negligible amounts of recreational marijuana (read: not for distribution).
      Save more money - Stop most of the ridiculous "war on drugs" and the exorbitant spending and manpower on the marijuana aspect of it.
      Make money - Taxation on marijuana just like cigarettes.

      Those are just a few tangible benefits.

      Only hippies support it indeed.

      • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:15PM (#30779772)

        Personally I'm in it if only for hemp jeans, those things are freakin indestructible compared to cotton.

      • by Sebilrazen (870600) <blahsebilrazen@blah.com> on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:19PM (#30779810)
        If marijuana is ever legalized, I'm going to ensure I invest in any and all snack food company stocks I can.
        • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:49PM (#30780192) Homepage

          "If marijuana is ever legalized, I'm going to ensure I invest in any and all snack food company stocks I can."

          Maybe you were going for funny, but there are a surprising number of people who think that the law is what keeps people from smoking pot, shooting heroin, etc. They really believe that if the government suddenly legalizes heroin there will be a run for the pharmacy. It apparently never occurs to the that they aren't about to do so, and they are not "special" [ at least not in that way ;-) ], or that the people who are likely to do heroin are already doing it, law be damned.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mcvos (645701)

            Despite it being illegal there, pot use per capita in the US is higher than in Netherland, where it's (practically) legal.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bconway (63464)
          It was decriminalized (read: effectively legalized by non-enforcement) in Massachusetts last year. As expected, nothing changed.
      • by mooingyak (720677) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:34PM (#30779988)

        Save more money - Stop most of the ridiculous "war on drugs" and the exorbitant spending and manpower on the marijuana aspect of it.

        Not just the marijuana aspect. All aspects. Legalization would bring the price down by a hefty percentage, which would make marijuana even more attractive compared to the other choices. Plus, it's often argued that marijuana is a gateway drug... which I actually agree with. But why? It has a reputation as a relatively harmless substance. People are willing to buy it off of just about anyone. So you find a guy, you buy from him a few times, and when he's always delivered decent goods you start to have some faith in his products. You feel like trying something else, you go to the same guy who's been supplying marijuana to you. Now if you legalize that first guy stops being a dealer and instead is a corner deli that won't carry anything illegal. The dealer has lost a major trust building product. Of course this won't completely eliminate drug traffic (IMO, nothing ever will), but it'll make a bigger dent than anything else we could possibly do.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by tlhIngan (30335)

          Not just the marijuana aspect. All aspects. Legalization would bring the price down by a hefty percentage, which would make marijuana even more attractive compared to the other choices.

          Legalization introduces one other aspect that can turn this around. TAXATION

          Cigarettes and alcohol are taxed in special ways (sin taxes, essentially). Legalized marijuana can also be taxed, heavily if you want. Make it have a 100% tax if you wish. Or more. You can have the price of marijuana stay the same, except that former

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by east coast (590680)
            Well, you have to be rational about the taxation or else a black market will still exist. Granted, most of it will remain in the US but it will still exist.

            Look at smokes and booze. We still have blackmarkets for these things. Mostly pretty small for cigarettes because of ease of access but booze is still a problem and considering the health risks of moonshine it is amazing how many people still buy the stuff just to get around the taxes.
      • Why the hell should we jail people for distribution? We don't jail cigarette and alchohol distributers.

        It's a multi-billion dollar drain on our resources that would immediately flip around and be a multi-billion dollar income resource.

        Not to pick, but it seems like your post is confused on that (read: not for distribution) side note. The rest of your post is seems to be for complete legalization.

        • by rotide (1015173)

          Actually, growing your own tobacco is legal, but if you grow to much it's considered intent to distribute and you'll find yourself in a world of hurt.

          Distillers are regulated as well. Their size has to be pretty small and when someone sells one to you those records are to be open to the authorities whenever they need access to them.

          Distributing commercially grown and packaged tobacco/alcohol is fine since these companies are watched and taxed. Doing it yourself out of your backyard is still a no-no.

          Hence

      • by PitaBred (632671)

        Screw the money saved in the war on drugs. You remove the incentive, and the crime and all kinds of other associated social ills dry up. Money is no longer flowing into the black market, and without money, you can't have a market.

      • hemp != marijuana (Score:3, Informative)

        by Comboman (895500)

        Resources - Hemp is an awesome product all around (Paper, fabric, etc).

        Hemp is a great product, but although it is related to marijuana, it is not a drug and doesn't help your argument. Other than the US, most countries [wikipedia.org] allow hemp to be cultivated, processed and sold; even countries where marijuana is illegal.

    • by pnewhook (788591) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:15PM (#30779776)

      Right on - awesome post.

      However the official white house coffee is Kona coffee grown and processed in Kona Hawaii. I've had some and it is amazingly good. At least something is still made in America.

    • by bcmm (768152)

      Where the average annual income for a factory worker is a paltry US$1,150.00 annually!

      An annual income of US$1,150.00 annually? How much is that monthly?

      the keyboards, servers and mice that comprise these servers!

      I see you have never built a server.


      Sadly, your post will probably still be moderated higher that it would've been if it'd come second because you actually read it before clicking submit.

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:24PM (#30779872) Journal

      You criticize the White House for doing something we all do then you blame the wonderful effects of democracy on a web application?

      It's the American Way. Shifting blame is pretty easy.

      Repeat after me. "I think its your fault".

      Now wasn't that fun?

    • by Jeeeb (1141117) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:27PM (#30779912)
      Do you know that the servers the government purchased to run these have memor that's ... made in Taiwan! Where the average annual income for a factory worker [taipeitimes.com] is a paltry US$1,150.00 annually! And don't even get me started on where the plastic casings came for the keyboards, servers and mice that comprise these servers!

      Given Taiwan's status as almost a developed country $1150 annually seemed like a rather suspicious figure. So I read your linked article. It doesn't give a figure for factory workers but it puts the average worker at NT$36,564 per _month_. Or according to the first currency conversion site that came up on google about USD$1200 per month which is a hell of a lot higher than $1150 annually.
    • We have a marvellous system called Free Trade. You can tell it's good just from it's name. It promotes Freedom! All the nations of the world are joining together as one to allow free movement in goods across borders.

      Unfortunately, they are all also being very careful to make sure that their citizens don't have the same freedom of movement as a toaster.

      What must it be like, to work all day on an assembly line as a child, producing shoes that have more freedom than you do - they can go to America!!

      We can whin

    • The problem is that Ideascale will likely bill the DOE back for US rates (300-400 dollars per hour) and pocket the difference - they clearly need to keep a tighter reign on contractors.

      And don't tell anybody but I think Obama's coffee mugs are ... MADE IN CHINA! Just like yours and mine! The horror!

      My mug is made in the USA ;). If I was the president I'd do the best I could to make sure everything I used was made here in America (or at the very least - made in a country that has fair labor practices) - beca

    • by dreadlord76 (562584) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:50PM (#30780204)
      The article you quoted states:

      >The average worker in Taiwan earns a monthly salary of NT$36,564, a slight increase from the same >period two years ago, a recent survey released by the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) showed.

      That's $1142 USD a Month, not annually. That's comparable to the US minimum wage, but in a country you can have lunch for 1-2$ US. Compared with cost of living, it's not really a bad deal.

      Oh, and for folks working at Foxconn or Taiwan Semiconductor, their annual bonus this year is expected to be 6 month of salary. Any US tech companies giving out 6 months of bonus this year?
      • Any US tech companies giving out 6 months of bonus this year?

        Yes, though typically in some form of RSU rather than straight cash bonus.

        Your point about average salary in Taiwan is spot on, though.

      • Frozen dinner (Score:3, Informative)

        by tepples (727027)

        That's comparable to the US minimum wage, but in a country you can have lunch for 1-2$ US.

        Here in the States, a fairly nutritious frozen dinner costs 1 to 2 USD at Walmart*.

        Oh, and for folks working at Foxconn

        But is there an NBCconn of opposite political persuasion to "fair and balance" them out?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      Actually, yes, I criticize the White House for doing what I'm doing.

      It's not my job to keep the country's economy running. Well, it maybe should be, but things aren't running that way. The government, on the other hand, has NO other job than to keep the country healthy and in good shape, economically and otherwise.

      So yes, I expect them to better buy domestic stuff. From cars to coffee to developers. What do you think we'd get to hear if the new "official" government cars are from Kia or Toyota? Or, after al

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Dishevel (1105119) *
      I think that the problem here is not just the outsourcing for cheap labor. I think that the problem is out sourcing for cheap labor a project designed to help provide jobs domestically. I hope that you can see that and were just typing all kinds of mad rant to get some karma.
    • I think you're missing the irony of the situation. If you're spending billions of dollars on "job stimulus" and more billions of dollars supporting unemployment benefits, how does it make sense to use money to hire off-shore labor from that same pot of money. I mean, it's great that the cost of living in other countries allows you to leverage dollars better, but when you're also spending billions to support workers in your own country that are just sitting around without jobs to do, it seems exceedingly w

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tomhath (637240)

      You criticize the White House for doing something we all do then you blame the wonderful effects of democracy on a web application?

      I don't think very many of us are throwing around hundreds of billions in tax dollars trying to reduce unemployment in this country while at the same time outsourcing work that could be done here. But I suspect the problem has more to do with stupidity and lack of oversight than intent. DOL tried to contract with a US company, but that company is quietly trying to hire offshore programmers.

  • by caller9 (764851) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:03PM (#30779630)
    Yeah, job one for creating American jobs is farming jobs out to India. Nice.
  • Don't Worry... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cgenman (325138) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:05PM (#30779660) Homepage

    Don't worry. I'm sure they'll be billed back to the Dept. of Labor at 100k per year, +20% finder's fee.

    • by jgtg32a (1173373)

      >100k per year, +20% finder's fee.
       
      I would have expected higher, but I guess we are in a recession.

  • by middlemen (765373) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:06PM (#30779666) Homepage
    Rs. 200,000 or Rs. 300,000 is a very low salary in India. Junior programmers generally get paid at least Rs.500,000 to Rs.700,000
  • BTW, an earlier White House-sponsored, IdeaScale-powered Open Government Brainstorm identified legalizing marijuana as one of the best ways to 'strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness.'

    It is probably worth mentioning (if it was even worth bringing up the content of that site in the first place) that the current number one idea on that site is a meta-innovation [ideascale.com] aimed at giving users the ability to apply 'ignore' votes to ideas to better stifle unproductive but popular entries. Sounds like they need to throw the whole thing away and just run slashcode!

    What do you guys make per year for coding this site? I can start getting the next submission ready...

  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:11PM (#30779734) Journal

    You get what you pay for.

    A lot of people tend to think that just because the person is over in India they'll be willing to work for a sub-average wage. Which, given regular circumstances, is generally true. Coding is another thing all together. If you live in a poverish state, you can't be expected to know C++. In fact it might be a stretch to say you know how to operate a computer. Those people who get hired for "Tech Support" aren't guru's by any means (and I think we all knew that). But they have been trained how to handle with customers, the basics of operating a computer, and are given a good list of responses. Programming is not something you can train "on the job". You need previous knowledge on the basics of computers. Then you need to learn a bit of program theory, how it all works. Lastly you need to learn the Syntax of various languages. A lot of people drop out when they can't deal with the Syntax. Some people drop out when they can't get the theory. Some people just don't like computers. You can't hire someone off the street and think that within a short time they'll be able to pick up all of those skills.

    That's not to say there aren't educated programmers that come from developing countries. Every once in a while a hard working family will be able to afford an education, and once they have that education, they usually fly stateside to make more money. They know that with their education they can be making way more money than 4400 USD a year. So they go and tack an extra digit to that paycheck, keep half and the other half is more than enough to either fly the family to the States or support them in India.

    Basically what it boils down to, they're going to get some guy who can talk the talk but not walk the walk. He'll agree to $4400 a year for as long as he can hold the job since he was only make $1000 a year back at his old job. Because anyone who knows what they're doing knows they are worth more.

    • people are telecommuting. they dont need to go abroad. there are many indians working out of india doing jobs for other countries as well as americans moving abroad to europe to work from there because cost of living is cheaper. its a digital age with freedoms.

    • by King_TJ (85913)

      I'd agree with this, except for one thing. You're making an assumption that programming can't be learned without a "formal education". Most of the U.S. based software programmers I know were self-taught, actually. Many opted to continue in that vein when they attended college, since it was their area of interest already -- but they knew how to code in languages like C++ before they even got to their first college class.

      I'd argue that of all the professions out there, I.T. related work is one of the most

    • You're acting like India is Somalia, rather than a G-20 nation with a hugely diverse sector of industries, universities, and research. Indian companies can charge (and pay) less because the cost of living is considerably less than in the US, not because they're hiring the little street kids from Slumdog Millionaire to code your CMS platform. "Every once in a while a hard-working family can afford an education?" Yeah, right, and it's amazing that they have such diverse cuisine given that they have to hunt fo

    • Quite dead on, I wonder if PHBs will ever realize that.

      Face it, programming is nothing you can simply teach. Hell, it's been tried with some of our unemployed people here. They got stuffed into programming classes and were supposed to become VB programmers. Nothing fancy, nothing sophisticated, Visual Basic. Basically, they were useless. We tried to hire some of those fast breeder cram-into-cranium programmers. I use the term loosely. They could not translate a problem into code. What they would have needed

  • by Taedirk (870181) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:12PM (#30779746)

    US Department of Labor

    For some reason, I read this as Department of DAY Labor..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:14PM (#30779758)

    What's with all the anti-administration flamebait recently? Yesterday, submitted as fact, were a set very dubious allegations that turned out to be false, surprising almost no-one. Today, we're supposed to get upset because an American company that also hires workers in India gets a contract to hire workers in America, and reprise the anger we felt when fratards overwhelmed a lackluster public response to an Obama administration suggestion box with their gormless suggestion to 'save the economy' by legalizing a plant that grows like a weed. What gives?

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:19PM (#30779824)
    Sure, it might be driving down wages and benefits for Americans and allowing other nations to leverage our infrastructure for their profit, but isn't that just one of the perks of being a Friedmannite economy?
  • full-time? really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:22PM (#30779850) Homepage

    I have friends in India. I discussed IT salary differences with them. I said "this web page says you can get software engineers for $5k/year in India. Is that for real?"

    I was told that that's bullshit and that Indian professionals actually earn in excess of $20,000 per year. $5k/year would only buy interns with no education and no experience, from what my friends in Bangalore tell me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      $20,000 in India only buys you slightly older developers with undergraduate degrees, five years experience and about the same quality of work. One enormous (really enormous, like freight train enormous...) American heartland transportation company found that every hour of time worked by an Indian subcontractor required at least 20 minutes of stateside integration and clean-up of the code, as well as correction of wrong logic in the unit tests. With 200 foreign contractors working 8 hours a day, the compan

  • The evil computer program that shunted those random phrases together in a mockery of English syntax should be forceably retired. The summary manages to be long and tortured, yet strangely free of specific information.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:35PM (#30780012) Homepage Journal

    or script kiddies.

    4000/year is too low for getting even an average quality indian coder. i have to compete with indians in web development, i know how ridiculously low rates they pull sometimes, but these rates generally are placed in projects that can be somehow gobbled up from premade code. i dont think with 400/month you are going to get quality ppl. youll probably get some college kids in a high turnover sweat shop.

  • by catherder_finleyd (322974) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:41PM (#30780094)

    I would urge US slashdotters to call or e-mail your Congress-Person. If this is really true, it is a violation of US Federal Contracting standards. Generally, Federal IT contracts specify all workers on the contract to be either US Citizens or Permanent Residents.

  • by iamacat (583406) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:46PM (#30780164)

    If I have to complete with $5K/year Indian programmers, I have a right to lower my living costs by outsourcing my yard maintenance to an $3/hour undocumented mexican gardener. Or by outsourcing my software purchases to $0/hour piratebay. I know there are good arguments about both of these pursuits, but then there are similar ones about skirting US labor laws by outsourcing. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • by dwiget001 (1073738) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:58PM (#30780318)

    The U.S. Government is essentially paying non-U.S. citizens to maintain a web-site for Americans seeking employment?

    Sorry, but my Irony Meter (TM) just pegged and is now completely non-functional.

  • There's no guarantee that Indian workers recruited by that Monster.com ad would work on US Department of Labor projects.

    Hello?

  • I'm not an American and I don't live in the USA, but from the outside looking in, it seems to me the USA is running up GIGANTIC debts and deficits, with the citizenry unwilling to pay additional taxes (i.e. consumption taxes like a VAT) to fund government spending.

    So to me this seems like a good way to get spending under control. You can't on the one hand be unwilling to pay taxes and on the other hand want the government to hire $80K/year coders - If the US citizens have said no more taxes then they ha
  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Friday January 15, 2010 @01:15PM (#30780606) Journal

    Good god, that’s hard to follow. There are so many links I can’t tell which one is the main article, there are acronyms that I don’t recognise, and it’s not tied together at all. The flow of information just jumps from one thing to another with little apparent connection between them. It’s also incorrect.

    Let me see if I’m understanding this, and make it easier to follow...

    To power the Tools for America's Job Seekers Challenge [dol.gov], the US Department of Labor tapped IdeaScale [ideascale.com], a subsidiary of Survey Analytics, which is headquartered in Seattle with satellite offices in Nasik, India and Auckland, NZ.

    According to the Federal Register [gpo.gov] (PDF), an OMB (Office of Management and Budget) Emergency Review was requested to launch the “Jobs for America’s Job Seekers Challenge”, a joint initiative by the DOL, White House, and IdeaScale to help out unemployed US workers.

    Now we hit the first non sequitur... how is the development and maintenance of ideascale.com related to the Jobs for America’s Job Seekers Challenge?

    A Monster.com ad [74.125.95.132] (cached) seeks candidates to work on the development and maintenance of ideascale.com — in India at an annual salary of Rs. 200,000 to 300,000 ($4,4000 to $6,600 US).

    The connection is – apparently – that the same people developing and maintaining the IdeaScale website will presumably also be designing the platform to “allow toolmakers and developers to present their free online job tools to workforce development experts and jobseekers for discussion, rating, and voting”. That’s a bit of a stretch, but okay. (As kdawson correctly pointed out, “There’s no guarantee that Indian workers recruited by that Monster.com ad would work on US Department of Labor projects.” Wait a second... did kdawson actually get something right? At any rate that still doesn’t make up for posting this atrocity to begin with.)

    Now we hit the second non sequitur... what does IdeaScale’s other contest/survey have to do with this one, other than being hosted by the same company? Does the results of a previous survey on how to “strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness” have anything to do with this contest? They have no control over the results of the project: they’re just designing the system to take submissions and allow people to vote on them...

    Last May, in a similar White House-sponsored, IdeaScale-powered Open Government Brainstorm [slashdot.org] to “strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness”, legalizing marijuana was one of the highest-voted ideas.

  • by Hythlodaeus (411441) on Friday January 15, 2010 @01:20PM (#30780682)

    Obama hires Indian code-slaves to make a website to help people find jobs.
    McBushcain would have given Haliburton $200 billion to maybe hire some more people, if they wanted to.
    Ron Paul would have left unemployment for the market to solve and hit the snooze button on his alarm.

  • by istartedi (132515) on Friday January 15, 2010 @01:30PM (#30780828) Journal

    Is this a story about outsourcing or pot legalization?

    Should the respective sides haul out their canned pro/anti stands for one issue, the other, or both?

  • by stonewolf (234392) on Friday January 15, 2010 @02:24PM (#30781666) Homepage

    I happen to be one of those people who hates to be in debt as a result I own my home. My property taxes on my house are more than $4,400/year. I know, I just wrote the checks for my taxes last year. Rent for a small apartment within 20 miles of here is about twice what I pay in taxes. Even at the $15,000 mentioned as the startingr salary for coders in India I can't pay my taxes, pay for water, gas, and electricity, still be able to eat. I could live here, pay my taxes, and eat if I steal wood and cook over a fire in my back yard. There is no public transport so I would have to walk everywhere until I was able to get a peddle cart. The nearest grocery store is three miles away and other stores are 5 or more miles away. There is a hospital only half a mile away :-)

    What I am trying to say is that where I live in central Texas our entire society is designed around the assumption that you own a car and can pay $600++/month for housing. Just to live you need about $30,000/year. Which is about twice what a full time worker makes at minimum wage. That $30,000 doesn't get you much of a life. Central Texas is not expensive compared to a lot of place in the US.

    How do we make US workers competitive in a world where there are billions of people who can live on so much less? Seriously, do you have any suggestions? Can we stop bitching dlbout the problem and start solving it? In the past Americans have been pretty good about banding together and solving problems. Where is the spirit that created credit unions as an alternative to corrupt and failed banks? Where the is the spirit that create the labor unions that gave us the standard of living we currently have? Where is the will to just say "NO MORE" and forced a corrupt racist government to end Jim Crowe. (OK, that is still ending, but from my point of view we have come a looooooooong way in the right direction.)

    OK, before someone points it out... yes, I guilty of not doing anything too. At least I'm asklng the question.

    Stonewolf

    P.S.

    I don't know how true this is but I'm hearing that families in Mexico have started sending money to their relatives in the US to help them survive the recession.

    • How do we make US workers competitive in a world where there are billions of people who can live on so much less? Seriously, do you have any suggestions? Can we stop bitching dlbout [sic] the problem and start solving it?

      I think you are looking at the wrong problem. The problem is our standard of living. We want to have more leisure time and/or more control of our working conditions. We need better health-care and education and secure place to live without working to death in order to earn it.

      We DO

If a subordinate asks you a pertinent question, look at him as if he had lost his senses. When he looks down, paraphrase the question back at him.

Working...