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Businesses United States Technology

NY Times: Temporary Visas To Import Talent Help Copycats Take Jobs Abroad 231

ErichTheRed writes: A new article from the NY Times surprised me. It describes what we in the IT industry see all the time — H-1B visas being used way outside of their original purpose. I think this is significant because the article describes the problem well and shows how Tata, Accenture, etc. are offshoring regular office work as well as IT work. I feel that showing the average Joe/Jane that their nice safe middle class office job isn't so safe is the only way to sway popular opinion on this important matter! Reader theodp notes that Congress is making H-1B visa less costly for India-based IT services providers.
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NY Times: Temporary Visas To Import Talent Help Copycats Take Jobs Abroad

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  • Is the NYT Racist? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @09:53AM (#50626853) Journal

    Just saying, since according to the story immediately below this one, any controls of any type on the immigration of young fighting age men from Middle Eastern countries is apparently inherently racist*.

    Consequently, any story about temporary work visas being bad must be racist x 1000.

    * Unless of course the countries who don't let them in are also Middle Eastern countries. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, etc. etc. etc.? Won't let a single refugee in. That's OK though because it's only racist if white people do it.

    BTW --> China? Not on China: Not only do they refuse to take a single refugee, but the state-run media calls the US racist for only taking in tens of thousands of refugees instead of millions. Truly the real leader of the world and a shining example to all of us.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "Just saying"? Perhaps you should try just thinking.
      Try some seldom used critical thinking skills to understand a basic truth, that the H1-B system is totally broken and is being used to help decimate the American middle class.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by execthis ( 537150 )

        Not just the American middle class being decimated, but this is the decimation of America. The current generation of politicians are destroying America. Apparently that is and has been the plan of the oligarchy for quite a while - going back at least to the time of Clinton, but accelerated to shocking proportions today in overt acts of betrayal of the American people.

        There is only one chance for a country which is close to dying: Donald Trump, the only non-oligarchy-shill candidate who talks at length in

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sandro ( 30545 )

          I don't usually get baited, but this is one I have to take. To suggest that Trump is the only one to solve the problem is, in my humble opinion, about as ignorant as it gets! The problem is the completely unregulated accumulation of wealth and power. Corporate interests and the desire for profit (presumably to satisfy the shareholders) are solely responsible for the decimation of the middle class. Trump is part of the problem, and the fact that people don't get that, and continue to be self abusive in thei

          • My preference for president: Sanders > Trump > anyone else. In the Democratic primary I'm going for Sanders. In my precinct, I'm probably going to be out voted in favor of H. Clinton (for her 3rd term as President). On the Republican side, I can't affect the primary, but I'm hoping Trump gets it (so far it looks like he might). In next year's election for the office, if he's on the ballot I'm going with Sanders. Being in a very much Red state, I'm most likely going to be drowned out. If he's not

          • by cat_jesus ( 525334 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @12:30PM (#50628429)
            I love Bernie but he's probably not electable and even if by some miracle he were, I don't think he would be able to bend congress to his will.

            The single biggest threat is American stupidity. Americans by and large are stupid and incredibly susceptible to propaganda.

            I must point out how incredible it is that the republican field is filled with creationists, war mongers, misogynists and global warming deniers and the top three candidates have never held any public office. They truly are the party of stupidity.
          • the fact that people don't get that, and continue to be self abusive in their voting pattern (i.e. vote republican),

            The trouble is that there really isn't much difference between Democrat or Republican. Sure they talk different, but Obama for example might as well have been Republican.

          • I support Bernie Sanders.

            Supporting Trump is just idiotic.

            And with you and all the other Millennials hell-bent on tearing up the Constitution so the US can be a Socialist country, Sanders probably has a pretty good chance of getting elected. Hell, just the offer of free Bachelor's degrees and single-payer healthcare is probably enough to do it (although the way Obamacare has been implemented, single-payer healthcare is probably the lesser evil).

            Trump's ideas aren't much better, but at least he's not planning to double-down on the unsustainable deficit spending an

          • I support Bernie Sanders.

            Supporting Trump is just idiotic.

            I also support Bernie Sanders. I would really love to see Sanders become the Democratic nominee and Trump become the GOP nominee. That way we're guaranteed to get a president who will reduce (or hopefully eliminate) H1B.

            Aside from H1B, Trump will also reduce illegal immigration, while Sanders will not. Therefore I am rooting for Trump. But if Trump flames out for whatever reason, I would take Sanders over Bush/Rubio/Clinton any day.

            And if you're wondering why I'm bringing illegal immigration into this when

        • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @10:51AM (#50627455)

          If the middle class were just being decimated, this would be a recoverable problem. We could lose ten percent and carry on. But I fear it being a lot more than that.

        • Donald Trump 2016, not just to make America great again, but to save it from impending disaster.

          LOL!! Good one, execthis. You made me laugh out loud, and that doesn't happen very often these days.

        • by pnutjam ( 523990 )

          Apparently that is and has been the plan of the oligarchy for quite a while -

          Ask me how I know you've never read "The Jungle" by Upton Sincliar, published in 1906, well before any Clinton held power.

          As a well read person of reasonable intelligence, it's offensive to see the majority idiot class acting like a problem they have been willfully ignoring is something they can turn around and solve with no regard to the greater repercussions.

      • ...the H1-B system is totally broken and is being used to help decimate the American middle class.

        It's utterly fucked. The idea that there is NO ONE in the entire United States with the skills they claim to be in such dire need of is pure horseshit.

        330 million people in this country and NONE of them have this skill set? BULL. FUCKING. SHIT.

        • by Rob Y. ( 110975 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @12:29PM (#50628413)

          The article neglects to report on the end results of this process - making it seem like 'well, this is nasty, but it's what American business needs to do to remain competitive'. Since they mention Cognizant as one of the big players using this 'tape the current workers and then fire them' approach, let me comment as an ex worker that was ultimately fired after surviving a Cognizant outsourcing for several years and working with their devs (technically 'rebadged' as a Cognizant dev myself):

          1. Productivity takes a huge hit. I have no idea whether the cost savings are enough to counteract that, but in our case the software products that had their development outsourced, all - without exception - have died on the vine and are now running on skeleton crews in anticipation of being shutdown once all existing support contracts with customers end. That's the endpoint where I lost my job.

          2. The Indian developers never get up to speed. Or more accurately, they begin to get up to speed after 9 months to a year - but then Cognizant rotates them out to other projects, and you're back to total green junior guys watching the videos and asking stupid questions again. And yes, this is all by design. Cognizant's big selling point to the US companies is that they enable great flexibility to ramp staff up and down on demand. Why those companies believe that crap is another story altogether.

          3. There is no concept of a senior developer. Prior to the Cognizant experience, the senior devs came up through the ranks and had an incredible depth of knowledge and experience about the specific products they were managing. Ultimately, that product-specific knowledge became as valuable as their tech chops. The Cognizant model relies on 'business analysts' who came up through the product design - i.e. spec writers, not through development. So where those folks used to be or have access to senior developers to sanity check their designs, there is now an utter vacuum. So there is no iterative back-and-forth to fix broken designs. Stuff gets built (way late) according to specs with problems that should've been caught along the way. Meanwhile, the offshore dev's spun their wheels trying to build something they didn't understand - often because it didn't make sense. Only to need to have it completely trashed and rewritten.

          4. And this is a big one. All that 'knowledge transfer' material (i.e. the videos and any corresponding writeups) are the exclusive property of Cognizant. So that even if you come to realize that the Cognizant outsourcing was a mistake, you have already fired the people who had the original knowledge - and you don't even own the (shitty) materials to train staff to replace Cognizant. They essentially own your operation - at the same time as they drag it down.

          • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @12:52PM (#50628667)

            2. The Indian developers never get up to speed.

            Yes, I've seen this repeatedly in several different companies.

            At Boeing, the Indian developers I worked with didn't have the required security clearance(s) to work on the project they had been hired for...so they sat in a separate room and played solitaire at $65 an hours. For months.

            At Microsoft they could barely communicate, didn't understand the goals of the project (!!) and were nearly incapable of coding; anything that required the slightest bit of innovative thought or initiative was beyond them. Problem solving? Forget it, they just had no idea how to even begin to disassemble a problem and work the steps necessary to get through it.

            At AT&T they turned in code that wouldn't compile, and they did this over and over and over and over and over and over and over. They "coded" stuff with no error checking, no bounds checking, no type checking, no sanity tests, no sanitization of incoming data, etc etc etc.

            But remember, there are NO people in the entire USA that have the skills these guys were hired to do. Apparently not even me, the guy who was fixing most of their mistakes.

      • [...]the H1-B system is totally broken and is being used to help decimate the American middle class.

        Dec.i.mate: kill one in every ten of (a group of soldiers or others) as a punishment for the whole group.

        As long as it's only one in ten, I'm kind of OK with this. Also, I'm kind of OK with the idea that such punishment is actually deserved, since it implies 90% "good apples" and 10% "bad apples", which, if you've ever worked a middle class job, is very easy to credit as an underestimation.

    • by N1AK ( 864906 )
      Just couldn't wait to jump on this topic with an ignorant strawman about the plight of the "poor oppressed white person" being held to some imagined different standard. It doesn't take a genius to tell the difference between to two situations that you're too intolerant to appreciate.
    • Consequently, any story about temporary work visas being bad must be racist x 1000.

      Really? Well, tell you what, then: If it's H1-B workers being brought in from England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Russia, or any other Western European country full of white people, I am STILL against it, because it takes away jobs from U.S. citizens, and in many cases takes cash money out of the U.S. economy and sends it back overseas. I don't care if you're white, black, yellow, brown, or purple with pink polka-dots, I see the whole H1-B thing as just more profit for corporate America and to hell

      • I have no problem at all with bringing in people from foreign countries, AS LONG AS THEY INTEND TO STAY HERE and become citizens. However, that would involve paying them a living wage, and that's clearly not what's going on here. H1-B is all about decreasing labor costs. Maybe it wasn't at the beginning, but that's what it's been about for the past 20+ years.

        • I have no problem at all with bringing in people from foreign countries, AS LONG AS THEY INTEND TO STAY HERE and become citizens

          I second this. Otherwise it's like someone crashing your party just to score some free food.

          • by jeillah ( 147690 )

            Yes exactly this!!! Our country was built by immigrants who came here for a better life, became citizens and contributed to the growth of the country. We are their children and we still contribute to this country (most of us anyway). H1B is nothing but a drain except for the few company execs who get big bonuses for slashing cost, this quarter. The rest of us are screwed!!!

      • Really? Well, tell you what, then: If it's H1-B workers being brought in from England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Russia, or any other Western European country full of white people, I am STILL against it, because it takes away jobs from U.S. citizens, and in many cases takes cash money out of the U.S. economy and sends it back overseas. I don't care if you're white, black, yellow, brown, or purple with pink polka-dots, I see the whole H1-B thing as just more profit for corporate America and to hell with American citizens so far as they're concerned. If your argument is that you can't find the talent here then I disagree with you, and even if you're right then the way to fix that is to get our own citizens up to speed, not get someone from half a world away. But we all know I'm right and it's about money and how much less of it you can get away with paying someone from a foreign country.

        I'M purple with pink polka-dots, you insensitive clod!

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by TheSync ( 5291 )

        it takes away jobs from U.S. citizens

        Jobs do not belong to U.S. citizens. Jobs are created by companies and can exist anywhere. If you are not competitive, you will not get the job, keep the job, etc.

        Government can not protect you. In fact the "protection" that government tries to provide simply raises the unemployment rate and lowers incomes by harming the economy. The "protection" will be routed around like packets around an outage on the Internet.

    • by mvdwege ( 243851 )

      Insighful? It's a pack of lies, so yeah, the 'racist' tag is well deserved.

      We used to hang shitheads like you in Nuremberg.

    • by dlenmn ( 145080 )

      No.

  • Market Forces (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sinij ( 911942 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @10:01AM (#50626949)
    Market Forces do not guarantee optimal, or even beneficial outcome to everyone affected. Just most profitable outcome for decision makers.

    This is a clear case where US is bleeding jobs and wealth to other countries, so few individuals can enrich themselves while passing the costs/consequences "downstream".
    • Re:Market Forces (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @10:15AM (#50627091)

      The hollowing out of the middle class will continue until there aren't enough consumers to buy what these treasonous bastards are selling. Then the economy will collapse, worse than the Great Depression.

    • Re:Market Forces (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @10:32AM (#50627273) Homepage

      Let's be clear here: "Market Forces" in this context is bullshit.

      This is corporations changing the market for their own benefit by cajoling politicians into providing a mechanism to undermine the market.

      This is the opposite of a free market, this is a rigged game to benefit the people with the most money by bypassing the market.

      People who say H1B visas has anything to do with the free market are either lying or delusional.

      • Truth be told, there is no need for work visas to make a knowledge transfer. The foreign employee can come by it's own accord, in a "vacation" and observe local operations, or selected US employees can be forced to tutor foreign colleagues in person or via the Internet. Those who refuse or do not produce results, are the first to go. Sure, the H1Bs streamlines the whole thing to the point where they've outsourced the knowledge transfer process itself.

      • by orasio ( 188021 )

        I don't support (or otherwise care about) H1B visas, but that's inexact.

        US companies trade their products and services throughout the world. The world is their market, so it's a freer market if you allow foreigners to participate, not only with their purchasing dollars, but also with their work.

        H1B visas and other ways to hire cheaper foreigners, while not its "intended" purpose, and while it's bad for locals, it does make the market freer and fairer. That's exactly why this is bad for locals, and they sho

        • it does make the market freer and fairer

          No, it doesn't ... it allow corporations to change the rules of the game as they see fit, and bypass the market.

        • by sinij ( 911942 )
          Your statement is also inexact. Markets must rely on rule of the law as a framework for operation. Otherwise, it will devolve into "might makes right".

          As such, there is no global uniform market as there is no global government with consistent laws. There are many interconnected markets with various levels of rule of the law. By exporting jobs to India, the corporations benefit from reduced labor costs associated with weaker and more corrupt government there, yet they still rely on stronger US-based IP prot
          • by orasio ( 188021 )

            They are not discrete markets, it's a single one.

            US companies don't exist in a vacuum. Some of their profits come from foreign countries, and some of that money get spent in the local US market. That helps the local economy, and keeps more people employed. In fact, the US as a whole gets to do business mostly everywhere, so it's a mostly free market in that respect, but labour can't move freely. This kind of thing helps labour to move more freely, so it's a freer market, in the Adam Smith sense. I know that

      • Re:Market Forces (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MacDork ( 560499 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @11:45AM (#50627931) Journal
        Yes, exactly. There is no market without a government first setting the rules. [nytimes.com] If the rules are rigged for an elite few, then everyone else is guaranteed to lose.
      • There is an economic fix for this: remove the parts of the H1B that tie the person to a specific employer. That is, allow them to take any job. This would devalue it because the companies would have to pay them as much as an American would make or they'd simply jump ship after getting the visa. By making them more expensive, they could no longer be used as cheap replacements for an American.

        But what will actually happen is that they will make the rules stricter and pretend that's a solution... even thou

    • by m00sh ( 2538182 )

      Market Forces do not guarantee optimal, or even beneficial outcome to everyone affected. Just most profitable outcome for decision makers. This is a clear case where US is bleeding jobs and wealth to other countries, so few individuals can enrich themselves while passing the costs/consequences "downstream".

      is bleeding jobs and wealth to other...

      You know the 1% also sees the rest of the 99%s trying to bleed wealth from them.

      I know it's bad when someone tries to bleed your wealth but good when you stop others from bleeding yours.

      I don't quite get that you say these without a hint of irony.

      I say spread the wealth. The 1% to the middle class and the middle class to the poor countries. In the long run, wealth imbalance whether at home or in the world isn't a good thing.

    • define:optimal
      Most utilitarian? Highest GDP? Stores with the largest number of items on the shelves?

  • One Billion (Score:5, Funny)

    by Forgefather ( 3768925 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @10:06AM (#50626999)

    I can imagine whoever wrote this article sitting in a large leather office chair, holding a white cat while saying "one BILLION clicks!"

  • by Sir_Eptishous ( 873977 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @10:12AM (#50627059) Homepage
    FTFA it states that the irony is that many who are losing jobs to outsourcing to India via H1B are in fact immigrants to the US themselves. People from all over the world who moved to the US to go to school then found jobs here.

    To look at this from a macro perspective, it is the continuing "flattening" of the Earths wealth, whereby the oft used phrase "redistribution" actually means wealth flowing from the First World middle class to a sprinkling(crumbs off the table...) onto the lower classes of the Second World countries, and the meat of the wealth going to the "non-aligned" (for lack of a better phrase) 1%.

    The non-aligned would be those who have no loyalty to country, race or religion. Their loyalty lays only to the brutal Social Darwinism, whereby profit isn't enough, where rendering our planets environment a wreck isn't enough, where forcing homeowners onto the street isn't enough, while they themselves get cushy bailouts, tax breaks and special treatment at every turn.
    • Perhaps, but this is not the stated purpose of the H1B, and this sounds illegal to me. If we want to help the world, we should just get rid of borders and visas instead of playing this game where the rich get to write visa laws in their favor.

  • So what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @10:14AM (#50627083)

    People are commodities, nothing more. I need to improve my P&L sheet, and the work just has to be good enough. The more I can outsource, the better, because I've cut my OCOGS, I've improved EBITDA, and I've got a good track record on my c.v. that will help me get promoted to Director. This is the way of the future: unless you go into business for yourself or get an MBA and ascend into the management classes, you will all be replaceable peons and I'll make my money off that. And don't bother hitting me with morality arguments. There is no God, and no afterlife--we all end up the same so I'm going to get mine while I can.

  • duh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sociocapitalist ( 2471722 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @10:19AM (#50627131)

    And people wonder why rich are getting richer and the middle class is shrinking.

    But hey - free market is good and socialism is bad, right?

    Sure - until you have to live on that socialist welfare because your capitalist company owners dumped your ass cause you cost too much.

    • But hey - free market is good and socialism is bad, right?

      Mostly yeah. As much as capitalism sucks, and it does, everything else we've tried has been worse. I'm open to suggestions if you have a new alternative.

      • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

        The free market hasn't be allowed to operate in a long time. The free market does not provide bailouts to big banks, or auto makers.

        The definition of middle class has been sneakily altered as well. Most of the people who think they are middle class are really working poor. Middle class used to mean you were a merchant or artisan or something. You were a free person with some wealth who go where you liked. if your liabilities exceed your assets, you are poor does not matte what your income is. If you d

      • Sometimes you just have to experiment. Let's try getting a better deal from our Asian trade partners rather than keep accepting the lopsided trade. Don't use tariffs to halt trade, but rather as a negotiation tool.

        Their system and currency is set up to increase exports rather than local consumerism. They will keep doing that UNTIL we give them a clear incentive to do otherwise.

        And tell the WTO to go shove it. We'll do things our way on our own terms.

        • Sometimes you just have to experiment.

          Suggest something that hasn't already failed miserably and isn't based on whimsical fantasy and I'd be pretty interested. So far no one has come up with a reasonable alternative.

    • by TheSync ( 5291 )

      And people wonder why rich are getting richer and the middle class is shrinking.

      The facts don't agree with this statement.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "William Werfelman, a vice president and spokesman at New York Life, said the outsourcing was part of a transformation of its technology systems that would soon result in more jobs in the United States. “Our decisions are centered on keeping the company competitive, keeping it in the United States, keeping it growing,” he said."

    We outsource jobs to india to create jobs in the united states. WHY CAN'T YOU PEOPLE SEE THAT?
    Outsourcing also lets us keep the company (read: MY job) in the United Sta

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @10:28AM (#50627235) Journal
    Seriously, h1b is used to keep local and immigrant pay down. If America needs these talents, then we should have them live here permantly. At the same time, they should be paid the average pay for that position. Otherwise, it is simply a company using an immigrant, rather than solving a true issue.
  • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @10:34AM (#50627293) Homepage

    the average Joe/Jane that their nice safe middle class office job isn't so safe

    When has an I.T. job have ever been safe? As an I.T. support contractor for the last ten years, I had frequent bouts of unemployment between assignments. The worse was when I was out of work for two years (2009-10), underemployed for six months (working 20 hours per month), and filed for Chapter Seven bankruptcy in 2011. Even my current government I.T. job is under threat from a government shutdown from the nut jobs in Congress.

    • You dance with who brung you.

      If you don't like working for government, get an honest job.

      • by creimer ( 824291 )
        The I.T. job I'm doing for the government is no different than the I.T. jobs I've done for Fortune 500 companies. I make the same exact same amount money as I did in the private sector, except that I'm working with 80,000 systems and not 2,000 systems. So I'm not sure why you think a government job is less honest than a private sector job.
    • You missed the point. This isn't about IT jobs. That's been a known sticking point of H1-B's already. This is new. This is taking general office positions...an entire administrative office (accountants, purchasers, middle managers, etc...), hiring H1-B's to observe how these people do their job to the finest detail, then firing the entire office and shipping all its operations over to India.

      This is trashing the rest of the middle class jobs that thought they were safe from being outsourced because "you

      • by creimer ( 824291 )
        That's old news. Fortune 500 companies hire contractors for every function except management and engineering. It doesn't surprise me that those same contracting companies are now moving jobs to India to lower their costs and keep the profits.
  • All these temporary visas come with a mountain of restrictions which end up giving a ridiculous amount of power to the employers and nothing to the employees. They should be scrapped for flat out green cards, not a temporary visa then to a green card 10-15 years down the road for Indians. There shouldn't be a second class, temporary worker thing at all.

    However, all the newspaper want to do is make Indian IT workers as a cheap villain, robbing American jobs and sometimes taking them to India.

    People reall

    • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )

      While I think the whole thing sucks, here's the problem:

      TRU isn't bringing in H1-B workers.....they're hiring TCS to replace a department for cheaper. Done. End of TRUs involvement with choosing the replacement workers.

      TCS is using H1-Bs to bring in people skilled in job shadowing as part of the outsourcing contract.

      TCS is then using Indian labor to fulfill the contract because those workers are cheaper and can NOW do the same job, thanks to the job shadowers.

      Had TRU picked a different outsourcing firm, t

  • The term "copycats" implies that Toys'R'Us's accounting procedures are somehow the property of the US accounting profession. The fact that these procedures are so complex that they even require consultants to come in and "shadow" workers in order to figure out how to do them properly is itself a testament to the ludicrous complexity of US accounting rules (which are themselves in large part a consequence of lobbying by lawyers and accountants).

    As for Toys'R'Us "outsourcing" these jobs to to India, the compa

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @10:59AM (#50627517)

    When I saw this in the Times yesterday, the thing that surprised me was that a major news outlet was reporting on this in very matter-of-fact terms. As we've seen, these discussions get heated, and for the record I'm not one of the "they took our jerbs" people for the most part. What I don't like is the abuse of the system by these offshoring companies, and the erosion of any sort of stability throughout the workforce.

    As originally intended, there's nothing wrong with the H-1B and L-1 visa programs. I work for a multinational company and we often use these to bring in very talented employees who just happen to be citizens of another country. The difference here is that most of these people are designing products and providing the exceptional advanced-level knowledge that the visa was originally intended to allow. In the article, and indeed in most IT departments, this is just a flat-out replacement of a low level office job. Tata or Accenture or whoever is just bringing in the few people in their offshore centers who have the capability to learn the target job and teach it to the hundreds of other interchangeable workers they have back home. This is what I think has to be looked at; companies simply don't want to pay for any labor anymore if they don't have to and now we have an environment where they can easily avoid doing so. I like how the article puts it right in peoples' faces -- it's no longer the problem of some anonymous factory worker in the rust belt or an IT worker that makes a higher salary and has a higher perceived degree of stability than the accountants they were profiling.

    What bothers me more about this is the loss of economic stability. People are going to avoid buying things if they aren't secure in their jobs, period. The 30-year mortgage was designed around the idea that people would at least stay in the house for 10 or 15 years, preferably for the full 30. Someone who's picking up stakes and moving every five years chasing the jobs around the country to the lowest-cost environments is wasting a huge amount of money in real estate transfer taxes, realtor commissions, loan fees, mortgage interest (since it's front-loaded), etc. It easily costs mid-5 figures when everything is added up to move, but most people just pay for it with their next mortgage and don't think about it. Not to mention the cost -- moving a family with kids around constantly does not make for a stable home life. Ask any military family about that; every military kid I've ever talked to says they hated moving every year or two because they never got to settle in somewhere and put down roots.

    It sounds really mean to say this, but think about your average corporate worker. Not management, not a hotshot developer, just a random cubicle dweller producing reports or processing customer records. The jobs in the article, like low level corporate accounting tasks and such, were where the vast majority of average, C-student college graduates have wound up for the last 30+ years. The progression was thus - get into a big state university, party your way through 4 years and get a generic business or communications degree, show up at corporate recruiting events during your senior year, and get hired on for some sort of entry level task. If you kill off all the middle class jobs out there, what do you propose doing with these educated people who previously bought houses, paid property taxes, and felt secure enough in their lives to have a family? If there's no good answer for this, why are we bothering telling students that college is worth it in the long term? These are the questions that need to be asked, and no one is doing it because companies are only focusing on today, not 20 years from now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by yes-but-no ( 4133651 )
      jobs are vanishing. outsourcing is just one reason; the bigger reason is technological-unemployment. humans should come to terms with the fact that only a small percentage (say top 5% or even 1% in any skill) of the population is needed to work [these too work out of the love/passion for the job]. The rest can just relax -- society should come up with some solution like basic-income.
  • H1B Visa Scam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SandwhichMaster ( 1044184 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @11:28AM (#50627777) Homepage

    This one hits close to home for me. Having worked for Accenture for a number of years, I saw the H-1B visa scam play out over and over. The campus I was staffed at originally hosted several thousand employees, then Accenture started bringing in the visas. Every year Accenture would grab as many visas as possible, train those people in at an existing jobs, then send those people back to their home country with someone else's job and make a round of layoffs locally. By the time I quit, those thousands of jobs had been cut to hundreds and the campus was a ghost town.

    Having seen this repeat so many times, the whole political theater over illegal immigrants seems ridiculous. If our representatives aren't trying to save good paying jobs that require government approval to be shipped away, it's clear that the whole immigrant debate is just a political red herring.

    To be clear, I have no problem with immigrants who come to stay and make what they can in this country. Pretty much all of our ancestors did this at some point. People that come here to swoop up a job and bring it home, however, that's another story.

    • There are no bad reasons for leaving Accenture. You should party.

      • Wished I had quit much sooner. I got a huge pay increase, equally large workload decrease, and now have to tolerate minimal 'execuspeak'.http://news.slashdot.org/story/15/09/30/133216/ny-times-temporary-visas-to-import-talent-help-copycats-take-jobs-abroad#

    • "By the time I quit, those thousands of jobs had been cut to hundreds and the campus was a ghost town."

      This is mainly what I'm worried about, and why the article was a good thing to get in front of everybody. I've spent a long time working either directly for very large companies, or as a contractor to them doing various IT jobs. These are the kinds of companies like you describe, with huge multi-floor buildings employing thousands of people. (Basically, you're not in the "very large" category until your bu

  • by zerofoo ( 262795 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @12:00PM (#50628129)

    I've got kids and plenty of family in the toy-consuming age bracket......and I can't remember the last time we set foot in a Toys R Us.

    With any luck, internet retailers will kill the Toys R Us model anyway - its about efficiency (for me) you know.

    • by Maxmin ( 921568 )

      With any luck, internet retailers will kill the Toys R Us model anyway - its about efficiency (for me

      Yes, and you'll definitely be supporting the offshore model. You'll be purchasing toys from a distribution company that sources its products outside the USA.

      With any luck, there may have been an American designer behind that toy's first incarnation, but then the manufacture was shipped overseas.

  • by twasserman ( 878174 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @12:20PM (#50628329)
    I saw the article yesterday, and it did a good job of explaining a phenomenon that has been happening for 20 years or more.

    But I'm afraid that it won't convince "the average Joe/Jane that their nice safe middle class office job isn't so safe." That's because the average Joe or Jane doesn't read newspapers much anymore, and they certainly don't read the Times. I also suspect that Joe and Jane, if they or their family members have salaried jobs, have already seen this situation and perhaps been affected by it. If you want to get the message out, then it has to get to the cable news channels, where it can be explained in basic English and illustrated by a couple of interviews. The extreme right-wing is already against the H1B program for its own reasons.

    When you combine the H1B assault on the middle class, with the "workforce optimization" programs used for hourly staff, you get a severe squeeze on all workers, which helps to explain why so few people outside the 1% feel secure in their jobs and their lives.

  • " “To do this quickly and efficiently,” she said, Cengage sought support from Cognizant."

    I understand the words individually, but put all together they just don't make sense.

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.

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