Have you, personally, ever applied for unemployment benefits and depended on government checks to keep you afloat? As a manager I thought that could never happen to me, but on one dark day in my life I took my turn in the unemployment line. That has a way of bringing a person down to earth, a most humbling experience. Millions upon millions of American workers have now felt that same humiliation as their corporate masters shipped their jobs overseas.
U.S. transnational corporations have declared war on the American worker. The loss of manufacturing jobs in America has reached epidemic proportions. Since 2001 the U.S. has seen the closing of 42,000 factories employing 500 or more workers. While that has decimated our domestic manufacturing sector, apparently that blood letting was not enough to satisfy Corporate America in its lust for greater and greater profits. Therefore, corporations are now busy transferring service-type jobs to overseas nations with lower labor costs.
Many of you may have had the following experience when you had a problem with your computer, printer or other electronic device. You purchase a new computer and are having some kind of problem with the operating system. When you call the toll free number, you go through the usual menus and questions until you finally get through to a service representative.
Then who comes on the line? It is a male or female and you know by the accent that it's someone talking to you from India, Pakistan, Indonesia or some other nation thousands of miles away. I don't know about you but I find that very disturbing; first because of my personal dislike of the practice of outsourcing and, second, because I often find it nearly impossible to clearly understand what that person is saying and I don't have a hearing problem.
This practice of outsourcing customer service functions, commonly used by numerous corporations, has been a very successful management tool. These corporations no longer need American workers to manufacture their products and now they don't need them to assist customers. However, they still want the American people to continue to slavishly buy their products. That may be the height of hypocrisy, but they could care less, they have no shame whatsoever.
This is the one of the reasons why our current recession has no light at the end of the tunnel. We might think that when the recession ends, it that ever happens, businesses will once again hire manufacturing workers, but the fact of the matter is they have no intention of doing so. A recent article by Jim Oberg sheds new light on this situation and gives us greater insight into what is happening. As the purchasing power of U.S. consumers continues to decline, U.S. corporations are fully aware of the effects on their bottom lines and have an alternate strategy already in place; plans that will offset losses by tapping into the new purchasing power of those foreign based workers that are the beneficiaries of outsourcing. As the American demand for these products decreases, corporations will methodically shift their sales and marketing strategies into those new fertile fields overseas.
Will these corporations eventually just give up on America and concentrate all efforts in overseas regions of growth? I don't think they will leave America entirely and that they will continue to milk what is left of this former cash cow until it is dry. But many will likely move their headquarters and operations to overseas nations where all the future potential lies. That way they can also recruit new management employees in those countries and get rid of even more Americans.