Followup from Mikoid on the outsourcing issue: “We’re not talking Nike sweatshops and backbreaking child labor.” According to Mike’s figures, salaries are pretty generous relative to the Filipino median, which is a good thing; it puts to rest my initial worries that offshore hiring is just a way to abuse cheap international labor. As for whether America should let big companies outsource those jobs, that, I grant, is for legislation, labor unions, and the free market to decide.
Now, my ambivalence on this issue turns instead towards the Philippine labor market’s own reliance on outsourced jobs from the US. Like I say above, it’s a good thing for skilled Filipino workers that these openings provide them with better working conditions, better pay, and more opportunities for advancement, but what of the Philippine economy’s already burdensome dependence on American capital; doesn’t this sink the Philippines deeper into the mire of subservience to American corporate interests? Or is this simply the natural progression of the global economy?
(And why am I blogging about this stuff? What originally got my goat was the unfair use of the stereotype of fat, whiny, donut-eating, SUV-driving Americans, not the outsourcing debate. Now I’m starting to sound like the Wall Street Journal. Must be my age showing. Next thing you know I’ll be talking about stock markets and pork bellies. Mmmm. Pork bellies.)