Democrats & Liberals Archives

Why We Should Start Questioning Authority

We’ve been discussing the current trend of outsourcing the IT of American companies (be it software or hardware production, customer support, etc.) today via email and a friend raised the point that sometime, in the future, he “foresee[s] a future where so many high tech jobs are overseas that at some point foreign governments or companies may be able to hold us [Americans] hostage.” My question is this: don’t American companies realize that, pretty much wholesale, they are exporting all of the means of production and brain-trust of the American technology industry to countries like Russia, India, and China?

In the July 21 Issue of eWeek, Peter Coffee points out that American companies need to adapt in order to keep from becoming obsolete, but it is those very companies that Coffee points to (IBM, Microsoft, Intel) that have created this dilemma. They are (basically) handing over the complete U.S. technology infrastructure (product design, development, and manufacturing) to foreign countries without any eye on the future. Sure, Intel can show that they have doubled their profits for the quarter because they laid off half of their U.S. workforce — but how do they maintain that profit when there are no Americans left who have enough disposable income to purchase their products? It seems like a short-sighted solution with a terrible outcome.

My main fear is that this whole outsourcing trend, combined with the events of 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the continuing War on Terrorism will only fuel a new trend of xenophobia in America. People who used to be mainstream and middle-of-the-road will find that their sympathies lie more and more with fringe groups who's radical manifestos appeal to their basic human need for order. What once was radical no longer seems outside of the pale of comprehension for a person who is struggling to put food on their table because they were made redundant. I certainly hope that America is not turning fascist, but that doesn't mean that our rational options are being slowly limited as power is consolidated into fewer and fewer hands. With media control being consolidated into a number of ever-shrinking conglomerates, it seems like more and more people are listening to Anne Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity, the voices of the (radical?) right, and they are not realizing that we should — first and foremost — try to act as moral humans despite our ideological differences.

Let's face it folks, our economy is in the shitter and no tax breaks, refund checks, or stimulus packages are going to get it out of the place it's in if the American worker is not making enough money to support themselves (or their family). I would hate to think that I should be writing my own version of the Berlin Stories or we are standing on the verge of the fall of the Roman Republic with a new cæsar waiting in the wings, but we — living in the present — lack the perspective to make an objective observation of current events. We do not, however, lack the power to make sure that the deeds of the past are not repeated.

Posted by huxley75 at July 29, 2003 1:59 PM