Corporations Still Shipping IT Jobs Offshore

Despite the worsening economic downturn (or perhaps more accurately, as a convenient excuse to capitalize on it), U.S. corporations are continuing to ship thousands of IT jobs offshore. More than half of the estimated 140,000 U.S. jobs that will move offshore this year and next will be in IT, according to a recent report from the Hackett Group.

As BusinessWeek notes in this online article, President Obama is facing quite a problem trying to reverse this trend and keep such jobs in the U.S. Plans to include a $3,000 tax credit for each new job created won't be nearly enough when the average software developer earns $67,000 less annually in India than in the U.S.

I don't mean to bash India, but it always astounds me that major companies, especially technology companies, have picked this spot (which I have visited three times) to stake their economic futures. Their stockholders should be crazed. The country suffers from a dismal infrastructure, political instability and more recently, the largest outsourcing scandal in IT history. So why do corporations love India? One reason: It's a dirt-cheap place to do business.

The real problem, of course, is the same one that got us into this economic mess in the first place: U.S. corporate greed. U.S. companies made huge profits during the boom years and then leveraged those profits manyfold by selling "globalization" as a inevitable megatrend to the U.S. political establishment. Now that economies in most major industrialized nations are rapidly heading south, the corporate executives are shrugging their shoulders and shipping out jobs to the lowest bidder, conveniently arguing that they are just trying to better serve their stockholders.

Their stockholders would be much better served if these companies at least acknowledged the country that made them and their executives stupendously rich (and then lowered its personal tax rates dramatically during the Reagan Years so they could better enjoy their new-found fortunes) Short-sighted greed is the real problem President Obama is up against, and I'm afraid tinkering at the edges isn't going to solve it.

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