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360 Review

Aug
26
2004

This week’s eWeek column is, once again, about outsourcing.
Living as I do on the edge of Silicon Valley, it’s easy to forget that tech jobs aren’t just held by millionaires who used their Excite@Home stock to pay off the mortgage on the house in Palo Alto. It’s the view from the top. But it’s different out there in America.
I’ve long wondered if outsourcing – which makes competition for jobs international – will turn independent code jockeys into card-carrying union members. I’ve doubted it. Geeks, as a friend of mine who is one says, are scabs. They’ll work for the best wage. But listening to John Pardon, the former NCR data base manager and life-long Republican quoted in the eWeek piece, I’m not so sure anymore. When a guy like him – Pardon doesn’t sound or act like any of revolutionary – starts talking about social upheaval, well, it just might be around the corner.
Meanwhile, The Bee’s Dan Weintraub points to a study done by the California Public Policy Institute echoing what the Bay Area Economic Council’s outsourcing report said earlier this year. Weintraub also links to Daniel Drezner’s take on the report.
The comments and reports pretty much say the same thing: creative jobs — jobs where your skills are the kind of stuft that can’t really be taught, where the training is by encouragement, trial and error — are the ones that stay here and will pay the most. But how do you translate the dry language of economic reports and analysis into a political reality and tell someone that they don’t have the creativity, the imagination, the spirit, to get and keep a good job?

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