The Outsourcing of American Jobs
Outsourcing has become one of the most prevalent trends in the American economy and job market. In response to the deepening economic recession, U.S. companies move their facilities to third world countries and hire foreign personnel to minimize their expenses and boost profits. It is generally assumed that outsourcing helps businesses to optimize the quality and efficiency of their operations. As a result, they can charge lower prices for their products and services, thus making them more attractive for customers worldwide. Yet, outsourcing is not as innocent as it seems. The downside of hiring workers from abroad is that communities receive fewer tax dollars and witness a greater number of domestic workers seeking public assistance. In light of these outsourcing trends, new college graduates should be ready to pursue continuous learning, display workplace flexibility and readiness to move across countries and job markets, if they want to find and retain a decent job.
The outsourcing of American jobs remains one of the most controversial topics of discussion in economic and social disciplines. While corporations earn additional profits and face increased revenues by outsourcing jobs to third world countries, the incomes, earnings, and job prospects of domestic workers in America keep soaring. More American companies are willing to hire employees from abroad in their quest for lower operational and employee expenses. As a result, since 2001, more than 3.2 million U.S. jobs have moved to China (Peralta). Companies put American employees in a direct competition with prospective employees from foreign countries. "Competition with low-wage workers from less-developed countries such as China has driven down wages for workers in U.S. manufacturing and reduced the wages and bargaining power of similar, non-college-educated workers throughout the economy" (Peralta). All states report considerable job losses, California being at the top of the list with more than 560,000 jobs lost to outsourcing (Peralta). Apparently, as more jobs are moved to foreign markets, outsourcing is likely to become one of the biggest threats to the health, stability and wellbeing within and across communities in the U.S.
Outsourcing hits badly American communities. Its negative impacts on community growth are sophisticated and pervasive. Basically, outsourcing means that American companies are willing to pay salaries and taxes to employees and governments in any country of the world except the U.S. The impacts of these decisions on local communities are two-fold. On the one hand, local governments receive fewer tax dollars (Greenwood 3). Outsourcing means that the money flows out of local and community economies (Center for Effective Government). Consequently, communities experience the lack of funds needed to maintain a robust public services infrastructure. To put it simply, outsourcing deprives communities of the basic resources they require to run public schools, manage public transportations, ensure easy access to public health, and so on.
On the other hand, the outflow of money from communities definitely hurts residents' pockets. With more workers displaced by their low-wage competitors from less developed countries, their purchasing power also declines (Greenwood 6). Communities with higher levels of outsourcing see greater decreases in retail spending (Center for Effective Development). Local merchants are likely to experience difficulties, because low-paid domestic workers would prefer buying goods and services from large discount stores to using the sales and market opportunities offered by local businesses (Greenwood 4). Housing markets also suffer, as workers who are either displaced or moved to lower-paid jobs have to look for cheaper housing options (Center for Effective Development). Eventually, outsourcing limits communities in their opportunities to create and sustain a positive atmosphere of economic and social development. Job creation becomes problematic, incomes and earnings fall, and the quality of life gradually deteriorates.
Another problem with outsourcing is that more community members rely on public assistance. Greenwood confirms that outsourcing forces community residents into using more public assistance for housing, medical care, and food (10). Because public assistance is typically provided by a state and federal government, local communities often do not perceive the growing number of welfare recipients as a serious threat to their wellbeing (Greenwood 10). Yet, with fewer tax dollars reaching the local and, therefore, state and federal budgets, cuts in the amount of benefits available to domestic workers are likely to follow (Greenwood 10). Displaced employees who cannot find a decent job and fail to obtain timely public assistance will resort to any means or strategies to improve their wellbeing, including crime. In the long run, outsourcing can become a serious social, economic, and public health hazard, and contemporary college graduates should be aware of it.
Apparently, new college graduates should be fully informed about the current situation in the labor market and be ready to struggle to find a decent job. They will have to become particularly thorough choosing their future specialization, profession, and career path. For example, Roberts reports that 14 million white-collar American jobs are likely to be outsourced in the nearest future. Therefore, new graduates will either lose their employment prospects or change their post-graduation career plans. Simultaneously, any new graduate who wants to find and retain a decent job should be ready to pursue continuous learning, become more flexible, and be willing to relocate, if needed. Continuous learning can give any graduate a strong competitive edge. Graduates should update their skills regularly to meet the demand for qualified workforce in domestic job markets. They should position themselves as flexible and ready to move, if the company of their choice decides to move its facilities or outsource its personnel to a foreign country. These are just some steps new graduates can make to make a stronger case for hiring domestic workers in the U.S.
To sum up, outsourcing has profoundly negative implications for communities' wellbeing. It limits their financial and social resources and undermines their ability to provide quality public services to residents. In the meantime, more community members seek to rely on public assistance, as they are no longer able to provide for their basic living needs. New graduates face tough employment challenges, and outsourcing further aggravates the situation. Only those graduates who can be flexible and ready to move can have a chance to find a decent position within the U.S.
Center for Effective Development. "Q & A with Daphne Greenwood: How Outsourcing Can Harm Communities." Center for Effective Government, 3 Mar 2016. Web. 10 Apr 2016.
Greenwood, Daphne T. "The Decision to Contract Out: Understanding the Full Economic and Social Impacts." Colorado Center for Policy Studies, Mar 2014.Web. 10 Apr 2016.
Peralta, Katherine. "Outsourcing to China Cost U.S. 3.2 Million Jobs since 2001." US News, 11 Dec 2014. Web. 10Apr 2016.
Roberts, Paul Craig. "The Offshore Outsourcing of American Jobs: A Greater Threat than Terrorism." Global Research, 13 Mar 2016. Web. 10 Apr 2016.