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Insourcing Can Affect Us All


by Carolyn Kay

If you thought outsourcing was bad for the American middle class, then youíll like insourcing even less.  Insourcing is bringing foreigners to work in this country for lower pay than Americans.  It became a problem in my business, information technology, long before anyone thought of sending the work itself overseas.  Now, more and more occupations are affected.

Bob Kuttnerís recent column in the Boston Globe informed us that thereís a nursing shortage in the U.S.  The main cause of the shortage, Kuttner says, is that there arenít enough nursing schools or enough teachers of nursing, many of whom are lured into higher paying jobs in the for-profit health care industry.  To solve the problem, our government could invest in Americans and in Americaís future by funding more schools and better pay for the teachers.

Instead,  Republican Senator Sam Brownback wants to raise the ceiling on the importation of trained nurses from foreign countries, who will work for less, thereby undercutting American salaries.  You could call it a dis-investment in America, though of course it will make CEOs of big health care conglomerates very, very happy.  And it will keep their donation dollars rolling in to the Republican Party.

Just as outsourcing has reached levels never imagined even ten years ago, insourcing is a growing phenomenon.  If you donít think your job is at risk, I suggest you take a look at a new website, Bright Future, dedicated to publicizing information about the H1B program, which was originally supposed to be used to hire foreigners only if Americans canít fill the position.  Instead, jobs are being reserved for foreigners (at lower pay than for Americans, of course), and Americans need not apply.

The occupational distribution pie chart below is from that website.  Take a look to see if your job is at risk.

Matt Yglesias, writing on The American Prospectís blog TAPPED, wonders if college professors who so selflessly give away other peopleís jobs by applauding outsourcing will change their minds as the education slice in the above pie chart increases.  Canít an economics professor from India teach as well as an American professor?  And for less money?

Oh, and if youíre in the media don't think this problem wonít affect you.  Writing and editorial jobs are being outsourced even as we speak.  How long will it be before those jobs are insourced, as well?

This program will affect every single American.  Bookmark Bright Future, join the discussions there, and stay informed.

Your economic future is at stake.

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Last changed: December 13, 2009