LET Outsourcing erodes industry

"On March 28, Intel will tell you not only how you work ... but where you work."

The above statement is a voice-over for a current television commercial depicting professionals doing their jobs in their homes, on the edge of golf courses or at pool side. The message is simple: Through the wonders of technology, get ready to enjoy the perfect marriage of work and leisure.

Meanwhile, at an alarming rate, major U.S. corporations have been using this same technology to outsource services such as software development and support, customer services, accounting functions, engineering, architectural drafting, computer graphics and Web design. For $5,000 to $10,000 a year, well-educated Chinese and Indian professionals are able to maintain a comfortable lifestyle providing these services to American businesses without leaving their native countries and cultures.

In the good ol' US of A, our manufacturing base has evaporated. And now, outsourcing is quickly eroding many branches of the service industry. Those planning to enter the white-collar work force with complacency will be faced with a new, harsh reality. Think long and hard about the future as you counsel your children about their career goals and standard-of-living expectations. Adjustments might have to be made regarding definitions of "standard of living" and "the manner to which we are accustomed."

James; R. Lepore



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