US presidential candidate Barack Obama played onto the emotions of crowd gathered to listen to him at the democratic convention on 28th August. He made strong remarks against anti-outsourcing stating “I will start giving tax breaks to companies that create good jobs right here in America and start taking tax sops away from countries that outsource jobs”.
Barack Obama’s towards outsourcing has been belligerent since the time he set his eyes on the white house. Following is an excerpt from this interview in March 2004 interview with Chicago’s local access political talk show, “Public Affairs”:
Barack Obama: The No. 1 priority is jobs and job loss and that is something that is hitting communities downstate as well as here in Chicago. Everywhere I go people are out of work or they are insecure with the jobs that they have. The whole issue of outsourcing is enormously important. Not only are blue collar jobs being exported now, but you have got white collar jobs going to India and Singapore, and so people feel enormous economic insecurity and that has to be priority No. 1
When the Nasscom president, Som Mittal, was asked to comment on this issue, he remarked ‘We are not sure whether he had meant outsourcing in the software sector or the manufacturing sector. But I don’t think the software exports will be affected or slow down. Such decisions (to outsource) are determined by economic considerations by (US) companies and they will find a way to remain competitive. Outsourcing is one of those ways’ .
Well who can deny the fact that outsourcing is such a critical aspect to the survival of US competitiveness; the consumers themselves know that they don’t mind seeing the ‘Made in China’ label on their toys as long as they don’t have to pay a fortune to buy them. Today if a company in the US wants its IT projects to be implemented or maintained; it does not have to scratch its head searching for resources which apart from being costly are difficult to find as well, that’s where the Indian IT giants come in, with a huge talent pool at their disposal and infrastructure capabilities to go along with it, these companies can set-up dedicated centres of excellence for their clients at a fraction of the cost. With fears of recession and slow growth rates, companies in the US are seriously looking at shoring up their balance sheets and outsourcing, be it manufacturing or IT seems to one of the attractive alternatives.
Like everywhere else, politicians often ignore the basic fundamentals for quick political gains, but it might be a different ball game for Barack Obama when it comes to practicing what he’s preaching right now.