Washington Brief

Master of Naivety Degree

New York, Feb. 15th, 2005 ---- Talking to managers at companies in New York and New Jersey makes me realize that the US education system must have turned out thousands of Masters in Naivety graduates who have no understanding of the ways of the world.

This is no better indicated by their attitude to the thousands of Indian and Chinese "Consultants" burrowing into the depths of their enterprise and measuring every metric of the business. Under the guise of "You can't manage anything unless you can measure it" they glean every operating secret and the fundementals of the whole business. Then they develop an outsourced clone thousands of miles away, in another country, and under a different legal system.

The young virgins here in the USA believe they maintain control over the whole operation and pat themselves on the back for training these foreigners to do the work of US workers, at a fraction of the cost, and train tens of thousands of replacement workers to continue with the cheap labor for outsourcing US IT jobs.

Speaking with an Indian Consultant I was amazed that nobody picked up his on his own company plans. How he was proudly describing the growth of a world class IT empire on the backs of US corporations that one day will create a US subsidiary in direct competition to the benefactors he now serves. It is a mirror image of the situation between the US Auto industry and the Japanese. Same applies between the US consumer electronics and the Japanese. Add to thet the US Steel and Korea, and you would think the US would have learned it's lesson. But no a Superpower doesn't need to learn, it just teaches!

I have to admire the Indians for changing the whole outsourcing model to their advantage. In the early days managers went to India and told the workers what they wanted, and how it should be achieved. Today the reverse is occuring. The sub contractors come into the parent operation and quietly clone it. Wasn't it Lenin who said that the Capitalists would provide the tools for their own destruction, or something like that.

I don't want to sound sexist here but most of the young executives I meet are female, and a lot of them are splitting their gray matter between the company and raising children. Anyone who takes the work load off their shoulders must be a good guy. They have no concept of how business is done in China, India or anywhere in the Far East. They have no idea of the difference of attitude to intellectual property.

There is a social terrorist in an office near you. The results will not be seen for maybe a decade, but the damage will be greater than anything Al Qaeda can inflict. The world is not a nice place, or a place where baby showers get priority over workers futures.



Back to Menu

Alan Simpson brings you regular commentary from the corridors of power in Washington DC . With experience of working in over 80 countries he looks at events from a global perspective.