I outsource everything. I outsource repairing my car to my mechanic. I outsource all my legal matters to my law firm. I outsource growing of my vegetables to the local farmer’s market.
Outsourcing is good – we can not and should not do everything ourselves. You don’t need to own a cow anymore if you want milk. The industrial revolution was built on increased specialization.
The recent controversy over outsourcing is massively protectionist and xenophobic. People like Lou Dobbs and John Kerry believe that outsourcing is good as long as it is done by people in America. But they believe it is bad if done by foreigners – especially by people who are yellow or brown. Their xenophobic and borderline racist reactions should have no place in a globalized economy.
When Nike outsources its manufacturing to a plant in Malaysia or Citibank outsources its customer service to a call center in India, the American consumer wins because we get cheaper goods and help create markets for our goods abroad. Remember, America has a gigantic trade surplus in services and in intellectual property. Unlike manufacturing, only people in nations with a growing economy can afford services or IP – so it is in the U.S.’s best interest to help out other economies through trade. Trade, not aid, is the best way to create a worldwide economic expansion.
There is also a myth that American programmers are losing their jobs to people overseas. Nonsense. No good American Java or C++ programmer has had their job outsourced. If you are a COBOL programmer and you haven’t updated your skills in over 30 years, you might be at risk. But you probably would be at risk anyway since the COBOL market is shrinking and the Java market is growing.
Summation: Outsourcing is good for America and also good for the countries that participate as our off-shoring partners.