The Rush to Send Back-Office Business Overseas

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"Welcome to the world of global back-office operations, or as it is often called, cross-border business-process outsourcing. While companies have long outsourced manufacturing operations and other tasks such as IT maintenance or software development, the trend has now expanded to include other kinds of business processes such as customer contact, bill processing and medical transcription. Companies are moving such work to locations in India, the Philippines and Jamaica, arguing that they can cut costs by 20% to 40%."

There’s one thing I’m wondering about, if we take this logic to its end. Henry Ford paid his workers enough that they could afford his cars. If companies outsource more and more jobs (that are increasingly qualified) abroad, won’t they eventually outsource their customers too? Eastern Europe countries can probably play India’s part for Germany, as Tunisia or Morocco could for France. Colonization coming back to bite job seekers. If you export your language to our place, we’ll use it later to suck the purchasing power out of your workforce. Politicians will have a harder time erecting tax barriers this time, since we’re not talking about physical goods. Better be a farmer than a call center operator.

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