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February 02, 2005

Comments

Delmore Macnamara

Undoubtedly there is no reason you should care tuppence about the thousands of people in the North of England who will lose their jobs because of outsourcing of Telemarketing to India, Africa or wherever. But it seems likely that they would be likely to vote for any party they believed would implement protectionist measures to prevent it.

Frank McGahon

Those people in the North of England aren't losing "their" jobs because of outsourcing, but because they are so little enamoured by that type of work that they have to be cajoled to work in call centres by all sorts of perks and unsustainably high wages. The "churn" in call centres is notoriously high, there are few career telemarketeers and many people only last a few months. This suggests to me that, while outsourcing is a potentially emotive issue, nobody is going to get too bothered about the loss of telemarketing jobs in particular.

Abiola Lapite

Frank,

The great irony of this bit about "thousands of people in the North of England who will lose their jobs" is that unemployment in England hasn't been lower than it currently is in well over 25 years. I think someone needs to acquaint himself with the principles of free trade *and* take an occasional look at economic statistics before engaging in protectionist whining about the hard-done-by workers of the North.

Delmore Macnamara

You may be right, Frank. Why the scare quotes round "their"?

Abiola Lapite

". Why the scare quotes round "their"?"

Because jobs don't come into this world with particular individuals' names attached to them? A job is a contract between two parties, not an entitlement.

Delmore Macnamara

Abiola, where did I say it would be a bad thing, necessarily for those workers to lose their jobs, or whine about it? The implicit question was about what their reaction might be. Quite possibly Frank's answer was the correct one.

Delmore Macnamara

Abiola, where did I allege that jobs come into the world with people's name attached to them? Perhaps someone needs to reacquaint themself with ordinary English usage. Would you honestly never refer to e.g. "my" mobile phone contract, "my" rental agreement or, in fact "my" job?

Abiola Lapite

"Perhaps someone needs to reacquaint themself with ordinary English usage. Would you honestly never refer to e.g. "my" mobile phone contract, "my" rental agreement or, in fact "my" job?"

I think you're the one in need of the reacquainting here. You asked why Frank used quotes around "their", and I explained it to you - to make clear that there is no justifiable basis for viewing a job as one's personal property, as those who complain about outsourcing are wont to do.

Delmore Macnamara

Surely no-one posting at an explicitly libertarian blog is likely to be unaware of this view of the nature of employment. Hence the quotation marks were entirely superfluous.

Do you suppose that pointing out to newly-unemployed people that the jobs they lost (or, if you prefer, employment contracts that were terminated) were never theirs in the first place would be a wise move politically? Of course this is not your problem & there is no reason you should have to answer the question. Since I live in England, however, it may very well become _my_ problem.

Abiola Lapite

"Since I live in England, however, it may very well become _my_ problem."

And where do you think I am at this very moment? So much for that argument.

Delmore Macanamara

Abiola for some reason was convinced you were in US. No idea why. Well then, it may become your problem & you _should_ be concerned about the possible political fallout from extensive outsourcing. The current government rarely makes arguments in favour of free trade & neither of the sllegedly alternative governments seem particularly inclined to do so either. Are you really not at all concerned that protectionism may be on the rise in UK, politically speaking? Particularly since the EU is getting physically big enough to aspire (_foolishly_) to autarky?

Abiola Lapite

"Are you really not at all concerned that protectionism may be on the rise in UK, politically speaking?"

No, not at all. Britain has the longest free-trade legacy in the world, while Brown and Blair aren't protectionists, nor are the Conservatives or the UKIP (which has many other failings); in any case, as you note, trade policy is now made mostly in Brussels anyway, so domestic grumblings about outsourcing couldn't do much harm unless the UK were to withdraw entirely from the EU, a move for which I see little support.

Delmore Macnamara

I hope you are right. Note that BNP espouses leftish economic policy plus nationalism & racialism, & are gaining ground in some Northern areas where very few would usually vote anything but Labour. Perhaps nothing will come of this, perhaps something will.

ogunsiron

I was reading a similar article on a french speaking african oriented site ( www.grioo.com). It's possible that this Fatou is the same one ( although it's a rather common nam in Senegal). Well educated university graduates get to earn relatively excellent wages in return from selling or providing customer service in parisian french. Some readers were actually "outraged" about the accent thing ! As if that ridiculously minor irritant negated all the good that those jobs did in the lives of those young senegalese !

Abiola Lapite

" As if that ridiculously minor irritant negated all the good that those jobs did in the lives of those young senegalese !"

Man cannot live on "negritude" alone ...

An african

I say this as an African, in the country mentioned in the article.

You're right. People have and will loose their jobs. However, you have to understand that, just like you, we have stomachs, families to feed and lives to live. As much as I have sympathy for your predicament, it's a dog eat dog world -- and if I have to pin down somebody else for my betterment, sadly, I will.

I wish it were not so, but at the end of the day, if we can provide the same service, at a lower price, I see no reason why the jobs should be protected in the UK/US. After all, this is what 'globalisation' is supposed to be about. It's not only about flooding African markets with gvt. subsidised Western European produce -- it's about much more.

Sorry, but then again, tough!

Delmore Macnamara

Dear "An"

You are right, it is indeed a "dog eat dog world" & people will protect their own (however they may choose to define "their own") usually by any means necessary. Thus, as outsourcing increases, there will be political capital to be made out of the imposition of trade barriers to the practice. Sooner or later (maybe in the next downturn in the economic cycle) some politician will be sufficiently desperate for votes that they will make the relevant policy proposals, they will be elected & the trade barriers will be imposed.

I know I bang on about this, but there is no reason whatever to suppose that democracy is compatible with free trade. It is precisely questions such as this that will test this (unoriginal I know) proposition.

chinedu

how about outsourcing in other lndustries like say fast eg juice cans , agriculture,used blackoil,and the torisim industry Africa is very good in that. SAY
e gNigeria

ben boateng

how can get contacts for out sourcing companies who are interested in africa

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