Earlier this year, I read an article talking about the reason for computer/technology-related outsourcing. In the article, people like HP’s Carly Fiorina and Intel’s Craig Barrett suggested that the USA should pour more funds into education, particularly in the sciences, to make more workers available in these fields.
Initially, I was sorta surprised at this notion. The outcry in the USA over outsourcing, with many tech workers complaining that they’re even being forced to train their own replacements, seemed to suggest to me that the USA is doing fine – we have enough workers and enough people looking for jobs to keep the industry well-sated.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take into account the nature of capitalism. The problem is not that there is an actual physical shortage of willing workers in the industry. The problem, rather, is that there are not so many workers as to create strong competition between workers – which is precisely what Fiorina and Barrett mean when they discuss ‘competition.’ Why strong competition between workers? Well, if you have only just enough workers to go around, obviously the wages will be higher. More workers = lower wages because of increased competition. Mouths to feed, bills to pay? You’ll definitely take a lower-paying job in a crunch. But at least your CEO will pocket some more millions. This hurts the small guy, but is great for the corporation’s bottom line.
The joy of capitalism.:-P