U.S.A. Outsourcing Itself To Death
I wanted to comment on what I see as an interesting and dangerous phenomenon I see developing in today’s world. It shouldn’t be too long but I feel like if you take the time to read this post and really think about it, you will understand what I mean. you see, today’s world is really full of a lot of problems in a lot of different countries. These problems range from issues affecting individual governments to those that are being felt on an international level by groups of countries all over the world. Now when we are discussing the following issues, we have to realize that while there have always been problems, both in single countries and in the international community, it needs to be recognized that there has been a subtle yet significant change in the overall dynamic of what we are seeing. I believe that these changes are a direct result of one thing and one thing alone…technology, more specifically, the internet.
You see, many years ago the world had problems just as it did today. Internal conflicts in governments, economic or health related issues, these have all been here for decades worldwide. The difference between those issues 40 years ago and the issues facing us today is the connection of them all. Predictably, years ago these issues tended to be more separate, less connected to each other. Yes, the international aspect of our society always influenced things but there was far less interconnection of what was going on. In today’s world, every little issue, no matter where it originates, is beamed all over the world. Cellphones, internet videos and broadcasts have made it possible for any individual in any country to be closely and emotionally there when it comes to this or that going on halfway around the world. 40 years ago, if there was an uprising going on in another country, you would hear about it is the news, maybe see a few photos or hear an interview from an embedded reporter but that was the extent of you access. Today, we see story after story so quickly communicated that it feels as if you are right there, sharing the pain and the struggle as if you yourself were a citizen in said country.
What this has done is set the beginning of what I refer to as an “even out phase” of humanities history. The economic situation is the easiest place to see this. Think, back in the 1970’s for example, how much more dominant the United States was when compared to other countries. Sure, we would have our own ups and downs but the distance between us and most other countries was significant. Today, we are seeing our dominance slip away, little by little. I believe this is a direct result of the connections that have been made possible by technology and, more specifically, the internet. For example, let’s assume for one second that you were going to rank each country’s economic status or success on a scale of 1-10. Comparatively the United States used to be the top of the food chain, easily ranked as a 9 or 10, but as the use of the internet and technology has advanced our economy has become far more intertwined with the economy of other countries. Economics has evolved into a much more globally driven mechanism, with the economy of one country having far more influence on the economy of another. It is easy to see why. Companies have ventured into global markets more easily and in doing so have connected themselves to economies that while sometimes profitable, are less strong and stable than ours is. I believe this has had an affect in the sense that by merging our economy with less successful ones, it brings ours down while raising theirs up. If we are ranked as a 10 for example, but with technology we begin to merge our economic system with a bunch of countries who we would rank as a 5 or a 6, we see the law of averages start to come into play. Ours is ranked a 10 but we combine with a 6 and a 5, and we wind up with an average of a 7 (10+6+5=21, 21/3=7).
So in essence, our quest to expand is putting our economy is markets that are much less successful, stable, and for lack of a better word, as strong as ours is and while doing so, even if the country we intertwine with is doing well by their standards, their best standards are below what ours is used to running at and because of that, drags us down a notch or two. Don’t believe me? Think about this, in the last 15-20 years, pretty much since the advent of the internet and it’s use as a global business tool, we have seen more and more American jobs outsourced. This happens because now, with the effort to make your company international far easier because of the use of the internet and other technologies, it is much easier for a company to expand its production to a country where labor is cheaper and profits are better for them. The thing that is often ignored though is that the jobs they outsource, while helping them profit, have a significant negative effect on our overall economy, hence us being dragged down a notch on the overall scale. the company may benefit but their benefit is small compared to the negative effect the lost jobs have had on our economic status.
The United States has long been a global leader in many areas but thanks to technology and our effort to intertwine ourselves on all levels with countries whose overall “rank” so toi speak is much lower than ours, we are seeing the development of a world economy that it bringing up the low, while dragging down the high. I am not saying we cannot do business `outside our borders but if we continue to combine our once strong economy with weak and unstable ones, no one should be surprised when we even out down to the level of our new partners.