Introduction to outsourcing

Look around you right now. There is a 36% chance that the item you are looking at was made in China. The reason that seemingly everything consumers own is from China, India, or Mexico is outsourcing. You might also want to know that the iPhone that you want for 500 dollars cost about $179 for China to produce. And of that $179, only $6.50 was used for assembly costs. The rest of that remaining $172.50 was used for importing and exporting parts and iPhones back to the U.S. Another outsourcing fact is that outsourcing products wastes oil and jet fuel, causes major pollution, and can even produce items that are unsafe (containing lead!). If you’re like me, you’re now wondering: what is this horrible outsourcing, and why is it so popular if it has so many drawbacks? Well, read on to find it all out.

Why we chose this topic

We chose this topic this is an issue that affects everyone. American citizens are losing their jobs every day to lower priced workers in foreign countries. This was also an opportunity to expose not only the ethical issues of outsourcing, but also the environmental impact. The effects on the environment due to outsourcing are, yet unnoticed. With so many pressing issues in the world of “green” outsourcing is overlooked. Due to this, the topic of outsourcing has not had much light shed on it and this was an opportunity to enlighten ourselves, and readers.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing is when companies transfer their jobs to foreign nations. This is an international issue caused primarily by large corporations. At the heart of the outsourcing debate are jobs and unemployment, the economy, and national pride. With so many ethical and economic hindrances to outsourcing, the negative environmental impact often gets disregarded. However, outsourcing is a dire situation for the environment, creating exponential amounts of pollution, wasteful consumerism, and littered oceans.

Why do we outsource?

Despite its evident flaws there are numerous reasons people outsource. Companies argue that it increases productivity and reduces cost. Though they dispute it provides jobs internationally, it increases unemployment rates locally and damages the local economy. Many companies outsource because taxes are lower in other areas of the world and employees are willing to work for outrageously low wages. There are also strict pollution and waste laws in America that don’t exist in other countries. By moving operations out of America it enables companies to cut corners in payroll, taxes, and morals.

What are the effects of outsourcing?

The process of exporting our factories out and importing goods back in wastes a lot of fuel and oil from jets and ships. Due to the lenient pollution laws in the countries we outsource to the air pollution levels are drastically higher than they should be. The efficiency of outsourcing also promotes consumerism and wastefulness with the low grade, mass produced products coming from these facilities. Generally, these substandard objects end up in a landfill within six months

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What are the costs and savings of outsourcing?

Outsourcing is popular among corporations as a cost saving device. The want for outsourcing arose purely as a way to cut cost. The main sources of savings are payrolls, taxes, healthcare, and scrimping in quality and safety. Outsourcing also stimulates the global economy by providing a complex system of worldwide trade. However, it hurts the U.S. economy by eliminating jobs for American workers and harms the local economy.

Outsourcing: a history

In the forties and fifties industries made in World War II efforts stimulated the economy and provided numerous local jobs. America was the center of manufacturing and a source of pride for all citizens. With a weakening economy in the sixties and heightened, post-war taxes, many companies began sending their operations offshore to streamline costs and increase efficiency. The companies’ original notion was that cutting costs offshore would allow the companies to focus on the core of the company and promote new ideas. Despite the obstacle of outsourcing, the U.S. manufacturing industry was going strong until the 1980’s. At this point America was making more imports than exports and effects of sending out jobs were beginning to be discerned. In 1993 the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allowed strategic partnerships between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Supporters of the agreement argued that it offered economic prosperity, but many countered that the conditions for Mexican workers would be appalling, with words like “sweatshop” and “child labor” being bandied about. In 1995 the WTO was introduced to help regulate the trade.

Outsourcing in the present and future

Outsourcing has become even more controversial in the twenty-first century. Since America made an affiliation with China in 2001 the outsourcing fad has spread even faster. The plentiful Chinese workforce was low-priced and even more effective than Mexico or India. In 2004 Senator Chris Dodd proposed the US Worker Protection Act, which advised the termination of outsourcing. The legislation failed, but brought to light the numerous pitfalls of this industry cheat. Further making citizens doubt the value of outsourcing was the 2007 Mattel Toy Company scandal which rocked the nation. It was found that paint in multiple children’s toys made by the Mattel Company, outsourced to China, contained lead. Critics estimate that by 2015, 3.3 million white-collar jobs will have been outsourced offshore. Adding to the fire is the fact that recently some of America’s largest corporations including AT&T, Dell Computers, and Sears are sending jobs back that they once outsourced overseas. If these reputable companies are skeptical of outsourcing and cutting back on it, maybe the rest of the country will follow suit.

Solution to outsourcing

The simple solution to such a complex problem is to keep the jobs in America. By not exporting our jobs we will save oil and fuel as well as invigorate the local economy. Pollution and greenhouse gases from the factories will be slashed, and it will be a step towards bettering our environment, our quality of life, and our future.There are many solutions on how you can stop outsourcing. First is first. Know where your products come from. It's as easy as that. Many of our items come from China, Mexico, and Vietnam. The best thing you can do is buy products made in the United States. Many Japanese cars are being made in United States factories which saves gas on transport, and gives jobs to many citizens. Buying local goods are best over imported ones to save fossil fuels, and to support small businesses.


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