Before going further, I want to be clear that I don't blame workers in India or El Salvador for taking jobs wherever they can find them. As bad as our economy is, theirs is far worse. Like us, they want to support their families and build a good life. But U.S. economic and political policy should focus on meeting the needs of our own workforce. It isn't doing that.
Offshore outsourcing kills jobs
There will not be a real economic recovery until there are more jobs. You don't need an advanced degree to understand that consumer spending is the real pillar of this economy, and while people are either out of work or afraid that they will be, they're going to be frugal. You'd think that the champions of big business would understand that and support measures to put people back to work. At the very least, wouldn't it make sense not to push tax policies that create unemployment?
One of the terrible ironies of the recession and its impact on IT is the futility of most retraining programs. Back when the Midwest was turning into the Rust Belt, there was talk of retraining blue-collar workers for jobs in technology. I'd say that policy enjoyed, at best, limited success, but there were jobs to be had. Now, with national unemployment hovering just under 10 percent and underemployment much, much higher, what jobs are we going to retrain unemployed IT workers for?
Maybe former coders and developers can shift to green tech. Oops, hold on there -- Congress has refused to pass cap-and-trade legislation, which would have made green energy and technology economically attractive and thus created millions of jobs in the sector. Electric cars? Tesla's new plant in Fremont, Calif., housed in a corner of the GM/Toyota joint venture that once employed thousands of auto workers, has rehired just 30 former employees of the NUMMI joint venture, and management says it is getting 2,000 to 3,000 resumes a month.
I'm not bringing partisan politics into this blog. But anyone who works for living would be nuts to vote for someone -- Republican or Democrat -- who wants to use their money to put them out of a job.
This article, "It's time to stop rewarding companies that send jobs overseas," was originally published by InfoWorld.com. Read more of Bill Snyder's Tech's Bottom Line blog and follow the latest technology business developments at InfoWorld.com.