Justinian C. Lane, Esq.
Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens May Fall
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Justinian Lane's Blog

Justinian's Blog

Offshoring, Math, and H1B Visas

It's no secret that I'm not a numbers guy, and I'm the last guy in the world you'd want trying to solve complex equations. With that disclaimer, someone please explain to me where my math errors are in this article about outsourcing jobs to India, China, etc.

One claim that sounds exceedingly spurious to me is that by sending jobs overseas, we're actually creating more jobs in the U.S. Here's a quote:

"Savings from outsourcing allowed companies to create 90,000 new jobs in 2003, with more than one in 10 of them in Silicon Valley or elsewhere in California, researchers said. The report predicts that in 2008, outsourcing will create 317,000 jobs -- 34,000 in California"

OK, so in 4 years, we'll have created 317,000 jobs in the U.S. This next quote is what confuses me:

"Investment banker Goldman Sachs last year estimated "offshoring" accounted for 1 million of the 2.7 million manufacturing jobs lost since summer 2000."

OK, so we lose 1,000,000 jobs and create 317,000 jobs. I come up with a net loss of 683,000 jobs. Somehow, this is good for the economy?

It must be, because according to the article, 86% of companies surveyed plan to outsource positions overseas.

Reading articles like these really make me think about the story of the Emperor's New Clothes. Really, are we supposed to believe that shipping jobs overseas will create jobs here? My bet is that any jobs created will be filled by H1B immigrants.

Speaking of H1B visas, check out this story about a guy who's suing Sun Microsystems for laying him off but keeping all the younger, cheaper H1B workers. Interesting.