9 January 2004

There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore

So says Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in defending her company's pursuit of off shore migration of high tech jobs. I suppose those nine brave soldiers in Iraq who died today for their country and Ms. Fiorina didn't have any "God given responsibility" either.

It truly is an outrage and total sellout of American workers. Ms. Fiorina and others like Intel head Craig Barrett reap the benefits American taxpayers provide, like the world's top military defense protections, knowledge transfer from public works projects like internet development for example, exporting of intellectual property law to protect their information monopoly realms, and lucrative tax incentives. Furthermore, it's an outright insult on the intellect of our work force, who've studied and trained arduously to take technology positions and now are being pushed out onto the street to fend with hordes of illegal immigrants, now being courted by President W. Bush, when Ms. Fiorina suggests that American tech workers lack the necessary education.

"It's interesting to me that so many people talk about China or India or Russia as being a source of low-cost labor," Fiorina said. "Truthfully, over the long term, the greater threat is the source of well-educated labor. And if you look at the number of college-educated students that China graduates every year, it's close to 40 million. The law of large numbers is fairly compelling."

What a crock!

I can tell you one thing for certain. I'm NEVER going to buy anything made by HP, at least while Ms. Fiorina and others of her ilk are at the helm there.


Don't forget to boycott Compaq as well. I am doing the same. No more shopping at Wal-Mart, or purchasing HP, Compaq, Levi, or Dell products. I will buy American made products whenever possible.
It is amazing how quickly Americans forget how they got here in the first place. American programmers are not bad, but they certainly do not deserve the premium with respect to programmers from other countries that they were used to, and should not really blame Carly Fiorina for stating the obvious. This premium was not based on higher skills or higher performance - it is well documented that American programmers write half as many lines of code per day with twice as many bugs per line in comparison to European and Japanese programmers. The premium was all based on hype and spin in the 90s - somehow it was decided that American software and Internet companies were worth a lot, demand for programmers in US increased, and their income skyrocketed. Even very mediocre people decided to make a career change and get into IT, and it even worked for some time, until the bubble burst.

However, the costs skyrocketed too - housing, education, health care, entertainment, etc. are unbelievably overpriced in US. Now it turns out that people from other countries can do the same programming jobs, but don't have the same expenses, and job losses in US are inevitable.

Now who is to blame? Maybe the company execs - but weren't programmers practically extorting high salaries from these same execs in the 90s? Or maybe the foreigners, for even daring think that they can compete with Americans - but aren't these same foreigners some of the customers of American companies? Or maybe the lawyers, doctors, car mechanics, and all of the other mobsters that think they can charge an arm and a leg, for depriving American high tech workers from a "level playing field" - but whose citizens are they, and why should other nations care? Or maybe the American universities which charge exorbitant tuition fees and produce mediocre workers - but nobody forced these people to go to college, right?

Now the same self-conceited Americans who truly believe high-tech jobs are their God-given right demand that corporations pay high salaries in US and not go overseas - is that rational, after subjecting them to extortion in the 90s? Or they state that they will not buy cheaper products from companies that outsource - it is, of course, their own business, but this is definitely not rational economic behavior.

Resisting the laws of the market economy is futile - these laws have brought US high-tech workers fortune, these laws will bring them misery, too. And reasoning stupidly and behaving stupidly will not evoke any sympathy, either.
funny thing is as more of these IT workers lose their jobs, and more of the middle class is stripped away, there will be less and less people to buy these goods, and you know what? When nobody buys these companies that were extorted in the 90's and that want to make a quick buck now, will go under anyways. If you cannot sell, it does not matter how cheap you make things, there still is no income. So in the end who gets the last laugh?
To respond to Daniel,

I would like to see these supposed "well-documented" statistics that are referred to. Apocryphal statements like this are reckless and lead the discussion into unprovable opinion.

I have personally had to re-test and redo much work from foreign contractors who get hired off the bat for the lure of their rate. People couldn't understand basic business terminology because they understand little of the subject matter of the task at hand until it is patiently written down or pre-digested for them.

I have been doing this work for over 20 years and the Internet boom and it's resulting salary inflations have nothing to do with the issue of most IT employment, and many IT people who were not part of this. There is only a very small pecentage of people who "made a fortune". There is a class of workers who have been just making a living in more mundane environments that are affected by these forces, without the benefit of a "fortune". There are many who are not flashes in the pan to the business of analyzing, designing, and putting to work complex business systems, user interfaces and databases that propel companies into better information management.

Consider, as it has been pointed out, Intel received legislative protection against Japanese and Asian hardware and firmware producers when they needed it. This brings up the issue of why American citizens shouldn't have the same protection as American corporations? We pay for the very protections, the laws, and environment that these corporations operate in. Any standard corporate business class will inform you that the indisputable bulk of taxes, the financial burden of this country, is payed by the middle class. You might be shocked to see the percent of the U.S. government tax income comes from corporations.

To state that boycotting companies and products is "definitely not rational economic behavior" is using the language of economics without an basic understanding of it. Rational choice of who and where to buy products is the very basis of consumer behavior as well as a social responsibility in the modern world.

Your points to rake people who were imagined as immensely "successful" in IT has colored your argument into a macroeconomic invective that ends in self-proclaimed environment of futility. What is futile is voicing your opinion and ending by calling fellow Americans and institutions stupid. Consider what HP has done for you lately and is likely to do for you in the future? Consider how your fellow citizens will feel when your profession or industry, or even, your job takes a hit.
Dear Ms. Fiorina,

I am VERY unhappy with you recent statement that "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore". That implies that there used to be such a right. The fact is there never was. But what we did have at one time was a corporate America acting in the best interests of America and the American worker. In my opinion your attitude does not benefit America much but you are personally benefiting from America greatly. My father and I served in the military at times when our country desperately needed us. We still believe that God looks out for us. But we are worried and would like to know when have you served your country and at what personal cost ?

I have currently had my job outplaced due to foreign competition. I have 30 years of experience as a senior executive in manufacturing companies located in the US. I have an MBA from a top 20 school and many many skills in business and information technology. Tell me what I should train for in this new Global economy that you think is so good for everyone. Explain to me again how this so called free trade benefits the American worker. You know that we are running record trade imbalances, federal and state budget deficits and the national debt will soon be overwhelming. Where will you go next ? To China ? Explain to me again how the best interests of HP outweigh the best interests of the USA.

You should apologize to American workers and American customers for your statement. How does it sound to the US troops serving in Iraq and their families. Does HP have any contracts with the US Government ?

Check with your lobbyists in Washington. They will tell you that more and more of their favorite politicians are worried about losing the next election to the biggest bunch of protectionists that we have seen in a long long time. It seems that many many American workers feel that people like you are trying to eliminate their jobs, and the current administration doesn't have a clue about how to deal with it. As a stakeholder with a lifetime of retirement savings invested in companies like yours, please tell me what kind of impact that will have on HP profits in the not too distant future.

I used to believe in your organization and your leadership of it. Right up until the recent purchase of an HP laserjet 1012. Never again.

A very disappointed former customer
Ms. Fiorina,
As an tax paying American, I agree with what you say "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore". This should apply to your job as well. Outsourcing your job will save HP $1.24 million, (up from $1 million in the two prior years) as well as your bonus of $2.1 million. Not to mention what you received more than $170,000 in other compensation including payment for company-required personal use of HP aircraft and mortgage assistance. Your job should go to a well educated, hard working Hindu who would be more than happy to earn 2 dollars an hour for the same crap you do.

>It is amazing how quickly Americans forget how they got here in the first place. American programmers are not bad, but they certainly do not deserve the premium with respect to programmers from other countries that they were used to, and should not really blame Carly Fiorina for stating the obvious. This premium was not based on higher skills or higher performance - it is well documented that American programmers write half as many lines of code per day with twice as many bugs per line in comparison to European and Japanese programmers. The premium was all based on hype and spin in the 90s

Look, you traitorous piece of Indian crap, you can go right back to Bangolore and stuff yourself in a crack.

"It is well documented" by lying pieces of crap who are in the off-shoring business.
I like this website
If there were prosperous times, I guess I missed them. I graduated in '97 and really got my career going in 2000, but I feel the pinch at every turn. I have not had a raise or bonus in 3 years. My pay has never been that high, so I have adjusted my lifestyle to compensate. So much for that expensive degree. Oh well.

To address the boycott suggestion. It really needs to be done. It's not necessarily the revenue that is lost by HP from the lack of individual's sales, because corporate accounts are the milk of HP. What's important is the awareness that it creates, which eventually trickles up to politicians who will agree to whatever to get into office. Such people can enat bills that punish outsourcing companies by pulling all government contracts, which cripple this company. I cannot emphasize that enough.

I'm afraid these companies are reaping great rewards from America and not giving back, by taking advantage of situation that will result in the average american worker eating rats and extinguishing what's left of the middle class. This is time when scammers and opportunists realize that there is a fortune to be made in the destruction of an empire. And you know what happened in France when were the main course.

We live in interesting time people, and I think it's safe to say that America will be brought to it's knees in my lifetime, complements to the outsourcing techniques that it proliferates.
I wanted to add something further. It is apparently uncommonly known that during the Great Depression, we had 70% employment, not 70% unemployment, 70% employment. I think that if that were better known, the voting public might realize that our current 10% unemployment is a snowballing disaster that is looming.

I blame the industry more than the company, for snowballing this situation. Our president is not helping matters either, by lying about job increases by replacing $50K jobs with $14K jobs, and disqualifying unemployed persons who have stopped collecting unemployment from the national unemployment survey. After this November, you will see the real numbers. Say what you will about our zipper happy former president, but he did balance the budget and put people back to work, as he promised. Is today's economy so physically different than in the days of the Clinton Administration? I think not. We need a change in leadership that cannot be bought and is not controlled his daddy that will trickle down to these outsourcing, or off-shoring as it's now called, companies.
To Interesting Times: try 5.6% unemployment, not 10%. If the country was at 10%, the presidential race would be a no-brainer. No snowballing disaster, either.
The Tech boom in the 1990's was a house of cards that even techies were blind to. That's why everyone expects $80,000 for your job.
I make $35,000 a year, and probably won't top $40,000 for another 5 years. I don't care, because I'm happy and satisfied. Try being a businessman in India, China, even Europe. You'll be able to afford a studio and maybe a tiny little car that couldn't be driven alot on account of gas and horrid traffic.
Here in America, you have it all. You can get fat on fast food, get drunk every night on beer while watching digital cable reruns, or surfing the net on a wireless notebook.
Quit bitching about money, people, and enjoy life. Be proud to be one of the foot soldiers in labor like me. We'll livelonger and be happier than the stressed out, thieving, callous CEO's and high paid nerds.
Outsourcing is nothing more than economic cannibalization. I think it is shameful that Fiorna and her company are taking the lead in such a short sighted practice. I used to really admire HP as one of the great American companies, but no longer.

It is my sincere hope that HP's overseas operation gets some special attention from Osama Bin Laden, and if their is any justice Ms Fiorna well be visiting when does.

Mr. Can't stand HP.

"Not Paid Much but Happy"

That is exactly the kind of tude that is detrimental to creative growth, and not what we need here in America. This makes you a very good worker bee, a very replaceable worker bee. You are SUPPOSED to grow and work towards a better future, not get drunk every night and piss your life away riding upon the coattails of great men. If all were like you, there would be no middle class.
Interesting Times.......
Typical sorry attitude from an angry, screaming, whining liberal. Being satisfied with life and what a you've been given is detrimental to creative growth? You're wrong, of course and sound absolutely pathetic in your attempt to derail "Not Paid Much" as a drunkard and a loser.

He(she)is too honest and decent to pursue a life of money grabbing; constantly jumping over the fence to see if the grass is greener. People like "Not Paid Much" are exactly what most middle class people are: they get a job, raise a family and devote their time not to griping, moaning, and looking for the next raise, but rather to enjoying the life they have.
Leave him alone, you rank, long haired hippy freak. Get a job and stop bitching to those who do have one and DON"T bitch. It's people like you that make a bad name for the American worker.

I do have a job, but not long hair. I do enjoy life rather than worrying about work, but that doesnt mean I'm blind to the inconsideration of an employer who doesnt feel that a hard day's work should engender some measure of loyalty to that employee. At many stages of career advancement, I ran across plenty of people who were satisfied at $5/hr or $9/hr or whatever. Those people are the backbone of our workforce and I'm glad they are there. Someone has to flip burgers and dump the trash, but not me. "Not paid much" is an example of a person who no longer feels they need to improve upon themselves, for the betterment of all, which does nothing for the human race, short of maintaining our existence. I cant tell if you are, based on your comments, but cussing is not useful philosophical debate.
Interesting Times:
You have completely misinterpreted my post and have also attempted to brand me a drunkard, pissing my life away and giving up on myself (speaking of cussing, by the way). Where did you get all of that from a couple paragraphs?

I have a family; a beautiful wife and child. My primary responsibilities are not to look for a high paying job that will "serve humanity", thus requiring 60-80 hours per week. And since when do I need to work for the "betterment of all?" Don't give me this crap you pursued a major out of love for mankind. If you had, you'd be a man of religion, and give all you salary to your church. The goal is to live by doing unto others as they would do unto you, NOT "Work for others as long as they pay me well."
I have a secure job that pays enough that I can spend the rest of my time watching my child grow.
My job isn't the highest paying, but it's enough to raise a family, watch my son grow and play Little League and even enough to go to Disneyland.
That's far from giving up and pissing my life away; this is living.
I am proud to be a foot soldier. We are the ones who've built this country. We're anonymous, but who cares? I'd rather be associated with the normal Joe's who work hard, have moral character and care for their fellowman and local communities. We're the backbone of the country, not the rich snobs, athletes, Hollywood freaks and politicians.
I responded to your perception on the future of this country. There was no 10% unemployment; outsourcing isn't and won't bring the country to our knees. Good God, think about all the INsourcing from countries abroad.
The economy IS different from the 90's, just as it always is in each succeeding decade. Think what you will about the Pres and his policies, but don't give up as you appear to have done: my college degree (anthropology) isn't exactly a moneymaker; but I did it. Be proud you have one. If the job doesn't pay, find another profession. I'm not being pretentious, but life is full of loopholes; it's about dealing with the hand you get. Don't give up, keep your head up and be proud.
My focus is on enjoying life with what I have, and not worrying about what I COULD have with a better job. That is NOT giving up, pissing away and riding any coattails. This IS the story of the Middle Class.
We do live in Interesting Times, but I think we always have. I look forward to the challenges ahead and the Interesting Times I will encounter.
Have a nice day and good luck to you. You sound like a good man, but please don't criticize me because I'm happy and satisfied. Rightnow, I'm getting ready to go home for the weekend and spend time with the family. I love it.
As a patriotic, righteous, glorious American, I feel that the concept of globalization has been grossly misinterpreted and twisted. Globalization means that we Americans should have the ability to sell our products anywhere in the world without the silly protectionist measures of foreign governments and to take over wealth and natural resources as we please from all over the world. When did it come to mean that our corporations can ship our jobs outside of our country?

It ultimately boils down to a lack of education; these wretched Indians, Chinese and the rest of the undeveloped peoples need to be educated as to their rightful place in the world. They must restrict themselves to running resorts, selling quaint handicrafts and souvenirs to us when we go to these resorts and perform their quaint music and dances to entertain us. They must leave high technology to us, the Americans and to a few of our loyal allies, while we condescend to bestow upon these wretches the light of Chrischiyanity as in the past centuries, supplemented with Freedom(tm) and Democracy(tm).

That is the least these ingrates can do considering how selflessly we have volunteered to shoulder the burden of wealth and prosperity and how from time to time, out of sheer altruism and immese humanitarianism, we free these third world wretches from overpopulation by lobbing upwards of a few thousand tons of munitions on them. Our natural qualities of self-righteousness and vainglory makes us God's chosen, superior people on this our planet and the rest of our universe and therefore wealth, prosperity and happiness are our birthrights and ours alone.

When these wretches learn this, there will be peace and happiness in our universe.
Oh my God, that was hilarious. It's hard to tell who's on whose side on right now. I cant rightly say that lobbing munitions is the right thing to do. I certainly am against the war and always have been, and equally certain that we interfere far too much in the politics of other countries. However, I dont mean to say that other countries are wretches, and they are they to serve our needs. They work hard for everything they have. What I am saying is that outsourcing to anyone outside a country's economic system of taxation and redistribution of wealth is a dominoe-effect downward spiral that cannot be stopped without presidential intervention (i.e. withholding government contracts from company's who are more than a % outsourced in their workforce). Eventually, all competing companies must outsource to stay competitively priced. The net result is a significant transfer of wealth that can only be sucked up for so long by the originating nation. You may now flame...
The Depression is coming. My Grandfather was born in 1930, and he told me as a child he remembers rich people were jumping out of windows committing suicide over money. In that same scenario a hard working burger flipping person would most least likely do what the rich people done. For the fact, that they know what it takes to overcome struggle, but when you're rich and born with a silver spoon that can also be a double edged sword. Most rich people don't know about hard times so when it comes it hurts them more than the poor believe it or not. Shawn Johnson, another poor man signing off.
I just want to add one more thing. I don't want anyone to misinterpret what I write. I'm not saying all rich people never went through hard times and not saying that spiritually they're not strong. I'm saying the majority of them are in that category. I also wanna say that you can't take money with you when you die. Money is a powerful thing, but a temporary thing. Something to hold you over until your physical being is off the earth as far as buying clothes, buying food, rent for house(shelter). Everything else with money is excess. Food, Clothing, and Shelter. What people need to do in order to be strong spiritually is help one another. Everybody is like a drop of water and together we represent an ocean. One drop of water is no special than the other. I noticed a lot of stuff has changed in our world, I don't know if it's for the good or bad but it's just changing. I just know that I put my best foot forward and hope for good things. Everybody should do the same. You might call me a liberal but I can relate to anyone rich, poor, black, white because we all might express ourselves differently but we all stand for humanity. We all try to survive and that's something we all can relate to know matter where you came from or how you were raised. What else is there?
I'm not from Arizona but from Idaho...this string on hp rocks. Being from Boise, Idaho, you should know this is also the land of OZ (LaserJet Labs). I am a W.A.S.N.A.C (White Anglo-Saxon North American Contractor) with hp. Is my position the result of "patriotic" outsourcing? I do find myself resisting the primal urge to lash out at the trend of overseas outsourcing to, but not when I am intellectually honest with myself (which I am 90% of the time). Hindi’s are sweet intelligent folks. They have kind hearts and are good souls. Why are we defensive now that they are getting there stuff together and succeeding wonderfully in this world economy? Would we be happier if we knew they were safely tucked away atop a decomposing garbage heap somewhere in the fly infested sweltering heat of Bangalore? “Hey, as long as we got’s our wrastlin’, a new minivan every three years and our NASCAR in-car Pay-Per-View…who cares?” Anyway, at the rate some of these 15+ year hp employees shuffle their inboxes for a living…I would gladly welcome the professionalism and dedication of an Indian co-worker (fellow-human) any day. Seriously, the old hp dawgs howl and moan about outsourcing and talk about their new RV’s around the water cooler for two hours every morning. Then when their inbox starts getting too full or their phone starts ringing off the hook they start “working”. They delete half their email right of the top, forward 25% to a new distribution simply asking, “What do you think?”. Then the last 25% gets flagged to follow up in the year 2010. OK, now that that is done, they shuffle off to our meetings to make some big plans that are sure to improve processes and profits (yeah, right). Then after a 1.5 hour lunch they wander back to their cubes to bicker with their wives on the phone for a half an hour then run off to another “important and productive” meeting. After all that is done they intentionally avoid looking at their email so as not to get stuck with something that might take them past there 4:30PM mass exodus. Guess who’s still there fixing all their stupid mistakes until 7PM or later. Yup, a damn White Anglo-Saxon North American Contractor and his Hindi buddies. Oh’ do you hear that? It’s the world’s smallest sitar playing a sad sad Hindi folk song about how out of work Americans are getting their BarkaLoungers repossessed.
It is too bad that everybody, maybe most of them, are frustrated. Welcome to the real world. No point complaining. Competition is always there. We just did not notice it in our hay days. Thats our mistake. Offshore workers and businesses were smart enough to capitalize on that.
We suck oil from the poor western african countries for the cheapest price imaginable. Where did the fairness and nobility go. We are no better or worse than other people or govt's. I guess our govt. is even more selfish that anybody else. A sad fact, but true.

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