Outsourcing Angst

first_imgThe mother of all issues this political season, it seems, is outsourcing, or rather the problem with it.All the Democratic presidential candidates have been banging up on it, although it does seem that Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive nominee of the party, is the least protectionist among them. President Bush, like on just about everything else, does not quite know what to think.But it is abundantly clear that outsourcing will be the stuff of political football this presidential cycle. And that means one should expect that restrictive rules will emerge over the next few months.As India is one of the principal destination for outsourcing companies, we need to be attentive to this debate.There is immense irony in seeing Americans bent out of shape over the consequences of outsourcing to its domestic labor force.For years, successive American governments have preached the gospel of free trade to the rest of the world as that has suited their economic interests.But free trade, thus far, has meant principally a supply of low-priced raw goods from the developing world and the sale of high priced finished products by developed countries to them in return.There were some hiccups in this lopsided system, like when the manufacturing base of the West began to slide and was lapped up by countries like China, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.But that cycle passed, because it was also tied to the logic of Western economic systems and lifestyle issues.Indeed, Western economies quickly adapted cheap manufacturing labor as an intrinsic component of their economic hegemony.But the transfer of white collar jobs, high tech jobs as a matter of fact, has the potential for seriously undercutting the advantages that the West has calculatingly enshrined into the global trade system for decades. Hence this uproar.The West has never accepted the idea of open trade of labor, even as it has enforced its model of free trade of goods.It has occasionally purchased this labor through limited immigration, which it modulates and controls, often in ridiculous ways. At the height of the tech boom, for instance, the U.S. tripled its quota of H-1 visas, which trades in high technology professional assets.But the policy lapsed in October 2003, just as the dot coms fizzled, so the quota is now back to 65,000. But this quota for 2004 was fully exhausted by mid February.Ironically, this shift to outsourcing would be reduced if the H1 visa expansion program were still operational. But reason and logic are not the stuff of political theater.In general, Democrats tend to be more protectionist on trade, which is actually in sync with the needs of most developing societies, who feel the urge to protect their domestic markets.However, now that America and the West have effectively browbeaten developing societies, such as India, into prying open their markets, the new American imperative to close down its own market could be devastating to both the United States and the outsource capital, India.The one relief is just how short term American public memory really is. Should the economy sputter back, this outsourcing hoopla will likely pass.Whatever these temporary diversions, ultimately, outsourcing will be driven by its inevitable economic logic, which seems, at least at present, irrefutable.But then, there is the next big thing.   Related Itemslast_img read more

VA adds regional flights new customer campaign

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Virgin Australia’s (VA) decision to fly additional regional and interstate services has coincided with the release of the airline’s new major marketing campaign, dedicated to the customer experience.Virgin Australia will increase flights on popular corporate routes between Brisbane and key regional cities Emerald and Rockhampton and also between Brisbane and Newcastle in New South Wales.“Demand from the corporate and resources sectors for more flights for each of these key regional cities has been strong,” Virgin Australia Group executive alliances network and yield Merren McArthur said.“Not only are we providing more choice of flight times but we have adjusted schedules to provide better onward domestic and international connections beyond Brisbane,” Ms McArthur said.Additional services between Brisbane and Emerald will commence on 29 October 2012, while new flights will commence between Brisbane and Newcastle and also Brisbane and Rockhampton from 12 November 2012.Virgin Australia’s innovative new campaign includes a 60-second television commercial, featuring Virgin Australia employees and was filmed on the salt plains of Western Australia.“We have completely overhauled the customer experience, transforming the look and feel of travelling withVirgin Australia both in the air and on the ground,” VA chief customer officer Mark Hassell said. “We now have a brand new product that can compete with the best airlines in the world,” Mr Hassell said. Popular Australian director Daniel Askill was commissioned to direct the soundtrack for the campaign’s commercial which features vocals from Australian artist Megan Washington performing ‘S’Wonderful’.The new advertisement was seen by thousands as part of the AFL Grand Final broadcast last weekend, while one of VA’s new Airbus A330 aircraft made a fly-over before kick-off at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).You can check out the new clip from Virgin Australia’s YouTube page below.http://www.youtube.com/user/virginaustralia/virginlast_img read more