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       Saturday, March 04, 2006

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By Lonnie Hodge


Much is negatively spoken about outsourcing to China and Mexico but, it seems India is an acceptable destination for American jobs.

The President was nearby this week. Amid protests by hundreds of thousands of Indians (mostly, according to Indian Media reports, Muslims, sociialists and communists) , he declared the United States and India were 'closer than ever before.'

It was Bush's first visit to India. And while he was there he said many things that might not help his poll numbers: "The United States and India, separated by half the globe, are closer than ever before, and the partnership between our two nations has the power to transform the world," Bush called India 'a natural partner of the United States because we are brothers in the cause of human liberty.' The INDIAN NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION Begs to differ. They list on their website just a few minor problems in India right now:

Custodial Deaths
Police Excesses ( Torture, Illegal Detention/Unlawful Arrest , False Implication Etc )
Cases Related To Women/Children
Atrocities On Dalits / Member Of Minority Communities / Disabled
Bonded Labour
Armed Forces / Para-Military Forces abuses and more...

He also, as America's legislature seeks to punish those who harbor Mexican illegals, praised job outsourcing to India. According to news sources Bush told an entrepreneur during a meeting at Hyderabad's Indian School of Business that "people do lose jobs as a result of globalization. And it's painful for those who lose jobs". He said the U.S. would face job losses by teaching people new skills rather than discouraging outsourcing, and '...reject protectionism. We won't fear competition. We welcome competition, but we won't fear the future either because we intend to shape it through good policies," Bush said. "People in America should, I hope, maintain their confidence about the future," said Bush. A recebt Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans say the U.S. economy is getting worse, not better.

This when outsourcing (have you called Microsoft for tech' support lately? Have you asked your physician where your medical consult' records were typed up?) and software exports will have brought India more than $20 billion from last March until now--60% of that from US companies.

India, even with 80% of Indians living on an average per-capita income of less than a Chinese laborer ( $2.00 a day versus $4.00 in China), has created a new middle class that is bigger than the entire population of the United States. And luxury goods makers like Rolls Royce are establishing businesses to meet new demands.

The US trade deficit with India nearly doubled, to $10 billion, from 2001 to 2005.

No, I am not Bush bashing. I just wonder why we always seem to have a flexible (damned near contortionist) foreign policy contingent on the country we are courting for one agenda or the other.



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posted by Lonnie at 2:19 AM  


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