Monday, March 20, 2006

Gee, the world is getting a lot smaller!

It's true! Globalization is zipping along and the world is a smaller place every day. I need to change my perspective, and look more broadly at issues, solutions and matters generally. I may disagree with some of the effects of globalization -- like I worry about dropping the floor on labor wages, health benefits, and workplace safety. But there is no putting the genie back in the bottle.

It seems that nearly every job can be outsourced to places in the world that pay a lot less than we do here in the United States. I have received e-mails from a guy in India offering to do legal research with trained lawyers in American law books and databases at a fraction of what it would cost to do the work in this country with paralegals. I deleted the first one or two. But then I got curious and e-mailed him back asking a bunch of questions. I have not heard back. I really wanted to know how they did their work. But it also sends a little shiver up my spine, and ought to worry not only other librarians, but also paralegals and entry-level associates at the firms!

Can they outsource legal publishing? I'll bet they can and are doing it. If they keep up at this rate, they will have outsourced everything and there won't be anybody left earning enough to buy stuff. We'll all be making the same amount as the lowest wage workers in the lowest wage factory, and the CEOs at the top will suddenly have the bottom drop out from under them. They keep doing this with the excuse that it is demanded by the "share holders." What they mean is that they will maximize their short term profits on their own shares of stock or bonuses and flee to the next big company they plan to manage into extinction, while boosting their portfolios. GRRR.

This image of the tiny world is courtesy of ©2006 Jodie Coston and World of Stock.

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