No-hype Linux and High-Stakes Offshore Outsourcing

NWC reader Steve Jones poses the question, "When the dust settles in 20 or 30 years, what will be left?", in response to a recent Offshore Outsourcing article.

February 13, 2004

3 Min Read
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No-hype Linux

Just wanted to thank you for writing one of the most truly informative, no-hype Linux articles I've read lately ("Inside Linux," Feb. 5, 2004). Network Computing relates these topical issues like Linux adoption on fundamental facts--without relying on the eyeball-catching "Microsoft is dead" type of headlines. Linux is great for some purposes, not great for others. To be taken seriously, its role in the enterprise should be considered realistically. Thanks for not declaring 2004 "Year of Linux on the Desktop."

James Boike
A&R Partners
[email protected]

High-Stakes Offshore OutsourcingI just finished reading Rob Preston's editorial "Get Used to Offshore Outsourcing" (Jan. 22). Unfortunately, the global economy tiger we helped build is now attacking us. So far it has gutted most of our manufacturing industry, completely destroying our small appliance, textile, leather and shoe, clothing and most of our high-tech component industries, to say nothing of the attack on heavy industry. It'll attack the white-collar industries next. In 10 years we will have as little IT development in the United States as we have TV assembly.

When the dust settles in 20 or 30 years, what will be left? We will be an also-ran nation with no middle class and few wealthy individuals because of astronomical taxes, raised in an attempt to keep government running. There will be little intellectual capital because the remaining jobs will be those that cannot be moved offshore. Eventually our executives will be at risk as our companies are swallowed by foreign ones (read DamilerChrysler) or move offshore to avoid high taxes and obtain lower-paid junior executives.

Perhaps then our leaders will realize that all this could have been avoided if they devalued the dollar to match inflation and slapped economic sanctions on any nation that refused to allow its currency to float free.

One hundred years ago, Great Britain led the world. For most of the 1900s, the United States was the global leader. This century, China looks to be the next in line. A vice president at a Fortune 100 company said that the United States was able to take over world trade from the British because of our ample labor supply and good management training. Sound familiar?

Steve Jones
Systems Analyst
Company name withheld by request
I don't agree with everything Rob Preston said about offshore outsourcing, though I agree the issue is emotionally charged. We're talking about people's livelihoods and the ability to provide for their families.

In the early 1960s, Japan was trying to infiltrate our auto market. The Big Three laughed at their products as cheap and poorly made. Japan automakers got the message and built a higher-quality, less-expensive car. And the Big Three went into a tailspin from which they're still trying to recover.

We've "offshored" just about all manufacturing. But outsourcing our high-tech jobs overseas will have a much broader impact. And this time the product won't be better than what's developed here. Who's going to buy all this "cheaper" stuff if unemployment is so high here? I won't be able to support your global economy if I'm not working.

Name Withheld by Request


Nterprise Linux Services 1.0 ("Raising the Operating System Stakes," Feb. 5) includes limited Ximian Red Carpet functionality. Additional functionality requires the use of Red Carpet Enterprise.

Frederick Gallegos, quoted in our Nov. 25 Career Coach, is affiliated with Cal Poly Pomona.

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