Saturday, February 11, 2012

Larry Summers Mocks Opponents Of Outsourcing As “Luddites”

Sometimes, it's a good thing to define your self by who your enemies are, or at least if not personal enemies, people whose worldview is diametrically opposed to your own. I've actually said about particularly loathsome professional colleagues I've worked with over the years who hated me, "If he/she actually liked me, it would cause me to wonder what I'm doing wrong."

In that spirit, I thought I would call attention to a recent article posted by the Republic Report about a horrible little toad and flat out psychopath who had some choice words for people who share my views on globalization:
Prior to joining the Obama administration as the director of the White House National Economic Council, Larry Summers faced a barrage of criticism after it was exposed that he received hundreds of thousands of dollars from major banks for a series of speeches he gave in in 2008. Despite this conflict of interest, the administration expressed full confidence in Summers’ role as a chief economic adviser to President Obama, telling the public that he was primarily interested in crafting economic policies that help “families across America.”

Summers has since left the administration, and is once again on the corporate speaking circuit. Last June, he appeared at the 2011 World BPO/ITO (Business Process Outsourcing/Information Technology Outsourcing) Forum, which took place in Jersey City, New Jersey. The Forum featured participation, attendance, and/or lectures from executives from many of the world’s top corporations — including AT&T, Pfizer, Coca Cola, Home Depot, and Morgan Stanley — in a number of meetings and presentations about outsourcing labor services.

Summers lectured as the closing keynote speaker for the event, and was introduced by Surya Kant, the North American president of Tata Consultancy Services (which is listed on the event’s website as a sponsor of his speech), a Mumbai-based company that specializes in outsourcing. According to excerpts of his remarks released by event organizers, the former chief economic adviser actually championed outsourcing:

For executives planning their strategies in light of the “new normal” economy, renowned economist Larry Summers has some important advice: “There are those today who would resist the process of international integration; that is a prescription for a more contentious and less prosperous world…We should not oppose offshoring or outsourcing.”

With the unemployment rate at 9.4 percent, Summers compared critics of the outsourcing of American jobs to “luddites who took axes to machinery early in England’s industrial revolution.” Unfortunately, the full of text of Summers’ remarks is mysteriously missing from the website — particularly odd given the fact that most of the other keynotes are posted online.
Well, if being a luddite is wrong, I don't want to be a technophile. Note the name of the conference in question: Business Process Outsourcing/Information Technology Outsourcing Forum. That's right, the one-percenters are so hot to offshore your job to cuts costs that they actually have professional conferences to discuss how to do it. The article goes on to relate an anecdote from the conference:
During another session, Amit Mukherjee, the president of Ishan Advisors LLC and an executive advisor at Babson College, asked attendees a pointed question, “How many people in this room agree with the statement that a free market in global sourcing is good for America?” As the audience’s hands shot up, he replied, ”Okay, so almost everybody agrees with that statement. Fair enough.”
Not "good for America," assholes. Good for the one percent. I desperately hope that someday the people of this country whose livelihoods are being sold down the river by you scumbags wake up to the point where it becomes physically dangerous to say such things in public.

Anyway, the article concludes by speculating on what Summers' next appointment is likely to be:
In recent weeks, there have been rumors that Summers will be nominated to head the World Bank — despite having signed off on a memorandum during his first tenure there that praised the advantages of dumping pollution in developing nations — by President Obama. One has to wonder if the administration is at all troubled by Summers’ continued advocacy on behalf of big corporations as it mulls once again installing him in a position of great influence.
Troubled by Summers' position on outsourcing? Why exactly would the administration that just rammed through the latest "free" trade agreements with Panama, Columbia and South Korea be troubled by that? President Hopey-Changey knows his dimwit base won't desert him no matter how many good paying American jobs he destroys. Even when they are sitting on the unemployment line with no prospects because their job got sent to China, they will STILL stupidly think he is on their side.

Bonus: Nothing personal, Panama


  1. Luddite may actually be an accurate way to describe it. The Luddites were not irrationally fearful or opposed to all technology or advancement, they did however oppose technology that they felt would be bad for their livelihoods and their society as a whole. And if you oppose outsourcing and automation, because you feel it does more harm then good, you are a Luddite.
    But of course, to the technocrats and managers or owners, any and all ways you can cut costs is always "a good thing" and anyone that would oppose you must be marginalized and made out to be extreme or stupid.

  2. Luddites, Nazis...I think the bottom line is: anyone who says something that these free-market pin-heads doesn't like is going to get called names- which says to me that a nerve has been struck...

  3. This is why I regret choosing Information Technology as my career. 14 years down the drain. I wish I had become a plumber or a barber.

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  5. Also -

    I know you like good music, Bill. Here is some ;)

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