Political consequences of outsourcing

Michael Hoover hoov at SPAMfreenet.tlh.fl.us
Sat May 6 06:22:09 MDT 2000

> Since 1976 in particular, Argentina has been transformed into the
> Paradise of outsourcers. Under the general banner that "specialists"
> should take care of "subsidiary tasks", and that if you work for a
> boss who makes money on your sweat your work will be more effective
> than if you work as an employee of the State, everything from toilet
> cleaning to high tech engineering has been stripped away from the
> state institutions.
> This move began with what was by those times somehow fearfully
> described as "subsidiary privatization" in state owned enterprises,
> and was later imposed as the great answer to the "problem" of the
> Argentinian state (which problem however being the simple fact that
> it is other states, namely American and Western European states, who
> rule our state) and its so called inefficiency.
> Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky

great post, thanks much...

Among results of generalized assault on public institutions (which are
certainly not beyond reproach for number of reasons) are:

Health care: public criticism of access, costs, and quality of care
has led to growth of for-profit health maintenance organizations (HMOs).

Primary/secondary education: under guise of giving parents & students
more 'choice' in school selection, vouchers, charter schools, corporate
takeover of public systems exaggerate and further institutionalize
inequalities that already exist.

Colleges/universities: Support personnel have borne brunt of so-called
cost containment efforts via outsourcing, layoffs from downsizing,
increased performance expectations, job changes unaccompanied by
higher wages.  Ostensible reduction of costs *and* generation of new
revenues pursued via hiring part-time and contingent faculty at sub-
professional wages, investing in new technology to reduce faculty labor
costs in delivering curriculum, capitalizing on intellectual products
created by faculty labor.

Social welfare: Goal of keeping as many people as possible from receiving
assistance led to devolution to states which have strong incentives to do
little about poverty because they 'save' tax money and encourage poor
people to leave ('race to bottom' in which states view with each other
to cast off responsibility for poor).  State discretion fails to provide
assurance that child care will be affordable, that job training will be
sufficient, that jobs will be available, that wages will be high enough.
Outsourcing 'job training' programs means public subsidies and cheap
labor for private sector.     Michael Hoover

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