Thursday, March 27, 2008


The CEO of a large American corporation tells his Texan audience he can’t find employees educated enough to fill his ranks so he’s filling the void in India. That sounds very familiar, so … no really big deal. Didn’t you make a call yesterday on warrantee work for that new addition to your widget arsenal? You couldn’t recognize the accent but found out that you were talking to someone in the Philippines. Outsourcing has become commonplace as companies subcontract processes to reduce costs or divert the management of functions requiring competencies it did not hold internally. The current use of the term conjures up the procurement of services from another country, although the rarely used term offshoring provides a more authentic description. Either way, if you’re late on making any payments on that widget you won’t be talking to anyone from the Philippines or India, you’ll be explaining yourself to a individual skilled at making you squirm. Someone much more local.

Alright, so who cares? Everyone should.

North America’s larger corporations have been spreading the wealth. Recently hired employees in Jakarta are making a living, feeding themselves and their families. That’s a good thing. Of course, when you start aggregating manufacturing, design, servicing, telemarketing, market research, and engineering, the train heading out of town has a long tail. The complexities of the repercussions are deep and wide, however, the overwhelming signal the North American community should tune into is the statement this shift is making on education. Whether the corporate heads are rationalizing their decisions, and not really telling us that their plan is to use cheap labor, matters not. The objective is not to reverse the train, but to build new and better ones that remain closer to home. Only educated ingenuity will provide the energy.

The North American reality is that education has taken a back seat to almost every other significant sector requiring nourishment for the maintenance of a stable, free, successfully self sustaining and renewing sovereignty. Statistics in support of higher education abound, yet even the social trend leading State of California made peculiar decisions over the past twenty years to cut back educational funding. From Toronto to Texas, teachers purchase writing tools for their students. From Vancouver to Miami, the college and university doors of entry are shut tight to those who cannot, or will not, incur overwhelming debt to attend. So, no surprises on the current state of affairs. Offshoring we go.

We are each a member of the greater communities we inhabit. Commonalities provide us a belonging that unite us in purpose and in interest. While selfishness is a natural condition, awareness of our participation within the broader context reminds us to take heed. As a community succeeds and endures, so does the individual. Each generation wishes progress and greater success on the next. This can only be achieved if successive generations are more educated. Countries are living organisms whose life processes require amongst other viand, one of the most critical of all, education. Education imparts knowledge and stimulates exploration, leading to discoveries propelling greater achievements. Education can bring more to a country than self renewal, it can ignite a reach beyond the current moral, spiritual, scientific, artistic, cultural, or technological accomplishments and possibilities. Education provides a society with social and economic health, instilling mores and ethical values.

An educated population is a freer population in state of mind and more exigent in it’s social and political expectations. Through the industrial revolution, free public schooling was provided and a century ago high schools were built to meet the requirements of an evolving society.

A half century ago, secondary school education may have satisfactorily enabled a career and social cohesion. Today’s reality demands that all education should be provided to maximum capacity of individuals with conditions stimulating the pursuit with all roadblocks removed. With potentiality of perceptions raised a few degrees the current statistical trends on college and university attendance and graduation will be reversed. Once achieved, the example becomes the standard, flying in the breeze exporting this exhilaration of freedom through communication rather than armed insinuation. Universities and colleges are considerable engines fueling the economy. They should all be straining their capacities and enthusiastically expanding.

A wise American with a propensity for flying kites attached to keys, once wrote, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Observing the wisdom, and applying it will quiet the expressions of regret and the excuses for offshoring.


  1. To bad we can't address "real" issues in the presidential campaign. I couldn't tell my kids to borrow 200K for a bachelor degree. Especially for an education degree, it would economic suicide if the parents weren't able to contribute a large portion of the tuition.

    Our country is at a cross roads, the middle class is alienated. Education used to be the great equalizer. With the continued rise of multi-nationals, and increasing numbers of LBOs, being smart, and well educated doesn't guarantee success. I am personally very excited, and scared about my kids future.

  2. Commendable, however, the trend suggests we are unfortunately sliding the other way. Getting an education is still the only way out of the trenches.

  3. If we took ONE PERCENT out of the military budget, and applied it to enhancing the education of our kids, the impact would be enormous.

    The debt we are loading on our children for their college education is a burden they will have a difficult time bearing.