Thursday, January 29, 2009

• Should Bailout Beneficiaries Be Outsourcing Offshore?

Congress and the White House have left a moral dilemma for American taxpayers to resolve for themselves. Government has not shown diligence enough to install common sense agreements onto the multibillion dollar bailouts. Should recipients of taxpayer favors continue to send jobs offshore?

In the past year thousands of jobs, some very high paying jobs, have been eliminated across the country in companies receiving bailout money. The jobs have been terminated for U.S. workers, but they have reappeared in other countries. The benefactors? Hundreds of thousands in the Philippines and India, for example. These are beyond the usual consumer service and support types of jobs. These jobs are in research, bill payment and collection, credit analysis, and investment banking.

Why would Citigroup and Bank of America, among others, be gifted tens of billions by American taxpayers, without restrictions or conditions on use of the funds through contracts? Who is really handing out bailouts with no requests for the repatriation of jobs, where possible, such as all those jobs these companies outsourced? Are these stalwarts of American capitalism also receiving “bailout cash,” to swaddle their failures, from India and the Philippines perhaps? Not a chance. Why are senior corporate executives complaining about not being able to find necessary expertise when the competence was fired and replaced with talent on the far side of the globe? Any chance that this is rationalization by CEOs for the hiring of cheap labor?

Companies should be allowed freedom to manage as they see fit, …unless. When the Administration and Legislature decide to put taxpayers on the hook for trillions of dollars to bolster failing businesses, it is NOT right that those very same taxpayers be sent to the unemployment lines by those very same companies.

This lack of interest, ethics, humility, inquisitiveness, attention and duty by the Obama White House and the Pelosi Congress is confusing. Is no-one paying attention? Is leadership delinquent? Is pomp and circumstance the new prevailing flavor in Washington, overriding any expectation of thoroughness over such significant decisions? This leads one to become extremely suspect of the rush to implement stimulus packages. Nothing ever receives proper attention, or is ever effectively implemented behind the leadership of panic. This is not a welcome sign for the onerous road ahead. And don’t bother looking for any other signs pointing to creativity.

Of course, emerging markets have a right to continue flourishing, but this is not a debate on protectionism. This is a questioning of common sense. Taxpayers are not served well with the continuing export of jobs by the very companies they are sinking into debt for. Is the creation of JOBS not the principal objective of a "stimulus package?" It appears the navigators are too unfamiliar with the terrain, and diligence over the cordial doling out of billions is under the administration of extremely poor negotiators.

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