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Outsourcing America: The True Cost of Shipping Jobs Overseas and What Can Be Done About It Paperback – April 30, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM; Rev Upd edition (April 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081440989X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814409893
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,279,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Two Ph.D.s weigh in on globalism's hottest button. In the Hiras' preface, they note that "Ronald Reagan made most Americans feel proud because he stood for American values, including supporting democracy and free markets abroad." That kind of giant, unexamined assertion does not bode well for a work purporting to be analytical, and this book is best read as a polemic. The economic arguments are legitimate, but following the CNN anchor's foreword calling for a moratorium on outsourcing, the two economist authors give subtle and not-so-subtle cues throughout, starting with the subtitle, that they find the practice dubious at best. Yet, in a refreshing change from the spate of protectionist conservatives calling for the end of outsourcing, the Hiras (they are brothers) offer a worker-friendly set of prescriptions that include adequate notice, legislated relief for displaced workers and—hold on to your desk chair—Canadian-style socialized medicine. A decidedly mixed bag, this book contains surprises. (May 26)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Library Journal: ""...an excellent book that brings clarity to this troubling subject. Given the ongoing debate, readers need a well-reasoned and sensible book like this to help them understand what outsourcing is and what it is not.""

The Public Register: ""There are many reasons why this book on overseas outsourcing is worth reading. Not the least of these is its interesting and rationally stated analysis of outsourcing’s impact on the U.S. economy.""

The Boston Globe: ""[The authors] present a clear and convincing picture.""

Chief Engineer: ""...nothing less than a wake-up call for every American. I want to encourage every reader of the Chief Engineer to pick up a copy of this important book. Read it and pass it on to business leaders and politicians. What you learn will help you and your family prepare for the future. By passing it on, you might just help to wake up American business and political leaders.""

Manufacturing & Technology News: ""…a comprehensive and illuminating account of the debate on offshore outsourcing, and one that offers some valuable tools for looking at familiar issues in a novel light.""

Inland Empire Business Journal: ""There are many reasons why this book on overseas outsourcing is worth reading. Not the least of these is its interesting and rationally stated analysis of outsourcing’s impact on the U.S. economy."""

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. LIttle on July 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Outsourcing America is a book worth reading. Hopefully our policy makers and corporate leaders will read it as well. This book makes us think about the complex issues related to off shoring. It certainly makes us want to know more about the longer range effects of current policy.

Outsourcing America raises important questions. Why do we have tax incentives for those who off shore? Couldn't American companies achieve the same level of cost reduction if we did a better job of implementing lean manufacturing in U.S. facilities and save jobs at the same time? Doesn't off shoring put intellectual property at risk? Are we off shoring our innovation with respect to manufacturing methods? Is off shoring a quick fix for American companies that allows them to avoid dealing with more difficult changes necessary to achieve competitive advantage in a global economy? Are we capturing all of the costs associated with off shoring?

This book presents an excellent perspective on off shoring issues. What we need now is hard data, systematically gathered and without bias, to better understand the future effect of current practice and current policy on the U.S. economy and its job markets.

With so many vested interests involved in the debate, as detailed in the book, a study, without bias, will be difficult to achieve.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John A. Taylor on September 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have recently retired from a 38 year career working with people getting displaced from jobs. The Hiras description of what has been happening, especially in the last 5 years, is extremely accurate. Virtually everything I had read, heretofore, was solely on a macroeconomic basis. I kept wondering where are the studies about the people affected? Where are the analyses of all the other negative effects?

Outsourcing is not going away, but taking the overly optimistic approach used by so many simply doesn't cut it. In my observation, it only makes it worse. I have seen a very large number of people whose lives were permanently & negatively affected. The Hiras pointed out, accurately, that often retraining efforts are not successful, for a variety of reasons. But retraining coupled with a lot of preceding work with a knowledgeable employment counselor can be effective. But this is not a 'quickie' process. It does take some time. However, adequate time is not granted. I have seen training and reemployment funds steadily, often dramatically, reduced, often running out 3 - 5 months into the new fiscal year. Staffing for this type of assistance has been reduced to an absurd level.

Often, the best assistance to give to people in this situation is not retraining but just employment counseling, since the world of work as they knew it has changed so dramatically. A major reeducation process is needed as well as a serious self-assessment. A very large number of these folks had never known a day of unemployment in their lives, and felt blindsided, betrayed, angry. They had worked hard and well, were told by their employers that they were valued, played 'by the rules' (They thought. They didn't know that the game had changed, completely.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Byrne on May 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There is probably not a topic that draws more emotional response in the information technology community than the offshoring of jobs. This change is not new in business as many people in the textile and manufacturing industries have lost their jobs to other countries, and this trend in IT is just the beginning of what is going to happen in all white collar professions in the coming years. Industry and politicians claim that displaced workers will find new careers and that this is good for the economy. But try telling that two people like my brother-in-law. He worked in textiles for 38 years and recently lost his job when his plant was shut down. With no pension and a difficult job market, what is he to do? And what happens when "astroturfing" type analyst reports are underwritten by industry?

It is the raw emotion of the polar ends of this debate, as well as the inherent appearance of bias, that seem to have driven Ron and Anil Hira to write "Outsourcing America" (AMACOM, 2005, 236 pages), in which they attempt to cut through the emotion to look at the real issues. It is clear that they went into this project with a clear bias, which is reinforced by having Lou Dobbs of CNN write the foreword. They also make some mistakes in their discussion of government contracting. Notwithstanding, they do succeed in identifying issues and implications for society as a whole that need to be clearly studied and discussed without emotion before a final judgement should be made.

Issues like offshoring are hard to discuss without emotion, but they are also hard to explain to the average person when couched in economic terms, so the authors do their best to make their points in a s straightforward a way as possible. However, they do tend to repeat themselves a few too many times.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Robert Oak on May 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
If you are involved or concerned about outsourcing and use of guest worker VISAs, this book is for you. If you have no idea what the outsourcing fuss is all about, this book is for you too!

Ron Hira bursts through the myths and propaganda on outsourcing with verifiable statistics and detailed analysis. Just a few gems are the exposure of venture capitalists demanding that startups offshore outsource in order to receive funding, long term economic implications if outsourcing and use of guest worker VISAs are not addressed, "expert" studies promoting outsourcing exposed as being based on faulty data and assumptions, and the true reasons corporations are moving jobs offshore. Hira & Hira also give policy recommendations and a list of legislation introduced at the federal level.

A major highlight of this text is the use of detailed references. Every chapter lists a series of expert studies for further reading. Yet, the book is written as a fast read, without the typical academic dryness one would expert from a public policy expert.

Absolutely a must read for anyone who wants unvarnished and factual information on the state of offshore outsourcing in the United States.
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