Read the two short articles below to understand two sides to the outsourcing argument. Take notes, as the articles may present information you might want to reference in your assessment.
When you look at most of your electronics, clothing, and other housewares, there’s a good chance that somewhere on it you’ll find “Made In China” or “Made in Vietnam.” It’s less likely, however, to find something that’s marked “Made in the USA.” Why? Simply put, outsourcing jobs overseas is cheaper.
For large corporations looking to grow their industry and sell goods cheaper and faster, outsourced labor is the answer. Labor overseas can be anywhere from five to 20 percent of what it costs in the States—which is a huge cost savings. But what does that mean for American jobs?
Recent statistics show that over two million jobs were outsourced in 2013, with the bulk of them going to China and India. With American employment at a low, it’s easy to argue that those two million jobs would have been better kept for American workers.
Industries such as manufacturing, IT services, distribution, research and development, and call centers are commonly outsourced to different countries. Slowly but surely, many factories around the U.S. have, and will continue to close due to outsourcing. One instance includes Whirlpool, who shut down its Evansville, Indiana factory in 2010, after 54 years, to move its refrigerator assembly operation to Mexico. This resulted in the loss of 1,200 local jobs.
For the workers at Whirlpool, and many like them around the U.S., losing their jobs due to outsourcing was disruptive. Not only had these workers been with the companies for several years, but in most cases, it was all they had ever done. Closures due to outsourcing leave these workers, many of which had plans to retire with the company, to look for new jobs. This becomes increasingly difficult, as the jobs they are qualified to do are disappearing, all going overseas.
While outsourcing may be a great, cost-effective option for corporations, it does severely impact those Americans whose jobs were cut as a result.
Coffee from Brazil. Cars from Japan. Wine from France. Certain goods from around the world have become known for their quality. While we want to continually support the American economy, sometimes what we want is manufactured elsewhere. But that is not a bad thing.
The notion that in order to support our country’s economy, we must only produce and buy within it is far from the truth. Take Brazilian coffee, for example. Many people may say coffee beans from Brazil are much more flavorful, and their harvesting practices produce the best product. While the United States dominates in many other industries, coffee production is not one of them. So we buy from Brazil. In this way, we invigorate the Brazilian coffee market and allow it to expand.
Outsourcing is similar. When American companies outsource jobs to India, China, Vietnam and other countries, it invigorates the market for American products in those countries. In countries not as wealthy as America, things like video games, mobile games, and other products are not yet in demand. But when outsourced jobs become available in those industries, the awareness and desire for such products spreads. Hundreds of millions of potential customers are now in the business of working in and purchasing products within that market. Instead of just being a product in an American market, outsourcing allows it to become part of the global market.
With America at the forefront of creative innovation, creating new jobs and outsourcing them around the world will only continue to invigorate the American economy.
After collecting information about both sides of the debate, you will present your opinion. Choose one option for the format of your work:
Option A: You may choose to debate the issue with other students through a discussion board or there are many 21st century tools available for effective collaboration and communication in the online environment. For more information about tools your school recommends, please visit the resource tools area in your course or contact your instructor. If you prefer a live debate, ask your instructor whether an opportunity for a live debate is available. View these Debate Tips for help with a student debate.
During the debate, be prepared to cite the source for information that you share. Debate postings on a discussion board should include a citation. You will submit a list of citations for sources in MLA format
Option B: You may choose to present your opinion in a persuasive essay. View these Essay Tips for help with the written option.
Include a list of citations for sources you gather from outside the course. Be sure to include your sources in MLA format
In your debate or essay, be sure to address these questions:
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