Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Corporations Fail to Serve – Part 2

In an earlier post I said that corporations fail to serve their constituencies and the nation when the export jobs overseas. Let me give a few examples from right here in the Hudson Valley:

The Poughkeepsie Journal

The Poughkeepsie Journal is exporting page layout jobs to India, resulting in the loss of jobs here in Dutchess County. A newspaper which serves the local community should be more sensitive to that constituency and not be exporting jobs overseas. Write to the newspaper, and tell them you aren’t happy about what they are doing. Then get copies of their annual report and see if top management doesn’t give themselves big bonuses for having made the “tough decisions” to cut costs. I wonder, are they going to pass along the cost savings to the subscribers? Somehow I doubt it.

IBM Corporation

IBM, a major employer in the area, continues to move technical jobs to India. IBM is having its US employees train the Indians, and will then try to redeploy these Americans to other jobs within the company. Failing that, they will be let go. This will hurt Dutchess County, but longer term we in the US will begin to lose technical expertise as India and other countries become the centers of these various activities. With more technical jobs moving overseas, just how will Americans make a living?

I might mention that major corporations have been doing multi-national sourcing for years, starting with the automobile industry. Even with this multi-national sourcing, most of these corporations maintained large US manufacturing operations. This is now a thing of the past, as entire fabrication and assembly operations are relocated offshore.


Wal-Mart is the company people love to hate, and I blame them for much of the China-sourcing we see these days. In their quest for lowest cost merchandise, Wal-Mart sources much of its merchandise overseas. Their lowest-cost approach may seem to benefit at least one constituency, the customer, but that is questionable.

In a way, I view this lowest-cost/made in China syndrome as a vicious cycle. Why do Wal-Mart customers need to buy low cost items? Because they don’t have much money. Why don’t they have much money? Because they either have low-paying jobs or are unemployed. Why is that? Because most of the better jobs have gone overseas. Why are those jobs overseas? Because Wal-Mart sources its merchandize overseas, thus eliminating many American jobs.

It a vicious cycle, and that’s why I rarely enter a Wal-Mart store. They are hurting the nation, they have driven other stores out of business, and they care less about quality and more about cost. Do we really save when something won’t last very long, and we have to replace it sooner than we should have to? To me, buying cheap (in all senses of the word) Chinese-made goods is false economy.

Toy and Other Companies

In addition, toy companies and other firms importing Chinese-made goods have flagrantly disregarded the safety of their customers. There seems to me minimal quality control by these “American” companies who are American in name only since most of their operations are overseas. Why don’t they have their own people constantly testing merchandise that is sold under their label? Don’t they have any pride in their company’s name, let alone care about the customer? Why do we have to find out about tainted goods the hard way, when they are recalled?

I just heard recently on the radio that various vitamins, supplements, and some drugs are made overseas, including China. I’m looking at labels, and where it doesn’t say where it’s manufactured, I’m calling the toll-free number and finding out. I am not going to ingest anything made in China if I can help it.

The total lack of caring and good business practices by these companies is disgraceful, and they should be punished for their poor quality control. I’ll bet their executives gave themselves big bonuses too, because they made the “tough decisions” to cut costs by eliminating any kind of quality control. Rather than getting bonuses and stock options, these bozos should be getting jail terms.

No comments: