Globalization, Out-sourcing and Brain Drain: A Context

Posted on October 7, 2010 in Biz and Eco

By Abhirup Bhunia:

Globalization and its feats will perhaps take too long to enumerate but it cannot but be agreed upon that the need to do an overall rethink has never looked more intense. To put things into perspective, one should know what propelled people, academicians, policymakers, scholars and pundits to brood over what was only recently thought to be undisputed, ever-present and fundamentally indispensable — globalization.

The present disintegration of the world economy that has made its mark in the United States more than anywhere else resulting in an all time low employment level is at the heart of this renewed deliberation over globalization. The grisly figure of one out of every seven Americans living in poverty can only contribute to the falling image of open economies. American protectionism, in conjunction with unemployment, has thus arrived at the zenith. The obvious question is: What is the future?

Outsourcing of jobs to China and India, the emblematical examples of what we call a developing nation or emerging economy, by corporations eyeing profits has called on a political hot potato. Ohio banned outsourcing, USA vowed to extend disincentives by lifting tax breaks to companies that contract out jobs to other nations. And the hike in H1B visa fees to fund the security of US-Mexican border played the amplifying role. India, which stands to feel the impact of such protectionism the most, reacted sharply.

And strategic experts even see looming diplomatic fallout. All that is commonplace — another ambassadorial meet can wind up the row. What’s not so easily terminable is the shock outsourcing — an oeuvre of globalization — has brought about in rich countries particularly America; and as politics is everywhere, here’s a political upshot of that: Obama’s approval ratings are plunging every passing day. The range of American jobs increasingly taken over by Indians and Chinese for lower wages in lower income lands has enough heat in it to result in odium or a hate campaign against the ‘usurpers’ — nothing that’s exceptionally unknown or improbable.

If outsourcing is a knotty problem, the flip side of it is no easy stuff. The exodus of intelligent minds makes for India a conundrum evening out the cases for America and the like and the India-like nations. Brain drain or human capital flight caused by interconnectedness, compounded by student migration thanks to superior quality higher education available abroad — and equally superior brains in developing nations — in particular India, stays put as a concern. But the balance is the key, say specialists. And that’s what people tend to miss, strive to find, or fail to obtain these days.

If there is one thing that people transcending nationality need today and evermore, keeping in mind the human angle to this entire debate, it’s the stability factor.

The writer is a Special Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz. Contact him at [email protected]or follow him @abhirup1

Image courtesy: http://www.themartianview.com/2010/08/tax-dollars-are-being-used-to-train.html

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