RE: Don't believe the offshore hype?

Subject: RE: Don't believe the offshore hype?
From: Steven Jong <SteveFJong -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 07:21:53 -0500

Geoff Hart (hi, Geoff!) wrote:

>> I think the problem is exactly the opposite of what you
>> suggest: the problem will be serious in the short term, and will only
>> resolve itself over time as enough influential customers complain.

To me, the critical word is "as." If influential customers complain, the situation might improve; if they don't, the "problem" will become the normal mode of doing business.

I read just the other day that Wal-Mart is now the country's second-largest employer, and accounts for an astonishing 20% of all US retail sales. How do they do it? Their "low prices, always" philosophy. And how do they achieve THAT? By signing contracts with major suppliers with a clause that the wholesale prices must decrease 5% every year. (They clearly have the buying power to get away with that condition.) The result? Their suppliers are leading the offshoring charge.

Now, it seems to me that such a policy runs afoul of reality on several levels. US consumers and US workers are one and the same; a company that large is its own market, and can't get rid of one without losing the other. The American way of marketing and consumption is "more for your money," which drives innovation and the standard of living up; "cheaper all the time" goes in a different direction--maybe a better direction, but a different one. I don't have a high opinion of Wal-Mart, so I'm biased, but I would ask you to consider whether being a consumer in a Wal-Mart world of cheaper and cheaper would work out if you were also a worker in that world.

Anyway, as a consumer, I think the critical action I must take ... is to complain. Complain about poor products, complain about poor service, complain about poor support. You should, too. We should always complain, whether the support person is in the next town, the next state, or the next hemisphere. This applies to poor technical writing, and everything else.


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