I've been posting on DailyKos lately.

I think someone said "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Whatever.

Progs would rather die than be seen as politically incorrect. They would invite a slumdog to come in to their house and fuck their wife, just so that they could look "tolerant."

Anyway, this "dairy" got a big response from the left:

The idea that India exports software products is a myth peddled by globalists and irritional capitalists. India has hardly any commercial products, any software, any operating systems, or enterprise applications that have been developed in the country and sold world-wide.

What it does export is bodies, and if not the bodies, the output of those bodies in the form of lines of code, help-desk support, database administration, and call-center support. These outputs are not easily packaged and shipped around the world like, for instance, Japanese autos.

Much of the work in I.T. is specialized and collaborative, and requires an on-site presence. If not, a dedicated high bandwidth internet connection to the other side of the world, 24/7. This model is what fueled India, Inc.:

The blue-eyed boy of India's 'success story' of economic liberalisation, the IT industry has posted successive annualised growth of around 33% for many years. At times, the top IT companies (TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Satyam) consistently reported annualised 50% increases in profits every quarter. The industry is highly export-oriented; exports amount to two-thirds of its revenue.

India's specialisation in software was driven by two sorts of wage advantage that reinforced each other. Lower wages for Indian software developers relative to those of their US and European counterparts make Indian software cheaper in global markets. Meanwhile, the higher wages earned by software professionals in India relative to those in other industrial sectors ensured a steady supply of software professionals.

[An Indian socialist]

Once corporations started getting greedy, they didn't want to deal with the hassles of late night conference calls, power outages, and the inability to capture the subtle clues of body language that facilitate successful collaboration. So they wanted these software developers on-site, and preferably compliant.

Communications problems are cited by 75% of survey respondents. There’s a 10-hour time difference between New York and Mumbai, and cultural and dialect differences cause communication breakdowns as well. An IT manager working for Ford, who declined to be identified, says he gets emails, instant messages, and calls at all hours of the night from Satyam, one of Ford’s major outsourcing partners, informing him of network device outages. "It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 a.m. on a Sunday, Christmas, or whatever, they’re trained to be script-driven and they react right away because the scripts say to go back and find out what the problem is and get back to us," he says. "You’d think that after a few years of working with them, they would understand not to call at 2 a.m."

[Indian Outsourcing: More Reliance But More Gripes]

The Anglo programmer had earned a reputation as a prima donna in the dot-com boom, and I.T. executives wanted no more of those high-paid, creative, yet cocky professionals. Plus, those folks had mortgages, families to feed, and incessant demands for more gear and pay.

India's exports needed little more than a suitcase and a extended stay motel. They could be housed in close quarters, and still be satisfied because the alternative in India was much worse.

So they came.

By the hundreds of thousands. The H-1B visa and L-1 visas allowed American companies to fill their I.T. departments with this primarily upper-caste work force:

Most of its workforce (in some cases as high as three-quarters) is drawn from urban, upper/middle caste and landowning agriculture communities. A study of IT employees in Bangalore shows that brahmins (upper-caste priest community) constituted 48% of the workforce. The brahmins' predominance is not surprising, given their historical monopoly over higher education and employment in the formal sector, especially in south India.

[An Indian socialist]

Although though any propagandist for India, Inc. will tell you that there are major affirmative action programs in place in Indian society to help correct the massive discrimination of the lower castes, the software professionals that the country exports are almost exclusively Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas. Indian visitors to my blog claim that 40% of the guest worker visas to the U.S. are granted to one state, Andhra Pradesh (AP), home of the Teluga sect, and there appears to be a lot of animosity among the different regional groups because of perceived corruption in the fight for the relatively few view visas. IMHO, we in America are propping up a mostly corrupt oligarchy, at the expense of the careers of our hi-tech professionals.

- [Escape From India]


In the push to keep the up the impressive growth rates of the Indian outsourcing companies, many in the industry either cooked the books (Satyam) or exploited their workers even further. Per-diems got cut, as did hourly wages. Gone were the stays in motels, and now the exported human capital in the U.S. lived frequently in squalor when they weren't working unpaid overtime in rather brutal conditions in the sweatshops of corporate I.T.

Obsessed with higher growth rates, IT companies are shedding their workforces, refusing salary rises, replacing higher paid engineers with lower-paid trainees and doing everything possible to make sure their profits and share values don't fall. As a finance manager in an IT industry bluntly put it - the software industry is in the business of nothing but selling man-hours.

This is a crude demonstration of the Marxist theory of surplus value. Charging the clients for (minimum) 8 hours (at a rate of around US $80 an hour), companies pay workers for barely 1.5 to 2 hours; the rest (almost 70%) becomes surplus value appropriated by the most senior managers and by the shareholders.

Workers get peanuts and are supposed to be content with it. But with the wind changing direction; unceremonious job cuts, negative annual increments and harsher company policies, may scratch the surface of their expectations. It will lead them to realise that they are nothing but cheap labour for the West and for their bosses, who are solely accountable to their shareholders.


"lower-paid trainees"

Guess who trains these recruits? Senior American programmers. I recently worked at an Indian-based company where they were grooming the recently arrived L-1s from New Delhi to be programming leads (all had "Sr. Developer" titles), even though the oldest was maybe twenty-five. I have fifthteen years in the business, and consider myself an accomplished I.T. gladiator, and yet I was getting my code reviewed by so-called "leads." The experiance was laughable and somewhat humiliating. The "lower-paid trainees" would struggle to find something wrong with my code, and ended up bickering over formatting, not logic. That was when they could even understand the code -- they were that raw. I quit promptly and reported the company to the DOL and DOJ. We'll see what happens.

But this is typical now in the hi-tech gladiator pits of the I.T. world. Americans forced to train the indentured servants and then forced out. A purge has been going on for years, and the goal is to remove all the uppity Anglos. But to do that, India, Inc. needs to get their worker bees up to speed, and that requires an American, one who has been blackmailed into providing the training by threats of firing or denial of severance, or worse, blacklisting in the industry.

What the author refers to as "castist interests" exploiting workers in India can also apply to what the agents of India, Inc. are doing in America:

Such hostile circumstances may provoke workers to question the prevalent market system which thrives on exploitation of their labour and in return offers them only crumbs even in the best of periods. Their castist interests may conflict in their own eyes now, but a further deterioration in material conditions and the presence of a clear socialist alternative may help them identify a common interest with the working class of the rest of society.

- Link


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