Ryan Chartrand

I’ll start out by saying that I did not outsource this article. However, the editor that had to place this opinion article in the newspaper today outsourced it to me.

Have I just stumbled upon an all-American tradition? Most likely I’d say yes.

It seems like outsourcing is as American as you can get. We do it all the time as college students.

Need to add more sources to that research paper due soon? Outsource it with a few quotes. (But don’t forget to cite them or else it will be plagiarism.) Or you can buy a paper right off the Internet.

While I believe outsourcing can be beneficial at times, if it is done without accountability from those who use it, the consequences could be harmful.

Despite the ease in outsourcing, it seems that CNN’s Lou Dobbs is basing his life’s work on telling people that outsourcing is bad. He argues that the middle class in the United States is being squeezed by corporations that move jobs overseas.

There is no doubt that he is somewhat correct. After all, why would any big company want to pay Americans high wages when they could get people in other countries to do the same jobs for less?

I can hear the effects of outsourcing whenever I have to call tech support because my computer has crashed. That effect also occurs when my dinner is rudely interrupted by a telemarketer calling from halfway around the world.

At least I know that the service is in English and that people halfway around the world are trying to relate to my way of thinking.

Of course, most of the outsourcing occurs within private corporations. Given that this is a country that uses the capitalist enterprise system, corporations do have the right to make decisions to keep their business afloat as long as possible. And that includes outsourcing jobs.

To be fair, there are some people who actually think outsourcing may help the U.S. economy. John Stossel, a reporter for ABC’s “20/20,” said that outsourcing may help a company grow and keep many of its employees in the long run.

Stossel is also correct in my opinion. I’m glad that I live in a country where if I get the pink slip due to outsourcing, I can move on to another job and start over , especially when that new job offers benefits and higher salary.

But what if that employer came from the United States government? There is the dark side of outsourcing.

Ever since the Cold War ended in 1991, the U.S. government has been using contractors to get the job done. Whether it is building a new fighter jet or making the next generation stun gun, most private contractors do a great job in keeping the military up to date in terms of technology.

However, when private contractors do their business with the U.S. government in places like Iraq, there is virtually no accountability for their actions on the battlefield. And they are using your tax dollars to do their work.

Some of those contractors are in Iraq thanks to political connections. It is a known fact that Vice President Dick Cheney used to work for Halliburton, and according to a “60 Minutes” report, the CEO of Blackwater USA, a security firm, made political donations to President Bush.

Keep in mind that these contractors are paid more than most people currently serving in the military. Many have debated what the status of contractors is in a war zone like Iraq.

Outsourcing can help a company grow and reduce operating costs if planned correctly. However, withouot accountability, it can put the company in harm’s way.

Isaiah Narciso is a journalism junior and Mustang Daily staff writer.

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