Here's another post about outsourcing from Tim Oren, (via Scott) which seems to be the hottest topic lately among the digirati...
Tim makes some good points about being careful not to "eat the seed corn" by shipping off too many of the low-level positions and people that later become the next generation businesses. This post is *a lot* less hysterical than many I've read lately, but still it has a sense of the sky is falling, which it may be, but I think that's just how it works.
First, let me say that I'm the target of outsourcing. It hits me square in the chest. When I go back to the Bay Area I'm going to be looking for a mid-level technical job and charge at least $100k a year. If you can find someone in India who is better educated, will work longer and harder, for 1/10th of what I do and you're a business owner, I can't see why you would hire me. This is the free market and its a good thing.
Now of course, there's a fear that we'll all end up telephone sanitizers and hairdressers like in a Douglas Adams novel, but I think rather the US will end up either competing in skills or in wages in the long run. The next big thing will come and there will be a demand, not for Java programmers, but for wireless engineers, say. Well those jobs will start in places like the Valley first, then move elsewhere once those skills have moved past the bleeding edge. I think the difference between now and the past is that this cycle may take only 5 years instead of 20. But again, that's how I see it working. If you want job security, move to Europe and get your guaranteed job, 35 hour work weeks and a month of vacation a year. The price of this, however, is substantially lower salary. In the Valley I can still get (I think) a job for $100k a year whereas here in Madrid, my top salary as an engineer is only about half that. And I can promise you that the cost of living *isn't* half of the U.S., so people just do without their SUVs and consumer goods and they do fine.
Anyways, these are my thoughts on life in the 21st century.