RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — We asked for reaction to the new Duke University study on the growing trend to outsource American jobs ( ) and we got an earful.

Here are some samples:

“The only reason offshoring will continue is because of economics (corporate greed),” one disgusted reader wrote. “The greed is so strong that we will not even make an attempt to improve our infrastructure to remain competitive and a world leader.

“Corporate American will continue to go after short-term gains and abuse labor world wide at any cost!

“It will actually be the downfall of the middle class and this country. Unfortunately Capitalism has no concern for our country or for people.

“We will loose many industries and destroy many families along the way. Those that will benefit will be the few at the top. The losers will be you, me and our children.

“Ask yourself, what career path you would recommend for your children? It had better be in the hospitality area because that will be there future.”

Scary thought, that last one.

Quiet treason?

An out-of-state reader sent in a long, anger-filled series of letters written in recent months.

“Archstone and Duke’s ‘study’ is based on 90 large companies. I would like to know how many of those 90 companies are already named on Lou Dobbs’ website list of American traitors,” said the laid-off IT worker from Connecticut who copied LTW on a letter also sent to The News & Observer. He lost his job after 9-11.

“You tell us ‘political backlash had no influence on their decisions. Only 4 percent postponed offshoring because of the backlash, while nearly a fourth moved forward quietly. To me, that implies that 24 companies are acting as if they are doing something illegal, immoral, unethical, or criminal. Hide it, quietly, as if it were an act of arson.”

The ‘other costs’

Another worker, who still has a job, said the trend of outsourcing is influenced by factors other than saving money.

“I am one of those who are fortunate enough to still be employed — I am in a position to see a lot of this first hand.

“There are other factors in play that you fail to cite:

“One is a lowering of expectations by corporations for service delivery levels with outsourced processes. They will all deny this, but I have never seen major reductions in acceptable service levels fail to occur!

“Another is a generalized overall reduction in US IT staff, at the same time outsourcing is being transitioned. This reduction is always cited as a result of outsourcing, but I have never witnessed a 100 percent correlation.

“In either case, the remaining US staff are forced to pick up the slack created by “less than advertised” outsourcing agreements. Your assertion that it’s ‘money, money, money’ is absolutely correct. It is my opinion that, in the end, CEOs and CIOs do a disservice to the corporation by being so intently focused on reducing costs, at any cost!

“Unfortunately, I remain unconvinced the stated objectives of outsourcing and NIV workers bear any resemblance to the true purposes.

“Other ignored factors are reduced service levels for outsourced work and a generalized reduction in US staff during the transition period; never fully correlated.

“Corporations will deny reductions in service levels, but I have yet to see them not, at some point, be lowered. In either case, it’s the remaining US staff that is forced to pick up the slack!”

After he shared his comments with other people, the writer contacted me again:

“I was asked to be sure you are also aware of the following ‘hidden costs’ for outsourcing (though I am certain that you must be already aware):

“Travel time and expenses for sponsoring offsourcing management, communication break down cost, turn around costs for fixes, testing time escalated cost, knowledge gap costs.”

Duly noted.

Then came the note from a reader wondering about “burned” projects.

“Obviously these statistics do not include those projects that have been burned badly by outsourcing efforts and those costs that are attributed for getting the projects setup for outsourcing,” the writer said in reference to the Duke study. “That is a substantial cost within its self. Real systems people are not fooled my ‘real wasted money’. Why have major outsourced IT projects been pulled because of extensive cost over runs?”

To see Duke study, go to:

Send us your thoughts

We are interested in your feedback. Outsourcing is not going away. How do companies balance the bottom line with loyalty to country and community? What should workers be doing to fight back? Why isn’t there more political debate? Send your comments to

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Rick Smith is managing editor of Local Tech Wire.