Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Slumdog Outsourcing, Cap and Trade

Linda finally convinced me to rent the movie Slumdog Millionaire; I had been resisting because of the scenes showing little slumdog kids being blinded by a gangster to make them into better beggars. I have to admit that it was a good flick. I particularly liked the scene where the SM’s older brother kills the gangster and the boys escape. Very satisfying! The movie shows the flip-sides of Indian culture, contrasting the opulent lives of the gangsters who live off the destitute slumdog kids.

One scene of a Mumbai call center reminded me of the outsourcing issue that worries Americans so. I recently received a video on “personal outsourcing.”

In it an American accountant, Donald, hates his job (that has not yet been outsourced by his company). Donald has a bright idea. Why not outsource it himself, so he contacts an Indian friend Janahara who is currently unemployed. Donald offers a deal: He will send Janahara his software, data files and daily tasks; Janahara will complete the tasks and return the completed files to Donald for $10 per day. This is a good deal for both men: Janahara is now employed and Donald has time to day-trade in mortgage backed derivatives, play fantasy football and watch MTV.

But that is not the end of the story. Janahara, being an industrious entrepreneur, sees a way to multiply his income by continuing the outsourcing cycle. He sends Donald’s tasks to an Indian worker in a remote village (or in a Mumbai slum) who will do the work for $3 per day. Janahara then signs on to do the work of one of Donald’s co-workers and outsources that to another slumdog, and so on and so forth. What a deal, this globalism. Tom Friedman would be proud.

This scenario reminds me of one of the big boondoggles before the American congress, Cap and Trade. According to Democrats, the Cap and Trade system will create new green jobs, pay for the nationalization of our health care system and save the Earth from global warming. To see how it works consider the following simple example.

One of the byproducts of living is carbon dioxide, CO2, which we exhale with every breath. Since the Kyoto protocol calls for the reduction of CO2 emissions to 1990 levels, while the US population has grown by about 25%, we still living Americans are being asked to breathe less, 25% less. Now I take a breath about every 6 seconds, say 10 times a minute or 600 times an hour. A 25% reduction to 450 breaths an hour would be tough. But that is the “cap” and my government supplied breath-o-meter will inform the Feds if I exceed the mandated limit, for which I will be severely fined. However, the ingenious Democrats, following their European brethren, have devised the Cap and Trade system to lessen the pain.

All I need is a slumdog who is willing to cut his breathing down by 50% for a modest fee. Our combined breaths per hour will then be 600 (me) + 300 (him) = 900, meeting the UN IPCC mandate. The Cap and Trade system will be overseen by a US federal agency, USC&T, an Indian agency, IC&T, and a UN agency, UNC&T, each of which will take a cut from my payment to the slumdog. I figure that everyone will be happy if I pay $10 per day, the C&T agencies each take a 20% fee, and the slumdog pockets the remaining $4 per day. The poor fellow’s health may suffer, but hey, that’s globalization!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thoughts on the Obama administration's first 48 days. It used to be customary for the new guy to get 100 days to show what he's worth, but these days everything has to happen in double time. I think it's less than fair for people to carp about a 2% overhead of "earmarks" on the TARP legislation, but that seems to be what people can understand. Forget the business about bailing out our banks and insurance industry -- that's too high-falutin' for us citizens and consumers to get our heads around.

As for a national health system, I can't wait for one. That is, one not under the control of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, who seem to think they own California.

As my parting shot, I will note that "kudo" is not a word. "Kudos" is Greek for praise, and its singular.

Best regards,
Dave Kase

12:38 PM  

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