This is Pathetic

This story is pathetic. In order to survive, find a job, a woman has to leave her homeland, move to a low cost country, accept super low wages, to offer telephone support to....her own country.

I'm not making this up.

In October 2008, when the world was reeling from the collapse of Lehman Brothers and job markets were freezing up everywhere, Akane Natori waltzed into a new position she liked. “Things went so smoothly after applying online, and before I knew it, I had the job,” said Ms. Natori, who was then a 26-year-old sales assistant at an import-export company in Tokyo.

There was just one catch, one that speaks volumes about the Japanese economy and the challenges younger Japanese face in a country where college graduates used to count on lifetime employment with the company they joined right out of school. Ms. Natori’s new job — working in a call center answering queries from customers in Japan — was in Bangkok.

Under fierce pressure to cut costs, large Japanese companies are increasingly outsourcing and sending white-collar operations to China and Southeast Asia, where doing business costs less than in Japan. But while many American companies have been content to transfer work to, say, an Indian outsourcing company staffed with English-speaking Indians, Japanese companies are taking a different tack. Japanese outsourcers are hiring Japanese workers to do the jobs overseas — and paying them considerably less than if they were working in Japan.

This is labor arbitrage run amok. The same has happened to Americans. IBM demanded U.S. citizens move to India to keep their jobs, but now at low wages. Cisco also did something similar.

What kind of a world is it when even to work for your own country, you have to leave your own country and earn 1/20th of what you should be making?

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