The Indians Are Coming!

Posted on January 14, 2014 by Robert Ringer

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What’s this world coming to?  The Mexicans are attacking us from the south, and now the Indians are attacking us from … well, from halfway around the world — in their own country!  Allow me to explain.

The Mexicans have to come here if we want them to pick our grapes and mow our lawns — and the fact is we do.  But to get the brainy work done at bargain rates doesn’t require any sandals on the ground in the U.S.  Instead, we can send our accounting, MRI scans, and customer-service needs to India.

I tell you, I love Indians. They’re smart, “hip,” hardworking, quality-conscious, action-oriented, ambitious, creative … and, unlike their counterparts in China, they actually have a sense of humor.  On top of all this, they virtually invented spirituality.

Time magazine, in a cover story titled “India Inc.,” opined that the ingenuity of India’s people is the indispensable asset that has sustained its democracy and catapulted it to the verge of becoming a global power.

Best of all, India might just save America from itself — or at least prolong its day of reckoning.  By insourcing so many important tasks at one-third to one-fifth the labor cost in America, it is saving U.S. companies billions of dollars.  This money, in turn, allows those companies to invest in the shrinking number of things that Americans can still do better than anyone else — which, in turn, increases employment and circulates more wealth throughout our economy.

And with China churning out all the ticky-tack stuff we believe we need — such essentials as back scrubbers, clock radios, belt racks, and toasters — at bargain-basement prices, most Americans can still afford to blow a few hundred bucks on a pair of tickets to a sporting event, enjoy a couple of discount-fare Caribbean  vacations a year, and pay inflated prices for tract homes in the burbs.

Which means that everyone wins:  Indians get wealthier by the day and Americans are able to continue deluding themselves into believing they are still wealthy.

Two of the Time articles about India end on sobering notes of reality that few Americans are ready to accept.  The first is a quote from Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat:  “The jobs will go to those who can do them best, in the most cost-effective manner.  Geography is irrelevant.”

The second is a quote from Marc Faber, a highly respected emerging-markets investor based in Hong Kong and Thailand:  “If someone put a gun to my head and said, ‘You have to put all your money in India or all of it in the U.S.,’ I’d choose India.”

These kinds of comments might be enough to make a guy nervous if it weren’t for the fact that those paragons of integrity in Washington keep assuring us that unemployment is dropping, government spending is down, and the economy continues to recover.  What a relief to hear all this good news.

Robert Ringer

+Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

34 responses to “The Indians Are Coming!”

  1. arkan says:

    I saw an article a few years ago that it had gotten hard to find qualified Indians for IT work at the same low rate as previously, so some Indian IT firms began outsourcing to the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand.

  2. ROBERT A. MULLEN says:

    Just finished ordering ink cartridges for my H.P. printer and, of course, I dealt with Mavis in Manila. Outsourcing is a great way to beat the AFL and the UAW, but I do wish someone would teach Mavis a little more about English elocution. And, then, there's something about a chickee in the Philippines referring to a 92-year-old guy by his first name.

  3. Guest says:

    >> By insourcing so many important tasks at one-third to one-fifth the labor cost in America, it is saving U.S. companies billions of dollars. This money, in turn, allows those companies to invest in the shrinking number of things that Americans can still do better than anyone else

    Robert, I get the story, but not the point so I have some observations followed by a question:

    First the observations:
    _________________

    Its great companies like Merck, Pfizer, Monsanto, GE, whatever can outsource work at a lower cost to countries that have a lower cost of living than the US. I guess that saves them a lot of money they can use in research and other places (like executive pay). I am wondering though if this keeps up, what exactly happens to the overall standard of living here? I guess when we regress to the standard of the middle class in India we will be labor competitive again…right? I am sure we could find folks willing to work at 1/3 the pay, if 1/3 of taxes and expenses were lifted from them here.

    Let’s take a look at a company like Pfizer for instance: We pay more for drugs than everywhere else in the world because the pharmaceutical companies can't charge more in most countries legally, so they hit US customers hard to make up the difference. So we subsidize them on one hand with higher payments and then they can export jobs to low cost centers and also save money. How long can that last before the bottom falls further out of the economy?

    What about costs of education: getting an engineering degree in India cannot possibly cost as much as in the US, hmmm maybe its 1/3 to 1/5th less there. So, logically then no one here should get an education because we cannot compete with Indian engineers because they can take a lower wage from the outset because they do not have tens of thousands dollars of debt? That does not seem like a good national economic plan.

    But hey, I am willing to play along, so let’s save some real money and start outsourcing all the CEO's and CFO's. 1/3rd of a $10+M salary is a heck of a lot more than 1/3rd of $100K salary. Let’s start saving some BIG bucks!

    Now my question:
    _______________

    I am sure my observations are wrong and we should take advantage of the labor cost break we get by exporting jobs and "invest in the shrinking number of things that Americans can still do better than anyone else ."

    What it is it that we do better than others at this point? I guess we can invade countries better than anyone else on earth. What else?

    What do you see as these areas of opportunity for investment? Where we are better than everyone else in the world?

    I usually find your writing uplifting and thoughtful. Not today.

    • L N says:

      Well said!
      The devil's in the details, and I've never seen these addressed by these types of articles.

      • RealitySeeker says:

        "The devil is in the details"…..

        True that.

        Offshoring America's industrial base and outsourcing its middle-class jobs through bogus "free-trade" agreements is nothing more than hollowing out that which made America an industrial super-power in the first place and a great country to live in. In this case Washington's "Free-trade" is a euphemism for massive short-term profits for the transnational corporatists, but long-term collapse for what's left of the American economy.. But that's Ok, because so long as big-business can bribe Congress and the President into signing a non-free-trade-anti-capitalist treaty, the stock market rises and that's all that's really important……right? That and throw-away products from China….

        • silverfox says:

          Well said. Good-paying IT jobs (even the junior-most IT job pays about $80k) are all going to the Indians. While the Americans are hamburger-flipping, the Indians are sitting pretty with big bucks; they buy houses, fancy cars, etc. Now I am not against the Indians per se; after all, our government is letting the foreigners do all these. I am yet to see a concrete plan from either the Congress or the President on how to train or cross-train our people for these high-paying IT jobs.
          In addition, these guys after on H1 visa (work permit) for one or two years, apply for green card, get it and then apply for citizenship. Now this gets interesting. They bring in their parents as dependents, apply for citizenship for them, too. Once these old people get citizenship, they immediately apply for Social Security Supplemental which pays $400 or $500 month to each husband and wife. Now these people have paid a dime. And these immigrants who bring their parents, instead of being responsible for their welfare, let their parents apply for these freebies. No wonder America is in this shape.

    • RealitySeeker says:

      Guest:

      In part, I agree with you, and I suggest you read up on "comparative advantage" as it relates to "trade".

      Personally, I'm all for free trade based on open borders and free-market capitalism, but that's not what's going on in America— far from it. And until the welfare-warfare, Washington cartel is no more— including but not limited to the borders Washington imposes on its American subjects— what's left of the America we knew and loved shall only quicken its demise by allowing in cheap, illegal labor across the border, slave-labor goods in from China and outsourced services to India.

      • Guest says:

        I understand all about comparative advantage and free trade. As another person has posted what we are experiencing in the US is not FREE TRADE. We are not free to buy medicine from Mexico or Canada, or other places where its cheaper. We have to pay the full price. Free trade means free trade. You can not have free trade in labor only and tell me to read about comparative advantage and that will solve the problem.

        We have a corporatist government that legislates for multinational cooperation's benefit. That is why we will have exporting of jobs and importing of unlimited H1B visa workers, but will not reap the full rewards of free market capitalism in being able to by books from India, drugs from other places etc.

        Its a stacked game.

        Where do you see the US having competitive advantage?

        • RealitySeeker says:

          America is presently running a trade deficit; this means that America is uncompetitive in aggregate trade . China, alone, currently accounts for $293.9 billion of the trade deficit.

          But hold on, there is an item that America manufactures and exports more of and better than any other country in the world. It's not a good or service per se. It's currency, i.e., the dollar.

          Therefore, cheaply made Chinese goods are indeed benefiting Americans in the short term so long as the Federal Reserve creates massive amounts of money and continues expanding credit and so long as the Chinese communists purchase and continue to roll over U.S. Treasuries en masse. You see, we give the Chinese worthless paper and they give us rent-a-slave goods for Walmart customers.

          That trade deal is part of what is fueling a 68%-consumer economy, which the U.S. currently enjoys; however, the day shall come when the sovereign-debt bubble goes POP and the dollar is exposed as a junk-currency—- and then what? ……….. A currency revaluation, that's what, but that's altogether another story.

          • Robert Ringer RJR says:

            I think you've pretty well zeroed in on the reality of the situation, but the eggheaded media obfuscates the trutyh.

  4. L N says:

    Good point!

    Check the Indian web sites for pubs on the Magic of Synchronicity so that maybe I can get that magic for 29.95 as a pdf download instead of 129.00 !

    In addition, outsource CEOs, journalists, and attorneys (but, of course, you'll never hear that).

    Yup, as Jim Cramer said, everybody wants Free Enterprise — for the other guy.

  5. Murray Suid says:

    Hardly a new problem. Much of the leading work on the atom bomb was done by immigrants.

    And that suggests another wrinkle: The U.S. continues to important smart foreigners. For example, Berkeley California has a huge India/Indian population. Many of those people will stay in the U.S., thus contributing to the U.S. standard of living.

    • Guest says:

      I agree that has been the case. In the past we imported folks into the country who became citizens of the country. Currently, we are experiencing something different. We are exporting work and on top of that the talent that we import mostly on work visas. Some want to become citizens and stay, but most have plans to repatriate to their home countries. What we have experienced in the past, talent coming to this country and staying and blending into the "melting pot" is in the aggregate not what is happening today.

      • Satwa gunam says:

        I think american must appreciate every expat who is becoming a citizen today. As he is taking a part of the total debt of 60 usd [ population is 318,892,103 and the total debt is around 19 trillion. ] source is cia site. Further he is becoming the part of the economy which is consuming more manufacturing goods than what it exports. Can read this interesting article from the web :
        http://creative.sulekha.com/gdp-does-that-represe

        ===============================================================
        I was trying to understand the current scenario of USA economy. One side it claims to have a 14.4 trillion USD and the other side, it is getting into bigger mess.
        Referred for the composition of the US GDP. http://www.indexmundi.com/united_states/gdp_compo
        Export details of america is given in the wiki. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_Unite

        I tried to related the sector wise GDP vs. export. Interesting fact is that there is no export of service from USA the mapping is as under:

        Trillion in USD
        Trillion Export Local
        Consumption
        GDP – Total 14.4410 1.2830 13.1580
        Agriculture1.20% 0.1733 0.1065 0.0668
        Industry19.20% 2.7727 1.1239 1.6488
        Service79.60% 11.4950 0.0526 11.4424

        Actually USA only exports 0.56% of the service GDP. Does this mean that the service internally in USA is priced very high compared to other part of the world which makes everything expensive around.
        Further the faster communication has moved to link two parts of the world where the service cost are difference and there emerged the BPO.
        As per wiki, the total import of america is around is 2.115 trillion usd with a trade gap 0.83 trillion USD.
        Total labour force is around 155 million and hence the average earning of an american is around 75000 USD.
        It looks like to increase the GDP, just increase the cost of labour and the overall economy looks like it is growing where as it might be just increase the cost
        Expect other to provide their feedback on the same as i feel something is wrong which is pushing the american economy to dogs.

        ===================================================================

  6. laleydelexito says:

    Very witty post, thanks!!!

  7. Pandu says:

    "On top of all this, they virtually invented spirituality", that was relevant to most Indians.. everything is irrelevant. The concept like "Maya" makes it easy for many Indians to take things easy.They offer the best and leave the rest to God making it .."in God we trust", a phrase which Americans dearly love.

  8. Anthony Schuman says:

    How many medical malpractice lawsuits will it take for people to wake up and realize that some poorly trained Indian cannot read an Xray or MRI as well as an MD trained in the US? How will you sue the negligent "doctor" if he has no presence in the US and no malpractice insurance to protect you? Your health is not some cheap shirt you can return to the local store or to Amazon.

    • Priscilla says:

      My sister knows this only too well with her husband. For over a year he fell unconscious every couple of months (once while riding his bicycle), was hospitalized and scanned, and never diagnosed correctly.

      When the final doctor at the hospital actually looked at the scan, he was appalled at the glioblastoma tumor size in my brother-in-law's brain. He said someone had messed up big time. And he told my sister that there was really only two choices: let him be an experiment; take him home to die. He went home on Hospice that day.

      I did internet research and found that it had never been cured.

      My sister spent two weeks caring for him as he died, bit by bit. I spent the time with her. We cried frequently as we watched a formerly robust man wither and we could do nothing but pray for him.

      My sister was advised by family to sue, but you have to have money to do that. Her husband's retirement funds went to pay multiple medical bills, as he did not have insurance… he'd been forced to retire early and hadn't gotten Medicare yet.

      And from what you say, Anthony, I agree: how can one sue the negligent "doctors" in another country? My sister would have wasted the little bit of money she had left if she'd tried.

      But in the end, early diagnosis would probably not have helped because he would not have allowed himself to be used as a guinea pig for research. It was against his beliefs.

      The man was a genius in engineering highway bridges and airport taxi bridges over highways, with a big paying job. He was in demand as a teacher. He grew up doing it the old way, then adapted to computer drafting, blending the two like no others his company knew. It was a shame to lose a talent like that.

  9. Michael says:

    Robert – I bought your books decades ago and have followed your recent emails – which I valued and appreciated. I am Mexican-American and my first college was UW-Madison, I had a full-ride because I was a State Champion wrestler and had the academic credentials. After that was grad school at Stanford and Harvard. Your comments on Mexicans is extremely jingoistic and further perpetuates anxiety and resentment of Mexicans and Latinos. Those from India can bring value to the U.S. (my niece – fully Mexican-American and her Indian husband are medical doctors). However, when you sit down to eat your fruits, vegetables, and dairy products – remember, they did not come to you from your Indian heroes. By the way, I had a conversation with Michael Gerber about 5 years ago after he wrote E-Myth for Contractors (when I was Exec. Dir. of a U.S. Dept of Commerce program that involved more than $1.2 Billion in gov. contracts. We had a good discussion and I let him know that through my research found that over 40% of the housing construction employees in the U.S. were Latino – that was before the Great Recession. (All of his books are excellent, as are yours). Additionally, in a PBS program, the mayor of Las Vegas was asked what would happen if all Latinos were deported from Vegas. He said they'd have to shut the city down because most of those in the hospitality field and building homes in Vegas were Latinos. This is written not only to you, Mr. Ringer, but all those reading this who have "made up their mind" about Latinos, specifically Mexicans. Thank you.

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      FYI, my wife is Hispanic and my son was born in Manzanillo, Mexico. By and large, I've found Mexicans to be hardworking and honest, so you're preaching to the choir.

  10. BlankReg says:

    Actually, the Russians are better/cleaner programmers. Similar pricing. No one knows that. Everyone goes on and on about India. Meh.

  11. Jovan says:

    "Too many chiefs and not enough Indians."

  12. Andrew says:

    Interesting daily Robert, however as someone from the UK where we have experienced the so-called wonders of call centre outsourcing etc to the likes of India over the last 5 to 10 years I'd strongly suggest being careful what you wish for!

    I know Brits are very different to Americans however many UK companies have decided to drop the Indian call centres etc and are bringing the jobs back home because in effect the Indians can't do the jobs properly! The first big issue is the language barrier and despite claims being made that many of them speak wonderful English as the are highly educated, I'm sorry but that's just not the case.

    Given the ever changing world we live in wouldn't the US be better off investing in itself and evolving? Don't get me wrong I'm a firm believer America is the greatest country in the world but it does concern me when companies try to cut costs in order to increase profit as opposed to building more value into services etc.

    • Robby Bonter says:

      I notice that people who believe that "America is the greatest country in the world," also tend to believe that America is the ~only~ country in the world. And at least two per cent of these people have actually traveled outside the USA, at one time or another. And 100 per cent of these people do not speak one word of a foreign language. And 80 per cent of these people did not attend college, with the other 20 per cent having dropped out of high school to flip burgers. So much for "expertise," American style.

  13. No one is going to save the U.S. Individuals must prepare to fend for themselves and their loved ones or face the consequences of not doing so.

  14. Varvara M Gokea says:

    Indeed the Indians are coming – literally here on tourist visa and doing the work of the Americans.
    Check out the Wall Street Journal http://www.marketwatch.com/story/infosys-faces-re

  15. Wendy says:

    Robert an interesting perspective from your article. I am a Brit and work within the medical field, and over the years I have seen poor practice from Indian Doctors time and again. The mistakes, the
    misdiagnosis, the failed readings of scans etc the list goes on.

    15 years ago the UK out sourced the call centres to India as a money saving move. It caused more problems then good. When you called up there was the language barrier, a mechanic response and 9/10 issues did not get solved. To top it off your personal details were sold on the black market in India for fraudulent activities. At long last these call centres are being bought back to the UK after these nightmares.

    Good luck with the Indian adventure.

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      I long ago predicted that many companies will start bringing their call centers back to the U.S. because the market rejects the pain of having to deal with people it can't understand. But other jobs will stay in India, China, and elsewhere.

  16. Robby Bonter says:

    I thought India was the spiritual Mecca for the world, too, until I started watching Bollywood movies on YouTube. lol.

  17. Robby Bonter says:

    what impresses me most about India is the virtually invisible divorce rate – one per cent. With Italy, at 15 per cent, ranking second. And with the Scandinavian countries plus Finland off the chart with well over 50 per cent divorce rate. Plus the women of India are dazzling, to look at, in some many cases. Well groomed, sophisticated, brown-eyed, dark hair beauties. And they can cook, too.

  18. Alicia Rodriguez says:

    The scientifically experiments and research invented many ease for life. Education faster once efforts to achieve the goal.