Take a moment and imagine you’re at a party on a Friday night. The evening’s going well and that cute girl (or guy) you fancy is across the room. You call your best friend over and line up to play a game of beer pong. That’ll impress her. For the first half of the game, you are on fire. You’re sinking cup after cup; the girl can’t help but notice your dexterous abilities.
You find yourself up eight cups to three, no re-racks remaining. All of a sudden your streak goes cold, your shooting hand goes limp. For never-ending minutes you can merely watch as you and your partner fail to make even one cup. The girl starts getting closer to the other side of the table- you’re losing her!
It’s clear the game is slipping away. So you do the unthinkable. There’s a bro standing behind you who happens to be in the same frat as the guys you’re playing. He assures you he wants to show his friends up with just one guest shot.
You know the bro is known for being quick and efficient at beer pong. So you let him take your shot. He takes the ball and immediately sinks it. Partner misses. Other team misses. He looks at you- you just want to win, so you let him take another shot. Another perfect shot.
One more cup left. This time he doesn’t even ask, he knows you’re too drunk and inefficient to make the cup. So he takes the last shot and sinks it. Everyone cheers. Not for you. For him. He walks up to the girl, takes her by the hand and leads her out with the rest of his buds.
You know who you were playing as in that situation? You were the United States. The unconfident and girlfriendless beer pong player. And the guest shot? Outsourcing. Outsourcing to bro China. So your attempt to get the girl, the status as top economic superpower, actually gives bro China the ability to take her away from you. Focusing on being economically better than other countries blinds the U.S. to the erosion of economic skills due to outsourcing.
Sure, outsourcing jobs and manufacturing to China and other countries might enable you to bring down costs in the short run which lets you win the game. But in the long run everyone knows that China is a better economic producer, or in this case, beer pong player.
And that’s how outsourcing works, modeled in a college environment. I’ve been looking at the recent news and it’s bonkers. First we have the recent news from Goldman Sachs about impending layoffs. A shrinking employee pool? Nope, outsourcing. Goldman is moving roughly 1,000 jobs from the U.S. to Singapore. More like Singa-rich for all those new high paid execs over there. Goldman even told Washington before publicly announcing it, knowing that there would be backlash against the “cost cutting measure”. They were right about that one.
And then we have this absurd bridge business. California needed a new bridge to go from San Francisco to Oakland. Back in the olden days, building giant structures like bridges was the perfect way to combat unemployment. Send them to work building bridges and roads! An actual paycheck. Instead, they outsourced it to China. A goddamn bridge.
It’s built on the other side of the world and mailed over. Whooped dee doo, California gets to put cement down for the road all by itself. Sure you don’t want some of the big boy states to keep an eye while you put the pieces together? Wouldn’t want you choking on the lead-laced bridge trestles.
But let me tell you something: at the rate we’re going, there won’t be any more beer pong games or parties in our future. We’re outsourcing so much that we’re losing a lot of what made the United States the United States. Sooner or later, we won’t even be getting the Facebook event invites.
So we start with outsourcing jobs, then we begin outsourcing bridges, and then what? Online searching, that’s what. Think about it. We’re busy people, we don’t have time to look through an entire page of results let alone page two or page three. And what if you don’t search for the correct phrasing of something? Fifteen seconds you’ll never get back.
Just envision it! Entire searching sweatshops full of underpaid workers ready to do in-depth searches on the newest My Favorite Pony figurines for your niece or that highly rated Mexican restaurant in the city. We are remarkably inefficient at searching. Moving it overseas would save us time and be cheaper in the long run. No more racking up giant bills for excess 3G data plans. Let China deal with it; let their workers suffer through pop-up ads. You’ve got too many important things to do. Like Farmville.
As a person, the U.S. has focused too much on pretty crazy girls, getting entangled with Iraq and Afghanistan instead of improving itself to be more attractive. Without definite success in dealing with other girls, the U.S. just doesn’t feel confident. We’re at the stage where it makes more sense to send a buddy over to talk to a girl instead of doing it ourselves. I mean, girls like that, fight? Guys that don’t even have enough confidence to talk to girls themselves. Hunksicle right there.
“No, no you guys we’re totally an economic superpower. We just…we just have other countries do our jobs and produce the stuff we used to. But it’s totally cheaper to stay inside and play Neopets than go to the bar! My best buddy China will talk me up to all the girls.”
Listen, the U.S. did so well in the past because it knew how to innovate. Change your mechanics, adjust your arm motion, anything new to try and recapture that magic! But we’re stuck in a rut. And if we continue this way, more and more economic power and production will shift overseas and we’ll be stuck at home on a Saturday night listening to Audiobooks while playing Second Life.
So as a heads up for future generations: Don’t let people take guest shots for you and don’t let them take the third party celeb shot. It’s your beer pong game; play like you actually want to be an economic superpower.