Working on a piece about U.S. tech jobs going offshore, specifically, to India.
I think part of what's so hard for people to deal with, as you can see in recent coverage of the phenomenon in the SJ Merc, Business Week, Time, etc., is that the legend of America's technological unassailability that went hand-in-hand with the tech financing boom survived the equities crash and even the recession pretty well. People figured that the Troubles were mainly due to the overheating in the stock market, and once that mess evened itself out, we'd be back on track. The people who got put on pedestals/magazine covers - the heroes of the late 90s - were engineers and programmers.
Now the economy and employment pictures look to be coming around or at least stabilizing, but suddenly everyone is freaking out about India, which is where a lot of the new software engineering and programming jobs are being created - by U.S. tech companies. Smart people are smart enough to know that America has no monopoly on smarts. There was some noise in 1997 about tech-savvy immigrants coming to the U.S. and doing formerly high-paying jobs for rock bottom prices. But that gripe was nothing compared to this - having the jobs done in a place where the cost of living is a fraction of what it is here. Easy choice for U.S. companies, and are their shareholders going to complain that their labor costs suddenly dropped by 60%? Not likely.
But there's more to it: first, the U.S. companies save money and perhaps get stronger and bigger and hire more people in the US who can do stuff that can't be done in India; or they just keep hiring more and more people in India and growing bigger and bigger and their stock prices get bigger too, which their shareholders like. second, the end product is still being sold by a U.S. company - maybe to customers in other countries, even India. So that's money to the U.S..
That said, everyone I've talked to agrees that it sucks to be in a job that gets offshored. The remedies I've heard suggested are: 1. lots of retraining (as soon as you've figured out how to do one thing, get ready to learn something completely new). 2. Some kind of insurance pool that goes into a retraining fund for displaced workers.