“Bangalore instead of Burbank”

It’s an election year and it appears yet again that few things trigger the emotional tripwire faster than outsourcing. Out here in Cali, it’s apparently the ticket Barbara Boxer is banking on to preserve her Senate seat in the face of her challenger, former HP CEO, Carly Fiorina –

“I know precisely why those jobs go…Because Fiorina shipped them there….Bangalore instead of Burbank.”

Unfortunately, unlike Boxer, Fiorina has actually engaged in the difficult and often unpopular tradeoffs necessary to run a viable company and meet payroll. Boxer ought to instead put more effort into understanding why Fiorina and thousands of CEO’s like her consistently rate California the worst state in the country to do business. As a direct consequence, California jobs are far more at risk of being “outsourced” to other states than the comparatively few that are sent out of the country.

Of course, when you’re dealing with politics rather than economics, where a job was sent to matters far more than the sheer number lost – a fact Boxer’s ad exploits to the fullest.

13 thoughts on ““Bangalore instead of Burbank”

  1. this sort of economic populism works:


    So how has Boxer stayed ahead? The answer seems to be pretty simple — some good old-fashioned economic nationalism and populism, targeting Fiorina as a greedy corporate exec who shipped jobs overseas. For example, here is a recent ad attacking Fiorina for having sent jobs “to Shanghai, instead of San Jose — Bangalore, instead of Burbank.”

    the main reason democrats shy away from it is because democratic elites are well off beneficiaries themselves of globalization. democrats talk a big game on economics, but never follow through. same with republicans and social issues.

  2. Well according to your link of state rankings, Texas was the best state for business and Illinois was ranked 46. Why is it then that the newly merged United/Continental is consolidating HQ in Chicago, and moving people from Houston? Or why SpaceX chose to base its headquarters in Hawthorne, CA, instead of near its test center in McGregor, TX?

    http://www.chiefexecutive.net/states2010/map.asp — if you rank the states by workforce quality, you get a much different picture, with CA ranked number 11. Remember that while the CA government may be broke, the businesses are for the most part actually doing alright. This is why Boxer’s message works — she’s playing to the workforce, because ultimately that’s what keeps businesses in the state.

    • you’re right – and frankly I’d like Boxer’s non-experience to continue on, rather than trading her in for a model that has already broken down (Fiorina didn’t do so well at HP, remember?). I’m a SIlicon Valley, CA, voter and I know who I want to stay in office. Frankly, when fiorina ‘sent all those jobs back to bangalore’, all the indians who used to work in palo alto/santa clara just moved back to india and got jobs there. we lost a lot of talent from the bay area.

  3. No doubt CEOs would rate CA that way, but their opinions are hardly indicative of actual economic viability. Isn’t California the 5th largest global economy? Someone obviously likes doing business there.

    democrats talk a big game on economics, but never follow through. same with republicans and social issues.

    THIS. Dems traditionally have been big on domestic business protectionism, but that’s a farce in this day when nothing is really “native”. They still hump that image, though, just like Repubs hump the sanctimonious image.

  4. Hi. Why is it surprising that campaigns bring out economic populism? Starting with Reagan’s supply side economics, capital has been a major winner and labor has taken a pounding. It is only natural that labor is resorting to the only remaining avenue in a democracy, elections. I am surprised that trade or the imbalance of it has not become a bigger issue than it is. Ms.Fiorina’s side has used social issues effectively to quiet arguments.

  5. Fiorina actually brought a lot of Banglore into Silicon valley…stringing of workers along with no benefits to do sweatshop-style skilled labor for HP…and then kicked them right back the savageland.

  6. Any possible ad to just put away that incompetent Carly out of Senate steps. More power to Boxer.

  7. “Of course, when you’re dealing with politics rather than economics”

    Ever heard of political economy? These things go together. They’ve always gone together.

  8. It would be nice to see an accurate report of about just how many jobs India does get directly from the US. Because reports suggest that the number is not enormous. Far more American jobs have gone to China, Mexico and other countries. Why the emphasis on India? Besides, the US also gets huge investments from other countries, to make up for whatever ‘lost’ jobs they suffer, including investment from India!

  9. It is a zero sum game, a job moved is a job lost – forever. Thanks to the Reagan crankonomics revolution, manufacturing jobs started moving out, but we did nothing then, “Hey we don’t need to make widgets, we make high tech stuff.” As the capacities moved out to CHina and we borrowed ever more to sustain our bubble economy we did nothing. Today even the military contractors have substantial purchasing from China!

    Now as far as workforce is concerned, it is still the fundamentals that matter. Quality of education and skills, quality of life, cool factor etc. The Sunbelt cities that have all boomed have done so by attracting professional to liberal enclaves, like Boulder/Golden/Denver, Triangle/Charlotte, Atlanta, even Huntsville. Heck, the cool place in Texas is Austin, freekingly liberal college town Austin. Texas being an antidiluvian socio-economy – serf like labor laws, piss poor public edcation and healthcare, pre-enlightenment criminal justice system etc, makes the educated workforce queasy. That is why they would rather be in Chicago or Bay Area than a Dickensian Texas.