Hell freezes over

This might be the first thing that Trump has ever done that I agree with. He’s fired the head of the TVA and directed them to hire US workers rather than outsource technology jobs to other countries.

This is extraordinary in a few ways. First, it’s taken three and a half years for him to do something I think is useful and patriotic. And he’s done it in a time when he seems hell bent to do the most damage he can before leaving.

A second way this is extraordinary is that it’s an intelligent, insightful move (I wonder who pushed him to do this?). IT outsourcing has long been the lazy executive’s way to save money, or appear to save it. In my experience – and I’ve seen a lot of them – most outsourcing contracts are damaging and disruptive to the company’s workers and save little or no money. They look good in theory (if your sole focus is reducing cost), but in practice they’re a hot mess. It’s much better to focus on refining your work process, retaining your employees and creating a high-productivity culture than it is to just move work to a country that pays half or less of US wages.

And in this time of record unemployment, it’s just wrong to axe jobs of US residents and send that work elsewhere. Morally wrong, ethically wrong and common-sense wrong. So for whatever reason Trump has taken this stand, I’m grateful. From the article: “TVA’s action could cause more than 200 highly skilled American tech workers in Tennessee to lose their jobs to foreign workers hired on temporary work visas, according to the White House.”

Oh yeah, and the CEO of the TVA – a large energy utility with socialist origins in the previous Great Depression – is making $8M per year. The TVA board’s defense of that salary is that it is in line with the salaries of other large company CEOs. There’s some deep irony here – an organization created by the Federal government to create jobs, originally funded by taxpayers, is now a profit-before-everything organization led by a CEO “earning” 100-200 times what their typical employee makes. Again, it’s extraordinary that Trump, of all people, has taken this action.

The sound you just heard is hell freezing over.

 

 

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