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CloudFactory and One Million Offshore eWorkers
By Christine Durst & Michael Haaren
April 19, 2012
America is a land of sweet dreams and nightmares.
Dreams of success and the betterment of the world, nightmares of
disappearing jobs and class descent.
The notion of using the Internet to bring a million offshore workers online – the vision of a young Nepal-based company, CloudFactory – triggers dreams both sweet and alarming. It all depends on where you sit.
“EWORK CAN LIFT THE ‘THIRD WORLD’”
In 1999, we spoke at the United Nations and passionately shared a vision very much like CloudFactory’s.
“The Internet, through virtual work, has created an incandescent
opportunity for sustainable international development,” we said.
“Now, with the click of a mouse, work can be sent from the US to
any locale with an Internet connection, no matter how poor. And the
‘First World’ can open its markets to ‘Third
World’ entrepreneurs, too. The implications are stupendous.”
Thirteen years later, we still feel this way. But there are some somber
colors in the rainbow now. These have been put there by the intervening
years of experience helping thousands of unemployed Americans –
most from the middle class – find work, and studying and
analyzing US workforce trends.
U.S. WORKERS ON A DOWNWARD SLOPE
The quality of life for many Americans has been trending downward since
the 1950s. The ongoing recession is only another dip in the slope. And
it’s not just the middle class, either; class mobility itself has
slowed dramatically. No one dreams any more of country club weekends,
or sunny retirements, or shiny chrome cars in the big garage.
Rather, they dream of having a job that will be there when they wake up
in the morning, and having enough luck to avoid hospital bills.
EWORK CAN LIFT MANY WORLDS
Virtual work can indeed bring income and opportunity to emerging
economies; witness the hundreds of millions of dollars in IT projects
alone that have gone to India. Closer to home, virtual work can be sent
to Native American reservations like Wind River and Pine Ridge. (Which
begs the question, why hasn't this been done?)
American workers can take on projects from companies in Australia and
the United Kingdom. Amazon, a US company, sells ebooks by American
authors to buyers around the world. Authors from around the world sell
their ebooks to readers here. And a kid from anywhere can become famous
on YouTube, and make money at it, too.
We salute the vision and hard work of the CloudFactories of the world.
We also salute the vision and the actions of an increasing few who
would make virtual work the electrifying global reality it deserves to
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren are leaders in the work-at-home
movement and advocates of de-rat-raced living. Their latest book
is Work at Home Now,
a guide to finding home-based jobs. They offer additional guidance on
finding home-based work at www.RatRaceRebellion.com. To read features
by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators
Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 BY STAFFCENTRIX, DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM