Sunday, April 30, 2006

unskilled labor

I've been talking up my idea of outsourcing envelope stuffing and other unskilled labor from the US. I even talked to someone in the Jewish Federation and convinced him that it was viable. An experienced friend burst my bubble a little bit. He said there is no way that it can be cost effective because of shipping costs. Shipping costs is one of the things that I was going to research, but I didn't think it would hit me that hard. The question is whether I can get a nice discount rate from one of the big carriers for doing something good for Israel. We'll soon find out how Zionistic the postman really is.

Then he said that I should focus on training people with unskilled labor instead of finding more unskilled labor for them to do.

I thought about that and I disagree. There will always be unskilled people looking for work. There will always be people who are in between jobs and need something to earn a couple pennies before they find their next opportunity. Outsourcing unskilled labor because it is cheaper will end up costing your country a lot more in the long run, because with each job that you send overseas you will increase the social programs in your own country, paid for by your taxes.

Not everyone is as motivated as you and I are. There are people who are happy going to work putting in their sweat and blood and coming home at the end of a hard day with 100 shekels. I think the key to the economy is having enough unskilled labor jobs available to keep people off of the social programs.

The solution has to be in inventing new needs for unskilled labor in your home country instead of trying to get it outsourced from overseas to you. Coming up with unskilled things for people to do, that will more then pay for itself is a difficult task. The main question is this: If I had 100 people in a room who were willing to do what I asked them to, how could I best capitalize on that? What kind of Israeli service can be provided to either Israelis or foreigners, without trying to steal jobs away from other countries.

100 people in a room. Different language skills, different physical and mental abilities, different backgrounds. They will be happy to work for a minimum wage. There must be some method of pulling out top performers and training them to be more then unskilled laborers if they are interested in that.

This is a tough one. Entrepeneurship at its best. Except backwards. Instead of coming up with an idea and figuring out how to best implement it, here we have an implementation and have to figure out an idea to utilize it.

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