• March 1, 2006
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

A Primer on Risky Business

As we reported in December 2005, outsourcing is big, especially offshoring and nearshoring. We reported this in November, too; also in October, September, and pretty much every month this year as well, so I guess there's something to it. Sadly, the United States is losing ground in the global economy due to this phenomenon, and that makes us cry. Our workers are on the receiving end of economic pressure, and if there's one thing we've proven it's that we can dish it out a lot better than we can take it. This nation has led the world for so long because certain characteristics are unique to us. We have boundless resources; entrepreneurial spirit; a willingness to trample others to get what we want (oh, sorry, I already mentioned entrepreneurial spirit); and, most important, an acquisitive nature that makes us want to make everything--including trends--our own. Offshore outsourcing is where we need to be. Why? First, because it hurts to be left out of a clique. Second, we can earn a whole mess of money from other nations and restore our trade balance. And third, so we can dodge our own taxes. "But Marshall," you say, "the offshoring boat has already sailed." (Pun fully intended.) "We can't get in front of a trend that's already blown up!" Au contraire, mon frere. Consider the whole making-trends-our-own thing I mentioned. Just as Paris Hilton took being famous for being famous in a whole new direction by adding skanky to the mix, or as SciFi Channel turned a cute piece of 1970s fluff like Battlestar Galactica into one of the best dramas on TV by adding its own spin (and Edward James Olmos), we need to put the American stamp on offshoring. The solution? Pure genius--Ralph Kramden couldn't have come up with something this good: We'll take a page from the playbook of companies that operate here, but claim their headquarters are in Antigua or some other tax-shelter nation. We'll outsource...to ourselves! There would of course need to be some maneuvering to make it pass casual legal scrutiny, but we have a knack for justifying our actions--ask anybody who equates 9/11 with Iraq, if you doubt me on this point. We won't actually outsource to ourselves, but set up new governments that are friendly to our aims. Setting up puppet governments is another one of our strengths. A couple of ideal ways to go follow:
  • Texans always make noise about wanting to become their own country again, so we can just let 'em. President Bush will have an easy time with this one.
  • Kick Mississippi and Louisiana out of the Union. Any dry land there is essentially an island at this point, so offshoring would be a snap. Americans care more about their flag than they do about their neighbors, so we'd have to add some states to replace those three states with new ones so as not to mess with the star count. Based on our research and reporting, the prime candidates are Botswana, England, and the Philippines. n It has been estimated that if we took all the golf courses in this country and combined them into one contiguous territory, it would be the size of Montana. Let's do that, and establish the new nation of Mashie-Niblicka. It even sounds foreign. This is a good start, but it might not be enough. Competition is important to make any economic scheme viable. Maybe it's time to start encouraging the secessionists in Quebec to shake off the chains of Anglo-Canadian oppression and rebel, or at least have another referendum. See? Not only have I proposed a "so stupid it could actually work" scheme of Reaganomical proportions, but I also made good on my promise not to mess with St. Patrick's Day. Contact Senior Writer Marshall Lager at mlager@destinationCRM.com
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