The Face of Cheap Labor on the Internet

Profile picture of the author dvduval by dvduval Posted: 01/26/2013
#cheap #face #internet #labor

  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    Lloyd Buchinski
    That's one of the things I appreciate most about the internet, it brings a lot of the world closer together. Helping spread the wealth around is one of the best things we can do.
  • Profile picture of the author butters
    butters
    It is going to be interesting the reaction will be on a thread like this People will say that we will be take advantage of someone who is in a poor country. The counter argument to that would be the one which you raised about giving them a raise and a better living in their country. I am sure one or two will also claim slave labour and the saying "you get what you pay for" will also be said .
  • Profile picture of the author Gmount
    Gmount
    I'm only just getting started with IM (after a long break) but when I do get to the stage where I know enough to be able to out-source any work in the direction of these people, I won't let someone shame me into not helping them out of the rat race that they find themselves in! (and we think we have it bad!!!)

    When we see how they have to live/survive we should appreciate what we have and if someone does make you feel guilty by playing the "slave labour" card..... if you're happy with the work that you get back, then give them a bonus!!! at least you will be sure that they recieve your donation and it's not been intercepted by some local gangster!
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Greene
    Alex Greene
    Using cheap labor is a very good idea. It creates wide range of opportunities for people around the world.
  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    dvduval
    The large corporations moved in first. They established a structure that involved ownership of the equipment for manufacturing and control of job flow. Even small companies have trouble working with people like us in manufacturing because they don't own their own equipment. There is a stranglehold over the cheap labor.

    But when people like us can train these people and get other people doing business with them too, a large transformation is going to take place and some of the big guys will go down. There is so much opportunity for us and these people. I plan to repost about this in a couple of years. Change is coming!
  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    dvduval
    The large corporations moved in first. They established a structure that involved ownership of the equipment for manufacturing and control of job flow. Even small companies have trouble working with people like us in manufacturing because they don't own their own equipment. There is a stranglehold over the cheap labor.

    But when people like us can train these people and get other people doing business with them too, a large transformation is going to take place and some of the big guys will go down. There is so much opportunity for us and these people. I plan to repost about this in a couple of years. Change is coming!
  • Profile picture of the author Matt011
    Matt011
    Great video, thanks for sharing! I definitely endorse hiring people like that because it creates a win-win situation. You get cheap labor, and at the same time you can provide someone with a job. If they're only charging you a dollar per hour or less, you could easily double their salary and make their life a lot easier, or pay them what they ask but give them a "huge" bonus at the end of a project. The only thing I worry about is finding someone who does quality work, but that's no different from anywhere else in the world. Once you've tested a few different workers with various projects and have found someone who does good work, it truly is a win-win relationship.
  • Profile picture of the author donhx
    donhx
    I know I am going to pick up some flack for saying this here, but I could not live with myself if I only payed someone 50 cents per hour for anything. I would think of myself as someone who exploits others, and I could not live with myself if that were the case. Big corporations have gone offshore, and nearly devastated this country, and I certainly don't want to mimic them. I'm not sure paying technical people a pittance is any better than what Walmart contractors pay them for the work they do in factories.

    Many will think they are doing a good deed by paying a few cents or a few dollars an hour, but that is patronizing and a form of economic Imperialism. I don't think anyone who seeks to make money by exploiting desperate people should think they are helping. If you really want to help them, pay them the minimum wage in your state. It won't hurt you if you are operating a real business, and it would transform their lives in major ways.
  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    writeaway
    Considering the World Bank and IMF peg the global poverty line at $2 a day, someone making $1 per hour is not doing too bad (in this context) especially if they work 8 hours a day. Global competition is good. I know it's good for me because it pushes me to keep my quality and productivity up. It also motivates me to continue learning. Remember: if you're not moving forward, you're dying. It's that simple.
  • Profile picture of the author LSAT Tutor
    LSAT Tutor
    Originally Posted by donhx View Post
    I know I am going to pick up some flack for saying this here, but I could not live with myself if I only payed someone 50 cents per hour for anything. I would think of myself as someone who exploits others, and I could not live with myself if that were the case. Big corporations have gone offshore, and nearly devastated this country, and I certainly don't want to mimic them.

    *Agreed*

    Hire people in the US! They will eventually become your customers.
  • Profile picture of the author daniellawseo
    daniellawseo
    Cheap labor on the internet has become a standard reality because of the rise of the internet. It's a good solution for many industries, and it's a win-win situation for both sides. In saying this though, it is important that us as employers treat our third-world country employees with the same standards as we would our own.
  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    writeaway
    Originally Posted by daniellawseo View Post
    Cheap labor on the internet has become a standard reality because of the rise of the internet. It's a good solution for many industries, and it's a win-win situation for both sides. In saying this though, it is important that us as employers treat our third-world country employees with the same standards as we would our own.
    I can't agree with you more. It's all about arriving at a mutually beneficial and mutually profitable situation. As you said, standards are important and American/European/Canadian/Australian clients help boost emerging countries' English writing standards and competencies by providing important quality guidelines and strictly sticking to those guidelines.
  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    PerformanceMan
    Cheap labor online shows. You can pretend all you want that your 'VA' has great language skills, but they don't.

    'Cheap labor' is a another common IM fantasy...like using Fiverr.com. You will purchase enough crap that your cost savings won't be worth it.
  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    onSubie
    Originally Posted by donhx View Post
    I know I am going to pick up some flack for saying this here, but I could not live with myself if I only payed someone 50 cents per hour for anything. I would think of myself as someone who exploits others, and I could not live with myself if that were the case. Big corporations have gone offshore, and nearly devastated this country, and I certainly don't want to mimic them. I'm not sure paying technical people a pittance is any better than what Walmart contractors pay them for the work they do in factories.

    Many will think they are doing a good deed by paying a few cents or a few dollars an hour, but that is patronizing and a form of economic Imperialism. I don't think anyone who seeks to make money by exploiting desperate people should think they are helping. If you really want to help them, pay them the minimum wage in your state. It won't hurt you if you are operating a real business, and it would transform their lives in major ways.

    I don't think the point of the video is that you can get people to work for you for 50 cents an hour.

    I think the point is that 50 cents an hour is a raise over what these people receive working in factories supporting large corporations.

    You, as an employer, can reward your employees any way you want. Start at a higher rate, offer productivity bonuses, offer monthly incentives and bonuses, etc.

    Also, remember the cost and standard of living is much different in many of these countries. While 50 cents an hour may be extreme, a few dollars an hour may be considered a high wage.

    In the U.S., the minimum wage is only $7.25 and hour. That isn't enough to live on but I don't hear a big clamour to raise it...

    And US states that, historically, have been favourable to workers rights are now enacting "right to work" legislation. Which is more "right to exploit" for the corporations than an effort to increase sustainable jobs for the community.
  • Profile picture of the author sal64
    sal64
    Originally Posted by PerformanceMan View Post
    Cheap labor online shows. You can pretend all you want that your 'VA' has great language skills, but they don't.

    'Cheap labor' is a another common IM fantasy...like using Fiverr.com. You will purchase enough crap that your cost savings won't be worth it.
    I tend to agree with this. If a VA was trained up and ready to go, I'd pay full rates.

    All I have found are people / corps which promise that a VA can do all said marketing tasks, yet none have the initiative to self start. All need training etc.

    Other problem is that many a unemployed and looking for some cash, so long term they are not really committed.

    I know prefer a rolodex of specialist skill sets.
  • Profile picture of the author cferfland247
    cferfland247
    I have very good experience of using oDesk and some contractor from Bangladesh. They were cheap but the quality of work was great.

    One of my contractor told me, there are many skilled and qualified worker in Bangladesh but they are facing massive unemployment problem and that's why they are outsourcing their skills in oDesk.
  • Profile picture of the author eperkins153
    eperkins153
    Odesk is one of the best ways to grow a business because of the low cost of hiring VA'S
  • Profile picture of the author FreeMeal
    FreeMeal
    Originally Posted by donhx View Post
    I know I am going to pick up some flack for saying this here, but I could not live with myself if I only payed someone 50 cents per hour for anything. I would think of myself as someone who exploits others, and I could not live with myself if that were the case. Big corporations have gone offshore, and nearly devastated this country, and I certainly don't want to mimic them. I'm not sure paying technical people a pittance is any better than what Walmart contractors pay them for the work they do in factories.

    Many will think they are doing a good deed by paying a few cents or a few dollars an hour, but that is patronizing and a form of economic Imperialism. I don't think anyone who seeks to make money by exploiting desperate people should think they are helping. If you really want to help them, pay them the minimum wage in your state. It won't hurt you if you are operating a real business, and it would transform their lives in major ways.
    *Agreed*

    Don's hit the nail on the head.

    I'm one of many people who have lost their full time, skilled job, because it was outsourced to India. The same thing is happening to people all over the country. That changes lives too.
  • Profile picture of the author CurtisSWN
    CurtisSWN
    The truth is there must be about a billion people on earth who can't even afford a computer, let alone the luxury of using it. It's an economic disparity brought about by this so-called "free market" economy. It's partly because the high cost of doing business domestically is so high (regulation, taxation, and inflation) that businesses are almost forced to use overseas labor.

    At the same time, the market keeps prices at their right level all across the globe. It is, after all, a voluntary system; no one is holding a gun to their head to take this work at this price.

    As an offliner, I prefer to use domestic labor, raise up the standard of living in my own nation whenever I can.
  • Profile picture of the author ratracegrad
    ratracegrad
    Taking advantages of differences in economic opportunity the world over is a real life example of the economics terminology known commonly as "guns for butter." If you can create butter very cheaply then you can trade your excess for commodities produced in other countries that are produced cheaper than they are in your country. When this happens both countries are able to improve their standards because they have access to a wider range of commodities.

    Hiring in areas where labor is cheaper due to economic standards is not slave labor. Slave labor is hiring people and paying them either nothing or below the standard pay.

    When these people are hired the both parties in the agreement win. The seller gets a product or service at a much lower cost. The person producing the product or service is able to earn more than they can in their local economy assuming they are able to even get a job. It is a classic WIN-WIN scenario.

    If you find someone or multiple people that you hire that can produce product for you at a lower cost then it is our obligation to not take advantage of this. I have a stable of 5 writers on eLance that I use each and every month and they will bust their ass to complete work for me because I leave great reviews and will pay within 30 minutes of reading an email notice from eLance they have completed the work. Because I provide consistent work I have had some of them even offer to lower their rates say from $6 to $4.5 because they are afraid that I will find someone cheaper and that steady income from me is invaluable to them. In every case I have refused to lower my rates. These 5 are my go to guys and unless they take it upon themselves to start producing very low quality work I will continue to use them.

    Another suggestion is that if the worker(s) are very loyal to you and work very hard for you then consider paying them a bonus. Almost all Americans are use to receiving a raise or bonus each year so why not do the same for your works. Starting this year I am taking 10% of my commissions I earn as a result of the products these people create each month and paying that back to them as a bonus.

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