Slavery by another name

Slavery by another name

Slavery by another name

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Finding the right talent in Canada wasn’t difficult. That’s right, it was easy to find. The talent was plentiful. There were extremely intelligent and capable developers. But the price tag that came along with their talents made me wonder how I would even stay in business.

When I first put up a few job postings for a senior developer position, the salary expectations for almost every applicant was $75,000 and up. Some of which were fresh grads with no significant experience.

At the time of launch, I wasn’t even making that much, so I could justify paying someone more than I was making myself as a business owner? It was a hard pill to swallow.

I kept banging my head against the wall, doing calculations on profit margins, ability to grow and scale with those kinds of salaries. The end result of my calculations was very slim margins, a low salary for myself and the need to receive financing to keep the company afloat while I collected receivables from clients. Not fun stuff, nor encouraging.

I took a gamble: I tried a different approach. I decided not to hire anyone in Canada and instead look for developers abroad.

Remember the brave new world we were promised by technology? Well, this is what it looks like: People with great skills and the desire to be paid enough money to feed their family get passed over because we can now essentially enslave a person trapped in a poverty-stricken country for a fraction of the money we would have to pay here.

The second post on the page says it brilliantly:

Having a start-up myself the above is something I refuse to do. One of my LEAST favourite emails is from a foreign outsourcing company offering to do work we pride ourselves on for ‘cheap’ at 15$ an hour.

What’s going on? They have offices full of ‘talented’ people, their own people which they exploit like pimps and sell to greedy Westerners. And they want me to participate.

When you hire people for cheap BEFORE you hire them for their talent, just so you can have 8 Indian engineers instead of 4 local engineers…this culture and value system inevitably shows in the end product, and everything your company is about.

I understand entrepreneurs want to profit and avoid diluting equity by hiring talent for cheap. But it’s the same basis and principles that were followed by slave plantations in the United States.

It’s a seductive model, in Canada you won’t have to worry about paying group insurance plans, dental benefits, WCB or overhead and WOW, best of all your employee liability risk approaches zero! YES all that while you reap the benefits from living in Canada.

It’s actually a very old model governed by greed and at its core is just another form of imperialist slavery. If you’re an American Startup that follows this dogma you won’t have to pay for Obama care, universal health care a safety net everyone prides themselves on in Canada.

What this approach does and is doing, is driving the price down for talent and skills globally. Just as it has with manufacturing. It doesn’t end well for developers anywhere but in the short term some ‘IT plantation owners’ can boast about profits and seduce others to copy their genius model.

A caveat, when you hire people for cheap, eventually they catch on and become cheap on what they give you. There’s no love in this model.

It’s a brilliant rebuttal, but, it too ignores the reality we have created: The fact remains, this state where work has been forever devalued by slavery is what now is. What disturbs me the most is what is not happening as a result

Every grade school in the country should be ceaselessly hammering home one key message:

It’s not how much knowledge you can stuff into your head as though Google will suddenly vanish. It’s not about your ability to perform computational feats of skill like a trained monkey. It’s not about your ability to follow orders or perform tasks either. The only thing remaining that will separate our children from the starving is whether or not they have the ability to explore, create and innovate.

I guess that’s why our children’s school just spent this week arguing about school uniforms (deck chairs on the Titanic anyone???) and sending us elaborate packages on how to help our children pass the oh-so-innovation-focused work of art that is the Provincial Achievement Test…

Come to think of it, this is Huxley’s Brave New World…

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