Globalization and sustainability are two business buzzwords these days. Churches know a bit about bothâ€”Christianity, after all, went global long before GE and it has thrived for 2000 years.
So I ask a panel of clergymen with business expertise at the Business for Social Responsibility conference this week how to think in an ethical way about outsourcing. Put simply: If a company moves a job from the U.S. to India, is that good, bad or neither? After all, the Indians need the jobs more than we American do. And the scriptures say love your neighbor, not love your next-door neighbor.
The best answer came from David Miller, a Presbyterian minister and a former IBM executive who teaches at Yale, consults with business leaders and has a new book out called God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith and Work Movement.
David said, in essence, that so long as the workers in the global south are treated fairly, and that so long as business offers support, financial or otherwise, to the workers in the U.S. who lose their jobs, thereâ€™s nothing wrong with globalization. It may even be a good thing if wealth spreads to poor countries.
So the next time Dell opens a call center in Bangalore, Iâ€™m going to cheer. Take that, Lou Dobbs.