What if Outsourced Software Was Free?

Russell Roberts wrote an interesting article on outsourcing that is well worth the read. This was written back in February, but makes a great point:

…suppose Indians decided to work for free and give away the software, the ultimate competitive threat. If outsourcing work to low-wage Indians is bad, surely free software from zero-wage Indians is even worse.
Free software would be hard for the U.S. workers in the software industry to compete with. But it would be a boon for America—plenty of U.S. outfits would expand. Having free software would let a lot of new companies come into existence that couldn’t have been profitable before. Programs at no cost would mean lower prices across the board. That would liberate resources to do new things all over the economy. Many of those out-of-work American programmers would find new jobs. The same effect occurs when the software is merely cheaper, rather than free.

The macroeconomic view of things is different from the personal view, where someone is worried about their income, job, savings etc. The important thing is to position yourself correctly, because economic trends will always drive individuals.

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