“Hey, Geezer, what’s out-housing?”
The Geezer Gator looked at me as though I’d eaten loco weed. “Out-housing?” he repeated. “Are you sure? You know plenty about that already. That’s what you do every morning when we take our walk.”
I gave him my, you’re a smart ass, look. “Geezer, I do lots of things each morning. Give me a break.”
“I guess being city born and a youngster you don’t know what an outhouse is. An outhouse is what folks used before toilets and indoor plumbing. It literally was a small house located “out” or away from peoples’ homes.”
“Oh.” I still was unclear about the word.
“Sandy, you sure you wanted to know about out-housing? How was the word used?” The Geezer could see I was confused.
“I heard Mrs. Gator and Mrs. Zoomers talking about how the Smith’s were in deep doggy dew because of the out-housing happening at Mr. Smiths company. Mrs. Zoomer said the Smiths were about to lose their house.” I scratched my ear with my paw. “I guess that makes sense, but wouldn’t they be in deep human poo, not doggy dew?”
The old boy grinned the way he does when I do something dumb, like the time I tried to eat a bottle of Tabasco. “You need to improve your eavesdropping skills. I think you got the words wrong or mixed together, Sandy. I think you heard them talking about outsourcing.”
“Out-whating?” I asked.
“Outsourcing. That’s when a company decides to buy materials or services they previously did for themselves.”
“Hmmmm. Why would a company do that? Don’t the people they buy it from have to make a profit? Wouldn’t it cost more?” It didn’t sound logical to me.
“That might be hard for you to understand. It gets complicated.”
“Try me.” I wanted to add, it might be for human brains, but not for my sharp canine intellect.
“It has to do with costs. Sometimes you can get something done cheaper by another company because of the machinery they have or the technology they use, but most frequently it’s because of cheap labor and often the labor is cheap because it’s not in the US. They call that offshore outsourcing.”
“That’s not difficult to understand, Geezer. But, how does that effect the Smiths?”
“Well, when a company outsources, it gets rid of the expense it had to make the part or perform the service. Mr. Smith’s job was to do work his company decided to outsource.”
“Oh, then Mr. Smith has to get a job somewhere else, right?”
“Yes, but a lot of companies are doing that so it’s hard to find jobs now.”
“Okay, but…..” I still didn’t understand the logic.
The Geezer was grinning at me, but I had to ask anyway. “If people keep outsourcing, how do you humans buy the things you need? Won’t the companies that saved the money not gain anything because the humans they sell to can’t afford it and they’ll have to reduce their price or go out of business? A few people will make out like bandits for a short time, but everybody gets clobbered in the long run.”
“You’re right Sandy! That makes you smarter than most professors at Harvard, all our politicians, and the Wall Street crowd.”
Of course, the Geezer didn’t have to tell me that.
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