Trying to find a westward trade route to India, in order to spur on the outsourcing of the production of silk and spices, Christopher Columbus famously miscalculated. He thought he had found India, in what most now call North America. Of course this is the reason why Native Americans mistakenly have been called "Indians."
The Pilgrims and Puritans settled in New England in the 1600's, and they launched the tradition of "Thanksgiving," sitting down to meals with the so-called "Indians." This is because the settlers had run out of food. Like Columbus, the settlers made some miscalculations of their own. For example, as Garrison Keillor reminds us, the Puritans and Pilgrims came to America "in the hope of finding greater restrictions than were permissible under English law." For a while they succeeded. They established theocracies, outlawed celebrations of any kind, and even made it a crime not to attend church. But their dreams of totalitarian repression were short-lived. The radicals and liberals of the American Revolution had different ideas!
On this Thanksgiving Weekend, let's be thankful for the real Indians, as well as the Native Americans, the settlers, the revolutionaries, and our many other blessings. I'm especially grateful that with modern offshore outsourcing, Americans finally have discovered a new route to India! In this global business environment, work does not stop for Thanksgiving. Our law firm's international clients are just as busy over the US holidays, so without offshore legal outsourcing to India, our attorneys would have much less time off. UK production companies don't stop making films or television series just because it's Turkey Day, and they need frequent legal advice. Multinational Indian companies doing deals in Singapore, China, the UK and elsewhere still need legal research and reports, and they don't necessarily want to hear about Thanksgiving. Even US law firms without an international practice can find themselves swamped around holiday time, as clients race to get legal work done in time to go on vacation. So offshore legal process outsourcing to India has proved to be a blessing especially during the holidays, as the "real Indians" expertly perform legal research and legal drafting, without missing a beat.
And although some modern-day puritans continue to complain that outsourcing "steals jobs," the fact is that it actually leads to more American jobs, not fewer. This point, along with 11 other things for which we all can be thankful, is covered in the previous post, "12 Ways Offshore Legal Outsourcing Could Shake Up the Law World in the New Decade."