Virtual Imperialism: Easing the White Man’s Burden
Foreign Policy‘s Prerna Mankad brings us up to speed on the latest merging of the Internet and cheap foreign labor: the rise of “virtual personal assistants” (VPAs) from India who perform various mundane tasks for a nominal-to-Americans price. This, apparently, has created an ethical dilemma for some:
Is employing a VPA in India to respond to your every whim a neo-imperial, exploitative phenomenon? (Jacobs did experience other pangs of guilt as he found himself making stranger demands simply because he could.) Or is it a genuine win-win transaction, where clients in the West make the most of their purchasing power while entrepreneurs in the East expand their markets?
The answer, quite obviously, is Yes.