Senators Finally Realize That Getting Smart Foreigners To Work For US Companies Beats Having Them Work Against US Companies

from the was-it-really-that-hard? dept

We've never really understood the hatred towards the H1-B visa program by a very vocal group of engineers. The H1-B program is designed to have smart, highly skilled foreign workers fill jobs in American companies. While it's true that some companies abuse the system, the best way to deal with that is to fight the abuses -- not kill the entire program. Companies that hire H1-Bs are supposed to pay them the prevailing wage for that job, so it shouldn't be possible to use it for "cheap" labor, as many imply. And, certainly, it looks like some politicians are looking to crack down on the abuses of the program. In the meantime, some other Senators have made a proposal that is sure to set off the folks who hate the H1-B program, especially because it makes a lot of sense. Rather than worry about the ridiculously low cap on such visas allowed each year, the Senators are proposing no cap at all on both H1-B visas and green cards for foreigners with graduate-level degrees from American universities or graduate-level degrees in certain key fields from foreign universities. In other words, it's about encouraging these highly trained, highly skilled people to come work in the US for American companies rather than having them go back to their home countries and work for companies that compete with American companies. Of course, for those who incorrectly view the world of tech jobs as a zero-sum game, they worry that jobs are being "taken away" from Americans. Of course, if they keep all these smart, skilled foreigners working at foreign companies, and those companies put the American companies out of business, it seems like there are a lot more jobs to lose. Instead, by realizing that a functioning tech industry tends to create more jobs, it's smart to encourage more skilled workers to work for American companies than to work against them.


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    Down_With_Buffalo, May 16th, 2007 @ 8:29am

    GO Senators GO!

    Stanley Cup in Canada. Buffalo sucks, and the Sens will wipe out Detroit or Anaheim to take the Cup. GO Sens GO!

     

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    Team Tutorials, May 16th, 2007 @ 8:38am

    Flamebait

    Every post that you guys mention H1-B is sure to set off a flame war. I am usually against foreign workers taking y job, but the comment you made about "better for us then against us" makes some sense. However, the point is that American workers are losing jobs either way. So I guess we choose the lesser of two evils?

     

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      markus, May 16th, 2007 @ 9:37am

      Re: Flamebait

      survival of the fittest my friend

       

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      Ray, Sep 8th, 2011 @ 1:57am

      Re: Flamebait

      Even better idea. Force them into contracts whereby they have to work for a U.S. company or corporation that develops products that keep the patents they make for 4-10 years, depending on the degree they acquire. This way, by the time they go back to their countries, we will be ahead of them as far as technology and they can then be behind our innovation that their brightest minds created.

       

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      Ray, Sep 8th, 2011 @ 1:57am

      Re: Flamebait

      Even better idea. Force them into contracts whereby they have to work for a U.S. company or corporation that develops products that keep the patents they make for 4-10 years, depending on the degree they acquire. This way, by the time they go back to their countries, we will be ahead of them as far as technology and they can then be behind our innovation that their brightest minds created.

       

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    Steven, May 16th, 2007 @ 8:45am

    Waiting for evidence.

    I keep hearing that having foreign workers take jobs in the US is taking jobs away from Americans. I have yet to see anybody provide any evidence.

    Maybe they do, although I doubt it, but some evidence rather than baseless claims would be nice (of course most of these arguments wouldn't get very far without the baseless claims).

     

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      Steevo, May 16th, 2007 @ 9:23am

      Re: Waiting for evidence.

      You want evidence?
      Take a look at this:
      http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0420/p03s01-usec.html
      about programmer Michael Emmons, who worked for Siemens ICN in Florida.

      The company imported Indian workers to sit at the fired American's former desks, and do their jobs.

      Not as employees, but as contract employees hired through an Indian agency.

      The agency paid their salaries back in India, they made no money in the US, but were paid "expenses" which were then tax free.

      So here you have people living here in the US, using our roads, sewage system, police services, etc. Paying no taxes whatsoever since they made no money here.

      The company had to pay no social security or medicare taxes as they did for their American workers. They saved a bundle, even if the salary were the same (but I'm sure it's not).

      That's a distortion of the way the system is supposed to work. Outrageous.

      Admittedly these are seemingly another flavor of work visa, L1, but who really cares if the company can get rid of the Americans and replace them with foreigners that they save money on. And suck money out of the social security and medicare system so those of us that are left paying taxes have to make up the difference.

       

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        SailorRipley, May 17th, 2007 @ 10:50am

        Re: Re: Waiting for evidence.

        And if you (have) read the article above, it clearly says: "And, certainly, it looks like some politicians are looking to crack down on the abuses of the program."

        Your example, just like any example of that sort, is not an argument against the visas, but against abuse(s) of the program, because guess what...it IS an abuse of the program...that doesn't make the program bad, it just makes the way it is (not) regulated/checked on bad

         

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          Steevo, May 17th, 2007 @ 6:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: Waiting for evidence.

          Your example, just like any example of that sort, is not an argument against the visas, but against abuse(s) of the program, because guess what...it IS an abuse of the program...that doesn't make the program bad, it just makes the way it is (not) regulated/checked on bad

          I completely disagree. If the visas can be used like this and abused, they should be done away with.

          The issue here is the true purpose of immigration. Why do we have an immigration system?
            It's not so people can come here from another country in the third world and send money back to keep their family from starving.
            It's not so people who don't like where they are can come here and have a better life.
            It's not so companies can hire workers for much less than people who own homes and cars and have a family and a life can afford to work for.

          It's so there can be more Americans. We welcome people who want to be Americans and take part in America, this great country. That's the only reason we have an immigration system at all.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2007 @ 9:27am

      Re: Waiting for evidence.

      The fact that those jobs will not be filled by Americans. If they weren't there, then an American would have a job. Its not like these jobs magically appear in the foreigner's presence and disappear if they aren't there. Every job a foreigner has would have to go to an American if there was no H1-B program. How can they *not* be taking jobs away from Americans?

      Granted, I'm somewhat neutral on the subject, but there's no way you can make an argument that its not taking jobs away from Americans. There's a finite number of jobs. If they're filled in by people with H1-Bs then they can't be filled by an American.

      You're obviously not in the tech sector. If you are, you need to brush up on your math and logic skills.

       

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      Jason, May 16th, 2007 @ 2:02pm

      Re: Waiting for evidence.

      Evidence? Go check the unemployment numbers for the sector...

       

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    bshock, May 16th, 2007 @ 8:49am

    How very wise and even-minded of you to dismiss widespread corruption by noting briefly that "it's true that some companies abuse the system." Perhaps you're one of those neoconservative geniuses who believes that government oversight and control is what's holding back real prosperity in the U.S. Congratulations on how that plan worked in Russia and Iraq.

     

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    Lewis Salem, May 16th, 2007 @ 9:06am

    Fabrication.

    Many of these people are not highly trained. Many of them have fabricated resumes and lower bill rates. I don't blame them, many times their resumes are inflated by contract houses. I have experienced this first hand.

     

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      Beefcake, May 16th, 2007 @ 9:20am

      Re: Fabrication.

      Yeah, like no native-born American engineer ever falsified a resume, and the posers are pretty quickly weeded out anyway, regardless of their nation of origin. What it boils down to is if you want the strongest tech sector in the world, you need the strongest people in the world. If you can't compete, blame your own education.

      I suppose Yao Ming took away an NBA position from an American too.

       

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        Jason, May 16th, 2007 @ 2:06pm

        Re: Re: Fabrication.

        But you aren't building the strongest tech sector in the world, because none of the developers are yours to claim!

        Loving the warped logic in the article AND in the comments...

         

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    Hulser, May 16th, 2007 @ 9:17am

    "Companies that hire H1-Bs are supposed to pay them the prevailing wage for that job, so it shouldn't be possible to use it for "cheap" labor, as many imply."

    But even if you pay an employee based on the prevailing standards, this doesn't account for unbilled hours. Whether someone is getting paid by the hour or a salary, there is an incentive for the employer get as much out of the employee at the lowest cost. For someone who is on an H1-B visa, this may mean undue pressure to work extra hours that are not accounted for in the employee's wage or salary. So, on paper the H1-B visa may be getting the prevailing wage, but when you look the per hour cost, they could actually be making much less.

    As a side note, I would generally agree that the abuses should be addressed before deciding to revamp the entire system, but I just don't think the counter argument to the "cheap labor" issue is completely valid.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2007 @ 9:24am

    This is the same problem as everywhere. When you have a rule like the H1-B caps, it blocks the forthright people following the spirit and letter of the law, while letting in a bunch of resume lying bottom feeders. You can't keep out the people you dont want without also keeping out the people you do want--government is incapable of casting a narrow, precise net. The system will be gamed.

     

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    BeeBee, May 16th, 2007 @ 9:31am

    Microsoft and H1-B

    "Companies that hire H1-Bs are supposed to pay them the prevailing wage for that job" is showing ignorance of the facts. Gates is a promoter of more H1-B visas, but lies about the reasons. See
    http://techdirt.com/articles/20070515/202835.shtml
    In other words, he claims to pay them prevailing rates, but in reality only 3.3% got the normal rates. The other 96.7% received rates lower than average.
    In short - proof that H1-B visas is used to get cheap labor, because US employees are too expensive.

     

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    Overcast, May 16th, 2007 @ 9:42am

    "Perhaps you're one of those neoconservative geniuses who believes that government oversight and control is what's holding back real prosperity in the U.S. Congratulations on how that plan worked in Russia and Iraq."

    Russia and Iraq's problem is FROM years of government control....

    The US isn't a great nation because of government control, but rather from a lack of it. The whole reason this country was founded was to escape government control.

    But the government will always take care of us...... huh?

    Whatever

     

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    Bill Gates, May 16th, 2007 @ 10:02am

    Only lawyer could understand why engineers get upset when they get fired and replaced by H-1B workers then have to suffer the indignity of training their replacement to collect severence.

    Yeh, it shouldn't be possible to abuse the system but the American Immigration Lawyers Association makes sure the law is designed to that it can be abused with impunity.

    Let's change the law to allow anyone licensed to practice law in another country to practice law in the U.S. on an H-1B visa. Then let's see of the lawyers would support the H-1B program.

     

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    DCX2, May 16th, 2007 @ 10:02am

    Competition

    Of course, if they keep all these smart, skilled foreigners working at foreign companies, and those companies put the American companies out of business, it seems like there are a lot more jobs to lose.

    Last time I checked, competition isn't about putting people out of business, but driving innovation.

    My memory is a bit hazy...but...I think I see something...about Japanese auto-makers creating competition for American auto-makers...

     

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    noname, May 16th, 2007 @ 10:15am

    How about you prepare yourself better than those people? That way you can't be replaced. Make the company you work for depend on you and you would be good to go. bye.

     

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    Person, May 16th, 2007 @ 10:31am

    Not a level playing field

    What you don't get is that competition and innovation is devalued compared to short term profits in CEO and board member's pockets. It's not about technical achievements or skills...it's all about greed. People don't often talk about it but there is a real fear by many non-tech people of technology. Small minded people fear change...and technology is all about constant change. They know they need it but they disrespect the people in their organizations who know something about it. So all of you who think you are sitting there absolutely irreplaceable due to your "innovation" and superior knowledge...CEO's consider everyone replaceable if it boosts up their compensation package. As far as the outlook for laid off tech workers, in the US conversely if you do search for a job at a lower rate then your experience and education would indicate you are looked at with suspicion and won't be hired. As for this boost to the Indian economy, might take time but eventually this will all hit India too when someone figures out an even cheaper way to do things than to hire Indian technical workers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2007 @ 10:38am

    Horrible plan

    Having no cap on H1-B visa's and green cards is about the stupidest idea I've heard of in a long time.

    Just look at what has taken place at the low end of the job market. With weak immigration enforcement, the market has been flooded with cheap labor. Americans in many of these sectors have to compete with foreigners who will work for next to nothing. This has caused an actual DECREASE in wages for people in these jobs. You always hear "Americans won't do those jobs.", but what you don't hear is the entire sentence...."Americans won't do those jobs....FOR SLAVE LABOR WAGES."

    Without a cap, the same thing will happen on the upper end of the job market. Our system will be flooded with foreigners who want to work here. Of course they will get the "prevailing wage" because the market with be filled with people to fill the job. That will cause wages to stagnate or actually decrease.

    Businesses will support it because it helps their bottom line. They don't actually care about employees....Not when they can "care" about someone else at a lower rate.

     

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    Foreign workings working for US Corporations

    This is an insightful article.
    The issue is that if all the US jobs are outsourced to overseas' countries and the remaining ones are given to foreign workers, what will be left for US citizens? This is the real issue.
    Ikey Benney

     

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    BillGod, May 16th, 2007 @ 10:50am

    here's my problem with it

    The original article was referring to a company like WiPro. My former employer bought into WiPro and they sent several developers over and they started working there. After a year 100 employees in the company were "let go" due to "lack of funds" and all their jobs were sent overseas.. to whom??? WiPro! The come in and latch into your company then since you already have a working relationship with them start to attack customer support / IT / development. Next thing you know several of your friends are working somewhere else. Only to find out 2 years later that the company ended up having to bring back several people and drop WiPro all together due to lack of communication and a 12 hour time difference. I have several friends that have come from India, China, Russia and work here under these conditions. Thats fine with me. Its evil companies like WiPro that should never be a loud to come into this country.

     

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    Instructor, May 16th, 2007 @ 10:56am

    Illegal H1-b sweatshop

    I was the token white guy in an H1-b sweatshop run by a contract agency. I wasn't paid all that well, but in 2002, any job was better than no job. And I was paid substantially more than any other person working there, simply because I was a US citizen, and had some recourse -- they couldn't deport me. It was perhaps the most depressing job I have ever held in my life.

    Most of those Indian and Chinese H1-b workers routinely put in 16-hour days -- on straight salary, with no insurance or other benefits (I found that out because, among other things, I had an active insurance license at the time, and I got many questions about health insurance from those people). The reason I was eventually fired (I wasn't actually fired, but they made it worth my while to quit) was for "setting a bad example" and "negatively affecting morale", from an incident that occurred around 4:50 on a Friday afternoon. The supervisor (let's call him 'Ganesh') waddled in an announced that there would be a mandatory staff meeting at 6:00. As I got up to leave, I told 'Ganesh' in a not-so-quiet voice that if he wanted me to attend a meeting, he would have to arrange for it to happen during my contract-specified working hours. There was an audible gasp from the H1-b slaves.

    Here's what life is like for the H1-b's that worked there: Oh, you want to complain about having to work 40+ hours of unpaid overtime every week? Try to find an attorney that will take the case, and good luck taking any legal action at all in 30 days, because your ass is fired, and you have 30 days to leave the country before we arrange to have you deported. Oh, and you won't be getting any last paycheck -- now get out.

    To reform H1-b, you would simply need to make the H1-b 'portable', so that an H1-b who found a job intolerable could go elsewhere without getting deported. However, the folks that pushed H1-b into law were SPECIFICALLY opposed to exactly that idea (which was actually proposed).

    Your ramblings about the 'benefits' of the H1-b program indicate to me that you have no clue what you are talking/writing about. H1-b is pure domestic job destruction, solely for the purpose of depressing wages.

    --
    Texas Conceal Handgun License Courses in Plano, TX

     

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    Nick, May 16th, 2007 @ 11:03am

    I've been IT recruiting for the past 10 years. For a good 3 years after the tech crash (01) US workers were available in abundance. Right now if I can find a qualified US IT worker I'm very happy. We need more American IS/CS and engineering college grads, period. Instead American kids seem to be getting degrees in either something very generic, like "Business Administration" or something completely worthless in the marketplace like "women's studies" or basketweaving or whatever.

    In the meantime, I'm having to fill jobs with "foreign" workers more and more (GC and/or H1). But you know what? In general they are hungrier and better educated.

    I say bring the best and brightest in, and encourage our own to start getting educated in areas that matter.

     

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      sam, May 16th, 2007 @ 6:57pm

      Re:

      hey nick...

      funny you should post... i know a guy in the san jose area. he's got a strong engineering/software background, with an mba.. he can't find a project/product mgr function... he's in his 40's.

      the entry level jobs think he's going to run if a better one comes along, the more experienced jobs seem to be too narrow in what they're looking for.

      he was actually told by a headhunter to 'dumb' down his resume!!

      so, where are all these jobs that he keeps seeing out here...

      if i hadn't seen it/witnessed it myself, i woudn't have believed it. but i'm starting to side with the people who are saying that if a US guy is available, then the US guy should get the job 1st...

      peace

       

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    Wabewalker, May 16th, 2007 @ 11:06am

    It cuts both ways

    One thing often overlooked by the proponents of H-1B's is that the workers are practically indentured servants; they end up trapped in their jobs until they find someone willing to pay for their VISA transfers, and that rarely happens.

    The old joke about stealing away a married man ("Honey, there are two types of men in the world: those that always leave their wives, and those that never do") applies to hiring H-1B's too. Employers are not going to hire an H-1B that is gainfully employed; but the only way an H-1B can stay is to remain employed. Thus, he's trapped in his job no matter how demeaning (and in one case, criminal) it is. They cannot even change roles within the company without it being considered a status violation.

    I've known a handful of H-1B's and they run the full gamut in terms of intelligence and skill. But I have never met one that didn't feel stuck in his position. That's the appeal for corporations; not the wages (yes, they are lower, but not by much), not the skills, but the virtual enslavement. The recent boom in startups has dramatically increased the churn in the big tech companies, and that's embarrassing to report to the stockholders.

    Citizens are allowed to work at-will, and that gives them mobility that ruins corporate planning. It's very disconcerting when you are trying to meet a deadline and half your development team quits to form a start-up.

    If the government were to give H-1B's better, less expensive mobility options and longer periods to remain unemployed, the advantages would disappear.

     

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    Steven Leach, May 16th, 2007 @ 11:11am

    H1-B

    I worked for a company that was bought out by an Israeli company , and they sent all of the new software projects to Israel. So us software engineers set up another company and provided a similar product with a different database, and were sued out of existance by our original company. My opinion is let the people come here and work.
    I currently work for a company where 3/4 teh software engineers are Master or PhD people, and they program/engineer no better than people with the same amount of experience, they just happen to know something in a very narrow field, and they WANT TO KEEP ALL US CAUCASIANS OUT !!!!
    So while I am happy to have a job, I can tell you the mentality of the fedulism is very rampant in the minority population which includes these H1-B graduates. I am in constant fear that I will lose my job, simply because I am not from their countries, and so am suspected by these superior graduates. The fact that I have 3 master's degrees from Stanford, and USC and have 20 years experience seems not to give them any pause that I might actually be able to help and be productive. I am just kept around to satisfy the government requirements.
    Oh well I have a paying job, and after being laid off from another company maybe I am being paranoid, or maybe I am not.

     

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    erinol0, May 16th, 2007 @ 11:12am

    Fisrt off, I'm an software engineer, and I too want to keep my job (and good salary). But the problem here is the same as with anything else that Mike brings up on Techdirt.

    Things are always changing, and you can't count on the system to stay the same. We get angry at the RIAA and MPAA for wanting to eliminate threats to their business model. No one likes them, or cares about them. We all want them to adapt and innovate in the market or just go away.

    Why should it be different for engineers? We, too, need to adapt to the market. So, to all the great individuals who have created innovative solutions to your employer's problems I say create an innovative solution to your own problems.

     

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      Jason, May 16th, 2007 @ 2:16pm

      Re:

      Lol - any suggestions or are they going to be just as ambiguous...

      Something like "If you don't want to be poor, then be rich!" type stuff...

      Great stuff Aristotle

       

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    angry dude, May 16th, 2007 @ 11:15am

    Mike's cluelessness

    "Your ramblings about the 'benefits' of the H1-b program indicate to me that you have no clue what you are talking/writing about."

    Relax dude,
    Mike is well known for being clueless whether he talks about patents or tech immigration...

    Mike, give it up, dude - it's just getting ridiculous

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2007 @ 11:22am

    American Education

    It is to bad these hiring companies don't put some money into the American Education system so that they can guarantee a future work force. I have always thought someone like Microsoft or Cisco should open their own schools for K-12. This would ensure that they have an up and coming work force to hire from.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2007 @ 11:24am

    If their were insufficent skilled workers to fill all of the tech jobs available at fair-market wages, then the author would be correct. If 100% of foreign workers were comming to the US bringing with them higher skill levels than native workers, with the intent of becomming citizens, the author would be correct. If, given the above, these workers were also retaining their earnings in the US and not subsidizing families and investments in their home countries in preparation for their eventual return, the author would be correct.

    Sadly, the author has apparently contracted "political correctness"

    The poster of WAITING FOR EVIDENCE is correct. The H1-B program's only practical affect is to unfairly shift the supply demand matrix in the technical arena to create a buyer's market for services, thus if not effectively lowering wages and benefits short term, preventing wages from adjusting upwards to their true, market driven, value long term while effectively reducing the tax base both long and short term, as well as removing significant revenue from the national economy (the majority of foreign workers send a good portion of their earned income overseas). This is pretty much the opposite of the way a capitalist market is supposed to work. And by so doing it creates a disincentive for improvements in the educational system and work ethic of native workers.

    And it is not just the IT field that is being affected. In all of the applied sciences lower wage foreign workers are being brought in under special work visa's in order to displace higher paid and more experienced american workers. At the same time the US education system is being diluted to the point where we can not produce the workers needed, and by lowering the number of slots open to US workers, we drive down students incentives to train for those positions.

    And, as to those workers being "highly skilled", or "posers being weeded out early", this is by and large incorrect.

    Rather than expend resources proping up an unnecessary H1-B visa program that subverts the very economic system we hold up as an example to the rest of the world, we need to turn those resources back into our education system.

    Perhaps the US should heed the wishes of Thomas Paine, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and other great former leaders and return to an isolationist, America First, agenda.

     

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      Mike (profile), May 16th, 2007 @ 5:34pm

      Re:

      If their were insufficent skilled workers to fill all of the tech jobs available at fair-market wages, then the author would be correct.

      Hmmmmmm. Let's see, IT unemployment is at its lowest in ages and companies are having a difficult time hiring:

      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070424/221110.shtml

      Meanwhile, wages are up:

      http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070412/082734.shtml

      Which would suggest (as you point out) that I'm correct. So why is the rest of your article saying I'm not? You've got me confused...

      The H1-B program's only practical affect is to unfairly shift the supply demand matrix in the technical arena to create a buyer's market for services, thus if not effectively lowering wages and benefits short term, preventing wages from adjusting upwards to their true, market driven, value long term while effectively reducing the tax base both long and short term, as well as removing significant revenue from the national economy

      I see. So you prefer it when these foreign workers work in their home countries, build up companies that knock US firms out of business, so that the US gets none of the benefits and loses many more jobs?

      You are extremely confused about how both capitalism and markets work. It is not a zero-sum game. Having a job for a smart foreigner does not mean a job is lost for an American. If the foreigner can create economic growth, that can create many more jobs. Having the smartest people working in your country for your companies is the best way to create that growth. Forcing them out is the best way to destroy value.

      Perhaps the US should heed the wishes of Thomas Paine, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and other great former leaders and return to an isolationist, America First, agenda.

      Yeah, because the history of protectionism is that it destroys economies. That's *just* what we want.

       

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        Himey, May 16th, 2007 @ 6:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Mike,

        I'm a regular reader of Techdirt and I've noticed that "not a zero-sum game" has become quite the buzzword around here lately. For many things, this is very true. It is probably even true in this case.

        However, the stance you're taking is great if you look at it like you're a politician or one of the greedy CEO's of one of these companies who is trying to line his pockets and squeeze out every last dime for the fatcat shareholders.

        The rest of us are all grunts out in the field. We're seeing it...We're living it. We are the ones feeling the pinches & pressures.

        Sure....Wages are up and unemployment is down. Wages might be up even more if it weren't for the H1-B Indians keeping the average wage down. I'm sure you'll say that would force many of the jobs offshore to India. I'm fine with that because I'm confident that most of those jobs will come back when management finds that the talent pool isn't as skilled as ours and it really isn't any cheaper to do substandard work on the other side of the world.

        Now before anyone tells me to go read the book "The World Is Flat" let me state that I have. I also think it is mostly a load of crap. I don't agree with the author that we should basically give up on any job that can be done remotely and wait for the next magic industry to just appear and give us all new jobs.

         

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          Mike (profile), May 16th, 2007 @ 6:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          However, the stance you're taking is great if you look at it like you're a politician or one of the greedy CEO's of one of these companies who is trying to line his pockets and squeeze out every last dime for the fatcat shareholders.

          The rest of us are all grunts out in the field. We're seeing it...We're living it. We are the ones feeling the pinches & pressures.


          Indeed, I'm not saying it might not be painful, but, honestly, what's your solution? It's to sit tight and wait for the Indian competition to your company to force it out of business? How does that help you?

          You even admit it's a non-zero sum game. You even admit that hiring is tight. You even admit that wages are up. So why are you complaining?

           

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            Himey, May 16th, 2007 @ 6:39pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The "solution" is probably way to long to address here and would take a whole series of articles like the Economics of Non-Scare Items articles that you guys have done.

            This is just one of many problems that have the US in a pretty messed up position. We still have the strongest economy in the world, but that will change within our lifetimes. I'd say that it is pretty likely that we could fall out of the top 3 within the next 50 years.

            The world is in for some BIG changes over the next couple of decades and I don't think any of them will be good for the US. All of our current policies...from economics to military to foreign relations...are leading us right down that path.

            Inviting your competition into your work place and training him how to do your job doesn't seem like the smartest competitive move on our part. It may show short-term gains for the US economy, but will hurt us in the long run.

             

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              IronChef, May 17th, 2007 @ 1:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If you have a moment, check out all the real basic questions that start coming through some of the Google & Yahoo Groups on advanced ERP skillsets like ABAP programming, MM, and other SAP-related topics.

              Hi to experts,
              i have a doubt.
              1. how can we define a 'client' in SAP..?
              pls, be send me the reply immediately..


              If one doesn't know basic terminology about SAP, please step away from the production system immediately.

              A few weeks ago there was a round of emails about lying on resumes, and how it was substantiated as "ok" by the community.


              The trouble is that as a nation, we don't want to take the $7.00/hr jobs, and we also don't want the $150/hr jobs. One doesn't pay enough, the other is "too hard."

              While maintaining the lead in tech is a great feat, we should start teaching some of these server-based ERP, and other technology in HS. Apparently in Germany, SAP is a part of high school curriculum.. We're so behind it's not even funny-- We're so lazy, now insourcing labor... Imagine that.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, May 17th, 2007 @ 7:59am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Check the grammar and punctuation on the majority of these questions and it becomes clear that the petitioner is not a native speaker of English.

                Also, short term foreign workers do not equal long term strengthening of the economy. If the H1-B's were tied to permanent immigration AND extremely limited ability to tranfer income earned here overseas, then maybe Mike would be correct.

                Also, using your own prior articles as evidence that your current article's assumptions are correct is, well,

                 

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        Foreign Worker, May 16th, 2007 @ 6:03pm

        Re: Re:Well Said

        I completely agree with Mark...The world is changing...My US friends let's build a bright future together...God bless America and rest of the world.

         

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    tracker1, May 16th, 2007 @ 11:53am

    How about a salary floor for H1Bs?

    I think there should be a salary floor of $80k/year or $55/hr for H1Bs, simply because the stated purpose is to fill a need that is under-served... this would prevent a lot of the abuse in places that bring in H1Bs simply to replace local/native employees.

     

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    Frankly Speaking, May 16th, 2007 @ 11:59am

    You must be kidding!!! Do you work for the America

    First, you don't define "prevailing wage". Wages, in the marketplace are a range, not fixed amount and H1's get paid at the bottom of the range. This eventually erodes the range and mathematically becomes "cheap labor." You are also too late. This is not a discussion about what could happen; it's already happening. The salary range for most positions has been eroding for many years due to this. You just don't know it. Translation: you are not qualified to even write this article.

    Second, the abuses are everywhere and all companies have found loopholes and un-audited ways to hire illegally. GE replaced me and others with contractors from Birlasoft. Birlasoft hired an Indian who had been under contract, let go, sat around the U.S. for over 9 months and then got a new H1 contract w/Birlasoft. He should have been deported. Birlasoft should not be hiring H1's from within the US.

    Third: To allow no limits on H1's would make big busisness wet their pants. They know that H1's won't complain, will work 80 hour weeks, and can be done as contractors so no HR issues. IF you remove H1 limits, the so-called "prevailing wage" will drop even further as companies use the lowest dollar amount they can get away with. It follows that U.S. workers will have to accept jobs at H1 wages.

    Lastly, H1's are a modern day version of servitude. I would see 8 or more pile out of a van every morning (and that's just one of many vans) from their 2-3 bedroom apt where they live in bunk beds.

    You getting this??? Wake up a**hole!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 16th, 2007 @ 3:31pm

    IMO, The problem with mixing unlimited H1-B visas and the software development industry, is that there are no industry standards for competence. I could have stopped by the local community college and picked up 4 or 5 guys better than the H1-B people I work with. The company doesnt care because the H1-Bs are willing to work for peanuts, and there are a ton of them. Its a lot EASIER (and cheaper) to hire H1-Bs in bulk than to slowly build a team of US folks willing to relocate to your office.

    There are always thousands of Indian guys willing to _say_ they can develop software ready to jump on site at a moment's notice. The companies that sponsor them are, in my experience, VERY loose with credentials. Most of them seem like they spent a few months at DeVry learning how to code then jumped on a plane.

     

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    Brandon, May 17th, 2007 @ 12:51am

    All of the H1-B visa engineers I've worked with ar

    While I'm sure that some of these first hand anecdotes about H1-B visa sweat shops are true, let me tell you my first hand anecdote about working with H1-B visa engineers.

    All of the H1-B visa engineers I've worked with are better engineers than you.

    The company I work for has practically unlimited hiring of engineers, as long as they are excellent. And we hire hundreds of them a month. And we don't really care where they come from, as long as they speak english and they have excellent technical skills. We know they have excellent technical skills, because our interviews are amoung the most challenging.

    And if we can't get the H1-B visas to have them work here, we'll hire them overseas in other countries where we can get visas for them. Or even in their home countries.

    I can tell you first hand that if there were no H1-B visas, we wouldn't hire you. They aren't taking your job, they're taking a job you can't have.

    Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe you are qualified, you just haven't tried, or maybe you insist on living somewhere where there aren't good engineering jobs. In either case, they still aren't taking your job.

    Yes, its a bitch to compete against the best and brightest in the whole world, and not just in the US.

    I don't know what the solution is, how to prevent the abuses you've seen, but provide me with the best engineers regardless of nationality.

     

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    smartypants, May 17th, 2007 @ 6:06am

    Time to cull the dead wood

    Competition is good and it will allow companies to cull out the incompetent, lazy and hygiene-challenged co-workers we all have to work with every day.

    Now, if we could only eliminate the 98% of Congress too dumb to pour piss out of a boot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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