Why Does Congress Want Smart, Highly Educated Workers To Stay Out Of The US?

from the just-wondering dept

Whenever we write about H1-B visas, we seem to get attacked by people who confuse the fact that there are some companies who abuse the program with the overall benefit of getting smart, highly educated workers working for American companies -- rather than against them. It certainly fits with economist's Bryan Caplan's theory that many people have specific biases that blind them to the bigger picture. All four of those biases actually come into play on this issue. The anti-market bias that doesn't recognize the benefits of competition and assumes that protectionism helps an industry, when it actually hurts. The anti-foreign bias that obviously comes into play when people seem to be against immigrants because they're "not American" even if they help the American economy. The make-work bias that falsely assumes that it's better to have people employed right now than creating an economy that will produce more, better paying jobs in the future. And, finally, the pessimistic bias that assumes that because some foreign workers may take a job from a higher paid American, that we're all going to lose our jobs.

The reality is quite different. Competition is what drives innovation and progress. By having competitors, it pushes companies to continually improve their offerings and serve the market with better and cheaper products. That's a good thing. Protecting an industry is a recipe for killing it, as it simply allows foreign competitors to run circles around the domestic players, killing off the international market and making Americans worse off. Second, having smart, well-educated foreign workers working for US companies, rather than for foreign competition clearly helps the American economy by keeping those companies strong and innovating, rather than getting crushed by foreign competition. Finally, if those American companies can do better and create new desired products, they can create more jobs. Jobs are not a zero-sum game.

Unfortunately, these biases are strong and difficult to fight. Politicians driven by polls too often succumb to them. The latest news is that Congress is against letting in more H1-B workers, guaranteeing that those workers will instead go to work for foreign companies -- working against American companies. It's difficult to see how anyone can favor that, but that's the way it is unfortunately. It is true that the H1-B program has been abused by some companies. But the answer isn't to punish the H1-B program, but to punish the abusers.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    RandomThoughts, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 7:17am

    Mike, I totally agree with everything you just wrote. America really does need a wake up call. Its not just H1-B's either, its limiting the foreign students who apply to American colleges.

    Whats wrong with draining the elite from the rest of the world and having them go to school here? Sure, some of them go back to their own country, but some will stay and build America. The ones that do go back will probably have a better opinion of America. Seems like a win-win to me.

    Friedman wrote of a great African proverb when talking about the change going on in the world. It talks about the lion and the gazelle. It goes something like "it doesn't matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when you wake up in the morning you had better be running"

    Does H1-B increase unemployment in America? Probably not, more jobs are created than lost. The only problem is that when someone becomes unemployed, the unemployment rate is 100%. Its a tough political message to have to tell someone that yeah, your job went away. You have to retool. I can hire someone from China or India that has 3 PhD's.

    The world is flat, more and more, the best and the brightest don't have to come to America to do business anymore. They can stay home. We need to make sure that we continue to attract the best and the brightest.

    It isn't comforting to know that Johnny has to compete with the rest of the world, but if you don't ride the wave, you will be underwater.

     

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    Steve Marcantonio, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 7:35am

    Your article is in itself biased and not supported by the available facts. Dismissing the opposition to H1-B visas as prejudice is in itself biased and misleading. In the most extensive study of it's kind it was found that tech companies are promoting this bill for the express reason of hiring talent at lower wages then they would have to pay to American workers. Corporate profits and executive bonuses have risen steadily for 6 years while average worker wages have stagnated. The fact is that highly skilled workers in America remain underemployed and under compensated and this bill will only serve to exacerbate that problem to the benefit of coporations' bottom line.

     

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    dorpus, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 7:38am

    Who is crushing us?

    So where are these foreign companies that are beating us in high-tech industries? Is the H1-B really helping us, or is it a welfare program to train foreign elites so they can take knowledge back to their countries? I have heard the "wake-up call" argument a million times, but where are these foreign IT firms that are innovating more than we are?

    American corporations have opened research centers in Asia to "tap local talent", but they have quietly shut them down when Asian talent proved worthless. Companies such as Oracle, Microsoft, Motorola, etc. have shuttered operations at mini-silicon valleys in Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, etc. because the local "geniuses" were just two-bit copycats with no ideas of their own.

     

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    mjr1007, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 7:59am

    Conflating

    Mike wrote:

    Competition is what drives innovation and progress. By having competitors, it pushes companies to continually improve their offerings and serve the market with better and cheaper products.

    mjr1007 responded:

    Mike you were half right.

    Creativity is what drives invention and innovation not competition.

    Competition is what pushes companies to improve their offering.

    Goes back to an earlier posting, companies that can't monetize the innovation view it as an expense which they feel can and should be eliminated. At least for the short term, which is all companies look at now.

    Reducing the innovation expense at a company just ensures the company will be marginalized. Great new products is what saves great companies.

     

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    Morgan, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:08am

    Steve's World

    Gotta be tough living in Steve Marcantonio's world, where faceless corporations control your life, and you are helpless to stop them. Productivity is productivity, and you can get paid what you're worth, regardless of what you feel. Might you need to change employers? Might you need to take risks to keep your wages from stagnating? Yes, and something tells me folks like you just don't.

    As for outside companies crushing us, no that's not common. Because so far, the opportunities we have in the US aren't universal or even widespread, which is why they are trying to come here. I don't think the fact that great minds are hobbled outside the US is a great reason to leave them out there, when there are so many examples of them doing great things once they're here.

    Also, competition is coming. We don't just automatically get to be number one by default. We have to actively BE number one. In productivity, in innovation, in invention, not in xenophobia, paranoia, and economic infantilism. Freer market economies than ours are going to start being true competition, and I don't think the time to start adjusting is after they are 'crushing us'.

     

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    dorpus, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:16am

    Re: Steve's World

    As for the argument that freer economies are supposed to do better than us, we see examples of unregulated free economies in China, Russia, and African companies. In those countries, businesses can behave however they want, producing harmful products, dumping trash into rivers, bribing the government, hiring gangsters to kill competitors. Such free-market economies are confined to a third world standard of living, as they harm the country as a whole.

     

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    Reed, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:18am

    Not sure about H1-B

    Our job markets are pretty flooded already and it is hard for many people with bachelors or masters to find work. Inviting more people into the mix with a high education level would only serve to drive up unemployment and subsequently drive down wages. We should, like most other modern countries such as Australia, make sure our own populace is well employed before we allow other workers in. Foreign workers should only be taking jobs that cannot be filled by American workers.

     

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    bwp, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:21am

    Re:

    We actually don't need to limit foreign students coming in but we need to hold them to the same standards and encourage American students to apply for advanced degrees.

    I received a masters degree from a state university (the state that I lived in for 30 years and paid taxes in for 15 years) and even though I had similar GMAT (+/- 20 points)and GPA (+/- .1) scores as incoming foreign students, I was denied scholarships and assistantships because they were needed for the foreign students. That same year I was admitted to the program, 5 long-time state citizens and 6 American citizens were denied admission to make room for foreign students. These were all qualified candidates. The following year, none of those candidates that were turned down applied to the program again. I know they might have been accepted to another program but I'm also sure that at least a few of them didn't apply because they were discouraged.

    That same year, ETS admitted that mostly likely the majority of GMAT scores coming from Asia were invalid due to cheating but American unversities did nothing because academics in American are more worried about "teaching the world" rather than American students.

    Don't bring up the fact that universities are receiving donations from alums and corporations and don't rely on funding from the federal government or state governments. While true that they do receive other money, they still need the money that comes from government.

    As long as Americans are funding universities, those universities need to worry about American students first and then by all means bring in foreign students.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:31am

    You seem to assume that all people applying for H1-B visas are "bright, intelligent, motivated people". That assumption is not correct.

     

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    an immigrant, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:46am

    i'm an immigrant

    My Wife and I are British. We've lived/worked in Spain and Ireland and are soon to try Australia.

    We're both "bright, intelligent, motivated people" and have always made efforts to contribute and integrate into each of the places we have lived.

    We're moving to OZ to hopefully combine the outdoors lifestyle we had in Spain with the career opportunities we had in Ireland. My wife was very keen for us to go to the US instead but it is so difficult to get in and there is no guarantee that we would both be granted visas. She's a Scientist and I'm work in IT.

    OZ does have criteria for us to meet but they seem to recognise that people like us who want to take the time and effort to leave our families behind do so to work and to contribute their society.

    Americas loss will be Australia's gain in this case.

    Also, an engineer friend of mine who emigrated from Scotland to the US a few years back is considering returning to Scotland due to the increasing anti-foreigner feeling he tells me is only getting worse.

     

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    TheDock22, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:48am

    Re: Who is crushing us?

    I have heard the "wake-up call" argument a million times, but where are these foreign IT firms that are innovating more than we are?

    Try Japan. And what about China? They are coming out with very innovative products.

    I have said it before and I still believe it, but Americans are lazy. The number one reason people cannot find a job of their choice is because they refuse to relocate. They want a job within 100 miles of where the live and then complain about "foreigners" when they cannot find a job. If you REALLY wanted a job in your field you would move. Quit being lazy and go find a job. I know of hundreds of technology jobs out there that just sit because no one applies for them.

    At least H1B visa holders are eager for a job, no matter where it is located.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:50am

    Wow Mike, way off base

    Companies that prefer H1B's over homegrown people are doing it for a money reason: it's called "insourcing". They can get the H1B for approx 1/3rd the cost of the local, and since they are tied to the company, they can and DO treat them like shit. Uni's are the biggest offenders of this.

    Your stance is "well, Americans are stupid so we HAVE to order up a bunch of H1B's", which is what the big corps want to make you think. Doing this self-feeds into breeding more and more stupid 'mericans, which hey, look, makes the above true now!

     

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    RandomThoughts, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:52am

    Anti-foreigner feeling against someone from Scotland? I find that hard to believe.

    I have had the pleasure to work with many "foreigners" here in the US. They are currently working on important issues here in the US. Healthcare research, financial services issues, WiMAX rollouts, they really are helping drive big issues here in the US. Of course, not all that come are the "best and the brightest" but it all adds up. Do we have to take care of our own? Of course, but we need to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Opportunity and "right" are two different things.

     

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    Chris, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:57am

    I don't mind inadequate H1-B numbers one bit...

    because I'm a Canadian. You see, every time someone in this country can't take a job in the USA due to H1-B quotas being filled, that's one more highly skilled person looking for work in Canada. And who's hiring them? American companies, that's who. Microsoft just opened a new development centre near Vancouver which will employ hundreds of those Canadians that America doesn't seem to want.

    Microsoft is on record as saying that the reason they chose the location they did was inability to get H1-B workers, and the fact that there are plenty of qualified IT folks just 120 miles away from Redmond in Vancouver BC.

    I don't mind if American companies are forced to set up shop here to get qualified workers. Hell - get rid of H1-B quotas altogether! Let us have MORE of your jobs, with our economy getting the benefit, not yours.

     

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    dorpus, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:58am

    Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    Try Japan.

    Pray tell, what innovative IT products come from Japan? The quality of the Japanese work force is so bad that American companies are building Japanese versions of software in the US.

    And what about China?

    Yes, what about them? Have they produced anything other than counterfeits?

    I have said it before and I still believe it, but Americans are lazy.

    As opposed to East Asians who spend their day smoking cigarettes in offices, pretending to work, going on all-night drinking binges? If you refuse to believe me, you haven't been to East Asia.

     

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    H1, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:58am

    Nice but off

    As an executive it is easy to see why companies want for VISA workers. They work for less, it is not that they are smarter per se. It is all about profits and the stock price.

     

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    Aj, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:02am

    In my shoes

    The problem with H1B is the way it was created. The companies pretty much own the H1B employees. The H1B employee cannot switch to another company (unless that company gets a new H1B visa). So, the employee is stuck with the company. That is how the companies control the salary paid for an H1B employee.

    The congress, in its infinite wisdom, created a bonded labor for these companies. Get rid of those restrictions and see how many of these companies would go for additional H1B visas? Probably none. Most people blame the H1B employees. Its not the employees, its the idiot politicians who created the bonded labor scenario.

     

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    TheDock22, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    Pray tell, what innovative IT products come from Japan?

    Ninetendo has always been the most innovative gaming system. The Wii is no exception. How about the Milan Project and the revolutionary coffee table? That was built by the Japan branch of Microsoft. Also they have made leaps and bounds in the Biotechnology industry, and robotics....

    Yes, what about them? Have they produced anything other than counterfeits?

    They are on the forefront of coming out with some technological advances that is all a buzz in the technology forums. Few people have much insight into this since they pretty much keep it hush, but I believe they will come out with something fantastic in the next few years.

    As opposed to East Asians who spend their day smoking cigarettes in offices, pretending to work, going on all-night drinking binges? If you refuse to believe me, you haven't been to East Asia.

    That does not sound much different from Americans, except most of them would move across the country for a good job instead a complaining.

     

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  19.  
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    Mr. C, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:18am

    WTF, over!

    Do any of you understand why there's so much negativity against foreigners in America? No, really, DO YOU?

    We have thousands of colleges right here in the U.S., pumping out hundreds of thousands of students each year with bachelors and masters degrees in every field you can think of, yet you folks believe that these students are incapable of filling the jobs that are given to H1-B employees? Hmmm, perhaps we should reorganize our schooling system? Yeah, that's it! We'll do something else that's unnecessary!

    Having said that, I could care less who fills a job LEGALLY in America! Its those pesky varmints who can't seem to stay out of our country no matter what we do to try and keep them out!

    Let's just say we put our foot down for a change and start removing the illegal foreigners from America, start checking for visas when we hire, and put some real work into punishing companies who hire H1-B foreigners when there are so many from America, who will NOT require a translator to communicate, who will already understand how things work in this country, and who are able and willing to be put to work for a wage commensurate with their skills!

    Bottom line should be for all employers, its not that we don't want outsiders, but we would rather hire competent Americans before we look at potential H1-B employees, and if you aren't legal, we're DEFINITELY not interested in you!

     

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    h1bwatcher, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:22am

    "Productivity is productivity, and you can get paid what you're worth, regardless of what you feel."

    Has nothing to do with productivity ... two equally productive employees ... one from the United States, and one artificially imported from India, receive different pay under the H1B visa program.

    Both produce exactly the same output ... but one is paid less. Who receives the difference (profit)? Why, the investor, that's who.

    H1B is nothing more than the artificial manipulation of labor markets by monopolists. Microsoft's Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffet - two of the top 3 richest men in the world - are the primary drivers behind expansion of the H1B Visa program, which is designed to do nothing more than import cheap labor to artificially increase their profits at the expense of US citizens.

    Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are thus, more productive, at the expense of the US citizens who have historically paid the taxes which created the infrastructure they piggyback on and secure the markets they operate in with the poorest of all Americans - US Soldiers.

     

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    dorpus, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    Ninetendo has always been the most innovative gaming system.

    They've depended on American programmers to make their systems work. Many of their products are never sold in the US because of its inappropriate content, such as pedophilia.

    How about the Milan Project and the revolutionary coffee table?

    How many failures did they go through to get there? American corporations have had plenty of research centers in Japan, which have invariably proven to be disappointments. Japanese university graduates do not understand the basics of science; great Asian workers are almost always educated in US universities.

    Also they have made leaps and bounds in the Biotechnology industry,

    Which biotech products? We do not hear about Japanese contributions to understanding the human genome, or any other revolutionary advances. Asian countries have embarked on the scientifically worthless "HUGO" project, designed to find racial differences between Asians to support patriotic agendas. As all geneticists know, the variation within a population far outweights the variation between them. The more we learn about genetics, the more useless ethnicity is as a predictor of anything.

    They are on the forefront of coming out with some technological advances that is all a buzz in the technology forums. Few people have much insight into this since they pretty much keep it hush, but I believe they will come out with something fantastic in the next few years.

    I've heard those lines ten years ago, when US companies were in a building frenzy of Asian research labs that were supposed to increase innovation so much.


    That does not sound much different from Americans, except most of them would move across the country for a good job instead a complaining.


    Would they? Asian economies are plagued with high unemployment rates, with entire subcultures of young people who sit around at home doing nothing. Governments publish dishonest employment statistics to make the situation look better.

     

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  22.  
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    Bill Gates, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:37am

    Mike,

    The reason you folks get attacked is because you are obviously totally clueless about what goes on in the H-1B program.

    "Some" companies abuse the program.
    Mike, try most. Or Nearly all. That's what the numbers say.

    "Smart", "Highly educated". Come on Mike. Ever seen what gets imported on an H-1B visa. A mail order college degree is all it takes to get one.

     

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    Immigrant, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:43am

    90% of the students I went to school with for my Masters were foreigners, I am talking Engineering as that is most relevant to H1B.
    Why?
    Are Americans stupid? Probably not but they are not as motivated or driven as person who spends a little fortune to study in US (they tuition is almost 3x of what a resident pays) and that Drive is evident when they work as well.

    Open market favors productivity - that is the source of all capitalism.
    If foreign workers were not better then they would be discarded just as quickly.

     

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    dorpus, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    p.s. There is a clear different in attitude also. Americans are gung-ho survivalists, and young people make a big deal out of supporting themselves. They put on elaborate pretenses of how they are paying their own way through school. In Asia, young people depend on their parents, and don't take life seriously. In many cases, the parents tell their children to "enjoy life" rather than work in a miserable office.

     

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    :, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:47am

    If you can't get a job with decent pay because your field has a trend in outsourcing, how are you expected to just wait until jobs are created the efforts of your stolen job? That's nonsense, who would actually roll over and accept a lapse in their career while crossing their fingers that new opportunities might be created? People have bills to pay, right now! Not whenever the economy has an upswing.

     

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    TheDock22, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    They've depended on American programmers to make their systems work. Many of their products are never sold in the US because of its inappropriate content, such as pedophilia.

    So? Without the hardware American programmers would not have jobs doing it. Beside, the main operating system components were programmed in Japan. The "pretty" interface was US. And who cares about the content of their video games, you asked me to prove they can compete with the US when it comes to innovation and I have. Quite trying to change the topic to avoid admitting your mistake.

    How many failures did they go through to get there?

    Still, not the point. America has just as many innovative failures before they come out with a good product.

    Japanese university graduates do not understand the basics of science; great Asian workers are almost always educated in US universities.

    Show me one single statistic to prove this or else I will believe you completely made this statement up.

    Which biotech products? We do not hear about Japanese contributions to understanding the human genome, or any other revolutionary advances.

    Ever heard of biofilm? Japan has a wonderful lab devoted to documenting the different types of biofilm and hoping to stop the dangerous strains from growing while promoting the good strains. They also have a lab to study the effects biological warfare. Drugs now coming into circulation in the US for a range of problems including heart disease and cancer treatment has been developed in Japan.

    Would they? Asian economies are plagued with high unemployment rates, with entire subcultures of young people who sit around at home doing nothing. Governments publish dishonest employment statistics to make the situation look better.

    Yes, like the US unemployment rate is so much better and our children are springing up in the morning to skip off to school. All in all, I would say the US is even with Asian countries when it comes to their problems with unemployment and apathy among the masses.

     

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    :, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:51am

    Re:

    "In the most extensive study of it's kind it was found that tech companies are promoting this bill for the express reason of hiring talent at lower wages then they would have to pay to American workers."

    Amen, skill level doesn't matter if they can get the same job done by paying someone on a work visa a third of what they'd pay their domestic counterpart. What's a degree holding American to do? Waste more time and money re-educating themselves since the career they've built themselves up for has been stolen away? I guess it all just sounds like bias until you've had it happen to your job.

     

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    Bob Knight, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 10:12am

    Why do we need H1B's

    When I lived in a small town in south east Kentucky I lived next door to a group of H1B's. They were working for one of them companies that do payroll for another company. They were working to write the in-house software for the task.
    Now this was not super computer science, these guys were general programmers, and brought in as H1B's because they were much cheaper than any guy from the states.
    The only reason for H1B's are that they are cheaper than a local hire.
    When I write this I recall the man who worked for HP who was told to train an H1B's as his replacement. Before he was laid off.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 10:46am

    Because smart and well educated people are much harder to rule? And the govt needs stupid, obedient sheep.

     

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    dorpus, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 10:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    So? Without the hardware American programmers would not have jobs doing it.

    Hardware manufacture has been outsourced to Asia since the 1980s, since there is no money in it. New hardware is still designed here, though.

    Quite trying to change the topic to avoid admitting your mistake.

    So there is one game company that is reasonably successful, but where are the other successes? Where are the Japanese RDBMS systems, enterprise management systems, or alternatives to Microsoft?

    (On Japanese universities)
    Show me one single statistic to prove this or else I will believe you completely made this statement up.

    Most of my sources are in Japanese. Many Japanese TV shows have shown graduates of top Japanese universities unable to answer simple math questions, or point to China on a map. However, there is one book in English.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/customer-reviews/0765609258/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_summary/10 2-9239773-7792969?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books#customerReviews

    "Students' academic ability is in free-fall, writes Okabe. Simple logical thinking is beyond them. Their vocabulary is childish, their grasp of mathematics feeble, their curiosity nowhere in evidence. The latter is doubly surprising, he points out, in view of the young generation's easy familiarity with the Internet -- but the Net apparently appeals to them more as a playground than as a research venue."

    "I taught in a Japanese branch of an American college for 8 years. As the author points out, Japanese undergraduate education entails 4 years of partying. Students often don't attend a single class in order to get a BA. The Malaysian Ministry of Education won't recognize Japanese undergraduate degrees. Japanese should not be admitted to American graduate schools based on what they did in Japan."

    Ever heard of biofilm?

    An old problem, yes.

    Japan has a wonderful lab devoted to documenting the different types of biofilm and hoping to stop the dangerous strains from growing while promoting the good strains.

    What are their successes?

    They also have a lab to study the effects biological warfare.

    So does Cuba or Eritrea, but what meaningful work have they produced?

    Drugs now coming into circulation in the US for a range of problems including heart disease and cancer treatment has been developed in Japan.

    Which ones? The market is oversaturated with heart and cancer drugs. Just because they launch a product does not mean it will succeed; where are the Japanese successes? Japanese cancer drugs are about 20 years behind the West, since the government refuses to approve their use in Japan. Rich cancer patients in Japan all go to the US to get treatment.

    Yes, like the US unemployment rate is so much better

    Indeed. Companies in Japan and South Korea are openly expressing preference for hiring high school graduates, so college graduates in Japan/Korea have resorted to lying about being high school graduates. As even wikipedia says,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_education_in_Japan

    "The generally small numbers of graduate students and the graduate enrollment profile results from a number of factors, especially the traditional employment pattern of industry. The private sector frequently prefer to hire and train new university graduates, allowing them to develop their research skills within the corporate structure. Thus, the demand for students with advanced degrees is low."

     

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  31.  
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    Patrick, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 11:09am

    Mike is a corporate shill

    Take it from someone that actually works in the field, the H1B visa program is widely abused. Incidently, anyone that would sell out a fellow American worker by spreading this corporate propaganda masquerading as an "article" is the lowest form of scumbag.

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    Wikipedia yeah that is always accurate. Oh wait according to Mike it is. And everything he writes is correct. Seriously, who uses wikipedia as an actual source. Try researching.

     

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    dorpus, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who is crushing us

    There are Japanese news articles I read every day about Japan's rigid labor market, and how it has created an entire "lost generation" of college graduates in their 30s who can't get jobs. Restricting ourselves to English,

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fd20070902t3.html

    http://www.npr.org/templates /story/story.php?storyId=6535284

    http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=837952 003

     

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  34.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 7th, 2007 @ 11:30am

    Re:

    Has nothing to do with productivity ... two equally productive employees ... one from the United States, and one artificially imported from India, receive different pay under the H1B visa program.

    That's an abuse of the program. As I said, go after the abuses, not the program.

    which is designed to do nothing more than import cheap labor to artificially increase their profits at the expense of US citizens.

    Nope. It was designed to bring smart, motivated, highly trained people to America to work for American companies, rather than competing against them.

    I like how everyone attacking this post refuses to explain why it's better to have these people competing against American companies.

     

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  35.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 7th, 2007 @ 11:32am

    Re: Not sure about H1-B

    Our job markets are pretty flooded already and it is hard for many people with bachelors or masters to find work. Inviting more people into the mix with a high education level would only serve to drive up unemployment and subsequently drive down wages.

    Which world are you looking at? Here in Silicon Valley it's nearly impossible to find qualified, good engineers. It's REALLY difficult. So I don't buy the idea that it's difficult for people with bachelors and masters to find work. Most companies I talk to can't find enough good people.

     

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    Mike (profile), Sep 7th, 2007 @ 11:34am

    Re: Wow Mike, way off base

    They can get the H1B for approx 1/3rd the cost of the local, and since they are tied to the company, they can and DO treat them like shit. Uni's are the biggest offenders of this.


    Again, that's an abuse. Fight the abuse, not the program.

    Your stance is "well, Americans are stupid so we HAVE to order up a bunch of H1B's", which is what the big corps want to make you think. Doing this self-feeds into breeding more and more stupid 'mericans, which hey, look, makes the above true now!

    No, my stance is not that Americans are stupid. My stance is that tech companies are having a HELL of a time trying to hire good people these days, and why would you want smart foreigners working for other companies rather than the US ones?

    I love how no one bothers to explain that.

     

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    dorpus, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who is crushing us

    I posted more links, but techdirt "sent the comment for review". If you don't believe me, ask Mike.

     

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    Steve Jones, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 11:45am

    It's not Americans aren't motivated or stupid

    It's the universities won't let them in, they discriminate against us citizens every day to get that foreign money. Schools should loose 100% of their federal funding if they ever turn down a qualified US citizen, for foreign money.

     

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    RandomThoughts, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 11:54am

    Whats the unemployment rate here in the US? I know there is underemployment, but the job market I see is pretty good.

     

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    dockane, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 12:22pm

    perspective is everything

    Mike certainly has some points worth noting, and as a former academic advisor and personal friend to many people who have successfully and unsuccessfully gone through the H1B process, I can tell you, those babies are not as easy to come by as one might think. I have also been downsized and outsourced myself, so I can understand where the frustration comes from in these cases.


    To the argument that states it is cheaper to hire an H1B, I would suggest speaking with a CFO or attorney at a corporation who does use foreign talent to fill open positions. Doing show might shed some light on the fact that many companies are actually reluctant to hire H1B candidates because they often cost MORE money that one might expect.

    Legal fees are one additional cost, and sometimes even the most basic of hires can cost up to 4K. Then there is also the possibility of losing the intended hire after going through all the paperwork (read legal fees, lost time in re-hiring and training a new person, etc.). Contrary to what may be said elsewhere, this too is common, and it is perpetuated as a result of the restrictions placed upon the candidate who accepts an H1B position. They are most often locked into that job, despite the supposed ease of portability. Also, please keep in mind that the H1B is only ONE of the many visas utilized to hire foreign talent. And with a cap somewhere around 65K, you can see just how small this particular visa contributes to the many faces we see in the workplace each day.


    The other item that seems to be overlooked is the fact that companies are required by law to publicly disclose (often in a break room or other communal area) to post the intended salary rate of the H1B hire. It is worth noting that this number is not plucked out of the sky, and is part of a lengthy job valuation process required by the Department of Labor. Again, the people dealing with this every day in an ethical and responsible way (to Mike's point) will tell you this too is no easy task, and frequently the salary required for the firm to offer the candidate is actually HIGHER than they would like to pay, resulting in an improved second offer for the candidate.

    Someone mentioned the fact that a number of individuals seeking H1B visas are attending the same schools as American students. This might make it seem that these students then have an advantage over Americans with the same educational background because of the apparent thirsty desire of the American corporation for foreign talent.

    What is not known is that these students are, in the VAST majority of cases, left to their own devices to find work. University recruitment offices and international offices alike are ill-equipped to give advice or directly help these students find jobs after graduation. Imagine for a moment looking for a job in another country with no real understanding of the law, the workplace and zero connections. Could you pull off? If anything these students are at a disadvantage in the American job market and most go home because they cannot get through the legal muck to make any sense of it. THIS is where the brain drain really occurs. It isn't as much that they come here, take US jobs and THEN leave; they often never even have a chance. We educate them here and then let them return home to their own countries to further develop their skills overseas and from there start competing.

    Lastly, while losing jobs is never fun, particularly when it hits in our own wallets, it is a fact of life that many of us have to work our way through at some point. I have personally been through this having worked through the consolidation in the music industry several years back. I am also the owner of a business currently being challenged by overseas talent with a similar skill set. So what to do? Is it all new, are we all falling off the planet? Hardly.

    I wrote a post about this very situation and the supposed death of the music industry a few weeks ago on my Blog after speaking with an old history professor of mine. His insights were enlightening and straightforward. The end is not near; rather the beginning is right around the corner. If you're interested, you can read it here: http://www.musicbusinesspage.com/2007/07/death-of-music-industry-nonsense.html

     

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    Dave, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 1:08pm

    Re: And where do we find these smart ppl in US !!!

    Last year I tried to recruit to ramp up my team for some serious system level work. I needed 12 ppl, after 9 months and frustrating experience with the local (US based, regardless of their citizenship/visa status) we went to a China based ODC. Salary/compensation was no bar for the right candidates. Still no good candidates.

    Where are these smart people you keep talking about?

     

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    Steven Ashley, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 1:16pm

    Why go into I.T.

    If I were an intelligent High School senior with a talent for I.T., I would look long and hard before beginning a degree program in I.T..

    Why because the H-1B program artificially lowers the value of I.T. professionals by bringing in foreign workers to compete for the same entry level jobs that I would be looking to take when leaving school.

    If I'm smart I will look else where, it just isn't worth the trouble.

    And that is exactly what High School students are doing all over the United States. Enrollments have been dropping in I.T. programs everywhere since the H-1B program has been in effect. So instead of solving the I.T. shortage it actually is increasing it.

    Leave the industry alone and let the free market set the value of I.T. employees.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 1:21pm

    > Where are these smart people you keep talking about?

    H1B -> GC, I'm right here, in this particular company which is a developer haven with nearly Googlish ameneties and benefits, and damn it, I'm NOT changing jobs, because it's just so damn cool to work here. However getting the sufficiently smart people to join us has been more and more difficult lately indeed, mostly due to the fact that they already similarly rooted in all the good places. The ones who aren't, are, in fact, stupid. Smarter than the average American, but still stupid. Don't even know what a freaking "pointer" or "method table" is.

     

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    Brad, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 1:38pm

    I am not totally against having people come into this country to live and work, BUT, I think they need to properly integrate themselves into our society to do so. From what I understand, workers over here through programs like this can use our roads, parks, cities, etc. but do not have to pay taxes for any of it, which is not fair. Furthermore, I understand that their paycheck often actually comes from employment agencies in foreign countries, meaning that they are not subject to our income taxes and other withholdings. Again, this is not fair, and not good for our economy.

    Furthermore, what I AM against is foreign workers stealing jobs away from deserving Americans simply because they will work for basically peanuts. It's bad enough calling up some customer service line and ending up getting routed to somebody in India who you can hardly understand. The last thing we need is having U.S.-based call centers staffed by the same people. I cannot honestly believe that U.S. companies are so desperate to hire foreign workers because they cannot find Americans with the proper training and skills.

    Colleges have been downsizing and terminating their computer science programs for the last few years because the job market is flooded with too many "qualified" people and not enough jobs to go around, which therefore is generating a lack of interest in the field. Granted, that could eventually lead to a point where we actually don't have qualified workers available, but we are not even close to that scenario at this point. The technical college I went to used to have one of the best computer science programs around. Instead of just a generic computer science degree, which generally makes you a jack of all trades and master of none in terms of computer skills, they had an entire division with at least a half dozen different degrees you could get in specialized fields. Now due to lack of enrollment and instructor layoffs, they've downsized and merged the various programs to the point where there's only two or three degrees now, and they're becoming more generic again. It pains me to say this, since I got such a great education, but I can no longer recommend that college to anyone looking to go into a career in computers.

    And I also don't buy the story of foreign workers going to work for companies that will hurt U.S. companies, especially not when that story comes from the companies looking to save money by hiring outside the U.S. I don't mind businesses that try to save money whatsoever. What I do mind is when in doing so, they hurt the very economy that they're trying to market to. If you continuously hire foreign workers and keep sending money outside the country, you are taking money away from the very people you are trying to market your goods and services to. Such a cycle will eventually lead to catastrophic collapse of our economy, and then where will you be? Out of business, no doubt.

     

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    Kingsley, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 1:46pm

    Because ..

    .. there aren't any foreign workers in Congress. Just a few would do.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 2:29pm

    > From what I understand, workers over here through programs like this can use our roads, parks, cities, etc. but do not have to pay taxes for any of it, which is not fair.

    WTF are you talking about??? I'm on H1B, and I pay about $25K taxes a year!

     

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    Alex, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 2:42pm

    Re:

    Brad,
    Your understanding is totally wrong. H1B holders pay exactly the same tax as americans, including social security tax. I'm on H1B and I'm LOL every time receiving the statement from Social Security Administration. The statement says that my wife will be payed $N in case I suddenly die today. They don't know that my wife will be immediately deported in that case.

    Come on, refuse all H1Bs, support New Zeland economy to receive their tax.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 3:34pm

    They sucked my brain out thru my dick...

    Is it the job of the US to provide foreign aid cleverly disguised as a H1-B visa program?

    Have these pillars come here and work for us, then offer them a path to citizenship. We don't need $120k/yr workers send 3/4 of their paycheck back home. Bring the family over, and allow them to assimilate. It's why we were the melting pot of the world.

    What some of these companies such as WiPro do is illegal-- WiPro requires many workers to put in 70-100 hours, and because they are paid salary, it devaluates their hourly wage substantially. WiPro can do this because they are a foreign company, and not held to US labor law.

    If you worked here for 1 or 2 years and didn't have family, and lived to work 70-100 hours a week, you'd feel like a commodity and probably hate being taken advantage of too.

    We work to live... Not Live to work.

     

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    Evil Mike, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 4:06pm

    This debate reminds me of a line from a movie...

    "We'll beat the Russians. Our Germans are better than their Germans."

     

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    John Miano, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 4:34pm

    Mike has succumbed to the spin on the H-1B program rather than the reality. To start with he is assigning the attributes of “smart and highly-educated” to apparently all or most H-1B workers. The H-1B visa is for “specialty occupations” (ignoring the fashion models) which is interpreted as meaning those occupations that generally require a college degree.

    One of the problems of the H-1B program is that the government refuses to release the basic data on what is going on (except to lobbyists in support of the program). We do not know how many H-1B visas are going to people with correspondence school degrees or “masters degrees” that we could call a “trade school certificate” in the U.S. The Indian trade press has run many articles over the years describing the preparation for an H-1B visa as a degree through the mail followed by a trade school.

    When I was on H-1B hot lists, I found it interesting that the education was nearly always listed as something like “B.S. Computer Science” with the degree granting institution left out. If a U.S. worker submitted a resume like these, it would immediately go to the circular file but there is a different standard for hiring H-1B workers. It was easy to tell the few that went to real schools and which did correspondence.

    While Mike may believe that the standard for an H-1B visa equates to “smart” or “highly educated”, I certainly do not and most of the public agrees with me.

    Mile tells us that some companies “abuse” the system. Here we have a problem of standards. What constitutes “abuse”? Let’s take just the prevailing wage requirement for example. If you consider abuse obeying the law, the Mike is right – few companies are breaking the law. However, if you consider abuse of the prevailing wage requirement to be paying less than the prevailing wage, nearly ALL employers are abusing the program.

    How is that? The law requires employers to pay H-1B workers the “prevailing wage”. (Keep in mind that H-1B is the best legislation money can buy.) The law allows the EMPLOYER to determine what the prevailing wage is. AND (Get this Mike) when an employer submits a prevailing wage claim, the law specifically limits the approval process to checking the form is filled out correctly. An employer can put anything down as the prevailing wage and be certain it will be approved.

    So let’s look at the net result in regard to wages for computer workers. (Refer to http://www.cis.org/articles/2007/back407.html) On labor certifications, the wages for the majority of H-1B workers were in the bottom 25th percentile of U.S. wages. Only 16% of the wages were above the median U.S. wage for the same occupation and location. So we are to believe that a group of people who earn wages at the very bottom of the U.S. wage pool are “smart/highly educated” and drive innovation in this country. I don’t think so Mike.

    Mike tells us, “But the answer isn't to punish the H1-B program, but to punish the abusers.” If we define abuse as paying less than the actual prevailing wage we need to punish nearly everyone.

    In 2004, Congress created a new option for prevailing wages. Since then employers can make a skill-based prevailing wage claim. The higher skill levels have a higher prevailing wage. Employers using this system classify the majority of workers at the lowest skill level. When employers want more H-1B workers they are “highly skilled”, when it comes to determining what to pay them, these very same worker become “low skilled’. Funny how that works, Mike.

    Another prevailing wage option is to get a prevailing wage determination from a State Employment Security Administration. They use the same skilled based system except that they determine the skill level and job title from information submitted by the employer. They too, classify most H-1B workers at the lowest skill level.

    A large part of the H-1B spin involved dumbing-down the visa system. We actually do have “distinguished ability” visas for those who can demonstrate they actually are highly skilled. Those visas have no limits. So Mike, no Einsteins are being kept out the country by H-1B quota.

    Mike tells us, “The latest news is that Congress is against letting in more H1-B workers, guaranteeing that those workers will instead go to work for foreign companies -- working against American companies.” The reality is the largest users of the H-1B program (in the computer industry, the majority) are the offshoring companies. Mike, the largest chunk of H-1B workers ARE going to our competitors.

    Finally, Mike is espousing the Bush-style free-market mantra of competition. U.S. workers need to have competition from foreign workers by allowing companies, such as Microsoft, to import labor from countries with different standards, such as no minimum wage laws. If U.S. workers should have that kind of competition, why not U.S. companies? If we are going to have H-1B visas, why not allow consumers to import software manufactured in countries without copyright laws? Surely, if this type of competition with U.S. workers is good for the economy, that very some competition with businesses should be good as well.

     

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    RandomThoughts, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 4:36pm

    WiPro is a consulting company. 70 to 100 hours a week is not unheard of in the consulting world, nor the legal world, nor quite a few other industries.

    If WiPro is operating in the US, they must conform to US laws, doesn't matter who owns them.

    Are some people hurt by this trend of competition? Of course they are. Are others helped? Yes, course, it doesn't do the people that are hurt much good.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 5:15pm

    "the pessimistic bias that assumes that because some foreign workers may take a job from a higher paid American, that we're all going to lose our jobs."

    Who the hell ever said that? Damn that's shallow BS.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 5:35pm

    Mike,

    "The make-work bias that falsely assumes that it's better to have people employed right now than creating an economy that will produce more, better paying jobs in the future."

    It's no "false assumption" that we need to create jobs for American workers, and not at slave wages. If you were out of work like so many well educated Americans are, yes, you would need a job right now.

    The "economy" we have to nurture is the American economy. The way to have a good economy is for people to have jobs that pay a decent wage, working for companies that are here and pay their taxes here.

    The competition you talk about is between companies. Americans understand that kind and aren't afraid of it.

    The competition that imported labor brings is an entirely different issue. It's based on lower employee wages. Why would anyone want to compete against low wage imported labor?

    I sincerely hope it never happens to you, Mike; but I know that if you lose your job to a low wage imported worker, you'll just be happy that competition is working. I'm confident that you'll be proud that you had an important role in it - getting fired.

     

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    Bill, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 7:49pm

    Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    It is difficult for me to justify the expense of selling my house and uprooting my family just to take a 6-month contract somewhere else. Doing a weekly commute is still expensive in terms of extra rent and car expense and keeps me from raising my family properly. Even if it is a full-time "permanent" position, how can I be sure that I will remain employed long enough to recover the relocation expense, even if I do a great job for my employers? What is so evil about wanting a job near home?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:03pm

    In how many cases do you REALLY think that an H1-B is going to someone how fulfills a need within this country that ABSOLUTELY can not be found by another person in this country? Maybe two dozen people per year? If that.

    Seriously - be honest about it - if you are willing to pay someone enough money (if the position is seriously needed and the employees who can fill that slot so rare, then OFFER THEM MORE), how many of these spots could really NEVER be filled?

    The issue is ALMOST NEVER a matter of lack of talent. It's a matter of lack of interest in paying the salary that the scarcity of a certain type of employee deserves or demands.

    It's a cop out to say that it's some sort of racism (how so? I don't care what country you're coming in from - you're lowering the value of the position and my salary simply by BEING here, because you are diluting the work pool).

    So cry me a fucking river about the poor corporations who "really deserve certain H1-Bs".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    So why do you have a family?

    I don't care about how life is hard for someone who CHOSE to fill their life with obligations and constraints and limitations and responsibilities any more than I want to hear employers cry about how they need H1Bs because they can't find someone here willing to work *for what they're willing to pay*.

     

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    Shalkar, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:17pm

    My Opinion is:

    The fact is I think we should out right hire people from America for American jobs just to help out our fellow countrymen. Now, being that the H-1B visa is capped at 65K except for non-profit organizations and higher-education institutions, I really coudn't care less about it. Especially when you consider how many jobs there are. I'm more concerned about the real issue: Why are there so few jobs compared to so many people?

    Think about it. If jobs are created because there is a service to be rendered and we need somebody to do that service, then there is a need for an employee. Who needs that service though? People who are employee's at other jobs. Different people good at different things. So if there are more and more people, which I think is the REAL problem, then why are there not enough jobs? What I am asking is if there are people that need things, then are those things coming out of thin air? Quite obviously not!

    The fact is that as technology has advanced on all fronts of all industries, fewer people could do alot more. Consider how much farming has advanced! One farmer can make enough food to feed alot of people, but that's only with technology. So what is the real problem then? The real problem is that there are just too many people on too little an amount of space. It's not the people that have one or two kids. Even three kids really isn't that much because you're really only "adding" one more person. That's of course considering that you need two children to replace two parents who will eventually die.

    It's the people that apparently crawl under the porch and have a litter that are the problem. The fact is if you can't take care of any children you might possibly have, then do what ever is neccessary to make sure you don't have them! Be a responsible human being! If people did that, then "issues" of things like the H-1B visa wouldn't be an issue. The fact is for the amount of work to be done, there are too many people willing to do that job. Not only being it may actually be something their good at and because of that they enjoy doing it, but because they want to do their part to be a part of society.

    That's my opinion on this "issue".

    Also, on the note of illegal immigrants, if they're country sucks so much, why don't they change it? I mean, Mexico for instance, with the right knowledge they could build their own cities where ever and just tell the government to bug off if it doesn't like them and then run things what they think should be proper. That is of course if they're all "just looking for a good job with decent pay". If your country, or life, sucks... try and FIX IT or SHUT UP!!

    P.S. As far as "competing" on a global scale, I think it's stupid to even try and have a global market when there isn't a global set of rules. Why make stuff in another country if they don't go by the same guide lines as your country? Either the guide lines should be at least as restrictive if not more. Plain and simple. You make it standardized and not only does it become simpler, it becomes cheaper. Think about how nice it is that if you need a 1/2" screw how cheap and easy it is to find. Nice isn't it? Now if they'd do that with everything that's made...

     

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    TechGIrl, Sep 8th, 2007 @ 7:29am

    Not growing our own tech workers.

    I work for a large corp that is trying to employ 80% of tech workers offshore for financial reasons. Biggest problem that I can see is that coordination is difficult, getting right fit is difficult, interviewing is difficult. Also we're not hiring new tech people out of college. The pool of tech workers in this company is growing grayer and grayer. Do we really want to put all of our knowledge in foreign hands?

    I think competition should be tempered by national security.

     

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    Aaron, Sep 8th, 2007 @ 9:59am

    Steve Marcantonio and his acolytes

    I agree with Morgan who posts that "Gotta be tough living in Steve Marcantonio's world, where faceless corporations control your life, and you are helpless to stop them."

    Indeed! Stop behaving like 5 year olds waiting to be handed a lollipop job by a big bad corporation. Stop this damsels-in-distress act waiting to be rescued by a white knight. If these corporations are so evil, greedy and whatnot - just why would you want to work for them? Try and beat them!

    Here is my suggestion to all the anti-H1bers...

    - you should band together and start companies where you never hire an H1b, never offshore etc.
    - pay all your engineers 200k starting salaries (or whatever you think an "American" engineer deserves)
    - Get Lou Dobbs to put his considerable money where his considerable mouth is, and invest in you. He makes a mean $ from the "greedy corporate America" he castigates, yet pays his hundreds of millions $ salary. Surely, he should be able to invest a few million $ of his personal wealth in you.

    If you are indeed as smart as you claim to be, you should be able to kick Google, Yahoo, IBM. MS' behind. The market will bear out your claims. As the saying goes, if you want something done right - do it YOURSELF! So get off your lazy behind and start businesses. What is stopping you?

     

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    I have an Opinion too, Sep 8th, 2007 @ 10:36am

    Yet Another H1b Opined Opinion... :-)

    The good or bad with the H1-b is mostly in the eye of the viewer.
    I have friends who work in the US on H1-b and those who did not get one, and one who got laid off and deported.

    All the people who do the H1-b program do it for educational purposes more than anyting else.

    One said... In 3 years of working in a US corporation you learn a lot about the US corporate mentality, ethics, processes etc that you can bring with you when you leave. In short you learn from your competitor from within. He started a consulting firm after his "stint" and beat his US rival companies at all times for contracts.

    The guy who got laid off by a supervisor who "did not like his accent" (or more the fact that he did not let his boss go to bed with his wife), had his whole family of 4 deported within 30 days of getting laid off. So all you H1-b workers, remember that you need to be nice to "massa".

    Just thease two events show you how different the H1-b "experience" is.

    My sister in law works for a lawyers office that specializes in imigration and H1-b. I asked her what getting someone through H1-b costs in silicon valley and the answer was about $10k. Some people would think this as "a lot of money", but compared to the avarege cost of about $100k to fill an IT position it is marginal.
    She has many many stories about the H1-b process and what Mike calls "abuse" is the norm.

    Anyone who has been in the H1-b program knows that it is "abused by all", it was set up to be "abused".

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Bignumone, Sep 8th, 2007 @ 10:52am

    To people supporting H1-B

    Do any of you supporting bringing in high tech workers indiscriminately even work in any tech fields? Because you sure don't sound like it.
    I have been working in a biotech field for 25 years. It is well know that upper level management looks for foreign workers they can pay a much lower wage. I have seen it countless times, and they are shameless. These workers may or may not be the best around, but they are cheap and will work like dogs. They will also take all sorts of abuse with just a "yes sir/mam". I have often heard scientists running a lab talk about how they wanted to get certain nationalities working in the lab because they work day and night for next to nothing.
    I am certain you are the same people that shop WalMart because you can buy (foreign made) things cheap and/or criticize factory workers because the foreign workers will do the job for much less (over seas).
    Could it be that it was so easy to write this BLOG because the writer thinks that he/she will never be affected by "outsourcing" or "insourcing"? After all, it is easy to sit on the side-lines and criticize!
    I hope you think about this when you see your job going away to someone simply because they are cheap and willing to work like slaves!

    I am "just wondering", what kind of a country do you want to live in?

    And Aaron, how old are you? 12? And what fantasy land do YOU live in? Because starting a business is not just getting up one day and doing it. What do YOU do for a living? A writer? A web developer? A critic?
    You have not a CLUE what you are talking about. Don't even TRY to come back with "I am a self-made zillionaire"! Because it is clear to someone trying to "do" a start-up as you try to outline, that you are have no idea what it takes or what the road blocks are. So do us a favor if you don't have anything constructive to say and keep your self-righteous meanderings to yourself!

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    ITWARZ, Sep 8th, 2007 @ 11:42am

    Why Does Congress Want Smart, Highly Educated Workers To Stay Out Of The US?

    Because they are not Americans IDIOTS!!! - Lots of smart people hate us. It's just that simple. What a dumb story.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Fresh Out Of College, Sep 8th, 2007 @ 12:26pm

    What You're All Forgetting

    What you're all forgetting is the untapped talents of college grad's. When applying for jobs, the main problem I faced was that everyone was looking for such a specialized skill and "years of experience in the field" that many young, eager candidates turn away. This combined with the shallow motivation for major corporations to become even more profitable than before (not like they're not making a heck of a lot of profit) forces executives to sell more products for the cost of pennies a day. The economy does not realize the untapped potential that is the modern day college graduate. What they lack in experience they make up for in ambition and motivation.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Aaron, Sep 8th, 2007 @ 12:36pm

    Bignumone - response

    I am an MIT graduate and started a 5-year old company right out of graduate school working in the HPC (high performance computing), so I am very qualified to speak from my experience. IMO your gratuitous, childish attack is evidence of your own maturity level. What are your qualifications BTW?

    Getting back to the debate, I have seen for myself the situation with the current pool of "American" professionals. I have interviewed many, many American candidates, and can say these people should NOT be working in the IT industry. Most of them just modify the resume based on an ad claiming to be experts in "parallelism" or "boosting" or what have you....yet could not pass a basic programming test. In the current job-market we are scraping the barrel for dregs.

    If I have a Turkish national, with a PhD in HPC from MIT and 20 publications, and an "American programmer" whose skills do not go beyond VB6 - who do you think I would hire? If I have an Indian national with a BS from IIT and MS in CS from Stanford, and an American programmer who can barely write a bubble-sort algorithm, who do you think I would hire? Of course, there are co.s that abuse the system, just like American programmers who make up fairy tales on their resumes. But that calls for strict enforcement!

    BTW, my post about encouraging entrepreneurship in people who abhor H1bs was very serious. Stop armchair quarterbacking and get moving and stop wallowing in a sea of self-pity- it will open your eyes to the truth. If people on your side feel so strongly about it, you should start your own businesses and do all the things you want done - no H1b, no off-shoring etc. No one else is going to do your work for you!

    You are not entitled to anything - earn it or lose it.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    borealis, Sep 8th, 2007 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Re:

    was there a quota as to how many US citizens and how many foreigners can avail of the scholarship? Just MAYBE, the one that you've applied is already earmarked for foreigners.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    borealis, Sep 8th, 2007 @ 9:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    lol...do you know what you are saying?

    If you know the Asian culture, you probably won't be writing that. In Asia, it is the parents duty to send their children to school. We are proud of our parents who don't shoo us away when we reach 18. So we take life seriously that we study up to tertiary -if money is available- so we can be competitive. That's probably one cause - education. Whereas Asian parents send their children to university level, American children at age 18, fend for themselves. Most of them forgetting to go back to uni. Rightfully so, as you've mentioned, "..they put on elaborate pretenses of how they are paying their own way through school." NOT BAD at all. This isn't common in the US alone. For those Asians who come from poor family, they work in the morning and go to school at night.

    It's a cultural thing.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    borealis, Sep 8th, 2007 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    They've depended on American programmers to make their systems work. Many of their products are never sold in the US because of its inappropriate content, such as pedophilia.

    funny. but which country has the most number of paedophiles? Japan or the US? :)

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    borealis, Sep 8th, 2007 @ 9:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    They've depended on American programmers to make their systems work. Many of their products are never sold in the US because of its inappropriate content, such as pedophilia.

    funny. but which country has the most number of paedophiles? Japan or the US? :)

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Aaron, Sep 9th, 2007 @ 8:43am

    Bignumone

    My post was only half in jest. I guess satire is lost on you.

    By way of background, I founded a business and seen first-hand the challenges of hiring talent. I am also a bit tired of hearing the "cheap labor" argument like a broken record. The only way people like you will know the truth is to start your companies and go through a hiring exercise. If you want something done right, do it YOURSELF. Stop armchair quarterbacking and get moving.

     

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  70.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 9th, 2007 @ 10:54am

    Re:

    It's no "false assumption" that we need to create jobs for American workers, and not at slave wages. If you were out of work like so many well educated Americans are, yes, you would need a job right now.

    As I've pointed out, it's extremely difficult to find good tech workers to hire these days. Where are all these out of work techies who can't find jobs? I know a bunch of companies who would love to hire them.

    The "economy" we have to nurture is the American economy. The way to have a good economy is for people to have jobs that pay a decent wage, working for companies that are here and pay their taxes here.

    Again, you fail to answer the question: if bringing in a foreign worker will create many more new jobs in the US, what's wrong with that? Are you so blind to the idea that jobs are not a zero sum game?

    The competition that imported labor brings is an entirely different issue. It's based on lower employee wages. Why would anyone want to compete against low wage imported labor?

    Again, most of the tech companies I know would be willing to pay a tremendous wage if they could just find qualified people. This is not about cheap labor at all.


    I sincerely hope it never happens to you, Mike; but I know that if you lose your job to a low wage imported worker, you'll just be happy that competition is working. I'm confident that you'll be proud that you had an important role in it - getting fired.


    I create my own job, so no, I'm not particularly worried about it. I know my value and I know I'll be able to find work if I need it. If you're worried about it, perhaps you should look more closely at your own skill level.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Richard, Sep 9th, 2007 @ 10:54pm

    Reckless

    This analysis is reckless. I would expect more from a website that claims to specialize in analysis.

    The reason America cannot produce enough skilled workers because its education system is broken and does not prepare the worker properly. Allowing foreign workers to compensate for this failure is a lazy way to band-aid this much larger issue. The typical American cannot afford to be educated and so must do without, which is the cause. Numerous studies have indicated the average American reads at an 8th grade level, which supports the theory. US Census data indicates that while 4 out 5 Americans have a high school diploma, only a quarter of them hold a degree. Clearly, the typical American is not uneducated, but is undereducated, hence are unable to compete against the foreign born and highly educated worker. The solution is for America to educate its workforce and no longer depend on the private sector to do it. The data speaks for itself.

    The H1-B program should be abolished, it only further exacerbates this national crisis by allowing industry and government to continue to ignore it. If you have a diseased tree you don't cut off the leaves, you must instead cure the root. And you don't take healthy leaves from another tree and scotch tape them on the diseased one, which is what H1-B does.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    tommygolstch, Sep 10th, 2007 @ 12:48am

    Re: Re: Who is crushing us?

    Name two innovative products coming from China.

     

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

  73.  
    identicon
    Joe Blowe, Sep 10th, 2007 @ 2:08pm

    You must be kidding!

    Always remember the old tried and true advice: "What is cheap is NEVER good, and what is good is NEVER cheap!"
    If the goal were truly to bring the best and brightest from around the world here to the U.S. why are 90%+ of the h1b visa's held by Indians? Do you really think they are a superior race of people? Do they have an inate ability to understand technology? Have we decended back to the idology of an "uber-race" (seik heil?)
    DO NOT even try and say their education system is superior! (If so, why do so many get their educations over here?)
    Why not a balanced mixed of Non-U.S. labor?
    The answer is simple, PRICE!
    The dollar is far superior to the rupee and/or chinese yen, but inferior to the Euro, which is why you don't find too many h1b's from France, England, Germany, etc.
    That is why there is NO SUCH THING as a senior level Indian of Chinese h1b's. They are indentured to U.S. companies, do ONLY what they ask year after year, are NEVER trained, and if and when they get uppity and ask for an extra bowl of rice per day in compensation, they are quickly replaced by the next Indian or Chinese h1b standing in line that will work for 1/2 bowl of rice per day, thus saving more money!

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Aaron, Sep 10th, 2007 @ 9:34pm

    This guy hits out of the park

     

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  75.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 11th, 2007 @ 12:45am

    Re: Reckless

    The reason America cannot produce enough skilled workers because its education system is broken and does not prepare the worker properly.

    Yes, that's why so many H1-Bs come from people educated in American universities.

    Try again, and next time perhaps you can actually answer the questions raised. Why do you want these skilled workers working against us, rather than for American companies?

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Aaron, Sep 11th, 2007 @ 1:07am

    Totally with Mike!

    OUr education system - specifically high-school does not emphasize science/math, unlike Asian countries where the math/science curriculum is intense. I think American students do not find tech. attractive, careers in finance/management offer the "quick buck" route. Asians/Eastern Europeans predominate in any top rated graduate engg. Program. Some 60-70% of PhDs are awarded to international students.

    Joe Blowe - you need to get your facts straight. UK nationals are among the highest H1b recipients. Also try something new other than the stock answer of "cheap labor". The vast majority of grad students in US univs EE/CS programs are Indians/Chinese/Russians etc. In some specialized domains such as HPC, that figure is virtually all international.

     

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

  77.  
    identicon
    ipanema, Sep 11th, 2007 @ 5:55am

    Re: You must be kidding!

    DO NOT even try and say their education system is superior! (If so, why do so many get their educations over here?)

    - for obvious reasons. they either have the money to study in foreign countries OR they have the brains to compete with your race...whatever superior race you're talking about.


    Why not a balanced mixed of Non-U.S. labor?
    The answer is simple, PRICE!
    The dollar is far superior to the rupee and/or chinese yen, but inferior to the Euro, which is why you don't find too many h1b's from France, England, Germany, etc.


    - that's ideal but is it easy to regulate and attain a 'balance'? how are you going to achieve that in reality?

    -hmmm...what PRICE are you talking about in relation to your mighty dollar. Are you saying PRICE of a dollar to yen or rupee? You call that PRICE or RATE OF EXCHANGE?

     

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  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 18th, 2007 @ 4:50pm

    lol. Bunch of xenophobics make it sound like americans cant get jobs because of foreigners. For one, in the exactly same situation, companies will hire americans over foreigners, because it costs 5k for H1B, and there is a chance the H1B might not come through.

    Secondly, americans cannot speak enough foreign languages, and do not have enough international awareness. How many american citizens do you know that speak native chinese or japanese? Not many, and most of them earned their residency through this very H1B.

    Tbirdly, the number is 65k for goodness sake. Thats 120 jobs per state. If you have to complain about one of these 120 foreigners taking your spot in your state, i dont think you are needed at all in company.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Steve Marcantonio, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 8:32am

    Re: Steve's World

    I'm left wondering why you would choose to repsond in a way that degenrates into a personal attack. Regardless of what my personal situation may or may not be, it is a documented fact that worker wages have stagnated overall and that companies use the H1B visa to hire workers at lower wages.

    In point of fact, it doesn't even personally affect me, I'm not in an industry or possessing of a job skill that is very impacted by these visas.

    In the future you should criticize the argument, not the person.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    bill, Sep 19th, 2007 @ 10:29am

    Myths

    Background: I have a PhD in Computer Science from a top ranked US university and am an Indian Citizen. I can give you my side of the story.

    Myth/facts:
    1. Myth: H1B holders dont pay taxes: what bullshit.
    Fact: We have to pay taxes. We even pay social security even though we are not eligible for any.
    2. Myth: H1B are sweatshop workers exploited by corporate america @low wages
    Fact: Most H1B workers work the same hours and mostly at higher cost to the company because of the H-1B. Personally, all the H1Bs I know are valuable assets to their companies, some making significantly more than americans because their firms do not want them to leave.
    3. Myth: H1Bs are used only for IT.
    Fact: though a large chunk (~20% last year) was indeed for IT, a good part of H1Bs go into a) Financial sector b) Medicine c) engineering
    4. Myth: removing H1 will not hurt american competitiveness.
    Fact: As a worker in the finance sector, I can clearly see London winning over NYC as the heart of world finance. Indeed, it is already a larger, more vibrant center. Many companies are placing US educated non americans to their London office and expanding their base in Hongkong and Singapore. It is already happening.

    On a personal note, I finished my phd in the US and would have ideally liked to stay for sometime. But under the current circumstances, It will be hard for me to get a visa, and impossible for my wife to get one, as she is not an american citizen. Personally, I think it is America's loss, as both my wife and I are highly educated, relatively rich people who also contribute their time and a part of their salary towards social work.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    marc, Sep 25th, 2007 @ 10:16am

    capacity

    The university system at US has lost capacity over the past 3 decades relative to population growth. The people who have paid for what is left of that system should have first dibs on it, especially as slots grow scarcer and fees and tuition rise due to scarcity.

    The US government, Demopublicans and Republicrats alike, has also waged a war on the middle class relentlessly over that same period. Tech work is one of the few sectors of the economy which offers American workers a path to middle class security. For scarce slots to be offered up to H1-B visa holders while those same opportunities are not available in other desirable economic zones for Americans is not fair.

    The reason why London is doing so well is because they are part of the Eurozone where immigration is normalized within the zone and because that zone does not expend/waste trillions of dollars on the military. The US keeps immigration locked down relatively tightly, and only seems to allow liberalization to increase corporate profits, the flipside of which is diluting the labor value of the domestic workforce.

    If companies outsource to Asia for cheap labor, isn't insourcing Asian workers the flipside of depressed labor costs?

    Economics is complex. There are few single causes for any observed phenomenon. But it is the case that allowing the import of workers from countries with much lower labor costs puts a downward pressure on the aggregate wage base for the sectors where H1-B visas are granted.

    If H1-B is what it claimed, then why weren't the boats packed heading east across the Pacific as the tech sector contracted after the dot.com boom and tens of thousands of American techies were tossed out of work?

    Is it too much to ask that the US Government take a stand for those of us who have paid taxes to support it our whole lives rather than the fly-by-night corporations seeking to maximize profits without a care as to the "unintended consequences" on human beings of such avarice?

    -marc

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Jason, Mar 4th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re:

    I call bullshit, there is no way you were given that kind of confidential information about other students.

     

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


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