Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Even Shortage Shouters Stumble

Professor Norm Matloff’s latest newsletter (November 20, 2007) pulled together some of the slipups from those industry where they don’t have their story straight (it is hard to be consistent all the time when you are lying). The following are quotes from the newsletter:


Jim McGrath, a Cisco executive for Global Leader of University Relations and Recruiting, let out this. While some students may believe IT won't provide a long-term career path because so many positions are outsourced to other countries, McGrath indicated this simply isn't true. "There are limits on the number of foreign nationals that can be hired due to H1-B visa caps. IT is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S."


In other words, McGrath is admitting that the H-1B program DOES displace American workers. If the cap were higher, he is saying, then those young people's fears that they would lose their jobs to foreign workers would be valid.  He is saying that employers would shun (even more) American workers in favor of H-1Bs if only Congress would allow them to do so.  And concerning the current level of the cap, even the most charitable interpretation of his remarks would be that the present cap is not hurting Americans but a higher cap would harm them. 


A few years ago, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Queen of H-1B in Congress, sought to address concerns that H-1Bs are used as cheap labor by proposing that any H-1B paid more than $60,000 be exempt from the cap.  Her spokesperson lauded the proposal, saying "$60K is peanuts in Silicon Valley."  Indeed!


The Minister of Commerce of India called H-1B "the outsourcing visa," totally contradicting the industry's claim to use the visa only to remedy staffing shortages.


Stephen Seideman, dean of the New Jersey Institute  of Technology's engineering graduate program, stated that foreign students "will do everything they can to stay here," thus demonstrating their exploitability, which is why the industry lobbyists are pushing Congress so hard now to provide special visas for foreign students.


Former Fed chair Alan Greenspan stated that we need H-1B in order to hold down American tech worker salaries.


And then of course there is the mother of all blurts, the entire YouTube video collection made by the Cohen and Grigsby law firm, showing employers how to legally hire foreign workers at below-market pay and how to exploit loopholes which allow an employer to sponsor a foreign national for a green card while legally rejecting qualified Americans.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Really Great Site - NumbersUSA

I have written in past entries about NumbersUSA. This site makes it painlessly easy to track issues that are important to you and to easily contact your representatives in Congress. Set up an account (it’s free), check off the issues that you want to track, and sit back and wait for email notifications. It literally takes only a minute to send a fax to your congressman.


It is even easier than voting. If this is too much hassle for you, you shouldn’t be an American. Really.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A DREAM Denied

I got a copy of a pointed letter concerning the article What Happens to a DREAM Denied by Gary Endleman over on Immigration Daily that I’d like to share.


Mr. Endleman,


Perhaps you could explain to an unemployed American programmer why we should have more H-1Bs?


Specifically could you address the following:

  1. If corporations get all the H-1Bs and green cards they want, can the long term consequence be anything other than total dependence on foreigners for technology?
  2. Is Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, wrong? He testified to Congress:  “Simply producing more engineers and scientists may not be the answer because the labor market for those workers will simply reflect lower wages or, perhaps, greater unemployment for those workers.”
  3. Is Vivek Wadhwa of Duke University, a supporter of more foreign workers (he is one), wrong? He says “…the problem isn't the supply, it's the demand…we have enough engineers and scientists. The problem is that the salaries aren't there.”
  4. Why are law firms, like the notorious Cohen & Grigsby, holding seminars on how to legally avoid hiring qualified Americans?   Lawrence Lebowitz’s famous quote explaining of the PERM application process to employers. "Our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker, and that, in a sense, sounds funny, but it's what we are trying to do here."
  5. Shortage at what price? My undergraduate economics professor made a big deal about it not making economic sense to claim a shortage without a price.  For example, claiming there is a shortage of good five cent cigars makes sense.  A claim that there is a shortage of cigars is foolish.   There is no doubt that there is a shortage of college graduate programmers at $20,000 a year, is there a shortage at what the average American programmer makes?  So the question is at what price?
  6. If there is a shortage why are real wages going down?
  7. Why is it that those employers who claim a shortage of American tech workers laying off so many of them?
  8. Is socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) wrong? He says "What many of us have come to understand is that these H-1B visas are not being used to supplement the American workforce where we have shortages but, rather, H-1B visas are being used to replace American workers with lower cost foreign workers,"
  9. Is Nobel economist Milton Friedman wrong when he says the H-1B is a subsidy?  He said "There is no doubt, that the [H-1B] program is a benefit to their employers, enabling them to get workers at a lower wage, and to that extent, it is a subsidy." 
  10. Why not end the H-1B and other work visas and allow a free market solution?  An increasing wage will attract more workers to science and engineering and solve any supply shortage that MAY exist.  Free markets do not have shortages.

Thank You,



Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Myth of the Indian Programmer

Do you know what an Indian software engineer does for a living? T. Surendar finds uncomfortable answers in this Times of India article.

They are the poster boys of matrimonial classifieds. They are paid handsomely, perceived to be intelligent and travel abroad frequently. Single-handedly, they brought purpose to the otherwise sleepy city of Bangalore. Indian software engineers are today the face of a third-world rebellion. But what exactly do they do? That’s a disturbing question.