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Immigration
Trump vs. Silicon Valley
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  • Gern Blandersong

    Finally, the scam of H1-B visas are being exposed for what they are, which is cheap foreign labor that is locked-in.

    Hal Salzman has done research and documented the fallacy of STEM worker shortages in the U.S.: http://issues.org/29-4/what-shortages-the-real-evidence-about-the-stem-workforce/

    • Kevin

      H1-B and related visas are the modern indentured servitude.

  • LarryD

    If there were a shortage of workers in a particular field, then wages would rise as companies bid for their services. Supply and demand, right?

    • mgoodfel

      Silicon Valley programmer salaries: over $120K/yr for people with experience.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/silicon-valley-salaries_us_56d61ee6e4b0bf0dab33ce96

      The valley doesn’t want just the next “qualified” engineer though. They want the best. Whether they are getting that on H1B is an interesting question. And they definitely don’t want 50-year-old guys who are out of date, want high salaries, and 40 hour work weeks.

      Cut off the supply of foreign engineers, and the companies will probably not hire more Americans. Instead, they will open branches in India and hire the engineers there. Or open a branch office in Canada, like Microsoft has. https://mcec.microsoft.ca/

      • seattleoutcast

        So we should just bend over, grab our ankles and let them screw over Americans. If Facebook wants to leave, fine with me, but I”m sure there are other reasons for them to stay here.

        • mgoodfel

          The point I’m making is that these people with skills from India aren’t going to disappear just because you slam the door in their faces. They are going to work for someone else, and make money for someone else.

          • seattleoutcast

            That’s all fine, but we could say the same about workers from every country. Even vegetable pickers from Mexico. My point is that these companies are stealing from Americans.

  • f1b0nacc1

    While there is absolutely a huge problem with H-1B abuse, the real scandal in the tech industry is age discrimination. I rather doubt we will see much done about that, but if the H-1B spigot is closed, I suspect that the age discrimination problem will be ameliorated somewhat, as the tech industries turn to older workers to fill their skill needs

    • Jim__L

      If they can’t get cheap new grads from foreign countries, they may have to bite the bullet and hire older workers with higher wage expectations.

      This is not that much of a stretch for companies with huge profit margins.

      • f1b0nacc1

        I suspect that it isn’t a question of wage expectations, but rather cultural issues. Most older workers don’t submissively nod when a manager tries to tell them something that they (the worker) knows is stupid, and the bosses don’t like that one bit. Granted they still get their way in the end, but such little acts of defiance are ‘dangerous’….

        Just a guess, of course, but I have heard this particular complaint come up in conversation often enough that I have to wonder if there isn’t some substance to it….

        • Boritz

          I remember one study where hiring managers defended the disparate age outcome in hiring by saying that they had no intention of discriminating by age but the younger applicants shined more in the interview than older applicants. I suspect the interview went something like this. The manager explained that the organization was hiring for a high visibility project that had the attention of upper management and if project participants did well then careers would be made. Young applicant response: Wow! Golly! Gee Whiz! I want to be part of that! Older applicant response: mmmmmm hmmmmm.

    • K. E.

      This is also a problem. But when these companies can easily bring in a young guy from India with a Master’s Degree and pay him a lot less than the guy in his 50s with experience, why would they bother even looking at the guy in his 50s? It all has its roots in the H1B visa program. When companies have to actually hire American citizens, they start to look at the pool of applicants differently. They also have to readjust their idea of what a competitive wage is. This will benefit older workers.

      • f1b0nacc1

        I believe that we are saying the same thing….I am sorry that I wasn’t more clear….

  • Angel Martin

    Every “free trade” agreement the USA has signed since whenever has prioritized intellectual property protection, copyright protection, patent protection, pharmaceuticals, financial services… etc.

    So those trade agreements worked great for Silicon valley, hollywood, Redmond, Manhattan and Boston Route 128. But industrial and manufacturing interests in the midwest and south were sacrificed to get those benefits.

    The next round of trade agreements should prioritize manufacturing and industrial jobs in the USA. And the interests of Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Wall Street… should be sacrificed to get them.

    Trump is in a position to offer the Valley, Hollywood, Redmond, Route 128 and Wall Street the following deal:

    -those who are with me now will not be sacrificed for other industries
    -those who join me later are at risk of having their interests negotiated away
    -those who are never with me will get “unrestricted and unregulated globalized free trade”.

  • Kevin

    The second blow Sessions can land will be Anti-Trust enforcement. If software and media companies are big enough they can discriminate in what voices they allow into the internet or media, then they should be broken up and any mergers they try to undertake denied. Just like the railroads and trusts of the late 19th century who abused their market power to promote their interests drew a federal response, so should the tech and media companies of today.

  • K. E.

    I would like to see H1Bs go away. We don’t need them with so many unemployed and college graduates seeking work. If Silicon Valley were forced to actually pay people a living wage in a very high cost-of-living area, they might change how they do business. For example, college graduates may not be able to afford to live in SF, so the company might have to actually PAY more to attract those workers or consider moving to an area with a cheaper cost of living.

    This is how the free market works.

    Because these tech companies are able to get cheaper immigrants through H1B, they can keep wages low. And guess who else benefits from this? California itself. They are supporting that whole state on the incomes from Silicon Valley and L.A. It’s a rigged system from top to bottom.

    Maybe once tech companies are forced to face the realities of competition, they will move out of California and into a more competitive state. Can’t wait to see that happen.

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