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Obama can ease the unemployment problem by IMMEDIATELY shutting down the H1-B and L1 Visa program.

Obama has pledged "to stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas," but he hasn't linked the H1-B visa to this issue.

Indian offshore firms such as Wipro, Infosys, Satyam, Tata, GlobalCynex are worried he might make the connection.  In fact, they have set to meet Obama officials in March 2009 to make sure any jobs program he comes up with does not stop the job bleed to India, and take away "the joy from the outsourcing party" !

The H1-B and L1 visa programs creates a glut of workers from abroad who are hired to replace American workers onsite in the US.  These foreign workers often serve as a liaison for offshore operations, which allows many remaining jobs to be offshored, resulting in additional job losses for U.S. workers.  Thus, the H1B and L1 visa programs enable the accelerated offshoring of IT and other knowledge jobs.

Corporate employers are also worried that Obama might call their bluff to move their companies offshore if he stops them from replacing their U.S. workers with cheap foreign white collar workers.

Obama should call their bluff.  Period.  In the last decade, corporate America has outsourced almost every job that can be profitably outsourced.  The jobs that are left in the US have logistics that require the job to be performed here.  US workers in these jobs are BEING REPLACED by H1-B workers at an alarming rate.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley said: "Unfortunately, the H-1B program is so popular that it's now replacing the U.S. labor force."

It is a myth perpetrated by corporate lobyists that there is a "skills shortage" of the U.S. work force.  Unfortunately, this is the biggest myth that Obama has bought, hook, line and sinker from the industry lobbyists looking to import more and more cheap foreign "captive" workers.  

Warning: your jaw will drop when you view this video teaching corporations on how to go out of their way to AVOID HIRING US WORKERS.

The best way to curb offshoring, and give relief to the U.S. unemployment is to end both the H1B and L1 visa programs which floods the U.S. job market with 85,000 foreign workers EVERY YEAR.  These people are ordinary workers doing ordinary work, albeit without benefits and usually at much lower wages.  They are also indentured "captive" workers because of their H1-B status.

Did lawmakers believe that there would be no consequence to bringing 85,000 people and their families each year since 1990 to compete with U.S. workers?  Raw math calculates that the tipping point of this policy has now been reached. This H1-B flood of foreign workers is directly related to the economic downturn now due to unemployment.

As Norm Matloff, an advocate for the U.S. worker, explains, it is a myth that there is a skills shortage in the US, in fact, more often than not, the U.S. workers is the one who end up training their H1-B and L1 replacement. These are excellent teaching, nursing, engineering, IT and other corporate jobs that are the backbone of the U.S. economy.

To see real examples of the damage, one just has to CHECK HERE and read some real world examples of how the H1_B visa decimated the U.S. work force. Here is just one example:

"I have been laid off and had to train my replacement numerous times. Every single time, it's to bring in a lower cost H1-B! I'm going through bankruptcy and possible home foreclosure! I get turned down for reasons that are incredible! I have 13 IT certifications, it's not enough. 15 years in IT, not enough. I've even been told that since I'm not Indian, there would be a culture issue!"

Originally posted to IT Professional on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:52 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good info here. (9+ / 0-)

    Thanks.

    NFTT Progressively supporting the troops

    by Timroff on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:59:51 AM PST

  •  At some point (17+ / 0-)

    a company that outsources it work or moves its manufacturing overseas should stop being considered an American company and taxed accordingly with zero tax loopholes.

    Bring the factories back and keep the management overseas, they are nothing but greedy traitors to their fellow citizens and should be treated as such.

  •  Tipped and recommended (9+ / 0-)

    But Congress doesn't have the balls. Even good liberal Democrats have been bought and sold by the outsourcing industry.

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:08:12 AM PST

  •  Did I read your diary correctly? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08, deep, empathy, JeffW, Norbrook

    white collar unemployment problem

    Is that what you are most concerned about? Blue-collar workers have been hit the hardest germane to unemployment. According to the NY Times article yesterday:

    For all the talk of a "white collar" recession, it is blue-collar workers who have been hardest hit by the current economic slump, losing more jobs and enduring far higher rates of unemployment. Five times as many blue-collar jobs have evaporated, and jobless rates are more than twice as severe.

    The real statistic is since the peak of economic activity in July 1990, the blue-collar unemployment rate has increased by two percentage points while the white-collar rate has risen by one point. And the number of blue-collar jobs has fallen by more than a million, as desk jobs over all have declined by about 200,000.

    Finally, I guess it's comforting to say Obama can do something immediately, but the truth is he cannot do anything for almost 2 months. Period. He is not the president yet. He make statements, appoint new people to his yet to take office cabinet. but that's it. When times are tough like now, it's not that great of an idea to think of only one segment of the workforce that can be helped. If memory serves me, it is the white collar workers who lay off blue collar workers, so if white collar workers are starting to lose their jobs, that only means all the blue collar jobs are already gone.

    You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war..... Albert Einstein,

    by tazz on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:11:33 AM PST

    •  The two are interwined (18+ / 0-)

      White-collar workers that are unemployed can't buy as much stuff made by blue-collar workers. Moreover, if a company's R&D is in the US it is more likely that it's manufacturing will be in the US as well, as it's more efficient to have the R&D guys close by to help figure out problems in the manufacturing process in many industries.

    •  Perhaps he meant white sheet wearer's employment? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betson08, deep, vbdietz

      You make some great points tazz. History has shown when the chips are down, when the US economy is in the toilet, folks succumb to the temptation to wallow in nativism. It surely happened in the 1930s when my grandfather was the engineer from Sweden who was highly resented because "Americans needed his job". And generations before, my Irish and German ancestors probably faced flack during the panics of the 19th century.

      I totally get the frustration many in the IT field have -- I was an Oracle junior DBA for many years and was laid off a few years ago.  Even though the economy supposedly "recovered" after 2001, the job market was a joke.  My new job sadly does not involve Oracle work, it's accounting.

      There's a ton of unemployed and underemployed workers out there but at the same time we do need a legitimate avenue for workers of extraordinary ability to come to the US.  The problem as I see it isn't that these visa categories exist, but that the Fed isn't properly regulating how the visas are handed out and isn't bothering to protect worker's rights in general.

      •  Good point, but the bottom line is (7+ / 0-)

        when you are out of work, you don't look at what color your collar is. If you worked as a Harvard graduated lawyer yesterday making a half a million, when all the cars and houses are gone and you're still out of work, guess what, if you have any character at all, you'll push a broom in the 30th street train station men's bathroom. And as I tell my son, you'll think of yourself with as much pride and you can look your family in the eyes when you bring them food for the Thanksgiving table.

        You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war..... Albert Einstein,

        by tazz on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:27:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have you been to Wal-mart lately? (6+ / 0-)

          The very same people who would not be caught dead shopping there a couple of years ago are now working behind the cash register at the local Wal-mart.

        •  That's a knee jerk reaction you're having (8+ / 0-)

          Just because someone complains about a problem related to immigration does not automatically make it nativism. Perhaps you should actually look into this problem before you make judgments. I have not been directly affected by this, but I have seen it firsthand. In the worst cases, companies have literally brought in hundreds (in at least one case 1,000+) of programmers from overseas, forced the current staff to train them in exchange for severance pay, and then replaced them outright. The reaction to these outright travesties is not nativism -- it's not racism -- it's not xenophobia.

          •  I'm a retired teacher (0+ / 0-)

            most of my students became white collar engineers. I have a daughter who is an attorney and a son who is a train mechanic. My daughter makes more in one year than I've made in 20. My son makes $30K a year. My daughter is on her second marriage, 2 kids she has lives with their dad, not her. My son has 3 children. My daughter has never been loyal to any boyfriend, now girlfriend she ever had. She has traveled around the world a number of times wining and dining with the elite. My son splurges by taking my grandkids to Chuckie Cheese or Dave and Busters. When they were kids (my daughter is 18 months older), and they had to get somewhere important in a crisis, I made sure my son drove. Not out of chauvinism, but because he is rock of discipline and character. I love my daughter. She is my favorite. However, when it comes to today, when both are in their late 30s, it is my blue collar son who I trust. That is just my story. However, when I see someone differentiate between rich or poor, white collar or blue, I have an issue about it that stems from over 50 years of working and not seeing a difference between a person who is out of work being a republican or democrat, laborer or manager. They're both unemployed.

            I know what the diarist was getting at. I can read. I am not referring to or arguing that sending high tech support and engineering jobs overseas hurts our economy. Just don't try to lay that bullshit on me about taking care of white collar people. It's taking care of Americans. I don't give a rats ass if it's a lawyer or a janitor. They both have to eat and they both have to survive. And if by chance a normally white collar worker has to be a blue collar worker to survive, there are far worse things in life that person has to deal with than worrying whether a job, any job is beneath their dignity.

            You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war..... Albert Einstein,

            by tazz on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:51:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is and has been (17+ / 0-)

        that the H1B program has been abused for years.  

        The basic idea was that if there's a shortage of skilled workers in a field, the H1B program enables that field to import skilled workers temporarily until there were sufficient number of people here to fill the jobs.  

        The problem is that companies relatively quickly realized that they were on to a good thing.  You could bring someone over on an H1B, pay them less, and (most importantly) lock them in.  There are a number of stories out there about the treatment of H1B employees are treated once they get here.  

        All they have to do is to keep "certifying" that there's a "shortage."  For the past 8 years or more, the government has been taking industry's word on it.  In some fields yes, there is a shortage.  In others there is no shortage, just a unwillingness to hire at market wage and follow labor laws.  

        Then you end up with the situation where you have various industry leaders complaining that college students aren't going into their industry - the reason is simple.  College students see what's happening, and figure it's not worth majoring in that field.

        I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

        by Norbrook on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:02:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It would be understandable if (10+ / 0-)

        these jobs were given to extraordinary workers from foreign countries, but that is not always the case. The reason for this is not to honor excellence, but simply for the bottom line. Corporations benefit financially, by paying lower wages, and not offering the same benefits to these workers that it would have to offer to American workers.
        I live in So. California, and large companies here, hire undocumented workers simply because they are undocumented  and will accept a lower wage, and not complain if they are not covered by worker's compensation insurance, or protected under OSHA. In the construction industry alone, before this economic downturn, they relied on undocumented workers to build their homes. It is not as if they were more qualified, it was because paying them a lower wage and not offering them the same benefits as American workers increased the profits of the developers. It didn't effect the cost of a new home, they still sold it for market value, and realized a greater profit. These practices don't just hurt the American worker, they also exploit the undocumented worker, put a financial strain on the State government, all in the name of profits. It is no secret the undocumented workers were the very first to suffer under this financial downturn, their jobs dried up immediately when the construction stopped. Anti-immigration advocates like to think the large numbers of undocumented workers returning home is related to their efforts and pressure put on our government to protect our boarders, but they are wrong. The exit of undocumented workers is directly related to the economy, and jobs being lost. In a strange way it proves the point, that people will risk life and limb to come to America just to seek employment, for a hand up, not a hand out.

      •  take off your hood, akeitz (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        uscitizenvoter

        You sound like a plantation owner. Shame!

    •  If you are (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alisonc, tazz, bear83, JeffW, Norbrook, CandyKat

      white or blue or fluorescent pink collar being laid off is being laid off.

      Do you really think that the problem is that black and white?

    •  White collar workers become blue collar workers (7+ / 0-)

      When white collar workers become unemployed, they then must compete with blue collar workers, if they can. An unemployed engineer who takes a job as a part time cashier, is counted as an employed blue collar worker, not an unemployed white collar worker.  The statistics don't account for this.  I asure you the unemployment of white collar professionals is a HUGE factor in the economic downturn.

      Obama can do something immediately, but he has already made a mistake by selecting someone who is intent on INCREASING the glut of H1-B workers. My guess is that NASSCOM has already contaminated his choice.

      see  THIS.

      If President-elect Barack Obama appoints Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano to head the Department of Homeland Security, the move would have significant implications on the incoming administration's policy on H-1B visas, according to a report.  

    •  tazz, it's two faces of the same coin. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, dawnt, Norbrook, IT Professional

      White collar and blue collar job outsourcing, that is.

      We need to ensure that the Obama admin realizes that both are two faces of the same phenomenon, and thus there needs to be a common unified strategy for both.

    •  There is a good reason... (9+ / 0-)

      ...why this Diary only addresses White Collar unemployment.

      This is because fixing the Visa problem is low-hanging fruit...we can solve this problem with the stroke of a pen.

      Blue-collar unemployment is a bigger problem, it is more important, but it will also take more time, effort, and thought to solve.

      The Diarist correctly points out that there is a Quick, Simple, Easy thing we can do Right Now that makes at least some of our problems go away.

    •  So, because blue collar unemployment is worse (6+ / 0-)

      he can't write a diary about white collar unemployment? This is like the "what's worse, sexism or racism?" wars of the primaries... unemployment is bad all over, and we should not rebuke anyone who is trying to help any worker -- blue collar or white collar to keep their job.

    •  Great way to engage in divisive politics. (4+ / 0-)

      Is there some reason Obama can't be helping both white and blue collar workers?  Unlike the CEO's, those guys in the IT department, while they might have a white collar, still spend most of their money buying things from people with blue collars, or things built by people with blue collars, not spending it on exotic vacations and private jet trips.

      And there are plenty of 'white collar' workers who don't have any blue collar workers working for them, and make LESS than blue collar workers.  After ten years as a programmer, my salary and benefits total $22/hr (and now my hours have been cut to 3/day, that doesn't go so far.)  For all the hoopla about autoworkers not making the $70/hr claimed by CEO's, rational folks are still saying they're making like $28/hr plus some bennies.

      White collar refers to the kind of work, not the pay scale.

      Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

      by drbloodaxe on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:00:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tazz, drbloodaxe, uscitizenvoter, Norbrook

        White collar refers to the kind of work, not the pay scale.

        There should be no argument between white collar and blue collar workers. Who cares?  A job is a job.  We need jobs in this country, that's the point.  

        If I, a computer programmer, get unemployed, how does that help or hurt the factory worker who's also unemployed?  It doesn't, that's the point.  We both need jobs.  We both need to feed our families.  Are white collar workers families less important than blue collar workers, or more?  Neither.  They're all just families, who need to eat.  Let's not be callous like the Republicans.  They want to divide us to obscure that fact that we're all getting screwed.  All of us.

        Remember the pay scale point made above.  It's all the same.  Work is work.  And it feeds families.  Remember that.

        Change has come to America. Change.gov

        by Chi on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:58:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  White collar jobs matter too, because (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Norbrook, IT Professional

      white collar jobs are where the innovation comes from to create the blue collar jobs.

      When you outsource all the intelligence, you are left with a generation of business majors who are now getting laid off from Wall Street and banks in droves, and who have no other skills.  They could have been hard sciences majors.  They could have been computer science majors.  They could have been engineering majors.  But all that potential innovation was lost because for two decades, FINANCE has been the main U.S. industry and so that's where colleges funneled the kids.

      Often when my husband's company goes to fill IT positions, foreign workers on Visas are the only ones to apply.  That has become more and more pronounced over the last 2-3 years.  I think it's because a lot of the American ones were starved out of IT by cheaper labor in the late 90s and early 2000s, so there's no depth to the American IT worker pool anymore.

      We'll adjust.  All these people losing their finance jobs will have to find jobs, and some of them will choose to retrain.  Hopefully into science and engineering fields so we can go back to leading the world in innovation instead of merely consumption.

    •  Helping white collar workers (3+ / 0-)

      can ultimately help blue collar workers as well -- if the white collar worker has a good job, they'll be able to patronize businesses and use services provided by blue collar workers: if they're working, they can hire someone to come remodel their house, they can take their car in for regular service, they can go out to eat more frequently providing work for cooks and wait staff, etc.

      "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." ~Christopher Reeve

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:19:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, white collar unemployment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      uscitizenvoter, IT Professional

      Just in case you aren't aware, layoffs of white collar workers has drastically increased. Try Citibank, or Sun Microsystems, or GM. Yeah, I know this is probably news to you, but GM is not just a bunch of factory workers.

      I really don't understand where you guys get off anyway -- you seem to think it's a tragedy if a blue collar worker loses his job, but you sneer at college educated people who lose their office jobs.

      Why are you so filled with hate towards us? Is it elitism that's the problem?

      I suspect what we are seeing from too many people here is class warfare. All workers should band together to help each other instead of wishing ill will on one class of worker or another.

  •  So, would you also limit the number of foreign. (0+ / 0-)

    ..students?

    That number did go down after 9/11. But there is also on new reason, competition. There are more good education opportunities all over the planet, mostly in Europe and Asia.

    Creating obstacles will harm companies, as the most talented people will go somewhere else.

    Of course you do have a good point, if there is enough laborforce and they are well educated, then importing cheap labor is imo wrong.

    "Hey Joe, could you check his bearings. Again!"

    by allmost liberal european on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:14:51 AM PST

  •  This would be pretty harsh (10+ / 0-)

    on America's science effort.

    I have two postdocs and two graduate students (one of whom is one of the best young scientists I've met in my whole research career) who are finishing up their work now and want to stay in the US.  Not having a mechanism for them to work legally would mean that all the effort we have put into training them leaves the country with them.  

    I'm not "replacing" any qualified American with these people.  When we advertise for postdoctoral researchers we get hundreds of foreign apps and few or no Americans.  We get many times the number of foreign grad student applications as US citizens, and though our policy is to give preference to in-state students, scientists are raging meritocrats and have a hard time turning down the best talent for political reasons.  My lab couldn't run without foreign students; although I've now managed to attract a couple of American graduate students it is truly hard to come by Americans who a) want to stay in science even despite the hardships of graduate school and b) have been properly encouraged to develop their skills.

    I hope that the Obama administration will be able to make science and intellectual talent "sexy" enough at all levels that we start getting better-prepared American students, keeping them in research, and can do without workers on H1Bs, but I don't think an approach this black-and-white is a good idea at the moment.

    •  If we removed the barriers to US Students SIGH (7+ / 0-)

      There are so many barriers to education for American students. It's a national disgrace and god willing the Obama administration should do something about it ASAP.  I think back to my father's era when he, a super smart guy from a working class family in Jersey was able to get a first class education totally on scholarship -- he would have finished his Ph.D. but instead he got married ;-)

      Nowadays my father would be expected to take on $100,000 or so in loans and be worried about health insurance coverage and living expenses while in college. If we want to have a bigger crop of American born scientists and engineers we MUST invest enough funds in our colleges and universities so that tuition is modest or even free.  You can't exactly pay back your student loans on a post-doc's stipend!

      •  You can get a deferment during grad school (0+ / 0-)

        and during some types of postdoc appointment, and NIH has a program, at least, where people who were funded by NIH and who stay in science can get loans forgiven.

        I was lucky; I had a national merit scholarship for undergrad, so I got to go to a chi-chi little midwestern liberal arts college almost for free, and I went to grad school in a place where the stipend could actually pay for all my modest needs.  You can still make it through science training in this country without a lot of debt but you have to plan.

        I work at a university where in-state tuition is something like $2400.  I would GLADLY take a US PhD student that did well in one of our undergrad programs (you don't need to have graduated from Harvard with concomitant debt to get into grad school), and they would get paid tuition and a stipend, and could probably make it all the way to a postdoc with a modest debt load.  Hell, people at much fancier grad programs would take one of our grads with a decent GPA, because everyone's fighting for any American student that wants to get a Ph.D.  I applied to 10 rather fancy grad programs, back in 1990, and in the end got into all of them.

        •  Forgiveness not Deferment!!!!!! (10+ / 0-)

          Deferment is NOT a solution. Flat out we are saddling folks with entirely too much educational debt and it's doing grave damage to our country.  Not only are we saddling kids with too much debt to get even a undergraduate state school education, the slots in the "cheaper" state school aren't nearly enough for the amount of kids who wish to attend them.

          Did you know that the AVERAGE state school graduate now has almost $20,000 in debt just to get their B.S.? With that amount hanging over your head, it's no wonder that students are poo-pooing a science career as years and years of modest stipends in lieu of a living wage and precious few tenure track positions at the end are no way to pay off the undergrad debt.

          We've been eating the seed corn for years and years -- you're on the front lines, so you're seeing the results.  Wake up and smell the coffee -- the system has been starved for years and years -- that's why American students can't get to the position of being an applicant to work in your lab.

          •  Exactly (6+ / 0-)

            I have nephews and nieces now in, or recently graduates of, college.  What saddened me was that when I and my sisters went to college, we were able to get pretty much a free ride through the state colleges.  Between scholarships, grants, and summer job savings, we were able to attend college and not owe much - if any - money when we left.  I had one loan which I paid off in less than two years, and I wasn't in a high-paying job.  Today, almost none of those same scholarships and grants that we had even exist, and what does isn't even close in real terms to what we had.  They were the victim of various government cut-backs.

            The other thing that many people don't seem to realize is what you said - the pay really sucks in most science jobs.   One of the reasons I left research was that I got very tired of going "grant to grant."  If my institution had a grant, great - for a few years.  Then you hoped for another grant or a renewal.  If not, you were sidelined while the scramble went on, or moved on.  

            I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

            by Norbrook on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:14:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  All of that is federal and state policy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            uscitizenvoter, Norbrook

            not something that individual scientists can decide.  (Until I run for Congress, but right now I'm just a regular old professor busting my ass to keep the assistantship money flowing for the 10 people who depend on me).

            I agree the whole tuition situation is crap in this country.  At our institution we still have pretty cheap tuition and we're trying to set policy to pay all our graduate students uniformly and to be competitive with other schools given limited resources.

            We're doing pretty well by taking American students who are graduating from our undergrad programs, encouraging them to do research, and turning them into graduate students.  I have two like that just starting in my lab.  

            •  All of us should really be pushing the issue (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              uscitizenvoter, IT Professional

              I feel very passionate about the issue -- I had at one point entertained a science major and worked for 17 years supporting (the junior DBA job mentioned upthread actually) a very prestigious federal post-doc program.  Tragically IMO, Bush appointees at a few key agencies who sponsored the 50 year old program decided that my organization did not deserve to run it anymore as we were too supportive of James Hansen at NASA/GISS.  So the program is barely hanging on, lots of dedicated staff laid off and hundreds of potential post-docs no longer have slots in this great program.

              Breaks my heart -- not for me, at least my current job is better paying, I'm okay though cranky at times, but for all those potential scientists who have one less avenue to get their careers off the ground.

        •  Deferments just grow the debt and make it worse (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          uscitizenvoter, Norbrook

          trust me, I had one.  Interest continues to compound.  The cost of education in this country is a travesty, and we will never get ahead unless we do something to fix it.

          That, and the fact that out secondary education system is in the toilet.  Also.  :(

    •  We could start by making it a REAL career (6+ / 0-)

      complete with decent pay & a realistic opportunity for lifetime employment.

      Our kids aren't stupid. They look at the career prospects and then move along.

      There's always someone younger, and gullible enough to believe that devoting their life to the company will be rewarded.

      The only people who are happy with their health insurance plan, haven't used it yet.

      by Hens Teeth on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 06:34:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The H1-B should not be part of the Science Effort (13+ / 0-)

      There is already a category O-1 for extraordinary talent. Why is this not enough. The number of O-1 visas allowed is unlimited!

      The reason you have so many foreign students applying to your graduate programs here is a deliberate choice by the federal government (National Science Foundation) to keep US academic and research salaries down. Foreign students will put up with low wages as teaching and research assistants in the hope of a future green card.

      American students don't need green cards and find that the money they'd earn with a graduate science/engineering degree doesn't offset the income foregone in getting a graduate degree.

      Importing H1-Bs further discourages American students from pursuing this field.

    •  My Son (13+ / 0-)

      My son started Georgia Tech this year in the Engineering Program.  He's switching next year to a different college and a non-science-based major (probably modern languages ... he'll be one of those dudes who is fluent in a dozen languages, up from the two he is fluent in now).  Why did he leave the sciences?  The recent college graduates are coming back to the Tech campus and telling the undergraduates that there are no jobs in engineering today.  The best they can get is temporary 6- or 12- month contract work, no benefits, for less money than my daughter makes as a registered nurse working in the emergency room of a local hospital.  And ... she has health benefits and she's a "permanent employee".  My son is good at science, but he's not the "best of the best", and he just could not see working his ** off for 5 years only to be a temporary contract employee for less money than he could make pursuing other professions.

      The solution: raise salaries for scientists and engineers; bar H1-B's and other wage-busting schemes; find a way for engineers to work long-term as "permanent employees" rather than as temporary contract labor.  Otherwise, America will be in the permanent position of relying on India for its scientists and engineers.  Didn't I hear some politician or industry type say that it is a National Security problem that too few Americans are going into science and engineering?  If they really believe that, then they have to act like it, and put the nation's money where its interests are.

      •  My youngest son is a (5+ / 0-)

        freshman (Electrical Engineering) at our state university.  He's looking into ROTC as a way to achieve his goal of graduating AND finding a job as well as not ending up to his forehead in debt.  The fact that we have to give serious consideration to his committing himself for 12 years to the military in order for him to just get a bachelors degree says something about how poorly this country has done with moving our kids on to higher education.  All four of our kids are currently in college and it's killing us - I seriously doubt that my husband and I will ever be able to retire, and the kids will be paying off their share of the loans for years to come.  (And that's after grants and scholarships for all of them!)

        Best of luck to your son in his studies and finding a job after graduation!

        When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? Eleanor Roosevelt

        by seefleur on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:46:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Do you have suggestions (5+ / 0-)

      on how we get more American students to take math and science seriously?  I have three daughters - one recently finished a PhD in Mathematics, one finishing hers in Chemistry, which will be followed by a prestigious post-doc, and the third doing undergraduate work in microbiology and working in a research lab. I believe that having been exposed to positive attitudes towards math and science when they were children, and having parents who strongly believed in their capacity to work successfully in those fields was important.  However, my two older daughters are loaded down with high levels of debt even with full funding throughout their graduate careers.  They have found it difficult to obtain funding for post-doctoral work, in spite of strong qualifications. Finally, they are concerned about how they can best balance their career aspirations with having and raising children.  I am not sure how these concerns can best be addressed - they are not at all adverse to hard work, but they also want to have strong families. I do know that my youngest daughter, who is equally capable, is hesitant to follow in her sister's footsteps.

      •  Here is the solution: (8+ / 0-)

        If the H1-B visa is disbanded, corporations would value U.S. Math and Science graduates more and pay them accordingly.

        When students looking to select a career see that these jobs are valued, they will enroll in these programs more.

        •  Was that happening (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Question Authority

          before H1-Bs started to be so widely used?

          The academic culture that results in low pay and arduous apprenticeship is not really analogous to the industry H1-B situation.  I am not necessarily happy with this myself, but science (and academia in general) has a culture that is derived from the monastery (look where intellectuals were in the many centuries leading up to the 20th...monasteries sheltered a lot of geeks) and also from an upper-class sense of noblesse oblige (look where the other prominent intellectuals were in the 1800s, they were independently wealthy like a certain famous naturalist).  There's even a tradition of "gentleman professors" taking no salary if they had family money.

          The apprenticeship is intended to be a sacrifice that tests your dedication.  The life is monastic and the more prestigious your monastery, the worse it is for work-life balance.  So I would hesitate to attribute all that is weird and penitential about academic culture just to H1-Bs.

          •  In other words, your reseachers should (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chi, ManhattanMan, alisonc

            be happy enough just to bask in your genius while working for pennies.

            You are the classic academia egotistical professorial asshole.

            "monastic" indeed.

            •  Um, no. (5+ / 0-)

              I think academic culture is weird and penitential.  I don't know how to change it on my own, but for the people who do work with me, I try to make it as reasonable as I can given the circumstances.

              My research advisor used to tell me that I should expect to work 80 hours a week for the rest of my life.  I said "fuck that" and finished my Ph.D. while working 40 hours a week and participating in local co-op activism.  I don't require my people to work penitential hours and we still get publications and everything moves smoothly.

          •  Here in Ohio (0+ / 0-)

            You can get a 50-60k a year job with just a BS in Biology or Chemistry and even more than that with a toxicology background even without the background in the university research realm.  There is a massive shortage or qualified scientists around here.

            Hey you, dont tell me theres no hope at all Together we stand, divided we fall.

            by marcvstraianvs on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 08:08:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know some people (3+ / 0-)

              who would probably like to know that!

              I work in a field where, with my Ph.D., I could probably make twice what I'm making now working in industry.  And, I wouldn't have to grub for grants.

              But I don't need to make twice what I make now, and I really like training grad students.  It's so cool to watch them go from thinking inside the undergraduate box to being able to develop their own experiments from start to finish.

              •  You are probably a good academic person, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                etherapy, Question Authority

                not the stereotype that I used to see so many of in academia.

              •  I understand where you are coming from. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                akeitz, etherapy

                When my daughter was spending most of her time working on getting research money instead of doing research, there was a part of her that was tempted to go into industry - twice the income for half the work.  However, she is strongly drawn to the academic life.  I think that one of the problems with the patterns of working in science as an academic is that the expectations were set in a time when most of the positions were filled by men who had wives who didn't work, or had less strenuous jobs. And then, with increasing expectations for productivity in research over recent years, the challenge to have a balanced life have increased.  How many potentially productive scientists do we lose?

              •  The big issue (0+ / 0-)

                for a lot of people is its not Chicago, not California, not Massachusetts...but Ohio.  Plus most of the jobs like that as I said are in toxicology as both you and I know for some people is a tough job to do, even scientists.

                Hey you, dont tell me theres no hope at all Together we stand, divided we fall.

                by marcvstraianvs on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 08:34:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            drbloodaxe

            that the old traditions of monasteries and aristocracies should dictate modern policies, especially economic policies that affect the livelihood of any worker (white- or blue-collar). "Tests your dedication" -- really?

          •  Right, it's not related to H1-Bs IMO n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  That's the weirdest interpretation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Chi

            of modern academic life I've ever heard.  I'm glad none of my professors shared that interpretation and went out of their way to make my life difficult just to test my dedication.

            They just wanted to turn out the most adept problem-solvers with specific knowledge bases that they could.

            Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

            by drbloodaxe on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:19:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  That is it. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          phonegery, Norbrook, IT Professional

          I love math and science, and have made my career of these.  But I would not advise other people to do so if they cannot get jobs doing that, sorry.  

          I was born in the late 60s.  It's a different world now.  What you study has to be related to what job you can get when you leave college - even if it's in an entrepreneurial sense.  We don't go to college for our health, we do it to have a career that (1) feeds us, and (2) allows us to contribute to society.

          So, those two need to be addressed:
          (1) Jobs that you can actually get that will feed you for more than 3-6 months at a time
          (2) Professions that the country needs and encourages its citizens to pursue.  Seeing these positions devalued, sent overseas, and glutted with H1-B workers will not encourage that.

          Change has come to America. Change.gov

          by Chi on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 11:18:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Work life balance (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Question Authority, Norbrook

        is going to be easiest for them to achieve at a up and coming institution that's building new programs and doesn't have an entrenched institutional culture.

        First off, I think science is a pursuit that's inherently difficult for work-life balance because you have to keep up on new developments constantly, and taking a year or two off unavoidably makes you less competitive.  Men in academia tend to have stay-at-home wives which neatly solves the problem for them.  I've known a few female academics with stay-at-home husbands and those families seem to manage pretty well, as do my married students who have a live-in grandma so they can get work done.  Someone else in the family has to take on the home front so the scientist can keep current on the field and that's just the way it is.  It's just that in the broader culture, stay at home dad situations haven't been widely accepted until recently, and Americans don't do multi-generation families so much.

        I took a risk on taking a job in a totally new program at a state university that is not the flagship.  We all work sensible hours, our department is 50% female, we have an institutional culture that is pretty supportive of families.  It's completely different from the last place I worked at, which was an old-boy-infested, football obsessed ag/engineering school.  The women I work with here are pretty happy and balanced.  The women I worked with at my previous employer were harried and oppressed, and most of my female peers left for friendlier climates while I worked there.

        Of course, we're not Harvard.  But I'm paid about half again as much as I was at Old Boy U, and half again as much as I would have been offered at some fancier places where I interviewed, and if I were of a mind to have kids I could take copious leave.

    •  Maybe you should stop paying shit for (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alisonc, WiseFerret, IT Professional

      wages. That is probably why you now only get geeks from overseas applying for your shit-for-wages researcher jobs. You are probably an egghead professor who lords over his researcher peons, and if they are good looking women, you probably chase them.

      You probably expect your researchers to be happy enough with just getting to bask in your genius.

    •  The reson you can't get... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WiseFerret, dawnt, IT Professional

      ...Americans to study science is because science doesn't pay good wages.

      Science doesn't pay because Corporations can bring in tons of H1-B Visa guys to drive down wages.

      So, you see, sometimes what you think is a solution is really your problem...

    •  There is another visa for those kids (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      uscitizenvoter, IT Professional

      It's called an O-visa. If those scientists truly are at the top of their field, then we want to keep them, and we can -- without the H-1B or L-1 visa. They simply apply for an O-visa, which is surprisingly easy to qualify for.

    •  I left science after my PhD (0+ / 0-)

      Not because they pay or bennies sucked, but because the competition for jobs and grants was going to suck too bad.

      I should spend 90% of my time writing proposals that have maybe a 15% chance for funding?  What's the point?

      I'd happily do actual science, but wasting huge amounts of time writing proposals is pointless.

      Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

      by drbloodaxe on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:10:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Be very careful here (8+ / 0-)

    Becoming xenophobic is not going to help our financial hole we have dug.  I do think that the H1b count could contract (and WILL contract with the lack of opportunities contracting) but in the long run it is important that we do continue to have some diversity in the workplace for a number of reasons:

    1. Ideas are not just limited to our culture.  We have for too long considered ourselves so superior and our standing in the world has dropped in a number of critical areas.  It would make sense to continue to rub against others in the world to act as a check against that tendency.
    1. We should insist that other cultures also open their doors to American workers.  If we allow their citizens in, they should do the same.  India, are you listening?  Then those cultures would get the same benefits and so would our workers.  We might ask for a quid pro quo in labor trade offs with other countries.
    1. We have shortages in some areas - primary care physicians for one.  We might consider educating people from abroad with the caveate that they serve underserved areas here and then they can go back an enrich their country.  Apparently the rethugs haven't completely drained the juice out of our educational capabilities although they have tried extremely hard.
    1. Our standing in the world means that people have looked to us as a beacon of opportunity.  If we close the door tightly, we will complete what the rethugs have started.  We will be looked upon like the French who claim liberte' equalite' but act totally different when it comes to their immigrant populations.
    •  Xenophobic??? (13+ / 0-)

      "The H-1B and L-1 guest workers programs have "RESERVED" millions of high-value jobs for citizens of foreign countries. Tens of millions of United States citizens are consistently and routinely DENIED and DEPRIVED and EXCLUDED from EEO, Equal Employment Opportunities during the hiring process.

      How is it Xenophobic to want US workers to also be considered for these opportunities?

      Many Americans who are laid off are required to transition their jobs to their Indian replacements as a requirement for their severance pay.  Regardless of how people perceive this, U.S. companies see Indian workers as cheap labor.

    •  Just a couple of quick reactions to your comment: (12+ / 0-)
      1.  I'm fairly certain that primary care physicians coming from other countries get in on J-1 visas, not the visas the diarist mentions.
      1.  D'ya really think that American workers would want to move to India for jobs?  Me, I have my doubts on that one.

      Sure, we're a beacon of opportunity, but I really do think that as long as we have uncounted hundreds of thousands of jobless and homeless citizens, we need to take care of them first.  'Cuz, you know, India isn't going to take care of them for us and neither is anyone else.

      That's not xenophobia.  That's just realism.

    •  Xenophobic (8+ / 0-)

      Here's the definition in Mirriam-Webster:

      one unduly fearful of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin.

      What part of having your job outsourced is attributed to being "unduly fearful" of foreigners.  Having your job "outsourced" to someone that is brought in from another country in this environment is a valid fear not an undue fear.  So, to call IT Professional xenophobic isn't justified on the definition alone.

      Why do you have to "label" him anyway?  Is it to diminish the legitimacy of his argument?  If that is the case, why would you be for outsourcing American jobs?  Are you involved in the outsourcing industry?  Inquiring minds want to know.

      •  Do you guys/gals ever really read (0+ / 0-)

        a comment?  I didn't say you WERE xenophopic, I said
        "becare of BECOMING xenophobic".  Jeez, get a grip will ya?

        And as for you all hugging Buchanon's and Dobbs to your bosum, I would remind you that it wasn't long ago people used your power by offering you all kinds of reasons to hate others - black, gay, whatever.  And while outsourcing has its evils it is not inherently evil.

        Buchanon is like a stopped clock, he will hit a correct time once in a while.  Dobbs, on the other hand, has his raving moments about immigration but seems to be fairly rational about some things.  Just my opinion, mind and clearly not one that is wanted in this thread.

        •  Yes, I Read What You Said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          uscitizenvoter

          It's a way of accusing someone of something and at the same time having deniability.  Nice try.  Don't bring the name up in the first place.

          •  No it is not a way of accusing you (0+ / 0-)

            It is a plea that you not go overboard.  If I wanted to deny anything I would have.

            When you see as much as I have, you know that people who are frustrated, frightened and insecure often do things that can be horrifying but are rationalized as necessary due to their feelings.  I don't want us (and we are a community) jumping off into some wild miserable action against others because of the feelings mentioned above.

            If I am erring on the side of being afraid of actions you would not do then I am the one overreacting.

            •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              uscitizenvoter, IT Professional

              What actions are you referring to?  Now you lost me.  All the diarist and I have advocated is that the H1-B and L1 visa program should be stopped in a time of high unemployment.  Are you saying that because of that we may be "becoming xenophobic"?  That because we don't want corporations destroying the middle class through these programs we're somehow bordering on xenophobia?  Sorry, but you are way off base here.  To even throw the word out in reference is insulting, highly inflammatory and accusatory.

              The only action we're advocating is against corporations.  They are the ones using foreign workers as a tool against us, the American workers.  When we push back against that, we're accused of "becoming xenophobic"?  Why are you not accusing corporations of their part in this?  Why only the American workers?  This whole line of reasoning is disgusting.

              •  Do you want it to completely stop? (0+ / 0-)

                Are you like Dobbs and completely go nuts about immigration and hate immigrants?  (My okie relatives now are kinder to blacks but absolutely loathe hispanic and mexican immigrants.  And that hate makes them completely open to manipulation.)

                •  No, immigration should not stop.. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  uscitizenvoter

                  Immigration specifically to replace workers where wording in the legislation state this as the intent, should stop.

                  By the way, I am a minority immigrant.

                •  You Lose Me When You Insult Me (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  uscitizenvoter

                  Can you not make a point without insulting someone?  So I'm being accused of going "nuts" about immigration and "hating" immigrants because I see the H1-B and L1 programs as a problem and not a solution for the American worker.  I don't watch network news, and that includes Dobbs.  I get my news from the internet because I can get it from a lot of sources unfiltered by the corporate media.  I came by my views from my own search for information and my own experiences.  My views are just as valid as yours in the marketplace of ideas and deserve just as much respect as you feel yours do.  

                  I am not a racist and I resent being accused of it.  And don't try saying that isn't where you're going.  As I said in another comment, you can nuance your words all you want, but ultimately that's where you're going and anyone with an ounce of sense can see it.  You're using your experience with your relatives to view anyone else that doesn't agree with you as racist.

                  As far as being manipulated goes, it don't work on me.  I left my church because the pastor was manipulating his flock in the political realm.  You're trying to manipulate me by accusing me of things that just aren't true.  I supported Barak this election with money and phone banking even though I was ridiculed by every conservative I knew.

                  If you feel my ideas are bad, just say so and why.  You don't have to use ad hominem attacks to do that.  That's something people do when they run out of ideas.

    •  Oh, here we go (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, enya rocks, IT Professional

      Xenophobic people are against immigration.

      This diarist is asking for reforms to one of the temporary guest worker programs.

      This diarist must be xenophobic.

      Can you say non sequitur.

  •  I haven't got time (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seamus, JeffW, peacevehicle

    to do a the full research that the links that you have provided demand but to say that they are all extremely suspect is the understatement of the year.

    Quick example: one of the videos you link to is advocating the website
    Turns out this is owned along with many similar sounding domains by a group called Federation for American Immigration Reform:

    Whois info

    Registrant Search:   "Registrant Search:   "Federation for American Immigration Reform" owns about 16 other domains
    Email Search: is associated with about 639,857 domains
    is associated with about 16 domains" owns about 16 other domains

    A quick Google will tell anyone all they need to know abour this mob - they are a hate group. This stuff makes Lou Dobbs look like a flaming moderate on the issue.

    Good for us that the idiots setting up these sites (also checked the first web site links leave their own names on the domain registries) so if anyone has the time to do a dairy their are literally more leads than you can use.

    This is the diarist's first contribution here and I will hazard a guess that you won't see any writings on other issues in the future. This is a one trick pony.

  •  H1-B is a symptom, not a problem (5+ / 0-)

    Now, I certainly think it should be policed better.  But having worked in IT for 20 years, the H1-B people I've worked with have been - taken as a whole - far better at their jobs than the non-H-1B people.  With the white collar layoffs picking up steam in the past several months, I do think this could change as there become fewer jobs for people to fill.  That alone should cause a re-evaluation of H-1B.

    But the problem is that since at least the late 1970's, both the quantity and the quality of our science and math graduates has gone down.  Like most skilled jobs, it takes a combination of natural aptitude, education, and on-the-job experience to make a really good IT employee.  And fewer of those with the aptitude are pursuing the other two.  The reasons for this are myriad, and would require far more than a comment or even a whole diary to analyze.  We as a society have bought into the idea that the invisible hand will ensure that we have the workers with the skills we need, and that has proved to be crap in far more than just the IT field.

    And to specifically address the contention that the "shortage" is made up, let me just say this.  There is little doubt in my mind that there are indeed many subfields where there is not a shortage.  There is also no doubt that the H1-B program has been abused, badly, to get cheaper labor and send jobs offshore.  But in many areas, the difference between a decent IT employee and an exceptional one is huge.  A decent It employee often is simply not good enough.  Systems crash, projects don't get done on time, and bad data gets disseminated.  Smart organizations have checks and balances of course, but having to actually fall back on them is hugely wasteful.

    So by all means, reform H-1B.  But address the real damn issue at the same time.  Start treating a deterioration of skills in a whole variety of fields as a national security issue - which it most assuredly is.  We've spent the past three decades, aside from a blip in the second half of the nineties, transitioning our economy to a service-based economy instead of skills-based one.  That we wound up with a shortage of skills AND an abused and inadequate solution (H1-B) should surprise no one.

    Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to www.edwardgtalbot.com for a free audio thriller.

    by eparrot on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:44:08 AM PST

    •  I agree with you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nsfbr

      We need good IT workers. I for one don't particularly care where they come from.

    •  I saw actual ASP web page code from (4+ / 0-)

      an Indian shop overseas, and it was a patchwork quilt of cut-and-paste garbage.

      You could see from the code's unedited comments that the code was cut-and-pasted from other projects.

      Quality my ass.

      How many Indian overseas phone support people have you ever talked to who sounded like they really knew their subject? For myself, almost NEVER.

      •  that's an overseas shop (0+ / 0-)

        I was referring H1-B visa-holders, which is a very very different thing.  The majority of Indians who get H-1B visas have to go through a rigorous interview/selection process that makes any interview I've ever been on seem like a walk in the park.

        That said, I agree enya rocks :)

        Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to www.edwardgtalbot.com for a free audio thriller.

        by eparrot on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 12:37:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  rigorous interview/selection process ???? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          uscitizenvoter

          I have worked H1-B workers who come on the job with ".net for dummies" books who couldn't answer basic .net questions.

          I have worked with h1-B "java experts" that didn't know what a jar or war file was.

          Their resumes were a pack of lies, yet they were selected over US candidates.

          •  I don't doubt you (0+ / 0-)

            But your response to my original comment was citing overseas shops and phone support, which is totally different.  Regarding actual H1B holders, I can only speak to my experience with H1B visaholders from India in a number of different jobs.  And it has been uniformly good.  By the same token, as recently as 3-4 years ago, I knew several companies offering solid compensation that had trouble finding people who were truly excellent, and who weren't going to go the H1B route.  As I said in my original comment, IT people who are merely competent can be problematic.

            Having been in the same position for four years now, I have been much less in touch with the job market.  I know hiring has dried up over the past year, but that's about it.  So maybe in that timeframe, home-grown developers with really great combinations of analytical and programming skills have started appearing.  But it used to be a bear to find them.  And it also used to be impossible to determine from their resume or references whether they really were good.  Which made winnowing candidate lists down to those who you would interview an exercise in luck.  It wasn't people who claimed experience who didn't know what a .jar or .war file was, it was people who had trouble turning a business requirement into an actual application.

            I am not saying we shouldn't reform the H-1B visa process substantially or that it's not abused.  or even that all H1-B visa people are good.  But I am certain that foreign workers are not the biggest problem in the arena - lack of good people, period, is the problem.  I am convinced that this is largely due to the delusion that the free market will produce the workers we need.  We as a society seem disinclined to correct that fallacy.

            Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to www.edwardgtalbot.com for a free audio thriller.

            by eparrot on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 02:27:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The issue with shortages (7+ / 0-)

    is that there are a number of cases where an industry has created a self-sustaining "shortage".   As I said in an earlier comment, the H1B program was principally designed to be temporary - until the necessary skilled personnel became available here.  

    The way it works is that there's a shortage of skilled workers.  The industry goes and gets H1B workers to fill the gaps.  They find out that they don't have to pay them as much, the workers can't just leave for another higher-paying job, and they don't have the same rights as American workers - they're locked in.  Pretty soon they start forcing out the non-H1B workers - job cuts, firings, or just making it miserable enough for them to leave.  Now, you don't look very hard for replacements, you just get more H1B people.  You're "not hiring," or, just to make it look good, if you have a position, you offer it at a salary that isn't even close to acceptable.  This keeps the "shortage" going.

    Pretty soon, college students realize that there aren't any real jobs in the field.  They stop majoring in that field.  People don't bother entering it through retraining.  Now you have a real shortage!  You get to keep going with the H1B!   To add icing on the cake, you get to moan in public and to Congress about how people just don't want to enter the field!

    The shortage of skilled people that should have been temporary has now been turned into a permanent state.  It really works well for the bottom line.  

    I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

    by Norbrook on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:50:23 AM PST

  •  This is completely incoherent and borders on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08

    the xenophobic.  

    The H1-B is the primary means that we are able to keep high tech jobs IN this country.  The problem isn't that there are too many H1-Bs, it is that (1)there are too few, (2) that the green card process is way too long, (3) that our higher education system is rapidly becoming priced beyond the reach of a majority of families in this country.

    Ending the H1-B program fixes NOTHING.  It would summarily guarantee the ending of our competitiveness in the world.  

    My personal experience with H1-B visas is that it was the only way to hire the person I wanted after interviewing several for a particular position.  Why?  Because I was interested in having someone with intimate knowledge of a foreign market - where the individual was from!  

    How about we stop blaming immigrants for the problems that we have brought on ourselves.  In the interim, I would prefer to at least keep the xenophobia on the Rethug side.  Amongst progressives, I would like to think we attempt to look beyond knee jerk nationalism and seek to understand the root causes of our difficulties instead.

    Obama/Biden '08 - I see a landslide in our future. Give here!

    by nsfbr on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 07:53:29 AM PST

    •  Most H1-B workers are (8+ / 0-)

      average workers doing average work.  They are just cheaper and beholden to the H1-B sponsor.

      The H1-B program discourages students from entering Science and Math fields due to the low wage prospects.

      •  Nice try. (0+ / 0-)

        But missing the point entirely.  The reason that they are beholden to the sponsor is that the green card process is broken.  I don't give a crap if they are average workers doing average work.  They are people who want to immigrate to the US, and immigration of highly educated people is the key to the US being competitive in the 21st century.  But whatever, you are getting all kinds of ratification because it sounds good.  Enjoy.

        Obama/Biden '08 - I see a landslide in our future. Give here!

        by nsfbr on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:29:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Stop Labeling IT Professional as Xenophobic (12+ / 0-)

      You could be labeled too but I won't do that.  We've had enough of that crap from the republicans.  You are just trying to diminish his viewpoints by calling him a name to make others view him as damaged goods.  Besides, if your logic was applied to America,

      Because I was interested in having someone with intimate knowledge of a foreign market - where the individual was from!

      then who knows the American market better than Americans.  You just shot yourself in the crotch for any argument you might have for hiring H1-B's in America.

      •  The conclusion doesn't follow your quote (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nsfbr

        He wanted someone with knowledge of a FOREIGN market, so how can you argue then that only an American doesn't know American markets if that wasn't his argument to begin with.

        I think the best qualified person should get the job, and we shouldn't put up trade barriers to better workers, whether they are white or blue collar. I also don't like the idea that nobody has a problem with gardeners and construction workers and hotel maids being foreign but when it's an actual white collar job that's being replaced people get up in arms. Next we'll go after the foreign-born nurses, and then we'll all be in big trouble because of our severe nurse shortage.

        To me this is all making a mountain out of a molehill, and stinks of a search for scapegoats.

        •  No red herrings and no straw men, please! (4+ / 0-)

          I also don't like the idea that nobody has a problem with gardeners and construction workers and hotel maids being foreign but when it's an actual white collar job that's being replaced people get up in arms.

          Who is this "nobody" of whom you speak?  Blue-collar job loss is also an important problem, most people on this site care about it and there is no evidence that the Diarist doesn't care about it.

          But the specific issue addressed by this diary is white-collar job-loss due to H1-B visas.  Other diaries on the site address "gardeners and construction workers and hotel maids".

        •  Excuse Me (4+ / 0-)

          If there truly is a shortage of workers for IT, then train Americans for these American jobs.  

          Regardless of what his argument was to begin with, that was his conclusion.  So, I just used his definition, not mine.

          Maybe you consider replacing Americans with foreign workers on American soil a "molehill" but to millions of Americans who can't get their foot in the door because their not "foreign" in their own land, I'm sorry but you are just beyond the pale.

          I don't know why to be progressive you think one has to be anti American worker.  That's not progressive, that's capitulation to corporate propaganda.  This is our sandbox and we'll make the rules.  You may prevail and absolutely destroy all American hopes, but I'll be fighting you every step of the way and I hope the American workers prevail over these pro international corporation views that you pass for progressivism.  It's not progressive for our society to fire Americans and hire foreign workers here to destroy our middle class.  That's regressive.

      •  I didn't label HIM I pointed out that his (0+ / 0-)

        diary is.  Try actually reading what I wrote, okay?

        I have no idea what you are speaking of with respect to my aim.  IT is not a market based occupation.  It is, get this, technology (loosely speaking) based.  The problem is that during the internet bubble, IT people got used to being paid many times their actual worth.  Now it is readjusting to reality.

        Obama/Biden '08 - I see a landslide in our future. Give here!

        by nsfbr on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:34:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Same Difference (0+ / 0-)

          His diary is his ideas put into print.  So when you're saying that his "ideas" are bordering on xenophobic it is the same thing as saying he is.  You can nuance your words all you want, but anyone with an ounce of understanding can read through it.

          I read what you wrote.  I just don't happen to agree with you.

    •  This disqualifies you, because (5+ / 0-)

      this is NOT what we talking about here:

      I was interested in having someone with intimate knowledge of a foreign market

      We are NOT talking here about jobs which require an "intimate knowledge of a foreign market".

      You are therefore clueless about the dynamics of the actual problem that we are talking about here.

      •  It doesn't disqualify me. (0+ / 0-)

        I gave an example of my personal experience with the H1-B program.  The diary claims that Obama should shut it down:

        Obama can ease the white collar unemployment problem by IMMEDIATELY shutting down the H1-B and L1 Visa program.

        So, yes, it is exactly what we are talking about here.  Just because you decide that my disagreement is counter to the very popular, but flawed premise of the diary, does not necessarily mean that I'm wrong.  No one has even attempted to read what I wrote.  That is quite sad in my view.

        Obama/Biden '08 - I see a landslide in our future. Give here!

        by nsfbr on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:38:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Another slippery slope argument (4+ / 0-)

      "borders on xenophobia" -- what you really mean is that you think he's probably a racist but you can't prove it. If you can't prove it, then STFU about it.

      If all your H-1B workers have always been better than your American workers, then I'd say you're probably working in one of the businesses that underpays workers (i.e., exploits workers), and your American workers are thus bottom-of-the-barrel workers.

      When the H-1B system is used appropriately, there is virtually no difference between the H-1B workers and the American workers. The H-1B workers are supposed to fill jobs for which no American worker can be found. Too many companies, though, want to exploit workers and not pay the market rate -- so they hire H-1B workers from third world countries who are willing to work for much, much less than qualified American workers. In those cases, the only Americans willing to work for that rate are ones who cannot find a better job due a lack of qualifications or skills.

      •  Umm no. (0+ / 0-)

        Why do I need to choose American workers?  I personally believe I should be able to choose the best person for the job.  You have no idea what the circumstances were.

        As to your overlaying some other meaning to what I said, well, that is entirely your problem, not mine.  I have no thought that the diarist is racist.  If I had thought so, I would have said so.  I just think that he, like so many here in this thread are misguided into believing that a flawed system is inherently wrong.  I say fix the effing system and stop blaming the visa holders for problems that were created by a corruption of the system that has held out the hope of permanent residence here.

        Obama/Biden '08 - I see a landslide in our future. Give here!

        by nsfbr on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:43:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the L word (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          uscitizenvoter

          Dude, you sound like a Libertarian, with a capital L. I'm sure you want to hire whoever you want, for the price you want to set. That's just the same kind of thinking that the union busters use to bring in the scabs.

          That's not liberal thinking though -- it's just another excuse the libertarians want to use to let the robber barons and the corporate mobs to ruin this country. You are fooling yourself if you think you are progressive or liberal.

    •  you are the one that is incoherent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      uscitizenvoter, IT Professional

      OK, let's see if I have this straight. We can't keep tech jobs in the U.S. unless we have more H-1Bs. Fine, except that we are bleeding jobs. Of course you are probably just foolish enough to say that is proof we need more H-1Bs.

      Just how much of a beating are we all going to have to take while fools like you say H-1B is good for us? Get a clue -- losing your job to an H-1B isn't good, it's a disaster!

      You bash us as xenophobes while at the same time you want to steal our livliehoods by importing ever more of these high-tech braceros.

      Let's get one thing straight -- most of us aren't blaiming immigrants for this mess. We are blaming the globalists like you that think it's progressive to force hard working Americans into poverty.

      Shame on you!

  •  More of the same: My experience (6+ / 0-)

    First: No, I am not xenophobic. I studied India for a year solid in college back in the proverbial day, and have been reading Indian newspapers online since 9/11 (First subject: cricket, then less-important stuff like potential atomic wars with Pak).  Vir Sangvir in the Hindustan Times in particular is an excellent commentator.  They are fine people, I enjoy them indivudually and welcome to America, we are richer for you! (except for IT workers).  Fine sense of humor, too, when they can get their nose off the grindstone. No offense meant as I say 'they' following...

    I am coldly furious with corporatism using them to shaft us.

    20 years plus in IT in Seattle. My last job was suporting Cognizant Bangalore, who was running most of our systems for an insurance company. This was on the night shift, which is the day shift in Bangalore/Chennai. They get their holidays and ours, and we work theirs and are usually on-call for ours.   Just like the diary says, mgmt uses the H1B's to coordinate and shift the work offshore. Any task that was repetitive enough to sorta document was shipped. If my next job tells me to train my replacement I am walking out there and then, I am screwed anyway.
       
    What I do see lately is not the well-known geniuses, who are non-conformists by home standards, but the good conforming but less-creative students getting their year in America making good money and improving their marriage prospects. H1B companies bring them in by the numbers, and they get no time to see America outside the cube. Their last day the taxi takes them from work straight to the airport.  At that last job they get a month off to get married, so I asked my boss if I could get a month off if I get married too. Um, no.  

     Thanks to the writer and Kos for mentioning Obama's views on this, time to add this to our input to O.  

  •  Immediately? (0+ / 0-)

    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    Immediately means right now.

    You're talking about something that couldn't be done for at least 60 days.

    [When] the land... has become private property, the landlords... love to reap where they never sowed, and demand rent even for its natural produce. ~Adam Smith

    by ogre on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 09:06:10 AM PST

  •  During the campaign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, uscitizenvoter, IT Professional

    I kept trying to bring this exact problem up with my congressional candidates. To a man (and woman), their answer involved a border fence.

    Or representatives are clueless about this.

    One of the interesting initiatives we've taken in Washington, DC, is we've got these vampire-busting devices. - George W Bush, Denver, August 2001

    by pucklady on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 09:53:00 AM PST

  •  How about a heavy tax penalty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, drbloodaxe

    on employers who use a lot of H-1B and L1 workers? The money can go to job retraining programs, whether for the general population or just for displaced tech workers so they can upgrade their skills.

    I live in an apartment complex that's home to a lot of people from India and the surrounding area -- I'm sure that many of them are here on H-1B visas but they're good people (and the kids are adorable too). But additional taxes on employers could get them to think twice before they pass over a qualified American employee who might just need some skills they can pick up with a little bit of training.

    "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." ~Christopher Reeve

    by Cali Scribe on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:10:55 AM PST

    •  It is the H1B that needs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raboof, uscitizenvoter

      the job training.

      Recommending programs that "re-train" U.S. workers is mind boggling.  

      The U.S. worker has just "trained" the H1-B worker to do his job so he can be replaced.  What would he need more training for???

    •  Perfect. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi

      Basically, make it so it's just as affordable to retrain a US citizen as to hire an non-citizen.

      While I've spent a decade writing webpages in C, html, mysql and some php, some javascript, I've never had funding and time made available to train me to really learn to use more than basic css, javascript, or learn to use dreamweaver or XML to polish my pages to the point they actually look as good as they are functional.

      Got a problem with my posts? Quit reading them. They're usually opinions, and I don't come here to get in arguments.

      by drbloodaxe on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 10:53:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Us Citizen is already "trained" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        uscitizenvoter

        Much more effective to shut down the H1-B program.

        It is NOT a TRAINING issue. This is the second biggest misconception by the general public, even though it has been explained over and over, people keep repeating, "if only Americans had the training".

        If you are forcing on person to train the other, it is the recipient who needs training.

  •  I have always thought (0+ / 0-)

    that there were a lot of things wrong with the H1B program. However, in terms of IT and other service jobs there is a technological reality at work here. It becomes ever more possible for people to do many of these jobs from any place in the world over the internet. Trying to draw protectionist controls in service industries is becoming impossible. You always have the option to impose tariffs on tangible goods, but I don't think you can control the internet.

    •  These arn't jobs done from overseas (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      uscitizenvoter

      The jobs that can be done from overseas are already being done from overseas.  We can't change that.

      However, there are jobs that can't be done from overseas due to logistics.  They may need to meet with users immediately, for instance.

      These are the jobs where competent U.S. workers are now being replaced onsite with people brought in from India.

      Shutting down the H1-B pogram would be more effective than any tax incentive.

      In April ov every year we are flooded with 85,000 cheap workers to take jobs.  Yours may be next...

      •  I understand that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IT Professional

        I am quite familiar with the H1B program. I worked in the IT field before I retired and I have no doubt that it had a negative impact on my job opportunities.

        I would support action to reduce the number of workers imported on this program. My point is that the people who are exploiting it now will look for ways to have more of the work done remotely as a way to get around it. While there certainly are some jobs that have to be done on site, it is a reality that has to be dealt with.

        •  re: I understand that (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          uscitizenvoter, IT Professional

          From my perspective what difference does it make if my job was offshored or I was replaced by an H-1B? Your points are well taken, but you are arguing semantics.

          Offshoring is a complex issue to deal with, H-1B is much easier. All you have to do to stop H-1B is to stop giving visas. Since I need a job, I would prefer Obama helps with the easy solutions first.

          •  The point I was trying to make (0+ / 0-)

            is that while it is possible to reduce the number of H1B visas issued by government action, there is little the government can do to stop off shoring over the internet. That seems to me to be a significant difference.

  •  Hi-tech H1 visa (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional

    This is a very important topic and should have made the rec list.  Maybe an update is in order.  The post-doc H1 visa is a pipeline to a green card since most of the post-docs on an H1 visa stay in this country (anecdotal evidence only).  I would love to see some data on this.
    One aspect of this question I didn't see discussed is what will happen if Obama gets his jobs program up and running.  Will the H1 visa people be eligible for employment within this program?  If not will the H1 visa people then continue to  replace the American citizen within the more permanent areas of employment?

    The second mouse gets the cheese.

    by bgblcklab1 on Sun Nov 23, 2008 at 05:13:05 PM PST

  •  Obama is surrounding himself with H-1B supporters (4+ / 0-)

    Watch this youtube video to see what Janet Napolitano will bring to the Obama administration. Folks, it ain't good!

    Gov Janet Napolitano stonewalls on outsourcing and H-1B in Arizona

  •  S.1035 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    uscitizenvoter, IT Professional

    People, write your Senators and demand they pass S.1035 intact and do not raise the H-1B Visa cap or create the F-4 or some sort of other vehicle.

    S.1035 reforms the H-1B and L-1 Visa programs.  It doesn't shut them down but closes the loopholes upon which they labor arbitrage US professionals.

    Passing this bill, intact, not mutilated by corporate lobbyists and their purchased Senators, House members is critical.  

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