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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other very wealthy Silicon Valley leaders have formally launched a political group aimed at influencing U.S. immigration policy, boosting education and encouraging investment in scientific research.

Zuckerberg announced a new website (pronounced “forward us”) in an op-ed article
he wrote for The Washington Post. He says that he wants comprehensive immigration reform that allows a path to citizenship and "lets us attract the most talented and hardest-working people, no matter where they were born.”

Zuckerberg also calls for higher standards and accountability in schools and increased focus on learning about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). He writes that our "knowledge economy" is very different from the economy of the 20th century that was based on natural resources, industrial machines and labor.

He also says in The Washington Post piece:

But according to two recent articles in the L.A. Times, Americans are already "the hardest-working people". It's just that employers keep pushing them for ever more "efficiency", and in the process, are wearing them down. (Part One and Part Two) And the Republicans want these hard-working Americans to work harder for less, until they are 70 years old before than can finally qualify for Social Security and Medicare.

And when Mark Zuckerberg says each of these jobs will create "two or three more American jobs in return", he doesn't specify, or even hint, at what type of jobs, or how much these jobs might pay --- or how this H-1B "job multiplier" would actually exponentially create more American jobs.

Does Mister Zuckerberg really mean that one more engineer from India might create one more job at McDonald's and one more job at Wal-Mart? (After all, engineers also need to eat and shop). One would think that with Mister Zuckerberg's STEM skills, he might create an algorithm to analyze how his immigration policy would effect the U.S. job market by using more H-1B visas and immigrant guestworkers --- and provide us with more detailed information of this new proposal that he and his new group are advocating for.

There is already a lot of controversy surrounding H-1B visas and other types of work permits and guestworker programs --- especially when the U.S. labor force participation rate is already at a 30-year low, with the real unemployment rate closer to 30 million Americas who are currently without any job at all...not even part-time or low-paying jobs.

For years the tech industry has outsourced jobs to Asia and has been pushing for ever more H-1B visas. Last Fall at the Brookings Institution Microsoft presented a plan to add 20,000 H-1B visas and an equal number of STEM visa green cards to help get "qualified" workers.

And there have already been many reports (from CNN and others) that the H-1B program is really a fraud and a scam, used to escalate the importation of cheaper labor, undermining wages here in the U.S.

Currently, Senators who are finalizing a massive immigration bill, are arguing over plans to boost visas for high-tech workers with disputes flaring over how best to punish companies that train workers here only to ship them overseas. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who’s taken the lead to crack down on outsourcing firms, is also seeking higher wages for workers brought in on the H-1B visas that go to specially skilled foreigners.

But do we really need 2 more part-time low-paying jobs as a "by-product" for importing one more under-paid engineer to Silicone Valley from China --- a country that is predicted to overtake the U.S. GDP by 2016 and have a billion people in their middle-class by the year 2050? (Just last year alone, with the help of industrialized western nations and their multi-national corporations, China created 10 million new jobs.)

What has Facebook done for us lately, beside just constantly change the user interface every time we get used to the old one? Not to mention the problems with Facebook's privacy issues. What has Facebook done for America lately? A Facebook co-founder renounced his citizenship to dodge taxes and Facebook has also [legally] used our tax code to dodge corporate  taxes for an entire generation --- and now Facebook is even getting a tax credit.

Who is Behind Mark Zuckerberg's Immigration Policy

Backing Zuckerberg's group are other very wealthy tech leaders such as LinkedIn.Com CEO Reid Hoffman (net worth: $3.1 billion), venture capitalists John Doerr (net worth: $2.7 billion) and Jim Breyer (net worth: $1.2 billion), Ruchi Sanghvi of Dropbox.Com, who was Facebook’s first female engineer, and Joe Green, a former college roommate of Zuckerberg and the founder of Causes.Com.

Major financial contributors include Google Chairman Eric Schmidt (net worth: $8.2 billion), Netflix CEO Reed Hastings (net worth: 4.4% of Netflix's shares, including stock options), Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (net worth: $300 million), SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk (net worth: $2.7 billion), Zynga Inc. CEO Mark Pincus (net worth: $1.8 billion), former Groupon Inc. CEO Andrew Mason (net worth: $390 million) and  Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg who is the CEO of LeanIn.Org (net worth: $2.7 billion).

Mark Zuckerberg also mentioned Drew Houston of Dropbox (net worth: $450 million), Ron Conway (net worth: $1.5 billion), Chamath Palihapitiya, Matt Cohler (net worth: $400 million), Paul Graham (at Forbes), Mary Meeker (at Forbes), Max Levchin (net worth: $300 million), and Aditya Agarwal (at Forbes).

Donald Graham (net worth: $500 million) is the chairman of The Washington Post (where Zuckerberg's op-ed had first appeared) and he is also a member of Facebook’s board of directors

* Full Disclosure: Bud Meyers is an unemployed Las Vegas casino bartender, who at 57 years old and the author of this post, has now been out of work for over 4½ years (after being a hard-working American for 35 years). He has had ZERO for an income for the past 2½ years. Other than a 14-year-old computer, a 27-inch TV that he bought in 2007 and a few nondescript articles of clothing, he currently has a net worth of ZERO while subsisting on food stamps. Some Las Vegas casino owners, such as Sheldon Adelson, earn most of their revenues from casinos in China. Younger employees are more preferable by the casinos when hiring for front line employees such as bartenders and cocktail servers. That's another reason why unions are so popular in Nevada, because it makes it more difficult for the casinos to fire "old people" --- those in their 40's, 50's and 60's. One casino in Atlantic City has hired these type of employees with "term limits". And while this disclosure has nothing to do with the topic of this diary, it was only included for your information. And the same can be said for the photo above of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, which was also only included for your information.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's Only a Knowledge Dominated Economy Because (11+ / 0-)

    we chose to deport much of the work most people are able to do. There's no reason to do that. We still consume manufactured items, there's no sane reason we can't make more of them here.

    Another view of this is the lie we've been sold for 30 years, that if America were a marching band, everybody can be drum major. And that is why they need all those visas and guest workers, because not everyone has the talent to be D/M.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 05:34:47 PM PDT

    •  a possible solution to the outsourcing problem: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, greengemini, IreGyre, varro

      You got me thinking:

      We need to start a corporate shareholder movement to outsource CEOs and upper management. Replace those overpaid bastards with MBAs from a diploma mill in Balgalore. I mean, it's not a high skill profession - all you really need to be a CEO is indoctrination in buisiness groupthink, a monumental ego and psychopathic tendencies. Investors only care about shareholder value so they should be on board with this.

      I think we should start with Mr. Zuckerberg

      History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

      by quill on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:33:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I guess Americans aren't smart enough. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  What if we got 40% more Americans into college (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, IreGyre

    especially into these tech fields? And BS about the 'create 2-3 more American jobs' claim.

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 05:41:02 PM PDT

  •  I'm going to take umbrage at your sexualized pic (0+ / 0-)

    of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer as opposed to Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

    3/16/2003 Meet The Press: Dick Cheney re: Iraq: We will be greeted as liberators.

    by cosette on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 05:54:22 PM PDT

  •  Writing code isn't such an immense challenge (5+ / 0-)

    that we should have to import coders from India.

    I've written plenty of code and I could still write code if I set my mind to it.

    (I used to work in IT. Long story.)

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 06:09:37 PM PDT

  •  I tend to support H1B visas for qualified (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional

    applicants (Especially for those educated in the US), as long as they're paid the same rate as their native American brethren.  I think the real problem is getting people H1Bs so that they can be paid less than comparably qualified American workers, or so they can be trained by Americans while they're here, and then firing the Americans here, and having the H1B holders do the same job for less in their country of original.  Offshoring jobs to take advantage of the working poor in other countries is a big problem as well.

    I know three foreign citizens working for the US, presumably all on H1B's.  They're among the three smartest people I know.

    I went to college with one from Pakistan (He obviously didn't have an H1B at the time) who managed to get a perfect GPA in college, earned a masters, got a job as a product manager, and ended up bringing his whole family over.  He's absolutely brilliant - really could have done exceptionally well in, any field he wanted, his choice of the sciences, engineering, the humanities, economics.  Despite getting A's in most of my classes in college (All in HS), the same certainly could not be said of me.

    I work with another one from Canada, also educated there.  While he doesn't have a "photographic memory", he has an incredibly capacity to remember and apply facts as needed.  He's the only one I know who's read multiple editions of the entire ANSI C standard, and can cite obscure details about how things have changed from version to version.  As someone who has a horrible memory, I'm rather envious.

    I also work with another one from Poland (I believe), PhD from a top US school.  Great coder, great at doing research.  I have less specific to say about him, but also extremely qualified, and by no means the least of the three.

    Most of the people I work with are US citizens, though a few more I work with less often may also hold H1B's - I honestly don't know, and I don't think it should matter.  They're all at least as qualified as I am.

    Are there unemployed Americans as good or better than these three?  It's entirely possible, particularly in the case of those often discriminated against.  Should we discriminate against these three in order to hire native Americans?  I don't feel we should, though I don't feel we should discriminate against Americans, either, of course.

    •  Why shouldn't we give preference to our own people (6+ / 0-)


      Don't you think other peoples' countries give preference to them?

      If our own government won't stick up for our right to have a job, who will?

      •  Why should we? (0+ / 0-)

        A person's a person.  I see no significant difference between an American and a Kuwaiti, a Ugandan, or a Spaniard, an Asian, or a Brazilian.

        •  Yes, you are right .... (5+ / 0-)

          Why should I expect to be able to compete for a job in a country I was born in, served in it's military (with an honorable discharge), paid taxes in it since I was 18.

          Yes you are right, my government should toss me under the bus and make it easier for an employer to bring in a worker from somewhere else, paying them lower than industry standard, use threat of deportation to treat them cruelly.

          Your point makes SO much more sense

          In case you couldn't tell


          Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

          by Mannie on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:08:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where did I say that? (0+ / 0-)

            I quite clearly said that H1B holders should be paid no less than natives doing the same job.  How can this be accomplished?  Make it easy for them to change jobs, so companies have to compete for them.  Free market and all that stuff Republicans pretend to love so much, despite really hating it.

            Also, your mention of military service...  You aren't claiming you should be protected from competition because of your job, but because you're a veteran, which is rather different - I absolutely believe the nation should do better for its veterans, both when it comes to career assistance and healthcare (And when it comes to jobs in the public sector as well).  Not because you're Americans, but because you are veterans.

            I don't see how the paying taxes argument comes into play - H1B visa holders pay them as well (Though they don't pay social security, come to think of it).

        •  You've given some lovely anecdotes about people (0+ / 0-)

          you know (above).
          Anecdotes do not equal data.
          You know that.

          3/16/2003 Meet The Press: Dick Cheney re: Iraq: We will be greeted as liberators.

          by cosette on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 10:30:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Indeed they are not. (0+ / 0-)

            As I've said, I certainly believe in taking steps to prevent abuse of the program, and abuse of H1B visa holders (I suggested one option, there are doubtless others).  The fact is the program can work, and I think it's possible to fix the problems without killing the program.

      •  He doesn't care about us (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, IreGyre

        A political ideal means more to him than Americans out of work due to the corrupt greed of big business

        Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

        by Mannie on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 07:29:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not quite sure where you go that.... (0+ / 0-)

          I clearly said that paying H1B visa holders less is an abuse of the system.

          You could perhaps say "he doesn't care about us more than some random non-American living in some random non-American country, because he believes in universal equality more than he believes in protecting the jobs of card-holding American citizens".

          •  Paying H-1B visa holders *less* is the *point* (5+ / 0-)

            of the system.

             No qualified US worker with a Master's degree, or with 10+ years of experience as a machinist, will take a $9.25-hourly job as a contractor -- e.g. pay both halves of your own FICA and there's no retirement or insurance, no overtime or sick leave, and no vacation. But we have several "employers" here in Lubbock who bitch and moan that they can't find Americans who want "good jobs."

            Jobs demanding a Master's degree or 10+ years of experience. To get $9.25 an hour. As contract labor.

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:49:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OT: Have you heard about BattleGroundTexas? n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              3/16/2003 Meet The Press: Dick Cheney re: Iraq: We will be greeted as liberators.

              by cosette on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 10:33:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The point of the system...As argued by Congress (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IreGyre, BlackSheep1, Mannie

              is to attract skilled workers to the US.  The way it's designed has (Probably deliberately) opens it up to this kind of abuse.  I absolutely believe that using the system to take advantage of an H1B Visa holder is an abuse of the system, and the system should be fixed to prevent this.

              I also believe that calling someone a "contractor" just so you can pay them $9.25 an hour is also an abuse of the system.  Jobs demanding either a Master's degree or 10+ years of experience, and especially one requiring both, certainly should pay a lot more than "$9.25" an hour (I use quotes because it's less than that, when you include the contractor issue).

              •  attracting skilled workers (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mannie, Flying Goat

                is not the same thing as a race to the bottom. It's a fine example of how the Law of Unintended Consequences leaves loopholes open to the unscrupulous.

                LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 12, 2013 at 10:28:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Your experience is unusual (8+ / 0-)

         I worked in IT for 35 years. During the last several years I worked with dozens of H1Bs. Some were very capable, some were mediocre and some were barely qualified. The only qualification necessary was a degree in computer science. Several of the H1B "programmers" had no practical experience outside of school. I had had to train some some of them on basic mainframe procedures and standards. They were not all used for work that involved a shortage of American workers. In fact, my company was always bidding for the same jobs as the H1Bs being marketed by the Indian software companies (Wipro, etc). The H1B program is severely abused and is a weapon management uses to drive down wages. I didn't just read about this crap, I lived it.  

      •  I don't disagree that it's often abused, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        though I'm in no position to have any clue how often that is.  I'm lucky in that I went to a well known school, and my employer places great importance on quality of personnel (I remember hearing someone comment that some companies, given a choice between paying an American programmer $200k and an equally qualified Indian one $100k will always go with the Indian one, while we go with both - or something along those lines).

        My opinion is that the H1B program should be modified to fix the abuse of the system, and make sure H1B employees are paid the same as native workers, so it works as it's intended - to attract competitive talent to the US.  I think the real problem here is that businesses are striving to pay people as little as possible, and H1B visa holders and illegal immigrants are being abused as a way to accomplish this.

      •  PS (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Flying Goat, IreGyre

           I support using  H1Bs for those who have advanced degrees or specialized experience. I also think that foreign students who graduate from our masters or doctorate programs should be eligible to stay and work here. The current system is broken and need to be completely redesigned.

      •  One more thing (4+ / 0-)

           The availability of low cost tech workers has led to a decline in corporate training. In the 70s and 80s the companies I worked for were really big on training the current staff and upgrading their skills. With the advent of cheaper staffing companies like the Indian body shops, training for the staff became an unnecessary luxury. I once asked an IT VP about training some staff on a new technology and was told that it wasn't necessary because contractors could be brought in to do it cheaper. It turned out to be an H1B company.  

    •  Flying Goat: having seen no fewer than five (5+ / 0-)

      US citizens turned down for a job that went to an H-1B holder, who then had to go back overseas for 7 months while the student visa to H-1B visa paperwork got squared away (he didn't put on his application that he didn't already have the H-1B ... long story short, he was in the job officially for more than 20 months, but on the job for fewer than six before he got accepted to a US med school and quit anyhow), I can find fault with the H-1B system.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:46:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey Zuckerberg... (5+ / 0-)

    Kiss my @$$....  I haven't been on my facebook account in almost a year...

    Right now, I would say, "Hey Jacka$$  hire American workers or move out... Pick one".

    "Death is the winner in any war." - Nightwish/Imaginareum/Song of myself.

    by doingbusinessas on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 06:13:25 PM PDT

  •  That's why we must tax the crap out of rich people (6+ / 0-)

    like Zuckerberg: when the rich accumulate vast wealth, they use it to buy influence in, and dominate, our political process.  That subverts democracy and cannot be tolerated.

  •  Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. (7+ / 0-)

    Mark Zuckerberg presents the unthreatening hoody-clad image of slacker-dom;

    But beneath that warm 'n fuzzy exterior beats a heart of corporate greed as cold as anything to be found in a Pullman or Rockefeller in the late 1800s. And just as eager to squeeze a few more bucks out of their own workers' hides.

  •  Look how his "social network" actually *works* (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional, IreGyre, Mannie

    it spies on you.
    It steals your content.
    It's a time-suck and a soul-suck.

    No wonder he's a Republican. He's a thug.

    LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Thu Apr 11, 2013 at 09:52:22 PM PDT

  •  More Zuckerburg FRAUD (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The O-1 visa is for "highly skilled" workers, not the H-1B visa.  Recipients of the H-1B visa do NOT qualify for the O-1 visa because they are not "highly skilled". In fact, not only are the recipients of H-1B visa NOT "highly skilled", the GAO concluded that 94% of H-1B visa recipients are NOT even "Fully Competent".

    In 2011, the GAO produced a report for Congress that concluded a mere 6% of H-1B visa recipients are "Fully Competent" with 54% of H-1B visa recipients being "Entry Level" workers.  Tragically, many disenfranchised US STEM workers, as their last official duty of being an employed US STEM worker was forced to train their foreign replacement in order to qualify for a severance package.

    The foreign replacement workers are in this country on work visas like the H-1B visa that the White House and Congress has granted multinational corporations that those multinational corporations use to reduce labor costs by replacing US STEM workers with cheap, entry level, replacement workers from low cost labor centers in India and Communist China.

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