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I cringed when I saw this interview. Vivek Wadhwa, CEO and entrepreneur, lashed out repeatedly at Ph.D. and widely recognized outsourcing expert Ron Hira. According to Wadhwa, Americans and green card holders should not have priority for the jobs over workers who are in the US on an H-1B visa. Instead of fairness, he calls this

mean-spirited xenophobia.

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/...

Other points of view are as follows:

Senator Fritz Hollings, in an article published in the Huffington Post

With stimulus, we bail as fast as we can to stop the leaks, but do nothing to plug the hole in the hull ripped by offshoring. Stimulation can be a total success and we'll still lose more jobs than are created.

Today the U. S. Chamber of Commerce opposes "Buy America" in the stimulus. The government's and Corporate America's policy remains getting rid of jobs.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, published in Barron's Online

Krugman: My big concern here is that the economy digs itself into a deflationary hole, which is what can all too easily happen if you have a large, sustained output gap. Once prices start falling, and people start to expect continuing deflation, the balance sheet problems will become much worse than they already are, and much harder to resolve. Watching that happen in Japan is what led me to write the original, 1999 version of The Return of Depression Economics, and now the same thing is all too possible here.

Then if the CEOs go for the lowest possible cost on labor, including their destructive practice of replacing US workers with new workers brought in on an H-1B, that would fall into the same category as this concern of Krugman's:

Once prices start falling, and people start to expect continuing deflation, the balance sheet problems will become much worse than they already are, and much harder to resolve.

Labor prices have fallen. How long will this continue?

For some additional input on the details of the H-1B vs US workers, from Wadhwa, let's reference an article he wrote that was published in Business Week

Statistics that say the U.S. is producing 70,000 engineers a year vs. 350,000 from India and 600,000 from China aren't valid, the Duke team says. We're actually graduating more engineers than India, and the Chinese numbers aren't quite what they seem. In short, America is far ahead by almost any measure, and we're a long way from losing our edge.

OK, Vivek, thank you for that clarification. We did need to know how much we have to fear in terms of education from other technically advanced nations. It's not about filling skills gaps. There is no dire need for technical skills in the US, in other words.

This is a great progressive blog about free trade and outsourcing

It was all created for American corporate, globalization, greed, and American wealth distribution to other nations at the expense of Americans in massive jobs and industries loses. Subsequently these WTO and NAFTA deals brought down import tariffs from foreign products being imported into the United States. It made their products cheaper and American products higher.

Thereby killing American industries and jobs, forcing them abroad mainly to China. Meanwhile foreign industries from China and Mexico are flourishing and so are their economies, while ours have been on a steady decline.

Here's what was said by Hilda Solis, Labor Secretary, during Senate confirmation hearings on January 10, 2009.

Senator Isakson:

How would you handle the fluctuating needs for "high-skilled" labor in the US? Legal immigrants that come to the US to work temporarily to work and then go home.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis:

"I want to look at how certification occurs. I want to look at how the labor pool is identified. Whether it be in the surrounding area where that particular business may be looking and seeking for high tech individuals what extensive availability of information is there so we know,  if before we go abroad, we are first prioritizing those workers who are in fact capable and ready to fill these positions.

...the priority in my mind would be fairness. First of all, looking at how we provide fairness for those individuals who are trained and who are here in this country. Put them first. If we are not able to get there, then look at the statistical information and look at what is there. And then come up with ... looking at other frames, designs.  But at this point that is where I would begin in exploring that."

Vivek, you may be at odds with the new Labor Secretary on this one!

Originally posted to tech ed on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 02:16 PM PDT.

Poll

Americans and green card holders should have priority over workers on H-1B for the jobs in the US

76%84 votes
10%12 votes
0%1 votes
11%13 votes

| 110 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  tip jar for keeping Americans gainfully employed (21+ / 0-)

    "...our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested US worker." -Lawrence Lebowitz

    by tech ed on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 02:16:31 PM PDT

  •  There is a vocal minority of (6+ / 0-)

    Americans that are mean spirited and xenophobic. We call them Republicans. OK. That was a cheap shot. But people like Tom Tancredo, Lou Dobbs, and Bill O'Reilly do nothing to dispel that stereotype.

    "You know what's more refreshing than having a President who speaks in complete sentences? A President who behaves like a responsible adult."

    by londubh on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 02:26:10 PM PDT

  •  I've always been of the opinion... (5+ / 0-)

    that the ire in the immigration debate should be directed at the employers and not the illegals.  Employers who hire illegal immigrants are fucking over two sets of people; legal Americans who would demand a higher wage, and the immigrants themselves, who are being exploited and cannot object to their treatment through any legitimate channels.

    If a worker has a visa, they should receive no special treatment, but they should also not be passed over for a citizen.  That's just wrong.  But if an employer hires knowingly hires an illegal immigrant, they should have their business license revoked.

    An agnostic not because I don't know if there's a God, but because I don't care.

    by filmgeek83 on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 02:46:55 PM PDT

  •  There is absolutely nothing "mean-spirited and (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djpat, fizziks, Nulwee, morbie5, tech ed, Agent444

    xenophobic" about a nation making employment of its own citizens a priority over providing employment to the citizens of other nations. People who tout the Vivek line do the immigrant community no favors. They really should look at how hard it is for U.S. citizens to get jobs in other countries. The immigration services of most nations are very strict about not allowing foreign nationals to be employed unless they are foreign language teachers or have a skill that absolutely can not be found among their own people.

    All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

    by MikePhoenix on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 02:47:27 PM PDT

  •  There are times when (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djpat, Nulwee, MikePhoenix

    yes, the reason is xenophobic.  Unfortunately, though, using that accusation is also a way of deflecting valid criticism and action.  Few of us want to be labeled as "mean-spirited and xenophobic," so the concern that we might be perceived that way blunts our willingness to act.  

    The reality is that corporate executives have been, for the past few decades, more interested in "cheap" and "compliant" labor than actual skills and availability.  I gag every time I hear various executives use the justification that there "aren't enough" or there's a "lack of skills" in the American workforce.  When you look closely at it, it often means that "they won't work for what we want to pay" and "they think they have rights".   They've created the situation where it's likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.  There won't be enough people to meet the need here, simply because there's no job opportunities.  

    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 Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 02:54:25 PM PDT

  •  xenophobic yes, mean spirited maybe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theran, joy sinha

    As an immigrant who has now lived in the US for 20 years, I would say the vast majority of Americans are xenophoic, which is to say, they fear the outside world, they have a persecution complex that convinces them that the US, which created and pushed the UN, WTO, free trade, World Bank, and all the other international institutions, is somehow their innocent victim and that there are nameless foreigners that are getting rich off of the improverishment of the American workers. Not to mention the various fears of illegals taking over, terrorists in every airplane bathroom, dirty bombs coming over the border, and whatever other fears the populace has been trained to have toward the outside world to keep it looking inward and under control.

    As for the meanspiritedness of it, that's a personal thing, you can be anti immigrant without being mean spiritied about it.

    The immigration system of the US is degrading and irrational, it serves nobody's interest. And every time I see these despearate Buy American provisions, I cringe, because they are incredibly hypocritical in a nation that, at the time it actually exported things, coerced the other nations of the wrold to enter into bidning agreements prohibiting governments from preferring nationals over outsiders in their procurement contracts, but now that it's more lucrative to provide services rather than make goods, the US is abrogating its own commitment to that treaty regime.

    I favor open immigration, but oppose the H1B regime because it makes the workers into indentured servants. I am not so much concerned for the potential American worker not getting the job, I would rather somebody get the job who truly needs it, instead of just being officially favored.  

    Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

    by Marcion on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 02:59:11 PM PDT

    •  go get your (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Agent444

      I am not so much concerned for the potential American worker not getting the job

      go get your own job in your own country.  The fact that you don't care about American workers not getting a job is exactly what the rightwing nutjob xenophobes complain about.  The scary thing is, comments like yours completely validate their view point.

      Part of being an American means caring about Americans first.  Period.  You will find references to this idealistic notion littered throughout the constitution, the declaration of independence, etc.  

      The fact that you don't care about Americans means you AREN'T an American.  In short, the fact that you don't care means you are nothing but a carpetbagger.  

      Immigration to the U.S. should only be allowed for those that actually want to be Americans.  And that means caring about Americans first.  People who don't want to become Americans shouldn't be here. Period.

      Of course you favor open borders.  You want all of the rewards but don't want to make any of the sacrifices.

      •  wow (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, Nulwee, joy sinha

        Why would anybody think Americans are xeonphobic just becuase the response to any cosmopolitican sentiment that doesn't put Americans above all other humans as the superior and entitled race gets this response. How strange that American employers would prefer a worldly well educated worker from another coutnry to an American loudmouth demanding preferential treatment.

        go get your own job in your own country

        Yeah, that's not xenophobic at all, that's just good advice. Just like the Declaration of Independence, which states that Americans are created equal, with certain inalienable rights, and everybody else is a piece of shit that should be happy with the scraps that are thrown.

        Alas, my country has been fucked up beyond recogniztion by American corporate and military interests, all our laws were handed down to us on stone tablets by giant American lawfirms.

        Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

        by Marcion on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 03:23:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your country? (0+ / 0-)

          You have lived here for 20 years and I assume you are a citizen?  Then America is your country, not wherever you came from.  If you want to stop playing into the worst right wing stereotypes, you will recognize that.

          All this wasted time learning and acquiring skills... And all along I should have just squinted to see Russia

          by fizziks on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 03:37:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't have a country (0+ / 0-)

            I consider myself a citizen of the world. I don't play these outdated nationalist games, sorry if that plays into whatever jingoist games Americans enjoy playing with each other. I think my ideal country of habitation would be Italy or Spain, but those would not be "my country" either.

            Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

            by Marcion on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:00:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, at least you are honest (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MikePhoenix

              But there is some irony here that you are bitching and moaning about the "jingoism" in a country that took you in and continues to nurture you in spite of your feelings toward its people and in spite of the fact that you don't intent to acknowledge it as your own but continue to live here permanently.

              All this wasted time learning and acquiring skills... And all along I should have just squinted to see Russia

              by fizziks on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:04:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  it's not a bad country (0+ / 0-)

                I would definitely rate it in the top 10, and my degrees are here so it's sort of hard to leave. I wouldn't go putting the US on a pedestal for tolerating immigrants wihtout loyalty oaths, the world is full of immigrants wherever you look, and most of us end up where we are for fairly random reasons, not out of love or devotion.

                I know it's hard for an American to hear, but America is just another developed country, a good place to make money when you're strong, but a bad place to be poor or sick. Everybody's so used to the devotioinal formualas uttered by any immigrant who speaks in pubilc, but that's just people saying what's expected of them. I know that I'm allowed here because I'm productive, not because they like my patriotism.

                Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

                by Marcion on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:17:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No argument here (0+ / 0-)

                  I know it's hard for an American to hear, but America is just another developed country, a good place to make money when you're strong, but a bad place to be poor or sick.

                  Agreed, and I'll go you one farther and say that America has its priorities all screwed up and aspects of its culture that are vulgar and stupid beyond belief.

                  But still, I acknowledge it as "mine" and don't see myself as above it or detached from it.  This is the country that I pay taxes to, that I expect services from, where most of my friends are, and that I turn to when the chips are down.  As long as I enjoy her benefits and protections, I feel like I should contribute and attempt to improve.

                  All this wasted time learning and acquiring skills... And all along I should have just squinted to see Russia

                  by fizziks on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:30:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  sometimes I wish (0+ / 0-)

                    I had the feeling of belonging, but then again, that usually ends up with you being marched off somewhere. But even though I may not be a patriotic American, that does not meant that I don't care about the conditions in this county or that I do not fight to change them. I care for the rights of every human, and since I happen to be living here, I beleive in doing what I can to help those around me. I'm currently trying to start up an organization to help stop the tide of the so called "sex offender" persecution, I think this is the witch hunt of our day.

                    Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

                    by Marcion on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 05:02:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Your last statement seems to suggest that (0+ / 0-)

      you think a lot of Americans don't need jobs.

      So how easy would it be for an American in need of work to get a job in your home country? If it isn't pretty easy then you might think twice before being so judgmental.

      All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

      by MikePhoenix on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 03:11:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if they had their shit together (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theran, joy sinha

        Plenty of Americans work in my home country of Kazakhstan, most of the top echelons of law, government, extraction of resources and corporate are staffed by Ameircans or Western Europeans. Americans who know their shit, not the ones over here whining about getting laid off despite working for industries that have been dying for decades. You think it's easy coming to another country, learning the langauge and culture to the level of the natives, and having to compete with the native speakers who went to the same schools and whose daddy knew the interviewer's daddy?

        The screaming American sense of entitlement is ridiculous. America's economy feeds off the entire world, every country essentially pays an American tax in the shape of the ridiculously unfair deals imposed by the American empire in favor of its favored capital interests. Kazakhstan was carved up and mutiliated beyond recogniztion by the hot shit Ameircans who poured in after the Cold War and restructured everything to favor foreign investors. But God forbid there should be a level playing field somewhere that might not reward the Americans for being God's chosen people.

        Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

        by Marcion on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 03:18:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you on the premise that it's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MikePhoenix, Marcion

          very difficult to function competitively in another culture, and using a second language.

          You think it's easy coming to another country, learning the langauge and culture to the level of the natives, and having to compete with the native speakers who went to the same schools and whose daddy knew the interviewer's daddy?

          I posted a comment recently about my experience as a expat - I stayed for over three years. It was an incredibly valuable and enriching experience.

          I think we may be talking about the same people, though. The story is about the US employers, either consisting of, or backed by the plutocracy, who control the government here, and probably in most other places - almost completely. They are probably the same people who are behind the changes - restructuring - in your country that favor Americans or other outside investors.

          But God forbid there should be a level playing field somewhere that might not reward the Americans for being God's chosen people.

          If it were mine to write, I would substitute the word plutocrats for the word Americans in this part of your comment. I doubt that ordinary Americans had anything to do with the actions that were taken overseas. We are frequently unable to influence the workings of the government or the actions of the plutocracy. That doesn't stop us from trying, though.

          "...our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested US worker." -Lawrence Lebowitz

          by tech ed on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 03:35:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Just curious if you could unpack that a bit more. (0+ / 0-)

          You refer to Americans working in Kazakhstan. Do most of them speak Kazakh?

          Were you able to learn English in your home country, as a child? Were you a working professional (doctor, scientist) when you immigrated?

          In theory, all Mexicans can get a full education, but many can't in reality due to poverty and classism. The American education system, for instance, refuses to make any serious, primary level introduction to languages. Unless the school is bi-lingual, Spanish is usually introduced later, when it's harder to pick up, and there's no Mandarin, Arabic et cet. until you get to college, assuming you can get higher education.

          That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

          by Nulwee on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 03:45:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Marcion, (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not trying to be nosy, so by all means tell me to piss off if I'm too intrusive here. I'm just curious, foreign language and working internationally has always appealed to me. And also because your perspective is very different from much of what I've encountered on DK.

            That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

            by Nulwee on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:08:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  nobody speaks Kazakh (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theran, Nulwee

            The langauge of business is English, and you can get along just fine in the upper tiers with English alone. There are also a lot of Russian speakers, Russian is also an official language.

            I did study English as a child, the education system was very good. I completed my professional education here, as it is very difficult to qualify as a professional here after getting an education abroad (there's your protectionism for you, maybe I'll point that out next time I'm talking to a depressed nationalist). My father was a doctor, he was not able to confirm his diploma here.

            Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

            by Marcion on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:10:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Considering the obvious contempt you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agent444

          have for the American people, I don't know why you are still living here. Is it possible that those Americans and Western Europeans have skills that can't be found in your country? Anybody who lives in another country and then whines and cries because they are not having their ass kissed enough has a huge sense of entitlement. You may want to carefully examine your own attitudes before passing judgment on others.

          All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

          by MikePhoenix on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 03:50:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm OK (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theran

            I don't need my ass kissed, and I did not ask for that, I was only opposing the sense of entitlement that makes it OK for Americans to openly condemn immigrants in their midst. Europeans are the same way, so it's not something that's unique, it's the feeling of the rich spoiled child when he sees the servant's kid playing with a toy that looks new and isn't just a handmedown. How dare he get new toys, in my house?!

            I do not think any native born whatever can tell me how to refer to myself and what attitude to have about this country or any other to get the privilege of living in his country. I wasn't brought over to be the good foreigner Americans are comofrotable with, I came her to make some money and lead a comfortable life, knowing that the tradeoff vis a vis Europe would be a lower level of culture and social services, which I am OK with. I make my own privilege with my wits, I don't need the permission of some patriotic committee.

            Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

            by Marcion on Mon Mar 16, 2009 at 04:06:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  So would you rather still be under the... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agent444

          USSR? Funny how you bitch about the Americans who came after the cold war but say nothing about what the Russians did to Kazakhstan over the last 100 years.

    •  Open immigration? So don't mind if... (0+ / 0-)

      the 6.5 billion people of this world come here tomorrow? What is that going to do to wages? I feel bad for people of the 3rd world but I don't want to live like a serf in my own country.

      BTW: The neo-con intellectuals favor open immigration also.

  •  Two entirely separate issues. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fizziks, MikePhoenix, tech ed, Agent444
    1. Are Americans mean-spirited and xenophobic? Well, that depends. In my little corner of rural northern Appalachia, they surely can be. We tend to be a lot less tolerant and cosmopolitan than your average European—unless you include all the recent unpleasantness in Bosnia, say. Driving while black is a definite offence hereabouts. On the other hand, half the physician specialists are Pakistani or Indian, and the orthopedic surgeon is Iraqi, and people like them just fine once they get to know them.
    1. But fighting the H-1B scam has nothing at all to do with xenophobia or being "mean-spirited". It has everything to do with trying to protect our childrens' jobs from outsourcing to what is realistically a force of scabs imported by the corporate oligarchy to drive salaries into the basement. I'm sure virtually all H-1B workers are lovely people. However, if one of them is given my son's job because he/she will accept a lower salary, after $100,000 spent on college tuition for a computer science degree, I would have serious issues.
    •  Lets not forget that 29% of... (0+ / 0-)

      We tend to be a lot less tolerant and cosmopolitan than your average European—unless you include all the recent unpleasantness in Bosnia, say.

      Austrians voted for the extreme right wing party that has been accused of being anti-immigrant, anti-muslim, anti-foreigner, and neo-nazi.

  •  Please circulate h1 video to everyone (0+ / 0-)

    This little dandy tells the tale in 1:26 - Please watch it for the “guest worker” bottom line.

    America’s Bogus Skilled Labor Shortage -

    http://www.youtube.com/...

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