Friday, April 11, 2008

Help NOT Wanted in US: "National Self-Sabotage"

THE ECONOMIST--Consider the annual April Fool's joke played on applicants for H1B visas, which allow companies to sponsor highly-educated foreigners to work in America for three years or so. The powers-that-be have set the number of visas so low—at 85,000—that the annual allotment is taken up as soon as applications open on April 1st. America then deals with the mismatch between supply and demand in the worst possible way, allocating the visas by lottery. The result is that hundreds of thousands of highly qualified people—entrepreneurs who want to start companies, doctors who want to save lives, scientists who want to explore the frontiers of knowledge—are kept waiting on the spin of a roulette wheel and then, more often than not, denied the chance to work in the United States.

This is a policy of national self-sabotage. America has always thrived by attracting talent from the world. Some 70 or so of the 300 Americans who have won Nobel prizes since 1901 were immigrants. Great American companies such as Sun Microsystems, Intel and Google had immigrants among their founders. Immigrants continue to make an outsized contribution to the American economy. About a quarter of information technology (IT) firms in Silicon Valley were founded by Chinese and Indians. Some 40% of American PhDs in science and engineering go to immigrants. A similar proportion of all the patents filed in America are filed by foreigners.

The United States is already paying a price for its failure to adjust to the new world. Talent-challenged technology companies are already being forced to export jobs abroad. Microsoft opened a software development centre in Canada in part because Canada's more liberal laws make it easier to recruit qualified people from around the world. This problem is only going to get worse if America's immigration restrictions are not lifted. The Labour Department projects that by 2014 there will be more than 2m job openings in science, technology and engineering, while the number of Americans graduating with degrees in those subjects is plummeting.

How do you win the global talent wars when Congress is already in the hands of the idiocracy?

MP: Good question, Economist.

13 Comments:

At 4/11/2008 12:43 PM, Blogger Thomas Blair said...

I thought it was 65k, in which case we'd really be sabotaging ourselves.

Back at the height of the tech boom in 2000, Congress raised the cap to 195k. Then the tech bubble burst, and we never used that many H1-B's. Then, because demand for skilled workers shrank due to the recession, Congress brought it back to 65k just in time for the tech sector to rebound with vigor. Congress is always precisely out of phase.

 
At 4/11/2008 1:31 PM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

Shocking, government messing up as usual. The funny thing is will anyone pay attention to all these high tech vacancies or will they instead focus all their attention on the manual labor jobs that are dissapearing. Which is more important?

 
At 4/11/2008 2:17 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

"Department projects that by 2014 there will be more than 2m job openings in science, technology and engineering, while the number of Americans graduating with degrees in those subjects is plummeting."

Yes, because American kids these days aren't stupid. They can see that years of study lead to a short career or no career at all.

American industry has spent decades trashing their skilled workers at all levels through rightsizing, downsizing, and a myriad of other anti personnel weapons.

Now, like brats who have broken all their toys, they are demanding more toys.

 
At 4/11/2008 2:56 PM, Blogger bobble said...

gosh, professor perry, with such a huge shortage of IT talent the salaries must be going through the roof. let's look and see:
IT Starting Salaries

Hey, salaries are going down! pray tell professor perry. what would explain that?

 
At 4/11/2008 3:31 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"American industry has spent decades trashing their skilled workers at all levels through rightsizing, downsizing, and a myriad of other anti personnel weapons"...

Well golly gee socialist fred, maybe America isn't good enough for you and maybe some Euro-Weasel paradise is what you want instead...

Yeah, I felt really bad when all those crafts people making buggy whips were thrown out onto the streets... How so cruel of American industry!

"with such a huge shortage of IT talent the salaries must be going through the roof'...

Yeah bobble, I too heard this on a late night television ad...

I too was crushed, just crushed to find out it wasn't as claimed...

Oh dear! Oh dear!....ROFLMAO!

 
At 4/11/2008 4:29 PM, Blogger Shepherd said...

Maybe its our Public Schools
Graduating litte Socialist surrogates in stead of adults ready to take on the exciting challenges of the techno world our former capitalist country created.
We have talent here. Sometimes I think people would be better off to emmigrate from the US than come back as a green card holder. You are much less of a liabillity to your employer that way. No FMLA
Which by the way is killing our 200 person company. People to whom it was intended dont used it. But its abused by others.
http://liberalloser.wordpress.com/

 
At 4/12/2008 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gosh, professor perry, with such a huge shortage of IT talent the salaries must be going through the roof. let's look and see:
IT Starting Salaries

Hey, salaries are going down! pray tell professor perry. what would explain that?


(1) The article was about demand for Tech jobs as a whole, not just IT.
(2) While CompSci might have a slight downward trend, there is nothing to say it is not a market result caused by an increase in IT students attracted to an industry with rising salaries 4-6 years earlier.
(3) The chart below on your link explains that many tech jobs, including CompSci, have increased by around 5% in 2007.

 
At 4/12/2008 12:11 PM, Blogger bobble said...

"(2) While CompSci might have a slight downward trend, there is nothing to say it is not a market result caused by an increase in IT students attracted to an industry with rising salaries 4-6 years earlier."

yes, thank you. that's my point. it is estimated that about 50% of H1B visas are for IT workers. if IT salaries are going down because we have enough american students to satisfy current demand, why the rush to import more?

in realiity, it is not a shortage, it is the lower cost of H1B workers. i know you can't fight that, its inevitable. there's billions of indians and they'll work for peanuts. but i wish people would just admit its all about cheap labor and stop all this BS about a shortage.

 
At 4/12/2008 5:52 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

juandos,
You could have said something more ignorant but, right now I don't see how.

 
At 4/12/2008 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it difficult to swallow > H1B's are brought in so that jobs can be outsourced; I have lost count of the times that people have been told by their bosses "Oh, this is Gomash from [insert name of low-wage hell hole]...teach him your job, and next week, you will be laid off."
In some cases there may be 'hard-to-fill' positions, but the other 99% are brought in to reduce salaries, nothing more.
Remember > no matter where you are on the totem pole, any money you bring home is money your boss can't take. That's AmeriKan Style Capitalism.

 
At 4/13/2008 5:24 AM, OpenID sethstorm said...

The sign forgot to say citizens on the bottom - since that picture shows what US citizens go through themselves.

This is more like the situation with firms like Grigsby and Cohen playing word games. These include redefining "qualified" to mean "noncitizen".
The US has plenty of skilled workers under the original definition. We can have plenty more if the US considered higher education for all diploma-holding citizens worthy of a "Manhattan Project"(that means, get them to the required level, without any stigma of an inferior school).

Explain that one without touching the subject of "too much regulation". The government does not mess up, business interference with it does.

 
At 4/13/2008 7:02 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"You could have said something more ignorant but, right now I don't see how"...

Ahhh, sure you do fred, I could just repeat what you posted, then again I'm not a socialist so that sort of stupidity didn't occur to me...:-)

 
At 4/28/2008 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure where you get your info on H1B but its wrong. Ive worked in IT for 25 yrs and there are literally thousands of native born workers available but US based businesses wont pay a fair wage. Instead, they bring H1B's here to work for 60% of comparative wages. Face it, this opinion is simply a shill for business not to pay fair wages.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home