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When we embrace laws encouraging companies to bypass the U.S. workforce by keeping a stable of indentured foreign workers at the ready to deploy to any available job aross the U.S., why is it a mystery that wages are low and profits are high?

In related news, today, March 5, 2013, there is yet another congressional hearing to increase guest worker importation.  

At this hearing, notably absent are any affected workers.  There are industry reps and reps from firms that want to have access to young workers such that they can continue to bypass the U.S. workforce, especially workers over 40.

A few years ago, the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer informed hundreds of tech workers at its Connecticut R&D facilities that they'd soon be laid off. Before getting their final paychecks, however, they'd need to train their replacements: guest workers from India who'd come to the United States on H-1B visas. "It's a very, very stressful work environment," one soon-to-be-axed worker told Connecticut's The Day newspaper. "I haven't been able to sleep in weeks."

The good news is Obama's justice department is trying to be an advocate for the U.S. worker by curbing the practice.  But there is little they can do while these guest worker laws are on the books.  Here, the Justice Department can only help by intervening on the behalf of the guest workers.  The companies are within their rights to bypass the U.S. workforce.

H-1B visas used by firm to create low-cost workforce, U.S. alleges

A Texas IT services firm has been indicted by federal authorities for using H-1B visa workers to create an inexpensive "as needed" labor force.

A multi-count indictment filed last month charged that Dibon Solutions of Carrollton, Texas only paid Visa-holding employees when there was work.

The full scheme is outlined step-by-step in papers filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division.

The indictment says that Dibon recruited foreign workers and sponsored them for H-1B visas to work at the firm's headquarters, but required them to provide consulting services to third-party companies located elsewhere.

The company only paid the H-1B workers when they were placed at a third party company, "and only if the third party company actually paid Dibon first for the workers' services," it said.

This scheme, the indictment alleges, "provided the conspirators with a labor pool of inexpensive, skilled foreign workers who could be used on an 'as needed' basis."

This operation "was profitable because it required minimal overhead and Dibon could charge significant hourly rates for a computer consultant's services," according to the indictment.

The IT firm "earned a substantial profit margin when a consultant was assigned to a project and incurred few costs when a worker was without billable work," the government wrote.

The scheme of only paying H-1B visas holder when work is available is called "benching," and has been cited in other, unrelated legal actions as well as in complaints filed by visa holding workers.

When H-1B employees are assigned to work at different locations, regulations require the petitioning company to inform the government.

As general rule, H-1B workers are supposed to be paid prevailing wages based on location. For instance, higher rates typically paid in places like New Jersey and California and lower rates in states such as Iowa.

Moreover, the H-1B rules don't allow employers for forego pay when there is no work.

The company is described as family owned. Named in the grand jury indictment Are Atul Nanda, Jiten 'Jay' Nanda, Siva Sugavanam, Vivek Sharma, Rohit Mehra, and Mohammad Khan. Efforts to reach the company were unsuccessful by press time.

The multi-count indictment also includes wire fraud for using email to execute the scheme.

Bipartisan I-Squared bill would allow 300,000 H-1B guest worker visas every year.  The claim is that there are not enough educated workers in the U.S.

Yet if tech workers are in such short supply, why are so many of them unemployed or underpaid? According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), tech employment rates still haven't rebounded to pre-recession levels. And from 2001 to 2011, the mean hourly wage for computer programmers didn't even increase enough to beat inflation.

The ease of hiring H-1B workers certainly hasn't helped. More than 80 percent of H-1B visa holders are approved to be hired at wages below those paid to American-born workers for comparable positions, according to EPI. Experts who track labor conditions in the technology sector say that older, more expensive workers are particularly vulnerable to being undercut by their foreign counterparts. "You can be an exact match and never even get a phone call because you are too expensive," says Norman Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California-Davis. "The minute that they see you've got 10 or 15 years of experience, they don't want you."

There is already an oversupply of PhDs.  The Chronicle of Higher Ed reportsthat there are already too many science Ph.D.'s looking for work.

The relationship between the number of Ph.D.'s in the sciences and the academic jobs available to them is, to put it scientifically, inversely related. Money for science has stagnated over the last decade and will most likely continue to do so, leading to too many Ph.D.'s competing for too few teaching and research jobs in academe.
** UPDATE***

Those who believe it is only a problem for technology workers, have a look at the graph below, notice the "other" category?  Your job may be in this section.

One of the big problems of guest worker programs, is that the final company where the guest worker is located at has no accountability at all.  They can plead plausable deniability about the bypassing of the U.S. workforce.  

Originally posted to IT Professional on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:02 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  • is trying to (124+ / 0-)

    spread the word.

    Those who know the secret are getting a bit weary because so many reporters and notables don't know the secret.  In fact, Dr. Michael Teitlebaum said so in his testimony at the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 5, 2013:

    "There are many criticisms of these temporary visas as they have evolved since 1997, including concerns about wage suppression, indentured workers, and use of such visas to promote offshore outsourcing."

    •  Progressives for immigration reform agree (26+ / 0-)

      Progressives for Immigration ReformCurrent policies which flood the market with low-wage workers create unfair competition and reduce wages for all workers.

      •  Link didn't seem to work, I'll try posting (5+ / 0-)

        How big is your personal carbon footprint?

        by ban nock on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:04:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In looking into the group it seems like they might (9+ / 0-)

          be a front group. Their positions seem good to me but as usual I'm suspicious.

          I've only read one article suggesting this group is unsavory, and I haven't even finished it, but I figured I should say something.

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:16:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If they're an astroturf (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            operation, we expose the hell out of them. That's what this venue is good for.

            It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

            by karmsy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:35:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yup, they cite Jeb Bush approvingly. I think (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Empty Vessel, Larsstephens

            they're a front group.

            That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

            by concernedamerican on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:34:58 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I had to get ready for work, but as far as I read (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Catte Nappe

              they were accused of being "nativist" and apposing immigration on environmental grounds. Sierra Club had a knock down drag out fight over the issue a few years ago. Birds of a feather in my book, Sierra Club is not my favorite group. No time for further looking but I'd think there's something there.

              I'd agree with most of what's on their web page but am always leery things.

              How big is your personal carbon footprint?

              by ban nock on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:19:54 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Their leadership doesn't look suspicious (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            IT Professional, ban nock

            It is obvious, though, that they are coming at the issue very much through a lens of ecoology, environment and over population.

            "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

            by Catte Nappe on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:44:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Catte, That's what I thought too. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ban nock

              We acknowledge that unemployment in the face of high corporate profits is not OK, yet some on DKos will not look at the possibility that the issues are related.

              Simple supply and demand tells us they are related.  

              There are laws on the books that help corporations take advantage of workers, and thereby increase their profits.

              We cannot change the corporations from down here, but we can pressure our elected officials such that they don't pass laws making it worse for workers.  

              Our elected officials are not hearing from us.   There are hearing from the corporations.  As we speak right this minute, there is a hearing where corporations are telling our elected leaders that we need more indentured workers from abroad!

               I have heard nothing but the industry lie that we don't have enough education to do ordinary jobs, and therefore we need to import workers. It's a lie. The evidence is in.

            •  I didn't wade through it all but it's things like (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IT Professional, Catte Nappe


              the above that made me wonder. Of course that above link sounds kind of out there too.

              From what I read at progressives for immigration reform I liked it a whole lot. My worry is that I don't want to associate myself with any group that might be racist.

              I could care less what party they've aligned themselves with in the past or what politicians but racism I'm very leery of. I also am very interested in issues conservation and environment, and I remember that earth first was over the line radical, over the line for me that is. Sometimes people go from one sort of radicalism to another.

              I'm not at all convinced these folks are a front group, but I'd want to do a lot more reading.

              How big is your personal carbon footprint?

              by ban nock on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 03:42:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  So I go to the Progressives for Immigration Reform (6+ / 0-)

        site, and Jeb Bush is quoted in a tweet they include in a scrolling column called "PIR on Twitter".  

        Jeb Bush?

        Just how "progressive" is this group?

        That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

        by concernedamerican on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:34:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It breaks my heart that Democratic (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joanneleon, Chi, salmo, antirove

          politicians are so silent on the plight of workers.

          I feel ashamed that Chuck Grassley is the only one who stopped the H-1B increase bill the last time because there were no protections for U.S. workers.

          Where are the Democratic leaders on this?

          •  I see what you mean. Where I'm coming from is, (0+ / 0-)

            how linked are the members of this group, to other progressive values and causes?  Or are the Republicans and conservatives involved with this group-- like Grassley and Bush-- only in it because it is one more entity trying to stop brown people and furriners from entering Amurika?

            That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

            by concernedamerican on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:59:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  THe U.S. welcomes one million new (0+ / 0-)

              permanent immigrants each year.  Most are brown.  I am brown. Diversity in the immigrant community is not an issue.

              It is concern for the brown and black people already in the U.S. that drives the progressive side of limiting the addition of even more worker competition for the 99%.

              Corporations should have no say in the immigration process.  

              •  I agree with you about the last sentiment. (0+ / 0-)

                I also think that part of the insidiousness of H1B visas is that they are NOT included rhetorically within the standard "immigration" discussion.  

                That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

                by concernedamerican on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:38:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Dan Rather tonight covers PhD unemployment (12+ / 0-)

         I just got a note from the producer at Dan Rather

      DAN RATHER REPORTS "PhDon’t!" -- March 5, 2013, at 8pm ET on AXS TV
          If you believe getting an advanced degree in science or math is a meal ticket for a career of the future, know there’s a glut of highly qualified PhD’s who will never get the jobs they spent over a decade training to do. Plus, the president of one of America’s most prestigious universities tells Dan why, in many fields, we are overproducing PhDs and putting America’s scientific edge at risk. You can check out a preview here!

      You can find local station information here by entering your location and cable carrier.  The report will also be available for download on iTunes on Wednesday. I hope you'll have a chance to check it out and let us know what you think at or join the discussion on Facebook --

      •  Since you are a founder of brightfuturejobs (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        IT Professional

        you might want to avoid recommending comments and diaries from this author. It makes you or the diarist appear to be sockpuppets which is a bannable offensive here.

        You can't assassinate the character of any of modern conservative. You'd have to find where it was buried, dig it up, resurrect it, then kill it. And killing a zombie isn't really assassination, is it?

        by ontheleftcoast on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:51:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are they (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe shikspack

          the same person?

          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:54:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

            •  Are you associated with brightfuturejobs (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              limpidglass, FG

              in anyway? You appear to have a close connection to brightfuturejobs and one of the founding members is posting actively in your diary. That smells fishy to me and probably some others as well. We've been burned by such behaviors in the past.

              You can't assassinate the character of any of modern conservative. You'd have to find where it was buried, dig it up, resurrect it, then kill it. And killing a zombie isn't really assassination, is it?

              by ontheleftcoast on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:00:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I support any group looking out for (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                the U.S. labor force.  I wish I could find other groups looking out for the U.S. labor force that I could support too.

                If I do, I will link to them.

                If I didn't have to work, I probably would be more active and more closely associated with BrightFutureJobs, but i do not have the time or the money, so I blog to show my support.

                I am very proud to support them. What do you have against the working class.

                •  I find it humorous that you've made multiple (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  responses to my comments and the person that I asked about this issue has made none. Furthermore, that person has been a Kossack for nearly 8 years and has recommended a whopping 4 comments, all of them in recent diaries of yours. There are all sorts of reasons why that may be possible, unfortunately many of them are indications of duplicitous behavior.  And, in a manner common to someone caught in a lie, you start flinging accusations as a defense. As the old saying goes, "methinks the lady doth protest too much".

                  You can't assassinate the character of any of modern conservative. You'd have to find where it was buried, dig it up, resurrect it, then kill it. And killing a zombie isn't really assassination, is it?

                  by ontheleftcoast on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:07:33 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I see what you are doing. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    You are trying to divert from the diary subject. I am done with you.

                  •  Ah (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Catte Nappe, raboof, Eddie L

                    the other person might be working or away from their computer or may not have seen your comment yet.  

                    IT Professional has answered you and said they are not the same person.  If you think this is a sock puppet, take it up with the admins.  I have no way of knowing. The other person you are accusing has been a dkos user since 2005 and hasn't commented since noon, almost an hour before you posted that comment above. Also, she is not a frequent commenter and might not know how to see if there are replies to her comments.  

                    "Justice is a commodity"

                    by joanneleon on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:56:41 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I also am in sharp opposition (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      endsin regards to the Dream act, which I believe BrightFutureJobs support.

                      I see so many ways the Dream act will be abused to the detriment of the U.S. workforce.  I have been asked by people I barely know to take part in scams to get their kids here before the Dream Act passes.

                      I believe welcoming  one million new immigrants every year is very generous.  I benefitted from this at a time when my parent immigrated to the U.S. when racism was open and in full force.

                      Most people who have never lived outside the U.S. have no idea how many people would move here tommorrow from the rest of the third world.

                      •  I don't oppose (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        raboof, Chi

                        the DREAM act but I respect your perspective on this, as your background is very different from mine. The sad thing is that your concerns are based on the way you have seen the H1B visa program and the people in it being exploited for profit.  I think that kids who have lived here and been educated here should not be thrown out of the only country they have ever really known.  But I wish our immigration policy was more fair to the people who follow the rules and wait for their chance, as you did, and as my fiance did.  He is a naturalized American who was recruited in his country of birth and moved here for a job years ago.  He followed the rules too and worked on a green card and was paid fairly.

                        "Justice is a commodity"

                        by joanneleon on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:20:29 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Here is my delemna with the Dream Act (0+ / 0-)

                          You sound like you have an open mind and are a reasonable person so could you help me with this:

                          Sat we have two families from the same average third world country.

                          Lets call one family  Lawobeyer family.  This family would desperately like to immigrate to the USA to allow their kids to have a first world lifestyle and realizes this is not possible through any means and decide instead to live an average third world life with friends and family.

                          Lets call the second family the Wedemands who are from the same place and also would like to immigrate to the USA.
                          This family also know there is no way for them to legally immigrate to the US.  They do not accept this.  They go to the U.S. embassy lie about their intentions and obtain tourist visas for on week to the USA and purchase round trip plane tickets to the USA with the intention never to return.

                          For ten years of living under the radar, surviving however they can, having their kids educated in the U.S. public schools, at $10K per child courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers. They are now tired of their kids suffering the consequences of their conscious decision to ignore U.S. law.  They demand the Dream act give their children what the U.S. has already denied.

                          My delemna is the Dream Act says the following:

                          1. We have just told the Lawobeyer family they were fools for obeying the law.

                          How would we ever convince any of the billions of people overseas to obey the law.

                          Help me understand this?

        •  OnTheleftCoast, could you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          point me to some rule I am breaking?

          It is very rude of you to try to intimidate me or any of the commenters and tireless supporters of the labor movement.

          You are probably breaking a rule yourself to bully Donna.

          She has a grass roots effort to help educate the public about these matters, and I am grateful for her sacrifice.

          The Democratic party is the party of labor.  Show some respect!

  •  Colleges Want Cheap Labor (23+ / 0-)

    Research labs want cheap workers.  The US should discontinue H-1B visa program until unemployment goes down in the US.  Maybe the H-1B program should go away forever.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:30:20 AM PST

  •  Rationing is the problem -- (9+ / 0-)

    specifically, the Congress rationing the currency. Rationing leads to hoarding. By last accounts, private corporations are now hoarding over two trillion in cash.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:32:27 AM PST

    •  Can't do anything about that. We can (19+ / 0-)

      however, limit their ability to bypass the U.S. workforce.

      We stand by and shrug when our neighbors and family members are excluded from competing for available jobs in the U.S.

    •  There's hoarding. I don't see the rationing now. (5+ / 0-)

      Greenspan ran up interest rates to keep unemployment above a set level but interest rates are effectively zero no, so you can't really say that currency is being rationed.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 04:39:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We cannot stop hoarding. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, Shockwave, chicklet

        We can pass laws to disallow the importation of guest workers with the specific purpose of lowering wages.

        •  Unfortunately we can't even (7+ / 0-)

          do that. Laws are being written in the back rooms by our corporate friends who just love things the way they are. That list for the Hearing really sucks, doesn't it?

        •  one is as difficult as the other (14+ / 0-)

          Both rely on Congress acting sensibly in the interests of workers.

          Government can counter hoarding in two ways--by increasing taxes on the top, (including things like a financial transactions tax on speculation, and making the estate tax more progressive), or by engaging in Keynesian stimulus that puts money into the pockets of those who spend it.

          I don't see why it would be any easier to restrict corporate reliance on indentured servitude than to do those things. Both presume a Congress responsive to popular will.

          You keep pushing labor supply-siderism as THE solution to our economic problems. I don't think demand for jobs will pick up if you restrict supply (although I agree it should be restricted more than it is now). Maybe you will have less competition for jobs, but new jobs won't magically materialize. Demand creation is needed too.

          The failure of monetarism showed us that obsessive focus on supply-siderism was bad economic policy. I submit that it is equally bad labor policy.

          I asked before whether you supported the unionization of tech workers, and what you were doing to assist in that cause. You never answered that question. Which I ask again: do you have any proposals that would help the lot of tech workers, besides restricting the supply of guest workers?

          I'll tell you one thing: without active efforts to organize tech workers, you'll keep losing battles with large corporations. You won't even win the battle on this issue. History tells us that corporate cartels only conceded labor rights in the face of massive organization.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:18:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Listen . .. . I can hear it now (0+ / 0-)

          Congress is in session right now - working  on this very legislation - it will read

          "no wage-lowering ..... stuff. Better benefits for Congress too, and then do other Blankfein wishlists".

      •  quantitative easing/austerity are rationing (3+ / 0-)

        interest-free money is being made available in unlimited amounts to the 1%, while the supply of money is being kept tight for the rest of us via austerity.

        Among the 99%, this has the effect of deflation, driving down prices (i.e. in housing). But this just makes it easier for those who have unlimited supplies of money to buy real assets--they are experiencing inflation, not deflation.

        This is kind of monstrous--on the gold standard, inflation would affect everyone, not in the same way, but it would affect everyone. Now you can inflate for some while deflating for others, and this manipulation can be used to make it easier to transfer real wealth upwards, by forcing down asset prices. This is an abuse of the flexibility that comes with a fiat currency.

        When Obama said he wouldn't print the platinum coin to avoid the debt ceiling limit, what he was really saying was that the current rationing scheme would stay in place and that we will keep money tight for the poor while keeping it abundant for the rich.

        "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

        by limpidglass on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:33:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Simple: UP THE MINIMUM WAGE (0+ / 0-)

        Remove the cap off of FICA. Increase the employer's portion of medicare and unemployment insurance.

        Oh yeah...INCREASE the damn prime rate already.

        Give companies some incentives to spend excess capital on local and regional higher education. Give companies incentives to give their workers transit allowances (only applicable to public transit and to encourage companies to encourage cities to actually have good public transit.)

        Fully fund the IRS so they can go after some of these profits that are probably not as allowable as one would think.

        The list goes on...

        This is not rocket science. In fact, someone with a bachelor's in history could probably figure it out. I state this last because the folks on the right seem to be as dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to using history as a way to figure out what to do. They all act like we've never been here before.  They even act like cities that have high tax rates and high minimum wages don't exist now (THEY DO AND THEY ARE THRIVING. Google Santa Fe.)

        So yes, there are tons of ways to strongly encourage companies to spend their hoards of cash. It's just that anyone who makes any of the tried and true suggestions to do just that is called a socialist.

    •  There is no rationing. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Azazello, shanikka, terrypinder

      The Fed is basically flooding the country with cash to stave off a liquidity crisis that doesn't exist.

      But corporate cash hoarding is a problem.  If states and local governments weren't absolute fools, they'd band together to strengthen themselves at the bargaining table when companies go begging for lower tax rates.  Then maybe they'd be able to pry enough of that cash loose to actually hire people again.  If corporations won't hire Americans, governments must.

      The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

      by TheOrchid on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:48:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  this trend (9+ / 0-)

    is the American Workforce,

    rotting from the core outward.

    If they really need "outside talent"

    then pay them the going rate for "inside talent."

    They do have tables for those pay scales, by city.

  •  Years ago, a company I worked for (13+ / 0-)

    was sold and the new owners had a meeting with all of us about how no changes were going to be made and that we were secure. Then about five days later - people from their other division started showing up to "familiarize" themselves with our operation.  As a young person who didn't have too many dependents or bills - I marched into the bosses office and told him, I wanted a contract for three years - money in escarow and that if the company breeched the contract - I got the entire amount - in return, I would sign a non-compete clause to give them protection (I was in sales) - they said no and I walked straight out the door - went to a competitior and started working within a week - within three months - the company offices were shut for "duplicity and cost savings".

    I never blamed the company who bought us for anything other than not being honest - if I were them - I would have shut the office too - but I wouldn't have lied and said everyone was secure.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 05:57:58 AM PST

    •  If the official line is "you are all secure" (8+ / 0-)

      that means "start looking for another job yesterday".

      Learned from bitter experience.

      The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

      by raboof on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:24:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Similar experience (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      raboof, nchristine, joanneleon

      I had an experience long ago in a small business where the owner called us into a meeting and announced that he had sold the store and the new ownership was taking over in one week. No assurances were made but the assumption was that we would just take up with the new guy as if nothing had changed. It was pretty awesome to feel like you were being sold as if you were someone’s asset, not unlike the store’s inventory.

      Thankfully, the whole story ended pretty well and everyone got their just desserts. The new owner had a very abrasive personality and alienated the entire staff. One classic example: Someone asked to schedule a vacation day because they thought they had accrued time off. New guy says, “ You don’t have any. Any agreement you had was with the previous owner.” New guy then relents and offers to honor the vacation benefit if we sign an employment contract that stipulates we pay back the paid time off if we quit in less than a year. A contract for a $7/hr retail service job? Ridiculous.

      Of the eight original staff, I was the last to quit…a mere seven months after the business changed hands. In the interim there was another 100% turnover in the replacement hires. By the time I left some positions were on their second replacement. The whole operation went bankrupt in about three years. It’s heartening to know that occasionally the assholes do get what they deserve.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:54:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes (9+ / 0-)

    But remember that the technology sector is a comparatively small part of the workforce.

    I think that people are mostly being impacted by productivity demands by employers that extract more and more labor from them for less and less money.

    Is there anyone out there who isn't doing the job of two or three people anymore?

    I worked yesterday from 9:00 am. to 9:30 pm. and didn't finish my work.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:09:20 AM PST

    •  I added a pie chart for you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joanneleon, DeeDee001

      While tech jobs make up 42% of the job replacement, there are many other professions that are slowly being added to the corporate worker replacement plan.

      I don't know what you or anybody you care about does for a living, but chances are, you will be affected directly or indirectly.

  •  Everytime Ed Rendell is on TV he spouts (16+ / 0-)

    off this nonsense about the shortage of high tech or highly educated workers in the US and the need for the H1B visa program.
    We have too many of our high tech or highly educated workers unemployed, many long term.

    Thanks for your efforts IT.

    The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

    by bgblcklab1 on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:17:21 AM PST

  •  I've been beating the H-1B drum a long time (26+ / 0-)

    In the late 90's, tech salaries were booming, particularly at the beginnings of the internet bubble.  The quota for H-1B visas was raised dramatically; two-fold IIRC, and Bill Clinton signed off on it.  Employers were using the same argument - can't find enough qualified workers!

    It was bullshit then, and it's bullshit now.  It was all about driving down salaries for skilled American tech workers.  Programmers were making a pretty good wage back then, either on contract or direct hires.  I was one of them.

    Not so today.  A company will pay a plumber $100 / hr to unclog a toilet, but pay peanuts for sketchy code to save a buck.

    With that, I'll engage in no further discussion about H-1B's in this diary.  Talking H-1B on DKos is like getting into a discussion about Israel: counter productive and feelings run hot on both sides.

    "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

    by Richard Cranium on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:25:49 AM PST

  •  ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!! (18+ / 0-)
    Bipartisan I-Squared bill would allow 300,000 H-1B guest worker visas every year.  The claim is that there are not enough educated workers in the U.S.

    Yet if tech workers are in such short supply, why are so many of them unemployed or underpaid?

    The $64,000 question!

    This is a long-term trend, going back to the 1990s, at least, tech companies hiring cheaper workers from overseas because home-grown talent is too expensive.

    You are providing exactly the spotlight on this practice we need. I'm thrilled. Thanks.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:34:31 AM PST

  •  My former company... (18+ / 0-)

    hired a bunch of software developers from India under the guise of implementing new technology. It was much cheaper to bring in a group of people who were already trained versus training existing staff.

    At the same time, the company began implementing policy changes to drive away some of the existing employees. For example, the vacation policy was changed to limit the number of carry over days. The company pension program was changed to a matching 401K scenario. The cubicles were rearranged with less space, closer quarters and low walls. Upper management began pushing for quicker delivery of software enhancements. Did I mention that the new Indian developers were placed in a new building, separated from the long-term staff.

    It wasn't conspiracy theory to think that these changes were intended to drive people away; I attended the meetings to discuss the strategy. Keep in mind that this company was not a technology firm such as Google. It was an insurance company.

    So the developers began to leave. The problem was that the first ones to leave were the best people in the department, the people who could easily find a job elsewhere. But the riffraff stayed.

    Meanwhile, the new Java team of Indian software developers began building the most over-designed, complex system I have ever seen in the insurance industry. You'd think they were building software for a Mars lander or a nuclear reactor. I don't think they even realized that they were working for an insurance company. I mean, they certainly weren't communicating well with the business areas. They would add features that weren't requested. Make assumptions that they were not qualified to make. Argue with the business areas about the requirements.

    It was a big mess. My last day with the company was one the happiest of my life.

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    by HairyTrueMan on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:39:31 AM PST

  •  The point is saving money on training. (14+ / 0-)

    The reason the companies would rather hire a trained foreigner than a trained or untrained American is that companies don't like paying for training workers. They just want to buy the skill.

    The problem here in America is that the government doesn't really give a shit about training its workforce. It doesn't fund it adequately at all levels nor regulate the private marketplace into providing it.

    •  This makes no sense (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Whatithink, joanneleon

      You say that they don't want to hire trained Americans because they don't like paying for training workers.

      If they are already trained, what is the issue?  And there are a significant number of US workers who are trained workers that are not being hired.

      Literally, part of your comment contradicts itself.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:48:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cost. (0+ / 0-)

        Why not go with the cheaper foreigner? 2 engineers, equally trained, you take the cheaper one. Paying to train an untrained American in engineering? Out of the question. So with that out the way it comes down to cost.

        •  There is no way (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IT Professional

          that you could have read the comment that you responded to.

          The whole subject here is that there ARE skilled technology workers looking for a job, and they are qualified but are being shut out of an opportunity to get that job in favor of bringing in lower paid, more compliant (because they are essentially indentured) foreign workers via H1B.  It's already a problem and Dems are trying to increase the numbers, a huge increase, and the people lobbying for it are the employers.  Workers have no seat at the table in this discussion.  

          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:33:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why wouldn't they ask for it? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            IT Professional

            Silicon Valley millionaires give the Democratic Party a shitload of money. Don't they have a right to ask for something in return for their money? Think Google supports or opposes H1-B? Yeah.

            Second, H1B program should indeed be ended. But why distinguish this sort of work from any other? Either we're going to have foreign workers or we aren't. If we are, we can't screw this group of people (mostly black construction workers and farm workers) and preference that group of people. Its okay for low wage workers to displace Americans. Path to citizenship for them. But for  IT professionals (mostly white technology people)...oh nooo! Dastardly! Stop this horrible immigration!

            So the answer here is pretty simple: put a stop to all legal immigration (including "guest workers") for five or ten years, which I'd support 100%. We could use some time to assimilate the foreigners we already have.

             Or, if you're going to have people work here from other countries then the government should ensure it has the best possible workforce at a competitive price. As a consequence, however, it means lower wages for Americans and some unnecessary unemployment.

          •  They have today's skills (0+ / 0-)

            to keep up with tomorrow's skills will require continuous training.  Much cheaper to lay him off and hire a new guest worker.

            the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

            by happymisanthropy on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:24:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Moreover (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IT Professional

      The hiring manager usually don't know what the qualifications, couldn't do the job, and could not test an employee to tell if they are lying. Then there is the possibility that the company couldn't train the employee if they wanted too.

  •  Don't train replacement workers. What's the point (4+ / 0-)

    Just walk out.  If enough people did that, things would change.

  •  " if tech workers are in such short supply.." (4+ / 0-)

    "why are so many of them unemployed or underpaid?"

    what we have here is simply a failure to understand and appreciate the real problem.

    Let's take this step by step, and the shortsightedness will soon be apparent:

    #1 misconception: "if tech....short supply"

    The supply is very, very short. The optimum condition is 50 workers for every available job. OK? 50:1 is an acceptable ratio.
    #2 misconception: "many unemployed or underpaid"
    There are not many unemployed or overpaid - you just have to MEASURE it correctly. The ideal number of unemployed people is roughly 50x the number of jobs. How else can amounts of money paid to the stinky unkempt hoi-polloi be kept under control?
    You see, everyone keeps basing their positions on some arcane ideas about common/greater good (formed by who knows what drug or Murka-hatin' daze?), when in fact it's v-e-r-y simple to understand.

    To appreciate just how peachy things are looking of late, one simply has to view it from the position of the top 2 to 3 %:

    1. massive over-supply of labor is good
    2. unemployment is good. Why? See #1

    See, folks, it boils down to one simple axiom (#2 is unnecessary) - y'all are just gonna have to appreciate 'em facts

  •  It's long past time for an American-centric (5+ / 0-)

    trade and jobs policies. And I don't mean 'corporations who were once HQ'd in the US', I mean for American citizens and those legally working here.

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 06:52:55 AM PST

  •  There are very real and serious (10+ / 0-)

    Concerns about the abuses and over-use of the HI-B visa system.  They are being used by companies to replace qualified American workers.  That abuse needs to be stopped.

    At the same time, some of the resistance to the H1-B comes from folks who are extremely nativist in their outlook. This diarist opposes the DREAM act and a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.  Based on those positions, I place this single issue diarist in the overly nativist camp.  When combined with Ban Nock's concerns over at least one of the links that this diarist links to, I think people might want to seriously consider if they want to rec this diary up or not.  

    This diarist is beginning to get a lot of traction here, with several highly recced diaries.  I, at least, am not comfortable with that.  YMMV.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:07:12 AM PST

    •  I find this a pretty important diary... (6+ / 0-)

      ...and have recommended it.

      The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

      by TheOrchid on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:10:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can't link to it, as I am on an IPad (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevej, decembersue, askew, Catte Nappe

        Perhaps someone else can for me.  But before reccomending it, would you at least look at this diarists anti-DREAM act stuff.

        I'm not dropping donuts, not even entirely opposed to what's written here...but there is some ugly that just can't be ignored.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:13:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's a link to at least one (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          limpidglass, FG, askew, burlydee

          Anti-dream act diary by this author.  There are others if people care to look.

          I would really like to hear people do,a gut check here...this diarist opposes giving citizenship to the children of undocumented workers...children who have never known a life outside the US.  Are you OK with that?

          "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

          by Empty Vessel on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:20:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I oppose the Dream act. I make (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mad Season, greengemini

            no apologies for this.  

            The U.S. welcomes over one million people per year from the rest of the world. Some people have been waiting for twenty years abroad after having had their applications in years ago.

            I happen to be a proud immigrant myself.  However the U.S. cannotimmediately fit every person who wants to come here.

            One million people per year is more than any other country on earth.

            There is variety on the left on this issue.

            •  Let me explain why I oppose the Dream Act. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mad Season, greengemini, DeeDee001

              I am from a third world country where a newspaper poll showed that two thirds of the population there wants to come to the U.S. immediately.

              In the past few years I have had countless people from back there write and ask me if they got a visitors visa for their kids, would I be willing to let them stay in my home until the Dream act is passed.

              The more affluent offered to pay me and the not so affluent offered their kids as house servants in the mean while.

              Most people have no idea of the unintended consequences of laws.  I had a small peek.

        •  Agree (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Empty Vessel, tardis10, burlydee

          there is a horrible undercurrent to these diaries.

          •  stevej, since you are an (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cordgrass, greengemini, Whatithink, mattwb

            immigration attorney, and stand to benefit from the practice, I can see why you would try to turn concern for the U.S. labor force into some sort of negative.

            However, try to see that you are eating your own young when you allow your neighbors and relatives to be bypassed for jobs and be sunk into poverty.

            Try to think past the next H-1B client.

    •  Just like the BO rox (6+ / 0-)

      group accuses critics of BO of racism, now critics of workforce policies are being accused of nativism.

      Explain how it is good to have labor coming in from other countries while Americans need jobs?  

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:20:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sigh. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kefauver, askew

        Read what I posted about the dream act. That is all.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:22:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He has explained his opposition (7+ / 0-)

          and while I don't agree with it, he is allowed to hold those opinions and he has a unique perspective, having come here himself through the existing system. His sympathies lie with the people waiting in line to get here.  That is a valid point of view.

          The talk about vile undercurrents in the diary are profoundly unfair, as are your insinuations about the diarist.

          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:43:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you. I was separated from (4+ / 0-)

            one parents for many years as they went through the legal channels and set up a place for the rest of us to follow legally.

            This was also a time when we had no telephone and had no contact for months at a time.

            My parents asked permission at the U.S. consulate and waited patiently and followed every law.  

            I am a minority and have suffered  racial discrimination throughout my life in the U.S.  Cries of racism and nativism rolll of my back as I know the truth.  

          •  I have HRd nothing (0+ / 0-)

            and noted that this is a serious issue in my first comment.  But opposing the DREAM act is not OK, really, its not OK.  Its about as unprogressive a position as I can think of.  Its punishing children.

            I didn't HR, but when exactly did opposing the DREAM act become something that we here on DKos are not allowed to even criticize?

            "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

            by Empty Vessel on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:54:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I completely agree. (11+ / 0-)

      The tech industry faces a variety of issues, most of which are not related to the H1B problem (a visa class which is exploited by non-tech companies sometimes too).This diarist seems to only see this single issue, and makes it sound like tech workers are starving. On average, we make more than most people in this country. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be upset about the abuse of H1B, but sometimes I don't see a lot of perspective here.

      I want to replace H1B with a green card program. If we need foreign workers, and in some cases we do, we should offer them green cards after one year of service. We'll get the best and the brightest with a program like that.

      I have definitely seen H1B programs abused in my years in tech, but I will tell you, the people that I've known who have complained the loudest often have outdated skills of their own and look at non-native-born employees as a scapegoat. Even in the Bay Area, in a city where the majority of citizens were foreign born, I saw attitudes like that. It gets ugly fast. Just because someone has an Indian accent doesn't mean they're "H1B".

      Eliminating H1B as it currently exists is only part of the solution. We need better ways to force or incentivize employers to hire people that may need a little training as opposed to people who show up with a particular programming language already learned, for example.

      •  It's not just the tech fields, however. (9+ / 0-)

        This is an issue in numerous job fields.

        Try publishing, accounting, law, radiology, just to name a few.

        If it hasn't affected YOU, personally, yet, just wait.

        Unless you are very, very special, you can also be replaced.

        You may do nothing but reach age 50 -- then you are marked for deletion. It doesn't matter how great your skills are. It doesn't matter how much education you have. The Powers That Be don't care about you. You are replaceable with someone much, much cheaper.

        Just wait, some of you griping about this now.

        You'll see.

        "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

        by Brooke In Seattle on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:44:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I said very clearly that I do believe the issue should be addressed. Just because I'm not willing to be as xenophobic as this diarist (yes, that's what I'm calling the totality of his diaries) doesn't mean I'm not taking it seriously.

          In any case, your comment seems to refer to outsourcing, which is a different issue. I'm seeing a trend away from outsourcing in my little corner of tech, but obviously other industries are in various stages of using that strategy. We need policies to discourage outsourcing, but that is a different discussion.

          •  Stop it (2+ / 0-)

            Debate the issue honestly without accusing the diarist of xenophobism, racism or the like.

            "Justice is a commodity"

            by joanneleon on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:45:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you joanneleon. (0+ / 0-)

              There are many immigration attorneys on this site who are salivating at the chance for business.  They care nothing about the unemployed.

              •  thank you for making my point. (0+ / 0-)

                You sound like one of those odious commenters on a newspaper web site.

              •  I have no idea (0+ / 0-)

                what the motivation is but I seriously doubt that they are all immigration attorneys.  I realize that you are searching for a reason why so many people would undermine their own allies who are fighting against a program that is being exploited and people who are being exploited when they participate in these programs.  

                You and I come at this from different perspectives.  I understand yours though I don't agree with your position on the DREAM act, though I do understand that you want more fairness for people who emigrated here by waiting in line and going through the existing system.  I respect that.

                Some of the disagreement here and the unfair characterizations of you are not because they come from immigration attorneys though. Some of them are from ideologues who only see this issue in very narrow terms and don't realize that there are exceptions to their ideological rules.  Others on the left are infamously condescending to others and want to prove how very liberal they are, despite their decidedly right-wing positions on other things.  The American Left is a very, very difficult thing to understand.  

                "Justice is a commodity"

                by joanneleon on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:03:59 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  You need to read this diarists (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              other trash before you run around defending him.

              See the comment below this one. Typical anti-immigrant stuff.

            •  and I would also point out (0+ / 0-)

              I am in favor of ending H1B. So this isn't a "debate." I'm trying to stop Daily Kos from becoming a cesspool.

            •  do you think the diarist is debating honestly (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              when he says that stevej's opinions are fatally tainted by self-interest because he works in immigration law?

              Well, the diarist's opinions are affected by self-interest--which he openly admits and is proud of. Are they therefore fatally tainted too?

              Then he insults immigration lawyers:

              Immigration law is the laziest profession.  it amounts to filing forms and charging thousands to do what many don't realise they can do themselves.
              The diarist has some legitimate points, but he is not doing himself or his issue any favors with his attitude or method of debate. And he is certainly not saying anything that would refute any of the suspicions of nativism.

              Then merely because he says "you can't get further left than me" we are supposed to believe he's not a conservative? Gimme a break.

              The diarist may be a utopian socialist driven purely by love of humanity and universal brotherhood in his heart of hearts, but I can't look into his heart of hearts. I can only judge him on what he says here. And what I see here is a relentlessly punitive and narrow approach to immigration, and snide, dismissive attacks on those who criticize his views, and accusations that those who criticize him are against American workers.

              "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

              by limpidglass on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:08:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  In one of my other comments (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                IT Professional

                to the diarist I said that all the people disagreeing and smearing him are not immigration lawyers.  He himself is an immigrant, maybe not that familiar with the American left.  He is confused about their motivations, and should not be ascribing that conflict of interest motive to others.  I agree on that.

                I don't think it's fair to say that he is motivated by self interest.  He is already here.  What self interest is he motivated by?  I might have missed something.  My interpretation is that he is motivated by sympathetic feelings with others who emigrated here through legitimate channels and those who are waiting in that system right now.  But he himself gains nothing by calling out the H1B program.

                Yes, he's lashing out that those who are smearing him with really vile accusations.  The biggest insult he makes is calling someone an immigration lawyer, a profession that he clearly does not hold in high regard and probably has good reason for that!  Maybe he's been ripped off by lawyers with ridiculously inflated hourly rates like a lot of us have, and perhaps some immigration lawyers exploit immigrants who have little choice but to hire them.

                By comparison, he is being called an isolationist, nativist, xenophobe and racist.  Uhh, what else needs to be said about that?  I have to laugh as you complain about snide dismissive attacks that he is making when the worst thing he's calling people is an immigration lawyer, compared to what you and others are calling him.  But sadly, he says that he is a minority and an immigrant and he is used to it and it rolls off his back.  Proud of yourself now?

                "Justice is a commodity"

                by joanneleon on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:48:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  he does gain by criticizing the H1B program (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  because he's an American "IT professional" who thinks that if he has less foreign competition he will get higher wages. I think he's made that pretty clear.

                  Self-interest is, of course, not an automatic reason to dismiss someone's opinion, but it's disingenuous for him to say his self-interest is noble, then claim that someone else's opinion is invalid just because it's based on their self-interest.

                  Maybe he's been ripped off by lawyers with ridiculously inflated hourly rates like a lot of us have, and perhaps some immigration lawyers exploit immigrants who have little choice but to hire them.
                  Speculation, which we have no way of verifying. I have no idea of who this diarist is or what he is about, other than what he's posted here.

                  If it's baseless speculation to assume he's a nativist, it's equally baseless speculation to assume he's a victim of unscrupulous immigration lawyers.

                  When criticized, the diarist represents himself as on the "left"--so he certainly knows the value of that word around here--and  that he phoned to help get Obama elected--so he knows the value of saying that, too.

                  But plenty of Obama supporters cheer austerity and drone warfare, so the fact that he volunteered his time for Obama says nothing about his politics one way or another.

                  He does claim that the government can't prevent corporations from hoarding cash--standard libertarian/right wing boilerplate. And he has not a word to say in favor of greater organization of labor or any creative suggestions on how the labor movement can unite to overcome the power of corporations. So I have no reason to believe that his politics lean left; quite the opposite, actually.

                  I think it's a great mistake to assume that this diarist is naive or inexperienced--which is again, speculation. He's great at playing the victim card and making a big deal of wearing a hair shirt every time he's criticized.

                  But when I ripped apart his claims about e-verify, he had no response but to call me a liar.

                  This guy is not a friend of the American worker, he's ignorant of labor and trade beyond his one issue (and shows no interest in educating himself), and he's getting a lot of traction by manipulating people's emotions. That's reason enough for me to be wary of him.

                  The philosopher said: "distrust all in whom the will to punish is strong." And this diarist cannot disguise his punitive bent. It is all over everything he writes.

                  "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

                  by limpidglass on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:17:22 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  This is pretty edgy december. IT does oppose (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            IT Professional

            things that most of us generally support, but that does not mean 'xenophobic' especially since the kossack is an immigrant him/herself.

            I see what you did there.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:38:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  This is anecdotal and unfair (3+ / 0-)
        I have definitely seen H1B programs abused in my years in tech, but I will tell you, the people that I've known who have complained the loudest often have outdated skills of their own and look at non-native-born employees as a scapegoat. Even in the Bay Area, in a city where the majority of citizens were foreign born, I saw attitudes like that. It gets ugly fast. Just because someone has an Indian accent doesn't mean they're "H1B".
        You are also basing this on one area of the country, one that is not typical of the rest.

        Your accusations of xenophobism for people looking for more fairness in the IT job market are really pretty despicable. In fact if anyone here is using a biased, condescending, privileged tone, it's you.

        In fact, this is the second time that I've been involved in comment threads on this subject by this diarist where he and others with the same concerns have been attacked, directly or indirectly.  

        This motivates me to write more on the topic.  There is a lot of research out there that refutes your anecdotal evidence.  I urge others to write about this too and to knock down these unfair accusations.  This attitude undermines tech workers, especially those of us who are middle aged, and enables the greedy corporations, swimming in profit and cash right now, who are undermining this country.  

        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:50:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  the diarist also supports universal e-verify (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Empty Vessel, terrypinder, burlydee

      which has been shown to have serious flaws.

      For one thing, it can't detect fraud--it only determines whether the worker's data agrees with what's in the government database. So if you obtain someone else's papers and pretend to be that person, you can beat the system. Indeed, in some cases it's failed to detect 54% of undocumented workers.

      Furthermore, requiring every single American worker to have their identification run through a federal government database before they can be legally hired is profoundly troubling to me.

      It's not hard to see how companies could abuse this system to drastically curtail worker rights. If a company wants to get rid of a worker, they can simply "mess up" that worker's e-verify paperwork, and voila, they're kicked out. No messy fights over severance, pensions, or any obligations they might have to laid-off workers--because the worker never had a legal right to be employed in the first place.

      And because it takes time and money to fight it, many workers can't afford it.

      Universal e-verify could give companies a new, extremely powerful tool to illegally screen employees and to threaten employees who don't toe the line. It could make hiring people a nightmare for honest companies who want to abide by the law, and it would impose an enormous burden on workers.

      No one who supports e-verify in its current form can credibly call him/herself a friend of the American worker.

      As I said, this diarist has never expressed any genuine interest in labor issues beyond curtailing immigration. That is why I have profound misgivings about his/her diaries. At the very best, he takes a very narrow, blinkered, and shallow approach to labor and trade issues. At worst, as you say, he drifts toward nativism.

      An enforcement-based approach to immigration is as useless as an enforcement-based approach to drug abuse. But it does allow people to shift the blame to others for their problems, which is never an unpopular thing to do.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:29:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  E-verify has been shown (0+ / 0-)

        to free up jobs for US citizens and permanent residents.

        What do you have against e-verify.

        If there was a flaw in my Social Security records, I would be thankful to know this so I can rectify it.  Why is this a flaw?

        •  if your company wanted to get rid of you, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greengemini, burlydee

          they would inform the government that they had found a "flaw" in your e-verify paperwork and have you retroactively kicked out of your job.

          If you were poor, you wouldn't be able to appeal this ruling. You wouldn't get any benefits, because you would have been working illegally.

          You go on incessantly about those evil clever companies who are abusing the guest worker programs; you think those evil clever companies won't abuse a system which gives them enormous power over every single worker in America--undocumented or not?

          If you don't see the potential danger in a system which automatically presumes that a worker has no legal right to work unless they pass a government check, you are either incredibly naive, or incredibly disingenuous.

          E-verify is deeply flawed: not only is the rate of false negatives high (1/6), the rate of false positives is over 50%!

          The first flaw associated with E-Verify is that it has been found to categorize legitimate citizens as ineligible one out of every six times. It also fails to detect document and identity fraud. Half of the illegal aliens entered into the system were deemed by E-Verify to be authorized to work. This system actually leads to increased rates of immigrants obtaining counterfeit, borrowed, or stolen social security numbers and other personal documents.
          There have even been union actions against employers who have unlawfully entered the e-verify program without informing the union.
          In a precedent-setting settlement with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Berkeley’s Pacific Steel Casting Company (Pacific Steel) has agreed to reinstate employees and pay employees for any wages and benefits lost who were terminated as a result of Pacific Steel’s unlawful entry into the E-Verify Program
          If you actually knew or cared to know anything about labor or unions, you would know about this. It took me about five minutes searching the Internet to find this; I'm a little shocked that an "IT Professional" couldn't do the same.

          Instead, I suspect what's most important to you is to have a magic button to tell whether someone is a citizen or not.

          You are clearly profoundly ignorant of how immigration enforcement is routinely used to destroy labor rights, and are only interested in hiding behind the aegis of the American laborer to defend your views--which, as I said before, would under the most generous interpretation be considered narrow and shallow, and at worst, as outright nativist.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:48:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I call (10+ / 0-)


      This diarist might oppose the DREAM act, but not all of us do, and this is a real problem.  Stop trying to undermine the problem by attacking one person who is writing about it.  It could easily be any number of us writing about it.  Take your nativism accusations and shove it.  

      There is such a thing as taking things too far, and letting ideology destroy views of reality.  And that is what you are doing here.  

      There is nothing wrong, and I repeat nothing wrong, with wanting qualified people who live in this country to be considered for jobs located in this country.  To try to turn that into nativism, racism or xenophobia is just destructive thinking that enables the 1% greedy employers in this country who are trying to drive down the cost of labor, quality of life, the economy.  It's destructive. Stop doing it.

      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:39:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The basic fact (5+ / 0-)

      is that the left does a terrible job of listening to workers.

      This is a very real issue.  

      There is surely a line here - but we need to listen to the concern.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:50:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's grown to the level of absurdity (3+ / 0-)

        Workers who want a fair shot at the available jobs in this country are nativist, xenophobic, racist because we object to a program exploited by companies and contracting agencies who are also buying politicians.

        This is one of the areas that make me feel that I don't belong on the left.  On most issues I am further left than most of my allies. But there are a few other issues where most in the party are so ideologically skewed beyond any practicality that it is destructive and the weirdest thing about it is that it enables typically right-wing greed and corporatism and political corruption.   It's bizarre.  No wonder the labor movement is dying in this country.

        This is one of those times where I realize that I no longer belong in this thing that is called the Democratic party but still carries the name.

        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:57:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  We don't call them "slaves" (3+ / 0-)

    I mean, sure it's almost impossible to compete with them for the jobs.

    And they work for almost nothing.

    And they are completely under the control of the company that "Hired" them.

    But you know, it's voluntary so it's cool.


    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:18:09 AM PST

  •  Thinly disguised isolationism (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empty Vessel, limpidglass, terrypinder, FG

    at best.
    Check diarists previous posts - all very one note.

  •  We live in (7+ / 0-)

    A deeply stupid and corrupt country, that has sacrificed its future for a few more quarters of corporate profits.

    Thanks for this informative diary!

    "I come close to despair because so many of the pieces of the country are broken, and when you see that, you have two choices: You can give up, or you can do something about it." Elizabeth Warren

    by Ed in Montana on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:28:31 AM PST

  •  Here's what I dislike about H1-B visas, out- (10+ / 0-)

    sourcing (whether to another country or another company) is that I honestly believe that the company is loosing control over their source code and more importantly, their data if they use h1b's or out source IT work.  

    While there are lots of ethical people and companies out there, it's the bad apples that cause the problem.  There is nothing to prevent a company from taking the code your company has developed over the last 40 years, copying it, make a few tweaks, and then sell it as their own to your competitors.  One would say maintaining a reputation and/or revenue stream would be the thing to keep them from doing that... I wouldn't bet the company on it.  Who says that these companies aren't already sharing the code of their clients, or the data??

    The companies in China and India are using employees for piece work and paying as such, or in tech, terms benching without pay.  I've heard of code being held hostage by the off shore company for more money and the code wasn't working completely as requested.  (This was from a source that I trust implicitly.)  And you know that the extra money isn't going to the employees that wrote the crappy code.  As a contract employee (for another 3 days), I know I have absolutely no loyalty to the company I technically work for and the client I'm providing services to.  But, I'm to damned ethical to do anything stupid.  I just want my money thankyouverymuch.  You wanted to treat me like a mercenary coder, you got one.  Your treating me like the 'hired help' does not inspire me to go above and beyond what is required.

    While there are some things that can be purchased off the shelf and/or left to contract employees/out sourced companies, I truly believe that the companies need to retain control of their own proprietary source code and data.  Control the data, control the company.

  •  I don't see how 60k of workers/year allowed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    under H1B program are doing anything to the job growth of economy in general. In IT it is a problem but outsourcing is a much bigger problem and banning H1B will not decrease outsourcing.

  •  This article may not apply to Bay Area as much (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon, FG

    I know a number of tech workers here in the Bay Area are very happy with the tech scene and there are a load of opportunities here.  And a lot of newer companies don't pull the B.S. with offshoring, outsourcing and they have plenty of growth.

    Outside of the Bay Area and throughout the U.S., it's a completely different picture.

    •  Have you talked to many older (0+ / 0-)

      workers who have been forced out of the market?

      By the way, you are older after 40 in this field.  

      The younger workers may not feel they need to do anything until they find they start to leave off the year of graduation from their resumes and lopping off years of experience, just so they can get an interview.

      Then they will join the movement, hopefully it is not too late, and us oldie on the ground would have put some pressure on lawmakers to at least stave off the disaster a few years more.

      •  This depends on experience and foresight (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You're making such a loose and general reaction to my statement.  I've actually been meeting a number of older workers myself and all that they need to do is effective networking and relationship building.  Job Boards aren't going to do them any good.

        I go to Meetup events, tech events, start-up events (healthcare start-ups, financial start-ups, etc.) and I see people of all shapes, sizes, ethnicity, background and age.

        A good way for older workers to start building networking resources is by going to the Art of Active Networking.  It meets at least twice a month at 1069 Howard Street in San Francisco from 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm.

        I think even the job seekers, both young and old, are spending too much time talking about how they apply for jobs online, which represent 25% of the market and networking job prospects represent 75% of the market.

        Now if say you're dealing with a recruiter or applying for jobs online or at career fairs, that's different.  Of course there's going to be a sense of unfairness.  However, I see a lot of older workers who own their own businesses and are doing well or not so well, depending on competition.

        We're underestimating the Internet.  Movement can help but so can networking.

        •  The evidence is in. (0+ / 0-)

          It is not anectdotal at this point.

          Companies are bypassing older workers and importing younger workers.  

          All the networking will do nothing but fustrate if you are never going to get the job.

          Not everyone wants to start a business. Some people  want to be considered for jobs they are qualified for.
          What's wrong with that?

          •  You're still being very loose in your analysis (0+ / 0-)

            You're interpreting networking in such a general concept.  Not all networking venues are smart.  That's why I suggested the Art of Networking because it's actually genuine.  Same goes for the San Francisco Professional Career Network and the Job Connections in Danville.  People in these networks actually DO care and don't treat anyone like numbers.

            The concept is this:  When you network, don't go telling professionals "Get me a job."  You tell people what your expertise level is.  If you don't have enough experience, there are plenty of sources to get that.  IT professionals just need the sources.

             I've actually met IT professionals out of work who have been referred to the IIBA Silicon Valley and studying business analysis and as a result, are getting really strong connections in Silicon Valley which they never had before.

            IT is not construction.  I know IT professionals across the board, including a number of them at events I go to.  Hell, I even know a professional network guru who has an IT background and at one point went through the same issues IT people are facing now.

            But there are certain companies that are of course being snobby when it comes to hiring IT professionals.  Google of course is like working in Hollywood and people who work there are celebrities as in so many people want to talk to Google employees it's just not funny.  On the other hand, companies like Zynga do hire people who are in say their 50's.

            You really need to pin down the companies, how you market yourself, what your knowledge set is and if needed, get help from the networking groups I just mentioned.  Or you continue to be pessimistic.

            Bottom line is:  If people actually go to these support groups and begin from there, then their anxiety won't be as high as it was once before.  I was laid off from a start-up months ago and thought after three months of applying for marketing positions (that's my industry) that no one wanted me.  Actually, that's not true.  It's just that I didn't reach out to people in certain aspects.

            Look at it this way:  Don't depend on recruiters or job boards.  Networking now is more sophisticated than it used to be.  IT professionals should start being pros at this because they are, after all, IT professionals.

            But you know, people start from there.

  •  So let me get this straight... (3+ / 0-)

    Corporations are bad, unless they hire H1B workers to come here. Then they are good, and wanted because they help immigrants better their way of life.

    Those who oppose H1B visas are anti-immigrant/xenophobic because they want to stop immigrants from competing for American jobs and the downward force they place on wages/benefits.

    Those immigrants who utilize H1B visas should be allowed by corporations (bad!) to be exploited because they are bettering their lives.

    This is in a nutshell the categories of comments here. Nowhere here however, is the support for the American workers' representation to want to keep wages from eroding further. The unfortunate part is that in order to do that H1B visas would need to be curtailed. This is hard for me to say, but this plays right into the Right's stereotype that helping workers outside the U.S. takes priority over workers IN the U.S., even if we have to say corporations=good! to do it. How else do all the facts above coexist?

  •  Scabs (0+ / 0-)

    In my opinion as a union member, scabs should be treated the way scabs were treated way back when.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:44:39 AM PST

  •  Obviously, this is a big problem in IT. (0+ / 0-)

    And it is absolutely wrong to "bus in" cheap workers.

    And, I saw that your chart showed Professors as the next chunk of pie. But in my experience most of the foreign professors have gone to grad school here and stayed rather than go home. They also marry, have children, buy houses, pay taxes and contribute to American society. Isn't this part of the American Dream?

  •  H1B is a way to get IT at bargain basement prices (3+ / 0-)

    I saw the same thing where I worked. Bring in Indians and outsource to India. They planned that based on a study they commissioned from S&P. IT should organize to demand better job security and work hours, not to rail against the Indians. Let's raise wages in both countries.

    And where are all the older IT workers who have given up finding a job?  If they got involved in the progressive movement, that would be awesome.

    As far as hoarding, I wonder if corporations are holding cash and buying back stock because (1) management is protecting itself from corporate raiders or (2) management is anticipating stockholder activism based on the implementation of Dodd Frank.  

    These are just my pet theories.

  •  Key Bank sending more jobs to India (0+ / 0-)

    KeyCorp is "shifting" 60 more IT jobs to India

    They're now working with a company called Genpact to ship these jobs overseas.  Additional jobs will be sent there in the future, including jobs in accounting.


    In 2008, Key in 2008 eliminated about 70 technology support jobs, about 50 of them in Cleveland, and shifted the work to two firms, Cognizant and Wipro Limited, both of which are big in India.

    This time, the operations affected will be various finance and accounting functions, including accounts payable, expense report audit, general accounting, lease accounting, operational balance and control, and other functions.

    The plan is to shift more work to India over time, Sparks said.

    It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

    by Betty Pinson on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:32:04 PM PST

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