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Posted: 8/27/2001 1:02:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2001 1:15:40 PM EST by 71-Hour_Achmed]
My brother was asking me how I felt about them today. I'm currently unemployed, with no prospects in sight. Last time I bought a Seattle Times to look at the job ads, there were twelve, all of which were headhunter shops that were just collecting resumes. Two friends are headhunters; one has zero open reqs, and the other has none that come even close to matching. (The second did, however, get a call while I was visiting -- a H1-B worker who was bitching about his new job that she got him.) My brother, meanwhile, is concerned about his job as a radiologist, even though there is a severe shortage of them right now -- seems that reading X-rays is exportable over the internet too. From [url]http://www.attackcartoons.com/[/url]: [img]http://www.attackcartoons.com/libertad.GIF[/img] In [u]Snow Crash[/u], Neal Stephenson made a comment about a global economy in which jobs were smeared around the globe in a thin layer that a Pakistani brick-maker would consider prosperous. I think we're well on our way.
Link Posted: 8/27/2001 2:01:53 PM EST
Have you lost your mind? Don't you know that certain Libertarians on this board are going to have you and your anti-immigrant cartoon on a scaffold later this evening! We are/were a nation of immigrants, there's no need for us to close the borders as long as there are still people somewhere in this world who are yearning to breed free! Ach du lieber! Pardonais Moi, I meant 'yearning to [u]breathe[/u] free', not [u]breed[/u] free. Eric The(It'sAnUnderstandableMistake!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 8/27/2001 2:11:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/27/2001 2:21:48 PM EST
We wouldn't know too much about living in a free market, we live here. There's nothing free about ignoring longstanding immigration policies simply to rush in new immigrants when the only people who will profit from those new immigrants rattle the chains in DC. If you still think that the old patterns of immigration still apply and that the immigrants are a total positive for this country, you must be smoking something imported too! Oh, by the way, when did we get rid of all those nasty welfare programs and government giveaways that were SUPPOSED to end [u]before[/u] all the immigration was to occur? Or are you guys STILL working on that part??!! Eric The(Yeah,IWon'tHoldMyBreathEither)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 8/27/2001 2:29:04 PM EST
[img]www.attackcartoons.com/moronbomb.GIF[/img] i like this one
Link Posted: 8/27/2001 2:30:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2001 2:33:36 PM EST by Garand_Shooter]
Link Posted: 8/27/2001 3:45:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2001 3:48:36 PM EST by Wadman]
Since when did H1-B visas equal resident alien status? Last time I checked, it was a year to year basis and if not renewed, you were on a plane back to whereever (or you stayed and played Robin Hood). The H1-B worker doesn't necessarily profit from it. He's at the mercy of his sponsor; work long hours, get underpaid, don't complain or the visa doesn't get renewed. Sort of like being an indentured servant. A close family friend was sent here during his highschool years. He was headed nowhere fast back home and the parents shipped him off to go to live with his aunt and go to school his cousins. Now this family was almost too harsh; the kids watched TV with the volume set to barely audible levels so as not to disturb the father. Everyone tip-toed around the house, etc. No one went out and everyone studied almost constantly. It was harsh but the kid got his H.S. diploma and went on to a trade school (Devry). Got excellent grades and got sponsored for an H1-B which he needed since he was no longer a student. They worked his ass off and he became intimately familiar with the Chicago area what with all his traveling. He didn't complain all that much though because he realized his opportunity (America, accumulating stuff, etc.). But with the shaky economy, his visa didn't get renewed and he was given a deadline so he flew back to wait for another chance. Don't know if he'll ever get back here.
Link Posted: 8/27/2001 5:14:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By Wadman: Since when did H1-B visas equal resident alien status? [...] Sort of like being an indentured servant.
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Funny, "indentured servant" is the phrase I've used many times, in writing letters-to-editors over the last five years. They never get published, of course. In 1991, I was stuck in New York for a year, on contract. The contract agency I worked through had hired some recently-graduated foreign students who had two years worth of work-permit (part of their student visa, to let them get experience before they were shipped back to China). These kids were working for $9/hr (let me state that clearly lest anyone think I made a typo -- nine dollars per hour), as software developers, in the New York City metro area. Try surviving on $9 per hour, period, in NYC.
Link Posted: 8/27/2001 5:23:56 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/27/2001 10:20:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed: Try surviving on $9 per hour, period, in NYC.
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Did they die?
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Cute. No, they simply got stuck working sixty to eighty hours per week just to scrape by. They deserved better than that.
Link Posted: 8/27/2001 10:46:11 PM EST
Snow Crash is a great book. Alex
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 1:51:15 AM EST
Being in the tech field for almost 15 years, I could write a book about the H1-B situation. However, I will say this. First, regardless of what you believe, most companies prefer H1-B's over US citizens and resident aliens because they assumed, for a while, that they were getting a source of cheap, educated labor. However, they are now starting to realize that H1-B workers are more of a burden than an asset. Most companies do not hire H1-B's directly. The majority of H1-B VISAs are granted to large body shops, who charge anywhere from $80 to $150 an hour for the workers. In my area, the worker may see $20-$30 an hour out of it. After they've been here a while, they begin to realize that they're the ones getting screwed. With one-bedroom apartments going for $1200 a month, the cost of food, clothing, etc., that $20 an hour comes out to support a lifestyle that's just a tad over subsistence living. And, of course, much of what they earn goes back to their families in India or China. H1-B VISAs benefit no one but the body shops. The workers are getting screwed, US citizens are getting screwed because large numbers of H1-Bs undermine their bargaining power, and the companies that hire them are getting screwed because they’re paying top dollar for workers with questionable work experience and education. But the employer can cut them loose on a whim, so to them maybe it’s worth it. But the worse thing is it hurts our nation. What message does it send our young people? Why would a college student go the extra mile to major in engineering or computer science if he knows he will be replaced by a foreign worker (or two) when he hits 30 and begins to make a decent living? Why go to all the trouble? If his services are valued so little, why should he even try? H1-Bs are a lose-lose situation. If you want the skinny, listen to the expert. [url]heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/itaa.real.html[/url] It’s a long read, but it’s from the horse’s mouth. By the way,. H1-Bs are by law non-immigrant VISAs. However, virtually every H1-B (and F1) VISA holder I know ended up with a green card.
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 1:59:10 AM EST
Originally Posted By mattja: Being in the tech field for almost 15 years, I could write a book about the H1-B situation. However, I will say this. First, regardless of what you believe, most companies prefer H1-B's over US citizens and resident aliens because they assumed, for a while, that they were getting a source of cheap, educated labor. However, they are now starting to realize that H1-B workers are more of a burden than an asset. Most companies do not hire H1-B's directly. The majority of H1-B VISAs are granted to large body shops, who charge anywhere from $80 to $150 an hour for the workers. In my area, the worker may see $20-$30 an hour out of it. After they've been here a while, they begin to realize that they're the ones getting screwed. With one-bedroom apartments going for $1200 a month, the cost of food, clothing, etc., that $20 an hour comes out to support a lifestyle that's just a tad over subsistence living. And, of course, much of what they earn goes back to their families in India or China. H1-B VISAs benefit no one but the body shops. The workers are getting screwed, US citizens are getting screwed because large numbers of H1-Bs undermine their bargaining power, and the companies that hire them are getting screwed because they’re paying top dollar for workers with questionable work experience and education. But the employer can cut them loose on a whim, so to them maybe it’s worth it. But the worse thing is it hurts our nation. What message does it send our young people? Why would a college student go the extra mile to major in engineering or computer science if he knows he will be replaced by a foreign worker (or two) when he hits 30 and begins to make a decent living? Why go to all the trouble? If his services are valued so little, why should he even try? H1-Bs are a lose-lose situation. If you want the skinny, listen to the expert. [url]heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/itaa.real.html[/url] It’s a long read, but it’s from the horse’s mouth. By the way,. H1-Bs are by law non-immigrant VISAs. However, virtually every H1-B (and F1) VISA holder I know ended up with a green card.
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Hey mattja! So was there really a tech worker shortage or was that just BS the companies fed the politicians to get more H1-B's?
Link Posted: 8/28/2001 4:44:58 AM EST
Originally Posted By Ulysse_Nardin_1846: Hey mattja! So was there really a tech worker shortage or was that just BS the companies fed the politicians to get more H1-B's?
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If I'm not mistaken there was a real shortage - of citizens willing to work at sub-market salaries. I think the push for more H-1B's was just like Mattja said, and a lot of employers bought a pig in a poke. It never ceases to amaze me what kind of short-sighted bandwagons executives will jump on. But of course by the time the brilliant ideas backfire, they instigators have hopped to another position / client.
Link Posted: 8/29/2001 12:04:28 AM EST
Ulysse_Nardin_1846, I would say yes and no. In the early 1990's, things were like they are today, in that there was a recession and IT people were getting terminated left and right, along with mid-level management. By 1995, things were picking up in anticipation of Y2K, which resulted in a need for more IT people. A lot of guys said the hell with it and left the field in the early 1990's, so all of a sudden there was a "shortage" (more on that later). Those who stayed on realized that they were now in a superior bargaining position, and took advantage of it by leaving the kinds of companies that 5 years earlier had had a "You're lucky you have a job attitude". They could make more money elsewhere. And they had seen their friends, relatives, and co-workers sacrificed at the altar 5 years before and realized in this new economy, the idea of company loyalty was an anachronism. These are employees who had been loyal for years, were constantly bombarded with messages of “we care”, and all of a sudden they were on the street. So, turnover began to be very fluid, salaries were on the rise, and this really, really pissed off employers because just 5 years earlier they had the upper hand on the workers. All of a sudden, there was a turnaround, and the workers had the upper hand. That’s un-American! So, an organization called the ITAA began a mission of disinformation -- producing dubious forecasts and lobbying Congress with tales of dire straights for US industry because there was a “shortage” of workers. Enter the H1-B. The H1-B was originally instituted to insure that the US has a steady supply of highly educated and highly specialized workers. If the need arose for highly specialized workers, companies could purchase an H1-B and begin recruiting overseas to fill the gap until US workers came up to speed. The H1-B is a non-immigrant, temporary VISA – by law it cannot lead to permanent residency (but it often does). So, the ITAA began their crusade of lies, touting foreign workers as being superior to Americans. Americans are not loyal, Americans leave to make more money, Americans are trouble makers, Americans are lazy, stupid, and demand too much money. Employers desired the return of the early 1990’s, where they could demand 70 hours a week and pay sub-scale wages.
Link Posted: 8/29/2001 12:05:00 AM EST
And the media at it up. In pure liberal fashion, they went out of their way to propagate the lie that Americans are stupid and lazy. I mean, everyone knows Chinese and Indians are smarter than Americans. Look at the technological advances in their countries. Now, some IT workers were part of the problem. For a while, there was a time when people were taking jobs for the training, and leaving as soon as the training was completed to make more money. Companies felt they were subsidizing their competition and decided they would no longer train IT employees. This is still the case today, in fact. No employer wants to pay for training these days out of fear that the employee will leave for a few more bucks an hour elsewhere. The funny thing is the Democrats, who for years had touted themselves as the party for the worker, offered only slight resistance to H1-B’s. They had studied the problem and were well aware that the shortage was a lie, yet they could not say no to those IT dollars. So, they went along with it, insisting that part of the money companies pay for the H1-B go to educating American technology workers. In fact, a year ago some of that money was doled out in CA, but it went into the general fund, benefiting everyone and no one. So, every year Congress has raised the limit on H1-Bs and every year an influx of IT workers bombards our shores. Prk hit the nail on the head. There actually was a shortage -- a shortage of 25-year old engineering graduates with 3 years experience, willing to work 70 hours a week without overtime pay. At the same time this is going on, there were literally thousands of recently laid-off aerospace engineers and programmers in their 30’s and 40’s dying for work. We’re talking about people who can come up to speed in a matter of weeks, not months. So, why not tap this resource you may ask -- these guys with 10-15 years experience and advanced degrees? Employers did not want them.
Link Posted: 8/29/2001 12:05:30 AM EST
Companies wanted smart, young guys willing to take what ever they dished out. The H1-B was the perfect solution because the VISA is not granted to the worker, it’s granted to the employer. If the employer didn’t like the worker, the threat of termination was always enough to get the worker back in line. And the employer knew he could always refill the position with another foreign sap. See, when an H1-B worker is terminated, he has to find another H1-B position within a certain amount of time or he’s back on the boat to China. So, to answer your question. Yes, there was a shortage of American workers willing to work as slaves. And there was a shortage of workers fluent in certain technologies. Remember, earlier, workers were trained in these technologies at the expense of the employer. Now there was no more training, but the need for these people still existed. They could have hired American contractors to fill these jobs, but contractors are expensive and many have no vested interest in the quality of their work (Author Anderson comes to mind). What they wanted were people they could hire and fire like contractors, but people who were loyal like older employees, yet young in years, bright, and willing to work major overtime for free, and most of all, people too scared to leave (like in 1990). The H1-B was the perfect solution. And yes, the big IT companies doled out millions in soft money to both parties, with the Dems having a slight edge, to keep the H1-B train on the track. But in the end, other than the large IT companies like HP, Microsoft, and Sun, the body of H1-Bs went to the large head hunters, who ended up charging companies the same rates American contractors charge, while paying the workers sub-standard salaries. The bodyshops came out winners, everyone else got screwed.
Link Posted: 8/29/2001 12:44:51 AM EST
[b]Thanks for the eXcellent information mattja.[/b]
Link Posted: 8/29/2001 3:02:24 PM EST
Ulysse_Nardin_1846, you're welcome. All this BS kinda of makes one want to join a union. Well, maybe not. :)
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