Conspiracy Theories

Over the years of my writing this blog and before that an e-newsletter, I’ve received mail from a number of techies claiming conspiracies of one sort or another. They are convinced, for instance, that the reason the press has not properly covered the H-1B/green card issue is that reporters are stifled by the corporate interests that run the print and electronic media.

I’ve generally disagreed with such claims. I think most journalists (and their editors) are sincere people, trying to report the news accurately as they see it. The problem is that latter qualifier; their views of the problem are distorted by the extremely efficient tech industry propaganda machine. I might fault them for lack of full due diligence in tracking down the industry’s claims, but no, I don’t think they are being censored.

However, as the old joke goes, “Sometimes a person is paranoid because someone is out to get him.” It is rather mind boggling that mainstream, “insider” Republican presidential candidates Rubio, Cruz and Huckabee are suddenly speaking out against H-1B.  Marco Rubio a critic of H-1B? Who knew? 🙂 And that suggests, yes, a possible conspiracy of a sort, as I will explain shortly.

I’ve mentioned many times that the Disney and SCE incidents have distorted the discussion on H-1B and green cards, but I’ve also noted that at least now there IS a discussion. Donald Trump may still be rather hazy on the matter himself, but he did force it into the forefront. So now suddenly, it has become a presidential campaign issue.

As I’ve noted before, except for Bernie Sanders, the Democrats have been mum on this issue. On the contrary, even the Democrats who spoke out against H-1B in the past have clammed up in the last couple of years. But now that the Republicans are talking about it, the Democrats will have to face the issue, especially because Hillary Clinton has a terrible record on H-1B, being quite cozy with the Infosyses, truly awful stuff.

Accordingly, I believe that it may be possible that both parties agree to keep the H-1B visa issue OUT of next year’s election campaign. Thus there may actually be action on the Grassley bill, which was announced yesterday and which I strongly criticized. The Democrats have been holding H-1B hostage to secure amnesty for the unauthorized immigrants, but they surely don’t want to see Republican TV commercials next year showing Clinton telling an Indian-American group that she is the “senator from Punjab.” And now there is this pesky new book by H-1B activist John Miano and prominent journalist Michelle Malkin. Better to nip this H-1B thing in the bud, the two parties may agree.

“But,” you say, “didn’t new House Speaker Paul Ryan say there would be no legislation on immigration until 2017?” Yup. But remember, the pols have an out — H-1B is officially termed a nonimmigrant visa. Gotcha. So, H-1B “reform” now, plus the Obama expansion of OPT, and then look for the coup de grace in 2017, staple-a-green-card legislation for foreign students.

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23 thoughts on “Conspiracy Theories

  1. Paul Ryan precisely said no “CIR” until 2017. He implicitly said that if there is a republican majority supporting a piecemeal immigration bill.. he will put it up for a Vote.

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  2. I’m not sure there’s any party discipline on either side, but there may be some Zuckerberg discipline, put that in your aluminum foil hat and smoke it.

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  3. Speaker Ryan promised there would not be any “comprehensive” bill on Immigration. And he is very open to any other immigration bill that meets hasterts rule.

    So all these newly-cropping-up bill(s) will safely crawl under that “really fine” print and that they are largely bi-partisan with the likes of Freedom Caucus non against these bills.(Conrad J-1/EB-5 etc)

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  4. I have formed relationships with journalists over time. I can tell you without a doubt I know of two cases where the publication pressured the journalist not to report or temper the report because it included major advertisers.

    I can’t tell you who or what publication because it was said in confidence – yes even journalist are afraid of getting black listed.

    To be fair we are talking trade journal not newspaper, but editors are under pressure in this highly competitive business with slimming margins. A business where subscribers expect content for free. Advertisers have real power, and that is no theory – it is reality.

    You would recognize the name if I told you. I’ll let it go at that.

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    • I don’t doubt that this has occurred, but I’ve been interviewed by literally hundreds of journalists over the years, and have gotten to know some of them somewhat well. In the vast majority of cases in which their coverage was inaccurate or unbalanced, it was due to their failure to spend the time needed to fully understand the situation, rather than a need to write a pro-industry piece.

      Who can blame them? Most write about a different topic every day, thus lacking time to really investigate. And the subject IS complicated, so much so that even most of the critics of H-1B don’t understand it.

      For instance, the critics don’t understand the crucial role of age in H-1B. Most could not explain to you, for example, WHY the foreign workers at SCE and Disney were so cheap.

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      • I’ve done phone interviews on tech-related topics before, and believe me, the story is already written before they drop the dime. They have scripted questions — leading questions, designed to elicit the *desired quote* from whomever they call, so they can paste that into the article. The slant, the agenda, the narrative, whatever you want to call it — all the questions are designed to conform to their presupposed notions of what the article will say.

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        • I was almost given the opportunity to meet Ron Hira and appear on the Al Jazeera America’s Third Rail program recently and I really wanted to be on that show across the aisle from Robert Hoffman of Cognizant.

          At the time I really wanted to be on that show even though I had never heard of him and did not know he was going to be on there.

          After seeing him in action I want to be on that show even more, but I must agree with you.
          When I spoke to them they wanted a disney type to go up against him.

          Nothing against the boys at disney but they haven’t been studying this nightmare since 2007 and I have.

          The questions were carefully scripted and there is no opportunity to pull up the charts that I use on this page.

          http://keepamericaatwork.com/what-will-your-children-do-if-they-cannot-find-jobs-in-america/

          While I agree with Mr. Matloff that they are not biased, I do believe that they are fighting this war with both hands tied behind their back by their publishers who have very deep pockets like Rupert Murdoch.

          To quote a reporter I met about a year ago via email.

          Nobody gives a ???? about you tech guys and gals

          Al Jazeera, are you listening?

          I still want to go up against the Benedict Arnold that Cognizant uses against Americans in America.

          Somebody called me the “Jesse Jackson” of the tech industry today.

          While I doubt that as I’m one step from being homeless, I do believe we need a “Jesse Jackson” to speak up for the tech industry

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          • Hoffman was with Oracle for some time, then became the spokeperson for one of the industry organizations. He’s not a techie, so he’s bit like those textbook sellers who come to university campuses to try to get professors to use their company’s books but know absolutely nothing about the fields of the books.

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  5. I share your distrust of the current political process, Norm. Sadly, special interests that have wads of campaign cash are heard, instead of the marginalized Americans that are purportedly represented by our U.S. Congresspeople and U.S. Senators.

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  6. Well, the term “conspiracy theory” has become a cuss-word, kind of like “fascist”.
    So many people have used these words to poo-poo a situation that many of us
    have decided that anyone using the term “conspiracy theory” is blowing off reality.
    Just saying.

    In the case of H1-B, and the bribes which have been paid to various politicians,
    I do not think that the word is inappropriate.

    Remember in 2008, how Hillary was getting free use of a Jet which belonged
    to a corporation allegedly owned by the Indian Government’s Intelligence agency?
    Remember how that was (eventually) deemed to be an illegal campaign contribution,
    and how she got her hand slapped several months after the election was over?

    Does this sort of thing fit your definition of a conspiracy?
    If not, then what exactly does fit your definition?

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    • In my posting, I was just referring to the claim that there is a conspiracy in the press. My point was that the industry PR machine is so effective in implanting in the American consciousness that we have a STEM shortage, that the H-1Bs are geniuses etc. that corporate American doesn’t have to strongarm the press into submission.

      But is there a conspiracy in the industry? Yes, it’s called Fwd.us. 🙂

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  7. The “staple a green card” proposal scares me. The government data shows there is no shortage of graduates for jobs. One of the effects will be the needless increase in academic requirements for jobs which do not require bachelors degrees or above. The unscrupulous institutions will give out degrees by the dozens; with a green card, the person can work at an entry level no degree required job.

    The emphasis on STEM careers in the schools now will create an even larger pool of graduates who are citizens or current permanent residents.

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    • Just yesterday the dean of a top engineering school told me that employers who recruit at his school tell him they always have more jobs than there are new graduates to fill them. He was not so sure this is true, which is why he contacted me in the first place, but he said the argument sounded quite convincing. I told him that the key phrase in his statement was “new graduates”….

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  8. A ‘conspiracy’ is meant to sound paranoid so that it can be dismissed easily.
    I have never believed in conspiracies mostly because I believe you should never attribute to malice what can be attributed to plain stupidity.
    That does not mean that I do not believe in synergy of effort.
    If disparate groups engage in complementary effort, whether knowingly or not, the end result is the same.
    The link is the promulgation of bad facts that eventually turn into dogma ( zombie facts) and eventually turn into policy.

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  9. Norm,
    Sorry to go off-topic here, but shouldn’t you be using the term “Illegal Aliens” instead of “unauthorized immigrants” as used in this posting and at least 1 other posting?

    Using “unauthorized immigrants” when referring to “Illegal Aliens”, is kind of like using the term “immigrants” to refer to H-1B visa holders/temporary visa holder/non-immigrant worker – trying not to offend the “foreigners”.

    From your “Breitbart Becomes a Major Player in H-1B Coverage” posting…
    https://normsaysno.wordpress.com/2015/11/01/breitbart-becomes-a-major-player-in-h-1b-coverage/

    “I had corrected her terming H-1B visa holders as “immigrants” (many hope to immigrate, but H-1B is simply a temporary work visa), she replied,

    I am aware that the term of law for foreign workers on temporary visas is “non-immigrant.” But it is legal jargon that we avoid [at this MSM outlet], in no small part because its tone is insulting to the foreigners. (From non-immigrant to non-person is not a long way.)

    I had written here before on the manipulation of language by the industry PR people, but “insulting”? “Non-person”? Really? The above statements by a journalist at a major newspaper are really laughable — and pathetic. It is this sense of things spinning out of control in the country that are making the “outsiders” so attractive to many voters these days.”

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    • Not off-topic at all. I intend this as a general blog on politics and economics, even if most of my posts have dealt with H-1B.

      I’ve actually answered this question here in the past; here is the situation. The pro-amnesty people make a big distinction between illegal and alegal, the latter referring to people who entered the country legally, say on a tourist visa, but whose original status no longer holds. In recognition of that, I decided back in 2006, when I taught a freshman seminar class on immigration, to use the term unauthorized, which is technically more accurate.

      The term undocumented is ridiculous, as is a path to earned legal status; note that I definitely use the term amnesty instead of the latter.

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  10. A couple of comments:
    Having worked in software for years I find it unfortunate that corporations focus on unit cost of people, not productivity. Older programmers are usually all around better and more productive than younger, just due to experience. It isn’t just code quality, but also ability to communicate, ability to see the forest as well as the trees, etc. the problem is, corporations don’t know how to measure productivity and quality, and don’t know how to manage software projects effectively. The failure rate ( partial and total ) on software projects is high. So they go by what they can measure and can control: cost of personnel.

    The media is forced to play a ratings game, so it’s no surprise the press takes short-cuts and doesn’t have the time to research stories. This is just one more example of what I consider to be the main threat to American democracy: unlimited money in the political process. It corrupts our politicians and contributes to a Congress that ignores popular opinion. I would cite gun control and raising the minimum wage as examples. And it allows the spread of false propaganda, as we see with the H-1B issue.

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    • In my book “Seven Lean Years” I pointed to the tactic of “deadly clusters” — one or two slick, experienced “consultants” (sales guys with good tech knowledge, able to speak all the buzzwords), surrounded by a dozen or so of the *actual coders* — young, inexperienced, cheap coders, often imported on H1-B.

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  11. Democrats holding H1-B hostage in order to push for unlimited low-income immigration? Tell me it ain’t so!!

    Seriously, I recall the same situation at least once or twice in the last 15 years. This is a non-stop merry-go-round of the worst of the Left and the worst of the Right, playing buddy-buddy to tee off against the Middle Class. Yet again….

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  12. Hillary Clinton’s H1-b debacle not only implicates Infosys, it should aalso include Tata Consultancy Services…

    In early 2003(?), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) issued a press release they were moving their US Corporate Headquarters to the middle of New York state.

    US Senator Clinton (D-NY) convened a last-minute press announcement where she apparently took partial credit for Tata Consultancy Services move that she claimed would add an additional 1,000 jobs to that geographic region.

    However, she did not say that most of the 1,000 jobs would probably be H1-b Visa workers from India on temporary Visas.

    Hillary Clinton may not have known that Tata in the late 1980s was sued in a US Federal Court civil lawsuit that claimed Tata illegally applied hiring criteria that excluded most US citizens from being hired for IT jobs at Tata. The Tata “Time and Attendance” online computer system and end-user interface for Employees and Staff was written in an an Indian spoken language dialect that most job applicants would not know.

    During 2004, Tata was again sued in a Federal class-action lawsuit for defrauding H1-b visa workers and employees by requiring Tata prepare their Federal and State Personal Tax returns, while Tata stole their employee’s private tax refunds.

    Both of these Federal lawsuits ended with out-of-court settlements where Tata did not confirm or deny responsibility or guilt, but the settlements were very expensive for Tata.

    I wonder if Hillary’s past endorsement of Tata & Infosys will come back to bite her…

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